Posted in Favorite things, Langit Senja, Places, Review

Glamping at Forest Garden Batulayang

I usually write in Bahasa Indonesia for a review, but not this time because no time to think harder.

Camping has been on little girl’s head for quite a while without no clear answer or plan.

Found this quite secluded glamping spot two weeks before, after intense two days researches, after having an official letter about piano school semester break, without knowing any other schedules at school.

Chose the date carefully on weekdays and half weekend. When the weekly schedule released last Sunday, the departure date turned out to be exactly right after the last test day at school, and for the first time, there was no zoom meeting for her favorite subject on Friday.

These little things that seemed like coincidences were things that amazed me how the invisible hand would help you in many ways beyond human calculation.

This glamping site is the closest, the safest, and the most reasonable choice for newbies like us (me and the little girl). It feels like camping like sleeping with some bugs, open air bathroom with pine tree view, night with bonfire, yet it has some adjustments like comfy bed and blanket and acceptably clean bathroom.

It is our first outing after nine months here and it is quite safe space for current situation. Open air, no physical distancing needed, big chance of mask free possible since meeting other group was quite rare. During our stay, there were only other two families.

Some yes points for the glamping site :

– Responsive staff

– Reasonable driving distance from home (2 hours)

– Got the camping feel for the little girl such as sleeping with some bugs inside the tent, campfire with roasted marshmallows, open air bathroom yet got the two most important things comfortably for mommy : bed and bathroom. Not ready to settle for less since this was my first time too.

– Price included 3 meals (BLD) and 3 snacks time.

– Quiet, fresh air, and far from crowded. At that time, we only had other two families with us. Those two checked out the next day, so there was period when we got all the camping site for ourselves.

– Kids friendly activities such ATV, fishing, guling-guling on the grass, walking and bathing in the river, monkey watching (there were few since it’s forest), acceptable tracking route for little girl with some help (tolerable means it depends on the one who got through it).

We took the nature walk to the next level. Conquered quite short yet rocky trail, crossed the river, climbed the rock with some help and managed to reach the finish line.

It was a great chance to entertain all the senses to the fullest.
Watched the beautiful view along the hike.
Listened to the nature sound and the silence of the forest.
Smelled the fresh air.
Felt all the things with the hand and feet.
Filled the heart with utmost gratitude.

This was also my first time doing such thing and felt so ecstatic to have my pink boots finally been in the place it should have been after a while.

It is quite hard to not to brag about this little traveler who survived all kind of weather, from the deep blue sea to the top of the forest, happily. After live on board in Komodo Island for 5 days two years ago, this was another nature adventure she did well.

Among 11 people who started the tracking, only 3 completed the journey.

Finish what we have started is not something that everyone can do.

It was two days well spent without daily schedule, youtube or Roblox since proper internet or wifi was not available. Yes, they got NO WIFI, although they said they did in the website.

But, it wasn’t really a big problem because we did many things such as playing card for learning bahasa Indonesia, snake and ladder, drawing, or just swinging and went around the site.

“Will we have another camping next year?” she asked.

Well girl, that is a question that only time could answer. For now, let’s say big fat Alhamdulillah for us to be granted this precious chance.

Posted in Favorite things, Places, Thoughts

Brake and Break

Currently writing from inside a glamping tent in the middle of little forest.

Planned this short break just few weeks ago. When piano school break schedule was released, I thought we had to use it for something a little bit more than ordinary. We received the piano report card last week with pretty much flying colors. Never imagined I would see a perfect 100 in my 13 years of piano report card. Even 80 was gained with so much efforts.

When I saw such number on little girl’s report paper, there were certain inexplicable feeling. While she was being totally indifferent, not really knowing what it meant, thinking that it was just meaningless numbers (it actually was just numbers), but it was totally different story for me.

On that report card, I couldn’t help thinking hard about my mother. About things that she had done to make me stay, in spite never having tangible satisfying result for 13 years . To have such leap of faith, keep telling me that no hardworks would be wasted.

