My Life Near and Far; Grocery Delivery Becomes Extraordinary; Friday Muslim App Message; Cognitive Basis of Creativity Coming Soon; An Invitation to the Saudi Cup (regretfully declined); Tragedies Beset the Muslim World Yet Again; A Reel Brings Hope; I Tripped, Stumbled and Fell; Photos of the Resulting Damage; Then a Reel on Boredom, Distraction and Vanity;  

I am building a life here in Edmonton, rather slowly and with a few (shall we say) ups and downs. But it is an increasingly comfortable existence with the basic necessities of life (and many more) provided. 

An example of divine comfort is the joy of ordering  groceries, and having them delivered once a week. The delivery fee is only $6 It is free of worry and concern. My AA (Administrative Assistant) orders them from a prepared list of necessities. He arrives, attends to grocery ordering in the first few minutes and then off to other administrative duties. Therefore, there is no stress, no weather worries. It had seven months of stress, worry, concern, and backache attempting to gather the groceries on my own.  But those seven months made me appreciate the ease making it seem like a blessing. If ease, comfort,  and blessings are present from the very beginning life becomes ordinary.  Throw in some deprivation and woe –  the result is some of the smallest things become extraordinary. These synonyms make you appreciate it more: exceptional, amazing, astonishing, astounding, marvelous, wonderful, sensational, stunning, incredible, unbelievable, miraculous, phenomenal, prodigious, spectacular, outstanding, momentous, impressive, singular,  preeminent, memorable, unforgettable, never to be forgotten, unique, arresting, eye-catching, conspicuous, noteworthy, notable, great; out of the ordinary, unusual, uncommon, rare, surprising, curious, strange, odd, peculiar, uncanny; fantastic, terrific, tremendous, stupendous, awesome, amazeballs, out of this world, unreal.

That is funny – getting groceries delivered has become awesome, amazeballs and out of this world. 

We shall also be speaking of my afar life which has aspects of being awesome, amazeballs and out of this world. 

This a Friday message from my Muslim iPad app. “May what is rightfully yours never depart from you. Allah shall grant you all you essentially need in life. Jumma Mubarak

Another bonus to living in Edmonton is access to Alumni programs offered by the University of Alberta. A U of A professor shall lead us on an  exploration of the cognitive basis of creativity.  Creativity has always been of interest.  It will be fascinating to guided from a professor eminent in the field to learn of the most recent studies. Enrolling was rather amusing, Originally enrolled in the lunch and learn  program, but later discovering it was in Camrose, not on campus. Did not know where Camrose was, but after discovering its whereabouts decided it was not worth an expressive ride or an inconvenient taxi and then bus ride. Felt I had to explain my stupidity to a most helpful event coordinator but will Zoom it instead. (Hopefully remembering my Zoom password – how I hate passwords.Also signed up for an Employment and Engagement in Later Life presentation. I am thinking of cancelling this – do not need a job as my retirement income is adequate and, goodness knows,  I am engaged. Here is proof from my afar life  

 My February 7, 2023 blog spoke of meeting a world famous jockey and then, rather my magic, having our acquaintance renewed through the wonders of Instagram. We manage to communicate using voice messages and emojis – it is so amusing and fun. 

He: After two weeks there is Saudi Cup. Come come. 

Me: I would love ❤️to but cannot so soon. It would be wonderful to see you ride in the Saudi Cup. It would be great! 

He: Oh sorry Oh sorry No Problem No problem 

Me: I you are so nice. You are so nice.  I wish I could. I wish I could. 

I knew nothing of the Saudi Cup, but now I do and so shall you, if you read one. This from Wikipedia: “ The Saudi Cup (Arabic: كأس السعودية) is an international horse race held at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in RiyadhSaudi Arabia. It is the richest horse race ever held, with a $20 million purse. The race is notable for its 20 million dollar purse, which makes it the most lucrative event in horse racing. The race is held four weeks after the $3 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream ParkFlorida, and four weeks before the $12 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan RacecourseDubai, making it possible for horses in those races to compete.” 

