The holy month of Ramadan begins this week, and all around the world Muslims are fasting from sunrise to sunset. This year will be a unique one for us all, as there will be no gatherings at the mosque for evening prayers and no iftars (breaking of fasts) with extended kin, friends and the community. Instead we will all be spending more time at home with family, spending time praying and reflecting on our faith and it’s teachings, and to hoping to re-connect with God. I pray that mankind gets through this difficult time in good health, keeping our selves and our loved ones safe, and that our we all are kinder and more generous to each other when this is all over. Ramadan Mubarak to you all.
Regent’s Park was host to the Frieze Sculpture event again this year. I’ve enjoyed the artworks displayed in previous years so decided to take a look to see what was on offer this time. The park has been called a museum without walls and it seems like that’s just what it is with artworks surrounded by greenery.
There were some interesting pieces on show; one that caught my eye was a golden cello made of bees. I also liked the giant toy car and I really liked what the Superhero Cog woman represented by strong, stable cogs
Other pieces that stood out to me included the large Japanese cartoon character, My Melody, and the weather vanes that had inspiring words on them. I also thought that the Laura Asia’s Dream sculpture of a large face set at an angle was quite skillfully made.
My favourite artwork was a quintessentially English ball that represented a country house. I love how neat it has been tied up into a ball.
I thought the giant blue egg was cool, it was supposed to emit sounds that a baby bird in an egg would make but I couldn’t hear anything myself.
Other sculptures made you think, like the bridges which you could also walk over, words about climate change carved in them.
Another piece that I thought was quite immersive and one of the highlights was One through Zero, which consisted of giant bronze numbers in a circle, like a clock.
I thought some of the sculptures in this year’s Frieze were fun, interesting and quite unique, and I enjoyed looking at and contemplating what they stood for. I look forward to seeing what next year brings.
My cousin’s wedding reception took place a few days after the wedding which is quite traditional according to Islam. This event was a much more laid back affair, especially for us as the groom’s family hosted this one (the wedding day was hosted by the bride’s family).
The venue was decorated nicely and the stage looked great with white flowers and pretty lighting. There was also a cake that tied in with the theme.
All the ladies on our side of the family decided to wear pastel coloured outfits, and my nieces all matched too. I decided on a blue ombre outfit with diamantes and my sister bought me a blue clutch to go with it which I love.
The bride and groom arrived together shortly after and sat on the stage so everyone could say hello and take pictures. The bride was dressed in a lovely light pink and blue outfit that sparkled in the light, and the groom looked dashing in his black tie.
After dinner everyone gathered on stage and took pictures with the couple to remember the happy occasion and celebrate them. I pray the my cousin and her husband have a long, happy, healthy life ahead together. They’ll be able to relax on their honeymoon to Dubai soon, which I’m sure will be very welcome.
My cousin’s wedding day finally arrived. It was a much anticipated event as we don’t have many big family weddings here. The wedding was an evening event, which was a good thing as it turned out to be the hottest day on record here in the UK! Having got dressed in our finest we drove to in our much needed air conditioned cars to the other side of London to the wedding venue.
The venue was beautifully decorated and the stage was adorned with pretty flowers and rose petals for when the bride and groom arrive.
The wedding cake was set up with matching cupcakes which I thought were great, and the favours were placed on tables for each guest, which consisted of a small pot of honey and small bottles of zamzam water, which is considered holy.
As guests started to arrive they were greeted with welcome drinks and asked to write a note to the bride and groom in their guestbook. The bride’s sister looked lovely with all her matching jewellery and the rest of the family all looked dashing too. My little nieces had matching pink and gold outfits that looked really cute.
Finally the groom and his family arrived and the bride walked in on her brother’s arm to take her side with her husband. My cousin looked beautiful in her traditional red wedding dress; her hair, make up and outfit looked perfect and her henna a dark red as it should be.
The wedding went well with good food and it was nice to see the family and relatives all together. It was an emotional affair, especially when the bride had to say goodbye to her family and go home with the groom, but all the hard work that everyone put in paid off. The reception traditionally takes place a few days after the wedding so I’ll see them again soon.
I was recently asked to take photos at a dholki party that a friend of my sister’s was having. A dholki is a party that takes place before a wedding which involves dancing and singing traditional songs to the beat of a drum – a dholki. The event was held in a private space in a restaurant meaning that we would be able to have good food and then have a space for the entertainment. Dholkis are mainly for women (and young children), giving the women a chance to let their hair down without any inhibitions.
The theme of the event was peacock feathers with colours pulled out to decorate other parts of the space which I really liked.
The bride-to-be’s friends set up dessert tables near the entrance that I though were really creative and colourful. I thought the popcorn was a nice way to keep the kids happy until food was served. I also loved the cake shaped in a cushion.
After everyone had dinner cushions, the drum and song books were placed together so that everyone could sit and sing songs together.
