Dear Mummy…

Mother'sDayThank you for the nights you spent awake with worry be it due to my first cold, difficult relationships or worry for upcoming  exams and tests.

Thank you for enduring the constant pulling at your leg wanting a cuddle or wanting to play when you were already multi-tasking a thousand and one tasks.

As a mother I now realise that sometimes it is a struggle to just get through the day and that sometimes things really are sent to try you. I understand now that when you used to lose your patience, it was not a reflection of your feelings for me but your frustration at the world outside our little mother-daughter bubble.

Thank you for still kissing me even when my growing independence meant I no longer always wanted kisses from my Mummy.

Thank you for everything you did for me, from changing nappies, to putting food on the table that I refused to eat. From waking up in the middle of the night to tidying my toys that I scattered around the house.

Thank you for all those hot cups of tea and coffee you missed or that just simply ran cold.

Thank you for those times you had rough, callous hands because you forgot or simply did not have time to massage cream into them.

Thank you. Thank you for everything. I may not have seen it all then but I see it now.

Happy Mother’s Day! 


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Love Is …


1- Making sure you don’t leave the house without a hot coffee and some breakfast.

2- Moving the car in the evening so it’s easier for you in the morning.

3- Not batting an eye lid when you come downstairs with bleach on your upper lip or a full face mask on.

4- Rubbing your back when you are bent double over a bowl being sick despite your protestations for him to leave (because in your mind this is no way for a husband to see his wife).

5- Appreciating that just because you are a stay-at-home mother does not mean your life is any less stressful.

6- Remembering you in his everyday and bringing home treats from the office.

7- Celebrating your successes more than you do.

8- Always going that extra mile on special occasions (birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Valentine’s Day).

9- Never letting you walk past or go to sleep without a kiss.

10- Always thanking you after every meal you cook for the family.

Thank you for loving me. Happy Valentine’s Day, Mr. Alphabet Games! 


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Just Because…

something to say

1 – I am not boring.

Just because I read books you are not interested in does not mean I am boring.

2 – I am more than a job title.

Just because I am a stay at home mother does not mean I am not intelligent or wasting my life. I am raising the future.

3 – I am not little anymore.

Just because I was once a baby does not mean I have stayed that baby. I am a thirty-five year old woman and have thirty-five years’ experience behind me.

4 – I do have an opinion.

Just because I do not often say anything does not mean I do not have anything to say.

Just because I am younger than you does not mean I cannot offer advice. We all have different life experiences and have a different insight on events.

5 – I do have a resolve.

Just because I am quiet does not mean I do not have that resolve. Sometimes it takes a stronger person to keep quiet than to fill a room with the sound of their voice.

6 – Being busy is not an excuse.

The less involved you are in someone’s life, the less they are a priority to you.

7 – Flattery can go a long way.

Just because you are older does not mean you are eligible to criticise in order to advise. Sometimes it is nice to receive compliments. Sometimes compliments achieve more than criticism.

8 – Sometimes it is nice to be more than the token free babysitter.

Just because I am the youngest does not mean I cannot join in adult conversation. Sometimes I would not mind washing up or cooking or feeling like in my absence I would be missed for more than my babysitting.

9 – One person’s rubbish is another person’s gold.

Just because that is your opinion does not make it true nor does it define me.

10 – Conversation is food for the soul.

You cannot get to know a person unless you speak to them personally; reports through another person are superficial at best.

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Sufferers in Silence

Blood cells

Thalassemia: one of the world’s most commonly inherited diseases, yet one of the most neglected. Its amazing clinical diversity accounts for this, yet it is this diversity that ironically makes it the most neglected. One person’s Thalassemia is different to another’s. Just because two people have the same type of Thalassemia does not mean their symptoms are the same.

I inherited Beta Thalassemia Trait from my father who until I was born was not even aware he was a carrier. For most of my life I never gave Thalassemia a second thought. That is until I became pregnant. For over two years it has become a permanent existence in not only my life but also that of my husband and my daughter.

I should need minimal medical attention. The particular form of Thalassemia that I inherited is what is often regarded by many as the less dominant. Although that may be true, I (thankfully) do not require regular blood transfusions and the physical representation of the disease extends mostly only to the paleness of my skin, however for me Thalassemia Trait is debilitating enough to affect my life in an immense way. In fact I have been told by a leading Thalassemia expert that my symptoms extend to Thalassemia Intermedia, which requires irregular blood transfusions yet on paper my body shows only Thalassemia Trait indicators.

