Throwback Thursday #54 – Favourite Things #RememberWhen #TBT Memory

Having another go at Maggie and Laurens, Throwback Thursday challenge! This week it is Maggie at the helm!

This week’s prompt is: Favourite Things

Pick any period of your adolescence and think back to all your favorite things. Feel free to elaborate as much as you want.


I shall think about my secondary school years. I attended an all-girls private school, and I have many fond memories of that time.

Who was your favourite relative? Not to play favourites, but who was the person you connected with more than others? Aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent, or parent? Why were you closest to them?

I had many favourite people. I was close to a lot of my family, and I think I still am. At the time I think I heavily identified with my cousin who was the same age as me but in a different country. We would exchange letters, and spent a lot of time together in the summers and when she came to stay with us for a while. We lived such similar, yet different lives, and we were very close.

What was your favourite TV show? Share a clip if you can find one.

I was a big fan of Neighbours at school, and it only just finished its TV run this summer!

What was your favourite book or favourite family story?

I had a huge pull towards My Sweet Audrina by Virginia Andrews as a teen. I don’t often reread books but I read this several times.

What was your favourite song, record, or album? Feel free to share a YouTube video of it.

I loved Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin. Still do!

Who was your favourite teacher? What grade were you in, and what subject did they teach?

I loved Mrs Kimpton, my drama teacher. She taught me from the ages of 11-17. She was a wonderful soul, so gentle and encouraging.

What was your favourite subject (not teacher) in school?

Drama was my favourite subject!

Who was your favourite (aka best) friend? What things did you do together?

Honestly, I didn’t have a best friend as such, at school. As I mentioned before I had so many things going on in my life that were family based that I wasn’t given much time to be besties with anyone however I was good friends with another Indian girl who related to what my life was like and we were pretty close. We would send notes to each other in class, and giggle over all sorts of typical teenage girl things and I went to her house to hang out a couple of times.

What was your favourite way to pass the time?

As if you need to ask! I loved reading! I always had a book on the go!

What was your favourite holiday? How did you celebrate?

I loved celebrating everything. Specific to us was Diwali where we would go to other family houses and eat, and enjoy the fireworks!

What was your favourite toy or possession? Doll, camera, radio, bicycle?

Probably my walkman, as I enjoyed listening to music.

Bonus: What was your favourite adventure? Family trip, amusement park, field trip, or vacation, perhaps.

I was lucky enough to go on several holidays through the school years but my favourite trip was when we went to Russia with my school. I was 16, and it was such an adventure. We visited Moscow and St Petersberg. It was shortly after the first McDonalds had opened up out there, and the queue for a burger was a mile long!

Again, I do have photos… but they are so far away!

See! I told you I would be late. You can tell I am back at school, now!

Throwback Thursday #53 – It’s a Formal Affair #RememberWhen #TBT Memory

Having another go at Maggie and Laurens, Throwback Thursday challenge! This week it is Lauren at the helm!

This week’s prompt is: It’s a Formal Affair

This week, Lauren has gone for a slightly different approach and asked us to write about occasions where we had to dress up.

I am proposing a different way to write to the prompt today. Because we all had very diverse upbringings, I am going to list several reasons why you might get dressed up. Please feel free to add any occasion you had to get dressed up.

What were your special clothes like?  Did you get your hair done for the occasions? Was a mani-pedi part of the process? Were you instructed on how to behave? Did you have any input on the formal attire? Did you feel comfortable in your special outfit?

Please feel free to write about as many of the occasions you’d like to share. Pictures would be an awesome addition.


Oh, my, dressing up was definitely a thing since we were constantly invited to different occasions and events, being from such a large family. I had an extensive collection of Indian outfits from a young age, (and still do!) which were pulled out to wear on any such occasion

Preparation as a child would have been washing face and hands, getting dressed, and then mum brushing my unruly mop of frizz into some semblance of tidiness, which was usually in two plaits!

As I got older, I would do my own hair, and have a go at simple makeup which was usually a bit of eyeliner and lipstick, with a spritz of Guerlain’s Samsara! That was my first grown-up perfume!

The addition of fancy jewellery and bangles was fun, too, and I would spend lots of time choosing my accessories!

