Hello everyone! Apologies for the month of silence but I was hoping to catch up on my blogging whilst on holiday in Iran. However, the vagaries of internet access over there has meant that I was unable to access some websites, including my own Blog and therefore I have even more catching up to do now that I am back home.
After travelling for 17 hours, we arrived home about 1 hour ago and therefore need sleep before embarking on my writing extravaganza. I hope that details of my new adventures in Iran are worth waiting for!
I will soon be able to resurrect my other Blog “Persian Posts” as we have now booked our tickets for our next visit to Iran. This time we are taking William with us and I am relieved that his Visa came through just this week so we can plan properly.
It will be an amazing experience for him especially as it is his first time in Iran but we will try and prepare him as best we can. Of course, nothing can prepare him fully for the different culture, food, weather, family, customs etc but there are certain things we do need to go through with him before we land in Esfahan.
William is looking forward to his trip, as am I, and I hope he loves the country and its people as much as I do. There are not many Western boys of his age that get this opportunity and we will try and show him as much of the country as is possible in the 3 weeks we are there and in temperatures up into the 90’s.
The good thing is that Feri’s nephew is exactly the same age and they will be housed together on the self-contained second floor-God help us! I have packed a spare English-Farsi vocabulary book so here’s hoping they manage to communicate! We will be there during the World Cup and as both love football I am sure that we will witness the evidence that football is a truly global language!
In the meantime, Will has his A Level exams to finish and his last school Prom to navigate so he is going to be busy. I have marked out a few things and places that I would like to see this year so look out for more Persian Posts coming soon!
With temperatures up in the high 20’s C and the car thermometer showing 35 degrees, this week has been a great week to be on holiday in the UK. We haven’t had a drop of rain and the clouds have been few and far between. It has been hot, hot, hot and we have made the most of the good weather by being out in the fresh air as much as we can stand.
Swanage is an old-fashioned seaside resort in Dorset on the English South coast and it is to here that we venture every year for our early summer break. We have always had good weather here but we have never had it so good!
Here are a few photos to illustrate our good luck 🙂
Today I was left to my own devices at the local garden centre, Wistow Rural Centre, there to browse the new crop of plants and choose some for my revamped garden. The Centre is a perfect way to spend a few hours of “me” time and I made the most of every sunny minute.
After buying some plants and leaving them safe whilst I busied myself with other things, I went to the cafe for my lunch. A nice and healthy baked potato with ham salad went down a treat before I was off across the nearby fields to commune with the new-born lambs and swans. The woods are still carpeted with a mass of snowdrops and looked a picture in the dappled sunshine breaking through the trees.
I walked along the stream into the fields where the sheep and their lambs were mostly snoozing in the warmth of the early afternoon sun and I enjoyed watching the lambs snuggling close to mum and every now and then helping themselves to a little sustenance, little tails wiggling away merrily whilst they fed. Like the apple blossom in May, it’s a favourite sight of mine and a sure sign that Spring is on its way even if it’s taking it’s time this year.
On my way back to the centre I stopped to look at the large bare-earthed field which in just a few months time will be transformed into a Maize-Maze. This is an annual phenomenon with the maze changing shape each year. I remember taking William around the maze when it was in the shape of a pirate ship, trying to find our way out of the 6 feet high maize without cheating. When you enter the maze you are given a flag to wave if you need help and there are number of “spotters” standing on platforms dotted around the maze looking out for anyone who needs help to escape. Children and adults alike have great fun wandering around the passages formed by the maize searching for clues to the quiz that is also part of the experience.
A hot cup of tea and slice of lemon drizzle cake were the perfect end to my afternoon and I managed to fit them in just in time before hubby arrived to bring me home.
We still have stubborn snow drifts that refuse to shift in the sub-zero temperatures that we’ve had to endure all week. Snow is a pain in the a**** when you need to get to work, do the shopping and get the kids to school without mishap but when you are on holiday as we were at Easter 2008 in the Lake District, snow can be amazing! I can’t believe that it was 5 years ago that I was walking up Orrest Head in virgin snow above Lake Windermere taking advantage of the peace and quiet with not a soul in sight at 6am! I remember returning to the B&B and waking up Feri & Will for breakfast, then doing it all again as a threesome! They thought I was completely mad but the views were spectacular.
Being married to an Iranian, I am gradually getting used to the various Islamic and Zorastranian festivals and celebrations, the latest being Nowruz or New Year which I wrote about last week.
I also have a number of Jewish friends and colleagues who will be celebrating the 7-8 day Festival of Pesach (Passover) from tomorrow and having watched a programme on the BBC today about Pesach and the Passover meal, Seder, it provided the inspiration behind this evening’s Blog.
Jews celebrate Pesach/Passover to commemorate their liberation from slavery in Pharaoh-ruled ancient Egypt. One of the most memorable bible stories has to be from the Book of Exodus when Moses is chosen by God to lead the Israelite slaves out of Egypt and into Canaan. The parting of the Red Sea allowed the fleeing slaves to walk across unharmed and once safely through, the sea returned to close behind them drowning the pursuing Egyptian army.
I understand that “Passover” derives from tenth plague that God inflicted on the Egyptians before the Pharaoh would release the Israelite slaves. The tenth plague was the sentence to death of Egyptian first-born children. To safeguard their children, the Israelites were told to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a sacrificed lamb so that when God saw this mark, his spirit would know to “pass over” these homes.
During the 7-8 days of the festival, no leavened bread is eaten and all traces of Chametz are removed by a thorough spring clean.
The Passover meal, or Seder, traditionally marks the beginning of the Passover celebrations and it was the TV programme earlier which focused on the importance of Seder food and recipes that really caught my eye. Sadly, I can’t find the recipes used in today’s programme but there are plenty of Seder recipe suggestions on the internet so please do have a look as I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised.
On Monday 2 July, the Olympic Torch relay comes through my village, Lubenham in Leicestershire and will pass about 50 yards from my front door before making its way up the hill to Foxton. This will be day 45 out of 70 when the torch will be travelling between Coventry and Leicester.
The torch is expected in the village between 15.45pm and 15.55pm and the Torchbearers through and around the Market Harborough area include local citizens Dean Barnett and Rob Gomez who both get their “moment to shine” on home territory.
We have flags secured to the lampposts and traffic cones are at the ready.
Did you know?
The Torch will come within 10 miles of 95% of people in the UK.
The relay involves 8,000 Torchbearers.
The Torch will be transported by steam train, horse and zip wire.
We are looking forward to seeing the Torch and Torchbearers and understand that there will be a “kiss” of 2 torches outside the village pub, The Coach & Horses.