Sunday 31 March 2019

My Roots, Our Beautiful Home

My mum and dad are in Pakistan at the moment and I am missing them a lot.  They have been travelling around between our village in Jhelum, Lahore and Rawalpindi.  My in-laws hosted them for a few day’s, and they enjoyed their stay.

I am so grateful for WhatsApp and being able to check in every day to see that they are ok and if they need something.  Dad has been sending back pictures from wherever they happen to be. These ones of my granddad’s village brought back so many memories.  It’s such a beautiful place.

One of the communal water wells in the village, when I was a child the women would gather here to chat, they are less used now that people have running water in their homes.

This is some kind of weighing scale, not sure what they weigh, maybe crops?

I, my brother and some cousins went trekking up these mountains as children, we packed some snacks, walked for hours, didn’t seem to get very far, walked back thinking we were in big trouble, and no one had noticed we had gone.  That was one of the only times in my life I have been able to roam free in this way.

I have such mixed feelings about my origins: humble beginnings, migration, partition, village politics, the casual misogyny of our elders, the hardship and strength of our women, rose-tinted views of the past.  I will write about it some time, when I have my thoughts in better order, but for now I’m going to enjoy the lovely view.

Wedding Season Spring 2019: My Friends Wedding

The first wedding of the year, my friends, turned out to be a very elegant affair.  Like her henna there were a lot of touches that showed me how many things have changed: very organised (for an Asian wedding), table seating being managed, the focus more on young people – and selfie madness, I have never seen so many young girls taking so many selfies for so long. 

I love any chance to dress up and pulled out this number. Hubby usually wears thawb (the long Arab-stye garment), including for work, which I prefer (especially all white), so when he pulled out this suit from the back of his cupboard, you can be rest assured he was teased by everyone.

 The venue was one we have been to before but was dressed up differently for this occasion and looked very stylish. We were greeted with drinks and sweets while we waited for the bride and groom and the guests were kept in the lobby area until the groom arrived – usually everyone heads straight for the hall to nab a table.

I really like the simple touches at the table settings: zamzam water and mini chocs, I might have ended up with a few of these little bottles…

The food was honestly one of the best I have had at a wedding, I did ask or the caterers name, but then promptly forgot.

A really nice wedding and very generous of my lovely friend to invite us along and treat us with so much love.

Wedding Season Spring 2019: My Friends Henna

One of my friends got married recently and I was utterly impressed by all the effort that was put into the wedding.  Like me she is one of four sisters, so I wasn’t surprised at how good everything looked and how ell organised everything was, because I know what we can achieve when the four of us band together too.

There was so many lovely touches, so many details to savour and they encouraged us to help ourselves to all of the savoury snacks and sweets that they had hand made themselves.

I thought the pani puree bike was great:

The chickpea chaat was super spicy, the bride is Bengali, so when they say spicy, they actually know what it means.

I might have helped myself to a few of these:

I thought the d├ęcor and colour scheme were a treat for the eyes.

I thought the henna was really well organised, the bride and her sisters looked stunning and I really enjoyed people watching and seeing what people were wearing.  We have a family wedding this summer insh’Allah (my cousin – I can’t wait!), so there was lots of inspiration for what we could wear.

Wedding Season Spring 2019: Neighbours Dholki 2

My neighbours second dholki was a formal affair.  The bride is getting married in Pakistan and will have her henna there, so wanted to do something here to celebrate with her friends.  She stayed up late the night before with her friends creating all of the lovely details that went into the event.  You can tell she is the organiser of her group, because we kept telling her to sit down and smile and she kept coming to help set things up.  

There were so many lovely details and touches:

Highly decorated cakes often taste awful, especially because of the amount of sickly-sweet fondant that gets used, so I wouldn’t have expected this cake to taste great.  But it was really good: soft light sponge and not overly sweet.  The cupcakes went super quick too.

My neighbours had the smart idea of holding the event in the private function room of a restaurant, so the food was included and was pretty good 

Once we had eaten, we spent the evening singing, dancing and polishing off the content of the dessert table.  There were some really touching moments, my neighbour is very soft hearted and incredibly loving, and this is the wedding of her only child, so you can imagine there were tears.