Monday, 2 May 2016

I want to go home

Life just isn't that simple is it. There's a lot to do if you want to pack your life up and relocate 1000's of miles away, trust me, we've done it twice in the past 5 years.

Originally from the UK, we moved to South Africa then 4 years later to Dubai. It's not an easy process and by no means cheap and it is very stressful, especially when you leave your children, family and friends behind.

If I could turn back the clock I probably would, but it would have to be before the question arose 'Do you want to move to South Africa?'

Both Peter and I had hoped for a long time there would be an opportunity to move abroad with his company, but we didn't actively seek it out, and it's certainly something we never would've done off our own backs.

Hence the quandary we are now in.

I want to go home, but there is no job for Peter back in the UK, but there is a job in Dubai for as long as he wants it, or until he retires in 7 years.

7 years left, living in Dubai, I honestly don't think I can do it.

We need to stay out here for at least another 2 years, to enable us to afford the teens boarding school fees, moving to South Africa in year 7 had a dramatic effect on his education and it was with a sad heart we sent him back to the UK to finish his education in 2013. We really don't want to disrupt his education again, he sits his A/S levels this summer. We did look at him coming to Dubai, but with him being dyslexic, dysgraphic and dyscalculia, the timing just wasn't right.

I'm back in work for the first time since we left the UK, I enjoy my job, but I'm struggling to work in this culture and drowning under a pile of paperwork.

It took a lot of effort to integrate into life in South Africa and leaving there, against our wishes, was a wrench, as big as leaving the UK in the first place.

I'm scared to make the same level of investment here in Dubai, I just don't think I could cope with that level of upheaval again. I'm distancing myself from people, from making friendships, from settling down.

My husband is my best friend, my only friend, he is away this week, last week and next week, I feel so isolated, alone.

We could of course return to the UK with a few months planning, we have savings to cover school fees until next Easter, that would give me time to find employment. But we'd need to find the money to get back to the UK. We have a house there to move back into once we give the current tenants their notice, it would take a few months to organise, handing in our notices, organising shipping, the cat and the dog, closing down bank accounts etc. Our rent is due for renewal here in early December, so that would be our deadline.

But it's not going to happen, what would Peter do? I know how hard forced unemployment was when we relocated to South Africa, how I struggled, the depression, but I had 2 children with me, school runs, activities etc to keep me going and on the move to Dubai, the dog and cat and settling in occupied my time until I got a job. But it wouldn't be the same for Peter it would be the end of his working life as such and as much as he dreams of retirement, it will take a bit more time to adjust to than a few months.

I am fully aware that the grass isn't greener on the other side, when we see our family and friends doing things that we long to do, pine for. In fact the grass is none existent here right now with it being summer and too hot to go outside and do most things. I'm aware that life sounds exciting for us, living in Dubai, all the opportunities we've had and still have to come. Living in a world class holiday destination, but life abroad isn't a holiday. I was out the house at work from 6am - 4.15pm. I've done the washing, walked the dog, cooked dinner and washed up and hoovered and mopped through the house and cleaned the bathroom and kitchen. I'll still have all that to do back in the UK also

So as much as I want to go home, I'm also realistic and know it's not going to happen anytime soon. It doesn't make it any easier or harder, we know that if we need to return, we could afford to, now we've looked into the possibilities and hopefully we'll be better prepared emotionally and financially to do so when the time is right, it just isn't now.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Week 17 - One Daily Positive and Project 366 Summer is here in Dubai

The temperatures have risen this week and are now averaging 35c plus. The cat and dog have now adapted to an indoor life, a new summer wardrobe has been purchased, flights back to the UK for July and August have been booked and the air con is running full time.

On the blog this week:
My Sunday Photo Bob's adoption and birthday.
Animal Tales Our first week with Bob.
HDYGG 5 minutes in the garden.
Charity What else could you buy with the price of a coffee?
Photalife Weekly photo prompt.

Sunday Day 115 ‪#‎onedailypositive‬ ‪#‎project366‬ 4.30pm and 32c. Bob and I are making the most of our time outdoors during daylight hours before it gets too hot for us both and we switch to night walks. ‪#‎dog‬ ‪#‎walk‬‪#‎summerindubai‬ ‪#‎pets‬ ‪#‎bob‬ ‪#‎daylight‬ ‪#‎heat‬ ‪#‎humidity‬ ‪#‎dubai‬ ‪#‎mydubai‬‪#‎myview‬ ‪#‎dubailife

Monday Day 116 #onedailypositive #project366 looks like #summer in #Dubai arrives tomorrow, with the temperatures rising into the mid 40s. I'm struggling to find a positive out of this other than the air conditioning works.

Tuesday Day 117 #onedailypositive #project366 been sick all week and today struggling with a migraine, with Peter away I haven't been eating properly and of course being physically sick hasn't helped. I cooked tonight and managed to keep my dinner down. On a positive though Bob enjoyed the left overs.

Wednesday Day 118 #onedailypositive #project366 Peter is back from a few days working in Saudi, prompted by a visit to @mulledred he whisked me out to the chippy for dinner. Amanda next time you see him please remind him of somewhere a bit more upmarket for him to take me to. Lol

Thursday Day 119 #onedailypositive #project366 pissed off does not do any justice in summing up how I feel at the moment, anyway, moving on quickly, new hair and nails this evening and Peter is home till Sunday.

