Nostalgic Minimilism~That pretty much sums up homestyle for me!

Nostalgic Minimilism~That pretty much sums up homestyle for me!

 

I came across the #GreatBritishHome Challenge and began thinking of what my personal homestyle is! That’s some serious thinking for someone like me and for various reasons :)  One (probably the biggest) is that I move every few years and hence have the opportunity to reinvent it altogether. Two – I’m absolutely opposed to waste; both money and goods. Three, I love design. Period! Though I would put myself down as someone who strongly prefers streamlined minimilism over wadded ornamentation, I’m a great enthusiast about almost every design period in history. We would be extremely myopic in assuming that ‘modern’ is synonymous with original!

If I had to sum up my style in one word, I would say *Ikea*! Not because I shop there and it’s an ubiquitous entity that’s all pervasive in western decor…but because in my world, it stands as a symbol of the democratizing of design for the masses. It’s where world-class designers created an aesthetic that could filter down affordably and recyclably (think wood chip) to the greater populace.

Being one of those who lives by flights of fancy ~having eaten off paper plates in a small, yet indulgent flurry of “Street-food” themed nights with friends; toyed with Orla Kiely melamine (if only to override the subsconscious screams of protest at the cheaper kinds), and played “Mother “with my precious, if limited quantities of Denby and Emma Bridgwater; I’d say that being fickle comes at a price, and one I’m not inclined to pay. Here again is why ‘Ikea’ works as a larger symbol of my lifestyle choice. For a modest sum, I can redesign and reinvent my entire aesthetic, and afford to be clumsy too, it’s like I was the protype demographic the company designed for! Trying to get me to be stable and have a set, inflexible home-style is about as productive as starting to learn Swedish without accepting humbly that S,K,Y,N,D actually go together, often in that precise order…

Monochrome, minimilist, personalspace, flowers, uncluttered, scandinavian chic

.My Space.

I have my design favourites – Normann Copenhagen, Anthropologie, Marimekko, Muuto Design and Ferm Living, and a little bit of all populate my very personal space. I pay attention to the light that flows through my house and my design choices are heavily influenced by that…I relish pops of colour in a mostly neutral, monochrome environment!

I’m a homebody– in many ways I’m primitively territorial about my home. There’s more joy eating in than eating out for us, it’s my comfort and my playground. It’s where my children make their memories and their dreams; where the foundation is laid for our future as a family! Home is that lovely person who knows your favourite food and makes your best drinks. Home is always the place where the best seats are reserved for you!

 

“This post is an entry for the #GreatBritishHome Challenge  sponsored by Victoria Plumb, a source of quality bathrooms for every type of home. Take its “What’s Your Celebrity Home Style?” quiz to discover what your home says about you.” My result was Towie Glamour, having never watched the series, I’m hoping that that’s a compliment, though a designer onesie is desirably on my wishlist ;)

 

#greatbritishhome

If you’ve enjoyed this, you might also like :

Originality and Reinvention are really joined at the hip!

end-symbol

 

 

Introverts-Powered by a Different Fuel!

Introverts-Powered by a Different Fuel!

What is it about introversion that makes us so uncomfortable? It’s a question I haven’t been able to answer convincingly! Let me tell you a little about myself – most of my friends would say that I’m a ‘people’s person’-I’m chatty, funny even! In a crowd, I’m likely to be the one having a very lively chat with one or more people. I enjoy engaging with people- it’s never filled me with dread or apprehension. I entertain at home and we’re invited out a fair bit! But, on every single personality test I’ve done, I’ve unfailingly been identified as an introvert (though even some of my closest friends would rather believe that the earth is flat, and inhabited by winged horses in pink tutus who jump through hoops of candy!) What qualifies me as one is that for every day I spend with people, I need three with myself. I value silence, I enjoy solitude, I can go long periods of time without speaking to anyone and I don’t need social interaction as much as some people might! Introverts aren’t people who hide in secluded corners, convulsing with fear that they’ll be asked to interact or craving to be part of a crowd that they’re just too fearful to approach!

My daughter Rahel has always been a quiet girl. She went through nursery – the entire year, speaking three words ” I need the toilet” to her teachers. As a parent, that filled me with dread and I went through every listed syndrome trying to make sense of why she won’t incessantly chat about fairies and dolls and giggle excitedly with her friends at the sandpit, like every other ‘normal’ child! Every playdate I organised for her was a playdate for me, and for my younger daughter who is the complete opposite of Rahel. We had to keep our little guest busy and entertained because Rahel would not talk, well not much anyway, she preferred to be read to or play on her LeapPad, all the while enjoying the fact that she had company! She’d dress-up in costume and play with her dolls, but quietly, speaking infrequently – not something a lot of  extroverted children associate with a ‘fun’ companion. We ran around in circles wondering what we could do to make her more out-going, personable, gregarious…an extrovert! Why we viewed it as our personal failing that she wasn’t? I’m not sure other than the fact that that’s what parents do, every success and every failure is our doing, the great legacy of parenting :)!

I wasn’t alone in what I felt as I came across scores of parents who were researching the same things, plagued by the same insecurities of how to make space in this world for our little angels who just seemed powered by a different fuel!

Introversion, quiet child, quiet confidence, happiness

Living in a culture that views silence, thoughtfulness – a quiet personality as a sign of inherent weakness might be where I foremost assign blame. The idea that introverted people are underconfident, even though that premise couldn’t be further from the truth; viewing introversion synonymously with an anxiety-ridden shyness where a person feels sickeningly trapped in a mind that longs for social interaction but is incapacited to reach for it, is another tragic blow to those who don’t feel the need put themselves “out there” immediately!

