Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Don't look now but the world is underwater

Well not exactly but as alluded to in my last post from a couple of weeks ago we have had some rain here in Dubai and I have to say that in comparison with the previous 4 years or so (since we started living here) we we seem to have had more than our fair share of "rainy days" this year (in fact even when it rains here, it does not really pour - unless it happens to be when the rugby 7s is on!). Maybe nothing like the rain in UK but when you are used to sunshine 24/7, grey and drizzily weather can have a disproportinately discouraging effect! We travlled down to RAK a few weekends ago (and stayed at the very glamourous Wal.dorf Astori.a which is another blog post in itself) passing through quite alot of desert which was beginning to sprout grass due to the amount of precipitation.

In any event, today was sunny although the temperature remained low - it has been almost chilly in the mornings - well may be below 15 degrees! However this was perfect for V.'s sports day which took place this morning and she seemed to revel in the conditions - 4th in the girls sprint final and 6 or 7th in the 700m final which was pretty good going given the large number of kids participating in the heats. We also got a letter to say she had been selected to run for her school in a cross-country competetion at the beginning of February (as has her brother A - although he has much more of a track record as a runner)so it is good to see both the kids defy their parents lack of running skills (well certinaly mine in relation to distance running) and excelling on the track!

Monday, January 6, 2014

I've been driving in my car

Given that the above title is taken from a song by Madness it is perhaps appropriate that the subject of this post is driving in Dubai. On my journey into work this morning I was cut up by a White Nissan Patrol and nearly run off the road by a Toyota Innova whose driver was drifting between lanes mainly I would guess as a consequence of the fact that he was talking on his mobile phone at the time (I could see him waiving it towards his ear as I passed him later). I think I have previously discussed the sad problem of indicator lights being broken in Dubai - the number of cars affected is huge and the issue seems to afflict pretty much all types of vehciles - alternativly I guess the problem could simply be that some drivers here do not bother to use their indicators. Whatever the reason, it can make for some interesting driving experiences but certainly this morning the Sheik Zayad road had its fair share of "challenging" drivers. I also noticed that we have since had some rain this morning (fortunately after I had arrived at work). Driving in rain is very much a novelty in Dubai so I imagine that matters did not really improve. Hopefully it will all have calmed down by the time I go home!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year!

The first post of the year - hopefuly presaging a more regular updating of this blog following the access issues of last year.

We spent Christmas this year in Dubai along with the Grandparents T and P. The weather has been great so we managed a number of visits to the beach (including a Christmas Day swim)which has provided a nice contrast to the tales of storms and flooding that we have been receiving about the weather in the UK.

After our swim on Christmas Day we had a very traditional (BBQ) Turkey with some Australian friends over in Dubailand which was terrific (and rather than an open fire burning in the hearth the created a firepit Assie style in the back garden and the kids had great fun toasting marshmallows over it).

Apart from a trip to Adu Dhabi half way through the holidays I had the whole Christmas/NY period off so managed to catch up on a bit or reading and also to set up my new Ipad and sound system (Father Christmas was very generous this year..). A less welcome addition to the household was a rat (or possibly a mouse - the jury is still out) in the garage so I have spent some time on the phone to various rat catchers around Dubai to get someone to deal with it. Actualy getting someone to come out was surprsingly difficult - evidently the pest control sector is booming at the moment. The traps have now been set and we are awaiting the results with some interest. Needless to say the resident "rat-catcher" Minnie has disdained any involvement in the process although I do seem to recall her taking an unusual interest in the garage just before Christmas so prehaps she was aware that something was up. Our cat has however managed to lose no less than three collars over the holiday period which has necessitated much angst in (a) finding suitable replacements (cat collar fashion in Dubai tends towards the blingy) and (b) attaching them as collarless cats tend to be impounded (or worse) without further enquiry here.

NYE was spent at an early dinner at the Al Manzil hotel followed by a view of the Burg Khalifa fireworks in the relative comfort and convenience of the end of our road in Al Safa. All in all a very satisfactory holiday.