Tag Archives: history

summer/ramadan updates 2015

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Happy is the person who knows what to remember of the past, what to enjoy in the present, and what to plan for the future.

We live in the present, we dream of the future, but we learn eternal truths from the past.

The future influences the present as much as the past.

Greetings everyone, hope you’re all well! Just a quick update from my little corner in England. I noticed that several more people have started following my blog, a big thank you from me. If you read my ‘about me’ and ‘about my blog’ pages, you will have a glimpse of me as person and my reasons for blogging. Hope that will help you understand this blog a touch better. I don’t want to bore you should my blog not be your cuppa tea! Anyway, back to my chattering, we are right in the middle of summer here. In fact, it’s predicted to soar up to 30c in a few days! That’s just like back in my homeland, Malaysia. A bit too hot, to be honest! Typically, I prefer the English summer when it’s between 20-25c, with the breeze blowing gently. Even then I suffer from hay fever as pollen levels tend to be quite high when it’s warm. I guess I have to stay indoors a lot more or make sure I take my hay fever tablets regularly.

As for my fasting, we are on to our 12th day today, time flies, almost halfway through already. I am looking forward to the Eid celebration at the end of our month’s fasting, InshaAllah. A wonderful reward indeed after a bit of hardship in Ramadan. I remember the Eids during my childhood very well, where our friends and neighbours from different races and religions also joined us in our festivity. I miss those times very much, they were extra special for sure. I guess you can tell I’m a bit homesick, don’t you? As mentioned in my previous post, I can’t help but feel melancholy during the months of Ramadan and Syawwal. Oh well, life goes on as they say, as I flit between my memories of the past, dreams for the future to my present life here in England. Such is the nature of my blog it seems.

Even though I’m fasting, I’ve been busy with indoor/outdoor educational activities with my youngest two. It’s been good, I must say! Each season has it’s own charm here in England, I try to capture them in my blog now and then. As for the rest of the family; my hubby’s busy at work as usual (he needs a long break), my big girl is finishing off her summer term with numerous interesting school trips. My son who’s officially a school leaver after he completed his GCSEs in mid-June, is currently doing voluntary work at a local organisation to pass his time. He hopes to pursue A-Levels in September, inshallah. Right, enough rambling, time for some pictures! They were taken at a museum and at a country park, during our educational outings. I’ve also included a picture of one of our Ramadan iftars (dishes for breaking fast) at the end. I’m not a food blogger, one is sufficient, yeah? Okay, maybe two. Till next time, take care all!

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my youngest two dressed up as Tudor (500 years ago) ladies; one rich and the other one less fortunate

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my youngest as a Victorian girl (150 years ago)

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posing by an old fireplace

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they love exploring museums

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amazed to find an old typewriter

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I love this little water pump and barrel

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WW2 air raid shelter

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summer blooms everywhere

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lovely summer’s day up the hills

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my middle daughter during our hill walk

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we were with a group of home educators tracking down Iron Age sites (2000 years ago)

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our simple Ramadan iftar

followed by main meal, the one Malaysian dish I cook often, Chicken Rice

our main meal, the one Malaysian dish I cook often, Chicken Rice

remembrance sunday

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Greetings everyone! It’s been a while since I last sat down to pen my thoughts. I’ve been a busy bee now that the new school year is in full swing; home educating my youngest two, ensuring my older two are on top of things at their secondary schools, running the household, carrying out my roles as wife and mother the best I can. The weather’s turned wintry here too, it gets dark before 5pm! But it’s not all dull and gloom here, Autumn’s full of events; Halloween, Bonfire Night (a big fireworks display expected where we are this weekend), followed by Remembrance Sunday on the 9th of November. This is the day when they remember those who have perished/suffered in the previous battles, those who have fought/died for their country. This is also a day to commemorate the services of all military personnel from past to present.

On that note I would like to share my son’s recent History school trip to the World War 1 sites, both in France and Belgium. History is my son’s favourite subject, war history in particular. He remembers all the facts by heart from a very young age. A coachful of them took the Eurotunnel Crossing to France and went directly to Ypres in Belgium. They visited both the German and British war cemeteries there. The following day they went to Somme in France to visit the WW1 Trench Museum, where they witnessed the real trenches and battlefields during the war. On the last day, they went into Ypres again to visit the famous Flanders Field Museum, after which they bought some souvenirs before heading back.

