Something unusual happened the other day: my neighbour and I had a chat. She lives a few doors up from us, and was out in the sun, tidying the front, as I rounded the corner. I’d just come back from a wonderful writing retreat* and was beaming at everyone.
We said hi, and something prompted me to stop. She is wry, very funny, friendly and is soppy-silly over the babies and littlies in her family, but we don’t seem to chat beyond the occasional sarcastic remark about boy racers or loud music in the street. Usually it’s just a friendly wave or a ‘hi’, maybe a ‘nice weather’…
So we chatted about the weather.
‘Let’s hope it stays this way.’
‘Yeah, though it makes fasting hard.’ Ramadan starts in early June and the long days mean long, deprived hours. ‘Still, Allah will give us patience.’
I wished then I knew the words for ‘Have a good Ramadan’.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this is what electing Sadiq Khan does for us? Reminded us of who we are, got us talking to each other. Or maybe this is what Islamaphobia has finally done for us. With an ‘extremist’ poised to run for US President, with both blatantly and covertly racist political campaigns in this country, maybe London has decided it’s time to make a stand.
Congratulations, Sadiq. And to those of you that will be starting your fast in early June, I wish you Ramadan Mubarak.**
*It was the SCBWI British Isles Spring Retreat. It changed my life!
**My thanks to the writers of this site for educating me.