The Ramadhan Diaries

Fasting in London and beyond

Day 6 Of Mice and Munchkins

I am perched on my bed, laptop on the go, in my borrowed bedroom with hot still air. Beside me on a makeshift camped on the floor is my 11 year old nephew, and on the other side of my bed lost in deep slumber are my 8 year old niece -aka Mulan because she is a karate devotee – and the spiderman fanatic her 6 year old brother. The 11 year old is still awake even though it’s past 1am. He can’t sleep because of the heat. He fasted today and he did better than me. By 7 pm I had to have a lie down and a snooze in amongst the brood. Their littlest sister – aged two – woke me by playing with my toes as I sprawled out on the sofa. She found it rather amusing.

The telltale headache of dehydration was pounding because of the lack of sufficient water intake the night before. I know I had my drinks lined up but they were the wrong ones. Three cups of tea, and two cans of diet coke did their job well as a diuretic today. The water on board to help me through the day was lost all too soon. So tonight as I write I have a sensible bottle of water and glass of cranberry juice. Today was the first day I had to sleep for an hour or so in the early evening before fast breaking time – iftar.

I supposed it didn’t help that I went to sleep at 5am this morning and woke up at 10am. My body clock is on it’s head. Eating at 9pm and then getting the sunset and then the post sunset prayers done before getting the early early morning meal before the fast starts means not sleeping until a strange hour. I am useless at waking up in the middle of the night and often sleep through without waking up. But since starting this blog, those early hours before the fast begins again-where I sit up with my cup of tea typing away – I have found to be my best moments for writing. I wish instead my creativity was at a peak like those really inspiring writers who can wake at 5 am and get in three hours of writing before the rest of the house wakes. Sadly I am not one of those.

Today we found out that my father needs an urgent spinal operation-hence the little munchkins having a sleep over at grandma’s. I am living at home for now too. Can you imagine that – 41 and living at home with mum and dad.  Now  that I have written and read it back-it looks awful in that unforgiving black on white. But it’s how things are. I am dreaming of my own place-where I can reclaim all my belongings from the various storage companies entrusted with my life’s possessions. When I do eventually get them back – it’s going to be like going into a treasure trove. The only thing I am dreading is not being able to fit into clothes I first put into storage about five years ago. 

I am digressing. So yes my dad has to have a spinal op. He had a quick referral by the GP and was seen today by the neurosurgeons. It’s going to have to happen and my dad can’t hide from it anymore. My dad hates hospitals with a passion. Most of his children work in hospitals but that does not make him hate them any less.

Food was a mixture of things-but yet again the most delicious and rewarding way to open the fast is with dates and milk. It just tastes so good. My sister the GP and standing around person at the Olympics wanted to make chicken tortilla wraps for the fasting 11 year old nephew and his siblings. I was dispatched to the local butcher to get some chicken breasts. Today I did not have to stand in the queue and be ignored as other people pushed in front of me. It was not as busy as the first day. I did not leave feeling like I wanted to take a photo of the shop front and then post it on my blog as the place to go to experience a whole new shopping phenomena of being totally ignored as a customer. 

I was trying to sort out some tax queries today but didn’t get very far. I did, however, manage to get to the end of the final draft of my first Radio 4 drama-which I was reviewing as I sat with Radio 4 on in the background-playing guess what the Afternoon Play.

It was a good day for the play, a bad day for admin and a fun day with the munchkins. Kids do have a way of distracting you like nothing else. My other sister has just popped her head around the door to look in on the kids. She has just told us there is a mouse in our extended back room/kitchen. OMG!!!!!!!!

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