Sunday, 24 November 2013

The old man is snoring...

The weather is fairly predictable in Dubai, hot and sunny for the vast majority of the year. When people plan things for the outdoors there is never, ever a wet weather back up. Rain is just so rare here, that it would never cross your mind.

A handful of days a year it does rain and boy does it put the city into a tailspin. Last week, at school pick up there a few drops of rain, in Sydney you'd probably think 'was that rain?', in Dubai it had the kids whooping and running around with the greatest of excitement. There was talk of warm baths and hot chocolates when they got home - "It's 30 degrees!" I reminded them.

Then we awoke on Thursday morning to what the average Sydney-sider might call a shower. It was quite windy and it had all of us peering out the window in wonder. "They have to close the school," Goosey said. "Oh don't be ridiculous!" I told her. "It's just a little bit of rain!" Thinking that she's just jealous of her sister who was staying home sick.

I joked on Facebook that I was going to turn the AC up and grab my doona and pretend it was a real winter's day, when I got a message from school - there was an emergency closure and I had to go and pick up my child. What?! I looked outside and there were still grey clouds about, but the sun was peering through and I could even see blue sky. The government body had decided to close all schools in Dubai down, so I thought that they obviously knew something I didn't and raced off to collect Goosey, who was very pleased for the early mark!

It didn't rain again until 4am the next day. I think their intention was right - it only takes a small amount of rain to throw Dubai roads into chaos, but it did feel a bit silly when the big storm never came.

The rainy excitement continued over the weekend as we drove around the flooded streets - very few storm water drains mean that the roads can be flooded with a five minute shower. "Car WASH!" yelped Darby from the back as our 4WD drove through the soggy streets on our way home from the supermarket.

The sun is back today and so we return to blue skies - until the heavy seeded clouds come our way again! Here are some pics.

Thursday, 14 November 2013


Darbs has been a little slow in the talking department, at least compared to his older sisters. I was never really worried about, knowing that one day he would open his mouth and words would come spilling out.

He's been 'chatting' away in his own language for a long time. Then more and more single words. Then in the past few weeks he's suddenly put it all together. Lots of long complicated sentences.

Wonderful, you're probably thinking, and it is. Although I didn't really need another chatterbox in the house - or the car.

My car trips with the boy used to be fairly peaceful. He'd sing along to the radio and peer out of the window.

Now my car trips are like this:

"Mummy, I want chocolate milk. Mummy. Chocolate! I want Chocolate milk. Mummy, I want the car wash. Mummy! Go car wash! Mummy, look! Ferrari! I want a Ferrari, Mummy! Mummy! I want chocolate, Mummy. Mummy! Mummy! Muuuuuuuuuuum! I want milk. Chocolate milk. Mummy look! Juice truck! And taxi! Yellow taxi. Mummy, big truck! Big truck! Biiiiiiiiig truck! Mummy! Look Mummy, plane! Plane! Mummy, dog! Grrrrrrr, woof! Mummy, beach! I want to go beach! Beach! Beach! Beach! Mummy, I drive car? Pleeeeeease! I driving car! Mummy, chocolate milk!"

And so on. And so on. It's rather exhausting.

From my end it sounds like this:

"No. No! I said NO! Oh, yes. No. No. Sure. No. No NO!!! When we get home. You can have normal milk. No. Yes, it's yellow. Not today. No. NO."


Sunday, 10 November 2013

Party time

This past weekend, I put on my finery and drove up the driveway of one of Dubai's fanciest and grand five-star hotels. The valet took my car, leaving me free to waltz into the large foyer – marble, Arabic chandeliers and fountains as far as the eye could see while incense and the scent of coffee filled the air.

I strode up to the reception to see exactly where the Royal Villa, the party venue, was. I was politely told that a butler would soon meet me and escort us, if I wouldn't mind waiting just a moment.

I turned around to see Darbs attempting to drink from one of the fountains, Goosey chasing one of her schoolmates around on the slippery marble and Lil-lil dancing around in the smoke of the incence.

"Kids! Quick! What are you doing??!! Get over here!" I bellowed. Smashing the serene ambiance with my fishmonger's wife scream.

What was I doing with my kids in a posh hotel? Surely they belong at home on such a grand occasion, I hear you saying. I suppose this could be true, but you see we were there for a 5th birthday party. Yes, that's right, a 5th birthday party.

One of Goosey's local classmates was celebrating his 5th birthday with a party that would probably cost more than most Australian weddings. The mother of birthday boy wore an amazing designer ball gown and stilletos higher than I have ever dreamt of wearing and she was 7-months pregnant.

Despite the fancy surrounds and the sheer excess, at the end of the day it was a party. There was food, a cake, kids ran around on the grass and played games, they squealed with delight when they let the helium balloons drift up into the sky. Our hostess was so warm, welcoming, generous and hospitable as is customary in Arabic culture, there were absolutely no airs and graces. It was a great way to spend a Friday afternoon and see how the other half live. The kids really had no idea of how fancy the party was, they could have been at McDonalds for all they cared. The mums on the hand (it was a women's only party) were wide-eyed and amazed.

The kids and I made a quick exit before the other party goers were herded off to a private cinema to watch a movie. It was late and my kids are Aussie, they needed to go to bed (late bedtimes for kids is another very Arabic thing).

As I handed over my ticket to the valet and grabbed Darbs before he turned one of the luggage trolleys into a billycart, I thought, "This is one of the reasons why we are here!" It's certainly something I'll remember for quite a while.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Such a perfect day, I'm glad I spent it with you

November is my favourite month in Dubai, the weather is warm but not sizzling. This sets the tone and life feels pretty close to perfection. So the first day of the months has not been a disappointment!

This morning I woke and slipped out for a run. The sun was rising over the skyscrapers and the sky a beautiful golden orange. There was a slight breeze making it the most perfect temperature.

I came home and ate breakfast with the family. We then did what we do every Friday morning and slipped into our swimmers and headed for the pool. Skip and I sipped on coffees as the kids splashed and dived into the water. The sky was a perfect shade of blue, the water of the Arabian gulf glistened like diamonds as the sun skipped across the surface and the breeze blew any heat away from our skin. The palm trees swayed above us giving just the right amount of shade.

We then played in the sand, threw the ball to each other, rode scooters and headed to the playground. All the while the weather and surroundings made the most perfect backdrop.

Life isn't always as perfect as this, but when it is it's about as good as it gets and you think: "Why would you live anywhere else?!"

Happy Friday!
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