Friday, May 25, 2007

All the years...

Got to think about where life is heading. Got to thinking today while talking to a student that while we always think ourselves young and with it, we are in reality growing older and getting so far removed from things than we ever think! Life is funny that way. I look at the students day in and day out and think to myself "why are you guys doing this to yourselves?" are they nuts or is it me getting jaded without knowing it?

I am well into my quarter of century of life and I have no idea what I have done so far. Nothing other than faith seems to last. Family is changing everyday as am I always. Work and friends evolve and although some stay constant in some ways they still change on you. I am just caught up with one change when something else creeps up.

I am been put in a position at the moment where I have to make a decision about my life. I have prayed Istikhara almost after every salah. I am comfortable with the decision I am about to make but not certain without a shadow of a doubt. I have involved parents and friends and as much as they have advised they are leaving me to make this decision. I like the way they have advised and ultimately it is my decision and I understand that you can't know everything and you have to make some decisions on a little bit of knowledge and lots of faith but I am afraid. I am terrified of making a mistake. What happens if I jump in or even if I hesitate and things don't work out? Where does that leave me?
On a nice note I have finished the book I was reading (The Book of Lost Things) and I have to say I am so pleased with it. I have never read such a satisfying ending as this end. It was glorious. For once I did not have to embellish the ending to satisfy me. Its just brilliant. I am gonna start on another John Connolly book soon IA Ameen.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Best Novel I have read...Book of Lost Things

If you're looking for a typical murder-mystery book, The Book of Lost Things definitely isn't it.

Author John Connolly manages to combine outrageous, yet believable fantasy with horrific murders while he entertains you with a story that holds you in thrall.

Mr. Connolly is probably best known for his Charlie Parker series, but The Book of Lost Things provides the weird adventures of a twelve-year-old boy.

John Connolly's imagination runs rampant, producing a hilarious twist on certain very familiar fairy stories as well as grim pseudo-reality.The twelve-year-old boy is David, who does everything he can think of to keep his mother alive while she's wasting away from a terminal illness. When she is finally gone, he and his father commiserate for a while, then his father becomes involved with another woman. David resents her, and resents both his father and his step-mother when they marry. He resents them both even more when the step-mother becomes pregnant, and his jealousy over the new brother and all the attention he gets drives him away from both parents, plunging him more and more into the world of books.

They move into the step-mother's house, which is larger – and David finds himself in a room with books left by its former occupant, who evidently ran off with a younger sister and was never seen again. The room's former occupant was Jonathan Tulvey, the step-mother's uncle, whom she had never met. The books he left behind also contained stories Jonathan had written; stories distorted by weird circumstances and uncomfortable endings. David becomes enamored of them. The setting is in England, during the Second World War, and although the 'new' house is fifty miles from London, a German plane, blazing from a direct hit by anti-aircraft guns, falls from the sky and lands in the sunken garden, where David happens to be. He crawls into an opening in the side of the garden to escape the flames, and immediately finds himself in a totally different land.

The country which David enters is full of unpleasant characters such as The Crooked Man and the Lupes, which are half-wolf, half-human. David meets two kindly characters, one a woodsman and another a knight on a white horse named Roland. Escaping from one near-disaster and immediately going toward another, David slowly realizes that he is changing from a boy to a man, with his viewpoint adjusted accordingly. He is faced with everything from homosexuality to cannibalism, and some very bizarre situations between. The actual Book of Lost Things is held before him as a promise for his safe return to his own country by the King in whose keeping it lies.When at last David's bravery is rewarded, along with his realization that the new wife his father has chosen and his new step-brother are people to cherish instead of to abhor, he's able to return. John Connolly has departed from the Charlie Parker tales only to create an amazing and accurate portrayal of a boy's natural jealousy moving into a more adult point of view. Yet that adult point of view retains, unlike a good many so-called mature people, a very positive knowledge that the supernatural actually exists.

Hooray for John Connolly!

