Sunday, 17 January 2021

The view from above. Dubai Water Canal.

The Dubai Water Canal viewed from the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road.
The Arrows indicate where the two photos were taken from this weekend.

The photos of the canal in Spot the Difference were taken from the point next to the long strip of greenery in the top photo showing the before and after of the construction of Tolerance Bridge. You should be able to see Tolerance Bridge in both these pictures if you look hard enough.

Saturday, 16 January 2021

2021 Week 2 -Time for surgery

I cancelled surgery before the new year as Peter wasn't able to get back to Dubai from Saudi, we managed a whole week together then disaster hit last week with me spending 3 days in hospital with a slipped disc.

This week was the surgery went ahead, all good, hopefully getting on top of my iron deficiency anaemia through this route. Just the high white blood cell count, that's crept up again to deal with and I should be good to go for the next 50 years. I had a sore throat after being intubated during an hours surgery, how people who have been ventilated for days/weeks/months are coping I do not know, their recovery from covid must be horrendous.

I'm getting fed up with people commentating about the virus in Dubai, it's not Dubai I'm worried about catching it in. I was planning to isolate on my return to the UK anyway and have a food order delivery arranged for the day after I get back. Plus I'm required to take a PCR test before I can fly anyway.

Most people visiting Dubai are staying with family and friends or are being sponsored for long stays with work, regardless of whether people consider Influencing an actual job. Whilst their posting picture of their *hashtag Insta, glam, style etc I'm posting pictures of the ironing I've done that day.

Due to strict restrictions and the rules being enforced by law here in the UAE, that apart from wearing a mask other than when you've seated at a table, everything is pretty much back to normal. I've been in hospital, had surgery, been to a major sporting event (another is booked next week) been out for dinner, done the weekly food shop, the nail bar, hair cut, stayed in hotels, been on the beach, used public transport, got my covid vaccine and 2nd jab due next week and had 3 negative PCR tests. 

9 Saturday Still on bed rest for my back, where I spent the morning, then off to the hospital for surgery a couple of biopsies in an attempt to get to the bottom of my iron levels. Went well and home by 8pm, couldn't sleep and throat was as sore as anything after being intubated for an hour. Can't begin to imagine what it is like for people who have been ventilated for days, weeks and months with covid.

View from my hospital window

10 Sunday Up and about today and went out with Peter for a coffee. Feel incredibly nauseous and light headed though so back on the bed for the rest of the day, propped up on pillows sorting out banking and other issues.

View from my bedroom balcony at home

11 Monday Over did it today with 2 loads of washing and a short walk to the local shops for milk, so back in bed for the rest of the day.

Daytime view

12 Tuesday Peter dropped me at Mall of the Emirates so I could do some shopping. I managed a coffee then came home on the new metro route which opened last week. I'm alright walking and standing up, it's sitting down I struggle with. Home and into bed for the rest of the day.

New entrance at Mall fo the Emirates

13 Wednesday It took me all day to do the ironing, the first chore I've attempted since I hurt my back 10 days ago. We went out for dinner at the Polo Club and won the pub quiz.

14 Thursday I had an invite to meet a small group of women at Dubai Marina for coffee, had a lovely time and it had me reflecting on the fact it's been 10 years now since we started our expat journey. The rest of the day was spent in bed and the evening on the sofa.

Struggling to find Gluten Free products in the supermarket

15 Friday We went out for Brunch, slightly different as we're not allowed to select our own buffet food, it's now on a menu, so restricted options but still just as lovely. It saved me getting up and down and hurting my back. I finished the medication 2 days ago so a few drinks were in order and home to sleep the after effects off.

On the blog this week:

My Sunday Photo - The New Metro Line opens

Post Comment Love - A weekly linky I co-host

Reflections on 10 years an expat

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Friday, 15 January 2021

15-17th January 2021 - Post Comment Love

Welcome back to #PoCoLo with Stephanie and I. I really enjoyed catching up with most of you from last week finding out how your Christmas and New Year had gone.

