I haven't been able to post over the last few days as I have literally been snowed under with tasks I have been struggling to complete. This included 6 loads of washing (Munchy did a morning of throwing up so I ended up with extra laundry). And as my Washing Machine was no longer in working order (thanks to my husband who thought the inside looked dirty so removed the door to clean it causing the machine to have a nervous breakdown) I started to panic. How was I going to wash all the clothes and linen?
So luckily I found a reasonably priced workman to carry out the repair of replacing the door (and how hard was that-VERY ladies and gents, VERY). Every place I called wanted a 'fixed labour charge' not a call out charge as they kept banging on about. Er but what if the repair is a minor one would you still charge me £60.00 plus VAT? Yes. YES?! Well clearly they make their money taking advantage of novice customers like me. However I decided to make a few more calls and found a guy who offered free estimates.
How my poor machine has been going non-stop! Linen, our clothes, Munchys stuff, Munchys favourite blanket (called kumbo-'kumbal would be the punjabi/urdu name she has picked up and turned it into Munchy words).
So moving on from the Washing Machine if I told you my husband attempted to clean the door before the door became 'ill' would it be a surprise to you? Bless him he tries but his attempts oven turn out *clearly not* in my favour.
How's that you may ask? Well here's a list of recent actions that have resulted in more work for me:
the defrosting of the freezer=now I have to batch cook loads and replace all the stuff again (nearly done though-more on that later)
cleaning of the washing machine door=repair man making £50.00 out of me for the new door and labour
moving the cooker and spilling the wok of oil that was stored in the oven=one smokey oven when I turned it on to cook my tandoori chops! So now I need to don my gloves and get me some oven pride by cleaning, cleaning, cleaning!
So three incidents in as little as 14 days. I am dreading any other problems that maybe coming up.
It looks like I will be going Pakistan next month with Munchy and her dad. Right now I have mixed feelings about going. I have loads to do around the house and wish to have it all done and dusted before Ramadan InshAllah and this year I would love to spend every minute possible in a state of Ibaadah however as we all know a messy house with incomplete tasks plays with the mind and we don't get much done because we find the mind wondering about things. Secondly, I'm not 100% myself anymore. I've been through a few rough times and find myself becoming more of a private person. Now please don't laugh, how can a blogger be a private person. Well we can be. We only reveal what we wish to reveal in a blog, however when you are exposed to the joint family culture in Pakistan not much remains private.
You get asked silly questions, often private questions and not responding with a positive glow is often seen as you not wishing to hold a conversation with that person and before you know if everyone is asking you what your problem is.
An example of this is the last time I visited Pakistan some ladies within the extended family were discussing another family members family planning situation. OMG, to say I was shocked was an understatement. A country that was created on the principles of Islam still has gossip queens that really don't give a hoot about the fact a couples family planning or other private matter is just that-a private matter. Having the family women discussing it over a cup of masala chai (tea) is something I cannot understand or accept. I got up and walked out of the conversation. My thoughts on the matter is, if my MIL is discussing others private matters the likelihood is others will do the same back. And personally speaking I would prefer not to be the subject of the ladies gossip over a cup of tea and samosas.
Now here in England I have friends and we like to talk-but never have we talked about each others private lives. It's never come up in conversation which I put down to the fact all of us are on the same wave length. Our conversations revolve around our jobs, kids and lack of time to do tasks. Ah, so it's pretty much what you readers talk about then.
So yes, a trip to Pakistan can bring me problems personally because I simply want to shout from the roof top 'PLEASE STOP GOSSIPING ABOUT OTHERS PRIVATE LIVES'. But what stops me is the fact noone cares to understand why I have an issue with such subjects. Then there's the hygiene standards of some who do not believe in anti-perspirant deodorant. Of course most shower everyday however culturally some don't see the point in using what we in the West take for granted. Oh and then there's the problem of how do you dispose of sanitary towels without the whole world knowing what they are?! Oh and the food-the rice tastes different and the daals taste nothing like the stuff I'm used to. So for the time I will be in Pakistan I won't be eating much. Now before someone says 'you shouldn't forget your roots' I haven't. My grandfather left Pakistan 10 years after it's creation (1957). So my roots are indeed in Birmingham UK. My ethnic heritage is Pakistani however I feel more at home here at home that in Pakistan. Maybe it's just me. Perhaps I'm a coconut (white on the inside, brown on the outside). I don't know. All I know is, if I didn't have a tie with Pakistan of family I wouldn't book a ticket to go on holiday to it. That says something. Maybe a new government will result in positive change. Maybe Munchy will feel different about Pakistan? I will hopefully take Munchy Pakistan for weddings, holidays etc however there is only so much I can do to create a bond between a country and a child. How Munchy feels is likely to be different to how I feel.
So what else have I been up to? I have been trying to stock up my freezer again. Is it just me or do others feel relaxed when they have meal backups in the freezer? So what's in my freezer I hear you cry! Here's a quick list:
olive and lemon meatballs
breaded chicken herb fillets
2 x chicken pilau packets
2 x meat pilau packets
chicken chapali kebabs
marinated tandoori drumsticks
marinated tandoori mutton chops
And I still wish to add keema rolls, chicken tikkas, alu tikkis and a few sweet treats.
With the above stuff I can sleep easy knowing I have enough to create a small feast if I need to. And as it's my wedding anniversary on Monday I might take a few things out and have myself a nice meal to celebrate.
And as for sleeping easy goes-it's 11:52PM here so I need to go sleep and catch some zzzzzs before the mayhem begins in the morning. The mayhem includes the assembly of our FunPod! Cannot wait to review it for you all.
Right, I'm off now.