Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Our insatiable desire...

... to be outdoors, that is, meant that once again we were at FM today - the place of the squelchy mud. Bright sunshine mixed with bitter winds, but a lovely walk. We never make it past any playground and really that is the whole of going there - so stayed a good while in the playground next to the trees, which is my favourite as it is such a beautiful view and its not as exposed as the other. I don't think there is anything more beautiful than a walk in the open. Beats our former walks of spotting the burned out car around here at any rate...

As usual Boss became pitted in nanoseconds and I really think the weather-proofing of this sub-zero-temperature snow-suit has been altogether lost - I have never seen mud like it (and that's saying something) - even the velcro was encased in dirt. He jumped in *every* puddle. Several times each. My urge to stop him was silenced by another voice in my head which said "Ooh - perfect waldorf moment" which was a mantra which ran thin after the first three soakings...
Then he managed to fall AGAIN into the biggest dog-crappiest pool of mud there. He loved it.

Then I hurt my shin on the slide as I thought I'd try to copy Boss by sliding down on my tummy - Boss looked at me like I was obviously brain-dead... "Mummy... you have lift your legs up - please, it *really* isn't that complicated..." then we just climbed and slid down the slide and played knights and hid in our castle and then, hello, we saw an old bloke with a camera aiming it at us! And his wife was standing next to him smiling like we were somekind of zoo attraction - ooh look honey - a woman with a jilbab around her neck sliding down the slide after her boy - take a picture! Except I frowned - and he smiled as if to say "its alright - we're friendly", but I frowned again and stood up and told Boss to stand behind me waiting to see if he'd go. But no, he walked a little away to get a better camera angle! For goodness sake - what is this? So we kind of ducked out of view and he looked a little embarrassed and walked off. Got me a bit peeved - do people have the right to take your photo without your permission? I don't want people having images of me in their possession - who owns copyright over my face? Do we have laws against this? I'm just wondering... its one things getting somebody in the picture as you are taking photos of something else, but to actually point a camera at someone else?? Rude isn't it??

Anyway, then we played some more and only left when I felt uncomfortable with a hoodie and a pitbull terrier making their way towards us. But they kept on the path, but by this point my security had been a little shaken - felt a bit vunerable - so we trudged back to the defrocking ceremony in front of the car. I feel like a cop whenever we get back to the car these days, "OK son, you know what to do - assume the position" and we spend a fair amount of time degunging...

My legs still hurts. Last time it hurt like this I was fourteen and someone had just whacked a hockey ball in my shin. Another very good reason not to send kids to school. Hockey.

Ordered a "personal alarm" from ebay last night. Dunno if it will be any good. I just hope Boss doesn't get hold of it - he could do quite a bit of damage with 150 decibels. Was trying to find something similar for attacking dogs but the only thing I could find was £40...

Anyhow. I'm feeling decidely not like a HEer at all. I suppose that's a good thing. Was talking to someone the other day who made it quite clear that her kids would *not* be playing and "doing nothing" til they were seven, and whilst I admire her drive and organisation I no longer feel the need to emulate that.

Arms ache from all the climbing too....

Monday, February 27, 2006


Yup... it looks a good 'un. Will have to bulldoze DH into that whether he likes it or not. A bit far though innit... hm...

You know you're kid is obsessed with dinosaurs when:

you hear him shouting in his sleep:

"It's a triceratops! It's a triceratops! Triceratops!!!!"

Yes triceratops is his favourite... how did you guess??

If you think you have any power at all

call back the soul of the dying man and stop him from dying try ordering someone else's dog about.

Prayers being answered...

Once there was a man being chased by a lion in a jungle. The lion was relentless and determined to catch his prey. In a last ditch attempt at saving his life the man called upon The Almighty and supplicated with sincere heartfelt earnest devotion:

"O God - save me from this lion! I have little children to look after!"

Behind him the lion also supplicated in his own way to The Almighty:

"O God - let me catch this man - I haven't eaten for a month and have little ones to tend to!"

Such is life.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Why I reject the anarchists who claim to speak for Islam

Violence in the name of Islam has done more to damage the Prophet than any Danish cartoon, argues writer Fareena Alam

Sufi story

Once there was a King and he called the very wisest advisors in his kingdom to his court. He said, "I have been inspired to ask you for something which will stabilise my inner state - I should be able to look at it and whenever I see it, if I am sad it will make me happy, and when I am happy it will make me sad."

The wise men retired to consider this request and returned some time later to the King with a ring for him to wear which bore this inscription:


Yeah, right.

Your wise quote is: "Our greatest glory is not

in never falling, but in rising everytime we

fall" by Confucius.
Yes indeed, you see true strenght can only be

seen when a person has "fallen".

Only then one can tell how they will handle

it. Just don't make others fall so you can

know who they really are. You on the other

hand may be a very quick recoverer and don't

let people bring you down. You are your own,

and you're find with that. Emotional issues

is something you handle rather nicely.

What wise quote fits you? [pics]
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Without drawing breathe

Boss can prattle none-stop somewhat in the same way as a hummingbird flaps his wings.

The latest "conversation" has run like this:

Boss: Mum, you putting me in school?

Me: *prolonged silence* ... would you like to goto school?

Boss: No.

Me: OK *prolonged silence* Are you sure??

