In 1992... I was heading back to the UK again...
This time round, I wasn't the nervous, noob student. I was there under the flagship of Confederation of British Industries (CBI)... to be trained in the field that could benefit the company.
Being given a choice of placement for 6 months to a year ... I chose 6 months (my boss agreed to let me go for 6 months...without any paycut...wooohooo... I guessed, it was quite difficult to justify to Bigger Boss to agree, sending me away for a year without affecting my salary).
From the day I boarded the plane till the day I finished my contract... everything was paid for by CBI. It was a wonderful experience when you were there at someone's expense and I could hear 'ka-ching...ka-ching...ka-ching' as my salary accumulating in the bank... bliss... ... .
Hampshire County Council (HCC)...in Winchester ~ where I spent my 'time' working ...
|City Center and The Cathedral|
I was taken aback by the beauty of this quaint little town...
The subject History in school, bore me to death... I could never remember who's who, significant dates, events, wars and other finer details... but Boy!!! was I glad to be 'thrown' there, where lots of historical events took place centuries ago, Kings, Queens, Knights and the bloody wars...(listening to history being told is definitely more interesting than reading a History book... agree with me?)
Yes... I managed to be 'Up Close and Personal to Arthurian Round Table placed in the Great Hall within The Castles walls.
|Round Table and The Castle|
Finding an accommodation was a big problem...Winchester, 20 years ago, was a small town ... chances to find a place to call my own was very... very slim...
Watching him working enthusiastically, almost everyday, got my interest going ...
With only 12 weeks left before I leave Winchester...one day, I told Roy... I wish to 'build' my own Doll House but to the scale of 1:24...
He was generous with his knowledge and he helped me get started... and I 'guiltily' occupied his workshop, working on fret saw, cutting, sawing, coping etc. I was turning to be like Roy... working, sanding, polishing, glueing every evening and weekends in the tv room...
Finally...My first (and only) Tudor Doll house, completed ahead of schedule. A doll house complete with a hinged front piece to reveal the decor and furnitures, another hinge to the front piece of roof that will revealed the 'Attic'...and all the furnitures, crockery, even toilet bowl were made to scale with my 2 unskilled hands...
And in return for his help and guidance... I built him a typical Malay house... just that I couldn't find any material to complete the house with the attap / roof ...
I was in Winchester early January... and straight to work the following week. It took awhile to adjust to the cold weather again... and getting to know my way round the work place and its cafeteria.
And once settled... I discovered another good thing ...being in a 'quaylo' or Western country. Yes... I found Mulligatawny, curried vegetable soup... The name was intriguing with fabulous flavours... the curried soup reminded me of home...
My 6 months stay was amazing...
I walked the historical ground as the Kings, Queens and the mighty Knights, I learned how to make miniature furnitures and had my curry in a cup.
This is my take on Mulligatawny...
Sign off with love…Lisa H.
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 brown onion -chopped
2 cloves of garlic - chopped
1 tablespoon Keen Curry Powder
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corns kernels
1 cup diced baby zuchini
1 cup cooked basmati rice
1 diced carrot
1 cup coconut milk
3 cups of water or vegetable stock
chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
- Saute the onion and garlic until the onions are soft.
- Add carrot, curry powder and stir for few minutes until its aromatic.
- Add vegetable stock, peas, corn, rice and zuchini.
- Bring to boil and lower the heat to a simmer until the vegetables are tender.
- Add coconut milk and season with salt to taste.
- Serve immediately with a dollop of natural yoghurt and garnish with chopped coriander.