Monday, 13 December 2010

Everything is cool, dude.

If I could be bothered to look back at my last post, I might have avoided repeating myself here, since I can't for the life of me remember when I last updated it. But the tabs open now and I just do not have the mental strength. So apologies in advance for potential repetition and hello!
I suppose the biggest news over the last several weeks was the AWESOME SNOWFALL that drove our country to a standstill! Or did it...?

Exhibit A: The snow in sunny West Yorkshire..Yes. Almost a foot deep, and this was when it was melting. I walked through that field and it was filling my shoes!

Exhibit B: The pathetic dusting that Leicester received.I mean COME ON. up, for God's sake!
So yes. I was more than a little annoyed at being in the only place in Britain where you couldn't make a snowman for that entire fortnight. Pfft, is all I have to say.

In other news:
  • I received the most awesome parcel EVER from my aunty Em and since I'm in a picture mood, I'm just going to put in the photo I took of the contents!!
CHOCOLATE LOLLIES! And general penguin related chocolate!! And long socks! And- okay, all of it. THANK YOU AUNTY EM. It totally made my week :D

  • Crosswords are still fun and not lame in the slightest.
  • I am in possession of the best anatomy book ever which was a rather lovely surprise. Though it says a lot that I've sunk to the kind of lows where anatomy textbooks make me happy. But they do! :D
  • I have had nutella on toast for breakfast for 6 straight weeks and am a little scared that it may be having a detrimental effect on my health but am not scared enough to stop having it just yet. It's just too awesome.
  • Ben and Jerrys half baked is amazing. Just amazing.
  • I have stopped putting the effort into cooking, despite all the fantastic recipes given to me, and have resorted to frozen dinners. I am hoping (hoping) that this is just because it's the leadup to Christmas, and that I will regain some stamina next semester.
  • I chose a module to study! Ie we get to choose a student selected module to study after christmas. Don't know what I'm getting just yet (we had to pick 4 preferences) so I shall blog about that in more detail when I know... ooh, I've never left a cliffhanger before. Exciting stuff. TUNE IN NEXT WEEK etc.
  • I really, reeeeally need to break up, but the prospect of a month of solid revision isn't too fantastic.
  • The prospect of Wolves on Christmas is far more fantastic :D
  • There is a theatre near university that I had to attend for a shitty 'question time' style debate as part of one of our modules, but the highlight of my day was seeing this poster on the wall:
IT'S ELMER!! None of the other elephants appreciated his brilliant multicolouredness BUT I DO! :D Want to see it so incredibly badly but it's on the day after I break up and not even the prospect of free food could keep me from going home. The fact that it's showing at all is actually enough for me :)
  • 2 MORE NIGHTS LEFT TIL I BREAK UP! Not mathematically inaccurate if you think about it, (though some people can't handle this), because today doesn't count, and neither does tomorrow or Wednesday because they're non-days, so...2 nights! :D My logic is flawless.
  • I have a (sort of) nephew! I shall be the awesome aunty who spoils him completely :D
That's about all I have to say, again with the sense that I've left out something incredibly important...but I'm sure it'll come to me.

I leave you with further brilliance. Over and out :D

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Silver Lining People

A legitimate greeting and never-overused part of conversation.

So I feel I should address the elephant in the room *Refrains from writing 'turns to elephant and says 'hello' *

I know. I apologise profusely for my extreme lameness, but it seemed funny when I thought of it... *hangs head*

Well.. I guess it's not an elephant to anyone but me, but still: So the taking part in November's National Novel Writing Month failed, since I failed to even initiate an attempt to write a novel. This was not due to laziness, more...lack of any ideas for a novel whatsoever, and also, a lack of time in which to live my life, due to some stupid uni course I'm doing ¬_¬ Pfft.

So yeah, now that that awkward explanation is out of the way...

Most significant event in my last fortnight: 4 DAY WEEKEND AT HOME! HELL YES.
Most significant addition to event: WOLVES CREW HIJACKING OUR HOUSEHOLD FOR EID.

Yes! So the 4 day weekend was spent eating, eating, eating, eating and eating. And the quickest Eid-clothes shopping trip ever was had with my mum: we drove to Bradford, walked into a shop, saw a dress, agreed it was nice, paid for it and walked back out. THAT is how Bradford shopping trips should go. In fairness, my mum and I spent an extra half hour on the way back being lost and ending up near Huddersfield before we finally gave up and used the Sat Nav, but that doesn't matter. All the fun's in the journey anyway..

Monday was night-before-Eid frenzy: I started out baking willingly, because I thought I should at least try to have some enthusiasm. So I told my mum I'd try it, which was a pleasant surprise for her as she is aware of the hate-hate affair that is me and baking, and let her go to pick the brother up whilst I made a start. And it started well! I made some awesome chocolate buns, decorated them to perfection... and then had a sudden stress meltdown when my chocolate brownie mixture overflowed and coated the inside of the oven. This was the end of all forced-enthusiasm. My mum walked back in half an hour later:

Mum: Erm... what?
M: But you said-
I dramatically threw down my oven gloves as my mum looked around in a puzzled way, having noticed the newly chocolate-coated kitchen. I announced (again, for dramatic effect) that this was the end, and flounced (awesome word) out of the kitchen.

I think I have a mood swing problem :/

The day was not a total disaster due to the arrival of the wolves crew in the evening, which consisted of:
  • Hasan giving my knees a thoroughly good hug and telling them he had missed them.
  • Baby Bear...just...being adorable in various ways (in pyjamas *melts*)
  • Me refusing to put mehndi on anyone because I was waaaay too sleepy and just pfft.
Eid day then!
  • I finally resolved to carry the black and silver handbag which my aunty got me about 5 years ago- I've never in my life carried a handbag (more a satchel person..ahem), but since it's a gift and it's pretty, I had intended to carry it on at least one special occasion. The two occasions in the past where I've decided to use it were somehow jinxed, and for some reason or other I was foiled both times. So this, I thought, was the day. My clothes were black and silver, it matched, nothing could stop me!
... Except, it seems, my complete lack of knowledge of how to be a girl. Yes. I am unaware of how to carry a handbag (it's one with a short strap), so I felt (and looked) like a complete plank. Therefore I carried it for the minute it took me to leave the house and get in the car to go to my grandmas, and the bag spent the rest of Eid lying in a corner. Yes. So that was a fail... or a win. Well...being a girl fail, but dignity win. I never want to even attempt to carry one again. Just eww. Satchels all the way!

  • Every single Eid we say we want to go to White Rose (just for something to do), and every single Eid, talking about it is as far as we get. But this Eid, Aunty Em was here, and she said NOT THIS TIME. And so she pulled some strings (or rather, shouted at everyone to get out of their food-comas and get ready), and within an hour, nine of us girls were on the road, thoroughly overdressed and still in semi comas! The walk around White Rose lasted 45 minutes, most of which was spent in Dorothy Perkins (new favourite store EVER), in which time I acquired an AWESOME new scarf. Yay!
  • The drive back consisted of me repeatedly saying 'I'm going to miss my train', and my mum speeding. We screeched to a halt outside my house, I ran upstairs, changed my clothes and packed in seven minutes flat, then ran back down so we could rocket-ship over to my grandmas. I speed-hugged everyone in my family in under a minute, and then me, the parents and the brothers hopped into the car. It's the first time I've had a full family send-off from the station, or at all actually, and I've got to say it was an awesome end to an awesome day :D
So I've been back and working and working and working and working- *snaps out of loop* since last Tuesday. In other news:
  • Crosswords are awesome, and not lame in the slightest! (But only when your brain is not failing to remember that English is your first language and therefore you should probably know some of it).
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Or Harry Potter and the Death as it came up on the cinema timetable screen) is actually a decent film! I mean, I know they get better each time, but that hasn't stopped them from being shit films. Finally, however, they have made one that isn't exactly great, but has at least passed the acceptable mark! And it only took them 7 attempts ¬_¬ Gits.
  • Some people are getting snow and this is totally not fair ¬_¬
  • I am a silver lining person. Yep.
  • I started having salad! Alongside other food, mind, I'm not being a complete herbivore. But I have taken a great liking to lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and sliced avocado.
And that is all I have to say!
This is awesome, and dedicated to Aunty Em, for the nostalgia :D

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The art of properly expressing the word 'Grotesque'.

So yes, hello! I am blogging due to overdue-ness, and also a desperate comment from my Aunty Em on the previous blog post, pleading with me to post another rambling mess of verbal diarrhoea. Yes, in those words. :)

So what has been happening in life, the universe and everything? Or rather, what can I remember?

