Sunday, 7 October 2012

When I Was Five I Killed Myself

So here's the book review I was meant to do ageeessss ago!

My timekeeping in regards to posting on my blog has a been a shambles as of late, but never fear, I shall be getting my act together!

The main reason I wanted to read this book was because of the title.
I had never heard of the Author, Howard Buten, before, nor had anyone told me about the book itself. I was just browsing on Amazon, and in the 'recommendations for you' but was this book, and from the brief blurb, it sounded pretty interesting.

So I ordered it, and the first pleasant surprise of this book was the size of it! It's so tiny compared to the usual size of books. Very travel/pocket friendly.

The book is only 200 or so pages long, so is a very short read.
It's told from the main character Burt's point of view, who is an 8 year old boy, currently in a child's psychiatric unit. The reason why Burt is put in this place isn't clear at first, but as the story continues, it becomes more and more clear as to why he is there.

The only thing that the reader does know is that Burt has done 'something terrible' to Jessica, a girl he likes in his class, who you find out is equally as messed up as Burt as the story unfolds. But what has he done to her that warrants his admission into hospital? That's what keeps you turning the page when reading the book.

There are moments when you read the book, and you think that Burt is this incredible sweet little kid who thinks, acts and does what a normal 8 year old does, but then there are parts where you furrow your brow and think 'da fuq?!' Buten is incredible at portraying this little boy as a monster at times, and as I was reading it, my brain was working at 100mph trying to figure out why this kid does the things he does?

You become attached to Burt very quickly, and very easily. It's told in first person narrative, completely from Burt's prospective. The genius thing about Butens writing is that the books is written as if an actual 8 year old wrote it. From the vocabulary, the the literary mistakes a kid would make, it was just.... GENIUS! That's one of the things I did love about the book.

I'm not gunna explain anymore about the book, as if you do plan to read it (which I think you should) you realise it's only a short book, and so summarising it in anymore detail will basically give away to much of the story.

I would call this book a drama/suspense, as you literally are wondering the whole time why this little boy is in a a children's mental institution! But the ending is definitely. a shocker. The final reason that Burt is in the hospital did not even cross my mind at allllllllllll, like, I never even comprehended that this would possibly be an ending.

Warning: this isn't an uplifting, happy go lucky book that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy. It will make you feel things, just not happy things! But I can honestly say that I have never read a book like this, and would not minding reading more of a similar style.

So there you have it!
I'm currently reading the first book of the 'His Dark Materials' trilogy by Phillip Pullman called 'Northen Lights'. I've only read about 1/4 of the book so far, but its bloody brilliant already!

Please comment about your fav books and why it's you're fav, as it could be my next read ;)


Sunday, 23 September 2012

Working girl

It was my first week of work last week.
Monday to Wednesday was the hospital induction, and then I started in the Audiology dept from Thursday onwards.

The induction was sooooo boring, when you've heard one fire safety talk, you've heard them all.
On the plus side I got a CPR certificate on Wednesday, after demonstrating my skills on a dummy. He wasn't as fancy as the Intricately designed Japanese love dolls you see, but even though he had nothing below his lower torso, he was good enough for me.

He hasn't called me since though :'(

Anyhoo, there are many things I have still to do blogging wise.

1. I've still not got round to finishing the short story I'm writing as a guest post for marks blog (I would post the link to his blog but I'm doing this via the mobile app, so I must keep it simples). I could think of many excuses, but to put it simply, I've just not been managing my free time well! So hopefully I shall finish that soon.

2. I've been meaning to do a book review of 'when I was five I killed my self', a book I finished last month. It's such a fantastic read, and is completely different from anything I've ever read before. But more in the book review post I shall do.

3. Help me out guys. Now that in working, my goal is to save up for a new car. I definitely want a 5 door, as in sick of having to constantly move my seats forward and back in my 3 door clio at the moment (or two door, really, since it only has, well,two doors.....). I thought I really wanted a VW golf, but now in thinking I want a Honda civic. If any of you guys are driving, what are you driving and do you like it?