I was speaking with one of my friends recently after Rahel won a Math competition about why are people naturally attracted to and choose to hang out with extroverts? Is it because extroverted people always seem to have something to talk about? He came up with a answer that made me laugh…like so many things nowadays, it went back to our times of being hunter-gatherers (I’m seriously resisiting the urge to use #paleo anywhere here or related to this post :)) The survival of nomadic man depended on his being hyper-focused, hyper-attentive and being able to communicate to a large number of people at most times. Being a beta-male, or what we can extrapolate to being introverted, meant death. The ‘leaders’ were those who were vivacious men – party animals and backslappers, the sort who stand at the bar, ensconced within the chatter of other mixers and pub crawlers! :D But not much seems to have been said of the thinkers, the great creators -  the artists, the scientists, the inventors who brought us into civilization. That small group who need a little bit of silence in a constantly chiming world! Research however shows that the approximately 30% of introverts that we have in our population may probably wind up a whole lot more successful than everyone else and are a whole lot happier than we assume they are :) <Try Googling  ‘List of Successful Introverts’>

Introversion, quiet child, quiet confidence, happiness

Any parent like me, who’s had to deal with the stereotyping finds it frustrating that their child is viewed as being a silent sufferer! What people fail to see is that there is a marked and fundamental difference between a crippling fear of social judgment and just finding overstimulation exhausting and choosing to be alone or in the company of a select few people.
I can see Rahel’s neural circuits thrive in the company of a few friends, a good read, time where she’s been allowed to choose what she wants to do! She loves ballet and gives it her all…when I got a letter from her previous dance school saying that she was identified as a ‘gifted’ dancer, I couldn’t believe my eyes or the fact that she had been noticed at all! I held back the tears as I watched her first performance in front of about 50 parents, where she showed me her quiet confidence. Being her mother, I’ve learned that the same thirst for solitude can bring with it an ability to focus for long periods of time. I’ve learned that a margin of  introversion is necessary to becoming a great musician or scientist or businessperson. Again, research indicates that introverts listen better, they assess risks more carefully, they can be wiser managers. Our children have so much to offer not despite their introversion, but because of it!

Introversion, quiet child, quiet confidence, happiness

Writer Susan Cain said on Ted Talks that it’s an oversimplification to divide people into slots as definitive as “extroverts and introverts” as we’re all a mixture of both elements or ambiverts.  Both Rahel and I fluctuate between the spectrums of introversion, she being the truer representative of it than I.  Though she is no longer as “anti-social” as she was as a pre-schooler, I do think she seems to get her conviviality and energy from from quiet time and contemplation. More power to her, I say!

I’ve always believed that the uniqueness and beauty of the human race is our diversity of personality….something that our current world of social-connectivity-overload is slowly beginning to threaten. Our school models, our extra-curriculars, are all so focused on the extroverts that we’re beaten into a cookie-cutter mould of interaction, leaving less space for the individualism we all crave. I’m not trying to change the world, I know I can’t and I understand why the focus is so… I only wish to hold up a mirror to society highlighting the different sorts of people there are, it’s our collective strengths that define our success.

Two years ago, I, like parents before me, resigned myself to believing that my child was never going to be the life of any party, that they’re condemned to the life of a wallflower at best, but how steadily Rahel proved me wrong.  From going from strength to strength in her academics and extra-curriculars and just being the ever-happy 7 year-old she is (with a fair few best-friends-forever in tow)- I’d say that she and her sort are comfortably the very soul of it!

If you liked what you read, could you please nominate me for writer, fresh voice or photo over at BritMums , many thanks! :)

You might also like :

Keep Calm and Waste Less!!

Raising My Children My Mother’s Way! :)

end-symbol

This post is also available on Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.comand

Expressions photos

Verily Victoria Vocalises

Get every new post:


 

 

Keep Calm and  Waste Less!!

Keep Calm and Waste Less!!

Consider a few things the most celebrated minds have said about life~

We have lost contact with reality, the simplicity of life. -Paulo Coelho
Like all magnificent things, it’s very simple. – Natalie Babbit (Of Tuck Everlasting, in case I’m a solitary fan!)
One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.― Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

The other day after my children had left for school (they have a school bus pick up), I was washing up the breakfast dishes when I saw a young girl, about 8, scooting to the neighbouring school with her mother. She swerved off the sidewalk and went skidding into a parked car at which point I rushed out to see if I could offer any assistance with First-Aid! Well, she wasn’t too badly hurt, but heavily soiled from the wetness on the road. Her mother had a small bag she said had her classmate’s clothes from a previous play date that she was returning and said it was well and good that she thought of returning it on the day she needed a spare set for her daughter. I was left gobsmacked at the daughter’s reaction who screamed, yes, screamed that she can’t even dream of wearing “Primark clothes” to school! She demanded to be taken home for a change or she wasn’t going to school at all! After I picked my jaw off the floor and repositioned it, I asked the rather flabergasted mum if I can help in any way.. to which she asked if I had any Desigual, Scandi or Joules clothes she could borrow for a day. I walked up to my childrens’ closet feeling a slow heat build up in my mind about the kind of upbringing children were learning to associate good parenting with nowadays, or worse, what parents thought was good parenting! Don’t get me wrong, I overindulge in clothes for my children, it’s my Achilles’ Heel, but the minute they begin associating their self worth with it, they’ll be wearing refashioned pillow-cases until they regenerated a few brain cells. Whilst it’s something most of us would digest without a blink whilst discussing the sartorial habits of a Beckham child or Prince George of Cambridge, it seemed surreal to associate  it with someone you would place in a relatively close world to yourself! This tacit acceptance of snobbery from an 8 year old honed in on possibly the worst attributes of middle-class suburbia.

I often ask myself why have we, the generation that really lives in the land of excess, forgotten about the relative simplicity of life and the economy of choice in our goji-acai-cacti juice-blend existences?!

WW2 Queues that waited hours for their weekly rations!

WW2 Queues that waited hours for their weekly rations! Pic Credits : The BBC Archives

For a few months now (as I’ve mentioned before) I’ve been intrigued by the lifestyle of the war generation. The times of rations, of cutbacks, of needs before wants and the impact it had on happiness, on longevity. (Before I’m pinned down and lynched, I’d like to state that that I take a segmented look at a very large situation- my commentary is limited only to the food and frugal habits of the generation that stayed home from the frontlines of battle and made do.) It’s hardly any secret that though they had less -[one egg, one pound of meat, and four ounces of fish a week; one quarter pint of milk a day; four ounces of margarine a month; and limited amounts of potatoes, vegetables, and bread that they grew and baked themselves, coupled with strenuous wartime physical work], rationing improved the health of the British people; infant mortality declined and life expectancy rose, discounting deaths caused by war hostilities, of course. This was because it ensured that everyone had access to a varied diet with enough vitamins. The concept of overeating was a luxury hardly anyone could afford and the curse of childhood obesity was unheard of!