I turned 20! This event, which has alwas been highly unlikely, and thus generally viewed with a sort of scathing disbelief, marks the end of my hellish teenage years! Nothing particularly felt different on the day (I always expect a huge life-changing feeling on my birthdays and am always slightly disappointed at the lack of internal drama), so it was hard to really 'feel' 20, until my grandma was sending the kids out of the room because the women were having some secretive discussion about marriage. My grandma sent each child out, finally looking at me and going, 'You too, H-.... actually, no, you can stay.'

The moment was felt by everyone. It is a pivotal point in life when you're allowed to sit in on marriage related discussions that the kids shouldn't hear. *Nods*

Some AWESOME presents were received, including (the purple/shiny) half of the stock of Dorothy Perkins, all of which I love :D Further awesomeness included a book by Michael Chabon that some randomer sent that is proving to be brilliant so far (Thank you randomer, whoever you are :) ) And a DVD set that has yet to be watched. Oh, and I should mention the many Penguin related items including a Snowcone maker in the shape of a penguin, and a HUGE very huggable penguin, who remains unnamed as of yet. I think being obsessed with things makes you very easy to buy for. THANK YOU WORLD.

Wow. Materialism win :) Still, *warm and fuzziness*. It was nice to be home. And it feels nice to not add 'teen' to the end of my age. That was getting old. I always kind of hoped I'd be a shiny happy brand new person by the time I was twenty, which isn't really working out, but baby steps and all that.

  • 2 Home Weekends in a Row.
Is always a win! It was a last minute decision but I am definitely liking it :) And have been overfed and have definitely counteracted the weight loss that has been gradually occurring over 6 weeks. Loving that Eid is approaching and it looks like most of the family will be reunited for it, which is a win also! :D YAY (Though I lack Eid clothes...ah well)
  • Paranormal Activity
Was watched last night, with the dad and brother. And I lost about 3 lives watching it. I ended up pulling the blanket over my head and blocking my ears for the last ten minutes because I found it far too scary. Though I can see why some people just found it laughable- it depends on how far you let your imagination run away with you. I slept with the lights on.
  • Revision
Coming up with novel ways to remember the functional groups on amino acids is fun! :D
  • Cake
Yes! I made cake for my mum's birthday, from scratch, and am proud, even though it looks a mess! So I have photos:

Yay for untidy sandwich cake which manages to look slightly like a mushroom!!

  • Random fact:
Hypoglycaemia can be mistaken for drunkenness due to it causing confusion/disorientation, which means that junior doctors could make a potentially fatal error in not recognising that the quiet drunk who comes into A&E could be on the verge of slipping into a coma :| Ouch.

  • DAMMIT there was something else! *thinks*
  • ......*Thinks*
  • OH, Due Date!
Is funny, but not as good as Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Usually I hate it when people compare two films like that, it feels unfair. But Due Date seemed to have taken certain scenes from PT&A (yes, laziness), word for word, so clearly they should've just marketed it as a remake. And since they were trying to be a remake, it's fair to say they weren't as good. I'm just hoping Robert Downey Jr doesn't go down the Will Smith road of appearing in shit films and saving them due to his presence. :| Still, watching Due Date was fun due to it being a housemate trip :D
  • 24 Hour Tech Hotlines
Are great, and much needed when it comes to anything that involves electricity.
  • Sheltered lives.
Apparently- no, wait, okay, I accept that I have lived in a bubble my entire life, and have no general knowledge, and even less current affairs knowledge. All the things I know tend to be specialised around things I am obsessed with. I AM HAPPY LIKE THAT. I would rather spend my time writing stories in my head and daydreaming than thinking about politics/the world. Escapism is where it's at ¬_¬ No, this was not aimed at anyone in particular. Nor was it defensive due to people continually making me feel stupid. Ahem.

  • Pickled Chillis.
Are nice with anything! As are avocados. *General food love*

I feel that I am done here. We just can't go on like this etc :)

See also: My lack of chances of survival in a potential fight to the death, "Back the shit up!", new baby cousins, "Yeeeeeaaah", "Nasty", "Totally", "Self-loathing", Deer in headlights, Facebook Politics, Topaz birthstones, and just for the nostalgia, "It makes my heart flutter".

Over and out! :)

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

4 letters: "Big cat".... *Nonplussed silence*

Yes. Doing crosswords across a distance of about 200 miles is incredibly sad, and yet fun! As demonstrated by my now-ruined refill pad, which is what happens when the other person has the actual crossword in front of them:

So yeah! In other news, life is going... well, it's just going. Literally, seeping away. We're in week 4 already: WHAT THE HELL.
I have been alternating between full on end-of-life depression and I-can't-do-this-I'm-in-the-wrong-degree, full on end-of-life stress and oh-my-god-my-brain-just-set-on-fire, and (very rarely- well, just once actually) full on manic happiness and hello-world-I'm-Tyrannosaurus-Alan-and-I'm-going-to-eat-you-for-breakfast. It was a sunny day. It had weird effects on me.

Yeah. It's been a wreck month due to work overload and life deprivation, and I've realised for definite I can't do longer than fortnights because I start unconsciously rocking and talking to myself towards the end of the second week and I don't want to see what would happen to me if I tried to stay a bit longer.

I have been trying to do better, though. Naturally, being a wreck in the beginning of year 2 doesn't bode well for year 3, 4, 5 and life. So I attempted to take measures to de-stress: I have officially started morning walks! Well.. on days when the weather isn't wet, because that'd be even more depressing. But still! It's nice to be alone and mentally write stories weird. I had another de-stress measure but have forgotten it, DAMMIT. Though I was also thinking of trying a new skill- Jamie gave me the instructions for a crochet penguin, so I'm going to teach myself crocheting :D And learning sign language would be awesome too... But that's probably unrealistic what with the lack of time to even eat these days.

Did I mention I'd developed a tea addiction? I don't even like tea :| I swore I never would, but it's because I've stopped having Pepsi, and so I think my brain just susbtituted it with another addiction. :/ Fail.
I shall make a list of things that have cheered me up recently in order to make this more upbeat!

  • Seeing the family and the Wolves crew this weekend- Catching up with the brothers and dad, my mum falling asleep on my bed (and me almost falling off) on Friday night, chatting with Aunty Em until 4am, having very strange conversations with Hasan; the birthday party and Hasan's Toy Story cake (!!!), and just appreciating how adorable and bear-like Baby Bear is.
  • Making notes with my coloured pens which are AWESOME, and make notemaking so much more bearable! :D
  • 200 mile crosswords and other sad things
  • ....That's about it! I feel saddened by this knowledge. Still, they were damn good in themselves.
I have nothing more of interest left to say. I wish I did, because you know, I like to ramble, but there's nothing. Unless I've forgotten it... That's pretty likely. My brain is frazzled.

A good endpoint, I believe. My brain is frazzled. I will blog more comprehensively when I can think in a more linear fashion.

OVER AND OUT before I bore even myself to death! :)

Friday, 8 October 2010

The Spider Crusades

SO, I have officially been here for a week and...2 days! And am going home today, hence delirious happiness, so let me sum up the past week and a bit whilst the mood is all good.

  • The house is quite awesome, and cosy, and little. My room has been made all homely with my own cushions and duvet, and black and white New York skyline posters, and is close to the kitchen and bathroom so I don't have to really move much at all :) Which is the best way.
  • My housemates are lovely, and this means I actually feel comfortable, which is amazing. Seriously, I'm so happy that I can leave my room, as opposed to last year when I used to have panic attacks about going into the kitchen (See previous blog posts for evidence of this). I didn't realise how much pressure that was putting on me last year, but the contrast now is huge.
  • We had a slight...spider incident. It transpired as follows (because I'm a bit addicted now to these step by step scenes)
9:30am. H wakes up facing the ceiling, and sees what appears to be a massive black hand with too many fingers, crouching on aforementioned ceiling. Right above H

H has a silent heart attack. 

Somehow, H slides out of bed and moves, camouflage style, out of room to go and get J (Housemate). 
H: I really, really need your help with something.
J: ... :| ?
H: There is a. Huge. Spider. On my ceiling.
J: Oh God... I'll get the broom.
(It is important to note that at this point neither of us knew where the vacuum cleaner was, because we'd just moved in and couldn't find it anywhere. Hence the broom.)

J enters H's room, brandishing broom. Sees spider.
J: Holy F***

Several moments of hysterical nervous chatter and in J's case, semi screaming, about how to do this. It is decided that H will leave the room, since her legs are actually shaking and the adrenaline dump has turned her to jelly, whilst J will attack the spider. The two girls say their last goodbyes.

J: You will owe me your life for this.
H: I will. You will be my hero.

H steps out into hallway. Distant sound of J psyching herself up and muttering swear words.


(In J's defence, she's the mildest person on the planet and I've never heard her swear before in the year that I've known her. These were very individual circumstances)
H runs back into room: What! What the hell happened?!
J, still hysterical and screaming: OH MY GOD I DID IT ITS DEAD BUT I DON'T KNOW WHERE IT IS.