Boss: Yes. *plays quietly for three seconds then:* You know if I went to school why I don't want to goto school? Well, because I won't be able to do SALAH, I'd have to come back in my car at zuhr and pray in the mosque with the men and go back to school. *makes engine noises* then I'd SMASH into the traffic lights and SMASH into the pedestrian crossing and turn the corner and skid on the road going a little bit up on the pavement, but I wouldn't kill the lady with the pram, then I'd SMASH into the other traffic light and if it was red I would go but if it was green then I wouldn't and if the other drivers beeped their horns I would SMASH them and they would be so frightened that they would go "I want my Mummy this boy is so big" and then I'd turn the corner and drive up there *develops mad glint in his eye* and reverse back and SMASH into the level crossing and if the train come I would SMASH it into pieces - a hundred million three pieces, and if there were cows there I would scream at them and show them my teeth like this *snarls* and they would think I was a Daddy lion and then I would go here and turn up there and when the light said "go" I would SMASH into it I would. And the car would go *wobbles head* like that. Then I would put my lights and indicators on and drive backwards and people would say "get out of the way get out of the way" and I would drive so fast its unbelievable because I just LOVE going fast I do. And then when I got round the corner I would find the school and then remember I left my leapPad and so I'd have to go back again and SMASH into the lights and SMASH into the pavement and SMASH into all the people. And then you know what? When I get back to school? It would be time for Asr. So I'd have to go back to the mosque and *breathes* SMASH into the shops and SMASH into the lights and SMASH *my brain goes numb and I faze all noise out whilst finding my happy place* ... blah blah SMASH blah blah SMASH blah blah SMASH blah blah. OK Mum??

Me: Huh? Um? OK son. If you say so.

Boss: *gets up and re-enacts the scenario for me*

*I day-dream of home-educating my children the waldorf way*


Life's a blur. What have I done since Wednesday? Oh Doctors and then Nas brought her children over for ritual slaughtering by my son.

Docs just handed out the happy pills *keep them coming and see me smiling ... except when I'm due, obviously* and told me to come back after two months (will be on these babies for six months and I am so OK with that), but if anything should happen, come back sooner.... Why did I get the music from the shower-scene in "Psycho" running in my head when she said that? Hm.

In light of how Boss has to be the biggest/strongest/cleverest/bestest boy in the world universe of all time, Friday basically was a moanfest of me peeling my son off other peoples' darling children and placing him either in his room or in the corner. I did not want to humiliate him, but when you start the day off trying to gouge a lump of muscle out of somebody's arm with a triceratops then needless to say the day ahead does not look good. I hardly spoke two words to Nas all morning and spent the entire visit refereeing a cross between a sumo wrestling match and a dog fight. I really have no idea why he has it in for that boy. And you know, he'd been warned beforehand so it's not like he didn't *know* that drawing blood and trying to kill people is wrong.

I got a heap of stuff from Ebay, including some BBC wildlife DVDs at ridiculously low prices and a John Holt book. Boss very much into animals now. He's had all the African stories from DH and seeing his face whilst he watched the DVDs was a real treat - saying he is engrossed with animals does not do it justice. I'll just say this: it surpasses his love of vehicles. Yes. I almost fainted too. He's enthralled. Anyone want to do Linton Zoo sometime when the weather heats up? Never been there - anybody give me the low down?

Our obsession with Roman soldiers continues unabated too. The idea that you can legitimately hurt people and that this has been practised throughout the ages from Romans to knights in shining armour with nobody's mother placing them in the corner for doing it is empowering him. In a testosterone-y kind of way. And he keeps saying things like:

You know the Daddy lion - well he has a really big mane - you know why that is? Well that is because when his mummy shouts at him he can hide his ears and not listen to her.

Yes, I am the source of all evil. Thankyou for noticing...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I enjoyed reading this again from MereIslams blog. He's very dedicated you know ;-)

I am really angry about this piece of news. As far as policing is concerned they should consider it part of their job to expect to face real criminals and shooting and thats what they get paid for surely?? Whats the point of having police if they don't protect you? A bit like having a fire service that refuses to fight fires in case they get burned.

Indigo Jo had a blog about this some time ago. Please read.


I had a really nice time this morning. I feel that this is what I have been yearning for for my kids for a long time. Nothing specific, but room for breathing and running and meeting sisters and (hopefully) circle time, coming together time. I think once they know what is expected of them it will insha'allah turn into something really dynamic. Lots of room for scope and ideas. A good starting point and a lovely venue masha'allah. Aren't we blessed to have someone who can organise such things? I didn't pay my money to whomever is taking the tab - who do I need to pay? Or shall I just pay next week i.a.?

Boss was expecting a good roasting when he got home for twonking as many kids as he did, but to be fair, he is doing it out of silliness and robustness and not genuine evil intent and I could see by the look of concern and embarrassment on his face that he was genuinely sorry (each and every time). So instead of roasting him I told him that people don't like to be hurt and he will have more friends if he's gentle and if he wants to cuddle someone he has to ask first, not jump on them or yank them by their hair. He got it. Whether he remembers it is another matter. Then I told him how proud I was for saying sorry so nicely to people, and what a big boy he was to do that. And I literally saw him stand an inch taller with the praise.

Subhan'allah. I get so used to scolding I am sometimes unaware of the effect it has on him. And he is such a good boy masha'allah. He can't help having testosterone *shrugs*. I pray that he will settle down and begin to regulate silliness with correct adab - and be aware of who will and will not allow him to invade personal space...

I am freezing.

Yesterday it snowed here and we got stuck in it midway to the car - which was good as I had intended on taking us all out to FM for a walk - good job we didn't get stuck in that downpour! Went to AWorld instead and had a great time masha'allah.