 

Wartime Rations, eggs, milk, bacon, margarine, lard, butter, egg, meat, milk

Wartime Rations- Pic Courtesy BBC Archives

Consider the shocking and in many ways, shaming statistics of our own times. A recent survey showed Britons are binning the equivalent of 24 meals a month, adding up to 4.2 million tonnes of food and drink every year that was fit enough to have been consumed. Apparently, a half of this  goes right from the refrigerator or cupboards into the bin. One-fifth of what households buy ends up as waste, and around 60% of that was deemed fit for consumption! In short, 2 billion tonnes of perfectly good supermarket food wasted every year just as our otherwise quite philanthropic side did our best to give to the underpriveleged. I’ve always thought that the British people champion the underdog, run to raise money for Sports Relief, for Cancer Awareness, for Alzheimers! I’ve done it, my children have.  And yet, we often turn a blind-eye to the obvious waste of resources we’re all guilty of under our very noses.  In our home, we’ve resolved to limit waste regarding food and make things go longer as much as possible. While we’re busy throwing away perfectly edible food and wondering how to deal with our waste, 9 million people are dying every year because of hunger and malnutrition. 5 million of these are children! We can’t afford to waste the way we do… most of us , even with the least mindful thriftiness, would find ourselves freeing up a few quid to just spend wisely, if nothing else! I’m not against spending, I’m against waste! :)

I’m not even vaguely suggesting that we all take to retro-styled living, fold up our iPads, unhook the Wi-Fi, grab the nearest ‘ditsy print’ apron and begin canning and making the most scrumptious of pies ; I wouldn’t last a day in that life, unless the party was wholly sponsored by the good folk over at Cath Kidston!  I ask to consider a few things we can do that are fun, achievable and send a strong message to our children…Recycle! Not just waste, but clothes and shoes and everything else. Pass on more, bin less. Obsolescence is one of man’s worst constructs! Our children are slowly losing the ability to live on less, and in what can only be described as fragile economy, you never know when all of us might have to seriously rethink our spending habits! Remember, our children’s generation is going to one of those who do worse than their parents.

Recycle waste, it doesn't have to feed the pigs! ;P

Recycle waste, it doesn’t have to feed the pigs! ;P Pic Credits : The BBC Archives

I tend to buy small cans of things that I know I’m not too good with…for eg., Peas…I’ve tried buying fresh peas and shelling them and have thrown more than I’ve used. Tinned food doesn’t have to be bad food, you get lovely quality vegetables canned, and organic vegetables tinned in spring water! Buy less, waste less…don’t get sucked into discount-marketing that makes us bulk-buy. Stick with non-perishables for that, less is more with fresh produce! :)

Plan meals, waste less

Plan meals, waste less! Pic Credits : The BBC Archives

I came across this years ago in my college library and I wrote it down in my diary; it was advice a Kentucky grandmother gave a bride for doing laundry in 1912. It went like this :
Bild fire in back yard to heet kettle of rainwater.
Set tubs so smoke won’t blow in eyes if wind is pert.
Shave one hole cake lie soap in boilin water.
Sort things, make three piles. 1 pile white. 1 pile cullord. 1 pile work britches and rags.
To make starch stur flour in cold water to smooth then thin down with boilin water.
Rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, then boil. Rub cullord but don’t boil — just rench and starch.
Take white things out of kettle with broom stick handle then rench, blew and starch.
Spred tee towels on grass.
Hang old rags on fence.
Pour rench water in flower bed.
Scrub porch with hot soapy water.
Turn tubs upside down.
Go put on cleen dress, smooth hair with side combs, brew cup of tee — set and rest a spell and count your blessins.

There seems nothing ‘natural’ in that for us, we are so far from that sort of domestic slavery that it makes me smile! Ours is the life is savouring puréed misshapen roots from farmers’ markets, garnished with sweet Maui onions!  Our savvier home-keeping, whilst celebratory, hasn’t been immune from a different form of decline. It’s not just how we eat today that’s changed, it’s also what we eat!

Buy as much as you need!

Buy as much as you need! Pic Credits : The BBC Archives

When I think back to stories I’ve heard in my own family and from families of my closest friends, different cultures notwithstanding, most families kept to a weekly food pattern, eating the same foods on the same day of the week. What was cooked each day depended on the leftovers from the previous day! Old fashioned home and hearth skills – the ability to run a household economically and efficiently was at the heart of every homemaker’s agenda! Amazingly, those very war years were a period of greatly improved nutrition for most people, despite the perceived deprivation. Many were healthier than they had ever been before.
Mindful eating and growing your own vegetables, which meant you ate more veg than wheat and meat, had played a part in staving off weight related ailments and other maladies our generation is plagued with! Slogans like ‘Make Do and Mend’  appeared on posters all over the country, and became catchphrases of the time. What was inspirational for one generation seems to be the most unaspirational for ours, a very misplaced and detrimental trend!

Buy Local, Eat less, Live Better!

Buy Local, Eat less, Live Better! Pic Credits : The BBC Archives

Just because we can chose from over a typical amount of 160 different moisturisers, shampoos or bodywashes at any typical supermarket doesn’t mean we have to. Most of the times, the truth is plain before us, we don’t need ‘research papers’ to bring home the point! :) Life is happiest when it’s it’s least encumbered… the paradox of choice is that it’s left us “bewildered and depressed” according to The Telegraph. Let’s Think More, Waste Less and make what we have go longer. For all our sakes! x

If you’ve liked what you’ve read, could I please ask of you to nominate me for the Britmums BiB Awards for Fresh Voice, Photo or Writer, the three categories I think I fit best! Please vote here . Thanks so much! :)

Keep Calm and Waste Less was featured in the Britmums Newbie Roundup!

This post was also a part of:

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Post Comment Love
Mum Of One

end-symbol

You might also enjoy :

“Arrivederci Roma!” – A Photo-essay.

A Tale of Two classics~ Pancakes and Palmiers!

 

“Arrivederci Roma!” – A Photo-essay.

“Arrivederci Roma!” – A Photo-essay.

Well, I’ve returned from Rome having eaten my body weight in pasta and prosecco flowing through my veins! It was a well needed and if I say so myself, a very well deserved break too. :) For a while now, I’ve been looking into how people lived during the 30′s and 40′s ,  the war and post-war times when they had little to go by and while researching about places to stay at in Rome, we came across this old pre-war apartment that promised no bells and whistles but had managed to retain a lot of it’s antiquated glory. Slatted windows, high ceilings, ornate ghouls sculpted on the ceiling – the allure was endless! It fit in beautifully with the image I had built up in my head about what it might’ve felt like to live in Italy during Mussolini’s time. Since I wanted a complete break with life here in the UK, I wasn’t troubled by the lack of wi-fi or any other technolgical amenity, though the younger amongst us felt decidedly bereft of oxygen! The place was spartan, run by an 80-year-old who understood very little English so though it worked for us, I won’t recommend it.. It’s not what most would look forward to on holiday. :) If you’re a first timer in Rome, then you will probably want to click away at every building you see..I did – until I realised ‘I’m in Rome, and everything’s beautiful!’:)

The song that stayed with me all through the holiday was El Pasador’s Amada Mia, Amore Mio- Have a listen while you scroll through the pics! :)

Apartment, Rome, architecture

Where we stayed on Via Ottaviano

Apartment, Rome, architecture

On the other side, a beautiful breakfast room!

