Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Visiting Santa without the kids. Christmas with Pets in Dubai.

When in Dubai.........

And why not I say.

Since leaving school I've made friends via the work place and through having kids. But when you relocate from one country to another and your kids are all grown up and you don't work, then how do you make friends?

Well you join clubs/groups/attend coffee mornings. But that's not my style. In South Africa I did volunteer work and met the most amazing people and made life long friends. In Dubai, I took my dog out and about and met people. I even spent a year teaching in FS1 in an Arabic school after meeting a woman out walking her dog in the desert.

As my husband works away a lot and spends the days in the office talking to people he likes to come home in the evenings and switch off, me? I like to quite literally chew his ear off out of boredom, so Bob and I go out and join Dog groups, meet people, explore new places and generally have fun.

This is our 4th Christmas in Dubai and they do Christmas here big in all the malls and shops and as well as catering for all nationalities they also cater for our 4 legged friends. Bob and I attend Valentines lunches and Halloween parties and we love nothing better than a visit to Father Christmas.

We have 2 events this year. A secret Santa and swimming session at Dog Walk this coming weekend and last weekend we visited Santa at Paw Parking.

Oh and on Thursday Bob and I are going for a spa day. I'm off to have a manicure and pedicure ready to see John Bishop in the evening and brunch on Friday, while Bob is off for a grooming session at Paw Parking for the day.

And don't forget the cat. Pushkins joins in with Christmas also.
I'm pleased to say she doesn't mess around with the tree or the presents, but she did attack and eat half the contents of her advent calendar when left unsupervised.

Boho Chic in Dubai with Top Tier Style

For the purpose of this post I was given the following items for review. I like to be honest with my readers and make the disclaimer at the beginning.

I don't do many review posts and it's not something I search for, so I was very surprised to be contacted directly to ask if I'd review a pair of sunglasses, an item from the Boho fashion range and a cat t-shirt.

I have quite a few cat t-shirts that often feature in my blog, usually worn when I attend events with my dog Bob and I'm always happy to add another to my collection.

I've also been meaning to get a spare pair of sunglasses for a while as the ones I wear on a daily basis are by Tiffany and rather expensive to spend so much time falling off my head on the floor as Bob pulls me in all directions when I take him out for a walk. When the weather isn't so hot I like to cycle, even more so since we've relocated to the other side of Dubai and the roads are less busy. As you can imagine, there's a lot of choice for sunglasses in Dubai and the sales staff are quite pushy over here. I'm fortunate that most shapes and styles suit my face so it was nice and easy to choose a pair from the comfort of my own home. I now have a spare pair for when I walk Bob or go for a ride. They are polarised and I could choose the colour of the lens to suit the frame.

I wear a lot of dresses in Dubai all year round, regardless of where I'm going and what I'm doing, other than cycling. I prefer the longer style, but find most maxi dresses have spaghetti style straps, whilst I'm not breaking any cultural rules in Dubai by wearing these dresses out, I find in the summer my shoulders burn quite badly and in the winter it gets chilly in the day and wearing a pashmina to keep my shoulders warm and protect them from the sun is a flaff and I spend most of the day picking it up off the floor along with my sunglasses.

Delivery time was fast for all the items and they were packaged well. The t-shirt and dress came in a really small bag and I was concerned the items would be badly creased, but they weren't which would make them excellent items for packing into hand luggage and be able to wear without ironing at your holiday destination. The quality of the materials and the manufacture is excellent.

The dress was slightly see through, which could be a problem in Dubai, but I wore it with a slip underneath. Ordering was easy but I did find the size chart difficult to find on the website, however it was very accurate, the t-shirt fitted perfectly and I opted to get the dress in a larger size as it had adjustable ties round the waist.

The vintage steampunk sunglasses, boho fashion and cat t-shirt in this review were provided by Top Tier Style. If you would like to purchase your own use the coupon code BLOG15 for 15% OFF everything on their store!

