Saturday, 25 December 2010

Thrills in Dubai

For the biggest thrill in Dubai, forget the skiing in a shopping mall, four wheel driving in the desert or the world-famous water parks – no, for the biggest rush of adrenaline, try driving.

Before leaving, my partner got his international licence for a mere $30 and a passport photo.
‘Do you think I should get mine?’ I asked. ‘You know, just in case? Might be convenient to go to the shops or something?’
In the UAE, like the US they drive on the opposite side to Australia and of course, I’m so left-right dyslexic, I can’t even work out what side that is.
‘Nooooo. No, no, no,’ he responded, gently, but very firmly. Perhaps best for all concerned.

So he’s driving and I’m navigating. It’s a wonder we’re still together. We went up that main drag twice in a row, headed towards Abu Dhabi instead of Al Sharjarh– ie, the absolute wrong direction - because when we did get off, we managed to loop around through road works and follow the cars ahead, only to be spat out onto the main drag and do it all again. Miss your exit and it’s a long way to redemption.

We try and head home and discover freeways in the desert not even mapped. As I’m starting to lose hope, my sister-in-law’s car shoots past with my brother driving and her waving out the side. As we follow them around a spaghetti trail of roads back to the villa, I think perhaps there is a god of traffic!

Happy Christmas everyone!!!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Heading Off

So I’ve finally made it to the airport to discover the check in time is 7.25pm, not the take off time, which is more like 10.25…. but anyway, at least I’m here. I could almost just lie down in this filthy bar (the only place I can find a power point) and have a snooze. It’s been a hectic few days. I dropped my partner and the kids here first thing this morning and they’ve headed off via KL on the cheap flights. My brother has just called me say there’re plenty of first class seats – hooray!

I think I lost about 2kilos this week without even trying. Surprisingly a diet of mince pies, chocolate and lattes can bear results – who’d have thought? (Mind you, that’s mince pies, chocolate, coffee and absolutely nothing else.)

The packing was tricky – we’re covering 28 degrees in Dubai and 14 in Jordan. We packed like this once before to go to Dubai and Europe and had everything from bathers and floaties to woolly tights and parkers. Once you’ve got that, you could really travel the world for months – what a lovely thought! Oh that’s right, I work… sorry…dozed off for a minute and was dreaming.

And besides the clothes, I have a separate bag pressies. I am seriously taking an miniature Electrolux vacuum for the small fry for Christmas from Santa, I’m seriously going to have to bring it home and I am seriously insane – but she is four and a believer, so that’s just what you do.

I think it could be a great present, especially if it really does work well and she gets into the swing of vacuuming her own bedroom – fifty bucks well spent I’d say!

In fact, she was with the other children and I when we bought it. I sent one of the older ones back to make the purchase and I swear, she didn’t even notice or comment that her sister reappeared holding a massive department store bag that she didn’t have just minutes before!! The self-obsession of pre-schoolers can sometimes work to your advantage. That and their enthusiasm for vacuuming!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Human Nature

Friday night found me at a Human Nature concert. ‘Why’ is what I’m hope you’re asking  yourself if you have any idea of the type of person I am! Well, my oldest son has disability and his friend from the special school was going, so naturally he wanted to go too. His mum, Tara, tells me he loves boy bands so he can sing along. Fair enough. To date, my son has loved bands like Cold Play, Green Day and, for his Make A Wish wish, even met The Killers. I was afraid his disability, which is progress, had now spread to his taste in music.

So, back to the concert…I had no idea elevator music could draw such a crowd! My enthusiasm was, perhaps, marred by the four hours sleep I’d had the night before due the client/agency Christmas party, a hectic day at work including a client breakfast and a lunch, plus the fact I was having 19 for Christmas dinner the next night and had so far, done absolutely nothing about it.

Thankfully there was time before the show started to skull a glass of champagne – purely for medicinal purposes. We ran into another girl from my son’s class who was there with her parents and sitting next to us in the wheelchair access bays. In fact, I’d have to say there were a lot of people there with disability and the rest were even more middle aged that me – so on the upside, I felt young! And at least all they were all enjoying it.

