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This is my first post in a very, very long time. So I’m glad I’m back for Ramadan and to be keeping up with the annual diaries! The end of this Ramadan, will mark 6 years of my daily tales during this blessed and trying month. What began as a way to let off steam has now turned into a holiday of sorts that I look forward to write about. So for those who have stuck with me since the beginning, I wanted to take the time to say thank you for sharing your love and support, and I hope you stick around for the RD’s to come 🙂

The last two weeks leading up to Ramadan was busy with family and friends. My house became a day care of sorts with all the little people about and mother’s natter of tea. But it reached a point where I wanted to wish them away and welcome Ramadan sooner. Although this month has been known for its dramas it brings with it a lovely vibe that cannot be explained but tastes sweet!

Since I’ve been behind on my posts, I’m going to share two of my most recent adventures these past 2 weeks; Comic Con & Strawberry Hill.

A friend and I have attempted to go together for the past 2 years and it didn’t work out till this year! I’ve been to Comic Con many times before but she was new to the experience and so it was nice to go with someone who I could see the glow of excitement and awe of experiencing something for the first time.

 Comic Con:

Comic Con crowd


comic con yu gi oh cards

*memories* I still have my deck cards

Comic con panda madness

comic con pokemon

comic con hello kitty tent

The Deadpool cosplayer wasn’t for the kids (I think). He just sat there on the swing, taking pictures with everyone. Mainly women

comic con Naruto crew

This was one of the best parts: to see real friends cosplay as one of the most iconic set of friends from an anime ^_^

comic con manga

Comic Con Lego Batman

This poor man walked like a lego (duh) for the entire time, and patiently took pictures with everyone 😀

I hadn’t been to Comic Con in a few years and I always prefer the the May expo to the October. Longer day, more stalls, less crowded.

Strawberry Hill:

There’s a story behind this visit that made going to it very special…

In my 2nd year on my undergraduate course, my friends and I read a very crazy and comical short story called The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole. Walpole built and lived in a gothic castle/house called Strawberry Hill, which even during his lifetime had been opened to the public for visits. We all usually had a massive meet up at the end of each year with all our friends, but my Lit bunch wanted to do something more special. It was then that we decided on having a summer picnic at Strawberry Hill to see the museum which was once Walpole’s home. Little did we know that once summer came, things would somehow get in the way and our efforts would be sent packing. Yet, I persevered and pushed to make sure 2016 would be the summer for it!

Finally, after 6 years…we made it!

Strawberry Hill station

SH the outside viewSH Once upon a timeSH red n goldSH the picnic

For anyone studying or who like to read gothic literature, this is a great place to visit. The self-guided tour takes roughly 1.5 hours and they a sweet cafe and plenty of space for picnics. It was a really cold day but we were determined to have our 6 year old plan picnic 😀

Day 1:

Back to Ramadan. It was warm today but not unbearably so. Last year Britain actually went through a heatwave where temperatures reached as high as 37 degrees during Ramadan. Summer this year started very late and its once again coincided with fasting. But when I went out into my backyard, it was slightly warm but with a gentle breeze to help balance things outs. And whilst outside I could smell samosas and biryanis being made for iftar from all my neighbours kitchens. I chuckled to myself when I thought of what I would be having in comparison:

RD Day 1

Looks really heavy, but mum made the rice more soupy than thick which suited us just fine. I thought someone might have made a comment about the simplicity of today’s meal with only the recommended dates to go alone with it, but thankfully all was well. I saw people on facebook updating their statuses on the progress of their iftar preparations and I pitied them. I told mum in advance that this year has to be a healthier year with less time in the kitchen, and so today was true to our efforts.

It’s only 3 of us fasting in the house since dad couldn’t cope with the long days any longer, forcing him to give up fasting and give to charity instead for each day of fasting missed. It was easy to persuade mum to keep it simple. She was tired, she was hungry…it was a no brainer for her. What was easy and lazy food was healthier and lighter, leaving me feeling like I could do a catwalk out of the kitchen instead of needing to be rolled out like a balooned Violet Beauregarde (Dahl ref).

But the month is still young and surprises never knock to let you know they’re coming…