Smoking Past – Smoking Present by Spearfruit (BLW Contributor)



Sometimes I will write a post and not finish it for different reasons.  I started this post last year and I do not remember why I did not finish it – but decided now was a good time.

The following words were written on May 17, 2015 –

On social media, I recently read about a person’s encounter with people who smoke.  This person observed a smoker who had no teeth, was coughing and had a ‘smoker’s voice’.  This person wrote that is was clear to them that this was cancer waiting to happen.

I remember a time when employees could smoke at their job in their cubicles.  Many changes have occurred referring to smoking and smokers.  I understand that smoking is bad and can cause illness and death.  I understand smoking affects those people that do not smoke.  I understand the laws that prevent smoking in public buildings and certain areas within a city.  What I do not understand is why those that do not smoke think they can diagnose cancer.  Why is this?

Ok, I get it – I am ranting some because as a smoker I do get a little irritated that nonsmokers seem to know more than I about the outcomes of smoking.  I am a courteous smoker; I do not smoke in my own home, when somewhere else I go hide to smoke as to not bother anyone else and I do not like the smell of smoke – I hate the smell of smoke in clothes, in rooms, etc.

My point is I know smoking kills and I choose to smoke.  I know smoking can kill others and I choose not to smoke around them.  I know smoking can shorten my life span and I am ok with that.

The following words I am writing today –

I have smoked off and on since I was 15 years old – 40 years now! I have quit smoking on several occasions cold turkey with the longest non-smoking period of 4 years.  Why do I quit then to go back to start again?

In my postAddictions or Habits or Routines‘, I concluded with the following –

My point to this post is I have a habit of being drawn to addictions and routinely have quit addictions and started the same addictions again time after time.  So are addictions an issue or is it the routinely stopping and starting the habits of addictions the issue, or is it the habits that cause the routines of addictions the issue?

On my recent visit to my urologist Dr. F., he told me I needed to quit smoking.  He said the tumor on my bladder will have to be surgically removed, and continuing to smoke, the next time the whole bladder may need to be removed.

Today I am still smoking, and tomorrow I will smoke, but the next day is the day I will once again quit – hopefully for the last time.

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Nearly there…no idea what lies ahead! by Mubeenazam (BLW Contributor)


So here it is, my first ever blog, very excited as I have no idea what I am really doing but hope that it will be lots of fun and games along the way!   It is for family, friends, people who like me and those who don’t and those who simply want to know what other human beings are getting up to in their life!

My hope is that this blog will interest people, inspire others to ‘Be the change that you what to see in the world’ (Gandhi) and allow some to look at life in a  different way and not be afraid to break from the norm and the ‘system’ we are in.

So here is the overview of what we are setting out to do…hopefully!

For those who do not know me my name is Mubeen Azam and in May of this year I resigned from my job as a teacher after seven amazing, challenging and fruitful years in Cornwall, UK.  A change was needed to reevaluate and refocus our perspective on what life is, so we decided to travel to Canada for a break, a holiday, well an extended holiday…for a year!

I will be travelling with my beautiful, supportive, caring, loving, intelligent and rock of a wife, Nour, who literally has been my guiding light since we first met in January 2001 and who I could not live without as I believe I am of her and she is of me and whatever has happened so far in our life and what will happen in our future is simply meant to be.

By the grace of God we have been blessed with three a beautiful daughters, Fatimah (8, going on 18), Maryam (4, going on 14) and the one who rules, Sara (2, who has been here forever)!

I certainly don’t feel it and many, many, many people tell me I don’t look it  :)but I will be 40 this August and I wanted to give my own personal meaning to the saying ‘life begins at 40’…so we are nearly there as we travel in less than 36 hours, hope you enjoy the journey too and remember, chill it’s just Mubeen!!!

