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Are you magicle?

My seven-year-old daughter used this as the headline to her letter to Santa that she spent her evening working on yesterday. The spelling mistake of ‘magical’ was secondary to a wonderful insight into a child’s mind that became clear in the way she progressed through her letter. In an almost apologetic manner she asked for, “What ever you can bring me.” before cleverly listing ‘things I would like’ in hope more than pressure of what she wanted for Christmas. But this lovely little message was just one of many that decorated her hand written letter to Santa.

Another question brought a smile to my face as you realize the thoughts that must go through a child’s mind. The question was “How old are you?” followed beautifully by the line ‘I believe you’ (meant to be I believe in you) This letter took me back to all those wonderful memories I have of being a child that seem to grow more and more distant as I grow older. It seems to take little moments like this that transport you back to those times that were just, well, magical!

Of course the list on the back of the letter, just in case you need help Santa! Is filled with what children all over the world must be looking for, an iphone, bike, scooter and my favorite, a small doll of you Santa! Today we are mailing the letter to Santa in the North Pole, but I have a sneaky feeling that, for the most part, she will be happy with what Santa brings her this year! I wish you all a wonderful lead up to Christmas. May it bring you all you want and give you the greatest start to the year 2012, which I hope is everything you wish for and more.

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2011 in Blog, Miscellaneous

 

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IF ONLY EVERYONE LOOKED AT THE WORLD LIKE CHILDREN

Last night I was posed a question from my six-year old daughter about God. Before I go on with this story I just want to make something clear between you and me, religion is not a subject I am comfortable talking about on any blog, forum or anywhere in fact because I believe religion to be a very personal thing which causes much strife in our world. But this is something that really put a smile on my face yesterday. Meena, my daughter, asked, “ Where does God live.” So I replied in the only way I knew how, “In heaven waiting for all the good people in our world.” I realized my mistake the moment the words left my mouth, but like most men I always feel I need to add a little more information that is really required, or in this case I opened a door into a whole different world.

“So where do all the bad people go?” She asked. I became a little fidgety as I thought we would be discussing fluffy clouds and angels at this point but clearly something had sparked her curiosity. “Well,” I said trying to put it as delicately as possible, “They go to hell where the devil lives.” Clearly I had not learnt from my earlier mistake and opened another door down rather than a ladder back into the fluffy clouds area! The conversation went back and forth like this with me saying how bad the devil was and was desperately trying to keep the topic on a six-year old platform without descending into fires that rage through eternity, pain and torture etc. Obviously!

On the note of the Devil being bad she paused a little and came back with a response that in all my years it had never even crossed my mind. “I think the Devil is a good person.” Came the words that clearly rattled me, “Why do you do you say that Meena?” literally dreading the next words I waited for what seemed like an eternity. She finally gave her reply of, “Well, the Devil takes away all the bad people so that we don’t have to see them in heaven, so isn’t the devil helping god and all of us?” I looked at her and what she said had actually made sense so I replied, “I guess you have a good point Meena.” After this I sat watching her and just thought how beautiful it is that a child can see the good in everything, especially when I was only thinking of the negative. My six-year old daughter taught me another lesson last night and I love her for it. Thank you Meena.

 

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A DAILY DOSE OF INSPIRATION 1/3/11

“WE ARE WHAT WE BELIEVE WE ARE.”

In recent years we have heard much about visualization and the law of attraction. Whether you believe it or not, there has to be something in the statement, ‘we are what we believe.’ If there is something that you feel you missed early on in life, did not understand certain things or feel that you are just not destined to achieve anything, then simply the truth is, you will not.

We see throughout history the people who have succeeded in life. We glorify their achievements as though that were the only aspect of their life and before that they were living a charmed life just waiting for success. We often forget all the tears and hard work that led to them getting to that point. But above all else no matter how many times they failed, they knew that they only had to succeed once, and more importantly, they believed they could.

 

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A DAILY DOSE OF INSPIRATION 23/2/11

Spread your legs, Stretch your arms and open your heart.
You will realize that you are a star.

I came across this quote on one of the visuals below, a lovely mobile for children and I though the sentiment was beautiful. Not only in the context of children but for everyone. I truly believe that every one is a star and together we illuminate the sky. We may not always realize this but someone somewhere is influenced by the actions we do. Like a star in the distance, light takes time to travel through space. The star may not even know that it has illuminated another’s imagination, and it could be a small or life altering change. It’s still a change.

So even if in your life you feel that what you are doing is going unnoticed, understand that the impact you have had on lives has been spectacular and beautiful. For everyone passes on the light that burns within, some feel the light glowing through them whilst others are not so aware. But each burns brightly and somewhere in the world your light is now reaching a far a soul just when they need your influence, just when they need a change and it could’ve been something you did many years ago. As your beauty and light will shine through eternity.

 

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A DAILY DOSE OF INSPIRATION 24/11/10

My daughter, who is 6, is probably the comedian of my two children. My son, who is 8, loves a joke but is a bit more serious and sensitive. Not sure where he gets that from! But my daughter is always trying to play ‘tricks’ as she calls them, and is often clowning around in one way or another. The other day we received a letter from the school talking about a break out of head lice. Not a very nice subject, but it did bring back memories of the school nurse when I was a kid and the physical abuse she used to give us as she rummaged through our scalps. I always recalled how she was almost disappointed if she came up empty. So with this news, I told my daughter that we would need to check on a daily basis to make sure she was clear.

Fortunately it’s been all clear. But this morning as she was leaving for school I told her that tonight I will check her to make sure. She didn’t look very happy and I understand why. For a child five minutes seems like an eternity, so I tried to give her an explanation that I thought would let her understand, a bit. We are going to Australia next month to see my parents, brother and family who moved their over four years ago. So, in my ultimate wisdom, thought it would be a good reason for the check. So I said, “I need to check as we can’t take any lice with us to Australia, can we?” She turned towards me and I could see something obviously rattling around her little mind until a light went on inside and she replied, with a straight face and complete sincerity, “Why? Because you didn’t buy them a ticket!” To which I had no answer! Have a creative day.

 

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FOLLOW THAT TURTLE!

Adam & Meena on the swings before we go out

Adam & Meena on the swings before we go out

Walking on to the beach I have to be honest that I was looking forward to a nice day without any arguments or fights. The guy who fixes the beds beckoned Suzy and Yasmine to follow him so they did. We walked passed the Italian family we had the argument with the day before noticing that they had been relegated to the back rows of the beach. The ones that if you do not wear shoes you will lose a third of the skin from the souls of your feet. The rest is lost from the stone steps that lead to the sea but everyone has to use those. The woman, the prune, was looking extremely disgusted with the situation and the older man seemed to be looking for an empty chair where ever it may appear. Imagine the faces on these people when the guy who was preparing the beds took towels off five beds that were positioned in the best place on the beach.

Meena checking out the snorkeling

Meena checking out the snorkeling

It certainly goes to show that when the chips are down people stick together and the Egyptian guy who works on the beach was obviously sorry for what had happened the day before and wanted to make it up to Suzy and Yasmine. I think if they could have run an Egyptian flag up the umbrella they would have. Feeling equally smug I thought that I would join in and put the british flag up there as well just the way we brits like to claim any success even if its not ours. But to be honest I think if I did that I would probably end up further up the beach than the Italians. So I kept my mouth shut!
Adam before cutting his hand

Adam before cutting his hand

So we had the best spot on the beach, the beers were on there way and the weather was amazing it was perfect. Perfect that is until Adam cut his hand. We were sat above the sea where the children and Francis were below. They were just looking around the corals until Yasmine and I would join them in a while and we would go for a swim. Adam slipped on a coral and fell down cutting the palm of his hand. I saw him fall and immediately saw blood. Now I knew that the water was probably making it look worse that it was but you never know and he started crying. Well actually he started screaming. I immediately ran down the stairs to join him but before I left my chair I noticed a couple, man and woman around mid forties to early fifties, sat right next to where Adam was now bleeding and screaming. Running down the stairs I noticed that they had not moved and were just watching him bleed and scream. Blood was running down hi arm into the sea and I quickly lifted it and applied pressure. I washed it and then took a look. It was only a small cut but I couldn’t hold myself back from giving the couple a mouthful about sitting and doing nothing. So much for the no arguing! I took Adam to the first aid section where they applied a small dressing.

Adam enjoying a joke at my expense

Adam enjoying a joke at my expense

Adam watching the snorkeling

Adam watching the snorkeling

With Adam temporarily out of action Yasmine and Suzy decided it was a good time to eat with him so I took Meena for a swim. After a slight mishap with Meenas snorkel, it having a large hole from someone chewing it, we used Adams and set off into the water. Within a few minutes deep below us was a large sea turtle. Meena and I followed it for about five minutes before realizing that we were now quite far out to sea so we turned back with Meena still shouting turtle all the way. Later Yasmine and I went alone for a swim for over an hour. It was great but there was no turtle to be seen. At one point Yasmine started signing blue moon under water which made me laugh and nearly choke on my snorkel. We stayed late on this day soaking up the last rays of the sun.

Meena and myself coming back from following the turtle

Meena and myself coming back from following the turtle

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2009 in Blog, travel

 

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All good things must come to an end

Adam enjoying the play area

Adam enjoying the play area

As the holiday comes closer to its end the days seem to be passing very quickly. Our time in Sharm has been such an amazing experience that none of us wish to return to Dubai at this point. Sharm El Sheikh is a beautiful place that offers nature at its best. Spending time with Yasmine alone has been wonderful away from all the hustle and bustle of our lives in Dubai. The children have loved every minute of this holiday and have made many friends from all over the world. Suzy has enjoyed showing us all around Sharm and introducing us to all her wonderful friends. the only disappointment would be her brother Ghalal was not in Sharm at the same time. But we have vowed to return to this place as soon as we can because it has rejuvenated each of us in all our own ways ready to face the world again in a few days.
Meena in one of the colorful parks

Meena in one of the colorful parks

Adam on the rocks!

Adam on the rocks!

Meena on the beach

Meena on the beach

Sharm El Sheikh has an amazing blend of middle east culture with Mediterranean flavor that makes it a quite unique place. I’s visited Cairo a few years earlier and was expecting Sharm to have some similar feelings. I was very happily proved completely wrong as Sharm as a very unique feeling all of its own. Sharm is not without its draw backs like any place but the positive certainly out weigh the negatives. For example the other day when we arrived on the beach we were pleased to see that four beds were still free right on the edge of the beach overlooking the sea below. With the umbrella fixed in the ground behind the beds meant that the shade would be over us in the afternoon. As we approached An Italian man in his fifties started to complain to the guy who works on setting up the beds for you on the beach. Of course most of the Italians here have been very pleasant but this family seemed an exception to the rule. You didn’t need to understand Italian to get the feeling that he was upset we would be sharing his umbrella. He was with a younger guy and a woman who looked like she’d spent way too long in the sun as she looked like an old prune. They all seemed agitated and a discussion broke out through the translator who was the guy who worked on the beach.
Adam has loved being in Sharm

Adam has loved being in Sharm

Meena showing Francis what fish she has seen

Meena showing Francis what fish she has seen

Talk about stuck between a rock and a hard place as on one side the Italian mafia claimed a ridiculous position and us on the other side. Suzy and Yasmine said their piece before saying they would rather sit somewhere else than next to these people. Personally I was all for camping out on the beds and defending in a way that Franco Beresi would have been proud of. But we kept the peace and sat somewhere else. Later whilst the Italians were down swimming a family of eight turned up and surrounded the Italian’s much to our amusement. The old Italian tried to make a stand by literally standing up holding his umbrella in a show of pomp that even the late Mussolini would have thought over the top before they all left the beach with a complaining as only some Italians can do; at the top of their voices so everyone can hear. As they passed our place we happened to have a drink in hand and toasted the defeat of the Italians. Funny thing is that night we went to a great Italian restaurant called Fernando’s and had a very nice time.
Yasmine and Meena at Fernandos

Yasmine and Meena at Fernandos

All of us at Fernandos

All of us at Fernandos (Adam with a piece of bread in his mouth!)

The diving and snorkeling in Sharm has been the most humbling experience as the colors and sights we have seen continue to take away our breath. On the beach yesterday we were sat watching a boat pass when the surface of the water erupted in a flurry of activity. Long silver fish flying through the air clearly leaving the water. They flew in a variety of different directions. They didn’t look like the flying fish that I have seen before and looked very much like the barracudas that we see all the time. If it was barracudas the thought came to my mind what in gods name is under the water to make a fish leave the water at that speed and without care to where they were going just as long as it was away from what was chasing them. It ending with a large splash but whatever it was that was chasing them was not seen by us. So we did the obvious thing in this kind of circumstance; we went snorkeling to see what it was! By far for me the most impressive sight under the water has been the Giant Manta Ray the size and gracefulness of the creature was spellbinding and I only wish Yasmine had been with me to see it.
Meena on the beach

Meena on the beach

Yasmine and I are now advanced PADI divers and although we did not get a chance to visit the SS Thistlegorm it has been a wonderful experience. The climax being the dive that Yasmine and I had together alone. It was an hour long and is something I will treasure for a long time. We vowed to return and told Rami over a drink the other night that we would all go together to see the Thistlegorm. If you are looking to go diving in Sharm make sure you look up Rami Fathy who is a very good friend and both Yasmine and I agree that he makes the diving experience that much more special.  Sharm has everything you could need for a great holiday whether young or old, couple or single, whether you want a quiet relaxing holiday or want to live it up in the nightclubs Sharm has it all. So we head out today for our last full day here and will make the most of every minute!
Thanks for the memories Sharm!

Thanks for the memories Sharm!

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2009 in Blog, travel

 

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