Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Dogs on the beach in Dubai

Through a face book group I discovered a legal dog meeting on the beach that runs every Friday morning. it's operated by the Lama Club at Jebal Ali on the road to Abu Dhabi.

We arrived and set up on the beach with the other dog owners, to discover we were in the wrong place. The police arrived on the beach, but didn't say anything to anyone, but still, knowing we were on a public beach with Bob made me uncomfortable, so we packed up and quite literally moved 100m's around the corner to the private club.

The beach was lovely, we had access to a cabana, toilets, show, picnic table and chairs in the shade and sun loungers, all for AED 50 each and Bob was free.

We arrived at 7am and left at 1pm, there was a gentle breeze and Bob was able to swim in the sea, drink fresh water and lie in the shade, while we had a picnic breakfast, read our books and chilled.

The sea was as still as the lakes at Al Qudra, where we can now confirm Bob picked his rash and weight loss from, as he didn't react to the sand on the beach and has been slowly putting weight back on. He was however sick, he vomited up his breakfast after drinking the salty sea water, but he soon learnt not to.

We met some lovely people on the beach, including this cheeky girl, Cleo, who licked my head while I was snoozing and tried to join me on the sun lounger.

Bob got a little impatient with me also, wanting to go for another swim but not on his own.

My only complaint was the quality of the sea. It is at the entrance to the new palm, that work stopped on a good few years ago and there is no tide, the water is pretty much sitting still and the sea floor was quite muddy and slippery, but I had my beach shoes and it didn't really seem to bother Bob too much.

We'll be going again next week, assuming the temperatures aren't over 40c, last week was 36c. I'd much rather pay AED 100 for Peter and I and know that a) Bob isn't going to pick up anything nasty and b) we don't risk being find for having Bob off lead in a public area.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Planning International Travel

There are 3 questions you need to ask and answer before you book travel.

1. Can you afford it?
2. Where do you want to go?
3. When do you want to go?

1 Yes
2. South Africa, UK, Germany
3. During the summer months in Dubai

Last year I spent Ramadan in Canada, but the rest of the summer in Dubai, with the teen coming out for the long school holidays, my UK trip was in September due to child 4 of 5 Passing out Parade and South Africa in October and November to work with a charity.

This year I'm back teaching and Ramadan falls before the end of term.

The first trip booked was the UK for 5 weeks, based around cost of flights and availability. Then I booked a flight to Munich for 5 days to visit friends. On discovering I had 12 days of school holidays before my UK trip, I decided to book 10 days in SA to visit friends there also.

August looks just as busy but with us flying back to Dubai and the teen joining us for the last 2 weeks of his school holiday and friends from South Africa stopping over 1 night on their way back from their European trip.

The logistics of booking around school holidays for both the teen and I, checking schedules for Peter's work and an upcoming trip to Saudi, I was able to book his UK flight then sort boarding for the cat and dog, accommodation and car hire.

I still have a few more hotels to book and travel insurance to renew and I've even packed my case for South Africa as its winter there and I don't wear those clothes here.

I wanted to purchase a new hand luggage case for the Munich trip, but ended up buying Peter a new one instead, I'll make do with what I have for now.

I'm busy sorting out a variety of currencies, bank cards and plug adapters and making sure I take the right things to the right location.

I still have 2 flights to book for the teen to include his cousin travelling with him for the October half term. My mother's flight for November/December was booked some time ago and hubby has to squeeze in a trip to Turkey and plan a potential trip to Pakistan.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Week 74 - My Sunday Photo -Burj Khalifa

Taken from the 10th floor car park at The Dubai Mall on Friday. We arrived at 4.30pm and left at 9.30pm.

Week 21 - One daily Positive, Project366 and SnapHappyBritMums

I've been rather neglecting my blog recently, I have a ton of lovely comments I want to respond to and 2 weeks worth of links I need to visit, read and comment on also. I've 2 months of travel to look forward to in July and August to visit family and friends and I've already packed my case for South Africa despite not flying till July 2nd.

I think we've accepted the relentless heat, it's been our only topic of conversation this week 'I can't it's too hot' Although we did manage to spend Friday morning on the beach with Bob, with thanks to shower facilities, shade and plenty to drink.

