I’ve been invited to afternoon tea!

In Picadilly!

Dear me, I must remember to crook my pinkie finger as I sip it!

I’m practicing even as I type this! Does make reaching the the ‘p’s and ‘q’s and apostrophes rather difficult! LOL

Can you tell I’m getting excited about the England trip???

As if I didn’t have enough on my plate with trekking up to Bradford and Coventry (Bradford’s halfway in the middle of England, a three hour train ride north of London!) I was finally approached by a Muslim school interested in having me.

When I told her how much I usually charge, she politely declined and said maybe next time even though I’d told them to ‘pay what you can’.

I know how poor Muslim schools are! For goodness sakes I don’t expect them to meet my normal fees! 

I want them to know that for once the bias of being Muslim works in their favour. I’m ‘giving back’. And yet still it has been frustrating because so many Muslim communities don’t take advantage of my offer.

Some might think that it would be wiser to just tell them I’ll do it for free.

No! No! No!

Don’t ever do that.

They’ll think you’re worthless.  Or desperate.

And they’ll treat you like garbage.

Been there, done that.

Felt sorry for the kids but vowed I’d never do it again.

I always tell them what I normally charge, then I tell them to pay what they can.

It puts the onus on them.

But apparently doing this has ‘scared them off’.

One teacher told me she felt bad inviting me when they couldn’t pay me properly and ‘maybe next time’.

I really had scared them off.

And you know what it reminded me of?

All those scenarios where the really nice guys are too intimidated by the beautiful bombshell on the other side of the room to even approach her.

Guess who’s the ‘beautiful bombshell’ in this scenario???


Omigosh! It makes me laugh!

I have never *intimidated* anyone in my life! Not even when I wanted to! Um… especially when I wanted to!

Even my kids would mostly just laugh when I got really mad at them.

I was telling one of my daughters this afternoon about it and she said how it was understandable. She said how would they know that I really mean it when I say ‘pay what you can’?

And then she reminded me of the fact that I actually think quite differently from other people.

Well, the long and the short of it is that I will be visiting an Islamic school in London after all! I’ll be doing two presentations with them on Monday morning insha Allah.

I’m looking forward to it. Then the head teacher is taking me to Kew Gardens. Heard they’re worth seeing.

And then Monday afternoon is the afternoon tea in Picadilly! With an illustrator who does some amazing Islamic-style illustration. Check out her website: http://ayeshagamiet.com/ 

It was her idea to invite me to a traditional English tea in Picadilly!

Oh, even saying the word Picadilly tickles me inside!

I’ll be staying in three different hotels in five nights, and then I come back to London and stay with a colleague. Yikes!

And I’m going to be way out of my comfort zone navigating the London underground tube and national train system. (The map for the tube looks like a ball of tangled multi-coloured string!!!)

See? Each subway line is a different colour!

 When a lady told me to use the tube/subway I was thinking of our own humble underground here in Toronto. It is VERY straightforward! Not so the London tube system!

But they do have one thing on us. Convenience. You can get almost ANYWHERE by tube there!

Oh, and I have to get something called an Oyster card. It’s like a loaded tim card where you put money on it and just flash your card and it automatically deducts your fare. Should have ordered one weeks ago but didn’t.

Oh well.

Not sure how much blogging I’ll be able to do while there, although I am taking my laptop.

So on that note, I’ll be bleedin’ signin’ off.

Top of the day ta’ ya’ Guvnor!

Ketch ya’ on the comeback!

(Pardon my atrocious attempt at a cockney accent! It’s the excitement! Really!)