Sunday, 26 December 2010

Brothers in Arms

Assalamu 'Alaikum

After a hectic long week with two insurance renewals, coupled with a day of sick leave, I finally took a break in Bandar with the family. The GemboKids have a chance to sleep over with their cousins, at my wife's sister's place (easier to say my sis in law), or my best friend's sister in law's place (basically the same person).

Talking about best friends, Alhamdulillah I am blessed with quite a number.  At the movie yesterday, watching Gulliver's Travel, I met one of them with his family, my very own 'Barney Stinson' if I were to be Ted hahaha (You'll only know this if you watch How I Met Your Mother).  I will be seeing another best friend today, a visit to his new crib, as I couldn't make it to his housewarming thanksgiving prayers recently.

**pause** went to the Tungku Beach with our host for ATV rides and played with the waves.  On the way there, we stopped by a minimart, and guess what? I met another best friend.  Small world.  I guess Allah has willed that I meet as much best friend during this long weekend.**

Yeah, I was about to write about Brothers In Arms.   It is actually a song by Dire Straits.   The lyrics are quite poetic, but these lines always reminded me of my very own dire moment - no pun intended - in February of last year.  My brothers along with many other caring individuals came to my bedside, to pray for my wellbeing and offered support to my dear wife.  I haven't seen some of my brothers for years, but they came in the droves when they heard of my illness.  I love you bros.

...... In the fear and alarm

You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

These are my brothers in arms (not all of them).


Thursday, 16 December 2010


Assalamu 'Alaikum

This has been a hectic time of the year at work, not just because it is the year end (chasing targets, KPI etc), but in my case, I have to renew insurance programs.

In the absence of a few key people, others have to deputise as the signatories, and one happened to be a good friend of mine.  Approaching him professionally, we reviewed the renewal proposal together and he suddenly laughed out loud.... "You have too much 'however' in this submission!", and he said that kind of words would normally jump out, and in most cases viewed as negative..... well, couple of things, you have to hear me out....

Ok, in my defence the 'however' was to negate the negative, so it becomes a positive - for those you studied math, minus times minus equals plus, right?  Like a salesman, I convinced him just that, that is negating the negative (that's a fact, I wasn't trying to screw him heheh), and he finally approved!

Secondly, I didn't realise that I used too much 'however' until he pointed it out. And it's just not in this proposal, but in many others. I guess it is my OCDs or what the Bruneian Malays would call 'paingan' hahah, which also reminded me of my early days following graduation. As a government scholar, I had to apply for jobs with the government and had to write in the application letters in Malay.  After the first cut, I asked my then girlfriend (of course MrsG!) to review, and she counted more than TEN 'juga' in the 3 paragraphed letter - 'juga' is Malay for 'also'.... oh, she still remembers that till today, and still laughed about it when she recalled that letter.

However, it is 10 now and I have to hit the sack, however I need to ensure the kids are all asleep. I could just go straight to bed, however if they are still up, they will definitely knock on the door.

However, I have now checked on them and its confirmed, they're all asleep.

Thank you and good night.

Be safe.


Lloyd's of London

Assalamu 'Alaikum

Fortunately I am up early this morning, so need to clear of this spider webs :-)

Browsing through my iPhoto, I came across some pics from my recent honeymoon holiday to UK back in July. Can't remember whether I blogged about that holiday though.

Anyway, despite not a long trip, I somehow managed to squeeze half a day on courtesy calls to our insurance brokers, underwriters and also visit the Shell centre! My wife didn't mind much, as she got Westfield to keep her busy.

For those who know me personally, will know my career has always been in insurance and for those who know me professionally, I deal with insurance which has at some point, to be insured at this respectable institution.

The building below is Lloyd's building in London, a very fine piece of architecture housing the Lloyd's of London, an international insurance and reinsurance market with history stretching back to the late 1600's. Here the broker I was with asked me to pretend to be a broker and carry his slip file. Do I look the part?  Anyway, what is not shown here is the 'market' itself, the lower floors housed the 'boxes' which are manned by the underwriters, with brokers queueing to get these underwriters to participate in their clients' insurances.... I know, too much insurance lingo, but my insurance friends should be able to understand this... i hope.  Anyway, I couldn't show the pics here cos' there were no pics - camera's are banned boohoo.... but, nah just enjoy whatever I could snap below.

The photo below the Committee Room at the 11th floor, an 18th century dining-room designed for the 2nd Earl of Shelburne by Robert Adam in 1763; it was transferred piece-by-piece from the previous Lloyd's building... Yikes!

