Remembering Our Grandparents


Maybe it was something that popped up in a conversation recently or something I read, but today I feel like writing about my Grandparents. Four days before my eighth birthday, my grandparents passed away after a carbon monoxide leak in their home. Grandparents are unique in that we love them dearly because they treat us and are more lenient than mum and dad, yet they are still an extension of our parental authority so we also respect them a lot. In our culture, we call granddad ‘Nana’ and grandma ‘Nani.’ Allow me to share a few things about them. 

I remember how every Saturday, we would drive down to their house where we would all gather for lunch. The cousins, the aunts, the uncles and then there would be Nana warming up his plate in front of the gas heater. He always liked it to be hot so that his food wouldn’t get cold too quickly. As well as hot food, he loved his spice and chillies which is something that was definitely not passed down to me. Whenever it was time to eat, I would occupy the special tall stool which could only be reached by crawling under the table. There was something special about those weekends, there was so much love in the air and everything seemed perfect. We would spend a lot of time running around the house or in the garden, although when my uncle set up a computer, we did end up playing games on it quite a bit! 

There was one time my mum had warned my brother and I not to go on the computer as we were banned from it for misbehaving. It was only us and Nana that day so he decided to take us to a local transport museum that he had heard about. When we arrived, we saw that it was basically a large field with different types of buses and train carriages-still good fun for 6-8 year old  kids but there was one problem. It was a huge rip off! So off we went back to Nana’s house where we saw our parents pulling up in their car. My brother had left the computer on because obviously he had not listened to mum’s warning so he attempted to run in the house and quickly shut it off. He failed. He got caught. He cried.

When my youngest brother was born, my brothers and I were staying over at Nana and Nani’s. I can remember clearly the sound of Nani’s voice waking us up to tell us that we now have a new brother. Nani was a calm and soft person with a youthful face but being kids, we would still tease her whenever she spoke English in a funny way. ‘Come on boyys’ was her favourite line whenever she wanted us to stop being annoying little slow coaches. However, we always laugh at how one of our cousins was afraid of Nani because she would tell him off for messing around in the bath when he was a baby. It’s hard to imagine anyone being afraid of Nani because she was such a sweet old thing.

Nana was different. He had a temper and it came into use one day when a kid was bullying my brother and I at the local community centre. After we told Nana, he went up to the boy and told him: ‘don’t you dare touch my grandsons ever again, do you understand?’ He may have said something even cooler but the main thing I remember from that was the kid never annoyed us again. Superhero Nana. 

Nana was remarkably fit and he would often take us to the park to play football or cricket but rather than simply spectate, he would join in wholeheartedly. We would also run races and most of the time, he would win against my elder brothers which is something we always find amazing. Poor Nana, we would make him sound so old! “Oh my God! EVEN Nana beat you!” One time on the way to the mosque, it was only me and him so I said “let’s race.” Off we went, speeding down the road when suddenly I was stopped by a large grey wheelie bin. The side of my forehead had canonned into it and the race came to an abrupt stop as tears began to spout out of my eyes. We headed back home immediately but Nana’s sisters were also there so we decided to keep the cause of the accident a secret else Nana would have got a telling off. “Oh I just bumped into a bin because I wasn’t looking where I was going.” It wouldn’t be the last time a bin attacked me because six years later, one would make my bicycle swerve into a tree, thus breaking my arm.

My Number One Grandson. That was Nana’s nickname for me. He knew how to make everyone feel special and as I was the youngest – until my little brother came along – I would always crow about this awesome and unique status. At the same time, whenever it was Eid, he would secretly give my eldest brother a little more money, telling him that he has more responsibility and that he should look after his younger brothers. The cheeky little bugger probably spent it all on sweets but it was a way of teaching him which I think, worked.

It was an accepted fact that the cupboard at Nana and Nani’s was always more well stocked than ours at home. Probably because we spent most of our free time there. We would always demolish packs of Pink Panther biscuits and sometimes when feeling peckish, we would pour a bit of cereal in our hands before going off to play again. An important feature of the house was the sweets cupboard which was maintained by our aunt. We would call it the sweet shop, despite there being an amazing one across the road but I guess that is where my aunt got all her stock from. Strawberry Bon-Bons, sugary melons, laces and much more. One at a time please!

