Play, People and Picnic

Two weeks back, I mentioned how autumn had finally arrived. Well, I take that back now. Once again, I jumped the gun on the weather. It's been boiling this week, and I've had a tough time sleeping, tossing and turning due to the heat. The temperature feels like we're in Malaysia, except we don't have any air conditioning here. Luckily, I found some Thai green tea tucked away in my kitchen cabinet and decided to pamper myself with a generous cup.

Setting the weather aside, this week has been quite productive, despite the emotional rollercoaster I've been on. My mum was in the hospital on Monday (she's out now, thank God), and it was really tough knowing that there was nothing I could do about it. I did call her as soon as I found out, but it didn't provide much solace because I knew that if things took a turn for the worse, I couldn't be with her right away.

I also caught up with a former colleague, and it dawned on me how much I missed working with him. We reminisced about our past projects and the people we used to work with. It was good catching up and hearing that he's doing well was heartening. Following that, I attended my first industry social event, and it made me realise how much more involved I want to be. So, I've become more motivated to initiate an internal group for more of these industry engagements. I've also taken the initiative to connect with the new graduates, and we've scheduled our first meeting to kickstart the graduate programme with the new cohort.

This week, I had my first tennis lesson, and I quickly realised how challenging it is. I struggled to maintain a rally, but in all fairness, I've never played tennis before, except that one time when Azri introduced it to us. I'm hopeful that the lessons will help me improve. What I do like is that because I've been running, I didn't find tennis to be as physically exhausting. My colleagues and I also played badminton this week, and it seems like we're making it a weekly activity. Now, I have three other evenings to figure out what other weekly commitments to take on.

On Saturday, I had to push myself to wake up early and head to Cambridge. I had never been there before, and although it was a place I'd wanted to visit, it never seemed enticing enough for me to go on my own. The first thing we did in Cambridge was try to get on the punting tour. The prices were exorbitant on the display, so I might have mentioned that I found a cheaper option online (which was a prebooked rate I wouldn't have been able to get that day – thankfully, they didn't ask for proof). They agreed to the price I was willing to pay, and off we went to the punting place. It was a half-hour trek in the scorching sun. 

The tour guide was quite knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor, which added to the experience. I would recommend the tour. As we turned back to where we started, the sun was blinding, so we did the most Asian thing and asked for an umbrella. It was just too hot. Afterwards, we stopped by a local cafe, supposedly famous for its Chelsea buns, but they didn't live up to the hype. We roamed around and eventually found ourselves in Trinity College's gardens. 

As boredom crept in, we wandered the town once more. The heat became overwhelming, so we sought refuge in the shade and proceeded to cuci mata. Feeling hungry again, we explored some more and then returned to Trinity College to sit, eat, and relax. I was deep into a life rant when I suddenly noticed the man next to us had a "live broadcast" set up on his phone. I hope he wasn't someone famous. And then, a Malaysian sat next to us, so I became a bit self-conscious prompting us to leave. Once back in Maidenhead, I went out twice to get ingredients for a coffee cake and baked it for today.

This morning, while frosting the cake, I had a video call with my mum. She keeps telling me that I seem to be gaining weight every time she sees me. So I keep telling her that I'm actively trying to keep the weight off. Aunty Yam came to pick me up, and we headed to Runnymede for a Merdeka picnic. I'm glad to have Khadijah with me on these picnics, but at the same time, she's leaving, so I'm a bit gutted about it. Her mom was going around introducing me as her anak angkat because Khadijah is leaving, so they were preparing me for what's to come. Aunty is quite the social butterfly, so you get what I mean but to be honest, I love having a mother figure here. The food was fantastic, and it was great catching up with everyone, feeling like I'm at home even though I'm far away from home with all the Malaysians around. 


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