A few photos

from our 4 hour drive to the village where my husbands sister lives. I pretty much took pictures the whole way there and back. It was kind of a luxurious drive, just me and the dh, the two youngest and my 11 year old. 

She lives in a village in the mountains around the region of  ‘Sour al ghozlane’ , her you will find most of the men, wearing North african turbans and through the winter months the heavy, rough wool, ‘kashabiya’. The people are much more traditional then the in the capitol. Old values and hospitality stay strong with them. In the surrounding villages you will still find families that don’t send their daughters to high school, after primary that’s it! They are kept home, along with their traditional manners and innocence. You will find a whole different personality. Though of course, these girls have a right to be educated. there is also something special and timeless about them. Without the corruption of modernity traditional morals are kept alive. An arguement for home schooling maybe?

Of course mixed in with this tradition there is also plenty of signs of change, the girls are breaking out the dreaded skinny jeans, the head scarves getting smaller and the make up, that a girl would never once dreamed of applying outside of a womens party are now common sights.

We enjoy the odd, few days taken out to visit this region. The kids roam freely around the village, fish in the river in spring, ride donkeys in winter and chase chicken around anytime of the year. In summer it is oppresively hot, flies try to take over and with no air conditioning its not much of a pleasure. In winter it is the opposite, extremely cold, snow is common , strong cold winds that remind me of home. And spring is the best. Good temperatures, the country side turns to a beautiful green instead of a burnt brown yellow and wild flowers are every where. Wild spinach grows everywhere as does ‘gurnina’ with just looks like a prickly weed from the surface, but provides a tasty root which is actually pretty delicious!

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last couple of weeks…

…in pictures!

 It has been quite a hectic couple of weeks..hence no posts! In a brief summary….I have salved a craving…..being brought treasure from the sahara….relearned to relax with a bit of crochet…..had a few english classes….had a chocoalte covered baby……prised unwilling school goers from their beds on cold mornings…..prepared favourite coffee treats for dh…..and made a batch of peanut butter, which probably won’t last more then a few days!

 I have also been sewing, but am still tweaking as I’m a bit disappointedas to how it turned out……some really bad measuring!!!

Oh yeah and I went for a scan….so depending on the dr’s interpretation of modern technology……we have been given a boy or girl verdict!

Happy days folks!!!!

and my first

to come hot out of the new sewing area are……………..drum roll…………….

some rather boring but necessary pj trousers! And just in time too for the cold snap we had yesterday. We actually saw snow masha’allah, very briefly yes, but snow none the less! It was my first time seeing snow since we moved into our house 5 years ago. That year it actually settled and we merrily froze in our not quite finished house that still had windows missing  brrr!

And in an attempt to combat the cold nothing appealed to me more then some beans and home made bread, yum.

This bread is one of my enduring culinary memories of the hajj. Been introduced to tamees and fool made a very welcome change to the rice and shawarmas that seem to make up most ready food in mecca and Madina. Of course this is algerian beans and algerian tamees! It is  a recipie that continues to elude me but this is the closest I have come in my experimenting. Its simply flour, vegetable oil, salt , yeast and plenty of warm water for really soft dough. Risen and then rolled out thin and cooked on my clay tagine. Of course traditionally it is cooked in the old clay fire ovens(not sure what they are called) over Afghanistan and Pakistan. Its delicious and also lovely when still warm and labina spread over it yum masha’allah! Sometimes we can even find a tub of Labinah in Algiers these days. Mmmmmmm can feel a new craving coming on!

so far

some days have passed in the whirlwind of dh coming home……unpacking, sorting, washing, sleeping, recovering, visitors and of course much excitement and happiness…..especially for the younger kids masha’allah.

And just as normallity was returning, he had to go again………but insha’allah not for long this time!
So we have to try and regain that sense of normality alone.
So some plans in the offing ofr activities for small peeps and big peeps are on a mission to revise qurana nd the journals are well underway……admittedly not with so much enthusiasm from some!
In between there has been some enjoyment of the sun with playing in the infatable pool, and a trip to the sea.
Oh and baby has passed the 6 month marker masha’allah and taken his first few crawling ‘steps’.
And with a much looked forward to arrival very soon, I am feeling very positive masha’allah wa alhamdulileh!
Hope you bloggers are feeling equally positive……

4 months masha’allah

Baby is now 4 months old masha’allah, seems to be settling into something of a pattern. Leaving me feeling less harrassed and in such a rush to do the essentials! Which has coincided fantastically with my husbands niece going home after spending almost a year with us on and off!! Allah is most merciful, alhamdulileh.

I just love babies feet masha’allah.

We went away at the weekend to stay with sister in law, she lives up in the mountains at Bouira, It is just so beautiful at this time of year. The fresh is great and the kids were out from I dont know what time of the morning( before I woke!!!) until nightfall. The came home with rosey red cheeks, and a splattering of freckles !

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It was nice to get out of the city and have some fresh air, the kids picked edible roots and stuff that looks like weeds and ate them, while dh fruitlessly looked for quail eggs.