I’d joked during the day with my colleagues, singing ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ couple with some slick 80s style aerobics moves and I was not disappointed – that’s exactly how they opened the show. Followed closely by some Barry Manilow (including the classic ‘Oh Mandy’) by which stage I sent a text to Tara, a few seat away, saying ‘Kill me now…”. (For those Barry fans, I just Googled to see how to spell his name, to discover he’s touring Australia in April!! Get in quick. What a shame we’ll be in Africa….). They decreed nearly every song ‘special to us’ and everyone they worked with in Vagas as ‘legend’.

I should have enjoyed in more, I knew all the words, but really, I felt like I was trapped on a cheap cruise ship in the South Pacific were at least the cabaret is included in the price, and hey, you’ve got nothing else to do in the middle of the ocean!

At least it wasn’t a late night. Even the boys were keen to get going before the inevitable encore. On the way out, I asked my son what he’d give the show – out of 10. He hesitated. ‘Five’, was the final verdict.
‘And what would you give the Green Day concert?’
‘Ten.’ Phew - I was so relieved!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Theme Dressing 4.

...and ended with Bird In A Tree (note the owl pendant on the tree-ish top).

Am I alone? Do you sometimes look down and find yourself wondering if you have a dress up box where a wardrobe should be? I have worn a nightie over jeans as daywear/nightwear/sleepwear, earrings from my daughter's show bag, my partners ties....yes, I am ridiculous I acknowledge, but I have shared my dress up sins - so come on ladies - share yours! Tell me about some of the outfits you put together...

Theme Dressing 3 was Turkish Delight....

Theme Dressing 2

And then it progressed to Safari.....

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Theme Dressing 1

I don't know how exactly it started. Perhaps I've always loved a dress up - but I recently found myself theme dressing for the office.

The first was Aviator....

Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Kinder Concert

We had the kinder concert last week, which all went well, but it reminded me of the last kinder concert we’d been to which was the traditional nativity play. Kids dressed in drab, brown robes with towels on their heads, making it hard to work out who’s Joseph, and who are the three wise men – or even Mary for that matter. Others pretending to be a donkey and an innkeeper – you know the drill.

So there are about forty parents and assorted siblings and other peripheral relatives, squeezed into a tiny class room and naturally it’s been a day of about 38 degrees.

We’re up to the bit where Mary and Joseph are in the stable and the narrator announces that Mary gives birth to a baby boy. Mary, (who sitting on one of those tiny kinder chairs you often find yourself on when having that difficult conversation with a teacher, making it uncomfortable as well as difficult) reaches under the chair, and under her drab brown robe and whips out a Baby Bjorn.

“See girls," one of the dads cheerily calls out. “It’s not that hard.”

The intake of breath from the women in the room exhausts the last on the oxygen. If it weren’t so hot and we weren’t half way through the play, there may have been a riot and a death... and a jury would have acquitted.

On a separate note, the fridge is in – and it’s everything I hoped and dreamed – just gotta get around to reading the instructions… and I'll report back on the celery lasting 28 days.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Corporate Wear (& Tear)

So Anonymous 1:01am on ‘And stretch’ made me think about corporate wear and small kids. Thanks 1:01am!! For the inspiration and the hilariously, excruciatingly accurate description of mothers at drop off – have a read everyone – you’ll recognise those ladies! There’s a lot of the ‘super athletes’ at my kinder drop off….

Anyway, it reminded me that years ago, I was wearing a black pencil skirt at the office. It was about 5pm as I shot through reception that the highly groomed fashionista who manned the entry called out ‘MWW, what’s that on the back of your skirt?’ Skidding to a holt, I swizzled my skirt around and inspect the snail trail running horizontally about half way up my thighs. What the heck is that? It’s kind of crusty and…oh, it’s snot. At exactly the height of an 18 month-old’s nose and in the arc of a perfect wipe. Mystery solved. But it must have been there all day – thanks colleagues, friends, buddies, pals!!!!!

This was only topped by the mark, around waist high, on my khaki shirt when baby was around one. (You can see already where this one’s going…) So I’m sitting in the main boardroom with a lot of clients and agency folk when I gave it a scratch. I managed to flake most of it off – it was only small - but like all mothers, I thought it needed a licked finger to finish the job. As I popped my fingertip into my mouth, yes, I tasted poo.

I’ve had vomit down the back of my suit, chuck in my cleavage, poo under my nails….

Come on ladies, I’m sure you have some great stories!!!! Well, great in retrospect anyway! Please share….

The Moroccan Bath

The girls and I have come up to Dubai for a few days to escape the Melbourne winter. It's in the 40s so we've thawed out - quickly. ...