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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!
I am really looking forward to my next visit to Iran, which is due later this year. I love the country, its people, its food, the culture and architecture and the history is mind-boggling. The fragrant smells of spices and herbs in the bazaar, mud walls, easy living and bergamot tea to drink at leisure all day. It’s a wonderful experience.
When I am there, we tend to go out in the early morning to do our sight-seeing and visiting early doors before it gets too hot. After lunch, the family settles down for their afternoon siesta. I find it difficult to get into the routine of sleeping in the afternoon and usually spend my first week updating my Persian Posts blog.
This year I will be doing something in addition to my blog, and I don’t know why I haven’t thought about it before. This is a fantastic idea for any trip, holiday, honeymoon and days out and I will be stocking up on 3 weeks of Iranian stamps on my first day.
Home Thoughts from Abroad
O, to be in England
Now that April ‘s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossom’d pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray’s edge—
That ‘s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower
—Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!
For those not familiar with Haft-Sin and it’s significance, Haft -Sin (seven “S’s”) symbolise important features celebrated at Iranian New Year and has its roots in Zoroastrianism. [Good thoughts, good words, good deeds]. I have included the following in my tableau this year;
Sonbol (hyacinths)- the coming of spring, Sir (garlic)- medicine, Sabzeh (green shoots)-new life and growth, Serkeh (vinegar)- old age and patience, Sib (apple)-beauty and health, Sekkeh (coins)- prosperity, Somaq (dried)- colour of sunrise and just for good measure, Sekanjabin, a sweet mint syrup. All these are displayed against the backdrop of a mirror symbolizing the sky, truth and reflection and illuminated by lit candles representing enlightenment and happiness.
Happy New Year!
A big “THANK YOU” to Megan’s Miscellaneous Menagerie for nominating me for the Liebster Award. It really made my day 🙂
I will now answer the 10 questions that Megan has asked, and very good questions they are too!
- Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world?
I’m very happy where I live at the moment but given the choice I would have to take up dual-residence in Swanage, Dorset and Esfahan, Iran. We have had some amazing holidays in Swanage and it is a place I feel very close to. By the sea, unpretentious and beautiful in a natural way.
Esfahan, my husband’s home city is so beautiful and full of history and culture. I think I must have been a Persian in a previous life as I feel so very comfortable in the country and am perfectly at home with their customs and attitudes.
- What is your favourite pet that you have ever owned? (that is cat, dog, horse etc.)
This is a difficult one to choose as I’ve had many pets and they are all lovely. I guess my two cats Tom and Tess are my favourites, especially Tom (close your ears Tess) as he stays with me, by my side, whenever I am poorly. He senses when I’m ill and looks after me.
- How would you describe your fashion style?
Ha! ha! What’s fashion? At work, smart. At home, my son calls me a hippy! I love bright colours and funky shoes (I even tried to turn up to work in 1 red shoe and 1 purple shoe last week!). I guess if I had to describe it, “Young at Heart”!
- Are you a spring, fall/autumn, winter or summer person? (that is which season do you prefer)
Apart from my flowers in the summer, I’m not great in the high season. I get very out of routine and agitated and love it when autumn comes around and everything settles down again. Born in February 1963, winter snow is always welcome and there’s nothing like yellow daffodils in the spring.
- What is the one thing you wish you were good at that you currently struggle with?
- Would you prefer to work, or go to school as a student?
Without doubt I would be a perpetual student. The first thing I would do if I came into some money is chose a University course and start over. That’s my dream. My son is looking to start University next year and I’m so jealous! I’d swap tomorrow.
- What is one thing you haven’t tried that you would like to have a go at?
Driving a steam train.
- If you had a million dollars to donate to a charity, which on would you choose?
Oooo, a difficult one but most likely a charity that supports young people with mental health conditions and M.E/ CFS get qualifications and into employment.
- If you were to open a business, what product or service would you offer?
- I would offer to go and talk to businesses and employers about employing more people with disabilities, especially mental health conditions.
- What 3 things would you change in your local community if you were elected mayor?