Anyone been to Big Sky? Much different or same same?

Plus, are the beaches near us pebbly or sandy? Never actually walked on the shores. Would like to start going in spring for some bracing walks. I love the sea air. Really miss it. Could make a day of it and do the castle on the way back sometime... although we are into gladiators and monkeys and lions at the moment. *Very* into who is the biggest/strongest/fastest/tallest thing right now - maleness really beginning to dig deep roots ... DH trying to teach him that real men are actually those who control anger and have noble characteristics such as patience, generosity, gentleness and are good to orphans, widows and their own family. But Boss just wants to be a mandrill and have the ability to fight lions.... oh well... slowly slowly....

Got GP tomorrow am so although I would rather goto NA I don't think it will be possible. I have never been to the Drs more in my whole life - like a revolving door atm. I should ask for my own door and parking space....

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Who says I'm Not Waldorf enough...

Finger knitting. At its best. :P

What is Finger Knitting and How do I do it?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Been scouring MereIslam again after a long time. Found this.

These cartoons don't defend free speech, they threaten it
Simon Jenkins

Excerpt: "Civilisation is the story of humans sacrificing freedom so as to live together in harmony. We do not need Hobbes to tell us that absolute freedom is for newborn savages. All else is compromise...Speech is free only on a mountain top; all else is editing...We do not go about punching people in the face to test their commitment to non-violence."

Danes Finally Apologize to Muslims (But for the Wrong Reasons)

Excerpt: “You can curse the Prophet of the Muslims at will and with total impunity. However, approach the holocaust at your own risks and perils…There is a word for this in the English language: hypocrisy…This whole affair is nothing but an over-reaction to a simple cartoon, you say? Not if you remember a certain other cartoon that appeared in the British newspaper, The Independent, on 27 January 2003. It depicted Prime Minister Sharon of Israel eating the head of a Palestinian child while saying: "What's wrong? You've never seen a politician kissing babies before?" Jews in Britain and around the world erupted with indignation…Muslims deserve nothing more nor less than for Christians in the U.S. and Europe, and Zionist Jews in Israel, to simply abide by the golden rule: treat others as you would have others treat you. So far, Christians and Zionist Jews have proven that they only abide by the alternative definition of this rule: ‘They who have the gold, make the rule.’”

And finally:

Sky News
The parents of a Palestinian boy killed by Israeli soldiers have donated his organs to three Israeli children.

Go and check his blog out. He's a wealth of information. Mere Islam.



It's started...

... you know babies, well they are cute and innocent and love cuddles and snuggles and general cosiness and physical contact. Then, I don't know about your kids, but it seems to be a rite of passage here, they seem to get a clue and decide that actually they don't like being fussed over, or cuddled or kissed and snuggled and this can result in high-pitched screaming and indignation at merely seeing ones mother puckering her lips for a smacker.

And then, round about 8 or 9 months the rutting season starts.

Well it's started now. I'm being nutted whenever I make the mistake of trying to cuddle my darling son. It's OK he's small and so far I can usually headlock him into a cuddle even if he doesn't want one (he doesn't). I know that this headbutting trend and relentless wriggling out of all physical shows of affection goes unabated from hereon in so am trying to get as many snuggles, by hook or by crook, before he gets much stronger.

Boss was most indignant to find out today that we were *not* going to be leaving the house in any shape or form. "Oh" he said sadly... "I thought we were going to go somewhere inciting (exciting)". Nope. My day off.

Had some interesting dreams for the last couple of days and I may start a dream blog to record them. They can be quite insightful... involves a lot of ceiling and attics... hmm

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Farm

Well everyone else cancelled but I had already promised Boss that we would go, so I didn't want to be a liar. I took one look at the weather this morning - one or two drops of rain and bottle out too. Then I asked him "do you want to goto NA like last week - you really enjoyed that, or do you want to goto the Farm", and well, let's just say I still have the welly-imprints on my head as he tried to get to the car yelling THE TRACTOR PLACE!!

So we went and actually the sun broke through as we got there and it was a lovely day masha'allah. Not too many people like a weekend but enough to get chatting to others.

The main event was the mill demonstration, and as promised the mill was in full operation - the wheel was not only turning (as usual) but this time they had added the grindstones and Boss really liked the sound of that rumbling above his head! He loves machinery anyway so just loved the working water wheel and cogs and kept running backwards and forwards saying IT'S OK, THEY'RE STILL WORKING... the mill ground the flour and then we went through to the little kitchen area to see what happens to the flour after it is ground.

They did NOT dress like this:

Some ready-made dough was given to each (paying) child and they got to knead it and shape it and see it placed in the oven. Returning half an hour later to see the transformation that had taken place in the oven. The bread was lovely and soft and smelled great, but we didn't eat it. I didn't know what was in it, whether it really was halal, and TBH the thought of having people who are surrounded by animals all day making something that I have to eat makes me want to dry heave. So we fed it to the ducks instead and Boss still liked doing that. In fact he was amazed at the fact that he made his own bread and how it came out of the oven - I just can't make bread with him as I have a really bad raw flour allergy and making even simple biscuits has me clawing up the walls with skin irritation within minutes, so it was nice for him to see something as simple as bread being made and for him to have the connection that food does not grow in supermarkets.