On that report card I saw how far this piano journey takes me. I won’t repeat the story here since I had written about that in here.

She was, as usual, right. That 13 years started to keep giving return right after I completed the long journey. Gave me the first job when I was on my first year of college. Gave me that proud feeling on earning my own money way much earlier than my peers. Started fully supporting my self on my third year, paid all my expenses from school tuition to rent, food, entertainment, even managed to save some for Hajj registration.

It didn’t stop there and continued to return the result of enduring that 13 years diligently. More than I could think of, in many things of my life. Thanks to 13 years, I was able to accompany my mother till her last breath, to take care of her on her last days. Thanks to that 13 years, I escaped full time works when I was a bread winner during the first year marriage. Thanks to that, I had choices to be able to stay with the little girl during her most important years. Thanks to that, I ticked my three big dreams during my 20s. I could go on about its return for me, but I’d rather stop here.

When I thought it couldn’t give better result, then it still refused to stop. Knowing the little girl condition with her speech delay and everything, I was totally reluctant to teach her this piano since I couldn’t understand how could she manage with such restriction.

But, there’s always something bigger than my small minded mind. Only need one coincidence of canceled school day and an anniversary gift.

I started teaching her out of leisure time on one winter day in December 2019 because her school suddenly sent notication they were dealing with small fire so they had to close the school that day. A simple Do-Re-Mi song from The Sound of Music.

We never stop since that day.

It becomes daily habit done 7 days a week with close to zero day, unless we are away from home. Two years later, this was what we got.

The first thing that came to my mind seeing this was : Nenek Salma must be happy

But, more than the numbers, I was happier to see the naration. How hardworking she has been, her enthusiasm, her willingness to learn, I was glad it was well-appreciated.

Wow, such a long prolog for a post.

It’s also been busy and packed for the last few weeks at school. Been doing tests on all subjects for few weeks and last Wednesday was the last one.

We planned this trip without knowing the last test schedule but, glad it turned out to fit everything. Last test on Wednesday and for the first time, there is no zoom meeting for the her favorite subject today. So, I could ask for permission with lighter heart.

She had been asking for camping for few times. Had so many ideas on her head about real camping. But, as a first timer, I wasn’t ready. So, thorough glamping researches done and finally met this place. Thinking about having a separate review post once we’re done.

The situation out there alhamdullilah is getting better and better, but still, we take every precaution needed till we decide to keep going with this. The doctor also managed to empty his schedule and everything.

So, here we are. Pressing the brake to enjoy some break with nature for a while before resuming of pressing accelerator pedal with clutch in daily life.

Posted in Favorite things, Langit Senja, Places

The Joy of Childhood

As always, a sudden plan striked again last Tuesday. Realized that she had only one morning meeting, house cleaned, many hours to go to a simple exam this afternoon, dinner’s secured, then immediate preparations fixed to go to some place that she would love.

Since pandemic began, in London, and especially here, guess I am getting better at making sudden trip happen. Last minutes field trip becomes banal. The tricky thing is, before I could tell her that we would go somewhere, I had to carefully planned everything. Not all the plan successfully executed, but most of the time, it did.

The perks of having all things done at home as early as possible, having plan A and B for weekly meal prep inside the brain, when sudden idea came, we could grab it fast. I could only go outside peacefully knowing everything inside is taken care properly.

Glad also that her current school and homeschool schedules still allow us to have this chance. Packed Monday balanced with easy Tuesday. Some days I look like an ambitious chinese tiger parent that filled her kid with lots of extra activities, some days I could look like a laid back Dutch or Scandinavian parent that let her child play freely all day. That Tuesday, it was the latter.

Left the car and ordered the taxi because of the restriction and again turned out to be the best option. Although his car also one with even number license, the driver knew the routes to beat the restriction which I and goggle maps didn’t. New knowledge is always welcomed.

It was rained right when we arrived, yet it knew how precious the chance for a proper outdoor session. Not long, the sun said hello within few minutes.

