Happy 70th Birthday Mum! #MumIs70

It gives me great pleasure to tell you that today is a very special day.

You’ve already read about Lil Man and his birthday. And the fact that he was born on my mother’s 55th birthday – a present I couldn’t ever surpass.

Well, today is her 70th birthday!

It is a tough time to have a big birthday, especially since we aren’t even near them, and I can’t go and do a driveby celebration, but I know you will all help me to celebrate with her.

My mum is the absolute best person in the world. She is an amazing woman with the hugest heart.

My Beautiful Mum ❤

Born into a family with parents who were pretty forward thinking for their time, my mum was given the best education, including an British boarding school, in Kenya, where she was born, and then university in Bath. (She even briefly knew Mary Berry!)

She married my Pops, an arranged marriage, and started a totally different life. My Pops’ family is different. A great bunch, but maybe, at that time, not so forward thinking. So Mum settled into the life of a housewife, living in an extended family with no parent’-in-law, but plenty of sisters’-in-law (Pops has a HUGE family) and kids all over the show!

After marriage

They moved to England in the early 70’s and as Pops settled into his dentistry, saving to buy their own first home, Mum found a job in the Civil Service, but was never able to start it, as she fell pregnant with me! A decision was made between them both then, that mum would be a stay at home mum, to look after the family and home, while Pops was the breadwinner. That was the norm in those days.

I’m in her tummy, there!

Cue many years of being mum and house wife, as my brother entered the scene, as well as many other members of our family. Our home became a place where people started to send their kids when they were of a certain age, to continue education in Britain, from Kenya, so I had at least eight different room-mates over the years, from cousins my age, to older ones, to some who were having babies and staying with us for the support.

And Mum was there, being surrogate mum to all these different people, as well as being a fantastic mum to us.

Here we both are ❤

As the houseguests lessened, and my brother and I got older, Mum took a job, helping Pops with his dental surgery, and the management.

Then us kids got married, and she became the best grandma ever, to my two children, including Lil Man, who shares her birthday, and to my brother’s two darlings.

The birthday buds!

Mum hasn’t just been key in our lives, but I have many cousins and nephews and neices, who look upon Mum, and Pops as their guides too. Her love is so great that she always welcomes all with open arms, offering love, advice and cake.

She is the best cook, a wonderful baker and she’s a sucker for hoarding things, but I’m not complaining, because mum’s squirreled away things become little treasures for us, when they are brought out! From old materials and clothes, to household gadgets, and hundreds, if not thousands of photos.

But all the time, she never stopped being the biggest support to us all. Mum has always been, and still is, my mentor, my guiding light, and someone I aspire to be like.

I’d like to take this time to ask you all to help me wish my darling mother a very happy 70th birthday! Here’s hoping I’ll be able to see her soon, so I can give her the biggest hug ❤

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Happy 74th Birthday Pops! #74actually!

Pops is turning 74 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 . ❤

Ritu 2020

It is a very special day today for me.

My precious Pops is turning 74!

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 4!

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 74th birthday. May there be many, many more to come! Love you!

Keep Dancing Pops!

Dancing Pops

From your forever Little Girl, Ritu xxx

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 232 –

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“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”

Lilo & Stitch

Thanks Spidey for reminding me of that Lilo and Stitch quote.

I used to have a talking Stitch toy (yes, I admit it was before I had kids, and I was an adult, but then, I am a Disney fan, so it was mine!) and it would say a few different phrases from the film, in response to you saying things to it, and the above quote was said a lot.

I was reminded of the quote yesterday, after attending a family function back home in Brum.

Some folk I met there are family members who I hadn’t seen for five years or longer. It’s an unfortunate situation, but I live a bit further out than most, and when there are gatherings, they tend to be in the term time, and on a day where I just cannot get there in time, or if I arrived, I’d have to leave pretty much straight away, to get home at a decent time.

But instead of silly comments, or moods, I was welcomed back into the fold with open arms. Some asking about my writing, as they follow my progress on Social Media; some wanting to know how Hubby Dearest was; some jsut wanting to catch up.

It was a great feeling.

One of my aunts said “Tu toh Eid ka chand hi niklai.” It is a saying to describe someone who is rarely seen, and much anticipated, as during the month of Ramadan, and at Eid, Muslims wait, eagerly for the moon (chand) to show, before breaking fasts or starting celebrations.

That made me feel special, but also highlighted to me how little I get to see my extended family. Some of these folk, I saw weekly, growing up, and now it is after years that we meet.

I miss seeing my extended family a lot. They are a huge part of my upbringing, and my memories.

But at least I know I’m not forgotten… and I’ll never forget them either!

So… tell me, which member of your extended family do you have special connections with, and will never forget?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

The Day I Broke Into My In-Laws House #notacriminalhonest

Yup… that day just came to pass.

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No, actually I prevented that happening!

It wasn’t quite the evening I had envisaged. I had been busy filling in my new school diary ready for next year. The kids were busy with their friends outside and Hubby Dearest was chilling with a beer and the TV on.

I’d just packed my school bits away, and got the kids inside, ready to get showered, when the phone rang. Usually my Mum-In-Law waits for us to call her, but it was her number on the display, so I answered it, worrying that something was wrong.

Well… it was.

Apparently one of the kids (naming no names, Lil Princess…) had opened Mum-In-Law’s bedroom window rather wide, and left it open, so a gust of much needed wind had swept into the room and slammed her door shut.

