Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Didn't manage to blog anything before now because my monitor died on Saturday night and well, I've been a bit pre-occupied since then :)

I'll blog later insha'allah so I'll keep this short and sweet - alhamdulillah, I gave birth (finally!) to a baby boy on Sunday evening at 20:58pm weighing 7Lb 14.5 oz, masha'allah.

Got parents here and I'm still sore and getting afooting with new arrival so will leave any visits til I can get my head round life again insha'allah.

Blog soon


Thursday, June 23, 2005

The maternity unit rang...

... and conversation ran something like this:

Midwife: Hi, Debbie. Where are you - we were expecting you to ring this morning.

Me: I was hiding.

MW: OK, well if you could come in for your inducement to labour...

Me: No.

MW: OK, well when would you like to come in...

Me: Never. I'm alright so I'm not going to bother

MW: OK, well I'll have to ask the sister *mumbles in background about the lady who didn't show up* ... OK, she says if you feel OK and you don't want to be induced that's fine but you'll need to come in today to be monitored...

Me: No, I don't want to do that either actually...

MW: OK, well let me just ask the sister... *Mumble mumble* OK, she says that's fine but if you could perhaps ring the ADU tomorrow because we'd like to monitor the baby...

Me: We'll see - thanks for your help. BYE.


... So, how did I do, Merry?? :P

Snivelling like a girl...

... for all the nice comments etc. Since I can now walk again (alhamdulillah!!!) - it's amazing that you are given strength just when you need it - I really do NOT want to be induced. So after much hiding under the duvet I think that's what I'm not going to do. I'm going to hide somewhere else now as the duvet is a bit hot - I'm trying to ignore my pregnancy now as I have a funny not-real feeling that this is just my body-shape and the Doctors got it all wrong...

Not a twinge... oh how boring this all is.

On an altogether different and more useful note please go look at these health-related articles:

Article One

Article Two

Have a nice day - too hot for anything. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

V. Depressed

Still here. I am completely knackered from trying *everything* to induce labour. Every part of me hurts except the part I want to hurt - and how bad is that?! Wanting to hurt??!

Anyway - Thurs is my inducement day - don't want to go *hides under duvet and hopes reality will go away*... I am sooooooooooooo fed up and disappointed and tired of in-laws and neighbours querying me as to just exactly WHY I haven't sprogged (like I was doing it on purpose to annoy them or something)...

Khadijah - I've been ringing but you must be out enjoying the sun - saved yourself a moanfest there :S

Jazakallah for all your du'as and well-wishes etc. I'm just going to sit here and sulk and periodically burst into tears until this fiasco is all over....

Sunday, June 19, 2005


out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out get out

Saturday, June 18, 2005

40 weeks and 5 days pregnant

FIVE... :\

Friday, June 17, 2005

Nice weather...

... shame about the hormonal wreck of a mother. Bounce bounced again. I am trying to decide whether having my mother around is helping me all that much... I think if I unclenched I would appreciate it a bit more - Boss certainly appreciates the adoration of a normal adult who is prepared to obey his every command without tears, depression or hissy fits. They are the bestest friends in the whole wide world now. Must try to relax a bit... don't think I'm nesting but I definitely faffing a lot.

Baby news: still in. I think, however, given the laws of physics being what they are I will *have* to give birth soon simply because I am about to explode - one way or another this child has to leave my body!! And then the hormones and guilt-trips and snivelling-ness of what a terrible Mum I am really begins.

And that is when I need Khadijah....

she understands everything.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Guess what....

.... not a twinge...

Anyway, Mum came down today so Khadijah is off-duty - she is free to have her life back - if she wants it :P I am sitting here like some form of beached whale with no end in sight. I pray this isn't going to get messy... :S *Sigh*

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

And you at the back...

... move it along.

No twinges but unborn raving again. I'm not getting my hopes up...

And wow doesn't this weather suck? Having had cabin fever virtually all winter for nearly 8 months I'm feeling a bit cheated about having it all summer *as well*. Hope that improves. :S

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


A number of people over the last few months have asked why I converted to Islam - some have even wanted my "story". Now I'm not really one to go in for all that kind of thing - reading conversion stories and wiping a tear from my eye etc. But Merry's mystical meanderings have had me asking questions myself - why did I choose Islam and what has religion got to offer etc, and so for all of you who have asked and I've fudged the issue - I dug out a copy of "my story". Here it is.