Moment of pure horror. 
H: You mean it's here somewhere and it's Not. Dead.?!
J: I...I think it's dead... It fell...? :|
H looks around at empty floor. Something huge and black shifts slowly behind the bookcase.
H: Oh Shit
J screams for a short while: OKAY, OKAY I'm going to do it. You shift the bookcase and I'll kill it
H's legs are giving out, so she leans against bed, and braces self, and shifts bookcase. The huge black thing runs out into the open.
Spider runs out into hallway like a huge black..spidery thing. J chases after it (it is so huge that it's actually faster than her) with the broom, the crashing sounds alternating with screams to the effect of: OH F*** NO ARGH NO ARGH KILL IT KILL IT OH NO-
Then.. J:  It's done. Oh, god, oh, god it's done *Voice actually cracks into tears*

Both girls reunite, totally shellshocked and shaking like leaves. 
H: You are my hero. I owe you my life.
J: You do. 

There were actually two further spider incidents the very same day- one was BIGGER than the one in my room, and was in the housemate's room, and since I owed her my life, I had to do the honours. Suffice it to say I lost another life. The next spider was found half an hour later, but was only a quarter of the size, so by then we were no longer spider amateurs. We could handle it. Seriously though, absolute terror. The house hadn't been disturbed in several months, so clearly they all came out into the open when we started shifting stuff around. No further incidents as of yet :|

Continuing with my bullet points then!

  • I didn't have Pepsi in a whole week, because I thought a great way to curb the addiction was to just not buy myself any. Which worked fine until I was tempted on Wednesday @_@ With a buy 1 get 1 free offer. Still, I don't actually want any more so it might just work!
  • Making my own food is weeeeeeeeeeeeeird. But awesome. I haven't really *cooked* anything as of yet, I've just been making sandwiches and grilling them (in my AMAZING George Foreman mini grill), or stirring sauces into pasta. But next week I shall! Yay! And Aunty Em, I shall be using those recipes *thumbs up*.
  • We started uni on Monday, and this semester looks like actual murder. Every module just looks horrendously hard, with waaay too much to learn and some seriously difficult stuff. My spare time for the next year has gone down the drain, but at leats I had a nice holiday where I did enough nothingness to make up for this year :) 
  • I'm going to be 20 in less than a month! :O WHAT THE HELL, MAN.
 Oh yeah: I had to go to the hospital to get assigned a patient, and whilst sat in the hospital cafe, I was thinking about stereotypes, because we had a lecture on how we stereotype people the day before. And so I was trying not to judge people because, you know, that's kind of what you do when you start people watching. However, this is more difficult than one thinks, especially when people conform to their stereotype so well. There were actually tables of the different groups in the cafe:

On the furthest table from me sat the Junior Doctors: All with stethoscopes round their necks, wafer-thin, rubbing their eyes, eating like they hadn't in days, and nervously chattering whilst throwing venomous glances over at the other tables. 
On the opposite side of the cafe sat the trainee surgeons: all in scrubs, with a faintly cut throat look in their eyes when they looked at each other. None of them were smiling, their hair was messed up from their caps, and clearly, none of them had slept. Probably ever.
There was a tableof the doctors who were out of their Foundation years, and clearly training towards being consultants: all had lost their hair, or had lost most of it and then shaved their heads, despite being relatively young. All wore stripy half sleeved shirts and glasses. I mean, what was going on?!
Then there was the consultants table: all in ill-fitting suits (ill fitting because they were seriously overweight), and eating with complete disregard of each other, or of the longing glances they were getting from the younger doctors.

I was very amused. Clearly, the heirarchy still exists, and clearly people sometimes just grow into stereotypes, no matter how much they don't want to be pigeonholed.

So that is the end of me rambling, despite feeling like there were other major things I had to write. Still. I shall include them next time when I remember them.

Also, this is an AWESOMELY feel good song. :D :D And he has a great voice.


Sunday, 26 September 2010

Relocation and all it's hellish accompaniments.

This post marks the dying days of the longest, laziest holiday I've ever had, and probably ever will have. I am suitably mood-swing-y to fit the occasion.

So before rushing into talking about uni, I should make a record on my blog of "the event" which took place last week. It transpired as follows:
21:00: I am sat on bed, and room is dark, and I realise I cannot see and should probably turn a light on.

21:01: Illogically, I draw the blinds, sending the room into pitch darkness, before stepping down off the bed to go and switch the light on.

21:01 On stepping down off the bed, I experience the strange and not entirely pleasant sensation of stepping on an upturned plug, far too forcefully.

21:02  Remaining silent, whilst screaming very short words in my head, I limp over to the light , switch it on, and find that there is not only a hole in my sock, but a fairly deep hole in the bottom of my foot as well. Hop back over to the bed and sit down, by which time my foot has realised that it should be bleeding, and begins to do so with great enthusiasm.

21:07: Still sat on the bed, wondering how the hell to attract any attention, since everyone is busy, and if I try to walk I will make the laminate look like a massacre. At this point I become quite giddy (I do start laughing in a nervous, hyper manner if something's very painful) and am doing the Michael Macintyre shit-non-laugh, at the strangeness of the situation.

21:10: Hop in a bloodied manner over to parents' room, where mum proceeds to make horrified noises and announces that she cannot look, whilst dad tries to clean up the cut with a wet tissue, which stings like hell and makes me start crazy-laughing again. He then attaches the biggest dressing possible and tells me to go sit down and avoid plugs.

Friday --------->Tuesday: I remain housebound, literally sat on my bed for hours and hours and hours, unable to put any kind of weight on my foot. Hop downstairs occasionally for food, but otherwise remain sat, watching The Office and Community, without which I would have gone mad. Bless them.

Now: Have been able to walk with a slight limp since Tuesday, though it's still very obviously going to scar and hasn't healed yet. Still, I've never really been injured, so thought I'd milk the hell out of the one time I did :D Good, if not painful, stuff.

Now onto university packing, which I was not able to proceed with until I regained the ability to walk:
It basically boils down to me packing my whole life into one large purple suitcase, another very large black sports bag, and several of those bags-for-life from various supermarkets. This took hours, since I spent too much time procrastinating and just moving stuff from one bag into another. My room was depressingly bare by yesterday.

Yesterday then involved moving all said stuff into the house I shall be living in, which is very nice and small and cosy and, thank God, clean and spider free (touchwood). So I have now made my new room all homely, yay. And tomorrow I'm going for good :| Well, as long as I can stand it. So that will be fun... briefly solo living and all that. And cooking. Woo.

Yes, I'm having regular changes of mood between godawful dread, and a sort of nervous okay-ness. If I didn't have to encounter any people, it'd be fine. Gawd. Several months of absolute shunning the world has made me even worse with social skills, so talk about being chucked in at the deep end :| Ouch.

I will of course blog again once I have destroyed the kitchen due to my failed attempts at cooking. Woo. So standby for that (Y).
And now I must proceed with my mental farewell to my chav hometown, in all her shit glory. *SIGH*
Over and out!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Over six weeks, more cough medicine has reached the draining board/floor than has reached my mouth.

Admittedly a rather strange title, but what the hell, when a random thought occurs to you like that, your first subsequent thought is obviously, 'Now THAT shall be the title of my blog'. Or is that just me..? These things usually are :/
So, straight to the matter at hand: Eid! Or more excitingly, the night before Eid, because I think it's universally agreed that nothing much happens on the actual day other than eating, and planning to go out but then eating again instead.
For us, the night before Eid is inevitably VERY VERY stressful. This is because my mum and brother become very enthusiastic about baking, and decide to bake everything in the recipe book, and then decorate with every kind of sprinkle under the sun. I despise baking and would rather make one simple thing and then leave the kitchen. My mum's enthusiasm for having something baked clashes with the stress of having to make fifty other things for the next day as well. This causes several rifts.
It is fair to say that by one in the morning the brothers had sodded off to bed, whilst my mother and I were at opposite ends of the kitchen with electric tension crackling between us, staring each other out with mad eyes and heat-induced afros. The kitchen was a bomb site of dough stuck to the floor, flour strewn across all surfaces, decorative sprinkles scattered in various locations, half-marinated chicken drumsticks dripping yoghurt onto the sideboard, and burning onions. And yet, on the table between myself and my mother's forcefield of stress, sat a nice pile of baked buns/muffins/cake.
I shouted that I had yet to put some mehndi on my mum. She shouted that she didn't want any on. I shouted that I wasn't putting any on either then. She shouted don't be stupid. I shouted so now you're calling me stupid. And so on.  In the middle of us stood my grandma, who, unable to understand the English, and the fact that my mother and I are both very hot-headed and shouting matches like this are trivial, was attempting to make peace between us, worried that we were going to start throwing heavy kitchen utensils at each other.   It's all in the fun of Eid. :) Don't worry, we'd calmed down by the time we got upstairs. She even persuaded me to put some mehndi on- I could do hers the next day. 
So here is the nicest tasting thing I baked (chocolate buns with melted Galaxy chocolate chunks with chocolate frosting and chocolate buttons on top). I took the best (ie chocolate) aspects from several recipes and combined them. Ahem.
 They were pretty nice. And yes, that is the party tablecloth that my mum loves to put down on Eid. (We never really grow up.) But I still vow not to bake again until next Eid. The stress kills me.

