enchanted castle

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Greetings everyone! I’ve just completed the first part of our summer holidays, off to our next one soon! I found the enchanted castle I was looking for, it wasn’t that easy to locate but well worth it in the end! For the past week I’ve been for endless walks by lochs, waterfalls, forests and mountains, I honestly didn’t feel like returning home! Will blog more about it when my holidays are well and truly over. In the meantime, here’s the first few taster pictures for you! I feel so shattered, till next time yeah, must rest now! 

I walked by the loch and the mountains

I wandered high and low by the loch and the mountains

In search of my enchanted castle

In search of my enchanted castle

My enchanted castle!

Finally it was right there before my very eyes!

 

summer hols

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Greetings everyone! Hope all well with you! Now that Ramadan and Eid have been and gone, we are looking forward to spending the rest of our summer holidays away from home. I will update my blog once I get the chance to sit down properly in front of my computer again. Right now, it’s pretty hectic trying to sort everything out for our getaway. We shall be heading North first and then down South. Here’s a couple of Google images of where we’ll be heading, can you guess where they are? There’s only few weeks of Summer left now and we are trying to make the most of it! Hope to visit the rest of our relatives too whilst on the move, as we are still in the blessed month of Shawwal. Always strengthen those family ties, life’s too short to harbor grudges and ill feelings, don’t you think? Also to mention my son and my 2nd daughter celebrate their birthdays this month, and my daughter’s birthday coincides with my 17th wedding anniversary. Which makes August my favourite month, so many joyous moments to look forward to! I would like to thank all those who have left encouraging words when I was feeling a bit low in Ramadan and Eid. Life goes on and I know those who love me would want me to be happy wherever I am! Take care everyone, will get back to you in a few weeks InshaAllah! Be good and stay happy! :)

Heading up North first

Heading up North first

Then down South we go!

Then down South we go!

 

 

nostalgic eid

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Greetings everyone! How was your Eid celebration? I’m certain those back in my homeland Malaysia have had a festive one. Mine was rather quiet as I mentioned in my previous post. Eid usually makes me rather melancholy, particularly when I recall how I lost my beloved dad on Eidul Fitri 2001. Yes, he passed away on Eid Day itself, just before noon. It was traumatic for all of us. He kept saying he wanted to go home on Eid Day and so he did. He was always the most happiest on Eid Day, it’s usually the highlight of the year for him. In a way I’m happy that he left this world to meet his Creator on this very blessed day. Anyway, I would like to tell you about one of my dearest aunties in this post. She’s my late dad’s elder sister, the one who’s always there for her younger siblings. She’s bubbly and friendly, generous and kind. After my dad passed away, she phoned my mom every day without fail. She was always good at keeping in touch with everyone anyway. I miss her tremendously these days. She is still alive, but she’s no longer the same. She had a bad fall several years ago and suffered from a massive stroke. She’s now house bound, she needs assistance in moving around and has a 24/7 carer. She’s also lost her memory partially, I was very sad the last time I met her because she could hardly recognise me. She speaks in the past tense, she recalls people and memories from before she had the stroke. The doctors are still helping her out, physically she has made amazing recovery for she could hardly move in the beginning. I shall keep praying for my auntie, I miss the good times with her. I also miss many of my other relatives, Eid makes me reminisce my growing up years with them back in Malaysia. Even though I’m so far away, they still enquire after me every time they contact my mom. The usual question is when will she be returning next? Inshallah (God Willing), I will be home again when the time is right. In the meantime, I pray the best for all my relatives back home, the lovely memories we’ve shared shall always remain with me. I feel sad to hear of my uncles and aunties suffering from an illness or another, I have lost them one by one over the past decade or so. I am grateful to several of my cousins who are good at keeping in touch with me, when the older generation are all gone, we are the ones left behind to continue the family ties. In this day and age, many of the younger generation do not bother so much anymore. My relatives remind me of who I used to be, they are part of who I am. As much as possible, I want them to remain part of me forever. Let not the distance be a hindrance.