Monday, 11 December 2017

Moving Home in Dubai Part 4 - Snag List and Repairs

Giving notice, finding a new house, choosing a removal firm and moving in has gone smoothly.
There were a few minor hiccups that caused major, short term panic.

Notice to old landlord should've been given in writing, but they accepted the WhatsApp message.
We were unable to secure a new property to move into until 2-3 weeks prior before we actually wanted to move in and as I had to return from the UK, we only had 2 and a half weeks in which to find somewhere and sign, before I returned. The contract for the new place stated we had to sign the contract and pay the rent 7 days before we moved in to allow the company to prepare the house, but that we also had to provide proof of DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) deposit 3 days prior to collecting the keys. As I'd flown back to the UK after finding a property and with Peter having to work abroad the week prior to moving, we weren't sure until the day before we actually moved if we'd be able to get in the following day or not.

Thankfully our date didn't change, but with a public 4 day public holiday weekend the week we were moving and needing to hand the keys back to the old place the day after, we would've been cutting it fine.

On the day of the actual move, I was greeted on the drive by a gardener, asking for a job, this continued throughout the day, with maids turning up also. My patience wore thin. 'We're moving in' I'm was tempted to yell 'Go away' to each and every caller.

Then the gas man turned up, the water cooler bottle delivery guy, then the building firm to fix the electrics for the gas cooker.

Whilst English is widely spoken here, it is often quite difficult to understand what people are saying, which company they are from and what they want from you, usually money. I let all sorts of people in and out the house. Tradesmen often ring the bell, stand there and you have to guess which company they are from and what job they have come to do. My phone rang from TV and internet providers where the rental agent had passed our details on. It all got a bit much to be honest.

I did also meet a few of the neighbours who came round to introduce themselves, I was a bit frazzled, I fear I may have scared them off. Seriously, when you're moving into a new house you really don't have time on Day 1 to stop and sort out all this nonsense and socialise.

The house we've moved into is a new build, it is immaculate and is owned by the construction company with a dedicated 24 hour maintenance line to report faults and people qualified to do each job turn up with the equipment they need, on time and do the job. This is not something we're used to.

In the past we had 5 guys turn up to sort out a leak in the swimming pool in South Africa, they dug a trench with whatever they found in the garden, including an old spoon to get to the pipes.
In the last house in Dubai, the odd job man who resealed the toilet needed a cloth, before we'd moved in and actually helped himself to a spare t shirt out of my beach bag to wipe his hands and round the toilet bowl with.

Sadly though cleaning up after themselves isn't a given, there's an assumption we have a maid, so after a flood when the bath the first morning and they removed all the rubble from the drain they just left it on the floor.

We were still waiting for a drain to be emptied of rubble from the laundry room (we mopped up the flood) and in the the main bathroom, the cooker hood isn't working, the outside tap has no water and there's some sealant that needs replacing in the bathroom and we need some instructions to operate the aircon.

Our wheelie bin hasn't been delivered yet. At the moment all the rubbish we're putting outside is in cardboard boxes, I'm trying to separate the actual waste from stuff that can be recycled as the maids and gardeners will rifle through and help themselves to anything that can be re used.

As we're in a new build it's our responsibility to sort the garden out, at the moment the dog is bringing sand into the house, I have a stack of business cards from landscape companies that have been left on the door step, but I'll be talking to the neighbours to see who they recommend. We'll block path and grass half and half with a flower bed, there are shrubs planted outside the boundary that will grow in time and we'll erect a fence for a bit more privacy like the neighbours have.

Two weeks later we ran out of water, can you believe it? The tank under the drive didn't refill and the ball cock was broken, this in turn broke the pump. But in fairness it was fixed the same day that I reported the matter, even if it did mean isolating the cat and dog for several hours while men traipsed in and out the house to turn taps on and off to check the pressure was working.