My daughter enjoying the first day of sunshine …we’d had two very rainy days before this which was just tragic :)

apartment, rome, architecture

Rayna at the window…enjoying the sun in Rome. This pic was taken by Daniel Simm

We braved the weather and went into Vatican City on day 1 given that we were staying a ten minute walk away from it. Thankfully, the queue lasted about 20 minutes and we were in, macs, brollies and all!

St. Peter's Square, Vatican City, Rome

Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City, Rome

Nothing prepares you for the scale of opulence that awaits you. The medieval art and architecture are breathtaking and it all starts becoming real – the art of the most grandest artists in history right before you in unimaginable grandeur just leaves you spellbound. My daughters on the other hand were left a tad underwhelmed that all that talk about Raphael and Michaelangelo wasn’t really about the Ninja Turtles after all! :P Here are a few pictures from inside the Basilica, I’ve limited it to the well lit places where I could focus on the details of Michaelangelo and Bernini’s art!

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

Piazza San Pietro Vatican City, Rome

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

The ornate domes at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

Michaelangelo’s paintings on the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

The gilted plasterwork inside St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

Gilted plaster engraving on the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

Bernini’s masterpieces at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

One of the showstoppers at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

Michaelangelo’s renowned Pietà at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

 

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museum

The opulent hallway leading to the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museum. Sadly we couldn’t take photographs in the chapel!

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museum

The gilted spiral stairway at the Vatican Museum

The best advice I ever got was to take my walking shoes… We walked pretty much everywhere and by the end of our stay, we realised we’d walked almost all around Rome. The magnificent ruins, the gorgeous Piazzas never seemed to run out of things you could see…Most of the newer buildings in Rome are built in the style of the old, blending seamlessly into the renaissance landscape of the city. Here are some pics of the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, The Forum and The Pantheon.

The Colosseum, Rome

The Colosseum, Rome

The Colosseum, Rome

The Colosseum, Rome

Palatine Hill, The Forum, Rome

Palatine Hill, The Forum, Rome

Palatine Hill, The Forum, Rome

Palatine Hill, The Forum, Rome

The Pantheon, Rome

The Pantheon, Rome

I was personally bowled over by the Fontana Di Trevi! There was something so large and overwhelming about it that held you captive for the longest time – that for me was the highlight of Rome! The buskers that played nearby, amplified by the natural accoustics that the ancient world knew so well left an indelible impression of the place. For a while, with one particular Spanish guitarist playing Ottmar Liebert, Paco De Lucia and other Bossa Nova artists, I almost believed my Spotify playlist had been hacked ! :)

Trevi Fountain, Rome

Trevi Fountain, Rome

Trevi Fountain, Rome

The Majestic Trevi Fountain, Rome. This pic was taken by Daniel Simm who’s great at long exposures! :)

There was a small carnival on at the Piazza Venezia during our stay and the local children were out, dressed up in costumes, throwing rice and confetti at the performers! There was an air of celebration as vibrant tunes of Electonica and Italian Pop filled the air.

Carnival at Piazza Venezia

Carnival at Piazza Venezia

Carnival at Piazza Venezia

Every woman’s beautiful ;) -Carnival at Piazza Venezia

Carnival at Piazza Venezia

Carnival at Piazza Venezia

Carnival at Piazza Venezia

Carnival at Piazza Venezia

Venetian Masks at the Carnival at Piazza Venezia

Venetian Masks at the Carnival at Piazza Venezia

New Sheriff in town - Venetian Masks  and more at the Carnival at Piazza Venezia

New Sheriff in town – Venetian Masks and more at the Carnival at Piazza Venezia

 Carnival at Piazza Venezia

Carnival at Piazza Venezia

 

 Carnival at Piazza Venezia

Levitating Yogi at the Carnival at Piazza Venezia

We wandered into a lovely restaurant right near the Trevi Fountain called Sacro & Profano, which boasted the best Calabrese food in Rome. We weren’t disappointed and I highly recommend anyone visiting to snag a seat here in this deconsecrated church dating back to 1199! The price tag is modest for what it offers and we had a meal with drinks and coffee for 3 adults and 2 children for around €125 . The owner was very accomodating and welcoming, inviting me to take pictures anywhere I chose to and use it as I saw fit. The more than affable staff made our meal very comfortable, conversing amiably about restaurant favourites and the history of the place! The interiors date back 100′s of years and the improvisation is achingly cool. It’s a pity that I got there after dark and couldn’t get good pics as I’m dead opposed to artificial lighting :) but here’s a taster, you’ll pretty much get the picture of what awaits you when you visit.

 

Ristorante Sacro&Profano

Ristorante Sacro&Profano

Fresco inside Ristorante Sacro&Profano

Fresco inside Ristorante Sacro&Profano

Fresco inside Ristorante Sacro&Profano

Fresco inside Ristorante Sacro&Profano

The menu was extensive and I ordered me a linguine with squid ink and calamari, the photograph was lost to the low lighting and the jet-blackness of the dish, but it was lush and I won’t hesitate to have it again! This is what the rest of the family ordered :)

Pizza Rustica Calabresa

Pizza Rustica Calabresa, italian food

Pizza Rustica Calabresa

Gorgeous lasagne with parmigiano and meat sauce which was a massive hit with my daughter who’s not keen on food! It doesn’t taste like British Lasagne in the least, I wish I knew why :)

Lasagne Rustica Calabresa

Lasagne Rustica Calabresa

Fettucine with pancetta and fennel!

Fettucine with Pancetta and Fennel!

 

Spaghetti alle Vongole

Spaghetti alle Vongole

Spaghetti alle Vongole

I manged to bag the recipe for the Spaghetti alle vongole, a classic central and southern Italian dish -  here it is :

500g (or 300g, if dried) Spaghetti, fresh
50g Shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
50ml Extra virgin olive oil
500g Clams with their shells
100ml White wine
20g Parsley, flat leaf, roughly chopped
½ Lemon, juiced
Get cooking…
  1. In a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, cook your spaghetti following the cooking Instructions on the packet, and keep aside covered with a damp, warm towel
  2. In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, soften the shallots and garlic in the olive oil for Three minutes with no colour. Add the clams & white wine, cover with a lid and cook on full Heat for 2 minutes until the shells just open. Add lemon juice, parsley, the cooked spaghetti and mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  3. Serve in a large bowl immediately with fresh garlic bread and a glass of white wine. Birra Moretti or Birra Peroni goes well too!