(No I haven't had even one contraction and the baby is quite content to whip up a media frenzy of anticipation before making it's grand entrance. Going in for a sweep on Sunday if nothing happens by then...)

I was brought up in a secular, very skeptical family. We never talked about “god”; I had no idea that such an entity was known even though at school we sang hymns and talked about Jesus quite a lot. Apart from that my religious education was practically zero. As I grew up I imbibed and was conditioned by the dominant culture – that of secularism, post-modernism, relativism and skepticism. I never questioned it as I took it to be normal. In my darker moments I was a nihilist and this was compounded extensively by a sound degree in Philosophy and Sociology where the last vestiges of irrational morality and religiousity were explained neatly as psychological manifestations of greater social needs and based on nothing more than convenient social constructs. I bought it all. It all made sense. It didn’t make me content, but I had no reason to doubt the explanations. I was at the time also a Communist, punk, feminist, anarchist, anti-Nazi league non-believer and had actual contempt for those who professed any belief in a higher power. It was obvious to me then that the majority of “believers” were in fact weak and in need of a “father figure” to solve their problems for them, be some succour for them when it all got too much, an edged bet in regards to death and what came after and an anthropomorphisation of everything they wanted a “saviour” to be. As far as I could see this term “god” was merely a convenient tool of expediency to fill in the gaps of their oh-so regular, secular life. God was merely a tool to get what they wanted. God was a weak entity who did their bidding and as such I could see no reason why I needed or in fact wanted “god” in my life. I found the whole belief thing a disgusting sell-out by people too weak, too immature, not man enough to stand up to their own problems, forge their own solutions, stare death in the eye and take responsibility for their own failures. God, if there was such a thing, was an irrelevance in my life. I didn’t want to be saved, I didn’t fear death, I couldn’t care less what happened in any form of next life (if any) and I certainly didn’t have any hang ups that I wasn’t prepared to work through myself. What I wanted in my life was Truth, whether it be bitter or sweet. Fiat Justicia Ruant Coeli – let justice be done though the heavens might fall, would have been an apt badge to my lapel. I wanted to know everything, I was only interested in whether something was true – accurate, the way it actually was; other things just didn’t interest me.

Right, so imagine my horror when an intelligent friend of mine turned up to her next lecture wearing a headscarf on her head and a coat down to her ankles! She had ‘converted’ to Islam and all of a sudden became the antithesis of everything university and secular life stood for. She didn’t drink, she gave up going out, she fasted Ramadan, prayed five times a day, didn’t fornicate or flirt with men…. She might as well have been dead by student standards – yet here she was with something I hadn’t seen in anybody else – dignity. I grilled her endlessly about Islam and Islam’s position on everything – including women (yawn), and instead of buckling to my onslaught (which I was very good at after taking a philosophy degree!) she instead made me question every unquestioned assumption I ever held. The lightbulb moment came for me when she asked “Well what sustains the Universe then?”, and of course it has to be admitted that the universe is created and sustained, but I replied, “Just a power”…to which I was treated with a casual, “Well, that’s “god” by definition – a power that creates and sustains the universe *is* god”. God by definition – in virtue of itself is a necessity; the logic is impeccable and indisputable, and for the first time in my life I allowed myself the idea that it is, if nothing else, at least a possibility that God existed. It was a possibility for anything to exist. By allowing that door in my head which had remained firmly shut since my birth to open just a fraction I can honestly say that that was my epiphany – I really had a “lightbulb” moment. The room lighted up, a veil was lifted and I am not talking metaphorically. By unlocking the door of belief it was like something came and booted it open entirely. I was still holding the phone when I realised that there would be no going back, and the question now wasn’t “is there a god” but now that that was indisputable, as the Power behind the Universe, ergo the most important thing in the Universe, the question now was “what do I do now – what is the way to god and how can I truly know”.

It wasn’t enough for religion to be a mere accident of birth – being Christian if I was born in a Christian country and a Buddhist if born in a Buddhist country – religion is much too important for that. But I began my “religious” life as a Christian as it was natural for me to do so. And I took it all seriously – if something is worth doing then it is worth doing well, and if God existed He deserved – by being the most important thing in existence – the best devotion you could offer.

