In a falling golden leaf
The first sign of autumn.
Sitting on red benches
Watch a centrepiece of
Beautiful colours thrown
By the stemful
Our way.

Smudged irregular patterns
Carpet our walk
The good news first : Passing my driving test! About bloody time to. I had first started driving in 1990. Riffit was taking me out on trips round Milngavie and back, telling me to lay off the clutch a bit and showing me how to switch gears smoothly. Later I'd go out alone around the local area enjoying the freedom of a car, going round and round Baljaffray at 25mph! I'd switch on the radio and roll down the window and make a circuit of our local area and be back home for dinner. Mum would warn me that my dad wouldn't like me going of with his Datsun Sunny. Soon dad allowed me to drive on his trips to Polloksheilds, over the wet and windy M8, listening to Urdu Ghuzuls. He would warn me stearnly "SLOWLY now". Two years later when he was diagnosed with cancer, I missed the comfort of his voice as I drove illegally along streets in search of late night pharmacys.
Mum relied on me to pick up groceries and halal meats and Riffit could ask me to drive her car to the local garage for a service and I would eagerly agree to these errands. In that tiny space of a car I had my music, the heater and the sound of the rain pattering against the windsheild. What a joy!

I remembered that joy and so I decided it was about time I took my driving test. I hadn't driven in 11 years but I suppose it's a bit like riding a bike...once you've mastered won't forget it. The driving test in Norway is not a simple case of theory and then 30 minutes of driving. Quite the contrary! One has to take a driving on ice test (since there is no ice on the roads yet, we had to drive on a tarmac slippy with a combination of oil and water). Also there are obligatory courses in long distance driving (we drove around 8 hours), overtaking, theory test and night driving!

And after the ordeal of 0ne month of taking all these courses and tests I passed my test!

My dad would have been proud!

This morning as the kids ate breakfast halfheartedly and I complacently brushed the crumbs of the table and onto the floor, reading the newspaper and wondering how the hell our street seems so picturesque and calm when only a few flights away there are wars, famine, floods...


posted by aminah at 9:52:00 am 0 comments

the wind was cutting us back from the shore, the tide lay a brave walk away. The sheer distance frightened me, but allured you. You had already grabbed my arm and pulled me along with you towards it's black tongue out there in the pitch darkness.
Head still reeling from the celiah and the drinks, I wanted home.
We made an odd pair, me in my kilt and you in your simple shalwar kameez.
I can see your eyes smiling, that wild mad look of come on lets do this, laughing that huge laugh that seemed to fill the silence of the entire coast.
I wouldn't follow you. I
Let you go on alone.

You almost disappeared from sight.
I was shouting after you.
Nighat lets get home now!
Come on...For f's sake!

I had to go after you. found you by the water's edge,a lonely figure, your shoes wet and your face speckled with sea water.
The smile had left your lips.
The laughter and dancing of a students night out seemed a million years ago...
As you said
It's soo beautiful. I wish it would just stay like this forever.

Perhaps already then you knew that those moments were few and counted.
Perhaps if I knew I would have stayed out there longer, less afraid


of insisting it was
and not beautiful at all
Out there at 2am on a beach in the middle of nowhere.

In memory of Nighat Waliat Ali 1973-1998
Yesterday Sabha and I drove in her new car around the city. Inevitably we didn't have anywhere to go. Everyone else we knew were decently at their workplaces and schools, while we were just aimlessly driving around the city with her new car, a nippy VW Golf, and finding great joy in listening to songs we listened to together almost 10 years ago. We ended up finding pupose in IKEA of all bloody places, piling our trolleys with unneccesary objects which we later deposited on shelves just before the check out.
We laughed alot.
We talked non stop.
I think that sometimes when we are together we end up alienating others who may happen to be around us. It's as if we were speaking a foreign language, closing out others who would love to join in on our laughter. It's just they wouldn't get it. Jokes in Urdu are difficult to translate into English and Scottish jokes are difficult to translate into Norwegian etc...but it's not just that. We have all these hidden references and are sarcasm is not for the weak definetly not...

Today I canny just waste my day.. I have 6 books to get through before the 14th October. The kitchen is freezing so I have done like we'd do in the southside of Glasgow and that is heat up the oven and open it's door to warm me up. It was still summer weather till yesterday.