Sunday, 19 November 2017

My Sunday Photo - Week 151 Z is for Zip

I've now seen all 4 seasons in the UK, starting with a short trip in Spring and a visit to Northern Ireland before cutting my visit short to fly out to Hong Hong to the Rugby 7s for a long weekend and then returning to the UK with Peter for a week for our youngest Childs 18th birthday.

I was then back in Summer where the temps were somewhat better, arriving in the week where temps topped 30c and still here in Autumn where everyone was moaning how they'd had a crap summer weather wise in the UK, how short are some people's memories.

I left the UK on October the 19th and returned to Dubai until November 6th. The weather was still quite mild in the UK when I left, however since my return it's been cold, wet and dark by mid afternoon and definitely winter here now.

It's quite a challenge to know how to dress each day, plenty of layers to combat the cold of the mornings, plus the rain, my boots aren't waterproof anymore, I'm damp all the time, my hair is frizzy from the moisture and my skin is drying out from the heating and the cold. My chill blains are back in my fingers and hands and so far I've managed to misplace 2 umbrellas.

As much as I miss having weather, living out in Dubai, I certainly don't miss the UK winter. Mind you the summer in Dubai isn't pleasant either when temps reach high 40s.

I need to plan better for next year, at least I can leave all my winter gear in the UK and my summer clothes in Dubai and travel light.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

One Daily Positive - Week 46

There have been a couple of trips to the pub, to see friends, lots of walks and bike rides and plenty of lie in’s this week. I’ve started on a course of steroids and I'm feeling much better, although I've now started to feel sick when I lie down at night.

316 Sunday Poppy
I joined in with Remembrance Sunday service in town. Disappointed with a handful of women who talked through the two minute silence, Lords Prayer and National Anthem. Feeling worse health wise, shortness of breath now and constant coughing, antibiotics finished and started a course of steroids. Watched TV and had a sleep after lunch and late afternoon I walked to mums to collect her car for the morning.

317 Monday Silhoutte
Off to Gloucester with child 2 and 2a to visit child 1.

318 Tuesday Beauty
Posted the last parcel to child 4 in the Middle East and to 4a for Christmas. Sent of a box of goodies to 3 and 3a out in Australia and a few bits and pieces to friends in the UK. I had an upset in Waitrose thinking about my Dad when I realised I won't be doing any Christmas shopping for him this year, a few kind words from a stranger who recognised my struggles was much appreciated and prevented further tears. Spent the evening with a friend.

319 Wednesday Happy
Had a lovely lie in and Mum phoned she had cabin fever and wanted to pop out for a bit so we went to Abergavenny for a spot of shopping and lunch. I fixed one of dads bikes up and cycled back to the flat. Child 1 was taken to hospital after being unable to weight bare, X-rays showed nothing broken but a worrying few hours while we waited for news.

320 Thursday Muse
Christmas cards and letters written, made several phone calls to sort out Mum's flat purchase and helped friends out with some advice. A new neighbour moved in, he's very noisy at 6.30am in the morning, what is it with people unable to walk upstairs without clanging the rails with their shopping and inability to close their flat door quietly?

321 Friday Nature
Coffee in town with Mum, more phone calls and paperwork then over to mums for a family party. I cycled over and took the car back dropping off a bay and olive tree for my friend to look after when Mum moves.

322 Saturday Colour
I had a lie in and wandered into town for a coffee and post the last of my Christmas cards, I then spent the afternoon in the flat, blogging and catching up with the week's linkys and popped out to visit a friend, before having a long soak in the bath and an early night.

On the blog this week:

My Sunday Photo - R is for Rain. I was only away from the UK for just under 3 weeks, it appears I've returned to winter now.

TriumphantTales TweensTeensBeyond PoCoLo Mother of the Groom. Child 2 and 2a are getting married in June 2018. What the hell am I going to wear?

AnimalTales and linking up with Z is for Zoo. Dubai Zoo closes it's doors after 50 years.  and Bobs pre school assessment. Day care for Bob the Dog.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Mother of the Groom

I need help and lots of it. On a normal day, it's no make up and hair scrapped up in a ponytail. This photo however was taken after a couple of hours with a make up artist, hairdresser, a professional photographer and with excellent lightening and probably some editing as it was for a national newspaper.

I can do dressed up, I love having my nails done, not such a big fan with my hair and make up as I can never recreate the look, but don’t do too bad by myself.

Next year Peter is best man at a friends wedding. I bought a dress, have shoes, jacket and a bag and wasn’t bothering with a hat. I made a hair appointment for the morning and I was good to go.

But now child 2 and 2a have announced they’re getting married in June 2018. I’ve gone into meltdown, there’s so much to do. I need a hat, my dress is lovely but it’s NOT Mother of the Groom, it’s Wife of the Best Man.

I’m chilled out about any help, guidance, support that the Bride and Groom want or need. I’ve been shown the guest list, been asked for my input into the cake, wedding dress, photographer,  bridesmaids etc although these decisions will mainly be decided upon by the Bride and her family.