I really took Christianity very seriously and did it as it meant to be done – I went to a service everyday, read the Bible everyday, but the thing is it’s very hard to know what to do as a Christian since doing nothing and/or everything is fine in equal measures; there was no right or wrong action/worship, nothing I needed to be doing and even I wanted to base my life on the Bible (which I did) it wasn’t abundantly clear just what I had to do and how I had to do it. It made the religion almost an irrelevance. I would read the words of Jesus and want to implement the deep spirituality which they contained…. But how? It seemed like just being “nice” was all you had to do… worship was seen as almost optional since god was so “nice” that He wouldn’t mind an awful lot if you didn’t bother.

Added to this I was having polemics about the truth and authenticity of the Bible and it’s various “versions” and it was becoming apparent that Christianity might have been an alright path to somekind of connection to God (if that Jesus character could explain why he was god and who the holy ghost was), but as nothing is 100% accurate then nothing would ever be 100% certain ergo nothing was worth undertaking or believing in 100%. Still I was a Christian for a good two years and tried to work through all these issues, but began reading about other religions too.

But I found the same problems with other religions too – sacred texts were, at best, the best of a bad situation – cobbled together half-texts based on hear-say written after any significant event had occurred. It was obvious that at the kernel of each religion there was a Truth, the same Truth as expressed in all religions. Each religion had expressed it differently, but the trends and similarities were undeniable. But still not 100% enough to convince me to sign up.

Then one day I was in a second-hand bookshop and found a copy of the Qur’an – the only text I’d put off reading – I thought I knew before I bought it that no matter what was in there I had no intention of ever being a Muslim – I wasn’t interested in that religion, but it seemed fair to read this text too, and I had wanted for a long time to knock my friend’s obsession with Islam into order. So I bought it and left it on the floor for a long time. Then Ramadan came and for some reason I tried to fast – from dawn until sunset, and it was then things started to happen. Whatever polemic existed, whatever religious debate and propaganda was utilised the fact remained that practicing fasting had a deep impact on me. It was like being washed from the inside out; I became highly intuitive and would have dreams that would come true the next day, I started to have strange experiences, I became connected with Something that was undeniably Divine the more I resisted giving in to my appetites; I felt secure, peaceful, I felt I had reached a place of safety. So I started to read the Qur’an; I began with the intention of faulting it and, like so many others before me, I couldn’t. I couldn’t find anything to fault, no error, no contradiction, no inane babble that sounded good but meant nothing. It was precise and had a precise understanding of humanity. There was no apology to it, the path to God was clearly laid out – what He expected and what we must do – a line was firmly drawn in the sand and the reader was left with the decision of which side he wanted to stand on – with or against Allah. Well, this was quite disturbing. The affect it had on me was undeniable. So I tried the ritual prayer at the set times – again it worked at a spiritual level no matter what the Islamaphobes said about the abhorrent state of Muslims themselves (all of which has basis in truth) it was undeniable that the religion itself worked.

I continued going to Church at this point and calling myself Christian, but there was a slow drift away, and further investigation of Islam ensued. I learned the Qur’an, unlike other sacred scripts, had never been altered since it was revealed and what we have now is exactly the same Qur’an as Muhammad gave to his followers. The Qur’an cannot be deconstructed the way the Bible has been, for example, and the very fact that the text has remained inerrant for 1,400 years is a mighty feat – if nothing else one has the ability to assess an accurate text whether or not one accepts or rejects it. It hasn’t been altered or lost.

One question that had always carried through with me on this “religious” search was “why did God create us, and why did He allow so many religions if only one was right”. It was here that I found a satisfactory answer in Islam; from the Islamic perspective God created us so that we could worship Him – and what is worship? To realise Reality. And what is Reality? Selflessness, which is why Islam is “submission to the will of God” – the ego is negated and is pushed to the periphery whilst the Greater Reality, the Absolute is placed at the centre of everything. There is a hadith Qudsi which states “I was a hidden treasure and I willed to be known, so I created the universe”, the idea being that God is beautiful and contains the virtues as we know them, which can only find meaning in creation. What is the point of being Merciful if you have no one to show mercy to? What is the point of containing the aspect of Justice is there is nothing that needs your justice? You can only understand love by loving, for example. The Sufis, especially Rumi, used the analogy that we are God’s mirror, and insofar as God needs no thing or has any want being His mirror it brings a completion to His wish that He wants to be known, loved and appreciated. And we are God’s mirror insofar as we live the virtuous life in remembrance of our Creator.