No day ends well if you haven’t had Gelato-the classic organic, fresh, natural ice-cream that’s synonymous with fun, not just for kids! How can anyone resist the lure of flavours like hazelnut and butterscotch praline, sour cherry, nougat, coconut & lime and cinnamon strudel? That apart from the regular strawberry, chocolate and crema; albeit they’re all amped up a few notches from our best supermarket buys…Ben& Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs paled in comparison to even the more casual gelatos we had at L’Arena del Gelato , a delightful Gelato house right outside Vatican City! Again, a fine little place for little ones to be themselves, you’re not rushed, in fact you can stay as long as you like and taste as many flavours before you make up your mind. Giuseppe Longobardi, the owner,  is friendly and warm and is keen on making his business a place you associate good times with!  At a gentle 21, he’s keenly focussed on getting L’Arena Del Gelato a big spot on the culinary map of the city. All the gelato is handmade by his family and is totally free from any nasties!

Giuseppe Longobardi, owner of L'Arena del Gelato

Giuseppe Longobardi, owner of L’Arena del Gelato. In many ways, the man makes the place; check out his fab Tripadvisor reviews and make sure you visit!

Butterscotch and Hazelnut Gelato

Butterscotch and Hazelnut Gelato

Fresh organic gelato, homemade

Fresh organic gelato, homemade

Heaven in a cone! Gelato

Heaven in a cone!

Ever since I’ve been back, I’ve had to remind myself that No, it’s not Ok to want to have a Prosecco with your lunch in England, especially if that lunch is had at home, by yourself! :P

Prosecco, bubbly, wine, spumante

Everything’s better with Prosecco!

I didn’t throw a coin in at the Trevi Fountain, I’m far too much of a realist for that ; but there’s something magical enough about the place that draws you to it long after you’ve left and I don’t doubt that I’ll return someday!  For now, I’ll have to be content with my Duty Free pleasures of Rome and with every biscotti and every sip of Limoncello, it’s Arrivederci Roma! :) x

My daughter's goodbye note to Italy! :) Postcard, Rome, arrivederci roma

My daughter’s love note to Italy! :)

end-symbol

You might also like to read :

Would you like to nominate me for the MAD Blog awards? :)

These Are a Few of My Favourite Things…

Woody Allen, ‘Fell-apples’, Borscht and Lurve!

 

We are away in slightly sunnier Italy! :)

We are away in slightly sunnier Italy! :)

 

Italy, postcardm out of office

We are away in Rome and Florence for a week so I’ll get back to all your lovely comments when I’m back! :) I’m looking forward to the downtime and a total break from the internet (You know how we bloggers get sucked into Social Media overindulgence!:P) . It’s going to be all about the sights, the food and drink and having some quality time with the family! :) I’m also dead excited about the phenomenal photo opportunities that I’ll have-I do love my camera! So, there’ll be a travel post and loads of pics on here over the next few weeks, do check back in! :)

See you shortly, please do stay and look through some of my popular posts and if you’d take a moment click here and nominate me for the MAD Blog awards, I would be chuffed beyond words, Thank you!  :)

You might like to have a look at :

Would you like to nominate me for the MAD Blog awards? :)

The Department of Tweed and Trilbies!!

end-symbol

Would you like to nominate me for the BritMums BiB awards? :)

Would you like to nominate me for the BritMums BiB awards? :)

NOMINATE ME BiB 2014 FRESH VOICE

To all my lovely readers who so loyally follow my blog, one of the biggest blogging moments is upon us and I’ve decided that I’ll let my little contribution be a part of it too! BritMums recognise new talent and voices in the blogosphere so I’m hoping they’ll take a tiny peek at mine. I’m primarily interested in three categories, Fresh Voice, Writer and Photo, so please do nominate me for these :)

When I began this journey of creating The Intrepid Misadventurer, I decided, rather naiively (as is me) to not want to read up on “The Ten Things you must know before making a blog”, or what to write about, what sells, or how you’re guaranteed 50-70 hits a day, blah, bleugh! I wanted it to be an immediately self-related space that didn’t borrow or link with a larger, more commercialized culture.

I did however manage to come across some material, courtesy some well meaning friends who probably know me a little too well and know that I have a larger than optimum need for instant gratification. I’m a short-term person, who thankfully married, and surrounded herself with some invaluable long-term ones! I’m often content with the Small-Picture, the now, the today, the weekend at best :P Future considerations tend to fill me with dread, and skepticism. It’s too unknown, too uncertain, too filled with what researchers grimly term, ‘variables’! If something works for now, I’m game. Of course, not being a habitual risk-taker and having a rather strong head screwed on, helps me not having self destructed already.

Reading about the time frames for a blog to actually make it beyond the confines of your own personal Facebook friends, I realised that normal precluded those who weren’t in the Gossip or Celebrity Trivia business, or those who weren’t the kind benefactors of the multifarious Facebook pages that feature the misfortune of a little child who would be miraculously healed by a billion likes, or a helpless father whose motivation to quit smoking is directly proportional to the likes his teary eyed daughter garners for him!!

The article mentioned an average of six months, or more, if you launch your site in the Holidays, and worse if it features nothing about how to expertly bake cookies in under 8 minutes or craft with left-over pressurized fake-snow! It urged the blogger to keep going, writing, speaking to his/her desired demographic on social media, regardless of feedback, even if not a single person responded! Filled me with dread that there are people out there who wouldn’t have two well meaning friends who might log in to egg them on….the true state of human relationships! I silently gave thanks that I might just be spared THAT! Though some of my relationships bleakly resemble the script of Mary and Max (2009), even if the story actually made it to Sundance!!

So there, I’ve decided to embark on this journey, not just of writing, but putting myself out there-open to the scrutiny, the kindness or scepticism of the world at large! I committed to accept the paradigm shift that one must continue talking, writing, reaching out, even if no one seems to be listening…and that’s it’s still considered an act of a committed, passionate and motivated person. No longer the exclusive purview of the decidedly deranged! J

If you come back to this space in 6 months (or be really nice and never leave), and find me jauntily discussing why summer is highly overrated and commoditized, and that man’s victory over the harsher cold is what we must be truly thankful for, then I’ve won that Battle-against-the Blog. It would be one of my worthier battles, I’ll tell you that, I fight at least two everyday!! One has to do with the cookie jar, the other, the tips of my fingers, and then there’s the family…and saving the donkeys!! And if I’m still chugging along, give yourself a nice big pat, you might have had something to do with it! You can help get me some visibility by taking a moment to nominate me, I’d be very touched and immeasurably chuffed if you do! :)

end-symbol

Why don’t you stay and read a few of my popular posts :

Abba or Wham! You know who to blame!