Then we looked at other stuff, the highlight of the day was seeing a peacock for the first time. He was mesmirized. He kept saying 'Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease, Peacock - show us your tail... pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease' then saying back to himself in a gruff voice, 'NO I AM VERY COLD TODAY'. *shrugs*

We looked at the animals and fed some of them, we looked at old stuff and threw sticks in the stream and raced them under the bridge. Then he saw a sandpit and some mud and THREW himself down into BOTH. I am beginning to think he thinks that the entire point of leaving the house is to crap up his clothes, create work for me and to see how naked he has to be stripped to before getting home... it's become a habit. Cut it out.

They are also building a new childrens play area there - the last one was a bit dire, but this one looks very promising - lots to climb and slide down and crawl through. Should be good.

Anyway, had a pleasant day. Enjoy the offering:


Mean horns

Rusty tractor

Cows... you need to be told that?

Well.... it *walked* like a duck, and it *quacked* like a duck....


Vehicle parts

Vehicle ... with no diesel engine...

The sandpit. They should really embed this thing better - Boss was walking round with it like it was his horse...

The Farm

The grindstone

The bakery

The baker

The peacock... nearly wrote 'peanut'... I'm tired

The peacock again

Night night. I'm pooped.

Dangerously further below the navel

I was going to just comment in the last comment box, but thought I would write so much it could be a post on its own. So ta-da.

Thankyou everyone for commenting and add your two cents. I will just think out loud again if that's OK. For anyone already tired of this self-absorption please stop reading and find something better to do...

OK now that they are gone (and I didn't like them anyway.... joke...) I will continue.

Why should I try to change? Good question. Not easy to answer, but I'll do my best.
There is the notion prevalent today that everyone and everything has equality. And that's a good thing. We are all equal and if you don't think so then stop yourself from dying - by that fact alone we are all equal by the very mortality we carry around our necks. We all laugh, we all need, we all bleed and we all have been put here for a reason.

But there is an arrogance which has become even more prevalent in today's world which states that everyone can neither be better nor worse than anyone else. That our opinions are as weighty as Divine Word. That we have a right to do and say what we want regardless of how this affects the universe, because ultimately we base our lives purely on ego - me, me, me. And furthermore we are slowly becmong a narcistic nation, where other peoples' lives have no use unless it furthers our own. We believe that no one has the right to undermine this sense of self worth and that we are somehow little gods free to say, do and opine as much as our whims allow.

From a spiritual standpoint this is the very antithesis of what we were created for. In traditional Islamic pyschology the 'self' has always been broken down into various components, one of which, the 'ego', or "commanding self" is seen as the lowest possible rung on the ladder of the personality - a tyrant and a foolish aspect of the biological animal that we are which, unless shackled and restrained will lead us by the nose until we die. It is a foolish self which causes mayhem in its wake. It is reptilian in all aspects. For most part the religious exercises, such as fasting for example, are designed to impact on this lower self so that higher, subtle realities may emerge. Without reigning in the ego one remains, in spiritual terms, at the level of a child or an animal.

Most of us have some aspect of ego and you can never fully erase it - you need it at any rate for survival, but the idea is that you control *it* and *it* should not control you. Once you can truly say you have mastered the lower self you can call yourself 'human' for you (and by that I mean the *real* You, not the illusory 'you' of the ego) are in charge.

This throws up lots of questions about what do we mean by 'you' etc. and from the Islamic perspective the real You is (quoting Saadi) 'that which cannot be lost in a shipwreck'. The ego is false and will always be in a state of loss forever trying to hold back the tide of change - denying death and anything that impacts on its comfort zone and some people are so expert in this denial of anything which endangers their ego/false self that they will cause much harm in the world to ensure its survival.

Muslims, and by that I mean the fullest sense of the word "those who submit themselves to the Greater Reality/Allah", not just people who, by accident of birth have been labelled 'muslim', have historically always chosen the company of people who will act like mirrors to their bad points, rather than surround themselves with sychophants who massage this dangerous ego-self. By surrounding yourself with people who are prepared 'to speak a word of truth to a tyrant' you are more able to erase the badness in the soul better than were you left to your own devices. We are blind to our own defects as this is another way the ego gains mastery over us. True friends in the Islamic sense are people who will show you your defects (in the gentlest manner) so that you are able to rectify yourself before you are brought to Account by Allah.

So, yes it matters that I change if what I base my life and interactions on isn't Divine Truth and beautiful manners but only on ego and unthinking reactions. Because ultimately we aren't here forever, we are merely on this earth for a short while, taking a rest before continuing our journey towards the grave, and thereafter accounting for how we spent our time here. And it's OK to say 'learn to love yourself', but how is that possible when the only way I can love my current self is by ignoring the pain I may inflict on others - to be wilfully blind to how my actions affect the lives of other people sharing this universe?

Perhaps if there wasn't a higher way of living I could satisfy myself with easy answers, that oh I'm not that bad, and others are worse, and I don't kill people and some people are too sensitive, or 'their loss'. But I have seen people, people of such high spirituality who have experienced things I have only read about, whose character is so beautiful, whose life is so noble and generous and whose manners are so humbling that I feel like a complete yokel in their company - I see in them what humanity is capable of, and when asked about how they reached this stage they are ashamed that they themselves are rotten to the core and only hope that one day they can emulate the one who came to refine our characters and beautify our Selves with good manners and generousity, the Prophet (saw) - and if you read of his character and the characters of people of his age who were nothing but bedouins - people whose lives were debauched in everyway, and how he raised them to become the perfect humans in every way, you will realise what it means to be a human, what we were created for, what we are capable of and how far short of the mark we are and how satisfied we are with so very little. I speak of myself here.