Many diseases are treated in accordance with the sufferer’s lifestyle but that does not seem to be the case with Thalassemia. Since having my daughter I have held a much more active lifestyle and it is because of this that Thalassemia has become more central in my life. As an example, I am continually breathless and at times the pain in my chest from my body trying to regulate my breathing stops me short. My daughter now sometimes breathes as if she is breathless herself so she can be like her Mummy. I feel faint even blowing her bubbles. I now suffer from pain in my fingers, to the point again when I have to stop and wait for the pain to subside. Not the best thing for a writer.  The pain has improved since I started taking daily Folic Acid supplements but there are days when the pain breaks through. I very often feel cold even in the heat of summer due to bad blood circulation. The tiredness, well that would be another blog post on its own. There are days I have to leave the house in a mess simply because I physically cannot bring myself to pick up a duster, hoover or iron.

When people ask me what I do for a living and discover I am a stay at home mother they presume I sit down with my feet up all day and occasionally play with a few toys. Doctors are no different. If I told people I was a sportswoman I am 100% sure I would be treated differently. Why?

I have visited the doctor and haematologist a number of times since my daughter’s birth with the same ailments yet have walked away with nothing but “it’s just something you have to live with” and the only remedy being to sleep early. No easy feat when you are a mother, housewife, and also attempting to carve a whole new career. None of the jobs I now hold I can shut the door on. There is no out of office, no holidays and no sick pay.

The medical field may claim they have no remedies for my symptoms but they are real, they are debilitating and quite frankly made worse by the lack of respect given. So today on World Thalassemia Day, give a thought to us Thalassemia Trait carriers. Those who are forced to suffer in silence.


Opening image: De Montfort University                                                                                                 
Closing image: Motivational Quotes

On The Question of Happiness

fatheranddaughter.Today was a good day as most of my days tend to be. Yet as a I contemplate the day in the quiet of the evening, my thoughts very often drift to happier times. While in a reflective mood, I recently revealed that since my father lost his fight to Myeloma, I have never again been truly happy. That does not diminish from the happy times in my life, what is does mean is that during those times there was always someone missing. My father never walked me up the aisle on my wedding day. We never had our father daughter dance we used to talk and dream about. The only contact my daughter has of her Grandpa is laying flowers at the cemetery. She has never run into his arms like I once used to. My daughter is two years old, yet she knows exactly what to do at the cemetery, she kneels there and places flowers in the holes of the flower-pot with a familiarity that hurts me each time.  I don’t even have the joy of picking up the phone and regaling my father with stories of my daughter. I would rather he be living miles away, at least then I could still pick up the phone, even see fuzzy webcam images. My daughter could still hear his voice, have some understanding of what a Grandpa means.

The unhappy times in my life are that much more unhappy because he is not there to offer advice, in fact some of those times are in my life story for the reason that he is no longer here. Most days the feeling of his absence can be contained, other days they can’t. Talking to some people, they can not resist but put me in psychological boxes and deem me unhealthy. Others can not understand how while being as spiritual as I am, I can not accept that he is no longer here. I live my life the way I am living because I feel he is still here, yet that feeling can not replace a touch, a smile, a shared joke, a hug.

My parents were my first teachers, they taught me to walk and talk. They were my safety nets as I ventured out into the world. My safety net is now weaker than it once was. Everyday I start and end the day with a smile yet my smile can break so much easier now. So yes, I still smile but there is a sadness in my smile now and that is okay. That is not a bad thing. It is a reminder that what I am missing is so great.

The greatest gift my father gave me was himself. It was being able to call him Papa.

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The First Step…

Writing MuscleThere is a lot that can be said for exercising. Many people exercise to lose weight, to be healthier, to tone their muscles. I have done very little of that the past year and I can feel the effects. I feel unfit, tense and in need of a serious workout.

As much as I absolutely love motherhood, it is pretty intense at times. Other people prefer to soak in a bath, embark on a spa weekend. Me? I just want to go to bed early with my laptop; a pen; paper and possibly a highlighter or two. Many people dance to release energy and the burdens of the day. Others play sport. Me? I enjoy letting my fingers run across the keyboard and let them take me on a journey to wherever I need to go.

Motherhood has very much swallowed any time I had and by the time the little one is in bed, I still have the housework, the dinner, the cleaning. Very often I even need to add “have a shower” on my to-list. This past year, I can count on one hand the number of times I have straightened my hair and have worn make up. All that would not bother me if I could pick up a book once in a while. I used to want to achieve my dreams for myself but now I want to do so for my daughter. I want to provide for her and work my hardest so that she wants for nothing.