I spent some time learning about the world of international horse racing. Trainers are revered, playing a tremendously important role. When in Dubai, October 2022 I briefly visited the Meydan Racecourse. It is absolutely huge with a large hotel in the midst of it. There were no events at the time so I visited the loo. It  was a most luxurious loo and most essential at the time. I recall taking a photo. If found will attach it to the blog, not of the loo but a marble statue of an Arab horse.  . 

But onto another of the tragedies that have beset the Muslim world. Beset is the perfect word to describe the earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria, Lebanon. as well as other Middle Ease countries. 

Beset means (of a problem or difficulty) trouble or threaten persistently. Symptoms are plague, bedevil, attack, assail, beleaguer, afflict, torment, torture, rack, oppress, harass. The Islamic faith offers hope in the midst of the despair – it was expressed so eloquently and with so much feeling on an Instagram reel which began “It is not a death toll, it is a shaheed count!”  (Shaheed is Arabic for martyr.). It was a relief to see and hear this spoken. My study of the faith had revealed this to be so but it had been ignored, both in mainstream media and on Instagram. I wrote: 

“Thank you! This must be remembered. To bring comfort. My comment has received a heartening 43 Likes. 

Hopefully, Allah (SWT) will assist me in providing you this link:  

Fortunately, (as Allah (SWT) has other much more important things to do) 15 year old LOL, when he was not ordering groceries, tweaked something or other on my computer making it possible to do it myself (perhaps). 

Then, another blessing from Instagram. On Saturday afternoon I tripped getting out of a taxi and landed on my face. I am a mess, bruises, swelling, abrasions and a black eye. I have gone into hiding but had to make an appearance to get my groceries delivered. A young man, originally from the Congo, looked at me. 

He: It looks like somebody beat you up. Manhandled you. 

Me: Not recently, not since I was a kid. Now it is just punishment for being clumsy I guess. 

Despite my injuries we carried on a great conversation. He is an artist and a musician. He was able to come to Canada as his uncle was the pastor of a Christian church. Although his birth village was Muslim, he became a Christian when coming to Canada. He is most literate and inquisitive. I gave him my book on the Tate Britain. He promises to read it and tell me what he thinks. It a rewarding and amusing encounter. 

Texted a Muslim friend in Ghana, including a photo of the mess that is me. 

Me: Thanks for like of my rubber duck and bubbles on Instagram. I did not show my face, for reasons of modesty and also I tripped getting out of a taxi and landed on my face. The man who delivered my groceries said I looked like somebody manhandled me. Right hand swollen too. Clumsy me. 

He: I hope you are okay. 

Me: I am okay but look awful. Black eye, bruises, abrasions. Staying in today. The world is not ready for such beauty. 

Then sent a selfie. It will be featured at end of blog. 

Me: Difficult to be vain looking like that. 

He: Did you see a doctor? Stay in for a couple of days till you are perfectly fine and go out only if necessary. 

Me: No I did not see a doctor. I was planning on doing exactly what you said. I found a great pair of sunglasses that cover almost everything. Thank you for your concern. 

But then there came a Instagram reel sent via Ruhani Qalb. Talking about the fundamental sin – boredom and distraction leading to sloth and spiritual sickness. Ending with everything other than Allah is vanity. I responded. 

Me: “Everything other than Allah is vanity. This is so powerful particularly at this moment, I say laughingly. I tripped getting out of a taxi land landed on my face. I am a mess. Said to a fellow Muslim sending him a photo sayin that there is no room for vanity now. I do think that Allah (SWT) was teaching me a lesson. I learned!! Then this reel arrived. WOW! 

Here is the link to the reel, hopefully.

Photographs follow: selfie of me today, selfie of me and the world-famous jockey. I am sure you will be able to distinguish between the two. Also the found photo of the marble horse. 

Computer Guru said, upon my posting gruesome selfies after being hit by a London motorcycle, that he thought the reason for my (rather immense)  popularity is that I tell it honestly, what life really is, not the perfect place to be, nor the perfect me. Perhaps he is right. It is worth a try anyway. Hahahaha ?? .  

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