Favourite Word

COURAGEOUS – is my favourite word

COURAGEOUS – is an adjective in English language

COURAGEOUS – derives from French word ‘corage’ meaning ‘heart, inmost, feeling, temper’

COURAGEOUS – means ‘not deterred by danger or pain’

COURAGEOUS’ – synonims are brave, adventurous, fearless, bold, heroic, lionhearted, resolute, spirited

A person who is COURAGEOUS means a person who is able to face and deal with danger without flinching.

The reason why I love this word because it is eveything that I am not. I am a timid. I am weak. I am fearful. I am a worrier. I can be a coward. I am too realistic and too calculating. I don’t have confident in myself. I am too lay back. I am a pessimist. I can be cynic. 

In my life journey as a Christian most especially, this word is what I often heard from God. He’d remind me often “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and COURAGEOUS. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Only God who can enable me to be COURAGEOUS, I don’t know what I’d do without him. 

COURAGEOUS – to me personally means expecting challenges and just deal with it. It’s an act of believing that God knows my situation and he has it all under control. It’s a product of having the faith that whatever the trial I am in, it will pass. It also means an act of prayer; to admit that I am weak and hence asking God to be my constant encourager.

Favourite Subject at School

This February creative challenge gets more and more interesting. Thinking about different favourites has made difference in my life. It gets me to think deep and long for favourites I have never really thought about before. Some favourites bring back lots of happy memories as well as the pain of homesick. This month I have reminisced a lot and today’s challenge will again send me back to the past, to the school time to be precise.

My favourite subject at school definitely wasn’t Mathematics. I don’t mind it, I picked things up pretty quick but then it gets boring for the rest of the lesson. I nodded off at every History or Geography lesson. RE was boring. I enjoyed language (both English and Indonesian subjects). I don’t mind PE but my favourite was actually the art and craft lesson. We had it as a lesson when I was at primary back in Indonesia. 

Now I think about it, I was always looking forward for the lesson. Sometimes we did drawing, sometimes we made stuff. I remember we crafted a big size soap into a fancy ashtray. My drawing was never the best in the class but I suppose I loved the freedom to express myself in shapes and colours. We had sewing lesson too and I really loved it. 

We did quite a lot of fun stuff in art and craft lesson. We also did cooking lesson. I remember at the end of Year 6, after the national exam, we would work in group, cooking for our class dinner. Each group is assigned a dish to cook. We’d arrange to cook the dish at home (each group discussed whose home they were going to use for cooking), then we’d bring the food to school to be enjoyed together. We were only 10 and 11 in age at that time and the dishes we cooked were quite complicated ones.

In the art and craft lesson I learned things that would be useful in life. I understand that academic subjects would help as much but there’s got to be a balance. I could finish school as a young Mathematician but if I don’t even know how to use a broom or to fry an egg then I’m useless. Life skills must be learned at young age as it would get practised more as a child grows up into an adult. Oh well, I’m a bit old fashioned I guess.

Favourite Celebration

Right, so, it’s day 21 of February favourite challenge and I’ve been thinking hard all day to answer this question. Celebration, what would be my favourite celebration? 

Certainly not my birthday. I can’t celebrate my own self as if I’m the one who add an extra year to my life. No, I keep quiet about my birthday. I only mention it to say thank you to whoever remembered it for their wishes.

Christmas isn’t my thing either. I don’t need to wait til December to ‘celebrate’ Jesus’ birth. I don’t need to wait til December to tell my kids of nativity story. I don’t need to wait til December to reflect on the fact that Jesus had come to the world for me. I have it always in my mind every single day.

Neither do Easter. I don’t need to wait til April to remember Jesus died for my sin. I remember what he has done to redeem me in my every breath. The only reason I still live life and carry on. 

As I get mature in my thinking (and hopefully in my conduct too), I am not that excited anymore of any celebrations. All feels empty nowdays although in the past there was one celebration that made such good childhood memories. The celebration of Indepence Day back in Indonesia

17th of August, is the actual Independence Day but the celebration normally start a week or two before hand. Everywhere in the country people would held community events like street party and games, which were the most fun part of it. 

