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Book Review: Western Fringes by Amer Anwar

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Kefalonia - My First Girly Holiday

In May 2017, at the grand old age of 39, I went on my first girls holiday to Kefalonia in Greece.  The intention for a girls holiday had always been there but life had got in the way of our best laid plans.  However, this getaway was booked on impulse and two weeks later we were on a plane to a beautiful Greek island and I could hardly believe that it was finally happening.

I hadn't been abroad for years and airport security felt like a prison camp.  Also, I got held up because I had a yoghurt in my bag, which at 3am, my brain didn't register as a "liquid item."  So the guy checking my bag had to take away my breakfast, which really annoyed me because I'm sure he put it away for himself to eat later. 

After an hour and a half in a bus, which drove round the picturesque hills of Kefalonia, we arrived at our hotel and it was everything we expected.  Kefalonia is unique in that the terrain is both mountainous but also full of rich greenery and the most beautiful blue …

I'm Back!

Hey readers!

I'm back after almost a year-long hiatus, when, in all honesty, I'd run out of ideas for this blog and let it languish, unloved and neglected, in the black hole that is the internet. 

However, I've decided to give it another go and to see where my ideas take me and how my writing develops.  (Also, I quite enjoy people telling me they read my blog!)

So I think a life update is required here on the last one or two years:

I qualified as an English teacher in May 2016I have been teaching English at a college part time BUT...I will be starting a new job at a grammar school (posh!) in September.I went on my first ever girls' holiday in May 2017 to Greece (more about this in future blog posts!)My eldest is going to start high school in September (unbelievable!)
Generally, I think I'm winning at life.  I'm ready to embark on a new career and hopefully, excel at it.  I've worked at college for 5 years and will dearly miss it and the people but it's time…


She turned the TV on and the result of the EU Referendum was glaringly obvious.Her heart sank with disappointment.She turned up the volume on the TV, hoping the presenter would say something contradictory to all the infographics on the screen.Unfortunately, he was confirming Britain’s exit from the European Union.She felt confused, how could this happen?Britain was a sensible, safe country, always putting security first.How was it then that it was now no longer part of the European Union?She had voted to stay in, it seemed nearly half the nation had but more had voted to leave.It was a fact to her that strength is in unity, not in division.Was the general public really that stupid? With a deep sigh Amina hauled herself off the sofa.Her joints creaked but, at 70, she was still able to get about, albeit slowly.She made her way into the small kitchen of her council flat and put the kettle on.The fourth floor flat was clean but lacked character, everything seemed to be a dull beige colour.…

What the Death of Muhammad Ali Means to Me, An Everyday Muslim

Muhammad Ali died on June 3, 2016 and here are my thoughts on the life and death of the most famous boxer in history.

Ok, yes, I admit I'm too young to ever have seen a Muhammad Ali fight.  I vaguely remember my dad and his friends eagerly watching the fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.  But even though, I've never seen him box, the thing about Muhammad Ali was that his reputation proceeded him.  Yes, he was a great athlete and a champion boxer but he was also a man known all over the world for his great reputation.  He had unique universal appeal and there'll never be an athlete who draws global attention and respect like this again.  Certainly, there'll never be another Muslim athlete who commands such a reputation.

On the day of his death, and later, on the day of his funeral, the thing that hit me, like a bright beam of sunshine on a cloudy day, was that nobody had a bad word to say about Muhammad Ali.  Furthermore, nobody had a bad word to say about a a…

To Donate or Not to Donate?

Have you ever donated blood?This year I made the intention to do something selfless for others, to give something back, rather than taking.It was going to be my regular good deed to donate blood and feel good about myself.
With this in mind, I planned to donate blood today for the first time in my life.  I was working so I rearranged my lunch break in order to attend the donor session and made sure I’d eaten my lunch beforehand.
I arrived ten minutes before the doors opened and there were already six people waiting in the queue.  I took a seat and just as I was worrying that my hour’s lunch break wouldn’t be long enough to do this in, a man ushered us in.  We queued at the desk, most of the people were regulars with their forms ready to hand in.  I approached the desk and explained that it was my first time.  The friendly nurse gave me an information booklet to read and a questionnaire to fill in.  After answering lots of personal questions about my health and lifestyle (do you have sex…

Book a Day UK

Books Are My Bag asked book lovers to tweet the answer to a book question everyday in October (as shown above).  I decided to include all my answers in a blog post.

A Harry Potter book is perfect to curl up in front of the fire with.Manchee from The Knife of Letting Go by Patrick Ness is my favourite fictional dog.  This heroic creature is the true definition of man's best friend and I don't even like dogs!One Day by David NichollsA book with a beautiful spine?  Hmmm, I struggled to think of one.My favourite cinema/film reference in literature is the Rocky reference in The Silver Linings Playbook.  It's where Patrick describes his running regime as a montage from the film Rocky.I really can't remember the first book I bought.... I would guess it was one by Stephen King.The last book I bought in a bookshop was Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.My best bookshop find?  That's difficult, there are so many books I love.My favourite book about a bookshop is Mr Penumbra…