I feel like a medical tourist at the moment. I've been PCR'd within an inch of my life, been jabbed and stabbed with vitamins, blood extracted at an alarming rate and had both pneumonia and covid vaccinations, shoved into a MRI, had a biopsy and the mirena coil fitted, in an attempt to stop my periods due to my ever decreasing Ferritin stores causing Iron Deficiency Anaemia. 

Next week sees the second dose of the Covid Vaccine and 2 PCR tests. The 1st to enter Abu Dhabi and the 2nd on arrival at the Golf Course where I'm working with the European Production Tour at the HSBC Challenge and staying in a local hotel from the 20th-24th January.

We'd love to hear about what you've been up to this week and any plans for the coming future.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Reflections on 10 years an expat

Facebook memories over winter revolve around moving. Either the chance of a move, visa applications or a physical house move, followed by trying to sort everything out on a tight timescale, budget and stress.

10 years ago this week we submitted our final visa application to move to South Africa. These things take months to do and every time you submit the application someone adds yet another piece of paperwork to the pile that needs to be filled in. The final piece of paperwork for our first move after numerous medical reports was a signed form from our GP stating we were of sound mind.

4 years later we had to return to the UK to submit papers for our move to Dubai

10 years on I question how sound our minds were at the time and over subsequent years as we've moved, home and country.

To be honest whilst our life style sounds complicated to some, it's just normal to me. I don't think I've ever had a normal life. Prior to leaving the UK I'd moved 17 times, with the longest stay in one house of 8 years where Peter and I raised a blended family for 8 years after getting married in 2002.

I crave being in one place, being in charge as much as the next person in regards to choosing when to move and where to move to. Of course we could've chosen not to have become expats, it wasn't a path we were searching for, just making the most of any opportunity that came our way.

The opportunities we've had as a family, especially for our children have been amazing. Although we only brought the 2 younger boys abroad with us, the eldest was already living in Germany with the army for 4 years, but the next child who left home at 18, just 3 months before we left the UK, packed his bags just over 3 years ago and announced his move to Australia as he wanted the same opportunities to live abroad also, like his siblings have had.

There have of course been numerous missed opportunities, difficulties with Education, lost work opportunities for me, missing family events and now not seeing our grandchild grow up. But we've tried to prioritise important events, we've been able to support our children, now all adults, in ways we couldn't have if we'd stayed in the UK.

We've lost family and friends along the way, these events would've happened regardless, we only know the life we have now, not the life we would've or could've had.

It's been difficult despite the sun shine continuously, it's also been a lot of fun, but regardless of location there is still work, washing, ironing, food shopping, cooking to be done.

I like to think we've kept our feet rooted firmly to the ground throughout this journey. We view our eventual move to the UK as another move, not as going back.

I saw the cross crossing woman near our old home in the UK on a visit. She said 'Oh you're back then?' as if we'd been been on some failed mission to Mars. It took a lot of control not to reply with 'You're still here then?'

Everything has to come to and end at some point, but it's not the end for us, it's yet another change, now with a grandchild to enjoy, a child living in Australia we can visit and whilst we've lost family members over the years, we've gained new ones in the form of in laws and it's an exciting chapter we look forward to being part of.

Sunday, 10 January 2021

The Dubai Metro Expo 2020 extension. Jebel Ali to Al Furjan.

3 years after I started documenting the construction of the Dubai Metro driverless train, the Expo2020 line opened on January 1st.

The journey between Jebel Ali and Al Furjan takes about six minutes and frequency will be 10 minutes at a rate of six trains per hour, with the route serving 4,176 riders per hour per direction. From Jebel Ali I can change to the main line and access the Marina, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall and the Airport within 10-40 minutes, or 5 mins towards Abu Dhabi for Ibn Battuta Mall. I can also access bus routes from the metro stations to the malls, medical centres, beauty salons, supermarkets as well as the beach, tourist attractions, the canal and ferry terminals and Old Dubai, the Creek and the Souks. Pretty much ALL of Dubai.

I prefer travelling by public transport, you see so much more interesting places to just stop off at get a great view of the ever changing city, meet some interesting people and best of all, it costs less than £1 to travel the length of the line in one go.

January 2018

January 2019

January 2020

January 2021

Looking back at where I've been taking my photographs from.

Inside Al Furjan Station