Another important feature of the house was the cellar. It was the ultimate deterrent to bad behaviour, especially at dinner times. We had all heard the tale of how one day a snake had been found under the stairs after escaping from the Vivarium down the road. There were also the stories of our uncle being sent down in the cellar as a child after refusing to finish his food. So it was a nice threat to have for the more mischievous of us kids – obviously not me! However, it worked both ways because whenever our parents would do something that we did not like, we would immediately phone Nana. “Dont’ worry, when you come to my house, we will put mum in the cellar.” So we would gleefully claim victory over mum and warn her of the danger she will be walking into this weekend. Of course, nobody ever went in the cellar for punishment but it was good deterrent nonetheless. Funnily enough, I would follow Nana into the cellar whenever he went to get something as I was fascinated by the mass of things to be found. He was a bit of a handyman so I would stare at all the tools he had, which is probably what continues to pique my interest in the subject till today. 

Now I could go on but I’m beginning to get the sense that this post is becoming quite lengthy so I will end it here. Grandparents are amazing, so treasure them whilst they are still in your life. Some may have odd ways of doing things or require help which can be tiring but when they are gone, you will miss them terribly. 

Until Next Time

A Worried Student (aka Number One Grandson :P) 

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Got Some Painting Done!


So today being Saturday, I finally managed to get some painting practice in and here are the results:

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This was a design copied from the Internet and it turned out decent although it was a bit tricky.

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This one was quite a random one but the key thing was practising cityscapes which yes, I need to do more of.

More to come, if the weather permits.
Ahah, just remembered that the time jumps one hour forward in the UK today. One hour less sleep, one hour more spraypaint time tomorrow! I’ll take that trade.

Until Next Time

A Worried Student

Playing It Safe: What Not To Say To Mum


It seems as though I have been spending more time at home recently which means that I have been getting in the way of my mum a lot more than usual. So I have now gained a bit of experience in how to relax whilst avoiding the angry glare or lectures of the mother. Well actually, perhaps I need to do slightly more avoiding and less gaining of experience. But if you want to live through your teenage and young adult life unscathed, then please pay attention to what I have to say and DO NOT say these things to your mother.

Yeah yeah, I’ll do it in a bit.

You would be forgiven for uttering this statement after being told to do a certain chore in the house. The only problem is you will be forgiven by me but not your mum. If you go ahead and say this then prepare yourself for a yell of “do it NOW!” No, you will not be able to persuade her that you will tidy that messy pile of books after you’ve finished your essay (or Candy Crush game) so you may as well get up and do whatever she has asked you to do before a storm brews up in your room. 

But I hoovered the other day.

Dear friend. The response to this will of course be the ‘you ate the other day, does that mean you don’t want to eat today?’ If you continue to argue then prepare yourself for a lecture on how a person’s home should always be clean. ‘If you die today, people will think this guy was so dirty!’ Umm no mum, they will probably be thinking how sad it is that he got electrocuted with the hoover after it exploded due to overuse. I always find it funny that there is a time limit on how long a room can go without hoovering. This has nothing to do with if the room is dusty but is based merely on the fact that two days have passed since the last ‘cleanse.’ However, try to say this to your mother and expect to receive the front end of the vacuum cleaner in your face.  

I want to go study/live abroad.

Unless your mum has studied or lived abroad herself, then there is no chance you can utter this sentence without some sort of backlash. This perhaps is something that you can’t really complain about as their reluctance has a lot to do with their love for you and worry about your well-being. At the same time, it can be a bit annoying especially if you really want to go study abroad so this matter has to be handled with tact. Otherwise expect a teary and angry response back – or a stony NO. 

Can we eat noodles today?

This may not apply to you but I love noodles. So whenever my mum asks what I want to eat, that is always the answer. It has become the cliché of the family now but sadly, it hasn’t become a cliché for my taste buds. They are still not tired of it. They still crave noodles. Noodles are easy to make so I am easy to please. Don’t say that to my mum, she’ll tell me to make them. After I’ve ‘hoovered’ of course.

I want to buy a motorbike

I’ve went over this before in a previous post. Just NO. 

We bought a dishwasher to wash dishes. Not for me to stare at it whilst I wash them.

I think it will take a while for people to realise that dishwashers are more hygienic and waste less water than washing dishes by hand. Some people rinse the dishes before stacking them. What on earth is that all about? If you ever want proof that humans cannot live with robots then you have it right there. We can’t trust them to wash our spaghetti Bolognese off our plate, how are we meant to trust Robonanny? 

So those are a few pointers. If you have any lifesaving tips then pop them down below but I will end by saying, take this post utterly seriously ;) At the same time don’t forget to give your mum the love and respect she deserves. 

