I used to refer to the UK as Home. It's where I was born, grew up, got married, and lived until 7 months ago when I moved to another country. I was raised to be proud of my British heritage, and informed of UK history. While studying at university I felt compelled to give back to the community and began working in schools, later completing training in Education.

I've worked with difficult youth, experienced their aggression first hand and listened to the reasons behind it. They explained how they felt over-looked, undervalued and misunderstood. They talked about how the groups of friends or gangs gave them purpose and made them feel important, powerful. By over-protecting them and under-disciplining them we've created a generation of misinformed youth that thinks no-one cares. They've become selfish and lack any fear of consequence as they haven't been confronted by any before. They are empowered by their ignorance, believing that looting and public disorder will only effect the police and government. They lack the foresight to understand that it is the hard-working members of their communities they are sabotaging, the people they so desperately want to respect them. So the divide deepens, fear and contempt grow and the rioters don't make their point, it still goes unheard but they do close the doors that could have helped them get it across.

It's so painful to watch the coverage; these young people destroying their memories and their futures, destroying the places they have grown up in, the places they may possibly raise their own families. They don't comprehend the privileges they have access to, they take for granted; the opportunities they are given. I understand that in comparison to others in the UK they may not have much if anything, but consider their fortunes in comparison with other parts of the globe. Yet, they display their selfishness and lacking fear of repercussion by taking the things they want and more beside, but are still too cowardly to show their faces, choosing to hide behind hoods and scarves; they are still children after-all.

Home may no longer be the UK for me, but it holds a hugely special place in my heart. I long for its crisp mornings, frosty windows and cut-grass fragrance. These are the images I will hold dear, hoping that eventually these troublemakers will see sense and beauty in the country they seem intent on destroying. I hope the fear they are creating does not consume too many and they can claw their communities back from these events. The British spirit is strong and welcoming, all those who now call the UK home, I hope, will help to clean it up.

Kt x

A Thursday...

In Dubai, Thursdays are the last day of the working week as the weekend consists of Friday (Prayer day) and Saturday. And yes, getting up on a Sunday to go to work takes a bit of getting used too! Summer vacation means I'm at home and privileged to spend time with this little fella:

We played Jasper's favourite game of chase, under the blanket (he thinks you can't see him, like he's in stealth mode). Although I've learnt from previous games to keep my body parts out of the way so I used a plastic stick as bait.

As you may be aware, it's Ramadan. August is a difficult month for it to fall on as it's so very hot. The Municipality have imposed shorter working hours as they do every Ramadan, which is lovely as it means Mr Shortcake is home a little earlier.

Due to the restrictions on eating and drinkng in public I've not ventured out much other than to pop to the corner shop (it's more of a massive supermarket not on a corner!). Mr Shortcake thought it might be interesting to explore Dubai a little to see what kind of changes take place during Ramadan. We were aware that some businesses close and most food outlets only offer take-away for those not fasting so we went to see for ourselves. We started in the Mall of the Emirates where they have a beautiful display of twinkly Ramadan lights in their fashion dome. The huge inflatable stars pulsated too:

It was eeriely quiet in the shopping mall. Any of you that have visited Dubai will know that the malls are packed day and night so it was very strange to see it so sparsely populated.

Next stop was Safa Park, Gate 4 where they have a cannon that fires at sunset to signal the end of the days' fast. As it is our first Ramadan we were keen to check it out. We weren't sure what to expect but we were certainly a little intimidated by the sight of the sleak military cannon and the four officers sat nearby.

A few spectators had gathered early like us, but as sunset drew closer large SUV's pulled in with the passengers choosing to remain in the air-conditioned atmosphere of their vehicles rather than stand on the side lines with us. I moved at the last minute and stood on the other side where you can see the people in the image above. You will see from the video I've included below that it may not have been the best idea.

BOOM! I'm grateful that my ears didn't mind the sudden abuse but the poor young man next to me was a little shocked by the sound.

As the call to prayer rang out and the fast was broken we drove to Jumeirah Mosque, a mosque that is open to visitors on certain days. They had put in an extra special effort to decorate the mosque for Ramadan and it looked spectacular:

So beautiful! It was lovely to view and experience some of the aspects of Ramadan here in Dubai. We also plan to visit an Iftar buffet at some point too. Traditionally fast is broken with dates (I love dates) and juice, followed a little later with a slighltly heavier meal, but of course in Dubai there are many many variations to try. Tomorrow we have a clothing fitting at the tailors, I've never had tailor made clothes before so I'm a little excited!
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