The year 1982.
We had several new addition to the family-folk community last autum, one of them was Alias-Bijan of UTM who stayed in Withington and studied in Salford, but Mohamad Osman-Kak Ton packed home on January 3 Sun, via Piccadily by train to London for the flight to Malaysia. It was followed by Zaharuddin in Cheetham Hill on January 8 Fri, then Khir-Ina on January 28 Thu. As planned I moved downstairs taking over Khir's flat, which was bigger, thus colder even though centrally heated, and again continuing his rent rate which was lower then the rent I was paying for the upper flat. The flat was rather funny; to go to the bath, one has to pass the bedroom, then through the kitchen, be it ourselves, or the guests.
Last year I spent most the time dealing with the swelling of the samples, and to continue in routine this year; then patching up any gaps glaringly visible towards its end, one of which was measuring the permeability of the polymer membrane to dissolved oxygen. Dr Huglin was expecting some assistances since summer last year, from his German part time master student, Hans Schmickel, who works in a contact lense producer in Munich, but until summer this year, nothing materialised, probably because he did not understand English. He resorted to Dr M.L. Hitchman, a DO expert, who recently returned from a job-assignment in Orbisphere in Switzerland, through his hons student, Susan Melling. I prepared the membrane for her, and assisted her with the theory in measuring the permeability. It was through, and she compiled her thesis in March for her degree to be conferred in July. I similarly acquired the data for my thesis. I concentrated so deeply on permeability that Dr Huglin and I managed to composed a paper, published in Angew Makromol Chem, on the units of measurement alone. There was another patching experiment that I had to do, and could only be done in UMIST, in Dr J.P. Berry's lab in the department of Polymer and Fibre Technology, a friend of Dr Huglin. It was about the mechanical strength of my swollen materials, which I did twice, in July and October. Dr Berry was then appointed examiner for Surani's master thesis to be examined sometimes late of the year.
Approaching spring, Malini had passed her toddler phase. She could even run on her feet, inside and outside the flat, and in parks, Buelle Park near Peddleton, the one we usually went to. She could jump from my chair to the floor, and crashed-landed one time on March 30 Tue to get a sprain in the right elbow, and luckily diagnosed unserious after an emergency admittance the next day at Hope Hospital. She probably heard more English words, through TV and at the shops, than Malay words from us, so by summer, she and Rubaini made good friends with neighbours a few doors away on the street. As always Rubaini learned from her little sister, but naturally progressed faster. The neighbour's kids kept coming to play with Rubaini and Malini, until they began to sneak into the kitchen and opened the food containers themselves, then we stopped them from coming. Malini moved about so fast that one Saturday afternoon July 31 Sat, in Eccles shopping precint, she missed our sight in the busy crowd, while shopping for the sundries, and wandered around on herself until she was spotted by a policewoman on patrol who, noticing that she was unattended, took her to the nearest police station. Realizing shortly that Malini had 'lost', Azizah started to panic and searched in frenzy for her in the shops, one after the other, until she met the same policewoman who then returned to the spot to looked for the parents, calmed her by saying that Malini was safe in the police station. She was reunited in fives minutes. I was also rendered senseless for a moment; I seated Rubaini, then with me, on a bench in the court between the shops, and ran towards Liverpool road to look for Zaini at his home to help the search. He was not in, and when I returned, first to get Rubaini, Malini was reunited. The whole thing happened in about half an hour, and it was a short frightening real experience, which, as the times went by, we felt like a dream.
Last year we attended many weddings, and we were informed of many more weddings friends at the same period, but in Malaysia. Consequently, this year we visited as many newly born babies in hospitals. It started with Zaini's boy on March 27 Sat, then Husin's boy on April 8 Thu, then Ishak's boy in late June. And many more babies who had already acquired smiling and distinctive shouting for a feed when we visited, including Ibrahim's girl, Mustaffa's girl, Ghani's girl, and Safuan's girl in late August who inherited Malini's warm cot. We went out for the summer breeze only once this year, to Chester zoo, again, on May 2 Sun, and once on a window shopping train-trip to Bolton with Ibrahim-Tini on September 4 Sat, where we were grabed to safety into a jewelry shop by the owner when trapped among the football maniacs marching to the train station on their way to Manchester. The other reasons for the 'confinement', apart from the time I needed to pack my thesis, were the arrival of Ramadan on June 22 Tue, on the longest day and shortest night in northern hemisphere, too short the night that we could only take light 'sahur' soon after iftar; the day John had his viva but failed and to be reexamined in October on basic polymer chemistry; a month after Britain-Argentina war on Malvinas broke out, May 21 Fri; and a week after World Cup Spain 82 kick-off on June 14 Mon, in which it was noted by the football commentators on TV that the best scorers for the host country Spain that took it to semi-final, were the referees. It was not very much a celebration of Eid Fitri on July 21 Wed, and also Eid Azha on September 27 Mon.