But, despite all these times to get dolled up, for pre-wedding parties, weddings, receptions, birthday parties, dinners at different people’s homes, I longed for a different type of dressing up.

My school friends growing up, were all pretty much white, British girls, and we would go to each other’s birthday parties, wearing flouncy party dresses, and I’d have special ribbons in my hair.

Then they grew up. Or rather we all did, but I got a little left behind, seeing as they started getting dressed up to go out for the evenings, which was not something I was allowed to do.

I remember the first time I went to a ‘disco’ was on a school trip when we were 11 years old. I was so excited to wear my special rainbow dress and suede pixie boots! And to get dressed up with no mum!

When we all sat our GCSEs, that final year of formal school there was a Commemoration Ball, where the final year girls were invited, and you could bring a date (Well, no way was that going to happen!) and everyone was so excited about the ball dresses they were going to be wearing. I longed for that kind of princess look, which wasn’t going to happen…

But, at university, I was able to attend a couple of balls, and as I had grown up a bit by then, I was embracing my culture more, so to the first one, we all went in beautiful Indian outfits! And I did that for a few of them. At my Hubby Dearest’s end-of-year ball, I wore a more formal western dress, which sated my longing for a proper dress!

But I did get to look like a princess once, at least, on my own wedding day!

I wish I had the energy to find more photos but they are all in boxes and out of reach at the moment!

Dang! I missed it again yesterday and no doubt that will be the sign of things to come since I am back at school from Tuesday! Still, I hope you enjoyed it!

Throwback Thursday #52 – Transitions and Modifications

Having another go at Maggie and Laurens, Throwback Thursday challenge! This week it is Maggie at the helm!

This week’s prompt is: Transitions and Modifications

  1. Think about your first haircut. Were you the kid that cut your own hair? Did you go to a salon or did your parents cut your hair? Did your parents save a lock of your hair? As Sikhs, we aren’t supposed to cut our hair, appreciating and being grateful for what God gave us. However, we are not fully baptised in our family. When I was about 6, I had a real craving to get my hair cut, and so my mum took me to the hairdresser, and I had my first page boy cut! My dad cut my brother’s hair for the first time, and that was painful for him, as my father has always kept his hair and worn a turban, but felt the pressure to do it, so my brother didn’t get any bullying as he grew up in an area that was predominantly white. One silly story of me and my hair is that I wear convinced I had too small a forehead, so I took a bunch of hair from the front and snipped it clean off at the scalp, thinking no one would notice… Er, they did And, then I had a fountain of sprouting hair growing back, soon after!
  2. How about shaving? Fathers often teach their sons to shave. Most girls I know, decided for themselves when to shave their legs and their underarms. Some cultures do not shave at all. Again, line the above, we aren’t supposed to remove any body hair, however, the majority of us who aren’t fully baptised do. I think my mum got me an electric razor first, but I also experimented with hair removal cream, waxing, etc over the years. And eyebrows and upper lip threading!
  3. Did you alter your clothes? Cut jeans into cut-offs? Cut the sleeves off t-shirts? Wear graphic tees? Tie-dyes? Sew patches on your jeans? Not really. I was pretty simple growing up!
  4. Was there a time you remember challenging the authority in your household? Do you remember the first time you found your voice? I wouldn’t have dared as a child! But as I grew older I learned how to stand up for my thoughts and beliefs.
  5. What about piercings? Girls getting their ears pierced was a rite of passage for girls. Then boys started getting one ear pierced. As time passed, piercings became more mainstream and accepted. I had my ears pierced, just those one set for each ear, and they are still just like that. I was around 8, I think.
  6. Did you walk on the wild side? Smoking? Drinking? Did your parents know? Shhhh! Okay, so there were a few drinks, as I went to Uni, but nothing more…
  7. What about tattoos? Did you get a tattoo while still living at home? Did your parents approve? Nope. No tattoos, but I do think about it now!
  8. What about language? Was swearing allowed in your family?  Did you use the same language around your friends as you did at home with your family? Nope. No swearing was allowed but as I got older and learned more Punjabi naughty words, it became fun to sprinkle them into conversations with people who didn’t understand!
  9. Think back to high school. Girls, did you iron your hair? Did you colour your hair? (using Sun-in counts!) Guys, did you grow a beard or moustache? Did you grow your hair long? Feel free to share a photo of yourself back in the day. I have naturally curly hair but didn’t even realise it was curly until I was 16, because it used to be brushed out and plaited all the time, or left in a frizz ball! Straightening wasn’t a thing, for me until uni! And Sun in… er, yes, but not before uni!
  10. Many people think our authentic self is the person we were as young children. Are you still inherently the same person you were as a child or have you changed your personality and demeanor along the way? I think. I am the same, but I have just become more confident and able. to stand up for myself and my beliefs more. The benefits of getting older!

