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Chinese new year and yearning for beauty

Yesterday attended a deepening in Jonathan's house. Turns out it was gorgeous. Filled with beautiful paintings from Asia! On the way back I saw an ad about Chinese new year and wished out loud that I can participate. When I reach home, I find the neighbour downstairs letter to invite me to the Chinese new year at his home. yay

Degas


Wang Yidong


Liu Derun


Gregory Colbert

Don't forget to check the link above it's so beautiful!

Weekend food

community

I was really inspired when I read about this.

Jessica Gowin Brown "Food for thought:
Poverty exists in many forms, and our market-economy-minded culture causes us to default to thinking of those who are financially less fortunate before we consider all of the many other ways our neighbors may be in need. This is true especially this time of year when the cultural hype of buying things makes us realize how much stuff we have or how much we have-not.
I encourage you to consider this as you offer gifts:
Some are poor in spirit. Lift them up with a smile, a note, a call, a hug as you use a gift to meet them.
Some are poor in skills. Give of your time to teach something new.
Some are poor in human connection. Become their friend as you choose them for your gift. Did you know many people go shopping just because they are lonely?
Some are poor in time. Save them a trip to the store by choosing to give them a gift. I have a friend who has two sets of twins! I know she appreciates every gift that saves her time away from the store, even if she does have the money to buy things for her 4 children.
Some are poor in family. Meeting you while receiving your gift might give them the boost they need to get through an otherwise depressing season while they wait for a loved one to return home or while they wait to go home to their loved one.
Some are poor in community acceptance. Your gift might be the first one your neighbor receives in this community, and it may be the first impression they receive of the community.
Some of our neighbors are poor in health, whether mental health or physical health. Keep them away from the anxiety of shopping this time of year by offering your gifts to them.
When we strive to only give to those who are financially less privileged, we can become blind to the other needs that are right next door. Not all who are suffering are suffering financially.
This is the difference between a gift economy and a charity; A healthy gift economy can fill the emptiness brought on by each one of these forms of poverty. We all have, and we all lack. Let's work together to bring more smiles and joy to ALL members of our community."


I will think of few projects and implement them. I already have in mind free tutoring for children - math. Involve in book sharing.

Uselful links: Buy nothing
Aime

What about you?

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nice evening with friends

... talking about Children's education and having awesome Aubergine chickpeas stew made by Instagram beauty @carmerss

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Be like Bill

Be like Bill is a funny page that I found today.

I even posted this reply to someone else's comment:

This is Diana
Diana doesn't judge people based on their income
Diana doesn't brag about her income
Be like Diana

Turkey - my favourite dishes

1. Borek - filled pastry can be either boiled, baked or fried and fillings vary from spinach and feta to spicy minced chestnut and so on! Needs to be freshly prepared and hot when served.
2. İskender kebap - contains thin and wide strips of meat in tasty tomato sauce with yoghurt and bread.
3. Stuffed oysters - with rice and lemon juice.
4. Roasted chestnuts - everywhere on the street.
5. Turkish pilaf - tastes same as the Romanian one yum yum.
6. Muhammara - spread, made from roasted bell peppers and walnuts. Spicy and concentrated with a good kick.
7. Pasturma sausages

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Aash e Tarkhineh

Yesterday I cooked Aash e Tarkhineh . It came our tasty.

In Cyprus I ate:
Trachanas soup would like to cook it...

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Isparta

Just a small, extremely quiet city lost somewhere in Turkey...









Pamukkale

Wiki - "Travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. Travertine often has a fibrous or concentric appearance and exists in white, tan, cream-colored, and even rusty varieties. It is formed by a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, often at the mouth of a hot spring or in a limestone cave. In the latter, it can form stalactites, stalagmites, and other speleothems. It is frequently used in Italy and elsewhere as a building material."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travertine

With only 4 places in the world like this, I feel very happy and fortunate to have seen one of them.










2015 retrospective

January
Started off the year in London then back to Southampton with 2 weekend trips to

Winchester


Portsmouth with Cristina

February

Quite uneventful except for the brief 2 hours when we had some snow

March

Trips to Southampton library - they have a cool space for children
Dashenka's birthday with our lovely Cristina

April

Southampton under flower attack

May

Resignation, we do a lot of packing, one more London trip and Bornemouth


Norway

June

Glasgow - lovely nature


Meysam's bday

July

We start our devotionals and my bday - Cristina comes over

August

Glasgow botanical garden, mom comes over and start a new job


Glasgow city centre - on my way to the job with a lot of windpipes

September

Family over some restaurants... Visit to Edinburgh, mom leaves

October

Firesite


Stirling daily travels

November

Twin holiday


Interfaith Glasgow

December

London


Edinburgh

.... and hopefully Turkey but that's a separate post

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Ingredients

200g Semolina
4 eggs
4 Tsp Instant Coffee
4 Tsp Cocoa
1 Banana
50g Coconut
100g Sugar
10 Toffee Chocolates

Method
1. Chop the Chocolates. Mix everything together.
2. Butter a tin. Place cake mixture in the tin.