Eid day itself consisted of blurry eyed sleepiness, since I'd only slept two hours, then baking again, then cooking various things, then finally changing from bleary-eyed-floury-pyjamas-me into uncomfortably-jazzed-up-me. On the plus side I got to wear bangles, which I have formed a strange attachment to, even if my hands are too fat to remove them without the help of hand cream :( 

We spent the day at my grandmas, everyone getting together and wasting no time in sitting down and eating everything that had been made. Which of course is fun until you are insulted publicly by certain relatives ¬_¬ BUT we don't take these things personally. PFFT. Myself and the (NICE) cousins became so bored that we went on an acquire-ice-cream trip, which was just peachy. And the day got even slower, as everyone dropped off one by one into comas following the ingestion of more food than they'd had in the previous month altogether.

And that was Eid: We went nowhere, did nothing, and were vaguely uncomfortable in our clothes, but it was still, incredibly, a lot of fun :D Wolves crew, you were bitterly missed :(

Other noteworthy things, which are not Eid related (because, yes, I'm in the mood for rambling. Again.):
  • I have discovered that the word 'Lund' (The name of my old chemistry teacher/Satan) still evokes a physiological reaction in me, causing my arterioles to narrow, and my total peripheral resistance to increase, thus increasing my blood pressure (HELL YES REVISION WIN). I discovered this because the brother (who now has him- Happy fate) was complaining about him in very short, one syllable words, and as I listened I actually felt that familiar old rage within myself. I don't know what I'd do if I ever saw him again. Most likely just spontaneously combust.
  • Speaking of blood pressures, a random man with a clipboard accosted, yes, accosted me in the street today and asked me if I wanted my blood pressure checked. Aside from the obvious, 'WHAT'RE YOU TRYING TO SAY, MATEY? DO I LOOK LIKE I NEED IT CHECKING?!' I was unsure how to respond, so threw him off by saying, 'Actually, I am able to take my own ¬_¬'. This puzzled him sufficiently to make him go away.
  • Despondent Medic is responsible for my rediscovering of Neil Gaiman :D I've read one book of his a while back, and always intended to read more, and am now a bit hooked. Legend of an author. Thank you muchly.
  • The Emad-ness likes to wear a low hat and sunglasses and hide in his car near public buildings. I don't think I need to insinuate any more here :) Much fun was had rediscovering every good track in the universe, for nostalgia reasons. 
  • Mark Wahlberg is the cheaper, 'Lidl' version of Matt Damon.
  • Baby Bear looks incredibly cute with a bubble bath beard. As does Hasan in a school uniform. *Sniff* And Aunty Em is far better at baking than any of her neices, however Delia they try to be ¬_¬ Pfft. 

Friday, 3 September 2010

Not too Shabby (Recycled title, because I love that damn phrase)

Hello! (Warning- this is a horrendously long post because I'm in a rambly mood)
Before I go into the actual point of this post (food...obviously), I should make a record of todays events: Our mosque doesn't usually cater for women, but on the last Friday of Ramadhan they clear out a floor so the women can read Jummah. So myself, the mother, the cousin and the grandma went along. For one, it was WEIRDLY nostalgic- I used to go there every day after school until I was seven, and I remember everything looking huge. Such as the great big chasm of a staircase leading down to the mosque entrance. Now I realise it's just five small steps and a little, worn-out doorway. The Great Hall where we used to sit is just a small-ish room, and the intensely mysterious 'corridor' which I used to sneak off to explore under the pretence of going to the toilet, is just..well..the corridor to the mosque kitchen. I think I preferred my childhood outlook :)

Then there were the women. My grandma knows pretty much everyone, so countless women who I do not know were randomly shaking my hand as they came by to meet her (I don't think many of them knew who I was either). Hand shaking: fine. Very nice, pleasant and over and done with very quickly. What I do NOT appreciate is situations like this:
Unknown lady approaches Grandma: How are you?! So nice to see you!
Humaira sits, minding own business.
Without warning, Humaira's head is gripped in a vice hold and turned almost 180 degrees, to breaking point of her neck.
Unknown lady, currently breaking Humaira's neck: AND WHO ARE THESE GIRLS?!  ARE YOU [insert father's name]'S DAUGHTER?!

Humaira  (out loud, in strangled tone): YES, YES I AM.
Several seconds of unknown lady just observing, whilst maintaining her death grip, then letting go.
Humaira whimpers in pain and curls into a ball as Unknown lady initiates a similar attack on the cousin, who is brain damaged following the severity of the event.

Yes. The joys of community.

SO, back to the point! I had to blog, because *that* day finally arrived. Yes. I made food willingly! True, it was only falafels, which aren't very hard to make, but if you had observed the burnt-to-a-crisp messes that all my previous cooking attempts have become, you would understand the achievement here.
The adventure, a tour de force of tears, laughs and sheer adrenaline thrills, is documented below.(Note, the excessive detail about cooking is for you, Aunty Em. Since you enjoy these things).
  • 13:05- wake up. Look, I'm making the most of being able to sleep in before uni starts. And I am a slob. 
  • 15:00- Younger brother enters room. He begins high school for the first time on Monday, and is fretting about what should go in his pencil case and what shouldn't, therefore wants me to sit with him and sort it out. Bless.
  • 16:00- I decide to make falafels having seen a rather nice picture of them in my student cookbook (win!). Drive to Asda with brother (watching out for the nasty parking attendant who hounded me when I scraped my car. Brother (all 5 foot of him) promises to beat him up for me if he sees him.). Pick up ingredients and much unnecessary junk food.
  • 18:00- In true Asian style, totally ignore quantities in recipe book and begin throwing together ingredients in random amounts. No self respecting Asian housewife pays any regard to ingredient quantities. If you can't guess it intuitively, according to my mum, you're not a cook.
  • 19:00- Falafel are ready to fry and red onion/peppers/tomato/lettuce salad is made (hungry sigh....), and pitta breads are ready. There is a small moment of horror when I drop several falafels into the oil and they start to disintegrate. Note to future Humaira: ALWAYS BIND THEM WITH EGG.
  • 19:45- Toast pitta breads on panini type grill. My finger, in a random suicide attempt, decides to toast itself as well. This was extremely painful. 
  • 20:00- Rather messy pitta bread toasties are complete, and finally eaten. And are not bad, and nobody dies as a result of food poisoning! Success!
So yes. I am now no longer demoralised and shall endeavour to make more challenging things, that require more than simply being mashed up in a blender and fried.
And because I was so proud, I took photos :D This is before they were semi destroyed by frying. (Please Note: I'm not an Arab, or a cook. Clearly I cannot do Arab food justice- I'm just glad they turned out edible).

Yes. Because it is the only kind of salad combination worth eating.
I forgot to photo the actual finished result. Yes, that kind of absent mindedness is possible.OH! (Nope, not done yet).
I had another photo to add, because the Wolves crew visited again :D Hasan feeding Baby Bear strawberry jelly:

Okay, I think I'm done now. I should go and try to relieve my semi broken neck, and devise more recipes involving chickpeas.
Over and out :)

    Friday, 27 August 2010

    One does not simply walk into Mordor.