The Department of Tweed and Trilbies!!

My girlies’ Pop Starter-kit :)

My girlies’ Pop Starter-kit :)

Kanchan Char, Practical Parenting Graphic, growing chicks, sunshine

By Kanchan Char

My daughters, like their mum and dad, love music! My older one asked me if she could have her own music for her room, or to listen with us in the car while we travel… of course, I don’t want them singing lewd lyrics to catchy tunes, so this is what I made for them! No sex, violence or vulgarity…

This is also a party list, a dance-with-best-friend list and a wind-down-and-journey list . :) I’ve made it on Youtube as everyone can access it without subscriptions or sign-ups, we prefer ours without the visuals on Spotify!I hope that like me, you too will enjoy hours of singing and dancing fun with your little grown-ups !

Enjoy! :)

 

end-symbol

If you liked this, why don’t you also look through :

Raising My Children My Mother’s Way! :)

Abba or Wham! You know who to blame!

 

 

These Are a Few of My Favourite Things…

These Are a Few of My Favourite Things…

“As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armour themselves against wonder. ”

― Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968

 To the great embarassment of my family, I tend to take pictures everywhere…I stop people that I find interesting and ask them if I can photograph them. I’m grateful that I’ve never been turned away  – I don’t ever take that lightly! I’m sharing a few pics with you (because pics are a big chunk of “what-I-do!”:P ) There is no perfect beauty – that’s the master stroke of your own mind; what I find beautiful, some might find droll and likewise! After all, I have been known to take pics of ready-to-use fishing kits at a local store; who mercifully took me to be a tourist! My family is very used to hearing me say, “I see Beautiful things!”, it’s kinda lost on them now! :D

To me, photography isn’t stopping to take a picture of something that you immediately find beautiful… you bring something more to it. You bring the sounds that interest you, the movies, the books that have kept you awake at night. The people you’ve loved- It’s all of you!  You’re probably in that moment, a participant in someone’s mortality as you capture something in their life that will never return again. I know I sound blithe, clichéd…but clichés wouldn’t be clichés if they weren’t so oft repeated and acknowledged :) There are endless summers in our lives as we relive those frozen moments again..and you can never put a price on that! :)

If you’ve never heard M. Ward, here is a fabulous song by him and one of my favourites! Why don’t you listen to it as you go through my gallery :)

 {~*PLAY*~}

Cincopa WordPress plugin

I’ve been reading Leonard Cohen’s Book of Longing again… his hard-hitting simplicity speaks to me like nothing else! He’s one of those you either love (passionately!) or  loathe (despicably!) A proper polarising brand -like Marmite..Star Wars(?), definitely Dr. Who!! ◄ Here is where I get mobbed and lynched  :D

Well, this is a small excerpt from what I’m reading – it’s a poem from which he made his legendary song.

A Thousand Kisses Deep !

You came to me this morning
And you handled me like meat.
You´d have to be a man to know
How good that feels, how sweet.
My mirror twin, my next of kin,
I´d know you in my sleep.
And who but you would take me in
A thousand kisses deep?

I loved you when you opened
Like a lily to the heat.
You see, I´m just another snowman
Standing in the rain and sleet,
Who loved you with his frozen love
His second-hand physique -
With all he is, and all he was
A thousand kisses deep.
I’m good at love, I’m good at hate
It’s in between I freeze
I’d work it out but it’s too late
It’s been too late for years
But you look good, you really do
They love you on the street
If you were here I’d kneel for you
A thousand kisses deep

The Autumn moved across your skin
Got something in my eye
A light that doesn’t need to live
Doesn’t need to die
A riddle in the book of love
obscure and obsolete
To witness tear and time and blood
A thousand kisses deep

And I’m still working with the wine
Still dancing cheek to cheek
The band is playing Auld Lang Syne
But the heart will not retreat
I ran with Diz I sang with Ray -
I did not have their sweep -
But once or twice, they let me play
A thousand kisses deep

I loved you when you opened
Like a lily to the heat
You see, I´m just another snowman
Standing in the rain and sleet,
Who loved you with his frozen love
His second-hand physique -
With all he is and all he was
A thousand kisses deep

But you don’t need to hear me now
And every word I speak
It counts against me anyhow
A thousand kisses deep!

As I leave you today, I realise that his words speak again and fill the gaps between what I’d like to say: “Friend, when you speak this carefully, I know it’s because you don’t know what to say.” I will never, ever have words to explain Leonard Cohen! :)

In my world of  itenerant living, I’ve had to construct a portable life-one that I know I can put into a bag and house where I lay my head down next. Photography, music, poetry – not something you can lose easily. For wherever I am, they will have a place with me. :) xxx

 

 

end-symbol

If you’ve liked reading this, you might also like to read :

“To dream of Caramel, and think of Cinnamon…”

Abba or Wham! You know who to blame!

 

 

 

Woody Allen, ‘Fell-apples’, Borscht and Lurve!

Woody Allen, ‘Fell-apples’, Borscht and Lurve!

My husband usually jokes about how though I’m not Jewish, you’ll understand me better if you were!! I grew up in a very culturally emaciated household-my parents were born into a culture that they didn’t particularly hold dear or even identify with and so they role-played; needless to say the self-consciousness rubbed off on us as well! As a Jewish saying goes- ” A Jew is his most Jewish self in the face of a Gentile”; that was largely true of us too – we were our tradition-fluid best in the face of any tradition-richness that befell us!

Woody Allen, Annie Hall, Diane Keaton, iconic film,

Diane Keaton and Woody Allen – Annie Hall

With Woody Allen’s winning the Cecil B. DeMille Golden Globe being all-pervasive news, and it being accepted by none other than his Annie Hall collaborator, Diane Keaton, catapulted me back to a very significant time period in my childhood in which both had a part to play! (Watching Diane Keaton deliver her acceptance speech also cleared up the ‘Did Ralph Lauren make Annie Hall or the converse, controversy’.  I’ve come across that sartorial debacle often enough since the film entered my subconscious about whether Ruth Morley, who officially designed Annie Hall, or Lauren, the all-American, preppy designer (who walked away with the accolades), was responsible for the signature androgynous look the film toted!  Glad Keaton cleared up all that murkiness by  choosing a made-to-fit Ralph Lauren pantsuit for the ceremony! I did miss her pastel polos and boat shoes, though! My greater takeaway from the speech was a song I can teach my children and rest in the knowledge that the best of celebrities still live with bad looking nails! )

Falafels!

Israeli Falafels!

