Monthly Archives: January 2013

a birthday

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From our birthday, until we die,
Is but the winking of an eye.
William Butler Yeats

my 7th birthday

I hope you know
how much you mean to me…
Not only are you a caring daughter
you’re also a great mom
and a wonderful woman.
And even though
I’ve known you all your life,
sometimes I’m still amazed
by all the things you do.
You manage so much
and yet always find time
to be there for others.
I just couldn’t let this day go by
without saying how proud I am of you.
You’re loved even more than you know.
Happy Birthday

(Wordings taken from the lovely card I received from my dearest mom and sisters on my recent birthday. Surely I do not deserve such a card, I have so much yet to improve on. I’m moved beyond words, thanks so much my beloved family!)

frozen world

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The whole of England is blanketed in white as I create this post, a frozen world which would probably last for a good week or so at least. Nothing major like in Korea, Russia, Norway or Canada where the temperatures can dip to -30c, but enough to cripple the nation for a bit. Majority of schools were closed today and there were travel disruptions (both road and rail) everywhere. Many flights were also canceled at several airports due to poor visibility. Nonetheless, the situation did not stop many from having fun, in particular the children of course. Right after breakfast, my doorbell rang and a bunch of them stood there in their winter woolies, asking my children to join them outside. They had several hours of delight, throwing snowballs at each other and building their little snowman. Until they started to feel the cold creeping in slowly, especially as the snow softened and their socks and gloves got damp. I had the fire-place roaring away and prepared a little lunch for them all, whilst they tore away their wet attire and snuggled up into blankets and sat by the warmth, their cheeks and noses red and flushed.

They had a truly enjoyable time, and that’s what matters most, I love seeing them all happy and content afterwards. As for me, yes, the pleasure of defrosting the car and driving on the icy roads await, that’s the bit I don’t quite like. Also the fact I might slip and fall like I did before, when the snow freezes over and turns into slippery black ice, not much fun there at all! I’m just glad it’s the weekend, whereby I don’t really have to be mobile just yet. And I have enough supplies stored until my next major food shopping. Right, enough description of my frozen little world, I shall leave you with several images I’ve captured today, hope you will like them. Over and out, I’m curling up under my duvet now, there’s a blustery wind blowing out there! I’ll be thinking of my early spring, it doesn’t hurt to dream!!

our frozen car

our garden robin

winter garden

cold bunny!

our garden table

having fun

building snowman

hard work!

one proud little snowman!

january longing

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pretty daffodils by my fireplace

pretty daffodils by my fireplace last Spring

I long for you, bright daffodils
During this bleak month of January
Seems ages yet, before those fields
Are filled with yellow, looking pretty

 Grateful I am, for the warmth and light
Despite the dark and cold reality
So I shan’t despair, I shall find delight
By remembering you, my spring beauty

(by Hibiscus Rosa Noor)

Something to match my January blues! 😉

happy bunny

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This post is about our pet rabbit, Coco Nuit. We brought Coco home from our local farm when he was about 2 months old. My eldest two (13 and 10 now) had wanted him so badly, they fell in love with him when they were helping out at the farm during the half term break. Since I want to reinforce simple living into my family life this year (we’ve always lived simply by the way), I thought it would be great to start with an update on Coco. He’s coming up to a year old now, a slightly bigger bunny who’s quite mischievous and active. Why yesterday he even managed to escape from his run as pictured below. He’s been gnawing at the fence and eventually made a cut through it. We thought the gap was too small for him but he managed to squeeze through somehow, amazing! Caring for a pet rabbit has certainly taught my children a few things; they have to see to his basic needs i.e. food, drink, a clean hutch, regular fur brushing and gentle strokes and cuddle.

They also have to check he’s not covered with fleas especially in the summer months. A trip to the farm to have his nails trimmed is also a must when they get too long! I must admit there are times when my children gets a bit lazy in carrying out their duties (especially during cold winter), I have to remind them how they are responsible for his life and general well-being, he’s not a toy that can just be ignored. I admire my children for having the patience to care for him, and the genuine love they display endears them to me all the more. I strongly believe that when we are in touch with nature and its surroundings, when we care for the animals and the environment around us, we’re more aware of the true value of living. Simple pleasures such as these remain with us forever, they form our personalities and strengthen our characters.

In today’s complex world, people often think material gain is what brings us happiness; the biggest house in the area, the trendiest car, the designer items, the latest gadgets, the list goes on and on. Until the next season of course when something new comes up, or worse still, when the neighbour’s spotted with the most updated version of the current craze! Quite frankly I’m rather tired of watching the world around me trying to keep up with the Joneses, something my family and I shun away from. Both my husband and I are very simple people, and as we grow older (into mid-40s now, quite mature!) we realised how temporary this life is and how unhappy people become when they chase the material world alone. One will always crave for more, it never ends. And then they wonder why deep down they’re never content even though they have everything they could possibly want around them! It’s better to seek simple pleasures in life; they bring you more lasting peace, joy and happiness. Coco has certainly brought us that for the year he’s been with us, we pray he will stay with us for many more years to come, if he doesn’t escape again! Time for hubby to work on a rabbit proof fence!

Coco Nuit

cleaning Coco’s hutch

he needs tender loving care too

he’s almost a year old now

a happy bunny!

fresh hopes

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Simplicity in life is part of faith. —  Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth. — Leo Tolstoy

Live simply so that others may simply live. — Mahatma Gandhi

Simple pleasures are the last healthy refuge in a complex world. — Oscar Wilde

I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. — Lao Tzu

I see myself as a child all over again in my adventurous daughter

She was oblivious to the world around her, deep in thought, as she gazed across the waters. The new year 2013 is here, but she has mixed feelings about it. She has a few reasons to be joyful already, all the blogging awards she received recently have certainly perked her up. Along with being featured in the local newspaper back in her homeland (an article expanded from one of her 102 blog posts), that has certainly made the beginning of 2013 a promising one for her. Little rewards to remind her that she’s doing reasonably well in what she loves doing best at the moment, Alhamdulillah. Yes, she has found her feet again in the literary world, the world she once knew but have abandoned for so long. Yet, she can’t help but feel a bit low at the same time. Call her a sensitive soul if you must (a much-needed characteristic in expressing one’s self), but the tragic events towards the end of 2012 have left an impact upon her.

She hopes and prays that 2013 will be a brighter year, with more uplifting news around the globe rather than heart-wrenching ones. But then that’s life; there’s always ups and downs, good and bad, delight and sorrow. The main thing is not to lose hope, to carry on, to do what you must, to stick to what you believe. Her aspirations for this year is to live simply, to be grateful for every little happiness that comes her way, to appreciate everyone and everything around her that lifts her spirits up. Another year older, another year wiser, as she also celebrates her birthday this month. That’s what she wishes for, all being well. Happy New Year 2013 to all; beloved family, relatives, friends, fellow bloggers and blog readers, may you have a fruitful and peaceful year ahead…

A great English voice, for those who might also need a bit of cheering up to kick off the new year!

And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you
Someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand
To guide them along so maybe I’ll see you there
We can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares…