Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 175 – Sisterhood

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“Who needs blood when friendship is true sisterhood.”

Ritu

Friendship #sisterfromanothermister

A post shared by Ritu B (@phantom_giggler) on

Thanks, Spidey!

He made use my own quote today as a cause for consideration.

That’s because yesterday I went and spent time with my dear best friend, celebrating her baby’s first birthday. It was a wonderful day, and even though we can’t be with each other as much as we’d like, we have one of those friendships where you can not speak for months, and still pick up exactly where we left off.

I am blessed with a brother, but no sister.

She is the closest person to a sister to me, despite having three of her own. We may be from different faiths, and families, but I always think our friendship shows that sisterhood truly extends beyond the boundaries of blood.

Isn’t she a beauty?

And I have been blessed to have other friends that mean the world to me…

Take my Tootie Frooties… Those girls have been my saviours at times, wives and mothers from this area I live in, all going through the same things. My sisters from other misters.

And my blog sisters, who mean so much, being my champions in all things creative, and giving me the guts to continue with my writing… Erica, Judy, Willow, Colleen, Annette, Sacha, Lucy, Shelley, Sally, Sophie, Charli, Jennie … you all know who you are… there are so many more of you…

Take the time to celebrate your friendships, both off and online. They are the family you chose yourself ❤

Happy Sunday!

Park Wars #LostChildhood

I didn’t grow up in this area, but I grew up in an era when we ran out of our houses as soon as we were allowed, played until we were hungry, and came back home.

Our parents didn’t have to fret about what we were doing. They knew we were in the park, or riding bikes with our friends.

When we started secondary school, there was no fear about us walking to school alone, or with our mates.

Fast forward thirty years and it is a different ball game everywhere we look.

As a parent to a near teenager and a child who will start secondary within the next couple of years, I have an honest fear of what could happen.

My child walks to school, and back, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. He wants to pop into the park for a kick about with his mates, as kids that age naturally want to do. It took us a while to gain the courage to actually let him do that.

The thing is, though I trust my child, and have every faith in him, that he wouldn’t do anything wrong, it’s the rest of the world that I can’t be sure of.

The recent incidents in the local park have caused a great deal of unrest amongst many parents. Articles and posts have been circulating around Facebook, and other Social Media networks, getting everyone rather worried.

I want him to grow up independent, and able to make decisions for himself, but equally, I don’t want to be sending him out like a lamb to slaughter.

( You want to know what happened? A couple of weeks ago a gang of teens beat an innocent lad with a baton, and there have been allegations of organised bare knuckle fights happening there. These are just some recent incidents, but they are becoming more regular, and in turn, are scaring families away from a beautiful park and play area.)

I dropped him off there, to that very park (it’s our local park), last Saturday, tentatively, to meet some friends. I was reassured to see some Community Police Officers circulating at least twice whilst we were parked up waiting for the others. This week though, with all the press and publicity the incidents have received, it was decided that the boys wouldn’t meet. They were sensible about it, reasoning that it was too unsafe to go.

Yes the police can be around, but if someone was to flash a knife and the officers were at the other side of the park, if there at all, they wouldn’t be able to stop something happening. The boy’s words. They also want to know there will be CCTV cameras installed for safety.

Maybe social media has a lot to answer for.

Is it scaremongering of sorts? Who can we blame?

One thing’s for sure though. Our kids are losing out on a lot of chances to learn independence skills because we have this fear of letting them out into that dangerous environment.

I feel saddened that our children don’t feel the freedom of childhood that we did. Instead they end up kept at home, where they are glued to screens. Then we worry about childhood obesity.

Or we run them, and ourselves, ragged, sending them to extra-curricular activities, to get them out of the house, leaving us a pretty penny poorer too. At least meeting at, or riding their bikes to the park is free.

What do the kids want? The chance to meet up with their friends, with no worry about who could turn up, cause trouble or steal bikes.

How can that happen? Park wardens, like the good old days, and proper CCTV cameras installed as a deterrent, and evidence if needed.

Maybe the council could see to use some of that exorbitant council tax we pay to do this, so the youngsters of this region can actually be kids for longer, instead of wannabe gangstas in training…

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 174 – Fathers Day

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“My dad is my hero.”

