Friday, June 19, 2015

LONDON Diary part III

Life is like a roller coaster....or some people say what comes up must come down.The ups and downs is not as straight forward as we want it to be..All needs to be managed properly and wisely. Often we think we are cleverer or trying to be clever but it will bring us no where if we lack wisdom. I like coming back to UK as it brings me nostalgic feelings of all kinds. We can try to look back on the many passages of life that we went through. For me I started being overseas as a student in Australia. I did my Matriculation in the best school- Geelong Grammar School. I was reading economics and politics in Monash University. I was not focussed and did not like what I did...since I wanted to do law...During that time in the early sixties the Australian law degree might not qualify me to join the judicial and legal service or practise law...

I did not even bother to appeal to repeat when I failed my first. I just went home and told my parents I wanted to go to UK to do law...Somehow or rather my parents were not upset with me. They agreed. When I think about it now, my Walid must have tremendous confidence on me. My mum was very supportive as she said from small I always wanted to be a lawyer. She must considered this was a perfect choice. Somehow or rather I decided to go back to school and my mentor was Pak Wan from the Malayan Students Dept. A dedicated and committed officer who was always kind and generous to us under his care. He told me since I wanted to go back to school the best place is to be away from London., so he found me a place in Oxford. That is how I landed there. 

Here was an opportunity to improve my English which I did. Coming from a Malay school and home environment I am proud at least I could now speak and write better English. It was tough for my Walid but he worked very hard to give me good education. I took my 'O' level English and 'A' levels in Constitutional Law, Economics and Religious Knowledge (Bible) in extra quick time. The principal of the School advised me against taking religious knowledge in Christianity since the subject was not taught in School. I insisted so kindly wished me luck and told me its not easy without proper teacher guidance. When I passed all the subjects he was quite pleased with my results. He wrote me a beautiful testimonial for my Inns of Court. Unfortunately I did not have the sense to keep a copy of the testimonial of my own. 

I qualified as a barrister from Middle Temple in 1970 and went back to work straightaway as I was married in my final year. The reason I was married off early was my mother's fear that I would marry someone not to her liking. Moreover with many friends anything could have happened for an eligible bachelor like me. None of my children agreed for me or Aziah to choose their partner for life. When we could afford we keep coming back to UK to relive our past and to remember what life was. Aziah was extraordinarily patient with me for which I am grateful. If not for her I don't think our marriage could last the test of time. We went through some difficult time as everything was not enough financially for the both of us. She was young and inexperienced but she managed to get a job in a packing company to help me defray our living cost. She had to cook, wash and walked with me in sunshine and freezing cold winter to buy our household needs. 

When I was working as a GM of BBMB in Bahrain and London we lived better and comfortably. I suppose she got rewarded for her patience. Similarly when I was a Minister in a number of our travels we stopped over in London , moreover our children were all studying here. There is so much for us to come back and see. Things that have changed and did not. We liked to walk through Hyde park, regents park, st john's wood high street, golders green, oxford street, marble arch, braynston square, bond street and new bond street.....etc....Some things have changed over time. If before you didn't see people sleeping on the streets or people stopping you for some money, today it is a frequent encounter. I believe nothing remains static and similarly life today is different and values have changed. What was not acceptable legally and morally but now it is the other way around. 

When I was working in the city of London real estates prices was relatively cheap, today property prices have rocketted sky high. Hotel room rates and cost of renting apartments have also gone up so high... but the strange part people still keep coming to London and other parts of UK. 

FB SHA@London@10 June 2015

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