Once everyone had sung enough songs, the floor space was cleared so that people could dance. The bride and her friends had choreographed a few dances together, which was fun to watch.
It was a fun evening and a nice way to give women close to the bride-to-be a chance to spend time together with the her and her family.
Canary Wharf is hosting it’s Winter Lights event again this year and last night was the first night it was on, so I, along with my sister and niece, went to see what colourful, creative displays would be on show.
Stepping out of the station we were greeted with one of the most popular displays. This consisted of coloured light balls hanging on wires in neat rows, changing colour in time with the rhythm of the music that was being played. It was quite surreal standing in the middle surrounding by these lights and really fun one. I did, however, find it really tricky trying to get a good photo.
I also thought the recycled plastic insects were interesting which didn’t have any light but the fluorescent paint made them glow. And the lit up hopscotch game made me think of when I used to play when I was younger (and yes I did have ago!).
Some of the installations had music or sounds to go along with them, like the lines making up the shape of a whale, which emitted whale noises and moved like one too. The fountains had playful music along with varying shapes and colours the shooting water made which I quite enjoyed.
One thing I noticed was that there was a lot of colourful pieces this year. The lit up, colour changing maze was one, and was quite fun, but the other piece I really liked were the beautifully colourful prisms, that you could spin to create a reflective effect. These were also tricky to photograph as people kept spinning them really fast but I finally got a decent shot. Next we walked up to the square filled with glowing, colourful trees making them seem almost dreamlike. This one was nice just to sit and look at, giving us a chance to have a little rest.
I think one of the most clever and interactive installations was the colourful bench that when you put your hand on the sensor showed your heartbeat in lines and patterns along where you were sitting. I also liked the animal silhouettes that walked along the water edge with corresponding animal sounds playing around you, something simple but effective.
It took us a few hours to find all the installations, by which point we were pretty cold and tired, but we did all really enjoy the event. The Winter Lights event is on for 2 weeks and I would definitely recommend if you happen to be around. Just remember to wrap up.
I went to a wedding recently of a couple that are close to my family. The venue was prettily decorated and everyone was dressed in their best to help celebrate the happy day with the couple.
The bride and groom made for a handsome couple, and I loved how the bride’s hands had beautiful henna on them and were embellished with some sparkly jewellery.
Everyone had a great evening and I hope the couple have a happy, healthy future ahead of them.
The Winter season in London can sometimes feel long and cold, but to help brighten it up there have been a couple of light events to make the most of it getting dark early. There was Lumiere London which had art installations scattered around central London, and there was also a similar event held in Canary Wharf, which was just as great. This event was also held last year which was very good, so I was looking forward to this year’s.
One windy evening my sister and I headed down to see what was on show. There were installations indoors ad well as out but we decided to do the ones outside first. There were some really interesting ones that I really liked, such as Halo which was a ring of lights and to make it even better it was suspended above a pool of water giving it a nice reflection. My favourite was the wonderful Dodecahedron which you could also climb into to take in the stunning colours. The huge inflated, lit up rabbit was also cute I thought. There were also pieces that interacted with music or with movement by people that was interesting.
Once we’d seen all the installations outside, we headed indoors to see the ones displayed there as well as warm up, as we were freezing. I thought these ones were even lovelier than the ones outside. There was wearable fashion such as a dress with LEDs and a clutch that you could have words appear on.
One that was really intriguing, simple and so effective were the giant, colourful, bubble-like balloons hanging from rods. They were made from plastic strips and as they retracted and expanded they changed shape as they spun. My absolute favourite though, were the colourful mosaic lanterns that cast beautiful light patterns on the walls and ceiling. I did suggest it could be my next birthday present but I don’t think my sister will be taking it as they were quite pricey.
There were a few we couldn’t find but having wandered around Canary Wharf for long enough we decided it was time to go home. I thought this light event was really good, and I feel lucky to be able to see such great art installations close to home, which certainly helped brighten up the winter nights.
This weekend my sister and I went to the London Muslim Lifestyle show in West London, which was an event bringing together different products and services that are available for Muslims. I wasn’t too sure what to expect but I was looking forward to finding out.
There was a wide variety of things on offer; from different kind of foods, to jewellery and books.
My favourite things were the beautiful pieces of Arabic art, the stunning bottles of attar/perfume and tasty food on offer. I learnt lots of new things and was genuinely impressed by all innovative ideas that were presented from new phone apps to products that filled gaps in the market.
It was tempting to buy everything I liked, which was too much, but I managed to hold back and stick mainly to window shopping and tasters, treating myself to a few lovely things.
As you can tell I got a bit carried away with my photos, but there was just so much to see. As well as stalls there were fashion shows, singers and workshops that you could attend. My sister and I also had a lot of fun having our photos taken in photo booths wearing silly props. I thought it was an interesting event and meeting a diverse range of smiley people people, both Muslim and non created a great atmosphere.