Hello and Peace to you all,
It’s been a very long time.
Very is actually a VERY big understatement. It’s actually been so long since I’ve logged into Fatima Cooks that I forgot where I had to log in to and after eventually locating the correct server, forgot my password and had to reset it – it’s been a long while, friends.
It’s been a tough year and half for me. The last time I posted was on the 25th of March 2016 and as I type, it is 11:11pm on the 12th of October 2017. The past year and a half has been comprised of, amongst so many things, many devastating financial blows, housing troubles, an awful, extremely difficult pregnancy, an unfortunate mortgage which failed to go through days before exchanging with a one week old in my arms, a sudden holiday to Pakistan to, amongst many things, take my mind off the mortgage, a family tragedy with the death of my beloved father-in-law in the ill-fated PK666 flight from Chitral to Islamabad during said holiday and a lengthy compensation case with PIA which had my husband away from home for a very long time, and more housing troubles. This is just all the stuff that made it to the short-list. It’s been a much more testing time than words can begin to express. At one point, everything turned into one huge tornado of mental chaos and craziness – so much so that for some days, even merely functioning became too much to handle. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to put into words how life-shattering it is to put everything you have ever worked hard and earned for on the line for a roof of your own and have that taken away from you with a baby in your arms. Or maybe one day I’ll be able to convey how our worlds turned upside down every time my father-in-laws name was repeated, again and again, for days on end, on the news as being amongst the 46 causalities on that doomed flight. One day, I’ll be able to say exactly how demoralising it is to lose your home and be under someone else’s for over a year with no way out in sight. But for now, it all comes together as just one heavy lump in my throat and a shiver up my spine.
However, there was good news too. On the 19th of September 2016, we were blessed a thousand times over. My little girl, the light of not just my own, but my entire family’s eyes, was gifted to us. She was born amidst the storm of an uncertain mortgage, we had to leave our flat and were living with my Mum, financial strain and much much more, but when she was put on my chest, it all became a faint whimper in the background. Even now, when she is in my arms pressed against me, her warm little head and her bed of soft hair tucked under my chin, it feels like nothing bad has ever even happened.
Of course, it would be 7 days short of 13 months after her birth that I would feel some normalcy in my life – enough for me to be able to log onto Fatima Cooks with the intention of making a come-back. Took me a while, didn’t it? My daughter, Lil Z’, the sweetest, cuddliest and most adventurous little girl has been a handful! The day she was born, all the midwives who saw her commented on how ‘active’ she was, kicking away with her eyes darting left and right, with no interest in sleep. Their comments would make me grin from ear-to-ear with joy.
But I quickly learnt I would not be grinning from ear-to-ear at 5.27am the 11th morning in a row with a baby in the basket next to me who thinks it’s playtime. I struggled with motherhood a lot, and it was mostly down to total lack of sleep and rest and an overwhelming, demanding feeding schedule. Lil Z’ did not like sleeping one bit and fed little, but frequently! There were times I thought I would go crazy, and with my husband away for such a long time when Lil Z’s wakefulness was at it’s peak, I think I actually did have a few breakdowns on my own. And that is the biggest explanation for my extended absence from Fatima Cooks – just one part of it, but certainly the largest.
Things have been looking up recently. My little girl turned one last month, me and my sister-in-law began working on a lil’ side business which is beginning to set off the ground, and we’ve finally found an affordable house to move into (like gold dust in London). My little girl is also
kind of sleeping through the night.
I feel like I owe so much to each and every one of you who has read my blog, tried my recipes and sent me love and prayers, and that is the reason why I’m posting this. I have never forgotten you guys or the blog, it was just life and new-found motherhood which caught up on me.
I have been so incredibly humbled by the immense love Fatima Cooks has received since it’s birth in April 2014. I am blown away by the amount of hits and shares this little blog gets daily. My most popular recipe, my Chicken Pilau, has over 1.2k shares on Pinterest! That is A LOT of people! And the emails and comments I have gotten from lovely people who have tried my recipes out is unbelievable. I’ve received emails from all kinds of people from all over the world, from British women who have married Pakistani men and have learnt to cook from Fatima Cooks, to newly wed wives cooking in their in laws and students studying in places like America, Saudi Arabia and Japan who are missing the food of their Mother Land. I’ve gotten emails from Mauritius, China, Canada, Indonesia and so many more placesI am so truly touched by these beautiful messages. I read them all, they make my day and they are the reason I am making a come-back to Fatima Cooks, by the will of God.
I don’t know when exactly I’ll be back, but it’ll be very soon. I’m just touching down to let you guys I haven’t bade farewell to Fatima Cooks. In the meantime, I will continue to check e-mails and respond to them.
Stay blessed, everyone. Much love to everyone who is reading this.