Peter and I have been doing much more in the evenings now as we're hurtling towards Ramadan and the end of the school year, things haven't slowed down with work, I've just caught up and over taken. I'm looking forward to my first full year of teaching after a break of 5 years in September, I feel I've got back into the swing of things now. You can see this by the fact I've managed a full week of photo prompts without a picture of the cat or dog or taking a snap of my dinner to fill the gap at the last minute.

On the blog this week:
#MySundayPhoto  Getting ready for Ramadan
#AnimalTales Bob is feeling much better now
#HDYGG and #PoCoLo I've been preparing the garden for the summer months when I'm travelling.

Sunday Day 143 #OneDailyPositive #Project366 #ISpy #may #SnapHappyBritMums I spy the @burjkhalifa from my front door step.

Monday Day 144 #OneDailyPositive #Project366 #pattern #may #SnapHappyBritMums my summer wardrobe, it's summer clothing all year round in Dubai, adding a pashmina and jacket in December. Which means everything in my wardrobe gets worn all the time.

Tuesday Day 145 #OneDailyPositive #Project366 #new #may#SnapHappyBritMums sadly rather looking forward to using my new pens #stationery I've 27 end of year reports and 27 pupil passports to write, although they'll end up being typed I find it easy to physically write them.

Wednesday Day 146 #OneDailyPositive #Project366 #Really!#may #SnapHappyBritMums home from work early after a child threw up on me, it gets so hot during the day that the air con was on full blast trying to cool the house DOWN to 30c. #summerindubai #summer#dubai #dubailife

Thursday Day 147 Day #OneDailyPositive #Project366 #car #may#SnapHappyBritMums along with deck chairs, a tent and the breakfast picnic, this lot is ready to go in the car tomorrow for our first beach trip with Bob in#Dubai. #dog #pets #dogsindubai #dogsofinstagram #dog
Friday Day 148 #OneDailyPositive #Project366#bibs #may #SnapHappyBritMumson the day of the#bibs2016 I shall be having afternoon tea at the @burjalarab celebrating my 45th birthday#burjalarab #skyviewbar

Saturday Day 149 #OneDailyPositive #Project366 #alive #may#SnapHappyBritMums we've had a great weekend, took #BobTheDog to the beach yesterday followed by shopping in the evening @thedubaimall Today Peter cooked breakfast, bought me chocolate and flowers and after a lazy day at home we popped out for coffee, he cooked dinner and we're sitting down now to watch a movie.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Getting the garden looking nice for summer with #HDYGG

There was a cool breeze this evening in Dubai, the temperature was still 32c, but the sun had set and the wind felt cooler, than it had done all day.

To get an idea of what it feels like to live in Dubai in the summer, stick the central heating on to 30c, as that's what we're battling to cool our villa down to, wrap yourself in cling film to represent the humidity, sit in front of the hot oven with the door open and aim a hairdryer at the back of your neck, then remember it's not the height of summer yet and it's going to be at least 10c hotter.

Anyway, I took advantage of the cooler air and decided to do some gardening, I've noticed quite a few triffid like weeds and the sand is covered in green ground cover and scraggly grass.

        I opted to uproot the tall spiky plants as on closer inspection there was a lot of colour underneath their foliage that I wasn't getting to see. i may have made a mistake, it may have only been flowering due to the protection from the leaves from the sun, but I've nothing to lose, I wasn't benefitting from the underneath, so only time will tell.
             What I found is 2 plants and a tray of bedding that I forgot all about, as well as a lot of shrubs, that are still in flower.



And grass, more suited to the side of a motorway than a lawn, thick, strong, lanky grass, with roots that go down forever. Today's high was 35c, the rest of the week it's 38c+. It's under 30c at 5am when I get up for work in the morning, so I'm going to set the alarm 30 minutes early next week so I can finish tidying up, before it gets too hot to go out in.


The remains of the spiky plants will have to sit by garage door until the gardener comes on Saturday.
I say gardener, but what I mean is 'tidy upper' sweeper' and 'waterer of the sand'.

I'm in the UK in July and August and I'm really looking forward to the cooler weather there, despite it looking like it's going to be a hot summer by UK standards. I'm staying in Hertfordshire, Warwickshire, Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, South Wales, Somerset and Dorest, so if you're around and fancy visiting a stately home or public gardens with me do let me know. But first I have winter in South Africa and a week in Germany to see as much of the outdoors as possible, whilst catching up with friends.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Bob is feeling better

Well Bob is feeling a lot better and thank you to everyone who has commented on last week's post, face book, instagram and twitter.

Bob has only put on .2kg over the past week after rapid weight loss over the previous 3 weeks, it seems that the rash has something to do with the sand, the skin infection was probably due to the rats in one of the out buildings he showed a close interest in and we still have no idea about why he has been losing weight.

However this weekend we are going to a dog meet up on the beach. it's a private event with a small charge. Dogs are banned on the beach in Dubai, which is a shame seeing as we only live 1km from it.

We'll deal with any sand rash by taking a large container of water with us to rinse him with before we drive home and we have cream from the vets. As you know we live in Dubai so avoiding the sand is very difficult, almost impossible.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Week 20 - One Daily Positive, Project 366 and SnapHappyBritMums

A reasonably quiet week, but an insecure one, I'm feeling loved, wanted and needed, but just for myself I don't feel I have a purpose at the moment. I'm just ticking along.

It's difficult to get the balance right, when I wasn't working I had the freedom to go where I wanted, when I wanted, but not the finances to do it all. Now I'm working, I have the finances but not the time to get all the things done I want/need to do.

I've spent the week online researching the holiday of a lifetime and today I got round to booking it. In reality I'm just catching up with family and friends over the summer and I'll be clocking up around 15,000 miles of travel in the air alone, let alone road trips, as I fly from Dubai to South Africa, Dubai, UK, Germany, UK, Dubai. Peter is joining me for the UK part of the trip for 3 weeks.

I've still got a lot of planning and booking to do. Accommodation, travel insurance and car hire needs to be booked for the UK and South Africa. I have to book the kennels for Bob and Pushkins, sort out travel plugs, currency, local bank cards, purchase suit case and new hand luggage bag for the Easy Jet part of the trip.

I've only got 8 days in South Africa and already I've planned a road trip, Sunday dinner, birthday tea and a day in a township delivering resources and updating some teaching.

This week has been quiet on the blog also:

#MySundayPhoto It's getting hot out in the desert.
#AnimalTales Bob has been rather poorly.
#HDYGG and #PoCoLo It's too hot to be gardening.

Sunday Day 136 #PhotalifeREFLECTION
#SnapHappyBritMums daily photo prompt for #May #reflection linked in with #OneDailyPositive and#Project366.

Monday Day 137 #OneDailyPositive #Project366 #MyView #may #SnapHappyBritMums Peter may be back from his recent travels, but he's working late every night at an exhibition, so after work and baking a batch of gingerbread men for another teacher, I headed off to @mercatomall for a spot of shopping and dinner.

Tuesday Day 138 #OneDailyPositive #Project366 #eating #may #SnapHappyBritMums I'm not feeling well, but made an effort to get something to eat, my throat is swollen so Bob finished off the bacon and Pushkins seems to like the brown sauce. 

Wednesday Day 139 #OneDailyPositive #Project366 #work#may #SnapHappyBritMums no work for me this evening, I needed a night off, so it was out for a meal with Peter's work mates, much better idea in my opinion.

Thursday Day 140 #OneDailyPositive #Project366 #pet #may#SnapHappyBritMums sorry Bob but the pavements are too hot for your paws for a walk, so we're going to switch to 5am walks from now on #dogsofinstagram #summerindubai #dog #dogsindubai

Friday Day 141 #OneDailyPositive #Project366 #ticket#may #SnapHappyBritMums planning a holiday of a life time. 10 days in South Africa to include an overnight stay @krugernationalpark and #volunteer#teaching in a #township then 2 nights in #Dubai, a night in London, then #Munich for a few days, followed by a tour of the U.K. With Peter. #travel#solo #explore #expat #holiday #dubai #johannesburg #flights #emirates

Saturday Day 142 #OneDailyPositive #Project366 #may#reading #SnapHappyBritMums Usain Bolt described his race last night as sluggish, I'll tell you what sluggish is, it takes me more than 10 seconds to stand up, let alone run 100m's. But I'm happy to take things easy, after a day chilling at home, we're now watching the sun set on the beach.