I’ll appreciate any and all help/advice please that you have for me and my choice of outfit, including where to shop and recommendations on what I should avoid wearing (other than a full on white dress of course)

Sunday, 12 November 2017

One Daily Positive - Week 45

I started the week in Dubai and I've been having my fair share of Michael Macintyre moments so far this week. I watched 'the best of' on youtube on Sunday morning and realised how much my life mimics his comedy.

I totally relate to leaving the house in Dubai in the middle of the day and was wondering if I could cook Sunday dinner just by leaving it outside, but I did try frying an egg here in the middle of summer and it's not possible, something to do with evaporation. I also stood at the crossroads for two turns with another woman waiting for our turn to cross the road and realised neither of us had pressed the button and I was phased on a few occasions with the sensors on the taps in the public bathrooms and went all karate style trying to get the water and air to flow and had to seek assistance. This isn't a first for me, I've had to ask how a tap works here before in Dubai. I also did that thing at the airport where I opted to walk  at the same speed as those on the travelator.

My week ended in the UK still on the same theme, wondering if I can be overwhelmed and underwhelmed, why I can't just be whlemed somedays, my kind of normal.

309 Sunday Bonfire. Putting the kettle on is the closest I get to any fire in Dubai.
Dropped Bob at pre school, had the car valeted and popped to the beach for 5 minutes for this weeks My Sunday Photo, had my nails done, hospital appointment with the Pulmologisit and called in at Home Affairs to check the status of the teens visa, quick hoover, collected Bob, walked friends dogs and fed them while their owners are away, dinner, packed and early night.

310 Monday Rule of Thirds. 3 seats to myself for the flight.
Up early and off to airport for my flight to the UK. It was an uneventful journey and I was collected by a friend for the drive back to South Wales.

311 Tuesday Looking Up
Not feeling well so took it easy with a stroll into town and a coffee and a catch up with the UK post. Mum popped round in the afternoon.

312 Wednesday Street
Off to mums to box up the last of dads stuff, one last chance to look through all his things before they go to auction.

313 Thursday Blue
Auction house arrived, with driver only, so the task of loading the van fell to my sister and I and getting a 6ft pool table down the stairs was not an easy task. It was a bitter sweet day.

314 Friday Graffiti
Mum and I went to Cwmbran for some Christmas shopping, to get 2 parcels sorted and out to the Middle East and Australia to 2 of the kids. In the afternoon I met friends for a drink and in the evening off to see another. Mum's car wouldn't start, so calling on a 3rd friend to collect me, I left the car for the night to deal with in the morning.

315 Saturday Unbalanced
Sister took me and mum to rescue the car, we ended up in Gloucester having a new battery fitted and stoped out for lunch, she dropped me at a friends on the way home and I walked back to the flat in the rain and was asleep in bed by 8pm.

I can't believe the difference in the weather since I was here only 3 weeks ago, it's now winter and I'm so done with this rain already. My health isn't improving, despite finishing yet another course of antibiotics. I've had enough now

In the blog this week:

My Sunday Photo - Week 149 S is for Sun. On the beach in Dubai.
TriumphantTales TweenTeensBeyond PoCoLo Bob's preschool assessment. Bob the Dog goes to day care.

My Sunday Photo - Week 150 R is for Rain.

So last week I was back home in Dubai with S is for Sun. This week I’m back in Wales with R is for Rain.

When I left the UK mid October the weather was still quite mild, 2 and a half weeks later, despite the odd sunny day, it's now cold, dark and very damp.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Bobs Pre School Assessment.

As a mother of 5 kids ranging in ages between 18 and 29 it came as a bit of a surprise when Bob came into our lives.

We opted to do things differently this time and chose to home school Bob, but he is now 7 and we've come to realise that he needs to spend more time with others, despite him having good social and communication skills. He is a little clingy towards me and with me having to spend so much time away, he has been having anxiety issues that my husband has found difficult to deal with on his own. So my hand has been forced and I've had to go through the process of selecting a school for him to attend.

I had already visited several schools and done my research carefully over the past 3 years, knowing this day would come and we have of course used some of the holiday facilities in the past, but I'd never left him on his own. So last week, I made the decision to book him into a school near where we are relocating to at the end of the month for his pre school assessment.

I must confess I hadn't done much preparation in regards to discussing this with Bob, I really didn't want to put my anxieties and worries onto him. So the night before we packed his day bag, with a drink and snacks and a familiar toy and made sure we had an early night.

In the car on the way there in the morning I told Bob about where we were going and what was going to happen, how they were going to assess him and that I would be back after lunch time to collect him. I filled in all the paper work on arrival and then Bob was led off into the school, without glancing back once. I then asked what I was to do and they said I could go home and return at 1pm.

I didn't want to go home, what if there was a problem? It was a 30 minute drive each way, so having not done this for a good few years, I turned to Social Media for advice and was told to go find a coffee shop near by, buy a magazine and keep an eye on the phone, this is after all a very stressful situation for any parent and was a natural response to be worried and concerned.

I couldn't wait for 4 hours, so I arrived back an hour early and was told Bob had been fine, he'd passed the assessment with flying colours and had been accepted into their day care facility and I was welcome to go and see him at play and view the facilities.