    It has been a melancholy sort of a day. One of those eerily quiet ones, where it's all sunny and everything is still. I turned the fan on in my room, and now don't want to turn it off because it's the only background noise around. I don't think I've spoken more than about 5 words out loud since I woke up.
    So yes, despite having a less-than-interesting life, I am blogging due to excessive blackmail from my Aunty Em. Here is the lowdown on life at the moment:
    • I have dredged up the beginnings of an old story from my Documents, and have decided it's worth carrying on with, rather than starting something new (as I have no new ideas). I rather like it, but surprise myself with how depressing the subject matter of my stories tend to be. I can't write about happy people! That must point to some kind of neurosis...
    • My cough remains stubbornly here, and I have now progressed onto those kinds of high strength medicines that tell you not to operate heavy machinery after you take them. I shall keep that in mind. 
    • The cough medicines mean that I tend to be either sleepy, or asleep. Constantly.
    • The sleepy state means that I have no control over my texting ability. And am liable to send drunken texts without actually being drunk. Who knew, that after laughing at my friends for their pratfalls whilst gazeboed (as Michael Macintyre puts it), I too would wake up every morning and go through my 'sent' box with a serious sense of dread?
    • I have realised that I am really very nervous about moving into a house, after a year of basically isolating myself in my room. I will have to leave my room :| This scares me.
    • I have realised that I am actually kind of looking forward to being a second year, minus house issues. This is an achievement because I have never looked forward to anything in my life without nerves overshadowing the excitement. I worry a lot. But this is the first time the nerves have been outdone! HA! TAKE THAT, WORST-CASE-SCENARIO CENTRE IN MY BRAIN!
    • I am wearing purple today. Yep. Noteworthy.
    • Community is indeed very, very good. What little I've seen of it. 
    • The Kiersey/Myers Briggs personality indicator test thingy is scarily accurate but can make you obsess a bit.
    • I have been sat for the last ten minutes trying to think of another point, which surely speaks for itself.
    So that's all I have, except for resurrecting (again) the See Also section.

    See Also: My biohazard of a bookshelf, Yoghurt, food-obsession, being scared of phoning people, eyeliner, cleaning, tidying, cooking (and burning), Afghani Taxi Drivers playing less-than-appropriate Jay Sean tracks in the car and making us very uncomfortable, depressing discussions, and further melancholy.

    Over and out!

    Friday, 20 August 2010

    Illness makes me Grouchy.

    So Ramadhan is here, and everyone Muslim is blogging about food. Please stop making me hungry. Okay, maybe I shouldn't be on here that much in ramadhan anyway.. Lesson learnt.
     I have had a horrible cough for two weeks now (Thank you Baby Bear. Though I'd still see you again - totally worth it). For the last week it has accompanied a weird, constant leg ache that reeeeeeeeally annoys me. What does leg ache have to do with a cough?! So now I am finally, after two weeks of insisting it was a random cough that would blow over, on antibiotics.

    Me: Will they mess up my stomach?
    Dad: Have you had them before?
    Me: Not in years.
    Dad: Then we'll see.
    Goodbye, stable digestive system.

    I have nothing else noteworthy to share because illness has consumed my life. I can't write- I literally, LITerally have no ideas. And the routine of Ramadhan tends to consume all other activities. Though in fairness I've refused to go out anywhere. Going to the supermarket in ramadhan just kills me. Even salad looks appetising. And that's a sad state of affairs.
    OH. I got one of those chain messages today.  I might as well have the rant that was mentally bothering me since I got it:
    Please, PLEASE do not forward those crappy chain messages that say something like this:

    On the *Insert date*, there will be a protest in *Insert perceived racist country, eg Denmark*, where they will parade insulting pictures of our Prophet. We Muslims must organise our own protests to condemn this terrible event. Forward this to every muslim you know because our Prophet said *Insert made-up Hadith about how people who don't forward chain messages will burn*

    There are..well, many problems with these messages and the people who forward them, but let me point some out.
    1. Most of the world wasn't aware of that Protest in Denmark/wherever, until your little forwarded message got every Muslim up in arms to the point that they made several thousand angry Facebook groups about it. Now that loads of other morons have found out about it, they're thinking, awesome, why don't we do it here too?
    2. Angry Muslims who go up in arms about verbal insults do not help with combatting the sterotype about Muslims being angry people who get up in arms about verbal insults.
    3. You are much more likely to burn for forwarding a made up Hadith.

    The same principle goes for moronic facebook groups like 'BAN THE GROUP F*** ISLAM'. Well, people, you join that, and the group 'F*** Islam' thanks you kindly for just extending its publicity to your whole friends list, and for boosting its member count. Please do not be so stupid.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm as hurt/shocked as anyone by the hatred displayed by these people. But the only people benefitting from you spreading the word with this kind of stuff are A) The ones who set up the groups/organise the protests, and  B) Facebook/Your phone company.

    Rant over. 
    Sorry. Some things just make me angry, and when I'm angry I go all passive aggressive.
    I'll post interesting things next time :D

    Oh, and Emadness asked who Baby Bear is:

    Meet Ibrahim. The youngest member of the Wolves Crew. His perpetually victimised expression never fails to win me over. Aunty Em, I hope you do not mind me exploiting his cuteness.

    Friday, 13 August 2010


              YES, I HAVE RETURNED! It's okay, everyone, you can relax now in the knowledge that I was not kidnapped, mugged or crushed by a heavy object falling from the sky. There is faaaaaar too much to tell.
              Firstly, before I go into weird anecdotes, I should point out that going to Saudi Arabia was, on the whole, amazing. I've been for umrah before, but I don't think I appreciated it, being younger and all. Everything about Makkah is frenzied and crazy, and the people are angry, and you hear nothing but beeping and shouting. You join the huge crowd of people walking towards the mosque and you're basically carried along. But once I was inside the mosque, I felt so awed I couldn't even talk. Madinah, as a city, is the total opposite-  incredibly peaceful and quiet both outside and inside the Mosque. Even the Imams seem to take their time when they lead the prayer. Both places were beautiful in their own way, but by the end I felt more attached to Madinah, just because you're so detached from the world there.
    So now, onto noteworthy things:

    • Heat: I cannot describe how utterly cooked we were :| It ranged from mid to high 40s during the day, to lows of 37 at night.
    • Typos/weird phrasing: Being an English-speaking person in Makkah/Madinah is very funny, because anything written in English tends to be horrendously wrong. One shop declared 'ANYONE 2 RIYAALS', which gave me horrific images of children hung up on display with 2 Riyaal price tags. There was also a 'Shopping Canter', and a 'Fruniture Van'. 
    • "Iran?": I was asked this exactly 6 times, by various Arab women. It wasn't a problem until we got to the Mosque in Madinah, and the woman in charge was separating people by nationality. She tried to pull me away from my mum and cousins, insisting that I was just pretending to be Pakistani.  We shouted 'PAKISTAN' at her with no effect, until my mum's younger sister gestured wildly at our salwaars, proving conclusively that we were not Arabs because we dressed like Pakis. She seemed to be satisfied with this and let me go. *shrugs* Paki clothes win! Oh, and there was the street trader who I tried to buy a bottle of water off, who told me the price in Farsi. When I didn't understand he got unaccountably very angry, and started screaming at me in Farsi :| I hid behind the brother and ran away. He continued to scream after me.
    • T-shirts : There was a real trend amongst Saudi teenage boys for T-shirts with English slogans. The problem is, they tended to have bought any shirt with English on it, with no knowledge of what it said, confident that they looked pretty damn cool. Some slogans on t-shirts were as follows: 'Music makes me dance', 'I love my shirt....and you.', 'Wildness in Progress', 'Resist anything but temptation', 'Rockaholic', and 'Perfect Match'.  I had a good laugh, especially at the more camp ones, and got nothing but puzzled and then gradually flattered looks in return. 
    •  Bazaars: Yes. The street traders in general were just...dodgy. Perverse, and actually dodgy- they scrambled to pack up stuff and leave whenever the police drove past. And they'd call us as we went past- one made me laugh when he shouted 'Doctor!', which I think was meant to flatter me and my cousin into going over..? (Or he was having a heart attack and we just ignored him). They also watched like hawks for any sign that we were English, in order to rip us off. I was ripped off several thousand times. Not that I bought anything other than Pepsi and ice cream the whole fortnight :)
    •  Traffic system: Or should I say, the lack thereof. There is no system. Cars just bottleneck, and drive on pavements/over pedestrians to get where they need to be. And if you're walking, you do not stop when  you come to a road. That would be ridiculous. You march out and expect cars to stop for you. I lost count of the number of times I thought I was going to die as the cousins lead us out in front of speeding traffic. That King of the Road hedgehog would've had a coronary.
    •  Taxis: Taxi rides were actually exciting, just because our lives hung by a thread whenever we were in one. I actually loved the battered/worn feel of everything in Makkah and Madinah, the taxis especially. Suspension was just a silly word that nobody had heard of. The seats were torn with stuffing poking out. There were no seatbelts. Rarely any air conditioning. To hail a taxi, we just stood at the side of a busy road, and taxis driving past beeped at us. Fares were negotiated then and there, with the driver shouting to my dad whilst holding up a mile of angry traffic behind him, and then he usually drove off because my dad realised he was ripping us off. Good times :D Beats any taxi I've ever caught in Leicester.
    • The boy who jumped on our taxi: Yes. We'd stopped at a red light, under a bridge, when suddenly there was a thud as somebody jumped from it and hit our van, then a clattering as he climbed up the back of our van and onto the roof. The driver jerked to a halt (almost throwing him off the roof) and made him get down. We watched from inside as the boy (aged about 12)  ran in circles around the taxi, and the driver chased him, in true Tom and Jerry style. He then let the boy sit IN the taxi, saying he'd rather give him a free ride than have the boy fall off the roof to his death. So the boy sat amongst the 10 of us, looking very sheepish. This was incredibly strange.
    • Valley of Jinn- We'd been told there was a 3 mile stretch of desert just outside Madinah where, if you drove your car there and put it in neutral, the car would be 'pushed' out of that area by some invisible force. Our group was on a sightseeing day, when the coach driver agreed to take us there to see it. It was just a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, with desert on either side and mountains in the distance. He drove along the 3 mile stretch for some time, then turned the coach round, put it in neutral and got out of his seat. And seriously, our coach started moving :| It accelerated up to about 60mph by itself, driving in a straight line along perfectly flat land until we were out of that 3 mile area. This was very freaky and I cannot explain it. 
    • Women in Madinah- It's a sad fact that when you go in to the women's area of the Mosque to see the place where the Prophet is buried, it's always a heaving frenzy. There's a serious danger of stampedes, and it tends to be down to the huge Arab women who come in screaming, despairing groups of about 40, and push and shove and step over people to fight their way to the front. Not that I'm just blaming the Arabs, a lot of women push, but they just went over the top when I was there. And it's pretty sickening to see people behaving like that in such a sacred place, where you're supposed to keep your voice down out of respect. I almost came to blows (unintentionally) with a woman who I tapped on the shoulder to tell her to stop shoving me. She got in my face and started shouting in Arabic (apparently saying 'WHAT DID YOU PUSH ME FOR? WHO ARE YOU ANYWAY?!' according to my cousin later.) and this was very scary because she was built like a truck. I did not make that mistake again.
    I'm going to stop with the bullet points and put up some of the pictures I took!