During all of this, the neighbours managed to lock themselves out. If you go out the front door without a key and it closes behind you, you're locked out. There's no catch to put in place, so we've swopped spare keys for future use. Thankfully as we're on a building site, there were plenty of men around with ladders to help her onto the roof and in through the balcony doors.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

My Sunday Photo Week 154 Q is for Pub Quiz and Beer

This is our 4th Christmas in Dubai and every year I get asked about whether or not we can celebrate Christmas here or not along with a 100 other things such as statements like this.

'You can't drink alcohol in Dubai'

So here's me, on Wednesday in our local pub, at our weekly quiz night, where we we usually come in the top 3 but this week we were placed 4th. I suspect it had something to do with the fact we all had too much to drink.

As to whether or not we can celebrate Christmas, what do you think? I'm wearing my Xmas jumper.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

One daily Positive - Week 49

At some point this week the Christmas tree went up and the rest of the boxes were unpacked and everything was put away. The cupboard under the stairs which is now our attic, needs tidying and there's a fair bit of stuff to be thrown away which i'll be doing next week. The laundry room also needs sorting as I have a single bed, double oven, washing machine and American style fridge freezer  stored in there, to sell, along with the cat litter tray in the shower room, not leaving much space to dry washing and for the cat to live.

The weather has cooled to 'fantastic' around 26c in the day with a breeze which means with the doors and windows open the house is constantly filling with sand, but it's a small price to pay after the relentless heat of summer and we've even had the odd smattering of rain. It's actually chilly in the mornings and a jumper is required.

We have a busy few weeks coming up now. John Bishop on Thursday at the World Trade Centre, brunch on Friday, followed by visitors the following week, then brunch is booked for Christmas Day and in-between Peter has a couple of trips lined up to Saudi with work.

337 Sunday Architecture
Bob and I took a walk to explore our new neighbourhood, this is the new Metro line and station being built just a few hundred yards from our new home, far enough and out of sight, but close enough to walk to even in the heat of summer.

338 Monday Music
A visit to sort out the utilities for our previous house and hand the keys back. I collected the cat from the vets where she'd been all week, it was a long journey with her shouting at me all the way home. My key broke off in the ignition, but came out easily and I have a spare.

339 Tuesday Low Angle.
Spent the day trying to stop the cat getting outdoors, which proved to be a bit of a challenge with Bob wanting to be outside, then inside all day long.

340 Wednesday Depth

341 Thursday Still.
I had a manicure in the morning and then spent the rest of the day rearranging the house and enlisting the maid over the road to come and help me move all the stuff we wanted to get rid of from our house over to hers where she'll sort, hand out and send back to the Philippines. I then met Peter and a colleague of his from South Africa for a coffee before we went for dinner.

342 Friday Lights
We visited Dubai Garden Centre and a DIY store to buy a few bits and pieces for the house and garden, we almost got home before I realised I'd left my purse on the counter. Security had called my bank, who then called me just as we arrived back at the store to collect it. We had some surprise rain in the evening which was welcomed. This is what I love about Dubai, I had every confidence my purse would be exactly where I left it and intact.
343 Saturday I'm wearing
We went to The Beach for breakfast and a walk. It's really nice to be outdoors and enjoy the cooler weather. Peter spent the afternoon restoring the outdoor umbrella and wooden stand and Bob and I went to a Christmas party. I've had a couple of approaches recently to write some sponsored posts relating to clothing and accessories, I've no idea where these come from as it's not something I blog about, but I'm not one to turn down a 'freebie' if it suits my blog. I've got some sunglasses and a t shirt also to add to a blog post later on today. I did have a request from a company who said 'we think our products would fit your blog nicely' I clicked on their webpage.......they sell sex toys....what posts were they reading to reach that conclusion? needless to say I didn't even bother replying.
In the afternoon Bob and I went to see Santa.

On the blog this week:

TriumphantTales - Managing Life as an expat

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

You don't need to survive Christmas.

Ok there are some people who won't cope very well over Christmas and the title of my blog post is not aimed at them.