Friday Day 120 #onedailypositive #project366 this used to irritate me, leaving the house or going to bed with a mess/washing up in the kitchen. But no more. There are no kids adding to the mess, searching for things, it is my mess, that I will clear up in my time and that time is not now, so there it stays, causing no one any harm. Same applies to the washing, ironing, cleaning. I'm not lazy or slovenly, I've just reached the conclusion there are more important things to worry about and more important things to do with my time.

Saturday Day 121 #onedailypositive #project366 food shopping and coffee stop @carrefouruae on the#AlWasl road with views of the @burjkhalifa #Dubai #dubailife #myview #MyDubai #desert#summerindubai

#Photalife Instagram prompts.

Joining in with weekly photo prompts with Darren Coleshill over at Photalife

Week 17 #PhotalifeGREEN

Week 16 #photalifeSIGN St Lucia, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa

Week 15 #photalifeCOUNTRY this was a difficult one for me this week, living as an expat. I'm originally from Wales, grew up around the UK, moved to South Africa and now in Dubai. I've lived in 11 different counties in the UK and in 18 different houses/flats/bedsits and long stays in hotels. I no longer know how to answer the question 'where are you from?' So as I'm currently in Dubai, I thought I should share a picture of the country where I currently live.

Week 14 #‎photalifeCOLOUR‬ just so you're aware this cake was eaten purely for a photo prompt @photalife I'm blaming you for this 

Week 13 #photalifeTRAVEL as an expat in Dubai we can buy everything we need/want, not much is grown locally, but many global brands manufacture under license here. I picked up these well travelled bottles of #IPAin Ras Al Khaimah on the weekend, all the way from#cardiff #brains #craft #brewery which will be taken to #Newport in July and then driven to #Munich as a gift for my friends from #SouthAfrica who are huge Gavin and Stacey fans. I took my friends to #Barry#Island a couple of years ago to show them my roots.

Week 12 #photalifeEASTER flowers for Easter to brighten up a hot, but overcast day.

Week 11 #photalifeSPRING (late entry) I planted this daffodil bulb in October, it's making slow, but steady progress here in Dubai. I've no idea if it'll flower as summer is on its way here and with the average temps in the 40c it makes life difficult for most plants (and humans)

Week 10 #photalifeVIEW another skyline shot of Dubai from the Palm @burjkhalifa @burjalarab @atlantisthepalm

Week 9 #photalifeYELLOW @bakerandspiceme Souk Al Bahar

Week 8 #photalifeCOMFORT switched off from everything, had a long soak in the bath after work, slipped into a pair of 'hello kitty' pjs (as you do) and in bed eating dinner, have wine and catching up with  the soaps.

Week 7 #photalifeLOVE although Peter jokes he's way down in the pecking order with the cat, dog, kids and my niece, he really is the love of my life, despite how corny it may sound.

Week 6 #photalifeHOME Does anyone know what I've come in here for? I never use this room when Peter is away.

Week 5 ‪#‎photalifeFRESH‬ flowers. Nasturtiums, sweet peas, basil and rocket. All grown outside in Dubai. Apparently this is quite a feat I've achieved as the nasturtiums and sweet peas aren't supposed to even germinate, let alone flower.

Week 4 #photalifeDINNER My dinner for one @shakespeareandco @photalife

Week 3 #photalifeSKY Dubai Marina at sunset viewed from Emirates Golf Club

Week 2 #‎photalifePRETTY‬ I love a challenge, especially a photography one with @photalife some of the millions of lights @globalvillageuae there will be a few entries this week.

Week 1 #PhotalifeNEW Dubai is growing so rapidly just in the year we've been here, roads are laid out differently, re routed highways to accommodate a new canal, tower blocks have been erected and islands have been made. But somethings haven't changed. Top photo taken Jan 1st 2015, bottom photo taken Jan 1st 2016. I have a whole series of these photos lined up for a new project of mine this year ‪#‎photalifeNEW‬ @photalife

Friday, 29 April 2016

What else could you do with the price of two cups of coffee

Last year I visited South Africa for 6 weeks to work with a children's charity, The Santa Shoebox Project, who source and deliver over 100,000 christmas gifts every year to children living in poverty, that I'd been involved with for 4 years while I lived there. I paid my own air fare, borrowed a car from friends and had access to a transit van kindly donated by Ford SA which included fuel costs. I fund raised in advance and while I was there. The only other expense I had was my food and drink.

Most mornings I picked up 2 coffees on my way to collect the transit, one for me and one for my friend. I paid 44 rand.

I love a latte when I'm out, I stop at the local garage on my way to work every morning and buy one every afternoon on my way home. It costs me 28 Dirhams.

In the UK 2 lattes costs on average £5.20.

What else could you do with that money? Well if I stop drinking 2 latte's a day, within 6 months I would have enough money for a flight from Dubai to South Africa so I could support some of the many facilities I've been involved with over the years.

The cost of 2 lattes in South Africa purchases a months worth of electricity which enables a student to study after school for their matric.

6 lattes will purchase a pack of reusable sanitary pads from Dignity Dreams to enable young girls to continue their education by remaining in school.

8 lattes will purchase a christmas gift for a child living in poverty or provide a child with a birthday gift with The Viva Foundation.

With the current exchange rate, your money would go even further. In fact twice as far.

I'd like to invite you to join me and think twice about that latte you're going to buy and decide to donate the money instead to support good causes in South Africa.

If you would like to donate you can do so here via paypal or using the Donate button on my blog.