Islam states that all other religions were the same – they espoused “islam” ie. “Submission to the will of God”, whatever form that took from the Prophet of the time. Qur’an states that there is no nation to whom a warner has not been sent, so effectively all nations have a religion. However, over time all religions have been altered or suffered loss or been intentionally (or unintentionally) corrupted by people wishing to gain some advantage by doing so. It was this that made ultimate sense to me after researching the religions that I did. The kernel was the same, but the outer manifestations that were different – culturally overloaded.

The reason I eventually stuck with Islam was that it has a guarantee of authenticity, it claims to be the kernel of all religion but the last (and perfect) abrogation of all other manifestations which lays a clear path and foundation to deep spirituality and communion with the Divine, and most importantly – it works! After trying a lot of things and searching earnestly for Truth I can only suggest that anyone who thinks (like so many have) that I converted for personal gain or without understanding the full reality of my choice that they should buy a copy of the Qur’an and do their own thinking too. So many of us are content to live with worn-out cliches and the thinking patterns our parents bequeathed to us – it’s so much easier and less stressful to do that than to actually form our own opinions and use our own brains. Thinking is hard but those who don’t, or who rely on a mere accident of birth to choose their path for them have done neither themselves nor the Almighty any justice. Religion is a weighty matter; and it isn’t a question of life and death – it’s much more important than that.

Monday, June 13, 2005

OK folks - move it along; nothing to see, here.

We think it's opened a corner shop up there.... *drums fingers impatiently on worktop*

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Hmm... okaaaaaay


OK.... anybody want:

... One of these books? I have umpteen to give away gratis. If no one pipes up they'll end up in the recycling bin.

Friday, June 10, 2005


Rumi and the Path of Love Event

Programme Details

Venue: Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ

Date: Sunday 3rd July 2005

Doors open: 11:00
Programme starts: 12:00
Programme Ends: 5:00pm

Muhammad Isa Waley
Abdal Hakim Murad
Shems Friedlander

Ticket Price: £12 per ticket

Bazaar and stalls selling books, art and artifacts during the day. You are invited to come early and browse around in the Bazaar and sample some Turkish tea, coffee and baklava.

Lunch will be served at 1:30pm (Ticket price does not include cost of food).

Because what children need is MORE sex advice

Puh-lease. Article

Thursday, June 09, 2005

See, the thing with sleeping upright is...

... it's exceptionally bad for circulation and now not only are my hips in the balance but I have swollen legs and feet and look like an elephant. The swelling has gone down a little on the base of my feet meaning I can walk without pain now, but on the whole I look like one of those fat ladies you see whose ankles are as wide as their thighs. ... oh wait.... I *am* one of those fat ladies you see ... when did *that* happen?


Then, my hayfever really took off today as well, which has made my face swell, my eyes swell and my nose and lips go bright red. All in all I don't think INSHA'ALLAH I could look any worse than I do. I look like somebody hit me with the ugly stick and got carried away and caused GBH instead. I look like a whale with hair. I look like a FAT whale with hair. I said this to DH today and in a romantic voice he said "Aw, don't say that, my darling", and whilst I waited for his kind comments of how I still look beautiful to him, he hit me with the punchline, "Just think what the poor whale would think if he heard you say that". :
Anyway, hips slightly better today alhamdulillah so I think the bedrest (ie. the not moving them on and off anything yesterday and sitting bolt upright for 24 hours) did them good. Doesn't feel as bruised :D

Boss fell over and really grazed his knees this afternoon aw... his first real knee bruises of his childhood - real beauties. He didn't cry and I put plasters on, then in good-old Boss fashion he proceeded to imitate me and walk round the house taking in sharp-breathes and going "ooh", "Ah", "Ya Allah, dat hurts" with teeny tiny steps. :S

AWorld tomorrow - if I can walk I may go insha'allah. The thing I hate is that I have to pray there; I really don't like doing it :S Boss needs to see children and has been babbling non-stop about Aunty H's B - asking if I would ring Aunty H up and ask if we could see them again. He has genuine love for his friends even though he acts like a maniac around people. I am sure he will grow out of the manic phase ... right?