Hope you guys have had a good weekend!


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The guest post, as promised

Many apologies for the lateness of this post.
As usual I have had many things to do and many people to catch up with in the last week, so have been a bit slow with my posting.

As promised, here is the wonderful Marks guest post!
There are some Avatars he kindly provided along with his post, so those of you who are not familiar with him can get a vibe of what he's like.

Those of you who are familiar with him know that he is a talented writer, in both writing about his life and in his brilliant sci-fi short story 'Immortal Space', a story focused around Trent and Geoff (with a g).



Hello everybody. I'm here today to tell you a story that, while fictional, may have taken place somewhere. You never know. Kidding, I'm here to make you subconsciously send me all your cookies. ALL YOUR COOKIES ARE BELONG TO ME. Well, actually I am here with a story. I told Aysh that I would happily have her do a guest post, and after some chit chat, we decided we would swap, and do a guest post for eachother. A short story each. Thankfully I had one lying around that I wasn't really planning on sharing, and didn't have to come up with something new. There is a shorter story behind this short story. A while back, eons ago, far before the universe existed, I joined a dating website. I haven't been on it since roughly some time after the universe existed. But while I was on there, there was one girl who told me that she was writing a short story on the idea of fate, of two people being brought together by happenstance. After she told me, I asked her if she would mind if I borrowed her idea. She said no, and asked to read what I had done when I finished. She never actually got to read this story. She, like everyone else on there, decided to stop talking to me. I'm not sure where my love may lie, but I'm getting quite sure it isn't on a dating website. I've babbled more than long enough, so for now enjoy your story. P.S It's mushy as hell and something I think no one would have expected from me of all people.

Michael was getting ready. He had a shower, shaved off the stubble that had been growing for a few days, and tied back his brown hair. Spraying himself with some deoderant he belted up his jeans, slipped on a t-shirt and put his jacket on. He had a date, and he was looking forward to it. It had been a while since he last had a date, but he had met a nice girl and asked her out to a pub near the beach to make his last day on holiday memorable. He checked himself out in the mirror one last time to make sure he looked okay and then headed out of his hotel and to his car.

He started it up and headed down the road. He put the radio on to help distract him from the nerves he was feeling. A love song was playing. “Typical” he thought to himself. About ten minutes later he pulled up in the pub car park, got out, and walked through the door. Overall it wasn't a bad place. The bar was a shiny mahogany and nearly all the stools were filled. He looked around for his date but couldn't find her, so he went to the bar, and got two pints before finding a table to sit at. He shrugged off his jacket, letting it hang on the chair behind him. He was a little early, so he thought it wasn't too surprising she hadn't turned up.

After fifteen minutes (ten minutes into the date) and three pints, he had drank her pint and gotten himself another, he was starting to change his opinion on that. He looked around again to make sure he hadn't missed her, but still couldn't see her. “I'll give her ten more minutes” he thought to himself, “if she still hasn't shown up, then I'll get going.” He thought it was a bit of a shame for his holiday to have to end like that, but that's just how things work sometimes.

He was going to leave when a woman did come up to him, but it wasn't his date. It was a black haired woman with green eyes. His date was blonde and had blue eyes.

“Is that seat taken?” She asked him, pointing at the seat on the opposite side of the table. He shook his head.

“No ma'am, and soon this one won't be either.” He said, sounding a little surly.

“That's a shame,” She said, looking at him. “I was hoping to talk to you if I'm honest.” She looked away sheepishly when he looked up at her, almost a bit surprised, most definitely confused.

“Is your name Shirley?” He asked her. Now it was her turn to be surprised and confused.
“No it's Anna, why'd you ask?”

“I was expecting someone called Shirley about 20 minutes ago,” he said, checking his watch, “part of me thought for a minute that she'd dyed her hair and put in contacts.” Anna laughed at this and sat down.