my final eid with my beloved dad

my final eid with my beloved dad

my beloved auntie with my son before her stroke

my beloved auntie with my son before her stroke

my auntie after her stroke

my auntie after her stroke, the light has gone out of her

Nostalgic Eid song…one of my favourites…

hari raya

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We celebrated Hari Raya (Eid Day in my mother tongue) today, Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), Allahu Akbar (God is Great)! I feel a tinge of sadness in waving Ramadan (month of fasting) goodbye. I remember complaining of how long the fast was this year, 19 hours! But I miss it now, we’ve all got used to the Ramadan routine. As trying as it was, it brought us peace and strengthened our ties amongst fellow Muslims. Our Eid celebration today was simple but memorable. After Eid prayers in the early morning, we wished each other Eid Mubarak. We greeted our neighbours too by exchanging Eid cookies and chocolates. We phoned our families and relatives and wished friends both near and far. I prepared the usual lamb biryani dish for my family, feels a bit odd to eat in day time again after a month’s fast! Our children watched their favourite movies and played games, all dressed in their new Eid clothes. Unfortunately their close friends are away this year as it’s currently the summer holidays. Hopefully we will meet up with several others over the next few days. It’s always a quiet affair on the first day here in England unless you have your extended families close by. My mom was very emotional when we chatted today, she misses me badly on this auspicious day. My big daughter is currently a replica of me between the ages of 11-14, brings back memories of my growing up years for my mom. Makes me feel truly guilty for being so far away! I chose to be with my husband in the UK, had I thought of how much my parents’ hearts would break over the years by living thousands of miles away, would I still have married him? Yes, I would have, for I knew he was the one for me. My only consolation is that my parents needn’t worry about me, even today my mom mentioned how grateful and happy she is to have a son-in-law who treasures her eldest daughter like a precious gem. I’m so sorry mom for upsetting you, by being 6,500 miles away from you! But you are constantly in my heart, mind and prayers. How I wish things were different, that we were geographically closer. But this is our fate, we have to accept it. Not everything in life goes our way all the time. We must keep focusing on the blessings, not our misfortunes. Always thank God for the good things in life, which can be taken away as easily as it comes at any moment. Alhamdulillah for this special blessed day, thank you God for everything you’ve given us. Eid Mubarak to all, wishing you peace and blessings today and always…

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Eid with my mom when my children were younger (my big girl and my second daughter)

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my son seeking forgiveness from his grandma on Eid Day

our eid memories in my homeland

our eid memories in my homeland

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I continue our tradition of seeking forgiveness on Eid Day in my marriage

seeking forgiveness on this auspicious day

my son seeking forgiveness from his papa on this auspicious day

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My big daughter seeking forgiveness from her papa

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my second daughter tends to get emotional

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and now we have our baby girl too!

Eid Mubarak to everyone! Praise be to God for this blessed day!

 

 

ramadan finale

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We’re in the final week of Ramadan, time flies! By this time next week, Muslims across the world will be celebrating Eidul Fitr (Monday or Tuesday, dependent on the moon sighting). This is a festival in celebration of our month’s fast in Ramadan. It is an auspicious, happy and joyous day, where we thank God the Almighty for His many bounties. I look forward to Eid, but I cannot help but feel for those who are currently suffering. There’s always people suffering everywhere, but my thoughts now rest with the people of Gaza and those who perished on Malaysia Airlines MH17. I’m certain you’ve all heard of the latest atrocities concerning them. At the end of the day, it’s always the innocent people (men, women, many children, i.e. families) who have lost their lives in the most tragic way. My heart goes out to their loved ones, who would have to carry on with their lives broken-hearted. They will never be the same, it would be very hard to smile again. We know death is for certain, no one escapes it. We feel sad when someone we love dies, even in the most natural circumstances. But like in the case of MH17, or MH370 (which disappeared in March) or the ongoing wars, we can only imagine what their loved ones must be going through. The trauma would stay for a very long time. I find it hard to be happy when I think of their suffering. I find comfort in knowing their souls will all be in Heaven, given the circumstances of their death. As for the rest of us (a reminder to myself), let us make a pledge to treasure all those around us. This worldly life is too short and very fragile, it’s only temporary after all. It’s not meant to last. Let’s stop the bickering and hard feelings towards each other. Let’s be kind and respectful, regardless of our differences. We don’t know how long that person will be in our lives, we’ll only be left with memories when he/she is gone. Let’s make the memories sweet, let’s remember the good times. Everyone has to go someday; some may have the chance to say goodbye, others may end tragically like the ones mentioned above. We have no power over death, but we have the power to shape the memories we share whilst we’re alive. Let’s work on that, make them good ones! Pray for all this blessed Ramadan end!!!

my late beloved father with my dearest mother and my son at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, our happy memory

my late beloved father/dearest mother with my son at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, one happy memory

My heart is with those who have lost their loved ones…to God we belong, to Him we return.