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I Pen Life by Being a Woman (BLW Contributor)


Women Obstacles.jpg

Over the weekend when I went for my Zumba class, a man walking behind me, held the door open for me. I smiled acknowledging his chivalry and rushed inside so not to keep him waiting. If you are reading between lines, I would like to elucidate that I do not take chivalry (originated from knighthood) as a portrayal of being a damsel in distress, but I accept it graciously as a symbol of courtesy and respect which sparks a positive note in the everyday monotony. I read that chivalry in today’s world is surviving on a life support, as most women of today treat it as symbol of weakness. Not me though, for I enjoy being treated like a queen, and to have someone pull out my chair for me or open the door is pleasing.

The same night I was reading to my boys, and then I skipped a dialogue intentionally where the brother says to her sister, “It’s not a girls job to put off the fire!” I was agitated to say the least, as no one has the right to define what a girl ought to do. And I am sure that I do not want my boys to grow up with a predefined biased thinking that stereotypes a woman’s role. 

Call the above two scenarios as my double standards or two sides of the same coin, wherein I enjoy chivalry, but at the same time I do not want anyone to dictate my role and responsibilities. I am not a feminist or for that matter I do not like my views to be labelled. I am not in competition with men or participate in the argument of fairer sex. In my perspective, men and women are gifted with different qualities, and serve different roles on earth and this does not make one inferior over the other. The genders exist to complement each other and thus grow together. The problem arises when one thinks the other has a subservient role, which ignites the fight for equality.

In my current avatar, I am blessed with multiple roles- I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a niece, and also an aunt. I am a wife, and a daughter-in-law. I am a mother. I am a friend. Above all, I am a woman.

I spawned pretty much like everybody else-as a seed inside another woman – my mother. And as part of growing up, somewhere I realized that people around me had a more gentle demeanor towards me than my boy cousins. That was the first difference that struck my lady soul.

As much as I enjoy the freedom of wide selection of dress styles and accompanying shoes, I am also the target of criticism about my looks and hair than the men around me. I became conscious early on about the fact that I could get the attention, if I dress up in a certain way. Also, not often does someone compliments the appearance of men….but women are often graded for the looks and the have nots.

But it requires a lot more than appearance and body strength to live a life, and a woman is empowered with all these instincts and life energy. As I was raised by a strong independent woman, my mom, I did not consider my gender as a limitation to be me. I was raised to become professionally and emotionally independent. I learnt early on that a woman has much more to her than what society has laid out. I was not pigeonholed into doing the household work that is typically expected of a women, which is cooking, cleaning and knitting.  My mother believed that these are the skills that will be learnt when put to test as a wife and a mother, and she was so right. A woman has an uncanny art of performing these vital chores in her pajamas and flip flops, and still be at an office or to a party looking sharp.

It is a beautiful truth that a woman has the power to nurture a life inside her body, as well as have an influence over the children and the family in her world. She has the strength to keep the family together or otherwise, she is an epitome of courage that a man taps into when he needs support.  A woman is an enigma, hiding a mystical contrast of traits from being an emotional reck to being placid like a lake.

My women friends, you are a full circle and you do not need someone else’s validation tomove ahead in life. 

Even when the society does not seem welcoming of your ambitions, remind yourself that you have all the qualities within you to follow your calling with full throttle….and the world will eventually respect your views. The path to your destination is not easy, it has never been! But I want to be assured my lady friends, that you have made your own choice of destination without any outside influence. And making your own choices and going after it, makes you responsible, independent and a happy you! Be what you want to be! Be you! Be the woman you are meant to be!

Check out other great articles from Being a Woman


This is you Chance to Post on BLW!!! – Share your Thoughts, Stories & Ideas with us, we will post it on all our social media sites







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Real drugs by innocent bastards (BLW Contributor)


we drink tv
smoke porn
sniff sex
inhale adverts
that makes us lazier and weaker 
but what's inside you?


