Tag Archives: Garden

delightful daffodils

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If one daffodil is worth a thousand pleasures, then one is too few Wordsworth

I can’t believe we are in May already, where has the time gone? I suppose that’s what happens when we are all so busy leading our little lives. Sometimes life passes by you so quickly that you hardly have time to take stock and reflect. All the more reason I cherish this blog of mine; a tiny space for my very own thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences. It gives me a chance to take a deep breath, an outlet where I can be by myself for a wee while. Anyway, I just remembered that I haven’t shared my daffodil images with you back in early Spring. They have all wilted by now, not a single trace left. That’s what makes this bright yellow cheery flower extra special I guess. It’s there to greet you when you think there’s no light at all after a really long Winter. And by the time you’re enjoying your lovely Spring, you wouldn’t even notice that they’ve gone. When Winter finally returns, you’ll be sat there longing for the very sight of them again. Well, the passage of time is like the cycle of daffodils and the change of seasons; in and out accordingly. We go through life the best we can, we continue to strive till our last breath. We make mistakes, we fall, we cry; at the end of the day, we’re only human. But we rise, we stand tall again and we go on. We seek God’s forgiveness and guidance always. Enjoy the delightful daffodils.

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delightful daffodils

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my middle daughter by the clumps of daffodils

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my youngest striking a pose by the cheery blooms

the bright yellow flowers were everywhere

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my big daughter walking behind her sisters

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my youngest two with the spring delight, even on their jacket buttonholes!

bird song

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Spring would not be spring without bird songs – Francis M. Chapman

I love the quote above, it’s just so very true! The most apparent thing about Spring is the bird song, at least, in my very own garden. I live in the heart of a fairly busy city, but my simple garden is like a little sanctuary. My adventurous daughter made a fat ball for the garden birds at one of her girls club session recently. We really enjoyed watching little birds like robins and tits frequenting our garden after we hung the fat ball on our plum tree. My youngest two then decided to make more fat balls so that they benefit more garden birds. I enjoyed the whole experience as much as my daughters, it was well worth it when we spotted more birds in our garden each day. And the best reward of all is the bird song of course. The sweet melody you hear the moment you wake up, you know Spring is here to stay! The days are also beginning to get longer now; sunrise at 6.45 am, sunset around 7.45 pm. I really welcome the extra daylight hours, makes me realise how dull it’s been throughout the dark gloomy winter. Anyway, time to look forward now, Alhamdulillah! I leave you with images taken from our bird feeding project, hope you’ll like them. Till we meet again next time, take good care everyone!

my girls

my girls all set to work

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vegetable fat, seeds, bread crumbs; all mixed together to form a dough

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tie a string to the pine cone

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shaped the dough into fat balls around the pine cones

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we hung the fat balls on our plum tree, along with a seed feeder

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we watched the robin redbreast nibbling the fat ball

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the blue tit came along too

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they were not happy to see each other!

march awakening

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The last fling of winter is over … The earth, the soil itself, has a dreaming quality about it. It is warm now to the touch; it has come alive; it hides secrets that in a moment, in a little while, it will tell. Donald Culross Peattie

The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
And sings.
Joyce Kilmer

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.
Charles Dickens

March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice.
Hal Borland

my youngest two, in March awakening!

Educate your children to be happy and content with life’s simple pleasures: my youngest two, in March awakening!

Need I say more? My heart is singing and full of longing in our March awakening…Alhamdulillah, rejoice!  ❤

ramadan ramblings

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Greetings everyone! I finally had a proper chance to sit down and blog this entry, what a bliss! Hubby’s at work, son’s at school, big daughter’s attending ‘taster day’ at her future secondary school (she officially starts in September) and my youngest two are at their weekly art class. I don’t like to blog when they’re around as I feel my focus then should be on them. I normally go about grocery/food shopping at this time, but my routine’s changed a bit now that it’s our fasting month, Ramadan. How has it been so far? Well, fasting for 19 hours here in the UK is rather long to be honest. I started fasting since 7 years old back in my homeland, over there it’s the standard 13 hour fast every year. Since we’re close to the Equator, we do not have the 4 seasons. We have summer all year round, hot tropical 30c! Even though it’s not compulsory for children to fast (nor the infirm, elderly, women in their menses/pregnancy/breastfeeding, travellers etc), the atmosphere in an Islamic country like Malaysia makes it easier for young ones to practise this once a year obligatory act.