Firstly I would make sure to open the old railway line between our village and Market Harborough for walkers and cyclists to travel safely. AdamSmile.
Secondly I would veto the building of any more houses within a 5 mile radius of our village.
Thirdly I would try and encourage someone to open a village shop!
The bloggers receiving this reward today are;
The Project: Me, by Judy-great inspiration and support always.
We Are One-by Ruth- My journey out of the darkness of depression. How I changed from not just surviving but thriving.
Roots To Blossom-I am living proof that you can in fact return from the point of no return.
My Fibrotastic Life– The journey of hidden blessings
Leanne is learning to Drum-It’s nice to know I’m not the only nutcase!
My ten questions for you all are these;
1) What is your greatest achievement or proudest moment and why?
2) What was your favourite subject at school and can you remember a particular lesson?
3) If you could have fresh flowers delivered every day, which would you chose?
4) If you could employ ONE of the following, which would you have? A chef, a massuer/euse, a chauffeur, a gardener or a personal shopper?
5) What is you favourite book or story?
6) What was the last song or piece of music you listed to?
7) What makes you laugh?
8) When and what was the last thing you did for YOU?
9) If you could do anything you want today, what would you do?
10) If you were an animal, what would you be?
When I saw my GP last week, we had a good chat about my lifestyle, support network and outlook on life all of which took 45 minutes of precious patient time. I’m sure that was a lot more than my allotted portion but we both felt it necessary and I am grateful for her support.
One of her questions took me a bit by surprise.
“Do you have any pets?”
Perhaps it was because I had explained that we don’t have much of a family support network living close by with my husband’s family in Iran, and my sister living 3 hours across the country or perhaps she sensed that I commune much easier with our four-legged friends when in a depression.
It is well-known that pets can help people recover from depression, and certainly my big, 7-kilo ginger tom-cat, Tom, has not left my bedside all week. He has followed me round and slept at my feet night and day clearly sensing my distress and fatigue. I know that he knows. How? I just know. He is amazing and I love his constant attention which is never imposing but always obvious; always attentive but somehow remote enough not to threaten; undemanding and unconditional. A true friend and companion. He understands my need for a friend and is sensitive enough to appreciate when I need to be alone.
I can even forgive the vast amount of cat hair that he sheds on the bed covers as he is so gorgeous.
As a treat today, I bought Tom a cat-mint (Nepeta) plant. It is the dried leaves of this plant which makes cat-nip so attractive to cats in toys. Tom adores it! He goes mad for cat-nip spray and he loves the real plant even more.
This year, I haven’t sown any seeds yet but as a reward for looking after his mummy this past week, he gets a plant ready to put in the garden. I’m not sure how long it will last but he deserves his treat.
Thank you Tom!
When I was very young, I absolutely loved the TV programme, The Herbs. My favourite character was Bayleaf, The Gardner and all these years later I often sing his theme tune when digging away in my own patch.
“I’m Bayleaf, I’m the gardener,
I work from early dawn,
you’ll find me sweeping up the leaves and
tidying the lawn” la, la la……
This is all a bit random but there is a connection with a wonderful TV programme of my youth and what I am planning to do next in my garden.
I need a herb garden having dug up my herb plants last year and so the brain is whirring away thinking about form and function!
I have had a few different herb gardens in the past;
None of the photos linked to above are my efforts but they do give you the general idea of how I laid out the herbs in their various guises.
Now, reading my book “The Herb Garden month-by-month by Barbara Segall, I have found what looks like a lovely herb and rose garden which combines old and fragrant Damask roses with the gorgeous colours and aromas of herbs such as lemon balm, ginger mint, lavender and sage growing in the warm sun beneath the free-flowing blooms. I can smell long, lazy-hazy days of summer already and not a spade has been wielded yet.
I have already found a rose which I MUST have in this garden. It is the Damask rose “Ispahan” which originates from my husband’s home city of Esfahan/Isfahan in Iran. I don’t think he knows that such a rose exists so it will be a nice surprise when it arrives.
Now all I need to do is find the space and the energy to start the project.
At least I have a plan!