How many days left? OOoooh........ now my hips don't hurt as much even I'M excited now ... :P

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Not had the baby and doesn't look likely. Pulled lots of muscles by falling yesterday and now I can't move on or off furniture. The pain is debilitating. Been called selfish again today and that I moan too much. Sorry everybody for that. I should try and say more inspiratational things and keep my pain to myself. I want to be induced - do they do that for you before you are due? Can you request an instant C-Section for when the due date has passed? I just want this thing out now. Everyone jelous of my wonderful home-birthing experience (which I still don't understand the jelously or envy thereof - it's just getting the kid out isn't it) can now rest assured it won't happen. Don't want to give birth here - might get accused of making too much noise and wallowing in my own pain. Midwives are just as rude, but at least you can sue them....

Right. It's 9:50am. I've been awake since 3am. Boss has been up since 7am. It's technically a nice day. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


To want what Allah hasn't bestowed is the highest ingratitude.


was going to write "nothing to report" earlier on in the day, but then I was kidnapped, ney hoodwinked, into attending a Tesco shopping spree even though all I managed was to hobble to a bench to wait for the other two to get me after all was in the trolley. And it triggered off a lot of pain.

Then I managed to fall over this afternoon after tripping over the sofa (don't ask), twisting my leg and pulling every muscle I have in my abdomen and and pelvis. After which said pain increased, unborn going a little mental (although that may be annoyance from disrupted sleep *shrugs*) and now I'm cramping ... so... who knows :D

Monday, June 06, 2005

Before you ask

No. Still firmly wedged in there.

And even though no one asks: hurting, cranky, p*ssed off and iritable. I just want to hibernate until the unborn hatches. I know why animals leave the pride and birth in a private den - socialising with family is just such a pain in the neck. Little things are rubbing me up the wrong way. Play-doh is sending me into neural over-load. Someone looking at me makes me want to rive their eyes out of their sockets. I have less bounce than I did a month ago (and I thought I'd hit rock bottom then!). Cute Boss things make me roar with rage. I'm pacing (well - can you pace with a dead leg??) up and down; nothing is giving me pleasure or satisfaction other than the thought of labour. I am fantasising about it. Poor family think I'm being a cow but they don't understand - I want to go in a hole and not emerge til it's over with - I have this primordial urge to slink away and not be bothered with anything above drinking water occasionally...

Yes, perhaps I do need some Prozac, or maybe I really do need my *family* around me to do what they do in everything other society on God's earth - TAKE OVER FOR A WHILE.

Poor Hubby trying his very best, but Boss cranky through illness and he ends up instead refereeing our brawls (which are increasing with alarming regularity) and looking worried (but silent) in the corner. There's something to be said about marrying a man who's been married before - they know when to keep quiet...

I do marvel at his restraint and patience, masha'allah. Any other time of the year and he'd probably pitch in and take the bitchfest to all out sulkfest or war... but bless him, he really is acknowleding my pitiful state with graciousness and being very placid and forebearing. May Allah reward him. Amin.

Insha'allah my Mum is arriving on the 16th - Khadijah can consider herself off duty then :P Actually dunno what time she will be arriving so consider yourself on-duty until evening time, eh? Jzk

Is it AWorld this Friday?

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Just when you think you've heard it all....


Friday, June 03, 2005



By which logic - I should live FOREVER




Thursday, June 02, 2005


Boss got a cold - dua please. Jazakillah for offers of food, ladies, but my DH is more than capable of cooking. In fact, after tomorrow I think I'm going to insist he takes over the role of food-provision as I just am so tired that I could use my maternity leave right now - except, oh wait - I don't get maternity leave, because all-round slavery isn't real work and I don't get PAID and I'm invisible and I don't do anything all day... if any of you have been detecting extra-narky tones to these blogs then well done - yes I am at that tetchy stage. Sorry if you have rung up and received hostile vibes. I'm not hostile - just miserable and hormonal and in pain.