    The view from our hotel balcony in Madinah.
    The complimentary Gecko that came with our room in Madinah.
    Sunrise in Makkah

    So yeah. That's about it for Saudi- a very abridged version.
    The week following my return has been pretty frantic, involving the Wolves crew, and Aunty Em getting all self conscious about blog comments (I was joking!), and Baby Bear being extra cute and Hasan being effeminate, and family gossip and sleepovers at my grandmas, joyful reunions, and my first ever car 'accident' and a GIT of a trolley boy at Asda. But that's going to have to be in the next blog because I have talked WAY too much now :)
    Over and out! *waaaves*

    Wednesday, 14 July 2010

    Crash mats. Unrelated to the post, it's just the first thing I thought.

    I remembered today that when I was about six, I got shouted at for something, and hence decided that nobody appreciated me, and so I would run away to show them all what they were missing out on. And so I took out a big square scarf, laid it out on the bed, put in a change of clothes and various things that a six year old considers to be essential running-away-kit, and then tied the four corners of the scarf together and tied it to a stick to make a Pingu style bindle.  Because I thought this was the only way to carry items if one was running away. The scary thing? I'm not kidding. I got as far as the front door, where I turned the key in the lock, then realised I didn't know what I was going to do after walking to the bottom of Halifax Road. So I trudged back upstairs and undid the bindle and went back downstairs and sat and sulked on the staircase where I would attract maximum attention. Yes, Aunty Em, if you're reading this, I can only apologise for my dramatic-ness, as a child and now, lol.
    This has taught me two things:
    1. I was an attention-seeking little brat of a kid. I know that anyway, but this emphasises my point.
    2. One should never underestimate a six year old's capacity to make overdramatic and rash decisions.
    Why am I relating this story? Because I remembered it randomly, and felt it was noteworthy, and I don't have too much to blog. *Shrugs*. Well, actually, I might have...
    • I have basically spent the last week cooking/cleaning/cooking/cleaning. It all started last Saturday when we had the WHOLE family round for general eating and together-ness in my garden. This was lovely, because we haven't got together like that in a long time, but my God, we cleaned the house and the garden upside down, inside out. Painful. Naturally, the party didn't start til the Wolverhampton crew arrived. Good times. Speaking of the Wolverhampton crew, Baby Bear succeeded in being completely adorable, whilst projectile vomiting (yes, there was a need to highlight that) all over a cousin's incredibly nice clothes. It's like he waited for her to pick him up... 
    • Myself and Aunty Em have been pretending to be House, going through differential diagnoses via texts, trying to work out why one of my aunties was so ill last week. I was waiting for that enlightenment moment that comes at the forty minute mark, but it never came, dammit ¬_¬ House is a lie!
    •  I am going to be deported in two days time. Yes. They discovered me. You can only stay under the radar for so long. Still, it's only for two weeks, and I'm going to Saudi Arabia, so a pleasant sort of a deportation :) And however much it will torture some people that I am away for this vast stretch of time, I just wish for them to know that they should move on with their life, and find new friends, and remember the good times. Yes. 
    • I remembered the word 'Friendo' today! From No Country For Old Men! If anybody hasn't seen it, the word is from my favourite scene in it. Which is here. Slightly shit sound quality, but it's worth watching the whole film :D
    • I have written a paragraph of new story! And that's about it. I like the paragraph, and don't want to ruin it by carrying on, which is a bit counterproductive.
    • Walking down to town today with the brother, I failed to notice the actual Emad driving past, despite looking right at him and the fact that he flashed his headlights. I only recognised the car a second later and then spun round like a retard. An overall retard moment, I feel. Cringe. 
    • Inception looks mind-blowing. Just watch the damn trailer.
    • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is an awesome film, though incredibly sad at times. Still: Thank you iPlayer. Again :)
    • The Jenny was met up with in Huddersfield and we had an excellent catch up, eventually reaching the conclusion that her ideal life partner would be chosen on the basis of whether he owned a Fez. Not a bad screening process.
    • Babysitting my 1 year old cousin was a lot of fun. Especially the part where she chewed my phone ¬_¬ And smeared banana all over me. And almost took off my arm with her vice grip when the sound of a pneumatic drill outside scared her. Her cuteness, and the fact that I got to use her as an excuse to watch Cbeebies (In the night garden, and Pippin! YAY!) made up for it.
    • I have a new book! Called The Passage, by Justin Cronin. It is awesome so far. His writing reminds me of Stephen King, but without the unnecessary pages and pages of random irrelevance, which can only be a good thing. I WILL finish it by Friday.
    • I have been forced to gather together all the Asian clothes I possess, since one cannot be wearing jeans in Saudi. Since I do not possess Asian clothes as everydaywear, because I only dress properly Asian at weddings, I had to go out and buy normal Asian clothes. It's actually rather nice to wear Asianwear that isn't wedding-flashy.
    • I wish to move to Canada someday. Everyone should!  Take me to Vancouver! It looks so pretty!*Sigh*
      I have now talked for long enough. I have to finish that book by Friday, dammit. But since this will be my last post for the next fortnight, I felt rambling was needed. What the hell. I feel rambling's needed whatever the occasion. Farewell, my vast and diverse readership of about six individuals, one of whom is related to me. Do not become too distraught in my absence.

      Wednesday, 30 June 2010

      Slow motion shaking your fist at the sun just angers it, if anything.

      SO...uh..I write this with no idea what to write. I mean, stuff has happened, but what to write? Lists are the best way to go about these things...
      • I passed my exams, and passed them well! So now I can officially say I'm going to be a second year medic and all is good and fine and happy and it means I don't have to worry about anything ever again until September. And...inhale. But yes: I am chuffed. To say it was fluke would be insulting- I have had no life for three months due to revision. Not passing after that hell-hole of a quarter would have suggested that the only viable way forward for me would be to donate my brain to science for study- that way at least somebody would get some good out of it. A tad dramatic? Never.
      • Went to Wolverhampton and met Aunty Em, Hasan, Baby Bear and the family for the first time since Easter! Was very amused by Aunty Em's very-near breakdown when my brother used the wrong plate for his food, and ate things in the wrong order. She doesn't like the system messed up... @_@
      • Speaking of '@_@' (which basically means OCD), I discovered that Emad hasn't had Pepsi/any fizzy drinks for literally years, until the sip of Pepsi he had this weekend. THIS IS DISGUSTING. SORT YOUR LIFE OUT.
      • Also in Wolverhampton- helped give Baby Bear a bath! This was adorable. And took several photos of Hasan, for each of which he assumed a different muscle-man pose. Whether the child's somehow discovered Facebook, or has just fallen in with the wrong crowd at nursery, I don't know. 
      • I found what I thought was a used glow stick on my table during a mass clearup of my room, and cracked it and chucked it in the bin, only to look five minutes later and see that my bin was glowing blue!! Discovery of unused glow stick = BEST DISCOVERY EVER. Well, no, I take that back, I then discovered a BOX of unused glow sticks!! Awesome! (Though I physically can't use them because the thought of them running out pains me).
      • I have discovered that if medicine doesn't work out, I can always make my living as a football commentator. I refer of course to the England VS Germany game. Nope, NO interest whatsoever in football, and I hadn't watched a single match up to then, but I semi-promised somebody (¬_¬) that I would keep them updated with the score. Happy fate, then, that it turned out to be the most controversial, exciting, scream-at-the-TV game ever.  Then again, I wouldn't know, I have nothing else to compare this match to. I intend to keep it that way.
      • I've literally lost the ability to write :| I see what you were on about, Despondent Medic, what with it being holidays now. I think it's harder to write when you actually have the time to. The only story I wrote worth reading was written at 3am. On a weekday.God knows why.
      • My mother acquired me the most beautiful dress ever, but because I'm determined not to let this become a fashion blog, I shall simply describe it- a deep purple tunic, with shiny-ness (ie sequins) and white and purple paisley prints all over it. Pretty.
      • I spent today in a waking coma due to Sun-lethargy and...lethargy. Fun times.
      • I count the moles I have on my face (because I keep getting more!) At last count there were 8. Nothing to take the poetry out of beauty spots like thinking of them as small, benign tumours :) (Sorry aunty Em, that's the only bit of medical fact I'm putting in this post, for your benefit).
      I have nothing else to say, really. When more happens in my life, I'll let you know.
      *waves to all*

