Monday 28 November 2016

My Sunday Photo - Week 100

I collected all this bedding and material in October with every intention of having turned it all into Dog beds by now for rescued dogs in shelters in Dubai. Sadly the demands of work and my health mean this hasn't yet been achieved, but my Mother arrives on Wednesday and I finish work on the 16th December so plenty of sewing will be taking place over the next few weeks and I hope to get at least 15 beds made and delivered before the cold weather kicks in to give some abandoned dogs a bit of comfort.

Saturday 26 November 2016

Week 47 - One Daily Positive and Project 366

......and relax.

School Inspection week over and they didn't come in my classroom.

The last 2 weeks at work have actually been stress free, I've been going in on time and leaving on time. I try to teach every week as if I was going to be inspected, lesson planning, observations up to date, learning journeys completed, trackers updated as I go and gap analysis updated and reviewed.

Only 3 more weeks till the end of term and I finish working at the school. Despite not feeling so stressed, I've decided that teaching 4 and 5 year olds really isn't my thing anyway. I'm fortunate that my visa is sponsored by my husband and financially I don't need to work. 

It will be nice to have weekends back, rather than spending it food shopping and cleaning the house and to spend time with visitors without relying on only 5 hours sleep and to be able to choose when I travel back to the UK, rather than just in the school holidays with inflated prices.

Day 325 Writing
I'm planning on doing some writing when I finishes work, I've 30,000 words towards a book, I've no idea if it's any good, but if I don't try I'll never know.

Day 326 Cold
Driving around the new canal area looking for a woman's house that I visited on foot a few weeks back, finally found it and the coffee's were still hot.

Day 327 I'm eating
Rack of Ribs with Peter and a friend at The Beach, JBR.

Day 328 Home
With a house full of visitors between now and January 10th there will be lots of meals out. Reem Al Bawadi, is our 2nd home at the moment.

Day 329 Oh Well
Getting ready for a rare night out with work, when I dropped a full can of coke on the floor, covering the bed, walls, floors and the cat and dog.

Day 330 Window
My view ALL day nursing a hangover. It's lovely to have the windows open now the weather has cooled, except that the house is now full of sand.

Day 331 My Favourite
Peter and I cleaned the house this morning, then I popped out to the Garden Centre for a coffee. peter headed out to the cinema in the afternoon and I awaited visitors.

Thursday 24 November 2016

Animal Tales in Dubai

In the last 3 weeks it has become cool enough to spend time outdoors and we've resumed our weekly trips into the desert with Bob.
 It would appear though we've broken the dog with all this sudden walking every evening and running off the lead.
 The cat lost her extra weight over the summer from being kept indoors due to the heat and away from the stray cat feeding scheme and is back enjoying her nights out on the tiles. She is still spending the days indoors and seems quite happy with the arrangement.
 We're seeing more stray cats around. This one is at the local shop near work. It has had it's ear clipped so rescuers know it has been TNR'd. Trapped, neutered and released.
 This is the latest stray to have adopted us and waits on the wall for me every morning, it's ever so friendly. I'm not feeding it, but we have a little chat every morning and it just wants some love and affection.
 Ras Al Kor nature reserve is on my route home from work, so I stopped to take this photo in the week. It is in a nd around this area they will be building the World's tallest structure at over 1km high, the nature reserve will remain untouched, but I'm sure the wildlife will be affected as the landscape changes dramatically over the next few years. 
 I found these stuffed toys in a toy shop in Dubai Mall, almost life-size and with a hefty price tag, just who buys these things? Where do they put them and what do they do with them?
 The downside of winter is that the insect are now out in full force and we are over run with ants and flying things and we're starting to get bitten when we sit outdoors in the evenings.......grrrrrrrr.

Sunday 20 November 2016

My Sunday Photo - Week 99

Sunday is a school day in Dubai, it's also the day before the Inspectors arrive. 

I run an after school gardening club.

My classroom is set up ready for the morning and the last thing I needed this afternoon was covering the class in compost.

So far this term we've planted sunflowers, lettuce, tomatoes, peas, strawberries and melon seeds, so todays lesson was spent sampling the foods we are growing and drawing pictures of the sun flowers.

Saturday 19 November 2016

Week 46 - One Daily Positive and Project 366

It's been a negative week. A week of feeling worthless, over worked, which resulted in vomiting and a migraine and catching up on a lot of sleep. I'm as ready as I'm going to be for school inspection next week, I've done everything I normally do, extras and then given just that one bit more. Despite planning having to be submitted by Tuesday (which I did) there were then emails yesterday and today with requests/orders to add in extras. I haven't.

Day 318 Window
Working long hours, all I see is sunrise and sunset these days

Day 319 Blue
Can't wait to leave work, I've never in my entire life felt so worthless, despite Governors inspection report stating I am a very good teacher.

Day 320 Reading
Today was looking better, out with friends for dinner at The Belgium Cafe.

Day 321 Crisp
I'm sure the people over at snaphappybritmums were thinking British Winter for the day's photo prompt, but here in Dubai winters aren't even cold by UK standards.

Day 322 Colours
The coffee was welcomed, but the biscuits had to wait for another day, migraine and vomiting so sent home from work early.

Day 323 Heart
I love taking Bob out into the desert, despite still feeling sick from yesterdays migraine, I didn't want to miss out.

Day 324 Photo
Still not feeling 100% but we have a visitor, a friend from South Africa, they're off to Jordan for a few days tomorrow. We spent the day at the 'Race to Dubai'

Thursday 17 November 2016

HDYGG Gardening in Dubai

I found some time to finally get round to planting some seeds that I've been collecting. In typical 'Suzanne' style I haven't labelled anything, threw the empty packets out and I have no idea what will come up, where or when.