There’s the race of eating ‘krupuk’, white crackers that were tied on a rope and those who are competing will have to eat them standing up and hands on the back. Obviously the first finishes the crackers are the winners. Oh what good fun it was.

Then there’s the race of carrying a marble on a spoon (carried by biting the spoon in the mouth). You mustn’t let the marble drop off the spoon though. You’ve got to walk very steady but at the same time trying to win the race

Another one is the sack race. I love this one; wanting to run but the legs are inside the sack, so you’d hop instead. Watching people falling over is just so funny sometimes.

The tug of war is also a must for the celebration.

What happy memories they were. A childhood without gadgets. I was always looking forward to August when I was a child. There are also sports competition but I never really took part in any of them, apart from the basketball competition when I was in high school. 

So there, my favourite celebration. I still go to the celebration here in the UK. The Indonesian ambassador always open his home here for the event to celebrate. Thousands of Indonesian who live accross the UK would come for a taste of the home country. 

Oh flip, homesick is coming back again. I’d better stop now.

Favourite Mode of Transport

Today’s favourite challenge is for favourite mode of transport. I’m not a fan of vehicles, as advance as the technology used for the engine, I prefer walking whenever I can.

Walking saves me from a lot of stresses. Traffic jam for one. I don’t need to worry about traffic. Every vehicles stand still but I can keep going. I don’t need to stress out as well if buses fail to turn up especially when I am in a hurry. Recently in the local area where I live in, there have been a lot of road works and it affects traffic (severely at rush hour). Bus service is affected too. I could not bear any longer when the bus keep fails to turn up so I decided to walk to school with the kids. It took us 25 mins walk (with Elizabeth in tow, she’s walking too and she’s only three years old). I got rid the buggy when Jonathan just started school. I hated the thought of ‘fighting’ for the space on a busy bus. No scooter for the kids too, I couldn’t cope with Elizabeth fastness on foot let alone on a scooter (she was nearly hit by a car once, she decided to just run off to the road! She is just extremely fast).

It was hard for the kids for the first two weeks of walking to school but I insisted we do it every morning no matter what the weather was like and they now are used to it. Their speed has improved and we now need 20 mins door to door. It gives me peace of mind instead of anxiously waiting for the bus (keep checking the Bus Times app). Yes I could have got out earlier to get the early bus but arriving at the school gate at 8:20 am means standing around in the cold waiting until the gate is open. 

Now that travelling to school is stressless, I actually enjoy the time I spend walking with the children. We get to talk to each other, a proper talk (well, on children subjects of course such as ‘Can reindeer really fly?’ or ‘Where is Africa?’ or ‘I like Pink’). At home I can be so busy with chores and other things to do, hardly no time to have a proper chat with the kids (please don’t judge me, that’s what happened when only one adult doing literally EVERY single works in the house). Twenty minutes walking with the kids makes so much difference. I treasure our morning walk and missed it a lot during school holiday. 

Walk stimulates my brain too. If there was anything I couldn’t work out in my head, walk normally would make things a lot clearer. Many people suggested me to learn to drive, it would save me time, which I agree, but I’m actually quite ok walking and taking buses or trains. At least when I’m on a bus or train I can rest a bit. I am worried that if I drive, I’d want to fit in more things to do on my already packed schedule (which wouldn’t be ideal). I know that owning and driving a car can be a live safer but it would be my last resort (there’s still taxi if I think I’d need a car to get somewhere). Walking is healthy too, good for the heart and blood circulation. So what’s not to love about walking? 

Favourite Take Away

Day 19 – February creative challenge. It’ll be a short one. Favourite take away is

I’m a big fan of noodle; thin, flat or slightly fatter noodle, I love them all. You can stir fried them with all sorts of other ingredients. You can make them a veggie stir fry or a meatie one. You can have it sweet (just put a lot of sweet soy sauce in it) or a spicy one (put on a lot of fresh chilli or chilli sauce). Noodle is part of my childhood memory, my Mum would cook me my favourite noodle on my birthday. 

Picture isn’t mine by the way but doesn’t it look gorgeous?

Favourite Room 

My favourite room in our home is the lounge of course!

There’s the sofa, our comfy old sofa. Very comfortable to sit on, to lay on, to play on, or to sleep on

Then there’s the arm chair for cuddles, especially when it’s Daddy’s turn to babysit

The sofa is comfortably right opposite the TV, perfect spot for ‘Netflix and I’ time 

On the mantelpiece there are photos (mainly the children’s) that I treasure the most, and occasionaly a display of seasonal colour from different flowers (today is the Daffodils-oh excuse the Lindor, someone in this house is having her birthday tomorrow)

In the corner there’s my work station, well mainly a book cabinets full of my work resources and a printer (literally my life!)

Lastly the study table. I normally do mine on the sofa but this table is for students who travel to me for their tuition

So our lounge, our living room! Pretty much everything happened in here. 

Favourite Time of The Day

6 o’clock in the morning, I heard a loud beeping sound from the alarm in the bedroom. I knew it was 6 o’clock because my husband set it to buzz at that time. The beep sent me to the light sleep state. I could hear Clive got up, went to the bathroom then I heard my son, Jonathan, joining his early-bird Dad in the bathroom. I stirred and realised something heavy on my right arm, it was my three-years old Elizabeth’s body on it. She must have joined us again in bed last night. I stirred her to move a little so I can pull my arm. I turned and went back to sleep.

The next thing I knew was both children were on top of me, jumping up and  down while telling me on top of their voice ‘Mummy get up! It’s half past seven’. They don’t have a concept of time yet but I knew they could sense that I should really be up by now. I hesitantly opened my eyes. I don’t like morning especially when my sleep was uncomfortable due to being squeezed in the middle by Clive and Elizabeth! And some night I stayed really late to study. But I had to get up. I had to get the kids out the house by 08:20 for school run. And it doesn’t help when my head started to run through the long list of things to do the second my feet touched the floor.

Half asleep I gave the children their breakfast and they had it while I quickly got myself ready. 08:25 we were out the door, walking 25 minutes to school. The fresh morning air felt like a slap on my face, it woke me up completely, then I remembered I hadn’t had my breakfast.

And that’s my normal morning routine. After dropping Jonathan at school, I either dragged Elizabeth to do groceries shopping or we went straight back home so I could start with the chores. Time went really quick between the school drop-off and pick-up time, especially when there were tons to do in between.

14:30, I was out the door and made my way to the school. I picked up Jonathan, got the bus home, and dropped him at home then I went out again straight away to start working. I normally had between 3-4 students in the evening. Then it was time to go back home

20:30 I turned the key to open the front door, tiptoed in, turned around and carefully locked the door back, hoping the kids were in bed. I turned back to walk down the hallway when I noticed my three years old stood outside her door watching me. She wasn’t in bed yet. So I dropped my bag, took my shoes off, changed to my PJs then I went to her room to read her story and to tuck her up in bed.

21:00 I got my dinner ready, was about to sit down to eat when I heard footstep of a small person. Elizabeth wasn’t in bed still. She came out to the front room to ask me to take her back to bed. This could repeat 3-4 times and I kept putting down my dinner to take Elizabeth back to her room.

All the while Clive was falling asleep on the armchair. He normally just flats out in the evening after his dinner time. He’d put on one of his comedy series; ‘Are You Being Served’ or ‘Dad’s Army’ or ‘Terry and June’ or ‘George and Mildred’ or ‘Keeping up Appearances’ or ‘One Foot in The Grave’ or ‘Man About The House’ and watched them halfway before he fell asleep.

21:30 Elizabeth finally asleep. Clive’s head fell back on the backrest of the armchair by now. I woke him up told him to just go to bed, there’s no point keeping his body up while his brain needed the sleep. He obliged. He got up, brushed his teeth, said good night and he was in bed.

22:00 BLISS!! A total bliss. The house was quite. It was just me. I chose a programme on Netflix as background noise while I got on with few works needed to be done. I love the hour between 10 and 11 pm. A total silent surrounded me (apart from the TV’s noises). The most peaceful time of the day. I still had things to do but it was much better being on my own. 