      Friday, 18 June 2010

      There are five pepsi cans on my window sill. True story.

      Good evening.
      I write this incredibly self consciously, having discovered that my group is aware of my blog due to somebody in the group mentioning it to the others today... (I'm looking at you Vijay, just because I have discovered your potential to lie convincingly). I'd forgotten I even had a link to it on my Facebook *Looks shifty and not at all like that was a desparate ploy to get readers when she first started writing it, that she is now too desparate to remove.*

      So yes. Now I shall have to be incredibly careful who I bitch  write about. And if any of you are reading, I LOVE MY GROUP. Ahem. I don't even have to correct the sarcasm, everyone knows I love the group :D
      Moving on from that horribly awkward beginning... :)
      So the OSCE is over, exams are over (for the moment ¬_¬), and there is nothing to worry about. Yet. It is an awesome feeling. Last week was spent:
      • Sitting out in the garden soaking up the sun (admittedly whilst thinking about vitamin D synthesis the whole time).
      • Reading Fight Club (admittedly whilst mentally going through types of fractures and how they heal)
      • Shopping in Huddersfield with my mum (admittedly pointing out a man with an abnormal gait and explaining to my mum how damage to the common fibular nerve causes foot drop.)
      • Watching The Road to see whether it lived up to the awesome book, which it did (admittedly spending much of the film trying to remember the body's metabolic responses to starvation).
      • Weighing myself (admittedly then trying to work out my BMI with a calculator). That wasn't pretty.
      • Not watching the football. 
      • Watching Doctor Who (and admittedly wondering how the Doctor's plan to 'reverse the enzyme decay' and 'excite the tannin molecules' by feeding Craig extra strong tea, was going to revive him) Can't believe the series is ending soon :(
      I remember spending a large chunk of time the other evening explaining some medical concept to the little brother, too. Just the start of his training. By the end of his summer, I'll have him a seasoned first year medic. The other year sevens won't know what's hit them.

      So yeah. Switched off completely last week :D The sad thing is, none of the above points are in any way exagerrated. I am a walking tragedy.

      Now back in Leicester for a doss of a weekend, and then (hopefully) a laid back week of ethics and ethics-related things. Don't look at me, I don't know either... 

      In other news, people are finishing for Summer left, right and centre and this is wholly unfair. I shall of course be partying hard this last week of uni, but underneath this loud, party animal exterior, I'm all for a quiet life.

      Certain people have gone a little bit fanboy over their new phones, and cannot stop mentioning them. ¬_¬ And yes, maybe I got a little bit psycho when deprived of contact with certain people for a week. Ahem. But it's okay, we're back to hatred now.

       Oh, and contrary to popular belief, I do occasionally wear bangles! So I found a picture of the set I bought to put on here :D Fear not. This will not become a fashion blog. More...just pretty shiny things. I am a slave to my magpie instinct.

      Aaaand I have nothing else to talk about because nothing else has happened. Which is nice :) I like it that way. Back to the slob life, ie eating and re-watching Life On Mars. But mainly eating.


      Saturday, 5 June 2010

      Oreo McFlurry, Strawberry Milkshake, Pizza, Galaxy Counters, More Galaxy Counters, Pepsi, Fish and Chips...

      Back! And more sane than in the previous post, due to 2/3 of the weight being off my mind. I warn you, I got carried away with colouring words :D Oh, and don't worry, I didn't actually eat everything in the title. or two bites of each. Ahem. Still adds up :/
      So, written exams were Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm a little unsure as to how I feel about them- I felt like everything I'd revised came up, but afterwards I kept having mini heart attacks, with the realisation that I'd written the complete wrong answer. Great.
      Ah well, the last several weeks (who am I kidding, months), which have felt like an extended Night of the Living Dead Me, were totally worth it just for that sensation of almost-freedom when I walked out into the Sun (the Sun! Remember the Sun??!) after that second exam. And I made a beeline for the train station because I WAS GOING HOME!
      And here I sit. At home, utterly bloated due to the excess of food which my mother has insisted I eat (and due in part to my own compulsive junk-eating tendencies). You'd think, the way I was talking, that I was out of the woods. Not so. My OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) is next Friday, and that's going to be bloody hard :/ Being verbally grilled on anatomy, taking a patient history, giving a presentation, explaining a medical condition to a patient, hip, knee and shoulder examinations, a cardiovascular system examination, measuring a blood pressure, and to top it all off, using a search engine to find a medical article. Good god. I am screwed.
      And so I have spent since Wednesday using my small brother/father/mother to practice taking blood pressures from- and I can finally do it! It's been worrying me like crazy. I've been perfecting it by taking my own, and have discovered I have an abnormally low blood pressure- 108/54. I'm sure it's not supposed to be that low. It would explain why I had several dizzy spells last week, though I still put those down to being a bit spaced out.
      Kinda still need to learn my anatomy. Which means I might have to leave home early, since my anatomy textbook, which weighs more than my family put together, is back in Leicester. :( *Sigh*
      Oh, and I still need formal clothes for the OSCE, and a pair of shoes that actually cover the top of my feet, otherwise we're not allowed into the Dissection Room. NO girls shoes cover the tops of your feet, with the exception of boots! And I don't know how welcoming they're going to be if I turn up in these.
      Still, at least I know it'll ALL be over on Friday :D I have a list! I call it the List Of Things To Do Once My Life Has Resumed.

      The List of Things To Do Once My Life Has Resumed
      • Eat as much as is humanly possible, constantly. Attach self to drip overnight if sleep is eventually necessary.
      • Finish a bloody story ¬_¬ I've lost the ability to write and I WILL get it back.
      • Re-read my Chuck Palahniuk collection, and actually read more books!
      • Watch Toy Story 3
      • Spend time with family, preferably doing nothing more than sitting out in the garden (Family! Remember them??!) This includes Hasan, Baby Bear and Maryam, who I feel have grown up far too fast whilst I've been away :(
      • Go to Pizza Hut. Ah, how I have missed you.
      • Learn how to speak Urdu without sounding like a retard.
      • Learn how to cook without serving dishes that might as well be biohazards.
      • Teach the youngest brother first-year medicine (Hey, you can never be too prepared. Even if he doesn't want to be a doctor. Ahem.) 
      • Make myself, through self hypnosis or mutilation if necessary (though I'm not sure that self harms the right way to combat neuroses) stop killing my nails.
      • Get purple hair. Ah, you know I kid, I'm bald really.
      • Not watch the football.
      So yes. I shall add more when I think of them, in subsequent posts.
      Back to revising! YAY! ¬_¬

      Sunday, 23 May 2010

      Several tangents bundled together and passed off as a post.

