The daily blog was almost written, the word count was over one thousand. The title was chosen: Cushy Job, Mull and Microcosm Defined With Examples. Good and Bad News From Edmonton. But events of yesterday convinced me that positivity would prevail You can get the bad news later. Bad news is ruling the world at the moment. There is measure of hope with the Arab Summit talking place in Riyadh but let us not count our chickens before they are hatched. Honestly, that expression just came to mind. I do know it is perfect, it is apt. However I shall now check it out. All Aboard for Adventure!
Don’t count your chickens” is a shortened form of the expression, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” Both versions of this expression are used to advise someone not to make the mistake of assuming that the thing they are hoping for will definitely happen.
There is a moral to the expression: you should not make plans that depend on something good happening before you know that it has actually happened.
Where did it come from? Many sources identify this idiom as coming from one of Aesop’s fables. Aesop was an Ancient Greek storyteller who lived more than 2,500 years ago, which makes this idiom quite ancient! There is an opposite to counting your chickens. “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” would be an appropriate antonym to “counting one’s chickens before they are hatched.
What would I do without idioms??? I would never be able to write. At the present time I exist in a non English speaking world. The official language of Saudi Arabia is, of course, Arabic. Not only that, but here in Medinah I am surrounded by pilgrims and expats – their first language is NOT English. This is a typical conversation.
Me: A Salem Alayo Com. I can greet you and understand what you say in response. But that is IT – I only speak English.
They: Where are you from?
Me: I hate that question. Let me put it this way: I was born in Canada.
They: But you do not sound Canadian.
Me: I know! That is why I hate the question. I went to live in the USA in 1967, lived there for fifty years – I speak like an American. I do not want to speak like a Canadian, thanks anyway. I am so thankful that English is my first (and only) language. I could never, ever learn to speak English. It is SO difficult.
They: It is!
Me: So many words, all sounding the same but with different meanings. And then there are idioms – which make no sense whatsoever. It is impossible.
They: It is!! Those idioms.
Me: I write a blog and for some unknowable reason I seem to speak in idioms. English idioms. I define them so it is most helpful to those trying to learn English. I do not do it on purpose. It just happens. No idea why!
You just saw another example: All Aboard for Adventure. All aboard means: 1. get on! get in! a warning to passengers that the train, car, airplane, etc. will start soon 2. everyone (is) aboard! a signal to the driver or pilot that the trip may begin
Then you throw in adventure or adventurous which can mean daredevil, daring, foolhardy, rash, reckless, and venturesome. While all these words mean “exposing oneself to danger more than required by good sense,” adventurous implies a willingness to accept risks but not necessarily imprudence. adventurous pioneers.
Or adventure can mean: travel, excursion, expedition, exploration, pilgrimage, and quest.or 33 other synonyms.
After all of this, even I (an English speaking first language person) am confused.
This foregoing was written before breakfast. This is after breakfast A delicious nutritious buffet, with Saudi, fresh fruit and juices, omelettes upon demand, croissants and, of course, coffee. I am exhausted – not from eating but from talking. Two Saudi women asked me to join their table, it was a mother and daughter. The daughter was a doctor who did, of course, drive a car when home. She was here for a pharmaceutical meeting, brought her mother to “visit the Prophet, PBUH). Those two women defied every Muslim stereotype that ever existed. The doctor daughter spoke English, translating so her mother could join the conversation. The mother gave birth to ten children. Her four daughters are professionals; the doctor, a lawyer, a nurse, a pharmacist. The six sons are engineers. The father a recently retired engineer. They lived in an Eastern province. The mother, after rearing ten children, now provides day care for her eight grandchildren. Both mother and daughter are kind, attentive, caring, devout Muslims.
My breakfast spent talking not eating was one of the most delightful breakfasts of my entire long life. Paradoxically the mother and I had many things in common.
You: How could that be?
Me: Well, I was once married to an engineer. I once had eight grandchildren. I was a good grandmother. I know she is as well. One stepdaughter was a physician. She is a Muslim, I am a Muslim I treasure time being with the Prophet (PBUH)
You: How could you be a grandmother when you did not have children?
Me: My third husband had three daughters who gave birth to eight children. I was married to their grandfather, so I became Granny Alexis. The engineer grandfather is dead, mercifully actually.
