Monthly Archives: June 2014

welcome Ramadan!

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Ramadan is a month of fasting, self-evaluation and spiritual growth.

Ramadan is a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, and practice self-sacrifice, Ramadan is much more than just not eating and drinking.

Muslims are called upon to use this month to re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. We are to make peace with those who have wronged us, strengthen ties with family and friends, help the poor and needy, do away with bad habits — essentially to clean up our lives, our thoughts, and our feelings.

dates to break our fast with

dates to break our fast with

shall we get this one, mummy?

shall we get this one, Mummy?

melons a must to break our fast in summer

melons ideal to quench our thirst after the 19 hour-long summer fasting in England

nature couple

 Wishing everyone a blessed and peaceful Ramadan!

You lift me up high
You spread my wings
And fly me to the sky
I feel so alive
It’s like my soul thrives in your light
But how I wish you’d be
Here with me all year around

Ramadan Ramadan,
Ramadanu ya habib
(Ramadan, Ramadan,
Ramadan O beloved)
Ramadan Ramadan
Laytaka dawman qareeb
(Ramadan, Ramadan,
How I wish you were always near)

Love is everywhere
So much peace fills up the air
Ramadan month of the Quran
I feel it inside of me, strengthening my Iman
But how I wish you’d be
Here with me all year around

I just love the way you make me feel
Every time you come around you breathe life into my soul
And I promise that
I’ll try throughout the year
To keep your spirit alive
In my heart it never dies
Oh Ramadan!

english farm

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Long about knee-deep in June,
‘Bout the time strawberries melt
On the vine. ~  James Witcomb Riley

Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world. Ada Louise Huxtable

There is something deep within us that sobs at endings. Why, God, does everything have to end? Why does all nature grow old? Why do spring and summer have to go? ~  Joe Wheeler

Greetings everyone! Hereby I would like to share my final outing before Ramadan, which commences this weekend. A bunch of us home educators took our children for an educational trip to the farm yesterday. I have taken my older ones to such a farm when they were smaller, but now I also have my younger two who are home educated as well. Children always enjoy hands-on education outdoors, beats sitting in a dull classroom lesson any day, particularly in the balmy summer heat! We have been getting plenty of warm sunshine lately, over the recent weekend my family have had 2 barbecues, we just had to eat in the garden! Mind you, it’s only around 21c at the moment, but I already feel as if it’s too hot! Don’t know how I managed the all year round 30c back in my tropical homeland Malaysia many moons ago!

After a briefing in a converted barn classroom (we sat on bales of straw), we were taken round the farm to see the crops they produced and the animals they reared. The highlight of the day was strawberry picking, there’s plenty around as the weather’s been really good of late. We walked a lot, but had the pleasure to sit in the tractor-trailer on the way back, the children really enjoyed the bumpy ride. We also had the opportunity to pull some vegetables from the ground ourselves; each of us took home some rhubarb, broad beans, carrots and strawberries of course. We had a truly wonderful day, I thought I might as well document everything here before I retire for the night. Hope you’ll enjoy my farm photo series! 😉

in the farm classroom, the ostrich egg in the back costs £17.50, equivalent to 24 chicken eggs!

that’s half of the group, walking by the broccoli plantation

broccoli still growing

asparagus

my younger two amidst the overgrown batch of asparagus

broad beans

broad beans definitely in season now!

carrots are so hard to dig up!

we finally managed to get a few each using huge farm forks

female ostrich up close, the one that lays the £17.50 egg!

feeding animal time!

the tractor trailer

beautiful setting by our barn classroom

I always love the summer floral display

let’s pick some strawberries and eat a few along the way!

my little one simply loved strawberry picking!

My middle daughter, she loves the outdoors

memorable growing up years with their good friends!

 

 

 

 

 

english summer

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What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade. – Gertrude Jekyll

It is the month of June,
The month of leaves and roses,
When pleasant sights salute the eyes
And pleasant smells scent the noses.
Nathaniel Parker Willis

The sun has been shining in my little corner of the globe! Here’s my top 20 list to signify that summer’s truly here:

  1. baby blue skies, glorious sunshine and gentle breeze
  2. spending more time in the garden than in the house, my family turning as brown as monkeys
  3. eating lots of ice-lollies, water melons, pasta and salads
  4. drinking home-made lemonade and mango lassi 
  5. kids’ daily wear consists of sandals, summer dresses, sun hats, t-shirts and long shorts
  6. kids begging to go to the beach (we shall, all being well)
  7. all my 15 windows opened wide to let in fresh air – I live in a 100-year-old house, not a mansion!
  8. lots of water play
  9. long days, sunset around 9.30pm, sunrise at 4,45am
  10. roses in full bloom
  11. lawn needs constant mowing, plants need more watering and attention
  12. hay fever sufferers having a bad time (myself included, really awful this year)
  13. more outings and trips
  14. more get-together with friends and family/relatives
  15. having numerous barbeques and picnics
  16. endless washing on the clothes line
  17. butterflies and bumble bees everywhere
  18. non-stop sweet melody from the birds
  19. doing more DIY projects
  20. don’t feel like doing much at all!