Little bunny finally reunited with things that she had been missing for months. Proper playground and (lightly) soaked on the water. This time, I wouldn’t go with the tone saying how pity to live in the city where we had to pay for this kind of basic thing for children.

(But you said it!)

I know.

But, such a nice break from Roblox, isn’t it girl?

Posted in Books, Favorite things

My Kind of Leisure and Pleasure

Always been a polygamous reader since many years ago. Couldn’t stuck with one reading at one time. Belows are the past few months that currently entertain the mind.

Reading is my leisure.

Beautiful lightning, day and night, is my pleasure.

The reading corner in natural morning light
Barefeet reading during afternoon golden hours
Car-wash reading in natural morning light
Peach tea is the element
Classic reading about the city
The city tour guide by the tube

Feels like listening to life advices from the old man

Posted in Favorite things, Places, Thoughts, Travel

The Colors of Life

… that I miss a lot. Among tons of excitement life in London has to offer, its parks and gardens are things that I treasure so dearly (it is one of two best things in London). Especially when the leaves change colors during the most beautiful season of the year.

It was a period of life when I captured the same views for ten times in every corner. Sat on the bench while watching people, lay down on the grass while looking at the beautiful sky. Walked slowly around the quiet garden admiring my shoes, counting my steps, and taking some shadow selfies. Listened to my loud mind asking random things that I didn’t bother to answer. The period when I felt such enormous gratitude inside.

The period that I remembered telling myself often,“when life is on the low, remember that it was once this high and glow”.

It was one of the periods when life was the most beautiful and the heart was indeed beyond full.

Kew Gardens
Kyoto Garden
Southwark Park
Brockwell Park
Hyde Park
Posted in Favorite things, Thoughts


These past three days were few of the rare days on this motherhood jungle where I had enough proper space and time for myself or doing things that I needed and wanted to do.

On Thursday, I let the little girl doing her online piano and therapy by herself. After few months, the relationship with the teachers and therapist have been safely formed. She managed well and it was not bad at all. While she was busy doing lessons, cleaning spirit striked hard, this time was the long overdue fridge. I did the freezer few weeks ago. The fridge is quite tricky when it is not empty. So, when it was quite empty and the chance was granted, it was only right to grab it. That happy feeling after cleaning was good mood booster.

Empty space for breakfast treats on the first and fruit row on the third.
Leftovers row were packed.

On Friday, the doctor decided to stay at home after 36 hours shift and before another 24 hours one on weekend. Knowing the sudden good news, my brain was racing with plans.

Since we had no one to sit the little girl other than us, having him at home during weekdays is such an opportunity that I wouldn’t waste. So, after done with first subject at school, I went out to take care some things in few places.

Stopped by the bakery, the nasi kebuli place, then heading to Snapy. Planned to do grocery after Snapy, when suddenly something came to my mind.

The car tax is due next Thursday and the schedule would be pretty tight next week. It was lucky that I had everything in my bag and I was at Snapy so I could make copies of document needed. Groceries postponed and rerouted the plan to SAMSAT. It was even luckier that it was still quite early so I could arrive before they closed for Friday prayer break. Car tax stuff taken care in less than 10 minutes. Few years ago, I wrote how much I love this drive thru service in this post.

At times like that, it reminds me of my late mom whose one of the best skills was being able to think quickly in many situations. Something that I learn a lot from her.

It was a relief having the most important thing done quickly so I could move on to the next things on the list. Unlike the usual routine, I decided to do the grocery in the supermarket below the apartment this week considering few things that I still needed to do.

Returned home to store all the stuff and checked the little girl’s work and sadly, needed to cut her game time and asked her to fix the schoolwork before I submitted it to google classroom. I had reminded her dad to check and made sure that she did it properly. But yeah, that what happened when daddy sat the school from home session.

Done with things at home, went out once again for few things which turned out took longer than expected. But, luckily, having the doctor stayed at home means dinner is also taken care of. So, although something didn’t run according to the plan outside, but at least, I got things covered inside. My comfort food served well that day.

Prawn aglio olio

In normal days, kitchen is closed and clear before maghrib, but that day, I could only manage to clear everything after Isya. One of the reasons why staying outside and being away from home too long is not for me. I didn’t have enough energy to take care what’s inside properly.

That day, it reminded me of old days where I had no choice but to spend hours working outside and felt too exhausted to take care anything inside.

Another thing that reminded me of my late mother is her golden rule to always leave home when it’s tidy. You wont be happy coming back to messy home. So, whatever I need to do outside, I always try taking care the inside things first.

Then, the following day, I still needed time to do things I had to do so I booked one night stayover for the baby in grandpa’s house while the doctor was on duty.

Among those things that I had to do, one is work-related, another is chore related, but the most exciting ones are about things I have been planning for myself.

Plans were always changing in the last minutes. Before, planned to drop the little girl early in the morning then went places. But, once again, something more important barged in and need to taken care of asap. Once again, rerouting the plan was unavoidable.

Instead of heading to my dad’s house, I drove to the bank first instead to change the account and card. I love weekend banking while it was early. It was empty and comfy.

Dropped the little girl, then instead of heading to the work place as planned, I drove home and doing things that I thought more pleasant for that time.

Things like :

– finishing left over fried rice with tahu isi for lunch.

– having a piece of gemblong after that.

– thinking whether I should go with left over spaghetti or left over sambel goreng with krecek for dinner.

– folding a huge pile of laundry without hurry while watching The Bennets.

-exercising while watching Notting Hill. Never watch it until the ending before and I missed London, so, it was a good choice.

– baking the choco chip muffin after long hiatus. The ingredients were ready and the baking equipment had arrived from London.

– enjoying the silent, tidy home all by myself.

– writing this post and few things in mind without looking at the time continously.

– reading whatever I want to read according to the mood.

– doing nothing and lazing around while listening Dave Mathews Band.

I could hear someone screaming : What’s so fun with those things? Where’s the going out plan? Window shopping to the mall without limit? Trying out the food outside? Driving somewhere you want while you have nothing in your hand? Why wasting this precious chance to do useless things like that?

Then I will calmly reply with John Lennon words :

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

Enjoying some time outside is nice. But, this time, what I need is staying inside peacefully.

For this day, it reminded me of old days where I had nothing to take care except myself. But, on the other hand it also reminds me of what future days might look like when the little girl is older and busier with her own stuffs.

Then, does this mean I’d rather have this kind of day all the time?

Bien sure, que non. Never once I wanted to return to the old days. I am where I am suppose to be and doing what I suppose to do, at this time.

Beside, what should I want to be in charging mode all the time? A good phone is only good when it serves its purposes.

Having such abnormal days were refreshing and I couldn’t wait to have my normal days back with fully recharged batteries.

Posted in Books, Favorite things

Life on Piano Updates

After 1,5 years practising with nice keyboard we bought in London (P-32), we finally upgraded the instrument to piano digital CL-745 after a thorough researches from the doctor.

It was such a dilemma buying new instrument while we have my big old made-in-japan upright at my parent’s house. But, the urge to upgrade is quite strong because the little girl’s current situation needs more improved instrument so she could play better.

The option for the little girl to play better was between change our instrument or move to a bigger place. Although the choice was pretty clear that we should go with the less headache one, but it still took months until I finally said yes to a new instrument.

The first repclass was the turning point moment. When I saw she played nicely in front of small audience, I finally realized that new instrument was no longer an option. More, with her first exams coming in few months, it gave us more valid reasons to provide proper instrument for her.

So, right after the first repclass ended, off we went to piano store, paid, and they sent it right away to our place. We wrapped the keyboard inside its cover and placed it on the cupboard, set up new arrangement so the new piano could fit in the room.

Thank you for your services, beautiful.
Hello, new friend!

The highlight of having new instrument for the little girl is I am getting a new reading corner for myself. So, everyone is happy, I guess. Hope the new instrument will bring more blessings and stay longer than the old one. Amin.