What I'm referring to are the endless blog posts appearing in my timeline, on face book and in linkys 'how to survive Christmas with kids' and 'top tips to get you through the season' and even worse 'how to explain to your kids why Santa didn't bring them the gifts they wanted'

I'm not opposed to anyone writing any of the above but I do get annoyed when people feel the need to talk about surviving something that doesn't actually need surviving, such as Christmas, especially when the post is titled 'Surviving Christmas with Kids' it's up there alongside 'sacrifices I've made for my children'

Christmas, if you choose to celebrate it is supposed to be a fun time, about family, decorating the tree, school plays, gifts. OK, I'm choosing to leave the religion part out here, that's a different post all together, one I won't be writing.

Christmas isn't about stress, or it's not supposed to be anyway. It's not about whose kid gets picked for the school play, it's about taking part. Blog posts shouldn't be about putting the parents down of the child who took the lead role or heaven forbid the child themselves, because yours didn't get picked. It's not about judging how your face book friend chooses to post pictures of their kids presents piling up under the tree and you writing a whole post on how people like that are selfish and should consider your childs' or more importantly your feelings because you can't afford to do that.

It's not about spending a small fortune on things you can't afford for fear of your child being bullied for not having the biggest, best, most expensive present and certainly isn't about getting into debt for, especially when you're still paying off the debt from the family holiday you've blogged about in a similar vain.

If you can't afford something, then you don't have have it. If it's out of stock and you can drive a 100 mile round trip to collect it, then do so, that's ok, but don't moan about those who do or don't because you choose not to or can't do or don't as I read on a recent mumsnet thread.

Without sounding too old (I'm 46) I don't remember returning to school in January with the topic of conversation being all about who had what for Christmas. I don't remember my kids getting in a strop because they didn't open the right gift on Christmas morning and I certainly don't remember there being a meltdown when one of the older ones informed their younger brother that Santa wasn't real, we just brushed over it and said 'if Santa isn't real then who puts the stockings at the bottom of the bed on Christmas Eve?' they knew I did it and if they visit over Christmas as adults I still do it.

We told our kids that the presents under the tree were from us and family and friends, how else could we explain the random timing and appearance of the gifts, with 5 kids I shopped early, had little storage space, so they were wrapped and plonked under the tree. We were fair with the number of gifts they had, if not the value, they were asked to make a list and Nintendo's and latest PS's were crossed off straight away as being too expensive.

However you choose to do Christmas is your choice and I hope you don't think from this post I'm telling you what you should or shouldn't do. My post is aimed at asking you to take a step back and think about what you write about how others choose to do their Christmas differently from yours and just consider for a moment that there intention might not be to show off, or be aimed at putting you down, just sharing how they do things, in their way, celebrating their successes and hard work and in no way making any one else feel like they need to 'survive Christmas with their kids'

After all it won't be long before like me, you'll be spending Christmas without the kids, they'll have left home, live in a different country, maybe have their own families. Spending Christmas without the kids as a blended family is something we've done on many occasions over the years, but we've still had an actual Christmas, just not on December 25th. Enjoy it while you can, don't worry about the number of gifts, the amount of food, whether Santa is real or not, let the kids discover that for themselves, just enjoy it and do it your way, whether that's with or without a Christmas Eve box or not. My kids remember Christmas, but they don't remember what gifts they had.

Managing life as an expat

I'm one idiot away from a break down.

I'm 46, I struggle to control my bladder, what makes you think I have any control over my life?

Compared to other people I think I live a very stressful life, full stop. I live abroad. I have to deal with slow and none existent postal systems, time difference, expensive phone calls and rely on the good will of others to sort things out on our behalf.

We rent out our family home in the UK, with that come building insurance, mortgage payments, bank accounts, gas safety certificates, repairs, estate agents, tax return forms.

Our youngest child has been educated in the UK for the past 4 years, school fees, uniforms, pocket money, trips, learning support, GCSE's, exam fees, resits, flights, lifts to airports, passport renewals, pocket money.