So in order to achieve big, I realise now I first need to start small. Instead of adding pages and pages to my to-do list everyday, I now have my year to-do list:

1- Complete my ‘Waiting for Baby’ journal and baby book.

2-Self publishing a book I am currently working on.

3- Continue working on my additional writing projects so that I have something more tangible and hopefully next year be in a position to publish additional works.

4- Organising my daughter’s nursery and primary school placements.

5- I once participated in a Blog a Week, I am instead going to blog a month. Or in other words, simply post at the very least 12 posts this year, one for each month.

6- Complete at least half of my very detailed 19 unit creative writing course.

7- Revamp my garden and create a little playground for my daughter to play in the summer.

8-Read at least 5 books.

9- Organsing my home and de-cluttering.

10- Similarly, I want to stop neglecting the housework. I want to create a home that my daughter can invite her friends over to play at the drop of a hat. Prior to relatives staying, I no longer want it to be a stressful time of getting the house ready. I want to be able to welcome people to my home in a very un-British short notice.

11- It is well-known that more sleep can spur on creativity. In my goal of writing more, I aim to at least get 3 good nights sleep a week (daughter permitting), or at least getting to bed early.

12- The constant craving I have is to understand more Farsi. I am aiming to learn at least two Iranian pop songs and watching Iranian television/films at least once a week. So at the very least I remain in touch with the culture, language and country that is so important to me and subsequently help my daughter to do so also.

I have now made the first tentative step to a fitter, healthier me and like we all know the first step is always the hardest…

First Step

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Finding Home In Exile

HomesicknessI feel nauseous. Nauseous for home.

Very often I have been told that I am overly sensitive, that I feel things too much. Right now I feel so homesick, yet I do not feel I actually have a home. I was born and raised in England yet I feel my heart resides in a country far from here. A country of mountains, parks; of poetry; of history. I felt so strongly about this that I left everything I knew to follow a whim. In the end the whim turned out to be only a fantasy.

Similar to a lot of girls I often regard my childhood as that which was shared between the lap of my mother and father. Even in my early twenties, I would sit beside my father’s feet and listen to him share his childhood stories and wistful longing for his country. I fell in love with the Iran reflected in my father’s eyes. He used to tell me that I was more Iranian than Iranians and with his words echoing in my mind, I travelled to Iran with a rose-tinted belief that I would gather around me a career, family and like-minded people. Not only did I fail in this, I discovered that in Iran my Iranianness is held down by my Britishness in just the same way that in Britain my Britishness is held down by my Iranianness.

In my strive to please him, in my strive to get to know him, in my strive to understand him I have created my own prison. A prison to everything my father held dear. As I type these words I am watching an Iranian interview downloaded from the Internet, surrounded by people whose first language is not one I understand and one in which I speak with little confidence. I can not help but feel a pang of  pain at every syllable spoken that I don’t understand. I am still so hard on myself and convince myself I am a failure because I can not understand the singer on my screen rapping in Farsi; I can not join in the joke at the dinner table, neither can I answer questions about myself and my family but have to relinquish that right to my husband who with all due respects does not always know the answers.

I am nearly 32 years old and although I am now a mother myself I still agonise over whether my parents are proud of me and still strive for approval. As I was gently rocking my daughter to sleep tonight and whispering to her all about her Grandpa, I could not help but wonder what he thinks of me now. Whether despite my failure to speak his language he is remarking with delight like he used to, in his sweet language: “what a girl I have”, the exact words I now use.

I realise now that like the feeling of being in exile, this ache will never go away. But that is okay. It aches because I loved my father so much, I wanted to give him the world. It aches because of a sweet thing. It aches for love. The ache I feel will ensure that my daughter does not feel the same. It will ensure that one day she will be bilingual, she will be able to stand her own in both cultures and both languages.

In writing this post I have painstakingly sought for answers but there are none. Sometimes like life itself, things are not just black and white. There is some grey in between. Ultimately I am keeping a promise I made to my father a long time ago. I am keeping his culture alive. Although it hurts at times, I couldn’t help reflecting tonight how lucky I am. I get to enjoy the best of both worlds and that is what I will teach my daughter. My home is both in Iran and Britain. Through no fault of my father in teaching me of the beauty of Iran, he too made me homeless and created in me a longing for a country that no longer exists. But on the other hand, he has given me the tools, the words, the vision and even the memories to pass onto my daughter so that she too will see beyond the veil, beyond the demonstrations and beyond the slogans.


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