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Company conference


The morning started very early as I couldn't sleep well all night worried that I would lose the plane. Got a cab into the airport where I met Ken - aka Damien. He was the google suggestion of smart casual, and we joked about it. Then I decided to get a bit massage in the airport chair and got a little surprise to see not only my back got massage but also my bottom... Brief breakfast coffee for Ken and me, burger and beer for Ross and James. We almost missed the flight.
BA flight was gorgeous with full English breakfast, then Heathrow express was a bit too slow.


Party time at The Brewery with amazing food... got the joiner of the year :P


Coming back to Glasgow you can see how the weather changes...

Vintage



Today was a good day:
1. run towards the bus who already closed its doors, wave at the driver, he opens the door and tells me: You must be an amazing person, I never open the door - blush blush
2. got a box full of presents from my mom, my childhood Xmas baubles, my first English book signed Diana 1991
3. while reading to my daughter an English book, I was eavesdropping to a conversation in Persian I thought to myself, hell yeah, I can do multitasking.

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Broccoli soup

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the weekend in pics


homemade flat bread with kashk badenjun

assorted indian snacks

recycled old clothes into window barrier

easy n tasty brocolli soup

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Shiraz

From the realm of 1001 nights:

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Strength devotional

Strength

We are Stronger than we think, mentally and physically, generation after generation survivors of famine, war, earthquake, loss. Sometimes we get difficulties that we have to overcome that help us to become stronger, but even without them we have to listen to our inner voice and take the right decision about the direction of our life. If we are not happy with something in our life we have to change it. How many of you have failed at something? When we fail we need to get up, get better and succeed.
Sometimes we are even wary to let others know what we want. We should not. We should always know who we are, what we want and the things that we should not compromise on.
I want that at the end of the evening everyone goes home pondering on their life and how they can make it better by being stronger.
The easy way is not the best one. Is not the most rewarding. It takes strength to make a decision to change the routine of your lifestyle but are we living our life at the fullest potential?
To be strong doesn't always mean to do everything on your own, sometimes we need help and advice. Our own vision can be impaired and we might need advice. It takes strength to ask for help.
To be united makes us stronger as a community and as individuals.

We will start with some Bahai writings, then quotes, small movie, sharing our strength, and finally a game.

Bahai STRENGTH

O my God! O my God! Unite the hearts of Thy servants, and reveal unto them Thy great purpose. May they follow Thy commandments and abide in Thy law. Help them, O God, in their endeavour, and grant them strength to serve Thee. O God, leave them not to themselves, but guide their steps by the light of Thy knowledge and cheer their hearts by Thy love. Verily, Thou art their Helper and their Lord.

In this world we are influenced by two sentiments, Joy and Pain.
Joy gives us wings! In times of joy our strength is more vital, our intellect keener, and our understanding less clouded. We seem better able to cope with the world and to find our sphere of usefulness. But when sadness visits us we become weak, our strength leaves us, our comprehension is dim and our intelligence veiled. The actualities of life seem to elude our grasp, the eyes of our spirits fail to discover the sacred mysteries, and we become even as dead beings.

Quotes
Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
– Arnold Schwarzenegger

Fall down seven times, get up eight.”
– Japanese Proverb

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”
– Audrey Hepburn

“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.”
– James Dean

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
– Bruce Lee



Sharing
Share example that people are really strong, it can be yourself, a friend, family, even someone from history. If you know a quote it will be really nice.

Food for thought
Write down 5 things that are really important to you that would make your life better if you implement them.

After writing them down we found partners to encourage and make us stick to our goals that we achieved for ourselves.

Dashenka 's Xmas letter

Dear Santa,
This year I have been quite good. I love you more, Santa Claus. I like your hat. Thank you for getting some presents for me. I like your jacket and your reindeers. Love from Dashenka.

Cold party food

Happy holiday!

Today it's a big holyday for Bahais all around of the world. It's the birthday of the man who said “Do not be content with showing friendship in words alone, let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your path.”
― Bahá'u'lláh

I wish you all Happy Holiday and meet only people who go by these words, no matter what their religion.