“I know that feeling. I was waiting here for a man named Michael but he never showed up.” Michael tilted his head back and laughed, shaking his head as he brought it back down.
“The names Michael” he said, shaking her confused hand, “but I guess I'm not the Michael you were expecting.”

“No, you certainly aren't” Anna said. “Excuse me for a second while I buy a drink will you?” Michael stood up, shaking his head and motioning for her to stay seated.

“No way a pretty lady like yourself should pay for her own drink. I need another so what can I get you?” Anna blushed a little.

“A pint of cider would do fine thank you, if you really don't mind.”

“Not a problem at all, I was expecting to pay for some lady's drink. It might as well be someone who's actually interested in spending some time with me.” About half a minute later Michael returned with two pants and set one down in front of Anna before sitting down himself and having a drink.

“You a tourist yourself?” he asked her.

“Yeah I'm here on holiday, and I go home tomorrow. Thought I'd go out with a bang. What about you?”

“Same here, right down to the going out with a bang part. What hotel are you at?”

“The Seafront. Don't tell me you're there too?” Michael shook his head.

“I guess that's enough coincidences for one night” he said with a smirk, “I'm further in town a bit. Would have been nice to get to the Seafront though, the views must be amazing.” Anna nodded and took another drink before replying.

“It is, but a good view is so much better when you have someone to share it with.” Michael nodded and finished his drink.

“I'm sure it is. I love the beach myself, and the ocean.”

“Me too” Anna replied, finishing her own drink. “Say, you want to go down there now? It might be nice. Going on the beach at night is another thing that should really be done with someone else.”

“Sure but just wait a second, I have to go use the bathroom.” Anna nodded and waited for him. A few minutes later he came out, picked up his jacket, and the two of them walked out of the bar together. It wasn't far to the beach, the pub was next to it and even had some tables on a terrace overlooking it. It was a chilly night though so people weren't sat there, and the beach itself was pretty clear. Michael saw Anna shiver and offered her his jacket. She took it and wrapped it around herself. Though when Michael shivered she insisted he take it back. Instead though he held her hand and walked close to her. She didn't mind though and leaned into him as they walked. Eventually they sat down, and stared up at the stars. Anna was laid partly across Michael and he was stroking her hair.

“The night sky sure is beautiful isn't it?” Anna asked, pointing up. Michael took her and pulled it to his mouth before kissing it and holding it to his chest.

“It's not the only beautiful thing here.” he said with a smile. Anna giggled and playfully hit him in the chest.

“Now don't go saying things you don't mean.”

“No I meant it. I'm looking great tonight, don't you think?” he replied with a laugh. Anna hit him again.

“Yes, I suppose you are, aren't you?” she said with a sigh.

“So are you, Anna.” Michael said. “The man who stood you up sure doesn't know what he missed out on.”

“Neither does the woman who stood you up.” Anna replied, nuzzling his chest. They laid there for about 20 minutes, just staring up at the sky and talking before Anna noticed the time.

“Oh no,” she said, getting up and surprising Michael. “I have to get back to the hotel, I've got to be up early tomorrow. I'm really sorry to cut it short like this. I really did enjoy myself Michael.” she leaned down and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “I had a wonderful night, and I guess I did get to end my holiday with a bang after all.”

“Will I see you again?” Michael asked, sitting up.

“With any luck” she said, with a smile. “Some things are just meant to happen right?”
“Right” he said, “but what if this isn't?”

“I'm sure it is” she said, smiling. “I know a thing or two.”

“Like what?”