Now this is also an interesting office building in London, nicknamed the Gherkin, cos' it is shaped like one! This is the Swiss Re building. Unfortunately we do not have direct dealing with Swiss Re or anyone there so no reason for me to visit.

That's a quick short update & should keep the spiders away.

Till next time, be safe.


Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Uh oh..

Assalamualaikum everyone..

It's coming back again... the spiders are coming back to build their webs on my blog. Was about to blog about the gifts, and the work stress, and my impending move....

...but, by the time my wife and I reached home from work, solat Asar and Maghrib, we're left with just hanging out with the kids with whatever ounces of energy left, let alone to blog.

On my last blog, all of you (macam banyak saja hehehe) guessed right. My dear wife bought me a luscious red Kitchenaid mixer, and I got her an iPhone4.  It's obvious what she wanted me to do, right? Well, she felt so sorry to see me baked carrot cakes and cheese cakes and many more on a flimsy mixer, and she got me the granddaddy of mixers :-)

So far I've used the mixer to bake choc chips cookies and mixed cream for my scones. I will try to post blogs on my future bakings/cookings on this dusty *cough* blog of mine... InsyaAllah.

Till then, be safe always.

Mr G

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Our 10 years anniversary gift to each other... Teaser

It has been more than 3 months since our 10th wedding anniversary but only recently that we got to give each other our anniversary gifts.

Can you guess what they are and who gets what :) ?

Oh, this isn't part of the anniversary gifts, but I got it just last weekend too :-)

Empire Strikes Back!

After a year filled with travels, I'm left with only one day of leave, which I decided to carry forward to next year. Luckily, I joined my supervisor to conduct a training at an offshore platform, on a WEEKEND a couple of months back, that I had a leave given in lieu which I decided to use on Monday, thus made my own long weekend as today Tuesday is a public holiday.

The Gembo Kids had their fair share of travels, to the Universal Studios Singapore and seeing their cousins in Kuching for Hari Raya, so we decided to have a local holiday at the Empire Hotel. The attraction for the kids were the vast pools, the man-made beach as well as the cinema and bowling, although this time round we spent more times at the pool, and for Muhammad, on his skateboard and a mountain bike. 

Enjoy the pics...

Our room is at the third floor (to the left of the pic). Mrs G is seen at the bottom of the pic, looking at the kids trying to build sandcastles.

This place never fails to impress me with the architecture and built, and of course the landscape and ocean view. The same cannot be said of some of the services :-(

 It was snowing when we were there.. INSIDE the buidling :o

The Gembo Kids enjoying the 'snow'

If this is a house, this big marble pillar would have been the tiang seri or the main pillar. Again, very impressive, and the Empire Hotel has decorated it appropriately for the holiday season.

A poor monkey was caught in the snow heheh

These are my very own 'Ramona and Beezus' - I love you Iman and Aaeeshah

It got too cold, luckily Iman found a fireplace to get warm

The Gembo Kids creating their own Gingerbread Men

... whilst my sister Leeja was served drinks by Little Lady Santa

Here are their creations...  from the left, Iman, Muhammad and Aaeeshah

Here are the creators of those Gingerbread Men

Iman and Aaeeshah found their own snowmen

Aaeeshah would love to see this pic posted on my blog

The Gembo Kids energy levels were really down after a long day at the beach.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

3 more months....



Assalamualaikum Warahmatullah

Over the past week, I have heard the sad passing of three people we knew... my wife's late brother's friend, my classmate and best friend during primary 2 Religious school, and the father of our close friend.

The first 2 shocked us, as they were at almost the same age as us. Uncle was 60+ when he passed.

Whatever the causes of their passing, Allah knows best, but we as Allah's humble creation should always remember that we will not be spared. Our time will come. We will not know when, but what we can do is prepare for the next phase.

Different beliefs have different needs or preparation. In my belief, there is an afterlife which InsyaAllah will be secure for us provided that we obey all our obligations to Allah and leave those that Allah forbids.

In terms of worldly preparations, I believe there is no difference to the different beliefs, but rather to the attachments with whom we will leave behind.  In most cases people would ensure that they leave behind a roof for their loved ones, and education to prepare for the rest of their life. Of course, those with additional income will ensure they leave behind wealth to ensure their loved ones have something to start with.

I often cried quietly on hearing these news, on losing friends and also the thought of what if this happens to us.  It will inevitably happen, so I have to constantly remind myself to prepare.

Inna lillahi Wainna Ilaihi Rojiun (Truly we belong to Allah and to Allah we shall be returned).

Mr G