Monday, 28 June 2010

This week

I've just uttered the words, or rather muttered the words because I'm alone and it would just be plain sad to have uttered them, 'it's 8 o'clock and I must pack'. You see I'm off to attend some leadership training and a conference for the next few days. It's at the Yas Island Rotana and many of my friends and colleagues are also going so it may be quite a social few days.

I'm really looking forward to having some professional development, some mental stimulation as it's the end of the year and I'm working on the tidy up jobs. Not too stimulating but rewarding when I can tick one off the list, I'm almost caught up. With the end of the school year comes the end of many contracts, with lots of changes as friends move jobs or go home. We've had several farewells lately, some going to nearby cities others to the other side of the world.

The count down to going home has begun in ernest, I can't wait to be on the plane in a little less than 2 weeks. Going back to winter is okay if winter is only a bit over 3 weeks l0ng. Seeing the family is what I'm hanging out for, to spend some good time with Noah and to catch up with all the news.

Okay, that's enough procrastination, it's now 8.30 and I still haven't packed. I've got an early start and others relying on me to be on time so best I get organised.


Saturday, 26 June 2010

Sorry!

Apologies, I've been very slack at writing this week! I've been a little busy catching up with people as they prepare to leave for good or for the holidays. There's lots of coming and going, excitement and sadness. Some are going to new cities in the UAE with new jobs and some are going to their home countries to start new adventures.

A few of us spent this weekend in Dubai celebrating a significant birthday and also spending time with some who are leaving. It was fantastic and I'll write more on this later. For now, I'm catching up on emails and Facebook messages while sitting relaxing in the peace and quiet of my place. I do love coming home after a weekend away.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Some more

More to add to the you know it's hot when list:
Your lipsticks melt in your handbag and bend over backwards when you try to apply them
The metal buckle on your shoes burns your feet
The water's too hot to have a shower after 9am, and the water heater's turned off
Your makeup falls off your face when you make the effort to look beautiful
The fallen makeup stains your new top
The water's too hot to wash said new top without it shrinking
People park as close to the mall door as they can get, cruising to find a good park
Going to the movies in the afternoon is a good use of the day

But I must say the heat is lovely, it warms me to the core and I'm not really looking forward to the bone numbing cold of New Zealand. It's only 20 more sleeps and I'm on a plane, I can't wait to see my family. Others are sharing their destinations and they are many and varied, lots of planning and of course that's half the fun.

I've got some new neighbours, Heather and her family. Her daughters are so cute, the almost 4 year old looked really surprised to see me at the Rotana when they came for a swim. As we walked out to the pool, she stopped still on the grass and looked towards the sky, looked around with a puzzled look on her face.

She said, "there's that man from the sky talking again". Yep the call to prayer made sense of by an almost 4 year old. I've gotten used to the calls, they do seem to come from the sky as they echo around without an obvious source.

Today's a quiet Friday after a night out watching people watching soccer, opps I stand corrected football. I struggle to understand the fascination of a game that may or may not have a score at the end, although the France Mexico game had a 2-0 score. The people wearing the French shirts were quiet, others were jubilant. I was able to make comment about the New Zealand teams progress, they did score. For the first time in their history at the world cup, no wonder there was such a fuss.

So today is a quiet one relaxing at home after having lunch out and a wander around a mall, time for a snooze. Time to finish the book I'm reading so I can move on to the one I bought today, a new de Bernieres. And that is the best thing to do in mid 40s heat.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Whew it's hot!


You know it's hot when:
The weatherman on the radio says casually, ".... and in Al Ain it will be a dusty 48 degrees...."
It's in the high 40s every day, almost all day
You almost expire when you hop into your car after work
The road outside burns you feet through jandals (flip flops/thongs)
Your car key is hot enough to burn when it comes out of the ignition
The aircon doesn't cool your car down enough to stop you perspiring profusely on the way to work
You come home from work, flop on the couch under the aircon and nod off for an hour or so
Gym time is later in the evening
It's too hot to swim
You wake up at 5.30am and can't get back to sleep because the day's heat is coming through the window
It's still in the 40s at 11pm
The tile floor in your bedroom feels like it's got underfloor heating
The ice you bought at Lulus is melted before you get it to the car, ok so I forgot my cool bag
You can make tea from the water in your water bottle after leaving it in the car for a couple of hours
The streets are deserted from around lunch time until just after dark
You have to take your drinks inside at the Rotana because the Margarita is melting
You sit outside in a sand storm because there's a promise of some rain

So suffice to say it's hot here at the moment, I thought hotter than last year but others say no. The upside of the heat is that the fruit is ripening and plentiful in the shops and the dates are wonderful, nothing like fresh dates hot from the palm especially with gahwah (Arabic coffee).

This morning, because I woke so early, I decided to take a walk before it got too hot. My Mac told me it was in the low 30s. It was wonderful to walk around Jahili Park so early, to see others out taking a constitutional and get hellos and smiles. What I really enjoyed was the wonderful morning light on the fort and the palms laden with ripening dates with the sprinklers watering the grass in the back ground.

The photo here is of the ripening dates with capture bags over them. These have a draw string and are emptied as the ripe dates fall from the bunches, someone very clever thought of that idea. The bags also keep the birds away and watching the men shimmy up the palms to collect the dates is a treat.

PS I just checked and it's only 44 now so it's a cooler day today, thankfully.

At the palace




There's lots of corners with interesting artifacts at the palace, some things that were in use in the old days some that are still in use. Every time I visit I see new things to photograph so here's some I took on the weekend. They were with another entry but I didn't like how they looked so shifted them to this one.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Visitors





















I just had one of those cold hand clutching at my heart moments. What on earth did I do with my camera cord when I moved? I searched while I trolled through my ever diminishing memory banks, where did I put all my cords and the like? That's right, I carefully put them in the draw of that little table where my digi frame sits, there they all go. Thank goodness for that!

It's been a great weekend and that's why I need to cord. A weekend of catching up with very good friends and playing tour guide in Dubai and Al Ain. Well not getting lost in Dubai while showing the sights at any rate. Sue and Becs came over from Melbourne and Wellington on route to the UK to stay for the weekend. Brosey (also Sue) came in from the far flung desert to join us, driving the 3 hours or so in searing heat.

It was funny catching up with old friends in this place rather than ones I've only known a comparatively short time. It's a different and more comfortable dynamic somehow, a relaxed and easy time together. It was like no time at all had passed between visits. I find it's like that with my very best friends. My house feels empty now they've gone.

We went sightseeing and I got some pics, good ones I hope. My camera's been quiet lately, it was lovely to get out and about and be able to get some shots. The one I've included here are of the two Sue's working the shot.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Enigma


One of my friends posted this on Facebook and I thought it might be good to share here given what's happened in the world lately. A timely message.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Feeling much better thanks!

Well that's done and dusted, no more spots and I feel so much better. In fact I didn't realise just how bad I had been feeling until I got my old energy back on Friday. I'd lost it again by Saturday, but that's another story. It's funny how illness sneaks up and hits me, I seem to miss the warning signs that might keep others from venturing out and about. All I can say is that a weeks enforced resting was just what the doctor ordered, well it was literally what the doctor ordered.

I managed to waste the time very productively, resting is hard work for me. I got my new place a little more organised, thankfully as Sue arrives from Melbourne on Thursday, can't wait to have a good catch up with her. I didn't write much because my concentration levels were very low, the time just flew really.

My first day back today and I got asked all sorts of questions, including "are you still catchy". Well, no. If I was I'd still be lounging around at home, sigh. So this week I'm spending catching up on last weeks work alongside this weeks. At least I have the energy for it although one of my lovely colleagues told me today that I looked a little tired. She redeemed herself by saying immediately after, before I could say something in response, that I also looked like I'd lost weight.

Actually, now I've got my appetite back I'm eating everything in sight so that won't last long. Having no appetite has it's upsides but it always catches up on me in the end, I do so love food. Only five more weeks, minus one day, until I go back to NZ for my holidays, I can't wait. I know it's approaching fast because I'm nearly out of marmite. My careful plan of bringing enough with me for the duration has worked well, I opened jar number six, the last jar, today.

I"m very much looking forward to seeing Noah, looking forward to holding him and smelling his baby smell, to making him smile and being a real grandma for a while. There will be photos, I promise. Sam won't be there, Tim and Sarah will be. It's going to be great to get my family fix, I'm really ready for it. I'll also enjoy drinking good coffee and a nice Otago red or two and eating out. I may also enjoy the cool crispness of a Christchurch winter, yeah right.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Laura Marling

One good thing about being home, and having the Internet, is that I'm getting time to check out some good music. Well, it might not be good to others but I like it. I've got Mumford and Sons on my iPod and my small stereo has just stopped working so I'm listening to them on my Mac with some speakers a friend left for me. I'm very grateful to have those speakers today. They have surprisingly good sound, although I should have expected that as my friend loved music.

I've come across the name Laura Marling lately so I thought I'd check her out and who should I find alongside her but Marcus Mumford. Laura has an amazing voice, a folksy voice and I was surprised after listening to her that she's so young. Here's a clip I enjoyed from Laura and Marcus.