Until Next Time

A Worried Student

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Deliveries


You know those moments when you are awaiting a delivery, you know it is coming today yet you still keep on looking out of the window? You still keep on clicking track my parcel despite knowing there will not be any further updates. You feel annoyed that this particular courier does not have live GPS tracking and you wish you could be told which hour of the day your parcel will be delivered. 

This obviously happens when the parcel is something you are really looking forward to. I mean you aren’t going to be waiting with bated breath for something like a fish tank. Unless of course, your fish are stuck in a water-filled plastic bag, desperately desiring a new home in which case, they will be the ones breathlessly waiting. The parcel I was looking forward to was this: 

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My spray paint order! As mentioned previously, the amazing kindness of a fellow blogger and artist allowed me to purchase these materials: 

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Call me weird but sometimes it feels cool to just look at them all neatly stood up next to each other. Happily gazing at them before they are used. My mum will perhaps tell you that is the only time I am neat. (According to her!) The only reason she did not flip out when she saw them was that I had already told her of my plan to store them under my bed. Speaking of which, that can only happen when I am able to finally move into my redecorated room. First hurdle: New carpet. 

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Excuse the unsightly ancient ladder folks but do the walls look good? So that’s the room that awaits me when a new carpet is finally installed. (The old one was attacked by the ceiling falling in after persistent leaking.)

Until Next Time 

A Worried Student

Being Invited To Write


Last week, I received an email inviting me to contribute to an online blog for a website about universities. The first thing we bloggers think when we get an email like that is oh not more spam! Not more SEO optimisation nonsense! However, I decided to check out the website and to my surprise I realised that hey hang about, this email could actually be genuine.

 

So I tentatively replied, asking for more details and browsed their website. I slowly beganDSC_0207 to accept the fact that it was a real offer which was when I began to get a little excited. It isn’t everyday that you get offered a chance to contribute to a student blog but what was in it for me? Of course, there was no money involved but I get the opportunity to link back to my blog which could turn out to be quite a nice thing. I shall have to wait and see how much traffic my post generates for them and whether people decide to click on the picture of me smiling next to a seagull in Istanbul. If you are reading this after doing just that, welcome! I am back in London now of course but the seagull may still be chilling out over the Bosporus Sea.

 

Now a conflict which occurs when writing for another blog is wondering what type of audience I will be addressing and whether my writing style fits the conventions of that website. On this blog, I vary between formal and informal depending on the subject matter so what tone should I adopt for their post? I decided to go ahead and just be my usual self, I pretended as though I was writing the post for my own blog and I think it turned out ok. Another conflict is the battle for blog ideas. If I were to write more posts for them, then that would mean sacrificing a post idea that would have been used for my own blog but this is not a major issue since university topics are not the mainstay of my own blog at the moment. So let’s see how it goes. Perhaps I can persuade them to hire me as a permanent blogger? Don’t worry, I will not leave you lovely people!

 

Until Next Time

 

A Worried Student

The Year Long Blog And Other Awesome Matters


Yesterday, the WordPress Wizard informed me that I have been blogging for one year. I remember when I first made this blog, I was preparing for my A levels and needed a platform to voice my political opinions, practise my writing as well as having a cool link to put on my CV.

 

Twelve months later, this blog has changed a bit. At the beginning there was a plethora of political posts which were arguing against the rising tuition fees and don’t worry, more of them will come. For now though, there are other political aspects I would like to focus on such as racism and social-class. At the same time, the blog contains a lot more ‘fun’ material which I enjoy doing from time to time as well as posting photos of my artistic endeavours. However, the main reason has not changed. It has always been my intention to build up the blog in order to help me achieve my goal to be a journalist. Whether this is through employers reading about it on my CV, something to talk about in interviews or perhaps even to be offered employment after being found via my blog. However, this alone would not have motivated me to continue blogging in the way I do, my readers matter.

 

Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you people who have been amazing, awesome bloggers and for inspiring me to continue blogging, writing and sharing. Thank you dear peeps.

 

Hold on! I have a special thanks to give to a certain someone who I am not going to name as he did say not to make a big deal out of it. However Ladies and Gentlemen, this person proved that the art connection does exist! After coming across my post about my recent spray paint art endeavours, he offered to help purchase some more supplies for me! You know those moments when you think this is too good to be true? Well that was it and then it turned out to be actually true! So dear friend, thank you very much. It is because of you that today I was able to place an order for spray paints which should hopefully last me the whole of summer. My promise is that I will also help someone out in the future when I have the ability to do so.

 

Until Next Time

 

A Worried Student