Reading corner in natural morning light

Posted in Favorite things, Places, Thoughts

Small Wins of The Day

For me, the day always starts right after the house on the right order.

I always believe that our house, our space represent many other things in our life. I am obviously not a clean freak or marie kondoish tidy, but I need a clean and clear house to make me function well.

Made-bed, cleared-sink, crumbless floor, hung clothes are few signs that the day is ready to roll. First thing first in the morning should always be about cleaning the house.

Second win of the day currently is when all the google classroom assignments notifications are all disappeared. All school works that don’t need any recordings should be submitted right away. Right after they’re handed in, you can forget about that. Almost all the school works done along these 2 months are with the tag ‘done early’.

It might also happen because the level is still quite easy for her. So, what I need to do is to make her sit and do the work before lunch time. I am also quite lucky having a little buddy who loves learning too. It indeed helps a lot.

Manage, deal with, and plan quite well for this homeschool thing and school from home period are the biggest return my degrees give me so far. Although whinning here and there are unavoidable, but everything is quite on the track.

The last and the biggest win of the day when I manage to pull myself out to have outdoor time with the little girl. I’ve been whinning endlessly about how hard to have simple outdoor time here. More, all the parks are still closed until now, children are banned from mall or even apartment swimming pool. So, the choices to have a simple, free outdoor time is quite limited.

This outdoor plan usually happens from a sudden idea strike. Like two days ago, I needed to stop by Snapy to print out the new piano book, then something came to my mind right before we went. Asked her how about having outdoor lunch before Snapy? I offered her rice box or sandwich and she chose the latter. We had a bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice too on the fridge. I also told her to bring her old scooter that finally arrived after 9 months.

Parking is also another tricky thing to have outdoor time here. Why didn’t go by public transport then? Because we need to move places and guess what? Children is also currently not allowed to ride on public transport like MRT, only angkot allowed. Being children is underratedly hard here.

I found a legal parking spot one kilometer from the place. I walked and she rode on a scooter from there. It was not too hot that day and obviously quiet, so we could enjoy the space mostly for ourselves. It was nice to be able to take off our mask without worry and breathe properly. Enjoyed lunch while listened to singing birds and watched butterflies and some other insects along the way.

But , what about the afternoon? Afternoon is space for more relaxed activities. If she has afternoon classes, then she is doing it. In between, it is our free time. Some days are laundry days where we should fold our own clothes, some days are grocery days, some afternoon spent by lazing around amd having nap, if we want to. Also afternoon is the time when I do my exercise. I need quite proper time and space to do it. So, having those small wins of the day done before noon is important.

Some days with high level of winnings like this, where all three winnings done before 12pm, could give encouragement for many days to come. Even higher because before that, we already accomplished all these daily melodies too. Kind of day that is constantly needed to keep going well and sane to deal with pandemic life when you’re living in the country like mine.

I am not complaining. Just stating the obvious.

Posted in Books, Favorite things, Places

Le Petit Pique-Nique

Weeks being trapped with tens of online meet and greet,
It made me want to vomit.

Not kind of things I would like to commit, yet, nor the things I would like to cheat.

The tension is on the peak
Donc, peut-on avoir
un petit pique-nique
at the end of the week?
Doing little things the girls seek

Going barefeet
Calming the heartbeat
Having proper space to breathe
Reading on orange seat
Enjoying few plates of little treats

Tasting some sweet under the heat!

Posted in Favorite things, Maternité, Thoughts

Morning Treasures

If there’s something that we are above average is we are very early morning bunch. Breakfast always served before the first adzan. So, after doing the first prayer of the day, that’s when our morning routines start. By 9 am, we have accomplished sets of morning routines. Our morning could be considered the highlight of our everyday lives. The period of the day I treasure the most.

Morning Quran
Morning Practice
Morning Duet
Morning Math
Morning Chore
Morning Ride
Morning Play
Morning Lesson
Morning Read
Morning Walk
Morning Steps