In many ways we have a potential and are like beautiful flowers in the making, but somewhere down the line our growth is restricted and we becomes so accustomed to living with weeds that when the gardener comes to remove the weeds and help us grow we protest that we are OK, that the gardener is mad or has bad intentions and that there is no such thing as a beautiful bloom to strive for.

There is a saying that the sign of a hypocrite is that he consoles himself with saying 'others are as bad as me, I'm OK' whereas a Believer should always be worried and never satisfied with themselves, never resting or becoming complacent. Waging war on the ego is like being a soldier on a battlefield - you don't let your guard down until the war is won. And actually, the term 'jihad' refers to this spiritual battle against one's ego, not blowing people up in the world...

Being aware of having a trait is a bit different to getting rid of it though. And it isn't that I have pain or am hurt or damaged in any way. I was just expressing objectively what I see to be the root cause of certain aspects of my character. I love my family very much and there is much good about them. And to be fair, I can see that someone hurt them too and I feel sad for them as well. I am not angry or resentful towards them. What has been has been and gone. Mistakes were made, life was hard sometimes, but others have worse lives so I'm not chewing on it. But still I have certain character traits which are so entrenched as to make them almost compulsive. They are almost at the level of instinct for me. And I want to get rid of them because they are ugly and they hurt people. And not even people I don't like - I mean people I really really love and would take a bullet for...

A sheikh once gave us this example though: your heart is like a glass of water, but at the bottom is sediment and before you drink the water you must remove the sediment. Some people, unaware that the sediment is there will drink it and become ill, but for those fortunate amongst us someone will stir the water up, the dross will rise to the surface and then we can scrape away the rubbish and have a truly clean glass of water.

I am hoping that simply having all this come to the surface means that it will help resolve these issues. I have noticed in the past that whenever I have become aware of certain bad traits and what causes them they cease to be a problem.

Oh well. Waffle over. Normal service will resume shortly insha'allah...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Below the navel

People who dont like pyschobabble switch off now.

OK so want to read this, fair enough.

Defense mechanisms: are usefeul when they ensure the survival of the Self (either biological or psychological) and are only problematic when they are out-dated, unnecessary or feed into a neurosis.

Over-compensation: people with under-developed characteristics sometimes tend to over-compensate by being a total opposite of what they really are to safeguard themselves.

My defense mechanisms, which I have only just become fully aware of after being made to think about this deeply today:

I attack before being attacked, as the best form of defense *is* attack in terms of military strategy. Given my size you would have thought this would have meant having the crap beaten out of me on several occasions, but I have learned in the playground otherwise. The louder you shout and the more aggressive you seem the *less* likely yo are to spark a real confrontation.

A second defense mechanism is that I am aggressive. I have had to 'fight' to be given any room to be who I am; as such, I have developed a huge chip on my shoulder which cannot distinguish, unless I sit down and behave rationally, between kindly *normal* conversation and personal attack and I can act in a split second defensively by aggreessively standing my ground and taking things personally. In a lot of ways I am like a wounded animal who is backed into a corner. For many years this stood me in good stead - it stopped me being suffocated and erased by oppressive forces, but after years of having this sting I am finding it hard to undo.

My over-compensations - I am a weepy softy who blubbers like a girl at anything. I am naive in a lot of ways and I see the good in absolutely everybody. Internally I am like a child. Obviously this is not good. I over-compensate by detaching myself from others at an emotional level, or even at the physical level. I am aloof. I can be scathing. I can be off-hand and cold. I can take criticism but I just cannot take kindness and pity and concern. How odd. Why. Because it makes me cry. And I dont want to cry so I keep people at arms length. Why dont I want to cry? Because whenever you do or whenever I have you are labelled weak and an idiot. So I suppose over-compensation is just another defense mechanism.

So that's some things I have thought about today.

Now what to do about it all.


Went to the park - really beautiful day masha'allah and full of kids because of halfterm. Usually a bit wary of going to the park as I have felt uncomfortable there alone - just me and someone walking their dog. Last time I ventured there alone (before Jaws) some bloke just stood right next to me and Boss and stared at us. Freaky.

But today it was nice. Muddy, but nice.

He played with three brothers and it was heart-warming to see him role-playing and inventing real games and joining in without stupidity. I got chatting to their mum and it turns out she is also homeschooling her kids too. Small world. Very nice lady who knew her stuff. Hope to meet her again soon.

Then Boss fell in the mud AGAIN. In fact, 'fell' would not do justice to the monumental incident - he kind of ran in slow motion across the playground, before trying to stop midway thus launching himself into the biggest skid I have seen in a long while, before landed on his back in the biggest, wettest, muddiest puddle there. Trust him. Another car seat needing washed..

Oh well.

Jaws managed to scream like he was on fire in the car. Again. You know you hear of other people who say things like "he just wouldn't sleep, so we had to put him in the car to get him to nod off". Ha. Ha. If I tried that on Jaws I think the experience would send him into having a seizure he hates the car so much.

But tough. I've been without one for nearly seven years and if he thinks I'm going to give it up now he can forget it. Hurts the ears though.

