Love Letter to TCFT


I was a shell when I met you,

Waiting to be cracked open,


Set free into the world.

Closing myself off,

Not seeing my potential,

Believing I was good enough

Or able to reach my dreams.

Fearful of everything –


Being vulnerable,


Looking a fool;

But with you,

I cracked open,

Potential spilling out,

Fears released;

You taught me how to fly.

A confidence began to grow,

A confidence I never knew I had,

Breaking out of my comfort zone,

But feeling comfortable,

The good replacing the bad.

A place where I could be vulnerable,

Reveal the inner me,

Act a little weirdly,

Laugh loudly,

Or openly express my grief.

Learning how to fly

Just scratches the surface

Of what you mean to me


I never imagined two years ago

In Bosnia,

I’d have another huge family;

Like a lamb thrown to the wolves,

I didn’t know where to turn,

But I was adopted in,

Joined the pack,

Found a home away from home.

The love I feel is like no other,

Support beyond compare,

Hugs, kisses, kind words

Around every corner,

Bright smiles

And touches of care.

It started with my house sisters,

Nomes and Ellie,

Who shared a room with me;

Then Filip and Rory made me feel part of the pack,

Voice-noting the sister who means the world to me.

The care shown by Mikica and Robert,

Nevena and Ljubiša when I felt anaemic,

Bonding over dinner with Nina and Marko,

Sitting down to talk with Sandra.

Also having a heart-to-heart with Naomi,

A never-ending handshake with Miguel,

Chatting for hours with Saaf,

Dancing with Saša.

Thank you Tina for being my constant champion,

Thank you Darren for your thoughtful advice,

Thank you Mary for coming down to Croydon

And filming my poetry night.

I love you Francesco for being so full of life,

I love you Ismir for your beautiful smile,

I love you Luka for being so cute and sweet,

I love you Carina for your kind heart.

The list is endless,

I could go on for hours,

You’ve all touched my life in some way;

We’re family,

You’re in my heart,

Forever there you’ll stay.

You’ve given me a place to belong,

Which I never thought I’d find,

You gave me a gift

And so much more to write;

An answer to a prayer

I had no idea I prayed.

So this letter is to you TCFT,

My life-changer,

A gift from God,

My family;

I love you with all my heart

And always will.


Shaniqua, Shefika, Shani


Time Flies By

It’s crazy when I think about how quickly time has flown by and every year, it seems like time flies by faster and faster.  As you stop and think, it’s not long before you realise another year has passed and you are already half way through another one.  It’s summer right now, but before you know it, it will be winter and we’ll be celebrating Christmas again.  Then New Year’s Eve will come, leading us into yet another new year.

Today is my little sister’s birthday.  Well, she’s not so little anymore, but she will always be my little sister to me.  My sister is 18 now, which is just crazy!  I remember when she was the little girl with the chubby cheeks and cheeky face, but now she’s an adult.  My sister is really very mature for her age, but thinking about her actually turning 18 is weird to me.

What is even weirder though, is that I will be turning 21 myself next month.  For some reason, I never thought about turning 21;  I only ever thought about turning 18, mainly because I wanted to get my ears pierced and I was very excited about finally being able to do that.  There was a part of me that didn’t seem to think I would reach the age of 21, although I always thought about myself in the future, running my own business and being married to the love of my life.  Turning 21 just never seemed to fit into the equation.  It also seems like I just celebrated my 20th birthday recently, so the fact that my birthday has come around so quickly just baffles me.

I think it is really special that my sister and I are able to share these milestone birthdays together in the same year, as no one means more to me in this world than her.  I want us to enjoy our celebrations and make the most of our summer, before we get back to education in the Autumn.  I just hope the time doesn’t fly by too quickly…