I've had to manage two lives in two countries simultaneously and it's starting to take a toll. It's hard work keeping up with the bills, the kids, my health and juggle being happy and healthy and making sure everyone has everything they need.

Yes I know the kids are all adults now, yes I know we employ rental agents to manage our house, we have international and off shore banking, we now have all bills set up online so we don't have to rely on the post and the good will of others to forward it on to us.

We don't hire an accountant, we're not made of money, we do things ourselves, but it all takes time and everything is done very differently in both the UK and where we live in Dubai.

I find myself constantly having to switch my brain on and off. Car and contents insurance works the same way surely? No, not really, it's set up differently, direct debits, standing orders, monthly and annual payments.

We rent a property in Dubai, the contract is for a year, we have to pay a deposit and pay the whole years rent up front, we have to make sure that the landlord agrees in writing to take responsibility for repairs to their own property or we'd be liable for the cost of repairs, to include leaks, air con, painting the outside and general maitenance, we then have to register the rental contract with the muncipality or we can't have water and electricty to the property. We don't have an agent, the repairs are of a poor quality and numerous. We have to give 90 days notice to vacate, the landlord has to give 1 years notice of eviction or rental increase. We have to pay for new contracts.

In the UK where we rent out a property it's a completly different process, there are electrical and gas safety inspections, repairs have to be carried out to a certain standard which are expensive and have to be completed within a certain timescale, our tenants are demanding in regards to what additional work they expect us to carry out, there are endless emails via an agent from tennats demanding their rights to keep pets, despite their initial contract stating 'no pets' or requests to have a perfectly good kitchen replaced as it doesn't suit their needs or they want the rooms repainted to a colour that suits them at our cost. We call thier bluff, we'd rather have the property empty and then pay the council tax than give in to ridicilous demands and have done so. We have to pay an additional 1% on our mortgage for the benefit of renting the property out and our annual tax return forms require additional software to complete and additional costs and we have to register as overseas landlords.

We've now bought a flat, that requires management fees, contents insurance, water, electricty, council tax, tv licence, change address for bank accounts, driving licence, re register for voting etc.

It's not just about the money, we've budgeted for all the above, that part runs smoothly as long as we receive notification and the internet is working. I received a bill with an additional charge for late payment sent through the post and after the post code in capital letters was printed. 'EMAIL CORRESPONDENCE ONLY, DO NOT MAIL' it took me half a day to sort out the late payment charge, which I had to pay electronically and then make a complaint to receive a refund.

The hardest part of maintaining a life in two countries is the not knowing how everything works and having to switch your brain on and off between each country, almost doing a factory reset and constanly unlearning and relearning everything.

There's an assumption that you know how everything is done and that you know where to do it. I don't need a TV licence in Dubai. In South Africa you bought your TV licence when you bought a TV. Your car needs reregistering in Dubai on an annual basis. In the UK, you have MOT, buy insurance and then you can get road tax. In South Africa, you renew your road tax at the post office, no one checks you have insurance and there is no annual road worthy test, that is only performed when you purchase or sell a vehicle.

And no one tells you any of this, no one explains to you how it's all done, either a) everyone is a local and has no idea why anyone wouldn't know how to do all the above or b) everyone has been doing it for years now and has forgotten how hard it was to set up initially.

It's the same for me now when I visit the UK. I'm considering buying a t shirt that reads, I know I sound British, but I actually don't live here and I've no idea how this works, how to do it or where, but it's absolutly pointless.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Moving Home in Dubai Part 3 - Moving Day

In preparation for moving home in Dubai, I did the following the day before the actual move:

Collected the keys
Coffee with a friend
Had a manicure and pedicure
Wrapped and packed ornaments
Packed valuables
Dug up plants from the garden
Took the cat to the vets

The day of the move I did the following:

Got up
Collected all the dirty washing in the laundry basket
Dropped the dog in day care
Drove to the new house.

Peter stayed in the old house to supervise the packing, clean out the fridge, empty the bins etc.