Then I we get home and I manage to kill a friendship with just about the one person I have ever truly respected. Well done Debbie. Then I ponder over what value life is and what I actually do to make other peoples' lives better. Not a lot. V. depressing day all in all.
Been thinking about socialising aspect of HE again. Its the only thing that makes me question HE as I know Boss would love school for the amount of nutters it would introduce him to.... I grew up an army kid and every once in a while either my friends had to leave (because Daddy was posted somewhere) or I did, and the transcience of those relationships had a negative affect on me. My sister on the other hand never experienced this lifestyle and has the same friends she had since she was four. Which I find weird. But no, that's normal. The only friend I maintained contact with (a friend since I was nine) dumped me when I converted to Islam as she "hated God and don't want anything to do with people who believe in Him". So there.
Pondering on the insularity this lifestyle inculcated me with. I wish I was more like my DH. I mean, OK he muddles things up and sulks for Britain sometimes but he has a lovely heart - a big softy and he loves Allah and His messenger (saw) sincerely - he would never hurt a fly. I don't know. Any tips - what softens hearts? Or do I know the answer to that one already?


DH just read Boss a bedtime story - the Three Billy Goats Gruff - except he kept calling the middle one, "Middle Aged Billy Goat Gruff". So now he thinks there is Middle Aged Billy Goat Gruff and a Doyouthinktheysaurus in popular parlance.... what are we doing????

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


we went to The Museum and they had a half term week on and we discovered various gadgets and gizmos. It was a great morning out all in all. The displays were really good, the gadgets were entertaining and sparked a fair amount of interest, and upstairs one of the museum staff had dressed up as a Roman Soldier and had a really excellent rapport with the kids. There was armour to try on and he was very helpful and let us take photographs too. This has moved us on from merely being interested in knights and Kings into being VERY interested in Roman Soldiers and gladiators in particular.

They had an under-fives room with a sand pit and dinosaurs and stuff, and Boss had a good play with another boy his age and although they assed about and had a good giggle I was relieved to see he has settled down and didn't do anything anti-social. He seems to be a normal boy after all - phew! I think, had this been a school environment that these two would have been really good friends - hit it off straight away. My only regret about homeschooling...

Then we went to MotherCare and bought some hats reduced from £6 to 90p! Good job all round. Then we came home and researched Roman Soldiers and more dinosaurs. I am becoming quite good at dinosaurs now - tried to crack the joke with Boss about the paranoid dinosaur Doyouthinktheysaurus. But he didn't get it. Now he thinks there is a dinosaur called Doyouthinktheysaurus.... ho hum.

Anyway piccies of The Museum



A watchamacallit

Gears. Glad I didn't waste my money on this after all


We could all use one of these, surely?

How we used to live. We have better roads now.

A Doyouthinktheysaurus

And his cousin Imsuretheysaurus

He thought this was a real mammoth. Yes I do home educate my kids...

Elephant head. Mmm. Lovely. He liked this.

Dead bloke. Having real issues with things like this actually - putting bodies on display. Good photo though eh?

Viking Ken

Roman soldier who frightened Boss ;-)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


so what fun-packed adventure did we get up to today?

Ooh lets think. Between scraping general crud off various surfaces and shoving food down various necks (and wiping various poos off various bums) we found the time to goto Ferry Meadows and for those of you not au fait with this particular area it is a human-made lake with lots of surrounding grass, a miniature train and track, a couple of play areas and lots of paths to cycle on. It also has geese and swans and boats and birds and duck poo and dogs-not-on-leads-even-though-they-are-supposed-to-be and dogs going ape because omigod there is a *duck* in the water and I'm gonna catch it... I'm gonna catch it... I'm ... oh it flew away ... again. Oh but never mind - there are pre-schoolers to chase instead....

So we went there, and in mind-blowingly uncharacteristic fashion I had prepared the day before by making with Boss a KITE.

Yes, people. I made something with Boss. I actually planned ahead. Go ahead. I'll scrape you off the ceiling in a little while.

I found some easy-to-follow instructions off the 'net by some kind of boy scout (and they know their stuff, right??) and we made, out of newspaper, a kite. A KITE. "All you need is a little scotch tape and some string". ... oh wait - and the hurricane to lift that Mamma off the ground because I don't think it could have been heavier if it had been made of wrought iron for crying out loud. We tried it in the garden and, well, I cleaned the path with it.

So DH made a kite with tissue paper. Much better. But I decided I couldn't be assed after all actually FLYING a kite this morning and so left it on the table and took the frisbee, cricket bat and ball and another ball.

It was really windy there today and a couple of people were flying kites anyway so Boss got to see what it was all about without me having to waste any of my own energy doing anything. Always a bonus. And after three seconds he went, "Oh yeah. *bored silence* LETS RUN" OK.

Then we played with the frisbee.

We like the frisbee and who needs a dog when you have a four year old? I threw and he fetched. Oh it was fun. Then I taught him how to throw it, but having a penchant for hurling the caber, the frisbee's line of trajectory was decidedly non-frisbee-like and after nearly missing the crown on my head several times as it descended he decided to just pretend to be a train instead.

Which was good unless we saw a dog on the horizon where upon he wrapped himself around my legs and shoved his head so far up my bum I could hardly walk. So here I am trudging over the common pushing a baby who is almost a stone in weight, wading through mud and having to drag one leg behind me with a human plaster cast hitching a ride. Lovely exercise.

