Posted by Yttria on Saturday, June 19, 2021 // 19:47 // 2 comments (+)



Exploring ways to better understand things surround oneself, in times of traveling.

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Posted by Yttria on Friday, January 08, 2021 // 08:36 // 0 comments (+)

Just last night, I tried this piano app Synthesia, and played it with my little nephew and his mum. I can't play any music instrument (only know the super basic thing on guitar!), so playing it - even only through the screen, and with colour-coded guides - was much fun. The app doesn't have too many songs, it has mostly classical tunes, children songs, traditional folk songs, and very few oldies (!), but these are enough for a beginner to play with. Then we saw Danny Boy on the list.

People in the house had always have this sentimental fondness of the song, especially since dad used to turn on the Adrian Brett's album Echoes of Gold (I always remember it as only 'Suling Emas'!) repeatedly when we were little kids. As I was a bit older, I found out the story behind this traditional Irish folk song about a message from a parent to a son; that's beautiful but rather painful.

Here's a cover version of the song that I've just found, played beautifully by Eric Clapton. To me; it's impossible not to get a little teary eyed while listening to this, knowing the heartbreaking event he had gone through back in the 90s. Think the original tune (and the lyrics) had always meant to be like what he intended for this cover version; simple and pure.


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Posted by Yttria on Sunday, September 20, 2020 // 19:24 // 0 comments (+)

Two of the cities in the UK that I've visited alone by myself quite often during few years back were Bath and London. Bath - the city itself is not very big in size, but everytime I went there, I always found new spaces to explore - be it a texturised building facade, a hidden secret garden, or simply an alleyway. It is kind of the same with what I felt of London - the city always has something new to offer, and of course spaces to explore, it also has tonnes of corners or quiet areas for us solo travelers to ponder and to appreciate the surrounding spaces.


Top left was from solo London trip, having a brunch inside a cafe in Victoria Station, overlooking the building just across the road. The middle one was obviously Bath, but was sketched few days ago (not a live sketch), as I was reminded of the city, and thought of doodling something about it. Top right was in Oxford, a night before a trip fly home. Sketches - the ones that one did - surely can bring back some memories in a much better way than merely photographs.

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Posted by Yttria on Thursday, September 10, 2020 // 08:06 // 0 comments (+)

Found a lecture note by Bruno Guiderdoni, an French astrophysicist and a convert to Islam, about the correlation between Islam and science, in this case particularly on how science cannot be separated from faith and ethical values. Hamza Yusuf mentioned about him in one of his talks, where he said - something along the line of - religion has to be able to reach or to be understood and followed by the simple people (people who don't study very deeply) and be able to satisfy the thinking of the brilliant people (people who study); in which I found a very beautiful meaning of religion. The excerpt below is taken from the lecture note, the part that I found very inspiring and is an impactful message in society and environmental sustainability context, and I thought to share it here in the blog for the readers and as a reminder for myself.

"According to the Islamic doctrine, the human being is created from clay and from God’s spirit, to become "God’s vice‐regent of earth". The human being is the only creature that is able to know God through all His names and attributes, and it is put on earth as a garden‐keeper in the garden. Our relationship with other living creatures on earth is not that from the upper to the lower level, with the concomitant possibility to exploit all "inferior" beings", but that from the central to the peripheral. The "central" position of the garden‐keeper on earth is the position of the watchman who equally cares after all the inhabitants of the garden. This implies a sense of accountability for all creation, and should lead to humility, not to arrogance. As a consequence, we can eat the fruits of the garden, but we have no right to uproot the trees, which do not belong to us. The power that science has given to us must be accompanied by a greater sense of the ethic that is necessary to use this power with discrimination and intelligence. To say the things in a few words, we must not do all what we can do, very much as Adam was not allowed to touch one specific tree in the garden. This prohibition makes us free, because freedom requires the possibility of a choice. This symbol of the garden keeper in the garden has a strong echo today, with the current debates on how to deal with global warming, the share of natural resources in a sustainable way, or the preservation of biodiversity."



"... It (the human being) is put on earth as a garden‐keeper in the garden."

- Bruno Guiderdoni



The note above reminded me of the call to tread or walk humbly on the earth (Qur'an 25:63); in any kind of actions or professions that we do, because we are meant to only be the care-takers of the earth, its living world, and its resources. We don't own anything, nothing that we have is truly ours. We are meant to cultivate the earth (imara) and sustain/guard what is there for the next generation (istikhlaf), which are parts of worship to God (ibadah). To be somebody who takes care of the garden; indeed is a very accurate definition of human being.

The full lecture note can be found here.

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Posted by Yttria on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 // 19:22 // 0 comments (+)

If there's one place in Oxford that I'd really keen to go and see again someday; it'd be the Oxford Botanic Garden - which was one of the many places that I visited very often - almost every weekend I'd go there to just roam around. Even registered for a yearly pass for the last 2 years! It was sort of a 'hideaway' place from daily routine. Moreover, it is located in the fringe of the city centre - to be exact in the Rose Lane OX1 4AZ, only few mins walking from the Plain - when in the garden; one could easily feel being in the centre where everybody is, whilst at the same time being somewhere secluded in solitude, surrounded by nature.

Yesterday, when I opened the website to find an info about planting, I saw a link that says virtual visit. It's a common thing recently to experience things and locations virtually due to the global pandemic, but I've never heard about this cool thing; that the Botanic Garden can now be visited virtually! It's only a little more than a month since the last time I visited the garden, but I've missed it already; especially the tropical Glasshouse. The last time that I visited with a friend in late June; the Glasshouses were closed due to social distancing. I was so happy to know that the virtual visit applies to the Glasshouses as well. Below are some shots that I took during my 'visit'!

Heading to the Lily House

Even the entrance bit is super lush with greens!

Welcome to the (Water) Lily House


The (Water) Lily House - is my favorite part of the Glasshouses clusters. Of course, because it has the 'home' vibe! By 'home' vibe; I mean Indonesian temperature. :p Whenever I missed home during few years back, I've always run to the Garden and roamed around the Lily House; feeling nostalgic and sentimental. Familiar plant colours and shapes, familiar weather, and familiar feelings, too. I felt I was not too far away. My energy then got recharged easily soon after.


Broad leaves, exotic colours, and unusual patterns

My fave corner of the House :) Can you see the ferns in the shade below?

The 'home-y' vibe: South East feel in the North


Compare to many other botanic gardens in the UK, the one in Oxford is relatively small in size - though it has quite plentiful plant collections. Some had been captured also in my Flickr album, dedicated to the Garden. The city surely has many things to offer, but if you ever visit the city someday, be sure to go visit the Botanic Garden. Because... Who doesn't love plants?

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