I checked the water and electric was working and the air con etc was operational. We had to set up the DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) account and provide proof of deposit prior to collecting the keys and I waited for the removal company to arrive, half an hour after I did with the first truck to instruct them where the furniture and boxes were to go.

After unloading 2 trucks, they took a break and returned to the old house. I unpacked and put away the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom and we were left with a pile of stuff that came from the outbuildings of the old house, tools, camping gear and garden equipment that now has to be stored inside the house until we get some outdoor storage.

Peter followed at 3pm, collecting the dog on his way with the last 2 trucks and by 3pm the furniture was unwrapped, beds reassembled, they remade the beds, the boxes were emptied and removed along with all the packaging.

We put blankets up at the windows for the first night and we were in our new home.

The next few days were spent rearranging some furniture in the rooms, a few purchases have to be made, a home for all the outdoor stuff was found, but needs to be tidied and quite a lot of stuff will be donated and thrown away. The removal firm did a great job of unpacking, reassembling and putting things back on the shelves, they took photos to help them. Sadly though, they don't dust, so everything had to be removed, cleaned and put back. They also don't set up equipment, so while it was great the office furniture was in place, we had to empty it, move it, put cables back and move the furniture back in place.

Curtain poles still need to go up and things have to be tidied, once that's all in place and Peter is back in work, I'll unpack the ornaments, give the house a good clean and by next weekend it'll all be done.

This is the 7th full move we've done as a family since 2002, 3 in the UK, 2 in South Africa and now 2 in Dubai. 4 of the moves were company moves and they were not easy to do, with the removal contract being with Peter's company so all questions and issues etc had to be made from me, to Peter, to HR to the removal firm and back again as rarely would anyone deal directly with me because 'Miss Suzanne, the contract is with your husband's company, not you' despite it being me who does all the organising, arranging and last minute problem solving when things inevitably go wrong when there are so many people involved in a chain.

This move however was easy, because there was no one to interfere. Even though the contracts had to be signed by Peter as he is the one with the work visa, therefore the one with the income, everyone from the agents, landlords, to DEWA were more than happy to deal with me directly as long as I had copies of the relevant documents and Peter's actual signature.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

My Sunday Photo Week 153 X is for ... Getting ready for Christmas in Dubai

This weekend is a Bank Holiday in Dubai. Martyr's Day on Thursday, National Day and the Prophets Birthday. As a result the City is celebrating and decorated with the Country's flag and is coloured red, green, white and black. This extends to decorating vehicles, houses and public places.

Once this event is over, Christmas will hit Dubai full force. There will be trees, Santa's grottos, Christmas music blasting out in all the malls, only interrupted for the call to prayer. The coffee shops already have their Christmas cups and festive drinks in their stores and I'm happy to partake in as many as possible.

The only thing Dubai doesn't do is religion when it comes to Christmas, so you won't see Jesus as a baby in the manger or hear religious hymns or carols being played or sung. But you'll have traditional carol singers belting out 'jingle bells' coming door to door. Believe it or not you can go to midnight mass here in one of the many Christian churches and all faiths are recognised, you just can't publicly advertise or display your faith.

The supermarkets and stores are already stocked with Christmas items, exactly as you'd find in the UK. Tins of chocolates, advent calendars, mince pies and enough tinsel and lights to decorate the Burj Khalifa. I heard 'I wish it could be Christmas every day' being played in Hallmark cards in early November before I left for the UK.

We moved house this week, so our decorations are sitting here in a box in the lounge waiting to go up  by next weekend. All cards were written and posted when I was in the UK, it will be interesting to see how many arrive here in time.

There is a pile of presents brought back from the UK from 3 of the kids, including child 3 and 3a who sent something over from Australia. Friends organised gifts and there are presents to be bought with the money my mum gave us both.

The cat and dog have their advent calendars, as do I.