I started scriblling my thesis as early as January, whenever I was free, in the lab, between experimental periods, and at home. Dr Huglin was applying for a grant from SRC in February, so we obliged to help, to be told in December it was turned down. 3M2S organised a career seminar on April 24 Sat and invited me to present a paper on university teacher as a career. More papers were drafted for publication, and I spent a considerable time with Dr Huglin during his hours discussing the composition and analytical aspects of the results. With John at the end of his study, and rarely appeared in the lab, I was the only one in the group who can operate the source room, so on June 2 Wed when Dr Huglin received a colleague's sample from Czechoslovakia for irradiation, I was the one he looked for. And once a while he asked me to help him in his teaching lab, like helping his hons students Brian and Paul on October 14 Thu sorting their experimental procedures, the same day Malini got mad for 'Tic-Tac' which I had to get it at a petrol station, almost at mid-night.
Before summer began I was still in the middle of sorting the references and some more patching experiments to be done, so I took a precaution step of applying a six-months extension to UKM registrar which was deliriously sopported by my supervisor for he knew exactly then to how long I would be staying alive before I had to go. It was not a tough job at all to get the approval, written to me in mid September. I was then in lengthy thorough discussion with Dr Huglin on my results, even had the intro and the experimental parts approved, and had submitted on July 27 Tue the notice to the Salford registrar to submit the thesis in January 1983. We even planned and colected data in early July for a British Patent right to our material. It was however rejected by NRG in September after the patent search indicated that the maintenance cost would be very high. The whole thesis was completed in draft only on November 3 Wed, and began seriously transforming into the typewritten form, at home, again at night, past mid-night since the sound of golf-ball piercing the ribbon was very much an attraction to, especially Malini, to stay awake and took over the 'job'. Nonetheless, I finished them all by Christmas eve.
It was another white winter this year, but we were more in the going-home mood, especially with the already doctorate-conferred Arisol in Durham since September, then Rusli in UMIST in early December, and John after his second viva on December 21 Tue. Jumali had been back home since October 20 Fri with a master degree. My brother Num dropped by on September 9 Thu, to say hello before going home on September 24 Fri. I had prepared for it since May, first and always on top priority, to get Malini's particulars endorsed in her mother's passport which I did by trevelling down to Malaysian High Commission in Belgrave Square, London on May 19 Wed, with Ibrahim and Ghani, all on the same mission. We were very lucky that the matter was settled on the same day, we reached home again just before mid-night.
We played host to families of Amran and Mohd Isa on September 20 Mon, both from Telekom and were told to find me for temporary shelter in Manchester by Dr Mohamad Osman, apparently then their immediate superior. They stayed with us for about a forthnight, before moving to Whalley Range, under the care of Mahadzer, where they planned to stay. Mohamad Osman himself paid us a surprise visit on October 15 Fri, on his way to Geneve, Switzerland. It was not actually that uncheerful at all in the winter. My department sent me a promotion form, to associate professor, but I did not fill it for obvious reason. Dr Huglin spent one whole day on November 25 Thu with us in the lab over many cups of coffee, Ibrahim, Azim, Mahmood and myself on the arts of PhD oral examination which we read that he had already in his mind the respective examiner for each of us. In the mean time Azizah kept track of my schedules and time tables, probed the prgress, made plan, made some gambles and extrapolate the time frame leading her to make a crucial decision the results of which were confirmed by doctor in Hope Hospital in December that she had conceived, again, since October. It was after all a warm winter of 1982.
Edition dated Jan 2000