My son arrived home safely late that night, laden with Belgium chocolates for us. He only took an old simple camera with him, even the date hadn’t been corrected! Most of the pictures were not very clear, he didn’t mind, the memory of being there is what counts, he said. He felt sombre whilst he was out there, particularly when he saw the tombstones of many soldiers as young as he is. Millions of lives gone within days of the war, so terribly sad indeed. War is never good, there is no winner. I leave you with several images my son captured from his trip. Till next time, have a pleasant weekend…

Courtesy of Google Images – Click image for original source

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A memorial at Essex Farm, Flanders Field, been 100 years since the onset of WW1

Tyne Cot Allied war cemetery, the largest in the world

a tree that was shot at many times during WW1

a tree that was shot at many times during WW1

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Essex Farm Cemetery in Flanders Field

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A memorial at Tyne Cot cemetery

Langemarck German cemetery

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Trenches belonging to the Newfoundland regiment on the Somme

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Flanders field poem at Essex Farm dressing station, the site where it was written

a crater

a crater on the Somme

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dressing station (hospital) at Essex Farm

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The view from Thiepval memorial

another trench on the Somme

Thiepval memorial, Somme

battlefield, now a meadow for grazing farm animals

The small tree on the right was the furthest point some 4000 Canadians got to before being killed

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Sombre mood at Tyne Cot Cemetery

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soldier as young as my son

some goodies for us!

some goodies for us!

victorian cottage

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I’m feeling a bit melancholy at the moment, not surprising really as it’s dark and grey all the time! I sometimes wonder how the Victorians tolerated the bleak wintry days, mind you it was certainly harsher back then. Imagine a life without gas, electricity and proper vehicles! As much as we moan about the dreary winter days today; we’re snug and warm in our little homes, not to mention connected 24/7 to the world. Such was not the case in the old times. I was browsing through my old photographs and came across our visit to a countryside museum back in 2008. We had the opportunity to visit an old Victorian cottage and experience the lifestyle they had. It was very educational indeed, especially for my 3 older children (I had only 3 back then). I’ve always been a bit of a history freak, I love going back in time.

England is full of such places, the British preserve almost everything. Even my house is over 100 years old! As we looked through the photos, my youngest who is now 4.5 years old, said she would like to visit this cottage one day. And my older ones have forgotten many details from their visit 5 years ago. Inshallah, I hope we can return there someday soon for another visit. In the meantime, let me share some of our experience with you. We went there in the middle of autumn, I remember it being rather cold but breathtakingly beautiful. We completed the visit by taking a walk in the forest where the Victorians worked. It was truly lovely! Looks like the Victorians will descend upon us here real soon, like they do every year at this time. Do read my posts Victorian Encounter and Victorian Christmas from last year to understand what I mean. Do take good care!

outside the Victorian school

my girls in their Victorian gear

my 3 children and I outside the Victorian cottage

the reception room

the living room cum kitchen

the laundry room

the bedroom

the Victorians grew their own vegetables and reared poultry

at the nearby forest where the Victorian men worked

where the workers took shelter in bad weather

hubby and little one by the bridge

outside the museum with my cheeky ones

ancient oxford

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Hello again everyone! Finally a chance to write properly in my blog, been so busy with this and that! Sometimes I wish I was back as a single woman in my late teens or early 20s, I would have had ample time to devote myself to blogging! But then my life experience would be limited still, as compared to now! Anyway, let me update you with what’s been happening of late. My biggest daughter did rather well in the grammar school entrance exam in early October (Alhamdulillah), we are all very pleased and happy for her. That’s one hurdle out of the way for me, for I feel that my efforts in home educating my children at primary level have paid off when they manage to gain a place at a top grammar school. Education is really competitive these days all across the world, so I have to prepare my children as best possible.

Therefore it was a great privilege for us to visit Oxford when my in-laws came over after Aidil Adha at the weekend. If anything I see it as a way to encourage my children to aim high in life through education. The weather however was not on our side, the heavens opened just as we began our tour on the open top bus! But I still managed to snap away, although not as many as I had hoped to. Never mind, a return trip to Oxford is a must in the near future, especially with my dear sisters who I know would love it as much as I did. It’s an unforgettable experience altogether, a step back to ancient times. The older colleges at the University date back to the 13th century! And bear in mind Oxford University doesn’t have a single campus – it’s spread all over the city and consists of 38 separate independent colleges and hundreds of faculty and department buildings. You need good footwear and a whole day to explore, open-top bus tour doesn’t really do Oxford justice! I leave you with several images from my Oxford trip, Inshallah (God Willing), I will have more pictures of better quality when I visit next time!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

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Hello there, this week I have decided to participate in the latest WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge : Curves. Mainly because I realised I have countless pictures on curves, especially from my trip to Andalusia in the southern tip of Spain several years ago. I visited the cities of Granada, Seville and Cordoba over 10 days, certainly the most enchanting region I have ever been to, I was transported well back in time! I’ve also included a few curve photos from my Paris visit and one from England too. Curves are popular designs in Islāmic Architecture, they can be pretty impressive. Anyway, enough said, I am going to allow the images in my gallery below do the talking. Au revoir till we meet again sometime soon, Inshallah! 🙂