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I’m here for the Shavasana by Lady Dickson (BLW Contributor)


I have been doing yoga on and off for about 5 years. In September, I joined an actual studio, Sattva School of Yoga, instead of going to the yoga classes at the gym. Which I quit. Who needs a gym membership when your own condominium has a free gym! The yoga studio I joined is warm and friendly and insanely popular. Good, I like to fall on my face in front of an audience. From September to mid-November, I was going a lot. Mid-November hits and I couldn’t go anymore due to some health reasons. But now that that’s all cleared up, I’m back.

You know what’s not “like riding a bike”? Yoga. For the most part anyways. Before the monthish hiatus, I was bending and doing yoga-y things with somewhat ease. My first class back to yoga at the beginning of January was a fucking nightmare. The practice changes every month so there’s variety, which is awesome. But apparently they decided January should be Hey You’re Fat From Christmas, Let’s Get Goddamn Real Up In Here month. Which, fair.

My ability to flow through the freaking 5 sun salutations we do at the beginning of class, was lost. I can still get through them, but instead of looking like a graceful swan, I am now a drunk flamingo with spaghetti for arms.

I praise the lord every time the instructor ends this portion of the class. After this, we do the basic warrior poses, which are my favourite poses. Hello legs, feel the goddamn BURN. Warrior poses are never taken out of the monthly practices. They are constant because they murder and sculpt your legs into things of beauty.

We move on through the class and I turn into a sweaty monster. I have all the leg strength in the world and can hold poses for a long ass time, but if my spaghetti bullshit arms are involved at all when holding a pose, it’s basically a joke.

Which brings us to the new move that was inserted into January’s class.
Motherfucking Peacock.

Peacockyeah I’ll just file this under Nope.

To be fair, a lot of people couldn’t do it. Which, thank god. I didn’t want to be the only one sitting on my mat, laughing like an idiot. I mean, I was able to put my arms down on the mat like that. But….no. That’s it. That’s all I attempted round one.

The second class, my arms are all backwards and I managed to put my forehead on the ground in front of me. Lifting the legs is a major LOL. Maybe by the end of this month, I will be able to…… everyone else…succeed. Yeah. That’ll do.

I know there’s always one pose I cannot do in this class. They always put in an advanced pose, which is cool because GOALS. But instead of just putting the one advanced pose in this month, they decided two would be ideal as hell.

Half Lotus Son of a Bitch Crow.

Half Lotus Crowwhy is your foot…up there.

I like crow pose. It’s fun and tough. But THIS. This is also…fun and tough. The first class, I sucked a bag of dicks. I was able to get Lotus all up in my grill, bending over was fine, but that’s as far as girlfriend got.

The second class, I tried to put my knee on my forearm and lean forward but Spaghetti Arm was like “WAT R U DOING” and I promptly fell to the ground. Life is great and not at all embarrassing.

Here’s the best part about this yoga studio, my yoga studio: Ain’t nobody there to laugh at you falling on your face. The class is filled with beginners, intermediates, and advanced homies. And everyone at some point has probably fallen on their faces in front of people. And no one cares. Everyone is too focused on their own shit to probably even notice you falling over.

Even though I shit on myself for not being able to do these poses yet, I’ve only done them twice. For 5 years, I could not do a headstand. Well the time has come, everyone. I can do one now. I can finally stand on my fucking head without the support of a wall.


To the people out there who think yoga is bullshit and not a real work out, I would love to see you take a class and not break out into a serious sweat and feel the burn the next day. It’s such a good way to learn about your body and see what needs work. It’s not about getting to the final stage of an epic pose (even though that is an awesome feeling), it’s what you learned on the way to it. Which muscles you need to use, discovering new muscles you didn’t know you had, how to balance perfectly, how to breathe properly. It’s something I will never give up ~~aNd NeItHeR sHoUlD yOu~~


Check out other great articles from Lady Dickson

Chapter 1 by Sleepless Temples (BLW Contributor)



Show me your beautiful mind
Open this book for me
and let me in.
I can’t help but read.
I want to get the feel
of the pages torn
written all over
and soaked in moments.
Let me hear
all the rumor of mistakes
joys and little victories
silences of deep thought
the all alone You.