“Like that I have to go, but not before I do one last thing.” She leaned down again, giving him a bigger kiss this time. After that she quickly ran off. Michael was left on his own. He contemplated running after her, but he didn't think there was anything he could do at this point. She was already gone. Not just from the beach, but from his life too. She seemed so sure they could meet again, but he had no idea how. Zipping up his jacket and getting up, he made the short walk to his car, and then made the short drive back to his hotel. When he got there, he reached into his pockets for his door key. He felt something in there. After letting himself into his room he checked his pockets again. He pulled out a piece of paper. It had a note on it that said “You may not have been the Michael I was expecting, but you sure are the one I needed. Who's to say we can't push fate?” After that there was a phone number. Michael ran to his phone and dialled it. A few rings later he heard Anna's voice. She sounded a bit mad to be called so late at night when she was trying to sleep until she heard someone say “Hey Anna, I just got your note. Now, about fate...”

Aww, Mark is making my heart feel all mushy

How amazing is this picture of Mark by Berscules?!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Blog one, Blog all

Guess what?  I got a call from my boss to be this morning, telling me that they were successful in their application for more funding, which basically means that I'll be working full time instead of part time as originally planned! :D

I was praying through the whole of Ramadan that they would get more funding, and it lucks like my prayers were answered Alhamdulillah!  So I am a very happy bunny today.
Working full time means that it'll be easier for me to save up for a new car, which is my main priority at the moment!

I start work in a couple of weeks, so I'll have to make the most of my last two weeks of unemployment!  I'm actually looking forward to working now, I need the money!  It's no fun not working when you're broke.

I was tweeting Marky Mark, you know, that rambling chap whose blog you can get to by clicking on ze link ^^^ & we were discussing guest posting, prompted from the guest post I did for Michaels blog here.

I'd love for Mark to do something for my blog, and after a wee bit of indecision, Mark figured out what he could possibly do for me blog (I'll leave it as a surprise *wink wink*), and what I could do for his!

I said I'd attempt a short story, since he's brilliant at writing stuff himself.
I've got a plan down for what I can write about, that's not a problem.  The problem is trying to keep the story short!  Not that it's an epic novel or anything, it just gets a bit waffly, so It is most definitely a work in progress!

London on Thurs and Fri was good.  I went with my mum and brother, and on the thursday we went to watch Les Miserables (I think I spelt it right....), and I hope I don't offend anyone who is, or has been somehow involved with Les Mis (Which I don't think would be an issue, cuz really, what are the chances of them reading this post!? but still, just incizzles....) it was so BORING!  Don't get me wrong, the actors and actresses were amazing, and their voices were phenomenal!  But it was just tooooo long, and really quite depressing (I know, the I should've got that from the title really) but yeah.  My brother kept falling asleep throughout the performance, which was slightly embarrassing, but more hilarious!

Again we did the standard touristy thingy ma bobs, and I used this as an opportunity to work on my amateur photography skills!  Saying that, I was so tired from carrying my camera around that I ended up using my iPhone camera more than my actual camera!

M&M store in Leicester Square
View of London Central from the river Thames

London Bridge

The show that put my brother to sleep.  Legally Blonde it is then next time.

Beautiful inside the theatre

Big Bizzle

China Town

Haagen-Daz Cafe :D

Museum of Natural History

Museum of Natural History

Green Park 

London Eye
View of Regents Park Mosque from Regents Park

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

It's up!

Don't misinterpret the title, I'm talking about the guest post I did for Michaels blog which I told you about in the last post!

here it be:

It's a re-post of my 'The wind and the sun' post, so if you've already read it, then skim through that and check out some of Michaels wonderful posts instead!

Just to warn you though, Michael requested a pic to put up with the post, and he had a look through my instagram and picked the ones he wanted (My teeth look gi-nourmous in the first pic!).
Chances are if you've peeked through my instagram or follow me on twitter then you'll have seen my face (also referred to as the 8th wonder of the natural world).

There is sooooo much I want to blog about. My gran has gone back to Pakistan.  She flew with my dad yesterday, and we spoke to them earlier to let us know they're back home safely.

My mum and dad went to Geneva for their 27th anniversary, and they had the best time!  My brothers and I also reaped the benefits of their travels by gorging on the yummy swiss chocolate they brought back for us!