Over the next 2 weeks I have another X for Xmas and a Y for Yule to show you more of Christmas in Dubai, followed by a N for the New Year Celebrations, just leaving me a Q for Quiz night in our local pub, so yes, there are pubs in Dubai and we can buy and drink alcohol here also.

Christmas is also in full swing for child 4 in the Middle East where he's deployed. I sent him over a box full of decorations to brighten up the barracks.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

One Daily Positive Week 48

The week started and ended with me asking 'What day is it?'

Peter has had the week off work while we've moved house and with having been in the UK for 4 months and weekends in Dubai being on a Friday and Saturday and then UAE public holidays, I've had no idea what day it has been.

I've also been confused by the time difference which is now 4 hours and being that extra hour ahead now means that I'm not seeing things in family and friends timelines and when I post at midday, you're all just getting up in the UK. Whilst it's made contact with child 3 and 3a in Australia easier and child 4 is only up the road/country. It does mean emails and phone calls with the UK and responding to messages are done in the early evening, my time, when I'm ready to switch off, so I can get a response the same day.

The weather in Dubai is now on average a high of 28c with a gentle breeze, making it perfect for life outdoors for the next 4 months.

We've settled in well and quickly to the new house, but it's noisy here, there are kids, more traffic and more people to knock at the door to ask for work, we'll get used to it for sure.

330 Sunday Goals
Pre moving day and what else should I be doing today other than collecting the keys and giving the villa the once over, lunch with a friend and a manicure and pedicure in the afternoon. I packed the rest of the ornaments and with freshly painted nails dugs up the plants in the garden.

331 Monday Exercise
Dressed, breakfasted and ready to move at 8am. Dropped Bob at Day Care and went to the new house to wait for the first truck to arrive at 9am. Peter stayed at the old house to supervise while I stood on the door step and instructed the removal men which room they were to take each piece of furniture and box to. By 5pm they and all their boxes and packaging had gone, the kitchen and bedroom were sorted and we went to Macdonald's for tea.

332 Tuesday Sharp
The hall and laundry room was tided today as we are in serious need of having to wash some clothes. The day passed in a haze, coffee mid afternoon, boxes unpacked, stuff tripped over, furniture rearranged. Had an early night, but my brain was whirring and I was wide awake at 3am.

333 Wednesday Contemplate
Spent the day at the old house cleaning it from top to bottom, there will be some issue with the deposit, there always is. Anyway we know that the house was returned in a much better and cleaner condition than when we moved in. As landlords in the UK, we really do pay extra attention as tenants, yet we've been badly treated by both landlords and tenants in the past. Back in the new house the drain in the laundry room flooded, clothes now being held hostage in the machine until after the weekend. The garden was tided and outdoor furniture set up on the balconies.

334 Thursday Cold
Peter waited in for the Du TV/Internet/Phone company and I went to Ibn Battuta Mall to buy curtains for the bedroom and a few bits and bobs. Peter joined me and we had a late lunch, did a food shop and spent the evening setting up the TV upstairs and had an early night, after mopping up the main bathroom after another flood. Seriously, that's every drain blocked in this house.

335 Friday Wide Angle
Off to Ikea, hubby and I don't have a good track record there in regards to arguing, but we managed not only a trip round there, but a visit to the DIY shop and then put up curtain poles, hung curtains and assembled furniture and were still speaking at bedtime. More good news, tried the dishwasher, it didn't flood the kitchen.

336 Saturday Water. Blue Water and Dubai Marina on the horizon.
Woke with or rather didn't get much sleep with a migraine, I guess I've peaked and come back full circle to June this year when I had the last one that triggered off a health scare, who knows?
An easy day, sorted through my wardrobe and donated a lot of stuff I just don't wear, went out for coffee to Mall of the Emirates for the last of the curtains poles and a few other pieces we needed.

On the blog this week:

My Sunday Photo Y is for Yule. Comparing the prices between the UK and Dubai.
TriumphantTales TweensTeensBeyond PoCoLo Life without Friends? I couldn't do it.