Then we played in the playground and he kept *pointing* at other boys and saying in a very loud voice what they were doing, and how he was better than them and what facial features they had, and had I any energy left I think I would have taken a running jump at him for making me clench my butt in embarrassment that hard. We have had words over pointing. You just. Don't. Point. It is rude. It is also unIslamic. The Prophet (Saw) when he pointed would never, ever use his finger, but use his entire hand to gesture the direction he was referring to. So I have been teaching Boss this since he was two years old - since the day we walked along our road and a Mercedes-Benz with blacked-out windows and gold-alloy wheels and four crack-dealers parked beside us and Boss kept pointing at them and going "MUMMY... LOOK AT THE..." whilst I deflected him for TEN. MINUTES. with things like "Oh, look dear - a bird/airplane/cloud/sky/rocket-ship/pink elephant with enormous big ears hiding behind THAT cloud... you sure you can't see it?? Look harder..." until it transpired that what he was pointing at was the other car parked behind it which had a dent that wasn't there last time we'd seen it... but of course by this point I'd already died a thousand deaths imaging the scenario where both me and my child were hacked to pieces by paranoid smack dealers who thought we were "disrespecting" them or taking undue interest in their facial appearance and/or numberplate - so since then I have been insistent on making sure he doesn't use his finger to point. But he still ignores me and still he manages to make me break out into hot flushes when he yells "LOOK MUMMY... LOOK AT THE..." *O Please God help the next words out of his mouth NOT be 'fat ugly lady'*

So we finish the playground and walk back when THIS happens:

"LOOK AT ME MUMMY - LOOK HOW HIGH I CAN JUMP" but of course he's in a big, sticky, muddy, gloopy patch of gloopy, sticky, smelly, dog-urine-soaked MUD and instead of jumping his feet are stuck in the ground and he just ends up throwing himself sideways into the mess and lies there LIES THERE shouting LOOK AT ME. I didn't photograph his back or head.

So being the compassionate mother you know I am, I instantly ran to the gloopy, smelly child and hissed *GET UP. NOW* and he tried. But he was stuck and he had to pull himself free whilst dog owners and normal people of various description walked past and tutted at the baaaaaaad mother who just couldn't control her kid enough.

I am turning into one of those mothers people tut at.

Then we get to the car and hell no he isn't sitting in MY car like that. So I make him strip before getting in. I wrap him in a blanket and drive home with mud encased all over my boot from the pram wheels and clothes, Jaws screaming like he's on fire and a semi-naked four year old desperately looking for someone out of his window so they can save him.

It's days like these that I know why social services were created.

In fact, no. Don't call social services. Just shoot me.

But the train aint running...

Can you hear that? Listen.... "Wah! I hate the pram! Wah! I hate the outdoors! Wah! Omigod we're near the frigging car - I HATE the car even more than I hate other stuff! Wah! Get me the hell out of HERE!!

The clouds looked just like an oil painting.

Hope you all had a nice day.

I love this header.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Found this stuff

On other peoples' blogs

Motion and mechanisms

Greens defend 'rebel' mother

Just leave my child in peace, pleads mother

Thanks to Hanaa for these links:

Turn your watch into a compass. Use it to find direction!

Find True North - the scout's way

Child care under fire

Got this from Deb's blog:

Child guru says nurseries harm small children

ONE of the world’s most popular parenting gurus is to warn that placing children younger than three in nurseries risks damaging their development.

Steve Biddulph, whose books have sold more than 4m copies worldwide, says that instead of subsidising nurseries, which do a “second-rate” job, the government should put in place policies to enable mothers to stay at home with their babies.

The advice signals a reversal of views for Biddulph, an Australian with more than 20 years’ experience as a therapist, whose previous bestsellers
include Raising Boys and Raising Girls.

In his new book Biddulph will admit he has changed his mind because of growing evidence of increased aggression, antisocial behaviour and other problems among children who have spent a large part of their infancy being cared for away from home.

He argues that such children may have problems developing close relationships later.

The criticisms by Biddulph and other experts are likely to bring them into conflict with the government, which has made expanding nursery places a key part of its family policy.

In Britain nearly 250,000 children under three attend nurseries full or part-time. Worldwide, the number of babies and toddlers being cared for in nurseries has quadrupled in the past decade as mothers increasingly return to work.

Labour has created more than 1.2m new childcare places for the youngest children since it came to power in 1997. Every child aged three is entitled to a free nursery session of 2½ hours a day and the government has carried out pilot schemes to extend these sessions to two-year-olds, part of the age group that is Biddulph’s greatest concern.

Gordon Brown, the chancellor, has promised an extra £769m for early years state childcare between 2005 and 2008, while the government
proposes to extend maternity and paternity leave, which makes it easier for women to keep their jobs after they have children.

Biddulph admits he started out as a believer in quality nursery care and the role it played in broadening women’s lives but says he has found reality never matched the fantasy. “In fact it was often a disastrous disappointment,” he said.

“The best nurseries struggled to meet the needs of very young children in a group setting. The worst were negligent, frightening and bleak — a nightmare of bewildered loneliness that was heartbreaking to watch.”

Biddulph focuses his warnings on what he estimates is the 5% of British parents who “slam” their children into nursery for a large part of their day from the age of six months.

He believes nothing can provide an equal substitute for one-to-one care for a child under two, ideally by a parent. He argues that infants’ brains need to be stimulated by loving interaction if they are to develop properly.

Nannies, he says, can work well as a halfway solution but only if parents are “extraordinarily lucky” with the person they find. He says, however, that care by family or friends is “a much safer option”.

Biddulph says it was five years ago that he began writing his book, Raising Babies: Should Under 3s Go To Nursery?, published next month by Harper Thorsons. But he he was initially afraid to release it because its message was “so confrontational, so against the tide”. He points, however, to increasing evidence supporting the thesis.