We were  invited to a few dinners by family members last week when my grandmother was over.  In the pakistani community, if you're welcoming someone to someplace, family and some friends usually invite that person and their fam over for dinner (like if someones just got married, or come over from another country etc.)
It has not done my waistline any favours....

I was at yet another wedding today!  My best mate fizz's little sister got married today, so I went to act as a mini-photographer and have a catch up with my besty's family (due to some circumstances, I've not seen my best mates family for a couple of years! It was like re-uniting with family when I saw her sisters and brother after so long :D).
Because fizz was busy getting ready with her sister, I was to meet her at the wedding hall, but because I didn't know anyone, I was just standing in a corner, alone, avoiding eye contact with strangers until she came!
It didn't help that I stuck out like a sore thumb.  It was a Bengali wedding, and Bengalis wear the most beautiful Sari's on special occasions (and just daily-traditionally), and people could just tell that I was Pakistani......Asians just know these kinds of things about other Asians! (I'm pretty good a differentiating between Indians, Pakistanis and Bengalis! I like to think, anyway)

But yes. busy busy.

I'm going London tomorrow to watch Les Miserables in the west end!  I'm very much looking forward to that, especially since we're staying till friday instead of rushing everything in one day trip.

Well that's everything I can think of at the moment!  Im sure there's plenty I've missed out, but oh well!


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

guest blogging, and confusing families.

Guess what?  The wonderful busy bee that is Michael Patrick McKinley has asked me to do a guest post for his blog!  No one has ever asked me to guest post, so I am extremely flattered, and excited!  Especially since his blog is so diverse and interesting!
His post's usually make you think about things you would never usually consider, and have a sweet humour to them too :)

Check his blog  'Let's start with a metaphor, shall we?' out:

I'll let you know when my post has been published.  Sadly, I think it will just be a re-post :(
I would love to write something original, but given that my gran is over from Pakistan and we're constantly having people over to see her, or taking her to see people, anything original written right now would be half-arsed, and Michaels blog is too good for that!

Also, I thought I'd explain a bit about Pakistani families in this post briefly.
One of my friends txt me yesterday after reading my last post, and was confused about be referring to my gran as my 'Dadi Ami', so I told her i'd explain it in a post.
In Punjabi/Urdu, each relation has a particular name you refer to them as, not strictly, but just in general, like your dads parents, brothers and sisters have a certain 'title', I suppose you could say, and the same for your mums side. 

So here goes:
Your dads mum and dad= dadi ami and dada abu (literally translates to dad's mum and dad's dad)
Your mums mum and dad= nani ami and nana abu

Your dads big brother= Thai Abu (his wife would be your Thai Ami)
Your dads little brother= Chacha/Chachu (his wife would be your Chachi)
Your dads sister= Phupho (pronounced pup-oh..sort of..) (Her husband would be your phuphra)

Your mums brother, older or younger= Mamoo (his wife would be your mami)
Your mums sister= Khala (her husband would be your Khaloo)

Borthers, sisters and cousins don't have a particular title, but you usually call your big brother, or older guy cousin Bhai or Bhaijan, out of respect, and your older sister or older girl cousin Baji or Appa/Appi out of respect.  

We just call our uncles and aunties...Uncle and Aunty :P We've never really been traditional in that sense.
And I don't actually call my grandparents any of the traditional names above.  I call my mum's parents Barry mamy and Barry daddy (literally Big mum and Big dad :P) and my dads parents Ami gee and Abu gee.

Even if you don't refer to your family using the traditional names, they're still used a lot in conversation when explaining how 'so and so' is related to 'so and so'

Most Southern Asian cultures have traditional names for family members, but they'll vary depending on the language spoken and the country/region/area you're from. 

You can't say I don't educate you readers :P
Even if it is useless information you didn't need to know!

I was in a rush yesterday so forgot to post some eid themed pictures!
My lovely friend Sam (the one who just got married) came over and put mehndi/henna on mumsy, my cousin and I.

She's so talented! She does it all freehand, and does the designs from the top of her head!