      There is nothing particularly entertaining here, just psychoanalysing myself. Felt the need to blog it because it's nice to vent to the ether when you don't have a psychologist handy. Feel free not to humour me, or to skip to less egocentric posts :) I mind not.
      On Friday we learnt about systems for assessing the stage of cancer- they have different names- Duke's, TNM, Ann Arbor, etc, according to which type of cancer it is.When our tutor said, 'So what's Ann Arbor?' I had to physically swallow to restrain myself from calling out, 'It's where you park a boat.'
      Yes. Black humour meets the worst pun in the world. This is what uni does to you. I've never made a pun in my life, but my brain decides to switch on the Punchline Centre when it comes to cancer. 
      It's an interesting point, though- doesn't everyone get the irrepressible urge to laugh at the most sober moments? I heard somewhere it's a defence mechanism. I know if someone starts to tell me a really depressing story, and they're looking right at me, I can't stop myself smiling. And coming across as the most crass human being on the planet. I then feel the need to assure them that I do appreciate the shit-ness of the situation by exclaiming, 'That's horrible!', whilst still grinning. Fail. And yet I'm one of these overly-emotional, empathise-with-everyone, would-buy-a-big-issue-from-every-vendor-in-Leicester people. Just very, very bad at showing it.
      It tends to be people I know that I'm worse with. I don't seem to have a problem expressing sympathy to patients. The other day, one of my friends was utterly distraught, having heard some bad news from back home. She told me, half in tears, and instead of the obvious comforting response, I went into mechanical-mode and did what was practical- helped her with her work, because she wasn't thinking straight.
      I also did it when my mum was ill about 2 years ago- most of the family was either crying or panicking. I totally shut down, and went a bit robot, and just did what was practical, no reactions whatsoever. Every situation where there's been panic in the family, I've just shut off all expression and come across as cold/detached. The feeling holds off until it's all over, and then I'm overwhelmed by it when I'm finally by myself. And then the thought of it haunts me indefinitely.
      Is that a type A personality thing? The same as bottling up stress? I'm sure it's healthier to let out how you're feeling at the time ¬_¬
      I've mixed up the idea of finding humour in depressing situations, and just turning into a robot in depressing situations. Both seem a little dysfunctional, if I'm honest. Basically, this sums up as: I am a prime candidate for coronary artery disease, based on being Asian, with the fitness level of a brick, and an internal stress gauge that needs routine replacement due to overheating and smashing. I'm really going to have to put an end to these modifiable risk factors- can't help being brown, but I'm sure if I get over the social anxiety of entering a gym, and put away this half-finished Pepsi....
      Well, baby steps. Nothing too drastic. I'll start with the gym. But I do hate it when you walk in and everyone looks at you :| You can feel the judgement, as they size you up, assess whether to put you in the category of 'Bitch. Too thin to be in a gym, only here to rub my face in it' or 'Beached whale. Stay, so I can feel better about myself.'
      Women have an uncanny ability to assess your dress size within seconds, add it to a list of your flaws, and then cross match it with their own. It is only then that they will make the decision of whether to be friendly, or go frost-maiden on you.
      Maybe that was a bit cynical. It's why I don't go to gyms, anyway ¬_¬ And why I'm always intimidated in groups of girls.
      As for life at the moment: well, it does not exist. I am a machine, existing only to revise, eat, and sleep.  And the Sun is evil, and messes with my head. Which is why I am spewing bizarre posts like this.  So I'd better be off :)
      By the way, Gorillaz sang this on Jonathon Ross, and I thought it sounded rather pretty and dreamlike.


      Once more unto the breach, etc.

      Wednesday, 12 May 2010

      Where are YOU sleeping tonight?

       (Sorry for bad quality, didnt get any pictures myself, this is stolen)
      I write this perched in a half-on-half-off-my-seat position, due to the pain of sitting properly, having spent the night on a freezing cold floor. Good times. Black and blue, but good times. This post will  be an account of the Homed Sponsored Sleepout, which for those of you that don't know, was an event where about 90 Leicester students slept rough in Leicester City Centre for one night ,to raise awareness about those homeless people who have to sleep rough every night, and what they face. Any sponsor money raised went to Action Homeless, a charity whch tries to get homeless people back into housing, and give them some independence.

      • 6pm- Myself and Sarah got down to the city centre, where most of the group were already sat around the clock tower, with lots of cardboard laid out. We set up with Tamsen and Emma, my flatmates who I'd roped into it :)  Everyone who took part got a Homed 'Where are you sleeping tonight?' T-shirt, as you can see in the photo. Team Orange! :D We got loads of press people, and attention from passers-by, which was the aim really, and a lot of people donated which was very cool.
      • 8pm ish- it started to get dark and a little bit cold. The Salvation Army donated blankets, which was awesome! I felt it was time to layer up, so added my purple hoody ( :D :D), a pair of gloves, and my blanket to the four layers I had on already. Ahem. Toasty warm. Roundabout this time a homeless man and his dog stopped by and sat down with us. The dog was appropriately fitted out with a Homed t-shirt. This was adorable. 
      • 9pm- Salvation Army people said we could come to the centre in groups of ten, and they'd prepared hot soup, shepherd's pie, and sandwiches for us! This was lovely of them. My hands were frozen by this point, and I've never appreciated tomato soup until last night. Damn. Another man who was homeless, and uses Action Homeless services befriended us (particularly Emma, ahem). He told us that the night before, he'd slept rough, and had been moved on by police 11 times in one night :| That was depressing. He also told us we were in for a shock, and he'd woken up the other night to find a layer of frost on his mattress. It's a horrible thought, that people usually have to face this alone.
      • 10pm- Dark, and the chill was setting in. People started laying out sleeping bags to keep warm. The man we'd met settled down to stay with us for the night, and another man, who was about sixty, stopped to talk to us, and said he was homeless too. Some of the committee offered him food, and sat him down to talk to him. It was quite sad to see how grateful he was- it's not as though we did anything particularly special for him, but Emma said it makes you wonder how he's treated normally, if he gets emotional when people offer him some company, and something to eat. Both men slept with our group for the night- it was the one time they could do so without being moved on, because we were there for a valid reason.
      • Half 11- Rain scare! It started raining quite heavily, so naturally, everyone panicked, picked up anything they could grab and ran for cover under the shelters of the shops. We weren't allowed to set up outside a certain perimeter by the council, though, so it was either don't-get-comfy or come-back-into-the-rain ¬_¬ Damn that council. It stopped raining 5 minutes later, thank God, but the drizzle was on and off the whole night. 
      • 12am- Officially halfway through the sleepout! The last few people were walking through the city centre, but we were still attracting some interest. I'd got huddled up in my sleeping bag by this point, because I was frozen, despite all my layers. There was a horrible cold wind that got inside the bag and froze my face numb- serious ouch. One of my legs was reeeally hurting because I'd had it tensed for ages without realising. However, despite this, my bag made an alright, albeit rock hard pillow, and I was kind of okay. I managed to sleep for about half an hour, but spent the rest of the time awake, just for the sake of it. I was surprised by the number of people who were asleep- quite a few were snoring like they'd never left their beds.
      • 2pm- At this point, it was really quite dead, and I was sat up, shivering with my teeth chattering, all huddled up in a blanket. Sarah couldn't sleep due to people incessantly talking next to her, Tamsen had dropped off quite nicely, and Emma was wide awake. Malcolm, the older homeless man, decided he didn't get on with the younger guy, so moved over to Sarah's side to sit with her. They were fast friends by the end of the night- this was rather cute. 
      • 3pm- Random people who had finished their work shift at this time came over and donated loads of money and told us we were doing a great job :D Woo! Me and Emma talked to a guy who used to be homeless, but now works for Action Homeless and tries to get more people off the streets. He was really passionate about it, because he'd been there, and he stayed awake the entire night, just watching over us and generally making us feel safe. Legend. 
      • 5pm- People started getting up and shuffling around, and operation clean-up got under way. It was fairly light, and I believe at that point everyone had a bright red nose from that damn cold wind. Suddenly, without warning, it started CHUCKING it down with rain. The slow waking became a mass panic once more, as people tried to roll up sopping wet sleeping bags. Malcolm, bless him, was still fast asleep in the middle of all the chaos. We woke him up, and he thanked everyone again for being so friendly to him. We just bundled as many Salvation Army blankets as we could into his bag. I was sad to see him go- it's horrible to think that someone that frail faces something that we found so hard, by himself. And this was May, what about winter? :|  
      • Laurel, who set up HOMED, insisted on group photos in the pouring rain, so, below you can observe the extent of our bedraggled-ness.

        After- chucking it down.

      So yeah, I got back to halls at 6am, shattered and bleary-eyed, peeled off my soaked hoody, put my bag, which was in a bad way, by the radiator, and crawled into bed. I have never appreciated my mattress so much in my life, and the cold which had set in overnight didn't wear off for a good few hours. I slept for 6 straight hours. Going into uni later, I could feel bruises on my back, and my leg still hurts. I seriously think it was worth it though, because all I've been thinking about today is how people have to face this kind of thing every night, without the luxury of a sleeping bag, extra blankets, company, or the knowledge that they have a warm bed and a hot shower to go to in the morning. And if the 90 people who took part think like that, and tell other people the same thing, maybe something will get done about it. People that vulnerable shouldn't get forgotten about, and at least HOMED means that we're definitely not going to let them just sink into the background.
      Oh! We made the newspaper! Second page of Leicester Mercury, and the online article's here.
      Yup. I believe that's about it. Hopefully it'll be an annual event! :D