Check out other great articles from Sleepless Temples


Photography: Reflections by Impavid Thought (BLW Contributor)


I wasn’t originally planning a second photography session today. However, tomorrow’s classes got cancelled so procrastination was inevitable. I didn’t think that there was going to be much of a sunset tonight, but I am definitely glad I was wrong.

Here is the work of my procrastination:





Today was warm enough for some of the snow on the road to melt, which left wonderful puddles for beautiful photos.

Check out other great articles from Impavid Thought

Forget me Not – Philip Seymour Hoffman (July 23, 1967 – February 2, 2014)


Philip Seymour Hoffman was an American actor, director, and producer of film and theater. Best known for his distinctive supporting and character roles – typically lowlifes, bullies, and misfits – Hoffman was a regular presence in films from the early 1990s until his death at age 46.

Drawn to theater as a teenager, Hoffman studied acting at New York University‘s Tisch School of the Arts. He began his screen career in a 1991 episode of Law & Order and started to appear in films in 1992. He gained recognition for his supporting work throughout the decade, notably in Boogie Nights (1997), Happiness (1998), The Big Lebowski (1998), Magnolia (1999), and The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999). He began to occasionally play leading roles, and for his portrayal of the author Truman Capote in Capote (2005), won multiple accolades including the Academy Award for Best Actor. Hoffman’s profile continued to grow, and he received three more Oscar nominations for his supporting work as a brutally frank CIA officer in Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), a priest accused of pedophilia in Doubt (2008), and the charismatic leader of a Scientology-type movement in The Master (2012).

Credit: Wikipedia

Top 10 Philip Seymour Hoffman Performances

I hate my pain by Seachy Waffles (BLW Contributor)


I’ve thought about blogging this several times and every time I have stopped myself as I hate to be negative, or moaning, and the last thing I want is pity but some days I just want to scream and shout ‘I fu@king hate my pain’

We live in a world of social media and everything is played out on it like we live in some sort of eternal soap. I don’t watch the soaps as they are all negative anyway. I understand the irony of this comment as this is about to go on social media so I guess I am leaving myself open for a load of trolling but c’est la vie.

I hate seeing comments like woe is me I’m single, or my days ruined it’s raining, or even worse the people who say to me you are so lucky being at home in this weather. Lucky is scooping the jackpot on the lottery, lucky would have been to drive an alternative way home that night in 2002 when some @rsehole changed my life so I am now unrecognisable to the person I once was. Lucky is not living in constant pain, and when I say constant pain I mean real chronic constant pain not the people who say to me oh I know how you feel I spent Saturday in the Garden and at the end of the day I was stiff so had a warm bath.

From the minute I get up everything I do causes pain and aggravates my condition. My nerve endings are so on fire that even the touch of clothing is like a thousand needles prickling me all over. I have a rail to use to get me out of bed and it’s a short stroll using my walking sticks to the bathroom each step feeling like I’m walking on daggers. I use my toilet frame to be able to go to the toilet even a piss, yes standing is impossible, my legs would go numb my body would spasm and I’d be pissing all over the bathroom! The shower takes forever sitting on a stool and olnly being able to reach certain areas on my body, and needing help to wash some of the most intimate areas (degrading at any age but at 37 makes me feel so useless). Getting dressed has to be done sitting down, again with help. I love the summer as flip flops mean my wife doesn’t have to put socks on each day. Then its morning meds just the 10 a mixture of opiates, pregabalin, diazepam, paracetemol and an anti inflammatory.

The day drags on and on and on, each hour made up of sitting in a number of different positions, laying, walking, doing some stretches and generally doing anything to try and limit the pain that is coursing through every fibre. A cough is like a hammer to my spine, a sneeze like shotgun, even a yawn hurts. Sitting and pooing takes an age, trying to use my sphincter muscles feels like a boa constrictor squeezing my spine and making my arms and legs go numb.