 I was totally amazed to see the lettuce and cress sprouting the following day. These are inside the house, the tray outdoors took 5 days to sprout.

There was a trip or two to the garden centre and I'm loving all the Christmas decorations.

The weather is cooling, but it's not consistent. At 4.38 on Tuesday it was 26c and on Friday at 7.11am it was 19c. It makes me laugh that the weather app on my phone says 'mostly sunny'

We've been spending as much time as we can outdoors. Dubai is simply stunning, this picture was taken after work at Costa Coffee.
 The new Dubai Water Canal is now officially opened. The skyline has changed dramatically. I'm looking forward to Safa Park being fully restored.

Monday 14 November 2016

Nothing you do as an expat is normal

The start of the weekend, early evening and I caught the bus and the train to the local shopping mall, it's only 9kms away and takes around half an hour to reach there by public transport. Being 5pm I decided not to drive there as parking is interesting to say the least.

I had a few bills to sort and a bit of shopping, plus I never need an excuse for a coffee.

I mooched around a few shops, sorted the bills, had a coffee and did my shopping, I then got a taxi home and was back by 9.30pm.

Doesn't really sound like anything special does it?

But I was in Dubai, one of the world's most expensive and desirable cities to live in. Shopping at Dubai Mall, the world's largest mall, with the world's tallest building and 1000's of people milling around. Tourists shopping as if it was going out of fashion, people chilling out after a busy week at work, families, individuals, groups of young men and women. A scene from anywhere in the world.

I walk around thinking in my head

I'm in Dubai

I live here

I'm just doing a food shop and having a coffee

I'm just doing something mundane and ordinary

I'm in Dubai


Sunday 13 November 2016

My Sunday Photo - Week 98

Peter phoned me on Wednesday night to say he would be late home as the 16 lane highway, Sheikh Zayed Road was closed for an hour. I was sitting in a coffee shop and googled it to discover that HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was officially opening the Dubai Water Canal. Following the signs for the dignitaries and being turned away from the official area, I parked up on the side of the road and walked through to the canal.

Considering this is Dubai, I was surprised at how few people were in attendance, but then it is rare events like this are advertised. I was not disappointed and while most of Dubai watched the event on the TV, I along with a few hundred others got to experience it first hand.

I've been documenting the build, through photographs, since our arrival in Dubai in December 2014 and I'm slowly putting everything together in a time lapse blog post.

There was music, parades and entertainment that ended in a firework display, hence why the road was closed for an hour.

I took many photo's that evening, met some lovely people and ended up back at the house of 2 random strangers for a drink after they offered to let me use their loo.

My next project is to start taking photo's of the world's tallest structure that is being built in Dubai Creek.

Saturday 12 November 2016

Week 45 - One Daily Positive and Project 366

A strange week, no one has really made an effort to persuade me to stay in my teaching post, which only confirms that I'm making the right decision to leave. I've been trying hard not to over work myself but I inherited a class when I started that wasn't up to date in regards to paperwork and I found it very stressful, so for my own peace of mind I want to make sure it's all in place. it's also KHDA inspection next week, think Ofsted, so there is still a lot of pressure, then it's National day and a 3 day week, then 2 full weeks till the end of term. I've left work on time every day this week, been swimming and stopped off at the garden centre and a mall for coffee. I put of thoughts of work from my mind, but I still have to do next week's lesson plans and at 4.30pm on a Saturday, with work in the morning I'm not getting much done, having spent today wandering around the Mall of Emirates.

Day 311 Something Red.
A weekend of R&R, shopping, global village for fireworks, the Souk Madinat for coffee with friends and relaxing at home.

Day 312 Fill The Frame

Day 313 8am. 
Well actually 5.30am and 12 hours later as I left for work and returned home.

Day 314 Money.
Grand Opening of the Dubai Water Canal.

Day 315 Wish. 
I left work on time and sat at the Souk Madinat for a coffee and to update student files.

Day 316 Time.
Spent the day with friends for Brunch.

Day 317 Where I'm Standing.
Visiting the Dubai Water Canal during the day light.

Thursday 10 November 2016

South Wales to Dubai, so much changes with HDYGG

Last month I made a quick visit to the UK for a funeral and sign the papers on an apartment we bought in South Wales.

The weather in Dubai is now pleasant enough to be spending as much time as possible outdoors, sadly though we still don't really have seasons, although I have felt chilly in the mornings before sunrise, despite the temperatures being in the low 20's.

I was surprised on my trip to the UK in Autumn that I wasn't cold, I certainly felt the rain and realised after 2 days that despite thinking I missed it, I don't really.

My last trip to the UK was in July and August this year, it was very green and I hadn't realised just quite how much I'd missed it. On this trip it was lovely to see the changing colours of the landscape and I especially enjoyed the falling leaves and stopped to take quite a few photo's as I drove around.

I didn't have any other option, other than to stop.

Mum's garden.

The view from the apartment.

This is our new back garden in South Wales, will be making full use of it in the Spring.

Peter sent flowers while I was in the UK for our 14th wedding anniversary.

Back in Dubai, this afternoon having a coffee at the end of another week teaching.

The Chriatmas Decorations are up and I'm looking forward to seeing the magic has to offer in Dubai this year. Last year's Christmas trees can be found here.

Enjoying the outdoors at Global Village.

This is what happened while I was away for a week, a footbridge was erected and the canal was filled.

I can't wait to explore the canal side in the daylight, there is a lot of work to be done still, such as building hotels, restaurants and a mall and develop the strips of sand that line the banks (do canals have banks or sides?)