Okay, so three times in a row was my limit, here we are on Friday, again, but be glad… I am off to a wedding and squeezed this in before we leave!

Throwback Thursday #51 – Learning New Skills

Having another go at Maggie and Laurens, Throwback Thursday challenge! This week it is Luren back at the helm!

This week’s prompt is: Learning New Skills

1. When did you learn to ride a bike? Were you self-taught, or did someone teach you? Any major injuries on the way? Did you master the skill? Do you still ride? If applicable, did you teach your kids?

I can’t exactly remember when I learned how to ride a bike, but I remember a yellow bicycle I had as a child. When we were in school, we had to do the Cycling Proficiency test, and I had a bigger, pale blue metallic bike with white wheels. I remember that I didn’t pass, though! Was never much of a bike rider. I could do it, but I wasn’t fussed with road rules!

2. Did you learn to play a musical instrument? At what age? Who taught you? How often did you practice?   Were you in a band at school? How good were you? Do you still play? If applicable, did you encourage your kids to play?

When I was teeny, my parents asked the school if I could take piano lessons, but they said no, at that time on account of hands and fingers being too small. (Funny, considering all the young proteges we see!) Then I had recorder lessons for a year. I can still play a tune or two! I even tried guitar for a while. We had a lovely teacher called Mr Mason, but he left and was replaced by another Mr Mason, ironically, who had a habit of spearing fruit Polo using the end of his pencil, throughout the lesson, and eating them, and hitting us on the hand with the same pencil if we were making mistakes! In Sixth Form, I finally started piano lessons and practised on my keyboard at home, but I didn’t stick with it. I still have all the instruments I learned. But don’t ask me to read music. I forgot that, too!

3. Did you sing in a choir in a church or at school? At what age? How often did you practice? Did you enjoy it? How good were you? Do you still sing with others?

We had a school choir, and I joined it for a few years. There was weekIy practice, and we would perform at school events. I love singing even now and enjoy singing all sorts of songs, from traditional Punjabi songs to the latest pop hits! I have sung at several family weddings and. I am always singing in my classroom and at home, too.

4. Did you have formal instructions on speaking a second language? Were you fortunate enough to be raised in a house with two or more languages? Did you learn a second language in school? Are you fluent in more than one language?

Growing up, I was surrounded by both Punjabi and Swahili since both my parents were born in Kenya. My brother and I both spoke fluent English from a young age, and I was the same with Punjabi, but Swahili was more odd words. Pops and Mum would use full Swahili in front of my Brother and I if they didn’t want us to understand what they were talking about! Funny story; our family Punjabi is littered with Swahili words since that is how my parents grew up. When I went to university and was able to make my own Punjabi-speaking friends who weren’t related to me, it transpired that what I spoke wasn’t Punjabi but a mish-mash of both languages with English words added in, too!! So, I can speak, understand and sing in Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu to an extent, but I can’t read or write the script. And I know. a few phrases in Swahili. At school, we learned French, and Latin. I didn’t keep the Latin going, but I did study French to GCSE eleven and got an A!

5. Did you play on a sports team or learn martial arts? At what age did you start? Did a parent become a coach? Did you practice at home? Do you still play sports? If applicable, did you encourage your children to play on a team?

Sports? Me? Don’t be silly! I was never a sporty person, and neither was I interested in watching any games. I played things because I had to. I did enjoy swimming and badminton, and I wasn’t bad at netball and field hockey, but I had no inclination to take any of these sports up outside of P.E. lessons. My brother was the sportsman, playing hockey and cricket, and he has continued, playing at international level, now, in the Finnish National Cricket Team! I’d much rather be reading! But I would never hold my kids back if they were interested. My daughter is a bit like me, not that interested, but my son played Soccer for a while and is an avid cricketer, now, see we are on cricket taxi duty all summer, every summer!