What else?

Aw, Boss calls "Mitsubishi" Mister Bushy. I haven't eaten properly for a while and my blood count has gone down :(
Need to remember to take the iron pills. Need to remember where I put them. Need to remember to remember to do that.


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Why I don't trust kids over 7


Pet hates: Assumptions

Especially ones to do with my ethnicity or something about either me or my family. Latest assumptions have run something like this:

Health Visitor: So, if you don't mind me asking, what nationality are you?

Me (instantly irked): British. You?

HV: Right, OK. And your husband?

Me: British.

HV: *Waiting for me to say 'He's Black - a wog - not really British of course - and MuZlim to boot - a foreigner - an interloper' Doesn't happen...* And I see here little M - is he developing well?

Me: Yes, no problems as far as I can see.

HV: That's good. Potty training?

Me: Yup.

HV: Eating alright? No health concerns?

Me: No, everything's fine.

HV: And he speaks OK?

Me: Pretty much non-stop until you turned up, yeah.

HV: That's lovely *TO BOSS AS THOUGH HE WAS STUPID AND/OR DEAF* And how are you little man - do you clean your *POINTS* teeth?? *looking to me* Does he speak English as well as Punjabi?

Me (Grinding teeth in audible manner): Why would he speak Punjabi?

HV: Right... *confused*... but ... I take it from your *points to her head and daren't utter the word 'headscarf'* that you are MuZlim??

Me: Yeah.

HV: (clearly out of her depth and visibly confused): Right. And M speaks OK? *at which point Boss begins a monologue on the virtues of articulated supermarket lorries and single-decker buses running past our house over rigid trucks and curtain-sided lorries*. No language problems then?

Me: (really thinking 'get out of my house before I drop-kick you out') No he talks fine. ('Are you deaf as well as thick?')

HV: (Moving swiftly on to another irk of mine) Has he started school yet? (so she thinks a non-talking pant-wetting retard would be starting school??)

Me: No

HV: Nursery?

Me: No

HV: Pre-school?

Me: No

HV: Right. He'll be starting school soon then?

Me: No

HV: He'll be getting his free place soon?

Me: (putting her out of her misery) No, I'm just not going to send him to school.

HV: (dawning on her 'I've got one of THEM on my books') Oh, so you're going to do it yourself are you?

Me: Yup

HV: Well.... that's your right I suppose.... are you a teacher?

Me: (grinding teeth again): I am actually, but secondary, mostly A-level standard

HV: (instantly all smiles) Oh well that's alright then. Anyway, Debbie - is there anything you'd like to ask me?

Me: (Thinking, 'yeah - how did someone who quite obviously has had a labotomy get to be a health visitor?') Just a general question about immunisations, really.

HV: *Runs through the list of shots unborn will be expected to undertake*

Me: No, I'm more concerned about the preservatives and things in them rather than what's on offer - I mean are there any alternatives to thermiserol yet?

HV: erm... ('yes, definitely one of THEM')...

Me: I mean, it is well known that the human immune sytem is not fully developed until 2 years of age, yet the bulk of the vaccinations (a series of 22 different shots) are administered from 0 to 2 years of age. What are the shots stimulating if there isn't a fully developed immune system? And what about the medium that the weakened viruses are grown, for instance formaldahyde and thermiserol (it's a mercury derivative). Are there thermiserol-free vaccines available? And I'm not crash-hot about the idea of formaldahyde being imbibed by my son/daughter either.

HV: (trying to reassure me) But the dosage is sooooooooooooo low - there really isn't a problem with it.

Me: Really? They've agreed on a safe dosage of mercury absorption now then? Because last time I did any research mercury was actually considered highly toxic which should not be imbibed in any quantity at any stage in life whatsoever. The Amercians have banned it from their vaccines haven't they? Do these have an effect on the developing neural system of the individual?