I told the story of my life with the usual ebullience and joy. Ebullience did give way to sorrow one moment of the conversation.
Ebullient is an additive meaning cheerful and full of energy. The origins of the word are most interesting: late 16th century (in the sense ‘boiling’): from Latin ebullient- ‘boiling up’, from the verb ebullire, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out’ + bullire ‘to boil’.
Its synonyms will bring you joy: buoyant, cheerful, merry, sunny, jaunty, lighthearted, high-spirited, exhilarated, elated, euphoric, jubilant, animated, sparkling, effervescent enthusiastic, irrepressible, bouncy, bubbly, peppy, zingy, upbeat, chipper, chirpy, smiley. ANTONYMS depressed.
However my high-spirited, jubilant, sparkling, effervescent self became depressed and sorrowful at one moment.
Mother and daughter: Where are the grandchildren now?
Me: I have no idea, I do not know. You cannot ask your beloved grandchildren to choose between you and their parents. I had to give them up.
I quickly wiped away the tears, smiled wanly, and said:
Me: But it has a happy ending. It would be impossible for me to be of the Islamic Faith and be here in this blessed place if I had Christian grandchildren. My entire life will have a happy ending after I became a Believer. I do take comfort thinking that they will be happy knowing that their Granny Alexis found peace of mind, and a new family in Saudi Arabia. Although it is unlikely, and almost, unbelievable.
The Medinah Oberio Hotel has become my home, my refuge and my refugee camp. One photograph was taken in the lobby. A member of the reception staff showed me new way to edit it. There is a photo of a sushi platter. The Kyoto restaurant where my ‘son’ Sauman works. A fellow worker, Neb. Said this
He: You are an excellent guest. The best ever. You bring happiness to all of us, we look forward to your visits.
There is a black and white selfie taken at breakfast one morning., ‘covered’ as we Saudis say.
Then there is a photo of WonderWoman boots. This is the funny story behind its inclusion.
It seemed an impossible task – arranging a transfer of International funds to pay Computer Guru Chris for the job he does. I was finally, and I do mean, finally able to achieve success.
Sent him an email, declaring victory. The subject line: I did it!!!
Me: This is our lucky day. I was able to pay you. A strange amount $457 pounds will arrive on November 10. I am a genius – a slow one. Hahaha Alexis
He: Very good ???????? Wonder Woman approves
Me: I am using this in my net blog. I totally loved it. I am Wonder Woman but I have to wear more clothes now. Hahaha Alexis
I do not object to wearing more clothes. It iis easer, and actually more stylish. Abayas do hide your figure faults. Those boots were NOT made for walking. It is not necessary to curl my locks. This is working!!
Today is Friday, this place is frantic with its many guests and often staff member’s families. I shall now tell you about Friday prayer. In the Islamic Faith Friday prayer is extremely important.
This from Wikipedia.
Friday prayer, or Congregational prayer (Arabic: صَلَاة ٱلْجُمُعَة Ṣalāt al-Jumuʿah), is a prayer (ṣalāt) that Muslims hold every Friday after noon, instead of the Zuhr prayer. Muslims ordinarily pray five times each day according to the sun’s sky path, regardless of time zones. Youm Jumu’ah (“day of congregation”), or simply Jumu’ah means Friday in Arabic. In many Muslim countries, the weekend is inclusive of Fridays, and in others, Fridays are half-days for schools and some workplaces. It is one of the most exalted Islamic rituals and one of its confirmed obligatory acts.
It is an obligation for some, but not for all.
It has been stated that Jum’ah is not obligatory for old men, children, women, slaves, travellers, the sick, blind and disabled, as well as those who are outside the limit of two farsakhs.
I am a woman, not an old man, not a slave, not traveling at the moment. not sick, blind nor disabled. As I grow more observant it does seem I should be doing something resembling the ritual of Friday prayer. I will continue to pray privately but with guidance, arrived at a makeshift variation. Another word for makeshift might be extemporary. I shall tell you more of my extemporary Friday prayer next Friday.
I do stand corrected. It is not that I am happy. I have peace of mind. Happiness is ephemeral, it comes and goes. Peace of mind is the goal of Muslims. It surpasses happiness. I have written about peace of mind in the past. I will go to the search engine.and find the blogs. But later – as it is makeshift Friday prayer times.