Mums black mehndi


Monday, 20 August 2012

Eid Mubarak!

A belated Eid Mubarak to everyone who fasted during Ramadan!
We celebrated Eid yesterday (I think most of the world did, but some are celebrating today.  think it's cuz diff countries spot the full moon on diff days....).

Eid literally translates as celebration/festival (me thinks...).  It's the Muslim equivalent to Christmas! But we celebrate eid twice (teehee).

This Eid is Eid-ul-fitr, where we celebrate the end of Ramadan, and the beginning of the next month, Shawwal.
Most people see this as the end of their temporary religious phase, and fall out of the good habits that they got into during Ramadan.  Hopefully this wont happen to many people!! (Or me, at least!)
It's Sunnah (tradition of the Prophet Mohammed p.b.u.h) To wear your best outfits, spend time with your loved ones, and just generally be merry and happy on this day :D
So it may explain why you suddenly see all the muslims in your community (mainly the brownies) look like sparkly christmas trees, strutting there stuff about town.

I like to think that I am not one of these.  (Sadly, I probably am....)

Basically, you get dressed up in your nicest, newest clothes, cook lots of yummy food, host your family/friends or go visit your family/friends and exchange presents/money.  It's pretty fun :)

Then there's Eid ul-Adha, which is celebrated on the 10th, 11th and 12th day of the last Islamic month of Dhul Hijja, and the celebrations start after Hajj (the islamic pilgrimage).  This Eid commemorates the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim (as) aka Abraham to sacrifice his son Ismail (as) aka Ishmael, as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a sheep to sacrifice instead.
This act is further commemorated by sacrificing sheep/lambs on Eid, and distributing it amongst family, friends and generally to feed the poor, so we always end up with a freezer full of lamb around this time....There's probably a significant dip in the lamb/sheep population around Eid ul-Adha, come to think of it....

So my Eid consisted of getting up, sitting in my PJ's, watching telly and eating left over pizza from the night before for breakfast (also known as the breakfast of champions). Then I got up, showered, sorted my face out and got dressed up all fancy, and then went to my uncles house to go spend some time with the family and stuff our faces.
My dad's mum (my dadi amee) has come to visit us in the UK from America, before she heads back to pakistan, and she's been staying at our house and my uncles alternatively while she's here.  She's at my uncles at the moment, so we spent some time with her there.

Then we went to my other grandma's house (and grandad!), to meet up with my mums side of the family and have a chinwag and take pictures and blah blah.

Then we came home and chilled for a bit, before taking my grandma and my uncles family out to dinner in the evening.
We went to Wilmslow road, and any british asian who's from manchester, or has been to manchester and knows about this road probably has a furrowed brown and is thinking 'Ayesha, how could you!?' right now, but I assure you, I had no choice in the matter.

Wilmslow rd, also know as Wimmy rd, also know as 'the curry mile' (the title is pretty self explanatory. It's just a mile of Indian restaurants!) is notorious to british asians around the north-west or the UK.  For some unknown reason, men and women alike (mostly the men) feel the need to regress and turn into raving mad lunatics. People come from far and wide, wear there most bizarre and unflattering clothes, hire out the fanciest cars, blast out the stupidest and most irritating songs from there car, and basically drive up and down this road, beeping at girls, blowing vuvuzelas (google that annoying shizzle if you're not familiar with it) and just generally make you feel ashamed to be of the same species. It's like an extended, annual, Asian version of Jersey Shore, basically.

Then we came home, drank tea, and went to bed!

In our family, the elders usually give us young'uns money instead of presents, which I much prefer :D but every house is different.

I'm off to see the Dark Knight Rises now! Ramadan has kept me busy, do I'm finally off to reconnect with society and see if Tom Hardy still looks good with a weird mask on.

I'll be catching up and commenting on everyone's blogs tonight hopefully! Excuse any typos in the post, I'm finishing it off in the car on my phone, so can't really be bothered to proof read (not that I ever do!)