HV: Well... I can certainly find out for you.... *Runs screaming from the house after telling me I'm obviously a Mum with my head screwed on and she has no reason to worry about anything - like I needed the permission or validation that only a health visitor can bring...*

Another lot of assumptions that has me literally coming out taking swipes at the perpetrator thereof are ones related to health. My husband is registered disabled. He has rheumatoid arthritis, as well as asthma and gout. He is under several consultants; he has so many prescribed pills that we have an entire kitchen unit devoted to housing them all and when they are all neat and tidily stacked, it looks like a pharmacy ready to dispense. He has a wheelchair on his prescription but alhamdulillah he hasn't needed to call that in and even when he is at his worse he refuses to be still and inactive since he knows that by doing so he will effectively lose what muscle usage he has.

Now the thing about arthritis is that some people have it in one or two joints, and it flares up when the weather is bad or they are ill or something like that. It is controllable with pain killers although not curable. Rheumatoid arthritis affects all the joints all the time, cannot be cured, is badly controlled by a horrible toxic mix of stomach-eroding drugs and steroid injections, most of which trigger off my husband's asthma, and flare-up is pretty much constant. When asked to describe the pain many sufferers would liken it to having severe toothache in every joint of their body, which is why many people do actually end up crippled by it. Anybody who has had even mild toothache will understand the perpetual misery of having a constant throbbing pain unaffected by pain-killers with no apparent relief in sight. Treble that and imagine it in every joint all the time, every day with no cure or help available knowing that you will have everyday of your life. It's enough to drive you insane and depressed.

Right. Well, my dear Husband has had this all of his life. You never get used to pain. You never learn to deal with it. You just have it and get on with it. My DH doesn't fuss (well OK sometimes), and he tries his hardest not to let it affect the quality of his life for Boss' sake - he makes the effort to do all the things a boy would expect a good Daddy to do - he takes him out, he plays football/cricket, runs, etc etc. and yet he is in agony. I know this because I know him and I know the look of pain in his face. Actually, masha'allah my DH is a better Dad to Boss than some healthy, fit men I know who actually make no effort at all with their kids and couldn't care less what quality of play they have.

So imagine my utter rage at the comments we get when we have the bare-faced audacity to park in disabled parking bays at supermarkets and places when Hubby can quite clearly *walk*. How dare he! Doesn't everybody know that disabled people are pathetic and whining, and pitiful creatures who beg for sympathy and help? Disabled people have wheelchairs and crutches and a look of folorn hopelessness impaled across their ravaged faces. How *dare* this black man look so cheerful! How *dare* he try to make his son happy! How *dare* he even *have* children for crying out loud! Why is he smiling? Where is his disabled badge?? Is it blue? Did he forge it? Is it home-made with crayon? Let's go and inspect it to make sure this malingerer gets his come-uppance!

Every single time we go shopping I hear this from people who are neither doctors nor parking attendants and it is the only time I actually see a red mist descending over my eyes and I fly into absolute rages - so much so that I caused a scene at Tesco the other month when some old fart made the comment that "he has no badge", and I stalked them into Tescos yelling at them as they speeded up their walking noticably clenching from the attention I was generating ... "Yes I mean YOU". One bitter old Catholic hag had the absolute nerve to knock on my husband's window and demand to see his badge (I only mention her Catholicism-ness due to the fact that she had rosaries wrapped round both wrists, her neck and car, and was quite clearly disgusted at the sight of a Muslim man and his wife) - demanded to see it!! ... I had to be held down!!

Just yesterday a man at Notcutts stood akimbo demanding to know why people who were not disabled were using the disabled parking bays - Hubby had to drag me away again. All he would say to the man was a polite, "Are you a traffic warden then?".

I'm seething writing this. It irks me beyond words. Who do these people think they are??? How dare they make assumptions about my husband based on nothing more than their own ignorance and faulty beliefs?? The government has seen fit to issue him with a Blue Badge - chew on it. So the next time you are about to make an assumption about the so-called disabled-ness of someone you don't deem to be worthy of such honour then just watch out - there may be a mad Muslim lady about to charge at you with her handbag. And to that man in Nottcuts - get a clue. And a life. And a dress sense. And some hair wouldn't hurt either, you bald git. And to that Catholic lady: I said it then, but I'll say it again - a facelift, a skull restructure, liposuction - anything, anything that will make you stop looking like a pitbull licking pee off a nettle - anything that will make you stop looking like you just fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. Then when you've done that - I hope you get a really bad toothache....

I feel better.

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