Almost weekend


Viktoria Kutukova


Yejin Jun


Alice Lin


Daniela Fernandez


Sandhi Schimmel Gold


Paula Vrinceanu


Rebecca Nie


Lily Adamczyk


Lily Adamczyk


Lioba Bruckner


Teesin Lem


Norhani Abdul Rahman


Neeraj Parswal


Joyce Lee


Joyce Lee


Xiao Ting Chan

Which one is your favourite?

Mamaliga

Mamaliga, more known to the world as its Italian version polenta, is the most beloved side dish in Romania. Here's 4 ways to enjoy it that are mouthwatering:


- Baked with Sausage and Cheese,
- with Sarmale (meat and rice wrapped in pickled cabbage leaves), sour cream, chilli pepper
- Tochitura, mixed meats cooked in wine, egg and cheese
- with fried fish and garlic paste

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Party food


the first time I ate this salad was at a party. What a delight! I love all the ingredients: mushroom, frankfurter, pickled cucumbers with a dash of mayonnaise such an unexpected yet tasty combination.

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Pepper soup with prawns


Oriental salad


Frappe & jam and toast breakfast


Indian cabbage curry

this is Cyprus

fashion crave

Special movies

Pedro_Almodóvar
All About My Mother (1999)
Talk to Her (2002)
Bad Education (2004)
Volver (2006)

Emir Kusturica
Black Cat, White Cat

Til Schweiger
Barfuss

Nae Caranfil
Filantropica

Cristian Mungiu
Occident

Majid Majidi
Baran

Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano
Intouchables

Tom Tykwer
Run Lola Run

Aamir Khan
Taare zamin par

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Kindness devotional

So happy to host a kindness devotional at my house tomorrow. Thought to share the idea with you, the invisible readers of my blog.

Kindness - to other human beings, to oneself, to animals, to trees, flowers, environment.

First we'll have some readings:


O ye beloved of the Lord! The Kingdom of God is founded upon equity and justice, and also upon mercy, compassion, and kindness to every living soul. Strive ye then with all your heart to treat compassionately all humankind—except for those who have some selfish, private motive, or some disease of the soul. Kindness cannot be shown the tyrant, the deceiver, or the thief, because, far from awakening them to the error of their ways, it maketh them to continue in their perversity as before. No matter how much kindliness ye may expend upon the liar, he will but lie the more, for he believeth you to be deceived, while ye understand him but too well, and only remain silent out of your extreme compassion.

O thou daughter of the Kingdom! Thy letter dated 5 December 1918 was received. It contained the good news that the friends of God and the maidservants of the Merciful have gathered in summer at Green Acre, have been engaged day and night in the commemoration of God, have served the oneness of the world of humanity, have shown love to all religions, have remained aloof from every religious prejudice and have been kind to all people. The divine religions must be the cause of oneness among men, and the means of unity and love; they must promulgate universal peace, free man from every prejudice, bestow joy and gladness, exercise kindness to all men and do away with every difference and distinction. Just as Bahá’u’lláh addressing the world of humanity saith: ‘O people! Ye are the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch.’ At most it is this, that some souls are ignorant, they must be educated; some are sick, they must be healed; some are still of tender age, they must be helped to attain maturity, and the utmost kindness must be shown to them. This is the conduct of the people of Bahá.

Then some quotes:

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”

“You can have everything you want in life if you just help enough people get what they want in life.”

“Your greatness is measured by your kindness; your education and intellect by your modesty; your ignorance is betrayed by your suspicions and prejudices, and your real caliber is measured by the consideration and tolerance you have for others.”

“When we treat people merely as they are, they will remain as they are. When we treat them as if they were what they should be, they will become what they should be.”

“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”

“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”

“We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindness there is at last one which makes the heart run over. ”

Small movie


Friendship tree
Prepare some papers with everybody's name. Have them choose a
heart with another’s name. Have them say the name and a one kind thing about that person, and hang the
heart on a tree branch.

Share a moment when someone has been especially kind to you.

Homework See some ideas at Random acts of kindness and apply them.

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Bagels 3 ways & omelette 2 ways


Bagels with coconut butter and blueberry jam


Pumpkin seeds omelette


Bagels French toasted with garlic and chorizo/ tuna


Tomato omelette

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Lindsay's fireside

I have the honour of knowing Lindsay John Moffat, a very talented artist and great person. Yesterday I went to one of his fire-sides and the subject was the Lotus temple. I was very impressed with the discussion and if you are in India, near New Delhi make sure to visit it.

home
Lindsay was nice enough to allow me to take pictures of his beautiful home, decorated with his own works of art


How Lotus temple was built

Lotus Temple on wikiarquitectura

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Ela pou fovamai



one of my favourite Greek songs

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