6. Did you ever take dance, tap, ballet, baton, cheerleading, etc. lessons? When did you start? How long did you take lessons? Did you practice on your own in addition to the lessons? How skilled did you become? Did you encourage your children to do the same?

I did ballet for several years, achieving Grade 3 standard, I think. But I am not graceful at all! I am always tripping up, falling over and having accidents! When it was our first parent recital, we had a choreographed dance to perform, followed by a piece of music for us to improvise to. When they asked me what I had been dancing as, in my improv, I wasn’t a butterfly, or fairy, like the other little girls. Oh no, apparently I was a mad scientist doing experiments, ballet style! I also took Modern Dance for a couple of years with a friend. This wasn’t for any qualifications, just for fun. The best lesson has when our instructor put on the song Push It by Salt ‘N Pepa, and showed us her understanding of the words, which was her pushing her hands against an imaginary wall, rather than the more suggestive gist the lyrics were displaying! I also taught Bhangra to children at school for two years, which I loved! Pops, my dad was a semi-professional Bhangra dancer, and even in his 70s he’s still got the moves! My daughter used to love dancing, as the younger generation do, to TikTok viral music clips, but she has stopped that. My son is not a dancer, but he played the Punjabi Dhol Drum for many years and has a great ear for percussion and beats!

7. Did you learn to roller skate or ice skate? Did someone teach you, or did you take lessons? At what age did you learn? Did you become skilled quickly? Can you still skate? Did you teach your children?

I taught myself rollerskating, with those states you hooked onto your trainers, but again, being clumsy, it wasn’t a fad that lasted long with me! We had some ice skating lessons at school so I can skate at a rink, but I am by no means any good! My kids have had goes at both, but neither stuck with them, either!

Reading all that back, it sounds like I tried it all, but stuck at nothing, lol! But I did love reading, and writing, and I’m published, now, so that must mean something!

I did it! I made a throwback Thursday on a Thursday Hat-trick!!

Throwback Thursday #50 – Are Rules Made to be Broken?

Having another go at Maggie and Laurens, Throwback Thursday challenge! This week it is Maggie who has set the questions.

This weeks prompt is: Are Rules Made to be Broken?

  1. Who in your family was the person who made and enforced rules? I feel like rules as such were unspoken ones that everyone in our community were meant to follow. Cultural and religious expectations, as well as those that expected respect for our elders. As for the simple ones like setting bedtimes and who did what around the house, it was mainly Mum.
  2. Did you grow up with many rules, or was your life a little more flexible? As I mentioned above, cultural expectations were like lifestyle rules that we were all meant to follow. But in our home, we had a little more flexibility as my parents wanted to be more flexible with us to some extent.
  3. Were you a rule follower or a rule breaker? I was always a rule follower growing up. It might not have been the same as I got older, though!
  4. How were discipline and – in contrast – rewards managed in your household? It was very rare, but if we needed telling off, there may have been raised voices. Rewards were there but not in obvious forms, like you see more of now. No sticker charts or treats like that, but knowing we weren’t disappointing our parents was a huge reward in our eyes.
  5. Were you given the opportunity to plead your case in matters of disagreement? To an extent, but I have to be honest, as a youngster, I was a real goody two shoes!
  6. What tools did your parents use –  ‘I’m going to count to three‘, or ‘don’t make me get up‘ or a time-out chair? None that I remember.
  7. Did fear of discipline curb your desire to break or bend the rules? It was fear of disappointing them that curbed the desire to do wrong things.
  8. Did your upbringing influence the way you (as an adult) managed rules in your own home? Yes, and I can see the difference in my thinking compared to my Hubby Dearest’s ideas, too, as his upbringing was a different kettle of fish!
  9. Were you ever ‘grounded’? Do you want to share the story? Nope, never grounded!
  10. Did you break rules your parents never knew about? Want to confess and leave with a clear conscious? No? Oh, goodness, when you go and visit the Uni Ritu, there were plenty I broke! But I don’t think I am brave enough to confess more!

I did it! I made a throwback Thursday on a Thursday, twice in a row!

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