Harry Connick, Jr.

Thanks, Spidey!

It is Father’s Day here in the UK today, and though I appreciate my darling Pops every day, what a great way to just remind myself, and everybody else, just how wonderful he is!

Here are some words I posted before, but they ring true now and every day…

It’s true, you know, a girl’s first love will inevitably be her father. He will be the benchmark for pretty much every male in her life.

 

Some aren’t lucky, they don’t get the most perfect example of man to look up to, and yes, that may colour their choices in the future, but no matter what, their father is still, very often, to them at that time, the BEST!

I’ve said it many times, and I’m not afraid to say it again, but I really have had the BEST father a girl could hope for! A beautiful, kind, generous soul, who has given his all to make the best life for his family.

Growing up, he didn’t have the influence of his own father, as my grandfather passed away when he was very young. His male influences were his elder brother and brother-in-laws, and once he was married, he had my other grandfather as a great pillar of strength behind him, until his untimely demise.

He felt a gap in his own childhood, and though he wasn’t one to ask for anything, grateful for all the love and affection he was given, it wasn’t really until he became a father himself that he realised what he had missed and what he wanted to make sure he gave us, his own children.

If you ask Pops, he would tell you that my brother and I were the first things in his life that were really his, and he gave his all, alongside my mum, to give us the life he felt we should have, and the attention that possibly, he didn’t have.

Girls first love 01

Love has always been there in abundance, from the cuddles, and hugs, to the affection, filled smiles, the ever smiling eyes that just overflow with feeling. The concerned lectures and odd tellings off were even filled with love. The taxi service taking us to various extra-curricular activities on the weekends, especially my brother, with his sport!

Taking us to, and bringing us back from school and university, he did it all, and when I got married and had my own babies he would happily drive a 6 hour round trip, to pick me and baby up, to take us home for a few days, then drop us back. Not easy for a 60-year-old heart patient, but he did it because that is the person he is.

I could never be upset, or mad at my Pops. If he was ever to have to have a go at us, it hurt him as much as it hurt us, as he hated being negative, or strict.  And, that mellowness has grown over the years to show an amazing peace within him, and spirituality, which just emanates from him.

And now I’m nearing 40, and he will be a sprightly septuagenarian next year, I still feel like his little girl, and I know that that is what I will be to him forever. I know if I feel down, I can count on Pops to say something to ‘turn my frown upside down’, and give me advice that is near enough always right!

When I was going to get married, I dreaded telling Pops about Hubby Dearest… Would anyone ever be good enough for his daughter? But he was so happy! He met his prospective son-in-law and welcomed him with open arms! Apparently my choice was good! It took us a while to set a date for the wedding, and when it finally happened, we started planning to the max, only to be requested, by my in-laws, to delay the wedding by a couple of weeks, on the advice of an astrologer who my mum-in-law consulted. I was distraught! The venue we had booked for the reception was not available on the new date, and it was just too much!

I sat with Pops and said I didn’t care, we should just leave everything as it was, after all it had taken so long to get this far. But Pops talked me round, and his biggest argument, the game-changer, “So what if you get married 2 weeks later, beta (dear), at least I’ll get you with me for another 2 weeks.” Well! It was a done deal then… It hit home that I would no longer be under his shelter, in the same way, once I got married…

Going forward, we married and became parents ourselves.

I watch Hubby Dearest with our own Lil Princess and see that love between them. I see the special place each holds for the other. I can see her wrapping her daddy around her little finger, and I can see him swallowing the bait whole, and her getting away with murder all the time, because he couldn’t believe that ‘his little girl’ could do anything wrong. I see her idolising her Daddy, and when he is away on business, I know the effect it has on both our kids, they miss him so much, and it fills my heart with joy, that they share such a special bond, father and children.

His previous job meant that he was there early morning, then home to say good night. This new job of his means he is at home more and I love to see their relationship go from strength to strength. As a father, he is more in tune with the needs of his children, and able to take an active part in their life.

In a nutshell, he has all the qualities of my first love, my Pops. They may be there in different quantities, in a different mix, but the end result is the same, a fantastic husband, and loving father, who gives his all for his family!