My earliest association with folklore were those of my father’s persuasion! He was a war fiction enthusiast, studied history of the two World Wars and read a whole lot about Jewish culture and religion! He was hardly what I’d call a sociable man!  I grew up hearing stories about Mottel the tailor, Tevye the Milkman and The Fiddler on the Roof. I didn’t know about the movie till decades later as for the longest time I believed that Sholom Aleichem (on whose works The Fiddler on the Roof is based), was my father’s creative construct…really, who goes through life with that name?! We had Jewish family friends, Dan and Iris- Hasidic Jews on the fringes of Hasidim who were liberal enough to befriend traditionally-fluid Indians! My entire memory of them can be crystallised in the one evening we spent at their house celebrating Rosh Hashannah… the Jewish New Year! There was such a lead up in my own little world where I scampered around telling everyone that I was going to be spending a whole evening, a whole evening with my parents’ foreign friends, and that they were making foreign food for us! My mother had told me in the typically fantasmagorical, story-telling way that parents have when they talk to their young about an impending adventure – about having Challah which was the soft-test bread in the whole world, and borscht- the pink-kest soup in the whole world, and there would be fell-apples, that mummy was learning to make fell-apples as well, so it was all going to be a whole day of being immersed in another world! It was all very Lewis Carroll, and I couldn’t wait to go down the rabbit hole!

It seems awkward now that that was really the meeting of two polarities – one family running away from tradition, the other thirsting for every last drop! In all honesty, Indians and the American Jews have enough of a cultural similarity to get along jauntily! Let me iterate that with a American Jewish joke :

It’s time for summer holidays on the East Coast of the USA, and a plane full of New York jews is heading south to Miami. After a while, a woman stands up at the front of the plane and shouts, “A doctor, I need a doctor! Is there a doctor on the plane?” There is a pause, some discussion among passengers, then a young man stands up and replies, “Excuse me madam, but I’m a doctor.””Good!” says the woman, “Come here and meet my daughter, what a nice wife she would make!”

WATCH: ->”Traditions, traditions. Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as… as… as A Fiddler on the Roof!!”

Ritual Jewish Bread Challah

The Jewish Ritual Plaited Bread – Challah

 Well, the day came and I was carried throught it on the merit of sheer childish exuberance, and as the night carried on , I realised to my dismay that the metaphorical clock had struck! My late ’80′s polyester frock had gone from being my dizzy-with-delight party gown to something scratchy and non-sleepingworthy, my carriage went back to being a pumpkin, and my horses – mice!! The borscht wasn’t something I could have more than a few spoonfuls of, the smoked and brined lox (smoked salmon) and cream cheese, again- lost on my palate! The falafels, made from the best of Knorr, was a vegetarian bajji! The challah I schlepped around, slathered with butter and chewed on it’s crunchy crust as the families settled in to watch Annie Hall, which would go on to become one of my parents’ favourite films! Ethic food and children? I’d wait till they realised that the world was a large, indomitable place, not necessarily one that revolved around them! ! So I sat there, clutching my bread and winding the end of my mother’s handloom saree, still fresh with the smell of handprintable dye, around my finger, watching an absurd film where the talking never stopped.

Lox and Cream Cheese!

Lox and Cream Cheese!

Family for me has always had multifaceted meanings- some of them not entirely comforting! I’ve often noticed that when one grows up with a particular disability; physical or emotional, one seems to have a heightened sensibility of things that touch or resonate against that shifted core. By that stretch, a blind child grows with a keener sense of touch and hearing, as does a deaf one-with keener sight and smell perhaps. I for one, seem to have grown with a heightened perception of family ties. Bonds of touch, love and belonging. Those that  go deeper than blood. And of small, everyday things that change and alter those very bonds as they continue to grow together; in love or apart.

Allen’s neuroticism pierced through me in patches that night; when Annie asks him if he loves her, he says love is really too weak a word, he actually lurved her, you know,  loaved her, luffed her, two F’s!!! I learned that night that you need to love with more than just love! I also learned the way another culture saw the power of my life – Iris, the Jewish woman with a wig, who knew to read life’s signs said to me that I was born under the strength of an air sign! Air moves over the earth and the water, it controls both whilst being controlled by none. I could make any path I chose to if I used all my strength to make it! That would be my biggest argument for thinking outside the box and the need to interact with a cultural ethos different to your own. Those words changed my inner landscape! I was viewed as an entitled, hyper-irritable annoyance in my own world!  And then the talk of Dan quoting Allen’s recently said” Eighty percent of success is showing up!” A dictum that holds me well, even on mornings when I cannot wait for the peace of post-schoolruns or feel like the vilest of parents! I showed up, and in doing so, there was success!!   I heard those lines often! My parents almost always concurred on Allen, if not much else!

On a regular basis, as an Asian living in England or even just plainly as an Asian, I revisit Annie Hall and especially revel in the Easter scene -the clash of the relatively calm socio-cultural niceties of Upper East Side Manhattan and the often chaotic, rapidly-fluctuating emotional personality of Brooklyn! The similarities are glaring – clearly, we aren’t all in this together! :) In a family, a lot is unspoken, a lot is said in the high-pitched tones of conviviality …or the silence! I learned to understand a philosophy through it’s jokes!

 

Keaton aptly said whilst accepting the award on behalf of Allen, that women love to star in his films because “Woody’s women can’t be compartmentalised. “…I mean, they struggle, they love, they fall apart, they dominate, they’re funny, they’re flawed. They are, in fact, the hallmark of Woody’s work. But what’s even more remarkable is that absolutely nothing links these unforgettable characters from the fact that they came from the mind of Woody Allen. And there you have it.”
Probably the reason I love his work so much… and because “Woody’s films have been changing the way we think about life, love and the pursuit of neuroses forever”!

Leaving you with scenes from one that’s seminally touched mine…X

end-symbol

You might also like

Originality and Reinvention are really joined at the hip!

The Department of Tweed and Trilbies!

Raising My Children My Mother’s Way! :)

Raising My Children My Mother’s Way! :)

*I write this post as a rememberence to my mother who I lost almost 18 years back, and it’s meant to be a celebration of what she meant to me! :) I think holidays/milestones etc are often hard for those of us who’ve had to deal with loss and hope that what I feel resonates with those of you who sadly know what it is to stand in my shoes! I hope that in my journey as a parent, I also bring alive the memory of grandparents my children haven’t met! This is not a tear-jerker, and even as I love and miss her, it fills me with panic that my trajectory toward becoming her is nearly complete!! :D. Read on….

