Summer finally arrived in July with typical British seasonality. With intense heatwaves rendering the 4 stand/table fans in our room almost useless, there were lots of tossing and turning at night followed by huffing and puffing during the day. 30C days in Britain feel a whole lot worse than in Bangladesh because 1) no ceilings fans and 2) NO Air Conditioning. Sometimes I would linger an extra minute in Tesco just to feel that icy blast of AC on my very pregnant body. I love the little slice of summer we get in this country but is it too much to ask for something that isnt week long thunderstorms or scorching heatwave?
As of 19th July, almost all covid restrictions have been lifted in England (you still gotta wear a mask on the tube though). “Freedom Day” didn’t quite translate into a unanimous national celebration as one might imagine. We have now landed on what is being termed as a “pingdemic”, a term I didn’t fully understand till I got a work email breaking it down for me. “Shutdown replaces lockdown as ‘pings’ hit retail, transport, tourism, manufacturing, NHS and police”. The issue is now quite simply that society, and businesses in particular, are being impacted by the number of people having to isolate either because of the NHS app or track and trace. Over 600,000 alerts were sent to the app users last week alone in England and Wales.
And that’s just one aspect to life post Freedom Day. Work from home guidance has ended and I am hearing the murmurs of a return to work gathering momentum across the nation. As a preggers person, the mixed news and unrestrained masklessness dont exactly evoke warm, fuzzy feelings in my hormonal heart. But hey, at least I am double vaxxed now! I decided to bring my second dose forward after persistent emails and messages from NHS and massive billboards everywhere admonishing me to do so. Of course there’s the argument over the merit of getting it too soon (currently the advise in UK is to leave an 8 week gap between the two doses). Nothing in covid world is straightforward, eh?
The relaxation of local rules might lull us into a false sense of bliss but the pandemic is still very much ON. Half of Australia is in lockdown while Bangladesh is undergoing a severe covid wave driven by the delta variant.
Then there’s the extreme climate change unfolding with worrying frequency across the globe. Floods in Germany, wildfires in Canada, a year’s worth of rain compressed into 3 days in China. As we claw our way out of the pandemic hole, too exhausted to pay attention to the bigger crisis looming over our planet, it might feel tempting to shut out the news. But, as Greta Thunberg tweeted, ‘ We are at the very beginning of a climate and ecological emergency and extreme weather events will only become more and more frequent.’ We cannot afford to switch off.
Euro 2020 and Olympics 2020 came along to make up for lost time. The final at Wembley brought a lot of heartache but the exciting young England team have undoubtedly given us the most cause for nationwide excitement this side of the pandemic. The big gatherings around Euro 2020 matches were hard to digest but the celebratory mood in London was contagious and uplifting, right up to the penalties. Then the wave of racism followed like a terrible anti-climax that threatened to undo all the good times. It was staunchly counteracted with a wave of support for the brilliant young players who have brought so much pride and joy to the nation (Gareth Southgate’s men are the first England team to reach a major final since World Cup winners of 1966).
We celebrated Eid-UL-Adha on the 20th and it turned out to be a lot more happening than usual. I joined my friends for a little pre Eid outing to get henna and masala chai. On Eid morning we prayed at the mosque, ate chanachur and boroi followed by an elaborate deshi nasta. Dinner was hosted by our darling friend @reemis.kitchen and it was the lavish Eid spread of our dreams.
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On the blogging and content creation side of things, I unveiled my biggest partnership yet with @ladybirdbooks – a year long campaign that I have been working on since February. We have also started working on the illustrations for my ‘Deshis Create’ Children’s Book Series with @bokbokbooks and I cannot keep calm!
I am now nearing the end of my second trimester and all the good that it brings. I am sleeping badly despite going to bed early and waking up tired. My feet have bloated up, my energy levels have gone down and I am slowly starting to realise I need to make a move on preparing for the new arrival. So far we havent done anything! I think it really helps having done the whole thing once before. I feel a lot more confident overall but sometimes I wonder if I am being a bit too relaxed!
We watched a couple of movies this month: Haseen Dilruba, Toofan and Guns Akimbo – all worth a watch.
My first book this month was ‘The Startup Wife’ by Tahmima Anam (tap below for review). I also read 2 thrillers, The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides and The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell.
Ary started football lessons this month which has meant very early starts on Sunday mornings for our fami
ly. We took him to swimming one weekend and he loved it. Really grateful for these opportunities to embrace normal life with my son – I do not take any of it for granted.
3 year old Ary is bursting with logic and – dreams! He often wakes up in the morning to share the details, sometimes with sleepy smiles interspersed with random words like train/icecream. At other times with tears and tight hugs to ward off whatever nasty thing had plagued his sweet sleep.
Mingling with the older kids at pre school has rubbed off big time on Aryan. Apparently he loves mixing with the older boys who have taken him under his wings. Someone taught him Let It Go from Frozen which has become his favourite song. They had a school prep week and a small graduation party this month and although Aryan isnt starting till next year, it felt like good practice for him and us.
Infections have been rapidly falling across UK this month, despite the lifting of restrictions, undoubtedly a positive sign that the vaccines are doing their magic. Remains to be seen if this is a solid trend or a streak of good luck!