Here in England, however, it’s a different story. It’s more of an effort, shall I say. It has to come from within you. That’s why they have the term practising Muslim and non-practising Muslim here in England. There are many who are Muslims by name only! Practising Islam can be a struggle when you are in the minority. On the other side of the coin, you hear of Muslims who are extremists and terrorists, they give Islam a bad name! They always make me boil inside. But Alhamdulillah the world is filled with regular Muslims like myself, I’m sure you know by now what I’m like after reading my blog chattering for a while! We only want peace in this world and paradise in the Hereafter, Ameen. We try our best to uphold our faith and treat everyone/everything else in the planet with love and respect.

Anyway, I am quite fortunate actually as I live within a small Muslim community whereby there are 4 mosques, several ‘halal’ butchers and madrasas (Quran schools). Practising my faith isn’t that difficult, as long as the effort comes from within me. When I first got married, the fasting month here fell in Winter (the Islamic months are based on the lunar calendar). Fasting was a breeze, around 8 hours!But now after almost 17 years, the fasting month falls in mid-Summer where the daylight is very long, we’re in total darkness for only 6 hours! I have no complaints of hunger and thirst from my fast this year, but I suffer from a bit of headache several hours before breaking fast time at dusk. This is mainly due to the lack of sleep, which will adjust itself once our bodies are familiar with new routine.

Apart from that, I also find that we can’t eat much at all at iftar (breaking fast) time. It’s just so late by the time we finish our meal (10.30pm), we feel very tired from the long day! That’s why I cook very simple dishes for iftar this year, alongside our usual dates, fruit salad and samosas. I suppose it helps if you sleep for a bit during the day but that’s almost impossible as it’s just so bright out there! My older two are fasting properly this year as they have both hit puberty. They are doing rather well, as they have had practice (do half-days, every few days etc, whatever they could manage) since they were 7. My older two love competing with each other, I remember how they tried to outdo each other in the number of hours and days they could fast.

Well, all that has paid off. Alhamdulillah, now that it’s compulsory upon them to fast, they act upon it willingly. They are happy to be fasting, one of the rewards of a fasting person is when they break their fast; the relief and pleasure that comes in enjoying all the tasty food in front of them. My neighbours who are great cooks have been giving us delicious iftar dishes too! I feel sad to think of those people in poverty whereby fasting is a daily occurrence. This serves as a great reminder for us, to be grateful for what we have always and never take them for granted. Anyway, enough said for now, I leave you with several images and another Ramadan song, do watch the video clip of a Muslim family in America during the fasting month. Take good care!

Do read all my previous Ramadan posts, just type ‘Ramadan’ in my Search Widget on the right hand side! 🙂

he never fails to surprise me with flowers every now and then, my ramadan bouquet from hubby

hubby’s favourite starter for Iftar, onion bhajias (left) and potato/onion bhajias (right)

chicken cutlets (right) and lamb pasties (left) ideal as light Iftar meals, served with salad/chips/wedges

my youngest with her ramadan henna done by her big sister

my lil one checking on our goldfish

yes, we have 5 goldfish in the old bathtub!

my summer display

pale pink roses lifts my mood

Oh God! Please make the rest of Ramadan easier for me to get closer to you, especially in this year’s challenging 19 hour long fast! Fasting from food and drink is manageable with practice (pray my health remains good) but refraining from bad habits and behaviour and increasing my religious acts may be a struggle! Please do forgive and guide this humble soul!!!

 

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!