I’ve often heard people say that when you raise your children, you also raise your grandchildren – you never really see that till you hit your 30′s and you realise that the battle against becoming your mother is largely inevitable! You can run, but you can never hide!! I’ve been thinking about my mother increasingly these last few months, and realised (with a healthy dose of hysteria) that I’m quite a bit like her! I always thought that would happen to my sister! Throw in yawning at 10 pm and some serious anxiety over restricted baggage allowances and you’re ready to go to that place of no return! :)

I remember odd things when I think of my childhood. I remember my mother, who quoted Virginia Woolf to pre-adolescent kids in the face of any human conflict. We were to always remember, like we did our names, our telephone number and our address, that if we were to truly understand any human being, we were to see them in the context of their surroundings and the experiences they grew with.

Since we could never completely know the above mentioned parameters, it was eminent that we would never totally understand whoever we had the conflict with. Hence the conflict would lose its center – being not a conflict, but the natural outcome of human interaction!!

 Base premise – humans are essentially never to be wholly understood. Virginia Woolf! One of my mother’s most appreciated lessons!:D

Another of my earliest memories of when I was a little girl, was wanting to be in the kitchen because it was warm, and that’s where my mother was. You never lose that feeling – although I clearly didn’t pick up much more than that in all the time I spent there! As I’ve mentioned countless times before, I have no culinary skills and have begun to think I was probably dropped as a child resulting in a significant blind spot where one processes culinary-anything, Sci-fi, Gaming and Twitter!

When it’s 1 AM and I’m craving pancakes : As my children grow up, I, like so many of you, find that quite subconsciously, we’ve formed our own family traditions. Some are rooted in what I did with my mother, and make an attempt to reinforce that with my children as that’s the only way I can make my mother real to her grandchildren! For instance, the other night, both my girlies were up late and wouldn’t go to bed without a midnight feast..they were off school anyway so my otherwise regimental self agreed that it would be fine. We decided to make pancakes, my childhood solution to any malady, celebration or setback!! My mother passed this onto me, it was the only thing I ever learned from her! I’d have to say it was the most emotionally satisfying hour I’d spent with my children in the longest time. :)

“It’s a plié, Mummy, a plié!” : Aren’t winters just the most apt time for nostalgia and stocktaking?! Or maybe that this December was spent with me in largely hostage situation-husband away visiting family, one child down with the flu and asthma attacks, power cuts and storms, and I’ve had a significant amount of time to ‘ponder’! :) This winter, I passed down another thing to my children that harks back to my own childhood! When I was 10, my mother’s  very good friend gifted me Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes. She said to me gently and very well-meaningly “, I know you haven’t the body for ballet, but you do have a keen, imaginative mind that can make this story come alive. Every little girl should should have something to do with dance.” Clearly, either the words or the books made an impact – I fell in love with ballet and adoption! :) I gifted my ballet-enthusiastic children their own copy though I have my 20-year-old copy still kicking around, far from their grubby hands! Of course, I’ve had to modify the language as I read to them…like so many classics, it’s hopelessly politically incorrect for our times! Gotta love it!! :D

Ballet shoes, noel streatfeild, old ballet shoes, pointe

Ballet Shoes- Past, Present and In-between :)

Autumn is when every leaf’s a flower: At the start of every autumn, we make it a practice to go out and see the leaves, see the brilliance of nature and how seasons turn and change! Apart from the fact that we don’t do summer and are therefore very pleased to invite the cold, the payoff is priceless! To see the wonderment on my children’s little faces as they stamp on leaves and rustle through them is more than anything money can buy. Autumn/Winter is big at our home…we do walks, celebrate the nip in the air, have countless cups of hot choolate and babbycchinos laced with cinnamon. We incessantly and hopelessly watch movies! No better time to feel that “this is my family, I belong to them and they belong to me and there’s nothing more I could ever need more! ”  Growing up, my aunt would make us traditional drinks made with milk, clarified butter and lentil flour  (Besan ka doodh) when the cold set in, and we brought out our thick jumpers to get ready for it! Such magical memories of traditional bonfire nights and warm roasted bonfire foods! :)

I know that in a few years we’ll also have the danger of the shared tradition of the lot of us sat in the same room on our various devices, in silence !! We hope to get so much in before selfies, twerking, video games and dragging them out of bed become a part of our lives!! I think back to all the little things my mother did with us and believe that like us, these experiences will feed them throughout the happy and trying times of their life.

 

For all of us who try so hard and then fall off our saddles trying harder; I think of how all the most perfect memories I have of my mother are those that she would probably get shivers to, if she knew of them!  Our generation puts so much emphasis on ‘memory making’ and the complex ways we think we need to accomplish that…expensive holidays, high-investment gadgetry and other whatnots.

  • I remember the way my mother’s arm smelled as I rested against her on a journey somewhere… I don’t remember where to, though!
  • I remember her smile as she tried to drink a rotten cup of tea I made her (I suspect strongly that it never got drunk). Good parenting doesn’t need martyring yourself :P My mother was a right rogue, very often telling me things right as they were…she believed in reality checks! She was a fabulous cook but the best thing I ever ate was something she put together for me, randomly on a rain-soaked day when I hated the stew she cooked for the family. She could never replicate that dish. It was for that one moment only!
  • She was someone who didn’t shy away from saying that every time I said I hated her, she knew she was doing the right thing.
  • I remember her absolute uncool dancing as she cleaned the house, unaware that I was going to retain this in memory without any desire to, believe you me! :)
  • I remember her perfume, her lipstick, her having a good and bad hairday. I knew her fake smile; and her corny laugh! I knew that her friends loved her, and she loved them back. Children know so much! :)

Good parenting is showing your child you’re there, you’ll always be there in them, even when you’re gone physically. Showing them the way for them…giving them the vision of their best self and telling them you believe they’ll get there, albeit after they finish hating you and life and their hair! Home is where you know you can always go back to, even if it’s just to find your corner, get into sweats and skulk  around for a week before you decide to speak!  I often have people say to me that my mother was the best mother ever,  like so many other lovely mothers who’re no more. I say, yes, she was the best mother she could’ve been -  to me!! She was funny, pure evil, loving, a rogue, a great friend! And I am so much of all that, at 6.5 and 5, I’m sure my daughters will already attest to the first two :D

I haven’t had my mother around for more than half my life now…and never has a day passed when she’s not been around. I say that with the biggest smile… :D

She’s left too big an imprint on me, and now- hopefully on mine!  x

 

                  *I’d love to hear about a family tradition that you do with your family, whether as a remembrance or just because it’s sweet :) !! *

end-symbol

You might also like to read :

All aboard the Petits Filous Express!

“To dream of Caramel, and think of Cinnamon…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: