Thursday, 28 August 2008

Time for another photo


This is the pots fountain on the Corniche in Doha. 

Somewhere

I gave in today. I decided that having a sick day wasn't the end of the world. How could I know that it would be such a great spring day. The sun shine was warm, even while I was still laying in bed catching up on some lost sleep. 
Since then I have sat in the sun, painted my nails (a true sign of spring) and checked out which pair of heels I will take to Sydney. A very exciting way to spend a Thursday, completely restful. I checked out the temperatures in Sydney and I'm delighted to say its warm. So looking forward to soaking up some much missed heat. 
I also had a couple of phone calls. One excited me. My lovely friend Karen from Rotorua is attending a conference in Wellington in September so we are planning to get together there for a girls weekend. We have had some great times in Wellington together, usually with our friend Sue. Sue's in Al Ain so Karen and I will just have to cope on our own. I think there's enough vino in stock in Wellington to keep us satisfied. If Sue was there, well that would be doubtful. While Karen is conferencing I might just be tempted to check out the shops. Can never have enough pairs of shoes. 
I have also been listening to my music all day. Somewhere Over the Rainbow has just come on. I will have a go at adding a version that makes most people cry from You Tube. Yes it is worth getting through the preamble to hear this child sing, magic.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Oh no, what a day!

It started off well enough, woke with a sore throat and feeling like I wanted sleep for much longer. I think I should have listened to my body and rung in sick, but no says the person with 22 sick days up her sleeve, I'm expected somewhere so I'll go. 
I dragged myself up and out of the house. My visit went really well, my feeling of being unwell didn't change so I slipped off early and went home to write up my reports. The night before I had spent some considerable time catching up on my reports, a curse of this job. I am also writing an article for a journal and I had worked on this a bit over the past few days. 
Then the day turned to custard. I turned on my trusty lap top, the one where I have had to have an external mouse for some time. The built in mouse pad gets hot enough to burn and the curser shoots around with a mind of it's own shutting me down every now and again without warning. My tech guy told me that it was only a matter of time until the whole computer gave up the ghost. That time was today.......
I have the ability to back up at work and luckily had done so fully before I went to Qatar. I had also backed up individual files and emailed others so not too much lost. Well by not too much, I mean the whole article which was taking shape nicely, some personal photos of my travels and a pile of the dreaded reports. The words from the lovely computer tech Kylie, sorry can't retrieve any of your files, the computer is too far gone. I knew those noises were ominous. Sigh, back to the drawing board. 
The good thing is that I have a replacement lap top sitting here tonight, a computer in a similar state to the dead one so I am not going to do any catch up work tonight, well except catching up on a nice light pino gris or several. The best feeling like I've got the flu antidote that I know. 

Monday, 25 August 2008

Rick Stein

I don't watch much TV, well except for the sport, but was trawling through the channels and found an amazing program on Italy. Italy and more importantly Italian food. Such wonderfully simple food that we enjoyed on our trip. The scenery is also amazing as Rick Stein, that man has my life, travels his way sampling the local food. Truffles, tomatoes, pasta, vino as well as the fresh meats and seafood. 
Watching Rick tour, cook and eat made me want to travel to Italy again, not so easy to organise from New Zealand for a weekend. It also looked very warm, not like here at the moment with rain outside. Sitting in front of the fire vicariously traveling from my couch, well that will have to do for now.
Anyway, my next trip begins on Friday, off to Sydney and Canberra. I haven't seen Tim and 
Sarah for over eight months so hanging out to spend some time with them. I hear it's very cold over there so will be packing the winter woolies. Would much rather be going somewhere warmer.  

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Time

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity

- Henry Van Dyke

I found this quote on the Yahoo horoscopes and thought it was apt for today. I am not a very patient person so I find waiting a trial. At the moment I am waiting to go to Australia on Friday, waiting to hear from friends having computer issues on the other side of the world, waiting for Tim and Sarah to come home and waiting to see my Qatar friends in early October. 

Most of all I am waiting for spring, for sunshine and warmth. The daffodils are coming out and I hope to photograph these in the next few day so watch this space. Lamb are arriving, the snow is retreating a little and the sun has some warmth. 

I have Ruby staying with me at the moment while her mum and dad are away for the weekend. It's great to have her company, such a switched on 11, nearly 12, year old. She's watching me typing a the moment, being very patient. Here's Ruby saying hi.

"One of the books that I'm reading -which is a really cool book - is 'Uncle Johns Biggest Ever Bathroom Reader' and it is filled with really interesting facts like: We are outnumbered, there are 7000 new insects species discovered every year. I think that every one who knows Julie is very lucky because she is a really cool and interesting person!"

Thanks for that Ruby, OK that comment cost me a fortune. We walked Sam this morning and bought lolly cake on the way home, time to go eat it. 

Friday, 22 August 2008

A conversation

I am getting my front tooth fixed at the moment, the casualty of a mountain bike crash many years ago and now needing to be smarted up so I can enjoy smiling. Going to the dentist has never been the highlight of my day but this is OK, no pain, all gain and I get to chat to Ros. 
We share stories of our kids, well our adult sons, and generally chat about the ways of the world. Today I gave her my blog address and hope she feels inspired to travel. In return, she shared a wonderful blog with me. Her eldest son had an amazing adventure in the South Island high county, up mountains and down valleys. My mission tonight is to read the blog of his adventure but for now I will include the link. I know Di will be interested, the photos are amazing and are of an area she knows well and loves. Happy reading from adventureaotearoa 

Thursday, 21 August 2008

And another....


Well, once I learn something I can repeat the lesson. This is another landmark building in Doha near where we lived at Al Hitme. The Islamic Centre is a beautiful building and inside non muslim are welcome to attend classes in Arabic and Islamic studies. We attended an Arabic class, well we thought we were attending a culture class. It was an advanced class, we excused ourselves graciously as soon as we could. Keri and Helen took the opportunity to climb the tower while the rest of us explored the displays in the main area inside. This amazing building is across the road for Souq Wakif one of my favorite places to eat, shop and socialise. I also have heaps of photos in different lights, again in the missing box. 

Qatar photos


I found some photos I took in Doha in my Facebook album. It's taken me some experimenting to add this one to my blog. This is the new Islamic Art Museum seen from the Corniche very late in the afternoon. It is an amazing building and I took heaps of photos of it in different lights. I think this is my favorite but will have to review the whole collection to be sure. 
I still don't have my Qatar photos, very frustrating. The box has apparently arrived in New Zealand so here's hoping I will track it down soon. I am finding other small things missing that I didn't know were in the box. My sports singlet bra is one of those things, missing that at the moment.

Sam's back!

The grand dog has turned up today for the weekend. The other grandparents are off to Aus for a conference. Sam was left at Tim and Sarah's place and was really excited to see Muzz, no wait, he was actually very grumpy seeing Muzz and not his masters. He is missing Tim and Sarah, yes that's possible for a dog. Only a week or so until they are home. 
They are enjoying the south of France and made it to Monaco. Tim rode his bike on a training ride there, well that's what he told me. I suspect they caught the bus. I can't wait to catch up with them in Canberra the weekend after next to hear the stories and see the photos. Tim is competing so may have to wait until after the race. 
Looks like I'll be walking Sam as well as going to the gym. Braved my new program again today as my muscles had settled a little. I felt quite virtuous as I got the treadmill running, the rowing machine flying and weights lifted. I didn't even cheat....well I might have missed one rep on the squats. For now, I am enjoying watching the Olympics and being a couch potato.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Poems

I am a bit of a poet and may take a risk adding some of mine to this blog one day soon. For now, I want to share an extract from one of my old English teacher's collection. Barry Mitcalfe was a wonderful man, an inspirational teacher who encouraged me in my writing. He entered some of my work into competitions and I got some great feedback from those. 
He also fed my Bob Dylan habit by leaving me with some of Bob's older albums when he went traveling. Those and Dylan Thomas'  A Child's Christmas in Wales on a record read by Richard Burton. Fantastic and something I would love to find if anyone out there knows of a copy. 
Back to his poems. This is from a book called Beach. 

Beachhead
Beach claims me
I am it's territory
I sleep with beach
I belong, I cleave
the wave, I have
come home, beach is all 
I have ever known


And again it snows.

It snowed again last night. That makes 5 times since I've been home that the snow has settled deep on my deck. This time it was a week day, a work day and I had to be somewhere at 8.30am. No chance of that, I couldn't get down my steps and the driveway was impossible. My little red car, a faster one than the rental, was blanketed with enough snow for several snowmen.
As I watched the snow chucking down from the warmth of my living room, I decided to make a few calls and work from home for a while. Others had to do the same so I took a chance and went out to productive meeting with them mid morning. The drive was not as exciting as it would have been earlier.
For the rest of the day there was hail and sleet and general unpleasantness with the weather. It did, however justify my recent gym membership. As I went through my new program with my personal trainer last night, I looked into the snow filled darkness pleased I was inside exercising. 
I had to laugh at that. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't really spend much time in gyms, prefer the wide open spaces to exercise. I tried one in Qatar and the trainer person asked me if I was serious about exercising as I didn't stay long. He wasn't impressed with my answer that I didn't want to lose any weight, I was there to swim in their pool if the truth be known. 
My new trainer was also surprised when I tried to rush through the program he'd given me. He pulled me up by making it harder, more weights and repetitions to tire me out. It's a great program actually, well suited to my level of fitness and training needs. I was surprised how much fitness I had maintained from my travels with very little exercise. 
Today I am suffering a little with sore muscles, actually I didn't know there were muscles in some of the places I am sore. Think I have met my match with this trainer. Back tomorrow for round two. 

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Tiny Dancer

I have been trying to put a clip from You Tube on my blog, not sure exactly how to do this so managed to add the link. Not as clever as I hoped I'd be but click the link and listen and watch one of my favorite songs. It's Elton John's Tiny Dancer, originally released in 1971. So it's an oldie. The clip is from the movie Almost Famous, a trip through the 70's rock scene. Literally a trip in places. I love the film, it's about belonging, finding your place. The 70's fashion is great and Kate Hudson is excellent. 
Tim and Sarah also love this song. It was played at their wedding, with their friend Victoria accompanying much to everyones delight. I sing out loud like the band, but not in public. 

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Tiny Dancer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qn3tel9FWU

Saturday

It's been one of those glorious winter days that have the promise of spring around the corner. The sun had some warmth, the washing got mostly dry and the scents from the spring flowers wafted on the air. One out of the bag, great to get some sun on my skin. The mountains are still looking amazing  with more heavy snow falls in the high hills. 
All this not withstanding, it's still very chilly and I am suffering from a lack of heat. I read friends blogs talking about swimming in very hot temperatures and see photos from places I would love to be. My time will come again, I know that. In the meantime, roll on summer. 
Tim and Sarah don't help, they phoned from Nice last night and were planning to hire a scooter and ride to Monaco. Hopefully I managed to convince them that was a bad idea. I could just imagine them two up on a scooter, wringing the poor machine to get up the hills and through the tunnels, not exactly scooter country! I wonder if they can afford to hire a Porche. 
I'm looking forward to catching up with them in a couple of weeks. September should be a busy month for catching up with friends and family so excited about that. 

Friday, 15 August 2008

Just over the fence....



Been to Ashburton, and now I'm back. I didn't have reliable Internet on my travels, the story of my life. Dial up is just so inefficient. What did we do when that was all we had? 
I did get some great photos in Ashburton. The mountains are so close, so beautiful covered in snow, just over the fence. Ok I did have to detour down a country road to get these two shots. Did I mention I also got a little stuck? 
I had a very small rental car and as anyone knows, rental cars go anywhere. The car w as red so should have gone faster, not so it was the smallest and most gutless car I have ever driven. It was quite wet in South Canterbury so when I pulled slightly off the road to stop and get these photos, I inadvertently pulled off into a swampy bit. When I tried to pull away the wheels spun alarmingly and mud flew out the back and up the side of the car. So much for keeping my detour quiet. I floored the accelerator, as you do when stuck, and fish tailed out of my predicament. Much to the amusement of the locals.  
My colleague noticed the mud, I shrugged and suggested it had always been there......and we opened another red to go with night two of Indian takeaways. Lots of laughter but no more was said.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Going south

Part of my beat for my job is the small country town of Ashburton. A few times a year I head down there, usually with a colleague, and stay a night or two. Ashburton is nearer the mountains than Christchurch so the view of the Southern Alps is amazing. I will remember to take my camera. 
I am hoping that we will get to do some exercise so am taking my walking shoes but I suspect with snow in the forecast that we may be inside with a nice red or two. We have discussed heading home early on Friday, after all the prospect of a weekend snowed in, in Ashburton doesn't thrill me!
I have been reading some good blogs lately, people talking about journey's in the Middle East, to Italy, to France, well I'm upping the anti. I've been to those places, who out there has been to Ashburton? 

Sunday, 10 August 2008

More from the mountains




Kura Tawhiti



Yesterday it snowed, today I thought I would dust off the camera and head into the mountains to get some photos. I was surprised that the snow had retreated off the road but it was great to see all the mums, dads and kids sliding down the small slopes on the roadside. There were snow balls flying and lots of chasing and fun. 
The snow photos being limited, we headed for Kura Tawhiti or Castle Hill. The area around Castle Hill was made famous in The Lord of the Ring trilogy providing some of the spectacular backdrops of Middle Earth. The limestone formations are amazing and you can see where past glaciers have carved their way through the rocks scarring their sides. Tall rocks that have been left standing rise from flat limestone bases, excellent for climbing. 
It was chilly with some snow in the shaded parts and on the Southern Alps behind the rocks. When the kids were little they used to call this formation the cowboy rocks and it was a highlight of our trips to Christchurch. Cowboy rocks because that was where cowboys hid when they fought the bad guys on TV. 
There were heaps of people making the most of the fine day, rock climbers, families and tourists all exploring the nooks and crannys. It's a place where you have to be a bit careful because some of the paths through the rocks end in steep drops.
I took heaps of photos and have included two here, more to follow. 

Saturday, 9 August 2008

I'm going to Aussie!

I've done it, booked the tickets to go to see Tim race in Canberra. It was touch and go whether we would go with helping one son out with uni fees and another with change of airfare fees. That's what credit cards are for after all.
I can't wait, flying to Sydney, staying with Muzz's brother then driving down to Canberra to watch Tim's last world cup race. We are on that really early flight, get to the airport at 4am in the freezing cold and land in Sydney at 8am in warmer weather. It's the last weekend in August so here's hoping. Yes, my next trip is organised! 
It's been a while since I've been to Sydney, 1999 to be exact. I am not a fan of the big city but so looking forward to catching up with family and especially seeing Tim and Sarah, it's been too long. They are home from their travels after the race, back to their real lives. Both have good jobs to come home to but I suspect I will be feeding them for a while, and so looking forward to that.  
Have just watched the Olympic rowing with Georgina and Caroline winning their heat, by heaps. So enjoying the sports fest on TV. Go Julian Dean in the road race, I even hope you beat my man Carlos. Well, after all what else is there to do on a snowy evening.  

The team and Black Pearl drivers

We had a wonderful afternoon out with these young men in whose hands we put our lives. They drove us up and down the sand dunes, actually that sounds tame. We hurtled up the dunes at speed then sat at the top and careened over the side. I screamed a bit, I was in the front after all. It was great fun!
The young man who I am standing next to and I had a chat about the price of petrol in our countries. His suggestion, take a tanker home with me for my family. At 38c a litre that was tempting!
Did I mention it's snowing outside? 

Friday, 8 August 2008

For Keri


Keri, Shirley and I went out for dinner and drinks to celebrate Keri's birthday on Tuesday and mine last Sunday. We also did some planning for the gathering happening in early October. It's exciting that we are having a Qatar reunion and we want to make it a special occasion. The reason this post is for Keri is that she is a regular reader and made the comment tonight that she hoped I'd write about tonight, here goes.
I have become addicted to the chilly infused olives they serve at the Flying Burrito Brothers, oh and their frozen Margarita's, so any excuse and off I go to eat there. Two birthdays seemed like the best excuse. It's amazing how the three of us can pick up where we left off in Qatar and talk, talk, talk. Only this time it's not walking along the Corniche in Doha in the heat but sitting in the warmth of a restaurant in Christchurch with the snow beginning to fall outside. We talked about how thing are in the real world, this world so different from our Qatar lives. 
I often hear it said how people from other cultures who come to New Zealand to live don't try to fit into our society. To an extent that is true. What I observed being a kiwi living in a Muslim country is that this happens with us as well. We seek others from our own country and choose to spend time with them while soaking up the sights and experiences of the new country, the different culture.
Cultures enclave. People seek others from their own place and to recreate their culture where ever they live in the world. For Muslim peoples this also includes keeping their religion alive for their families, their children, in a foreign land. Many people who settle in other places do not choose to leave their homeland, rather they are displaced by war or natural disaster. Why would they not want to keep their culture and religion alive.
The peoples of the Roman Empire colonised much of what we now call Europe and their architecture is evident in many places including Turkey and France. I have some wonderful photographs of their architecture, they built to last. They were not the first or the last peoples to do so. 
The peoples of the British Empire colonised many places in the world, took their culture, their religion, their beliefs and transplanted them. This often displaced or subjugated the first peoples of the lands they colonised. They also brought with them such useful things as gorse, rabbits and other pests. 
So we are not so different after all. We are all endeavoring to do the best we can for our families where ever we live. A little tolerance goes a long way. Try talking to others, welcoming them as we were welcomed by our Muslim friends in Qatar. It can be a humbling experience to be in the minority,we should all try it some time. 
Ooops. Sorry Keri, went off on a tangent!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Old friends, new friends

This morning I awoke, with a slight hangover, to a text from Abu Dhabi. A text from my friend Sue who has just arrived there. I text her back and followed up with an email as I know how important contact from friends is when you are away from home. She doesn't have internet yet so I am waiting for a reply.
Today I had the privilege of showcasing one of my kindergartens to two American visitors Lucy and Kate. They were from Pennsylvania and Lucy was a teacher in the early years while Kate was a teacher trainee. We had a long discussion about the difference and similarities of the education systems in our countries, as teachers do when they get together. 
We also had an in depth discussion on teaching children with special needs, an area in which Kate was studying. We talked about inclusion, but I think that the notion of inclusion in Pennsylvania differs to that of New Zealand. There they stream the children through standardized testing, check lists of academic skills. This means that in any class the children are only mixing with children of similar academic abilities. We discussed how this form of streaming limited children's abilities to learn off those more skilled than themselves as we encourage here in New Zealand. 
I also took them to the primary school adjacent to the kindergarten so they could see their reading programme in action, great to be in a new entrant class again. They were most impressed by our curriculum documents and the assessment through individual profile books. 
Lucy and Kate enjoyed their visit and we have exchanged emails. I hope to go and visit some time soon as I've not been to the US as yet.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

A night out

Well, that was fun. Muzz bought tickets to a charity auction/dinner/smoozing opportunity at the Christchurch Casino in aid of the new charity hospital. Ironically the money raised was going towards sterilising women the public hospital couldn't fit in, oh and cataract operations so that made it OK. Anyone who knows me knows that I use natural medicines and homeopathy. A bit of a hang over from the hippy days, so supporting the mainstream medical community was an interesting exercise. 
Poor Muzz got the flu so rather than letting the tickets go to waste I rang around my friends and Tony agreed to come. We sat with the Simes crew and enjoyed the company very much. I think Muzz will be in trouble at work as I was encouraging another wife to travel and I think I have someone else interested in the Turkey trip I am planning, the more the merrier. 
The food was great, the wine superb and the entertainment, well that man needs therapy! It was interesting watching the auction seeing people pay so much for the offerings, all in the name of charity. 
I was thinking of the golfers I know when they auctioned a round for four including the carts and all the trimmings at Clearwater. Sorry guys, I resisted the urge to bid on your behalf, tempting though it was! 
Tony took me home and looked at the photos while I made tea, oh no sorry Jo, I might have given him the travel bug too. Gotta stop doing that to my friends. Thanks for a great night out. 

Monday, 4 August 2008

And on Monday...

It seems a bit of a shame, I've had to go to the cellar to get a bottle for tonight. Well to call the back of the laundry, under the stairs cupboard a cellar is stretching it a bit but there resides those special bottles. Not the quaffing type, not the Monday night after work ones but the keep for special occasions ones. 
I suppose it is a special occasion, I've got no quaffing wine left in the cupboard, so needs must! I'm drinking a very good Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2001. It's very good, well matured and smooth. I should really be able to describe it more eloquently that that having been to a wine appreciation course while in Qatar.
Well, I did attend but it ended badly for me. I am not that big and can enjoy wine all night if I have enough to eat alongside the vino. Alas that was not be, although I did have dinner, the supper came too late for me. If I had made it to the end of the selection I might have been able to describe this wine as an oaky number with subtle tannins and a ripe spicy finish. 
We sampled many that night and the direction of the pourer was towards me so I got more than most in the glass top ups. There are photos to prove that. At some point, still lucid enough to record the event on my camera, I left the party, was assisted to bed and woke with a very sore head in the early hours. 
A little later I write, it has turned into a special occasion so lucky I had opened a good bottle. My friend Rose turned up with Thai so I had help with the Penfolds as we chatted about changing the world, as we do. I am on my own for the night so perfect for catching up with friends.
 

Sunday, 3 August 2008

HBD to me!

Well as birthdays go it was OK. I slept in, had a phone call from each of the kids, had lunch with the olds, whitebait fritters, and dinner out with Muzz, pasta and an excellent wine. A restful day, just what the doctor ordered. 
It was neat having a good talk to the boys, Tim in Canada, Kez in Brisbane and Nick in Auckland. Tim's racing in another MTB world cup race later tonight NZ time, the second last for the season in Bromont. Him and Sarah fly to London after a few days checking out New York, then to Canberra for the last race via Italy. They will be home in a month or so, can't wait to see them again it's been ages. 
Kez got his present, a belated birthday one from Anacapri. He loved the watch, not the strap apparently. He's a fussy bugger. I chose so carefully, knowing that he would like something a bit different, oh well. Sassy loves the pashmina I bought her in Qatar. It was a lovely brown one, very tempting for me to add it to my extensive collection!
Nick was cooking a roast, lamb and all the trimmings. I know he's an excellent cook but we talked about how long to cook the parts of the roast among other things. He told me he'd thrown the many cook books I had supplied him with over the years, yeah right, I know he still has the trusty Edmonds one. 
The wonderful thing about having boys is that they have wives and girlfriends. This means that I have three daughters, or more than that if you count the ex's I still keep in touch with. I have talked to them all today too. 
I'm sitting here quietly listening to Tiny Dancer by Elton John, one of my favorite songs. My emails tell me I have more messages to check so best get onto that now. 

Saturday, 2 August 2008

My Flickr

I have put some of my best photos on Flickr and you can access this from my blog. I have been a little thrilled that I have been getting heaps of views of my photos. I am so pleased with them and love to share the photos with anyone who is interested. 
I was even more thrilled to have been invited to add two of my photos to a group sharing site. The invite is written in Italian, but no worries, I worked out the general message. When I checked out the site Sorrento e Dintorni I was amazed by the quality of the photos. I spent ages checking out the photos of others. Today I found some wonderful sea and surfing photos and sent the link to my surfer Nick. Must confess, made me want to dust off my old board and get out into the waves. Although, it's a bit cold and stormy now so will have to wait for summer. 
Check out the site, I hope to add more of mine and get into contact with others whose photos I enjoy. 

Flowers on the Corniche


Flowers on the Corniche, originally uploaded by Gilbert Wicks.

Today

Its been a good day today. The sun has shone, the coffee machine is working again and Keri came up for coffee and a girly chat. Keri was in Qatar with me and when we get together, we laugh about the special aspects of our life there. 
The driving, always an experience getting to work; the long walk we did from our apartment to the mall in 46C temps; the bonding and conversations of women on the other side of the world; the things we did and the things we missed out on like playing golf on the sand course.

A bit more on walking to the mall. We set off, after being offered and refusing a ride by Sue, in the mid day heat. The mall is around 10km from our place. After a short time, we looked at each other and one of us said, "quiet today on the Corniche". Yes, we were the only ones out and about. Mad dogs and Englishmen out in the midday sun as the old song says. 
We had a bit of a giggle, and a drink, and kept going. We finished our water early on so it was lucky that Keri found a can of warm lemonade in her bag. We were about three quarters of the way there and we were wilting, needed to keep going as going back was further! We had both stopped sweating, not a good thing. 
Th mall was like a mirage. We could see it shimmering in the distance, although it didn't look as if it was getting any closer. We arrived at the under mall car park almost collapsing, but still able to laugh as we walked through the door. Laughed with relief but also at the look of each other. 
When you go from 46C to about 18C by going through a door, you begin to sweat. Actually, sweating isn't the word for it. Sweat flows off you, soaking all your clothes and dripping onto the floor. We were both red faced and dripping as we fell about laughing and headed for the coffee shop. 
A much needed coffee stop and we cooled off quickly. Who should walk into the mall but Sue, who laughed at the look of us. She was amazed we'd made it and gave us a little lecture, thanks Sue. Looking like we did and getting colder by the minute, girly shopping was out of the question so we got our groceries and out to the bus for the ride home. 
Another good day out, another experience we wouldn't be without! The photo is of a not such a hot day on the Corniche. The flowers are amazing on this well tended part of the waterfront. 



Friday, 1 August 2008

4pm on a Friday

Yes, its Friday again, roll on the weekend and a wine or several. 
What I want to know at this moment though, is what a girl has to do to get a coffee around here. It's 4pm and I am just having my first of the day, tragic and perhaps an explanation why I've been a bit lack luster in my dealings with others today. I have one of those flash ish home coffee machines and it works well most of the time. I can also make an alright espresso, not Italian style of course, but alright.
Coffee attempt number 1: Is that the time already, late for work after sleeping in. No time for coffee.
Coffee attempt numbers 2-7: Home, need a coffee, turn on the machine, do the usual make an espresso steps after the machine has heated. Oh no, the water's not running through, this things about to blow a gasket. Change the coffee, clear the blocked filter thingy, do it again.....OK won't go any further with this but you get the picture, still no coffee. 
Needless to say by attempt seven, yes I am very persistent and of course patient, I was seething with frustration! Oh and the smell of coffee in the kitchen, addictive! Then I remembered that I still possibly had a plunger from the olden days pre coffee machine somewhere. 
Coffee attempt 8: Find the plunger in the deep recesses of the cupboard. Discover it's very mouldy, wash said plunger, boil the jug, add the wrong type of coffee to the plunger, plunge, get a slight burn from the hot water as it didn't do as it was supposed to and viola, coffee.
Not good coffee mind. It would have been easier to drive in the rain to the local cafe, well it would if I had any petrol in the car. Thank goodness it's Friday!