I fell in love with this author when WA introduced me to him while we were in Turkey. I had read Black Angel - well I more than read I was glued to the book! I adore the way this man writes fiction. He has a way of blending things that just makes them so appealing even though they are horrific. Brilliant book - its keeping me going on these nights anyway...

Go get this book and probably every other book Mr Connolly has written, it is well Worth buying even at full price like I did!

Only two more nights now...

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Seven Knightly Virtues: by Scott Farrell

There was no such thing as a “uniform” code of chivalry in the Middle Ages. Many people — from successful knights to contemplative philosophers — compiled lists of virtuous qualities, called the “knightly virtues,” which they felt defined chivalry. No two were exactly the same.
There were, however, several common themes found in these lists of knightly virtues. By combining these, we have created what we consider to be the seven knightly virtues of the modern code of chivalry:

Courage: More than bravado or bluster, today’s knight in shining armor must have the courage of the heart necessary to undertake tasks which are difficult, tedious or unglamorous, and to graciously accept the sacrifices involved.

Justice: A knight in shining armor holds him- or herself to the highest standard of behavior, and knows that “fudging” on the little rules weakens the fabric of society for everyone.

Mercy: Words and attitudes can be painful weapons in the modern world, which is why a knight in shining armor exercises mercy in his or her dealings with others, creating a sense of peace and community, rather than engendering hostility and antagonism.

Generosity: Sharing what’s valuable in life means not just giving away material goods, but also time, attention, wisdom and energy — the things that create a strong, rich and diverse community.

Faith: In the code of chivalry, “faith” means trust and integrity, and a knight in shining armor is always faithful to his or her promises, no matter how big or small they may be.

Nobility: Although this word is sometimes confused with “entitlement” or “snobbishness,” in the code of chivalry it conveys the importance of upholding one’s convictions at all times, especially when no one else is watching.

Hope: More than just a safety net in times of tragedy, hope is present every day in a modern knight’s positive outlook and cheerful demeanor — the shining armor that shields him or her, and inspires people all around.

Each of these concepts is important in itself, and every one of these virtues is an admirable quality, but when all of them blend together in one person, we discover the value, and power, of chivalry today. Modern-day knights should strive to keep these virtues alive in their own hearts, but, perhaps more importantly, they should work to bring these wonderful qualities out in the people they see every day — at home, in the office, at school or on the street corner. A person who lives by the code of chivalry in today’s world allows everyone to see their best qualities reflected in his or her shining armor.

I love this article. It sounds like something people are missing now days... Shame we don't live in the knights era...

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Somali Question

I am here in my home enjoying a weetabix and milky coffee breakfast. As I sit here I am contemplating what it means to be a Somali.

This might sound strange but I have not a clue. Am I a Somali only because my parents are? Or my grandmother is? I mean I visited a friend of mine on Saturday and she has always been the same as me in that she hated the Somali community and with a passion.
I hate the community itself because it is not a good community in my eyes. They have the whole tribe thing going on, they are intrusive and want to know everything, every minute of the day. They are the people that just gossip and do nothing else. I spent a year working in the community and although I found some amazing individuals who want to make a change and better their community I found the rest to be scroungers!!!
That may sound harsh but that’s how I saw it and still do to an extent. I still only have a handful of friends from my birth place of Somalia.
I say all this because my friend recently got married to a nice Somali guy (apparently they exist in hidden places) and settle down and now she has a beautiful baby girl. I know all children are cute but this one, MashaAllah, is an exceptionally good looking Somali niece…
So back to my friend who has settle down now. She tells me that the community is “AMAZING” this from the girl who I used to tell off for rants against the community. The community is not only amazing in my friend’s perception but a wonderfully able community, which has dished out advice(good and sound apparently) by the bucket load.
She has had so many visitors and well wishers who would not normally take the time to even say Salam if they passed us on the street!!!

