Keeping in the familam

I always enjoy spending time with my family and many of my adventures in 50th fabulousness has involved my immediate kin. Some of which might not look like much to some people but very fabulous to me….

beauty and the beast with boys

Watching the live action Beauty and the Beast with my lovely lads Scott and Jake

coffee with neices

Coffee and cake with my beautiful nieces and my mum

One of the problems with a busy life and geography is that I don’t always see much of my extended family. So when my cousin Amelia messaged me to say that she was in Bristol with her family, I jumped at the chance of meeting up. In town to watch something at the Hippodrome they had the best part of the day to kill before they headed off to Weston Super Mare. So we had a spot of lunch and a ferry boat ride around the Bristol Docks. It was a fabulous day because we hadn’t seen each other for quite a few years and I finally got to meet her lovely daughter Sophia, and plans were made for me to camp out at their house for my volunteering stint at the Athletics World Championships. For which I am eternally grateful.

bristol day out with the athendriou's

Once Sophia heard all about my nieces she was desperate to meet them so of course another fabulous event needed to be planned. So later on in the year the “Family Diners” group was born. Amelia and Sophia accompanied by my uncle Peter and aunty Robbie came down to Bristol for a round of crazy golf, coffee and lunch, with the rest of the Bristol clan.

We all decided that life was too short not to do it all again so the Family Diners club reconvened at Chez Amelia/Ged/Sophia in Reading for a weekend after Christmas, not technically in my birthday year but fabulous all the same. We had the most amazing and relaxing time catching up on lost time and resolving to keep making an effort to continue getting together, hoping to include the rest of the extended family.

 

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Simply Splendid

I have been in my new job as a research nurse for 4 weeks now and one of the joys of this new venture is the bus journey to and from work. No I am not going completely mad and I’m not usually a lover of public transport. But it has given me the opportunity to read a lot more, I have always been a prolific reader but mainly in bed or in the bath.

I have just finished reading the most amazing book, “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini. This is a story about 2 women in Afghanistan that is so beautifully written it had me crying on the bus, it also invoked feelings of disgust, loathing and anger. But mostly it made me feel extremely lucky for growing up and living in a country where I am free. Free to do what I want to do, to be independent and valued.

Here is a part of the book I would like to share, these are the rules imposed on women in Afghanistan when the Taliban took over power, as written by them;

You will stay inside your homes at all times, it is not proper for women to wander aimlessly about the streets. If you go outside you must be accompanied by a Mahram, a male relative. If you are caught on the streets alone you will be beaten and sent home.

You will not under any circumstances show your face, you will cover with a burqua when outside, if you do not you will be severely beaten.

Cosmetics and jewellery are forbidden

You will not wear charming clothes.

You will not speak unless spoken to.

You will not make eye contact with men.

You will not laugh in public, if you do you will be beaten.

You will not paint your finger nails, if you do you will lose a finger.

Girls are forbidden from attending school, all schools for girls will be closed.

Women are forbidden from working.

If you are found guilty of adultery you will be stoned to death.

The book is heartbreaking as the story of the 2 women’s plight against cruelty, injustice and hardship unfolds in a country desperately trying to make it through relentless adversary.

The author has now set up the Khaled Hosseini Foundation that does fantastic work supporting Afghan nationals returning to to their homeland after fleeing during all the troubles, also re building homes in war torn areas and to help women and children.

khaled-hosseini-thousand-splendid-suns

Stop procrastinating and get on with it!

I love reading, I read everywhere…….. in the bath, in bed, on the bus… anywhere really. I would be lost if I didn’t have something to read and make sure I have a book in my bag, especially given the bus I have to travel on and the passengers I have to share the bus with!

I love to read some books a second time to study how the author develops the story and characters, because when I read the book for the first time I just want to get to end to find out what happens.

So the natural progression would be to write my own stuff. I have at least 5 book ideas written in my notebook, I carry it everywhere with me so I can scribble ideas down when I think of them. In fact I have many notebooks, I do have a bit of a fetish for them.

I’ve bought a book “Creative Writing for Dummies” to spur me into action. I’ve been talking and thinking about it and procrastinating for long enough. I just need to bite the bullet and start on one of those ideas in my notebook. The book is really good and has lots of exercises to help develop writing skills and ideas.

I will keep the blog posted on my progress in the world of creative writing

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