Such a hard slam that the door refused to open!

Oo-er!

So the request was made.

“Could you come over and climb up a ladder, get on the flat roof and shimmy into the bedroom to try and open the door from the inside? Or bring Lil Man, he’s skinny and nimble…” (Cheek! I know I put on weight, but not that much!)

Well, Lil Man was in the shower, and I wouldn’t have wanted to risk him getting stuck or hurt, so Spider Woman here (or Idiot Girl, some might say) huffed over there.

Yup. I huffed.

Because there are others who may have been able to do this daring rescue mission… except, Dad-In-Law is too old, Mum-In-Law has too many health issues, Bro-In-Law wouldn’t have fit through the window, Sis-In-Law had only just got in from a crazy day at work, and Hubby Dearest, well, he’s only just recovering from his own injury!

So, actually there wasn’t anyone else.

I still huffed, mumbling during my exit, “Here’s hoping I don’t end up doing an injury to myself too, climbing through bl***y windows!”

Hubby Dearest told me to leave it, but I couldn’t. The window was wide open, and near a flat roof… too much temptation for someone who wanted to break and enter, without breaking…

I arrived.

Found ladder with Sis-In-Law.

Mum -In-Law tried to tell me to leave it, as whilst I’d been driving over, Hubby Dearest had called his mum and told her that it was very silly to expect me to climb up a ladder and possibly hurt myself (Oh, ye of little faith…) but if you know me, you know I am determined, and if I have set my mind to a task, I will achieve it, however silly!

I reminded her about the fact that she has her important ‘stuff’ in her room, and that open window would jsut be too easy a target… she stepped back and allowed me to begin.

Climbed up, with an audience. Mum-Im-Law, Bro-In-Law and Sis-In-Law. Mum-In-Law thrust a screwdriver in my hand as I ascended. “When you get it open, just take the damn barrel out!”

I tried to get in but the window was a tad too high, and nimble as I am, I wasn’t that flexible to jump through the opening, so went down again, got a stool and headed back up again.

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Ritu’s Mission Impossible!

Successful shimmy, (thought my chest might just be a little battered from dragging myself in!) and I entered the house in a way I never dreamed I would have to do.

But the door was stuck fast.

The barrel had totally gone. The handle just turned in my hand. I was thankful for the screwdriver then. I had to wedge it gently through and manually push the barrel to open.

Once that was done, I wasted no time in removing this ancient lock and barrel from the door, handed all the bits and pieces to Mum-In-Law (not before I had to get her to hold my legs as I hung back out of the window to rescue the abandoned stool – that must have been a sight!) and pootled off home.

So there.

That is the story of when I broke into my In-Laws house.

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Yup. that’s how I looked on the roof! (Im my dreams!)

You’re welcome.

Moral of story – When Ritu tells you something seems a bit faulty, check it out instead of waiting for clamity to strike. About a month ago I mentioned that said door was sticking sometimes and when closed, could only be opened from the inside… because the barrel wasn’t turning fully… See! Listen to The Ritu!

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 230

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“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

Groucho Marx

Oh, I loved this quote, Spidey!

This weekend I have been talking reading and books a lot, with my uncle, who came to visit me. This is my mum’s eldest brother. My Mamaji. And he lives in Kenya. I haven’t seen him in 18 years, since my wedding,

He’s a very special man to me. Another dad. And someone who has inspired me to read. Both him and my mother read copiously when I was younger, and though life may not allow them to read as much, even in retirement, they are both like me and would rather have a good book in their hand, than an eye on the goggle box, as my mum always calls it!

My Mamaji treated himself this trip, to an All New Kindle Paperwhite, and he brought it with him, to compare with mine, and to discuss book-related matters.

He’s a non-fiction reader more than fiction, and my memories of him are always of him with his nose in a book or the paper. I remember his bedroom in Kenya distinctly, with piles of books lining walls too!

In fact he was nearly a PhD Graduate in the 60s, but due to personal problelms, he never finished it, and it is a regret he feels keenly. He studied here in London, at Queen Mary’s College and Imperial College, both of which his took my aunt, my Mamiji, to visit last week!

There was a trunk filled with his belongings in my parent’s garage. My mum has kept it safe since it was entrusted to her care in the early 70s and she hasn’t dared open it, or get rid of it.

A couple of weeks ago, Mamaji stationed himself in the garage of Pops and Mum’s house, to rummage through his memories. The trunk was filled with all sorts, including a handmade suit of his, some other hilariously 60s clothes and TONS of books. When I phoned mum that day, she was laughing as she told me how he was like a child in a toyshop, delving into the memories of an extremely precious time for him.

I was in awe of his memory.

Even yesterday, as he mentioned the titles of some of the books, and the authors, some of whom had been his PhD lecturers, his eyes glistened with pure joy. He told mum to give the books away, as he can’t take them back, but he also had a ‘small’ list of ones he would ask her to keep, for memory’s sake.

I know I shall be rummaging around in that trunk before they get given away, to get another insight into Mamaji and his younger life.

Before he left, his parting words to me were, “Send me that book of yours when it’s done.”

Another member of my family who has been such a strong, silent support of my writing dream. He was so proud the day my poetry book came out, and I know I just need to do this, get this book published, not just for me, but for all those dear to me, who have so much faith in my ability.

So… tell me, who is part of your silent support group?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

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