Then the clock starts to go past 23:00, I started yawning and my eyes turned watery. Time to hit the pillow and ready to repeat it all over again tomorrow

Favourite Song

Favourite song for Day 16 February creative challenge and it’s going to be a tricky one. Well, all the songs I liked are 1990s hits. I was in teen age around that years and I was really into secular songs. Backstreet Boys was my favourite when I was about 13; was so mad about Brian Littrel. I still remember their song lyrics! Now I think about it, all the soppy lovey songs, they actually turn my stomach…

‘…but my love is all I have to give, without you I don’t think I can live. I wish I could give the world to you…’


Nowdays I understand love as nothing romantic at all but instead willingness to put up with someone 24/7 and honouring the marriage vow. 

I did move on though from pop songs. By the time I finish school I was really into rock bands (hard -rock, slow-rock, techno-rock, all sorts of them). Then we had a talk at church of how most of this rock music are pretty much of occultism. I didn’t take it seriously at that time but now I’m a lot older I could see it. I won’t go extra length to talk about it in this blog but will be in the future. 

So nowdays I completely off secular musics. I don’t listen to music unless it’s classic instrumental or Christian worship songs, but, a BIG but, there is one particular song I’d listen to every now and again. It’s ‘Numb’ by Linkin Park

I don’t really know why I still like this one. Perhaps it’s the ‘rebel’ part of me that comes out now and again especially when life makes me feel like screaming. So, there you go, my favourite song, not everyone’s cup of tea but I’m not the kind of mainstream followers anyway. 

Favourite TV Personality

I made it to day 15 of February favourite challenge, yay!! I’m not normally good with something-days of whatever challenge but I reach half way for this one, I’m quite surprised with myself. 

So, favourite TV personality, well, I did not have one until few years ago I started watching Miranda Hart in her self-penned sitcom Miranda  

To me, all people who appear on televesion and get famous through it are fake. I mean all of them must put up an appearance to be watched by millions of people wouldn’t they? The person you see on the television not necessarily showing their real self. They’re bound to follow orders and scripts no matter how much they are allowed to improvise. They are all dictated. 

Then there is Miranda Hart. I don’t know her in person (would be lovely to see her in person) but she seems real. She is very low profile despite of her aristocratic background (she shares the same ancestor with Princess Diana of Wales, her fourth cousin twice removed). In fact she said she hates it to be thought as an upper class. She lives her own life and does what she loves to do without a worry of her family background. It doesn’t seem like she uses her aristocrat connection in order to gain her place in public. She proved herself what she actually was able to do.

She produced a sitcom that was semi autobiographical and to me it showed that she is comfortable with herself. Miranda (the sitcom) represents what mostly are women’s general issues; insecurities over body image, always comparing one self with the others, the childhood in a grown up, the longing of acknowledgement are just a few of them. She managed to show all that in a funny way and I think that is very clever. Yep, she’s certainly my favourite (and oh, Oprah Winfrey too)

How about you? Do you have favourite TV Personality?

Favourite Kids’ Book

Day 14 of February favourite challenge and today is the day of kids’ book. I’m not sure if I meant to pick my favourite from my children’s books or can I write about any kids book. I’ll go for the later I think, and the book will be The Famous Five by Enid Blyton

I read these book series in Indonesian (I think most Enid’s books had been translated to 90 different languages). I was in school age then. I remember I used to spend my break or free time at school in the school library, read as much as I could, and loaned the ones I couldn’t finish reading.

I loved the adventures that Julian, Dick, George, Anne and their dog, Timmy were having. Their childhood was a carefree one (won’t happen these days), ‘in a world where ginger beer flows and ham rolls are a staple diet‘. George (it’s not a boy name by the way, it’s a short for Georgina), actually owned an island. Well, technically her parents own it and they let her play around on it, it sounds amazing doesn’t it? 

These kids figured out things together through many adventure thay they had. They did get themselves into danger occasionally, but they got out of it, thanks to their eldest and wisest cousin, Julian. I often dreamed the life that they live and was hoping my children would taste some of it. Now I have kids, I wouldn’t dare to let them playing outside and get themselves into an adventure, I’d get in trouble with social workers!!

Enid Blyton was such a great writer. Her writing would take you into another world and her stories would make you don’t want to put the book down. Her other books that I enjoyed just as much is Secret Seven. There was a criticism from parents and teachers towards her other books, Noddy, but the story however made it to the television. She wrote over 600 books and I don’t think anyone would quite match that in years to come, not in the world where reading books is no longer a hobby of many.