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Friday, November 30, 2018

Thrills and Spills

Today was "Swifty's" first proper run out after V and I had picked her new bike up earlier in the week. It was a beautiful Dubai morning with bright sunshine and still enough scent from the trees around where we live ( I have tried to find our what they are called to no avail - it has white buds and a shape rather like a fuchsia bud but with a strong honeysuckle smell). We did a couple of loops around the Mosque run and the up to the new Spinneys for a Mango juice(V) ans tea with croissant (me) before heading back. Just before we got back home V got her tyre caught in the gulley between the grass and path at the entrance to our courtyard and well and truly christened Swifty with a tumble. Apart from some scratches, bumps and bruises both child and machine seem to be OK but not a great way to start the weekend.

In other news the 7s rugby weekend started in some style with NC and chums and so Dad and I are looking forward to the rest of the entertainment tomorrow.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Quizzical look

As regular readers of this blog will know, one of my (and my Father's) great pleasures - and (usually) deepest disappointments is taking part in the D&A quiz at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. This visit by Dad has proved to be no different with our first effort in his first week here ending up with us ignominiously finishing in last place having scored zero on the picture round and barely failing to trouble the scorers even on our "strongest" round of General Knowlege. 17 marks was very poor end even if we had not wiped out (we mixed up our Yellowstone and Jellystone National Parks when deciding where Yogi Bear lived) we would still have come last so we embarked on this weeks quiz with no little trepidation. In truth I do not think we were much better although perhaps the other teams were worse as we were in third place at the halfway stage ( that was as good as it got). Nevertheless it was a lovely evening and we got to sample the new menu(the chicken tikka masala is highly recommended) and we also got to see the JBH in all its revamped glory.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

A day of driving

For various reasons I found myself on the road a lot today. Fortunately everything had more or less dried out after Monday/Tuesday's soaking so there was no more than the usual hair-raising driving techniques on display on the roads. These range from the sudden swerving across several lanes of traffic to avoid missing a nearly forgotten turnoff, overtaking in the outside lane using the small patch of hard-shoulder between the road and the crash barrier and manoeuvring without the use of indicators. This last trait seems to be almost compulsory on Dubai roads (as is beeping the horn at the slightest provocation and undertaking at speed so the combination of no signals and roaring up the inside of unsuspecting drivers is a particularly potent weapon in the armoury of the hard driving speed enthusiasts who seem to populate the roads). Inevitably some of these habits can rub off on hitherto blameless drivers so the general standard of driving never really seems to change no matter how long one lives in Dubai although you do definitely get used to it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

An Unexpected Swim

A further update on the my earlier posts regarding the havoc wreaked by Tuesday morning’s storm. I mentioned that a couple of chairs ended up in the pool. We managed to retrieve one of them on Tuesday morning but the other was down the deep end and not easily reachable without a long pole/broom handle. I was dissuaded from seeking to retrieve it last night when I got in from my bike ride given that it was pitch black so after I finished this morning’s ride E. and I started retrieval operations. I could not find a stick long enough to poke the chair closer to the side of the pool so I could try to reach down and grab it so E. and I took two ends of the garden hose and tried to use it to snag the legs on the chair to drag it up to the shallow end (which was markedly unsuccessful) and then to drag it closer to the ladder in to the pool. Although this was more successful (in that it was now close to the side) it was to deep for me to grab the legs and the steps/ladder did not go down far enough to allow me to get closer. There was nothing for it but for me to descend into the pool (I was wearing my cycling gear which had to be washed anyway so I figured I had nothing to lose (other than my dignity)). By this stage G. and E. and the gardener were interested spectators as I braved the icy waters (actually after an initial shock the water was actually quite pleasant!) and after a bit of groping around to get a good grip I eventually brought the chair to the surface and then squelched back into the house to dry off (unfortunately causing puddles of water around the house much to E’s chagrin). So a cycle ride and a (very short) swim to start the day - fortunately Dad had gone for his morning walk so at least I avoided having to explain the deficiencies in my chair rescue techniques to him!

Monday, November 26, 2018

More stormy weather

The title of yesterday’s post was stormy weather and that is precisely what we got overnight culminating in a full on thunder and lightning display earlier this morning. The crashes of thunder sounded very much like we were in the epicentre of the storm waking me up. When I got downstairs I noticed a couple of dark shapes in the pool. On further investigation it turned out that the strong winds had blown two of our outdoor chairs into the water - one of which was in the deep end some 30 feet from its usual resting place so those winds must have been pretty strong, particularly given the fact that these were fairly substantial chairs. Fotunatley, other han a couple of overturned plant pots the rest of the garden was relatively unscathed although the journey into work this morning was somewhat hair-raising as the Dubai drivers took their usual uncompromising attitude to poor driving conditions (the absence of drainage due to the very low rainfall here turning the roads into swimming pools). Fortunately everything had dried out sufficiently by mid-afternoon to allow our second post work ride around the Cycle path at Meydan. To be honest I was still trying to recover from Fridays exertions but we managed 4 circuits (around 40km including the ride to and from the changing facility) so it was definitely worthwhile.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Stormy weather

The wind has been blowing today, picking up from early afternoon so that by the time I was ready to go home, a fair old sandstorm had developed. Due to an unfortunate incident with a van just outside our courtyard I am currently driving around in a Toyota Corola. A fine car but significantly smaller than many cars on Dubai's roads and not the most stable of vehicles as I was being buffeted along the D66 by the high winds, and 4x4 Landcruisers and Patrols as they high tailed it back to Al Ain. Hopefully getting my own car back by the end of the week when I also hope the good weather will have returned in time for the start of the rugby 7s.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Dubai Day

A much calmer day today albeit with some excitement around the England and Australia rugby game that Dad and I were watching on the Ipad( not a great picture but we got the gist). A. is supposed to be in mock exam purdue although there does appear to be a disconnect between his parents and him on exactly how much might be required for this. Dad and I took ourselves off to lunch at taste in DSO ( I managed to wean myself off the smashed avocado on toast going for a lamb wrap today although it was a close run thing). V and I managed a short cycle ride as the sun was setting but otherwise it was a fairly typical Dubai day with a very satisfying England rugby victory thrown in at the end.