Bob was extremely happy to see me and show me around and introduce me to his new friends. He seems happy there and the staff were welcoming and friendly and I'll be more than happy for Bob to attend regular sessions from now on. Bob was shattered when we got home so it was Macdonald's for tea all round and another early night as we had Halloween to prepare for the following day.

Oh just one thing........Did I mention Bob is a dog?

Sunday, 5 November 2017

My Sunday Photo - Week 149 S is for Sun

I'm returning to the UK tomorrow so I thought I'd make most of the my last day of living near the beach, as when I return to Dubai at the end of the month, we're moving further inland to a brand new, smaller and much cheaper property. As much as I love living near the beach, it's too hot to visit most of the year, and whilst I love swimming and there is a life guard, there are also rip tides that worry me and the new house has a gym with pool near by and we can always drive down to the beach on the weekends anyway.

My plans to spend time on the beach were scuppered by a last minute hospital appointment at midday the other side of the city, but I managed to pop down for this photo while my car was being valeted.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

One Daily Positive - Week 44

I may also have been a little curt and not my usual cheerful happy self this week, but sod it. I'm fed up of smiling and saying I don't mind when inside I'm sobbing and wondering why I tolerate things so much, it's certainly not for an easy life. We're all sorted now with our current tenancy contract so we'll hopefully be signing for a new place before I return to the UK next week, which takes a lot of pressure off me.

No clock change here, but that means we're now 4 hours ahead of the UK which makes communicating back home more difficult.

I'm feeling a lot better, I don't know if you've ever had pneumonia? I had it in 2007 and was hospitalised with it for over 2 weeks. It took me several months to recover. I have been diagnosed with 'walking' pneumonia, which means I don't realise how ill I actually am. I get my blood tests back this week that will show the strain, but the doctor suspects it's where I'm run down from the summer in the UK, a chest infection that I was probably unaware of, that has been left untreated since June when my white blood cells were sky high but any infection I had, had been masked by a 9 day migraine and the identification of a lesion on my brain as well as tests to rule out leukaemia. Yes, I ignored the cough, especially after my dad died in July.

Anyway on with the week.

302 Sunday Warm. Seeing as I'm not sleeping past 3am, I made the most of the night time weather and cleared out the sheds ready for moving, caught up with a ton of paperwork, realised if anything happened to me, hubby would have no clue how to access our online accounts so made a secret, password protected file stored online. He chose the password. Walked to the local shops for coffee to stop myself sleeping during the day and dropped hubby at the airport for an overnight trip to Saudi. I was exhausted by 6pm.

303 Monday Scare. Took Bob for an assessment at a play park, it lasted 4 hours, I stayed for a bit then went off to look around the area to see if it's somewhere we'd consider living. Got my car sorted in the afternoon, needed a new battery. Driving is challenging in Dubai, if you want to turn left you have to do a you turn, unless you're at a major intersection. Today's route involved 2 x 16 lane highways, I entered from the left slowly, everyone was trying to exit right at speed. I visited a Halloween store in the evening and bought inflatable balloons and spoke with the neighbour for the 5th time in 3 years, didn't know she'd had another child.

304 Tuesday Halloween. Hubby arrived home in the early hours. Food shopped, carved a melon, it was cheaper than a pumpkin, baked some cakes for the neighbourhood kids and decorated the outside of the house. I then took Bob to a Howl O Ween party, it's at the place where he boards and he loves it there, came away with a goodie bag full of treats. Got back to hand out treats to the neighbourhood kids and ran out in an hour, tidied up and went to bed early. I may have over done it today.

305 Wednesday First. The whole day was spent house hunting, considering we have to move out at the end of the month, you'd think we'd have something sorted by now, but no, that's not how Dubai works. There are loads of places we like it's just all about location.

306 Thursday Must. Doctors appointment first thing. White Blood Cells still high, in fact they've gone up again so more bloods taken and a bit B injection in my bum. Hubby dropped me off, we had coffee and afterwards I tried to catch the bus home, but my travel card was empty so I walked to the shops and got a taxi. 2 companies came to quote for packing and moving us. Such a wonderful view from the bus stop outside the Doctors.

307 Friday Self Portrait. More house viewing, everything looks the same, everything is the same. Took Bob to a new play place in the afternoon Paw Parking, he chewed through all their tennis balls and took home a goodie bag full of treats.

308 Saturday Fireworks. Can't find any bonfire events anywhere. Found a house to rent, deposit paid and contract signed, just trying to get something in writing to confirm dogs are allowed. The front looks exactly like Day 305 but in a different location as in that location there is no shade at all.

On the blog this week:

My Sunday Photo - Z is for Zoo.

Triumphant Tales - I get really frustrated that companies assume everyone has access to the internet and knows how to use it. How to get things done without the internet?

PoCoLo - It iratates me when people tell me what I can and can't do in Dubai, especially when they don't live here and only go by what they read in the media. This week we did Halloween.

TweenTeensBeyond - Parents, Teens and Alcohol. Did you allow your kids to drink?