Last year Penelope Leach, an authority on childcare, issued a similar warning after finding that young children looked after by their mothers did better in development tests than those cared for in nurseries, by childminders or relatives.

The study of 1,200 children for London and Oxford Universities by Leach, Kathy Silva and Alan Stein — both Oxford professors — suggested babies and toddlers who had spent time in nursery care had “higher levels of aggression” in later childhood.

Biddulph cites two other studies that have found evidence of antisocial behaviour and violence among children who have spent long periods in nurseries.

His greatest concerns centre on the group many childcare professionals call the “slammers”, whose children are placed in full-time nursery care from 8am to 6pm before the age of six months and stay there until they go to school. They consist mainly of urban professionals and account for 100,000 of the 2m under-threes.

“Sliders”, by contrast, who make up 35% of British parents, put their children into nursery after the age of two and usually do so part-time, while 60% of parents do not use nurseries at all.

Jay Belsky, director of the Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues at Birkbeck College, London University, said the evidence on nurseries was far from clear-cut, although for over-threes the findings were more positive.

“Long hours in childcare settings early in life, especially in groups, seem to foster aggression and disobedience. But good-quality childcare for three and four-year-olds seems to have cognitive and linguistic benefits, especially for children from poorer backgrounds.”

Belsky is worried about the cumulative effect of children being raised in nurseries. A classroom full of children who had spent long periods in daycare might be difficult to manage. “Babies need a devoted care-giver,” he said.

An education department spokesman defended childcare policies, including two bills going through parliament, one placing a duty on councils to provide more childcare provision and another extending parental leave. “We are not telling parents what to do but we are trying to provide them with choices,” he said.

“We want to make sure every parent has access to high-quality, safe, stimulating and affordable childcare, so they have greater flexibility in how they balance their lives.”

From The Sunday Times

Make mental note:

Don't put plastic-backed bibs in the dryer.

Anyone want several hard towelin-lined balls of plastic??

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Spent most of my day

saying "no". A LOT. I really don't understand my son. Well, yeah I do but the hard reality is that he can be impulsive and hard-headed and stubborn. Most of the time he is a pussy cat but today he tried to take his Dad on and he has shown too much temper for my liking.

I don't know.

On the one hand I would like to have a child I can educate and take to all the educational things and events - get involved in HEing properly, and on the other hand I know that for a long, long time these things just aren't open to him fully. He needs open space, rhythm, simple open-ended tasks which involve no fiddly bits and sit down concentration. He needs no distractions if he is to do something for longer than two minutes. Because really what he wants more than air to breathe is an assing-about bunch of maniacs like himself to wrestle and test his boundaries with.

And on the one hand I want to put my hands up and say "OK, roam free - explore your nutter side", and on the other, I so dearly want him socialised so that we can access all the things that other children access and appreciate and get involved in.

This sounds dramatic, but for example I have been looking at the piccies on other peoples' blogs about recreating the Henri Rousseau painting, and it looks like such a fulfilling and rewarding exercise - all pitching in together to make a work of art, but all I can think when I see this is - how did they get the kids to sit still long enough to DO that, how did they MAKE them do it???

And of course the answer is - the kids wanted to do it and enjoyed the workshop. For us that would have been a few hours of me screaching "Stop it! Put it down! Don't pull her hair! Say sorry".

I get bored with that.

I like circle times. When we do them. I like getting out into a big enough space to let out steam (which, incidently doesn't let all his steam out - he still has PLENTY left at the end of the day). I like our play now - it's very good masha'allah. But I am itching to do more...

When do they have ADHD, and when is it just being a boy??

Cartoon row

Peaceful rally

Good ol' Ken

Zaytuna speak out

OK. Now stop. I think the world *gets* it already - cartoons were racist and insulting, defamatory and hurtful... blah blah.

Move it along people... nothing to see, here...

Friday, February 10, 2006


Went to Burghley House today. The need to be outdoors, especially in this weather is really too much to resist. Wanted to goto the Sculpture Garden for a long time, but untennable with a disabled husband! So we went and it is nice; lots of areas to explore, interesting nooks and crannies and visually stunning. I enjoyed it but I think Boss was expecting something to "do" and was begging me to take him "back to that place we went yesterday". New Ark really *is* his thing. Saying that, I don't think I would *pay* to see this sculpture garden again, but as a freebie it was a nice brisk walk. No deer today. Oh dear (:P)

As I don't "get" modern "art" I will leave all critical evaluation out of the equation. Some things I think worked and other just didn't IMHO. But nevertheless things to nourish the mind and soul.


The first snowdrops I've seen for a while!

Calves. Evidently.

This was half-hidden in the shadows of a canopy of leaves and as you walked through the little avenue it was somewhat eerie. Boss clung to my legs at these offerings. Felt like walking into a head-hunter village...

I wouldn't have payed for this...

I liked this

Which was this close up. I like the play between light and shade

An alien swan??

Liked this too

"Looks like a puffer fish to me, Mum"

"Now I'm a hermit crab!"

Liked it

Just don't GET it

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I can't believe I actually wasted my time doing this... but it's SO me... LOL

The Traditional Princess

You are generous, graceful, and practical with both

feet planted firmly on the ground. You tend

to be a little on the old-fashioned side. You

value home, hearth, and family life and love

to be of service to others.

Role Models: Snow White, Maid Marian

You are most likely to: Discover a hidden talent

for spinning straw into gold.

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!)
brought to you by Quizilla

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