Girls first love 02

So, may I take this opportunity to thank my Pops for being the most amazing father to me, and to my Hubby Dearest, for being such an amazing dad to our two monkeys too!

Happy Father’s Day to them both, and to all the fathers, and those like father’s out the rest!

Know you are loved, respected and appreciated…and especially to, those fathers of daughters…yes, you will always be our first loves! ❤

Post first published on The Champa Tree in 2015 as a guest post.

Wishing my Pops, my father in law, my Hubby and Brother the best Father’s day! You are all special to us ❤

Happy Sunday!

One-Liner Wednesday – #1LinerWeds – Au Revoir

“I’ll be back.”- (Arnie &) Ritu

It’s come, Peeps.

I am so exhausted at the moment, I think the time is ripe for me to take that blogging break I have always mentioned.

I’ll still read some posts.

I’ll answer comments.

I may even post intermittently, and Spidey will still be around on Sundays.

But I think I am on a ‘no-challenge’ break for a little while, until I feel refreshed, and I have managed to sort my rewrite out.

Hate to leave you challengers, but sometimes it just has to be done!

So, excuse my absence Ronovan, Colleen, Linda, Sue, and Charli, for a little while, as I recharge my blog batteries!

Peace out Peeps! I’ll still be around, but I’ll be quieter, then I’ll BE BACK!

For Linda’s #1LinerWeds Challenge.

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Happy 70th Birthday Pops! #72actually!

Pops is turning 72 today! So please wish him a very happy birthday! I am sharing an old post from when he turned 70. He really is a wonderful dad, and I couldn’t ask for a better one . ❤

It is a very special day today for me.

My precious Pops is turning 70!

It’s pretty unbelievable that he is now a septuagenarian! ( I think that’s what you call them!)

Happy Birthday

Humble to a fault, with a heart bigger than the universe, that’s my Pops.

He’s been my guide, my inspiration, my support since, well, forever.

Born to a farming family in Kenya, the youngest of multiple siblings, Pops popped out a ready-made uncle!  He had nephews and nieces to play with as a youngster and was always called Kaka, which means baby, as he was the youngest. Pops lost his own father very young, but his mother and brother brought him up.

He wasn’t the biggest academic in school, loving sports and dancing, but wanting to do the best he could, he pursued Dentistry and went to Wilson College in Mumbai.

 

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Here he is with some of his High School athletics trophies!

 

 

He held a high jump record at his college which was only broken relatively recently!

He was a pretty cool dude. Check him out here!

Cool Dude

That’s him, white shirt and sunnies on!

And here is one of the photos that convinced my mum to marry him…

Young Pops

Smooth!

Look at the happy couple!

 

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Marriage and a few years later, along came me!

Me N Pops

Love these photos!

Then my brother…

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Selfie mode!

Years pass so fast and he is now a father-in-law and a grandpops to 3!

He was a dentist for many years until heart problems and arthritis meant he had to take early retirement.

Did he sit back and let retirement take over him?

Nope! He started practising yoga which gave him a new lease of life, so then in his mid sixties, he became a yoga instructor and started spreading the message out there to many people about how to improve your health naturally. No charging. This was his community service to the world!

Then he was asked to film his own TV programme which airs every day on a channel here!

TV

Very Proud of my TV Star Pops!

All through this time he has been not only a most amazing Pops, husband, and grandfather, dentist and yogi, but ask all those who know him, family and friends, and they will all agree that he is there for them no matter what. Surrogate granddad to so many children, brother, uncle, everything. Nothing is too much hard work for him. He will be there.

And he still hasn’t stopped dancing! He says to us that when he dances, he feels 21. He can beat all the youngsters in a bhangra dance off, then when he sees a video, he says “What is this silly old man doing?!” I only wish I had photos of him in his bhangra performance days!  Mums are amazing! She pulled a few old photos out for me and sent them, in her own special way!

 

But the reality is he is brilliant! And all who know him will agree!

So I just want to wish my Precious Pops an amazing 70th birthday. May there be many, many more to come! Love you!

Keep Dancing Pops!

Dancing Pops

From your forever Little Girl, Ritu xxx

 

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