What I would like to know is why the sudden change of heart? Is it because my friend married a Somali guy or even that she has now added to the number of Somalis in the world??? I have asked her this and her only explanation is that the community (men and women) always think of us as been children till we get married. Does not matter that I am 25 and holding down a job, they will still call my mother to say ridiculous stuff like “Fatima I saw your eldest walking on such and such a road at 10pm” Thank God my mum always turns around to them and says “it’s because she is finishing work or a meeting or she was seeing such and such a friend”

I mean I am a Somali by birth and no way I can change that (not that I would even want to), I speak the language to an extent (I have a southerner accent apparently and I say words like abowe and macaantay!!), I like the food and can make a few dishes if I really need to. I love our way of doing things like weddings and the 7th day party the bride gets with all the halwa and hilib and timir. It’s all just lovely. We also obviously have the Islamic practices which we sometimes mix with culture and it’s all very good but there must be more to being Somali than what I have listed.

What does it mean to be a Somali?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Too Nice...

I have just returned from the cinema with my family (two sisters and two brothers and myself). It has not been done for such a long time and I had missed it. Didn’t reealy realise how much I missed it till we went.

We watched Spiderman 3 and boy was it funny. The film was comical, it was meant to be a drama but it was a good comedy is all I can say. My sister and I were nearly splitting our sides from laughter. It got to the stage my brothers were embarrassed to be sat next to us.
I recommend that everyone see this film and go have fun at the acting, directing and even the music.
Oh boy … the simple joys in life. It’s got to be enjoyed while you can.

Prior to this today I was shopping for my sisters up coming 15th birthday. She is our youngest and I feel that is an achievement (poo to those who disagree) for her and we should celebrate (queue the music…). We are having a party for her (well she is having a party for herself but I do feel like I am more excited than she isJ).

I am looking forward to her “becoming an adult”

On another note I am having a hard time with men. MEN!!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Liar Liar...

I am an avid reader. I can read most of anything and everything. I read science fiction, horror, crime, real life, fantasy, romance. Like I said I don’t discriminate. If a book has good blurb and the story appears to be interesting then it’s mine!

I do have my favourite genre obviously and at the moment its fantasy – you know things not of this world, unbelievable stuff. Stuff of FANTASY.

Well things only get complicated when people start to believe in that. What happens when people are either just crazy and really believe it or think you are stupid and therefore will believe what they are saying.

Bear with me here as I have finished a five day stretch at work where I did 63hours instead of my usual 37.5 hours.

What am I harping on about? Well I am talking about when patients lie to me. I have no idea if there are circumstances in life that will demonstrate this to others but just bear with me.
I have had a few patients in the last few days and they all in some way or another unashamedly lied to me. What I really would like to know is this. Are they lying because they are foolish people or are they lying because they think I will fall for it?

I have had a particular patient for the last 2 days and she appears not to the have the ability to speak without lying. No joke. It got to a point where when she was being reviewed by the medical team, I was doing my usual listening for changes in care and my instructions; she was spewing the same things a patient across the way had complained about. What was wrong with that was she had come in with totally different symptoms and complaints to what she was saying now.
It got to the stage where the consultant surgeon had to make some excuse and leave the patient to go and stand at the xray viewer and I observed him TREMBLING FROM LAUGHTER!!!!! I saw this – we had a senior member of staff laughing to the extent his body was shaking because what she was coming out with was utter and total c**p!
She really seemed to think she had people fooled. I had come to accept her and just grind my teeth while around her. I had better things to do than deal with false pain and vomiting. This woman would mix juice with her food in vomit bowl and give to me and say “nurse I have just been sick am I due anything?” I had to take action each and every time she did this. It’s unfair to have to spend so much time with idiots. I can bloody well tell the difference between vomit and juice with some food!!! I have to admit the thing that got to me the most was that I had to respond to her – I just couldn’t bring myself to challenge her or ignore her.

God I hope she is not there when I go back to work tomorrow.