I long for even the postman or woman to knock on my door (they know to wait a little while as it takes time to get to the door) so I have someone even briefly to talk to. My meds make it impossible for me to drive with the new laws that came in to effect in June, I’m not capable of looking after my daughter as I can fall asleep at any point so she goes to my parents and I sit home alone. If I’m lucky a friend or family member will pop over (but most are working themselves so can’t very often) to see me or to put together my scooter or wheelchair and take the “cripple” out for a walk and some fresh air. Where we have to plan where to go because so many places remain inaccessible to disabled people. Any trip out entails more medication and results in increased pain having a fun day trip relieves the boredom but by the end of it I am so spaced out and had so many tablets that I don’t know my own name let alone what day of the week it is, thank goodness for digital cameras and photos to be able to look back at the day out.

I constantly spill my drinks as holding them is agony, and typing this takes days to keep going back and typing a few more words each day. I constantly forget what I’m meant to do each day, we’ve nearly run out of insurance on both the house and car as I forget to call and pay or arrange.

I rely on others cooking my tea and have to eat as quickly as possible as sitting on a dining chair is yet another every day task that kills. Others load my washing machine, dishwasher and generally care for me or unpaid. It’s no wonder I feel like a burden to sooo many people.

My specialists have all told me to give up working (I am a mentor for 16-19 year olds and I love it), however I have now missed more days off work than I have worked in the last 13 years, and whilst my work are being supportive I think the reality is this latest deterioration has resulted in this becoming impossible. I don’t however want to be branded as a good for nothing scrounger as disabled people are all too often portrayed in the press and who time and time have money cut. Ideally if I was unable to work I would volunteer locally to help people when I can maybe being a phone befriender for age uk calling people a couple of times a week that I can do from home and not let people down.

Evening comes and it is lovely to have my wife and two kids at home, even though playing with them is painful and difficult seeing their faces, hearing their laughter and screams and having bedtime cuddles (gently of course as it hurts) gives me a bright few hours then. Then if we are lucky my wife and I watch a film from different sofas as it hurts cuddling up as we once did, and that I loved. I hope she knows I love her and despite the lack of physical contact I love her more every day. Bedtime and it’s the painful toothbrushing as I cannot stand at the sink with the slight bend everyone else takes for granted. Laying in bed is painful, I move and fidget and keep my wife awake unfairly as she works 60 hours+ each week just to keep the roof over my head. Eventually as sleep evades me I take my last lot of meds taking the daily total to over 30 tablets and I move back to the lounge to repeat my sit, shuffle, move, lay and go mad at the cr@p on TV. I long to try and control my pain again, I didn’t ask for it, I didn’t ask for some arse to cause a RTA and I certainly didn’t ask to suffer for the rest of my life. I am fed up of long periods of my pain controlling me and putting on the fake smile and yes I’m not too bad that most people hear because let’s be honest who really wants to know how painful pooing is!

The next time I am told how lucky I am to be at home I want to scream all this at them, but the reality is the reply will be, actually I miss not working, and not being able to look after my child on my own. I long to just get the pain under control so I am controlling my life again, and can control the pain as opposed to pain controlling me so that at the very least some of my tablets can be reduced and I can ride my mobility scooter taking my girl to school safely in the future and without the funny stares.

Of course this is a reflection of my worse days, when those darkest feelings are all absorbing and consuming. The pain never goes but I do have days where I feel a little happier in myself and a bit more positive but on these days don’t be fooled into thinking the pain has gone. I have finally accepted that this will never happen, now begins the long journey into sorting out life, my emotions, accepting help from others, not being embarrassed by my various mobility aids and to make the most of the precious time I have with family and friends.

Check out other great articles from Seachy Waffles