English summer is truly lovely, I appreciate it all the more now as it is very fleeting. We have 3 summer months supposedly, but the sun only shines really brightly (like my picture below) now and then which makes it extra special. I can’t believe how I took for granted the all year round tropical sunshine back in my homeland for the first 28 years of my life. I leave you with the bright blue sky above my head, my violets and ice-lollies, my blooming English roses, a sweet memory of hubby and son by Lake District a few summers ago. And last but not least, a beautiful summer song. I like to capture my high happy summer feelings! Today is a typical example of a glorious summer’s day, let’s just simply enjoy it!!

This sweet old melody truly captures the very essence of summer! 

life’s blessings

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johnodonohue526270

I finally found some time to sit down and write something, enough of my photo series for now. I just want to note down my feelings of being in this country which has been my home for almost 2 decades. A piece of memory prompted this post. I remember when I returned to my homeland Malaysia after I got married and we bumped into my good friend from University. My friend’s mom enquired whether I was happy living in England, she found it hard to comprehend that I had the heart (and guts!) to leave everything behind (family, friends, beautiful homeland). She also thought it was a temporary thing, in fact some of my close relatives still think that I will eventually return home.

I suppose they miss me, I know my mom and sisters and my close friends certainly do. It’s not easy, I wouldn’t encourage anyone to follow my footsteps, I cannot imagine my daughters marrying off and living thousands of miles away. But fate is not in our hands, we can plan things but ultimately God the Almighty knows what’s best for us. I never knew that I was going to end up here, so far away from all that I loved. But it seemed appropriate at the time and I was certain I was doing the right thing. Marriage to this wonderful man who proposed to me almost 2 decades ago was one of the best things that’s ever happened to me, Alhamdulillah. My intentions were pure and so was his (actions judged by sincerity in Islam), and for that I feel we are blessed till today and forever more I pray. Our 4 children complete our matrimony, they add colour to our lives.

I have also repeatedly mentioned that my hubby and children are top priority in my current life. For as long as I live I will be there for them InshaAllah (God Willing), I feel content when they are smiling! I won’t go on and on, suffice to say that I feel truly blessed, praise be to God. I stumbled upon this Malay song I used to like, it means ‘You’re My Inspiration’. I feel that it’s only right to dedicate it to my beloved hubby and children; they bring meaning to my life, I feel much fulfilled. None of them understand my Malay language though, I shall have to translate and my Malay is rusty! 😉 Anyway, I now bid farewell. To date we are half-way to the holy month of Ramadan, I hope you’ll remember my family and I in your prayers…

hubby and I revisited our memorable street in London a few years ago, that's where it all began...

hubby and I trailed down our memory lane in London, “Will you have the honour of becoming my wife, will you marry me?”

our 4 precious pearls, they make our life complete

our 4 precious pearls when they were younger, they add colour to our life together

I miss my Malay songs! 🙂

 

 

 

hello summer!

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Aaah, summer – that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It’s a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends. – Darell Hammond

Well, looks like summer is here at last! My girls and I have just returned from our home-education group outing today, it’s been lovely. My legs are killing me a bit, been a while since I’ve gone on a proper walk like today. We were out exploring our local country park with the Ranger, it was well worth it. Not only was it educational (I never knew there were around 15 types of different grasses there, and a whole list of British wildlife animals) for the children, it was a much needed exercise for the moms as well. The weather was great, 21c warm sunshine with a gentle breeze blowing, the typical English summer’s day which I’ve come to love.

As usual I’ve got some good shots to share with you, not as perfect as the ones by you professional photographers out there, but sufficient for me! I’m just going to chill out with a cuppa tea after this and try to finish off my novel before our monthly library trip tomorrow. I just love days like this, hope there’ll be plenty more beautiful summer days to come, InshaAllah. As usual I’ve got a song to share too at the end. This song seems to be a favourite choice at superstores here during summer time! Possibly because summer romance is fleeting but memorable, not unlike the season itself. Anyway, I’m rather tired to analyse, over and out now, you take good care ok! 🙂

A sweet summer time oldie!