Thursday, 16 August 2018

Post Comment Love #PoCoLo 17-19 August

Welcome to Post Comment Love (#PoCoLo).  Same linky as usual for all all bloggers to link up their favourite post of the week.  Just in a different place.  Morgan is on her holidays at Walt Disney World so I'm co-hosting in August to help Stephanie.  

I'm co hosting this week whilst travelling to Greece. I'm meeting my husband Peter here for a week, he's flying over from Dubai to join me. I've bought myself a bikini, but once I get on the sun-bed I won't be moving off it, until the beach empties. I'm not at all convinced the top will stay on.

Next month I'm returning to South Africa, where we lived for 4 years, to stay with friends and to meet up with some of the children and charities I've continued to support over the years.


I joined in with the #PoCoLo linky a couple of years ago and it's been great to meet a variety of bloggers and connect with a wider audience.

Blogger Showcase. This week is the turn of Kirsten from Obtaining Bliss. Kirsten blogs about her personal journey with depression and her purpose is to help others who are struggling with it, or have anxiety to find their bliss. You can find out more about Kirsten by visiting Stephanie's post 



Tuesday, 14 August 2018

What are your retirement plans?

Have you thought about your retirement? I don't mean the financial planning side or the thoughts one has about not having to go to work and having time for their hobbies. What I actually mean is what the hell are you going to do all day, every day in-between all the plans you have.

I retired in 2011 when we moved to South Africa, my visa prevented me from working. I worked full time as a volunteer. My youngest child left home for boarding school in the UK in 2013 and the last child left home in 2014. We moved to Dubai and I came out of retirement for a year to return to teaching.

Last year was spent travelling, then my father died. I sold my mums house and cleared out all my fathers belongings to allow her to downside and move. We moved house in Dubai.

This year has been spent travelling, UK, Belfast, Germany, Greece next week, Dubai, South Africa in September, Dubai and back to the UK until the end of October. December my mum will visit.

2019 I will be off to Australia, child 2 and 2a will visit in February, March UK, April-June Dubai, June till September UK and back to Dubai. There's still another 2 and a bit years to fill.

Lots of lovely travel plans. But the bits in-between are boring, I'm doing nothing other than drinking coffee, reading, housework and seeing my mum and friends in the days and weeks when I'm not travelling. The UK and Dubai trips aren't holidays, they're day to day life. Food shopping, cooking, cleaning, ironing. Peter will travel with work when I'm in Dubai, so it'll be the same as when I'm in the UK, I'll be on my own. I'm 47 now, I've a long time ahead of me to fill.

We plan to buy a camper home when we return to the UK full time, but when the work stops, so does the income and although we've invested for our home, day to day life and an annual holiday, we won't have the income to continue with this level of travel.

A day on the beach at Barry Island, we visited here from Dubai.

We'll buy a house that needs some work doing on it and in the garden. We may have a dog to walk, we'll go out for coffee, to the pub, the housework will still need doing, we may even have grandkids by then. Peter will play golf, I'll go swimming. But what will we do in the gaps? The time in-between?

Whilst I spend my time visiting the family and friends, some local to the flat in South wales, some over seas, in between I do very little other than food shop, cook, clean, sort out paperwork, (insurances, tax returns and pay bills for our UK flat, UK house we rent and our Dubai home). I have to dedicate a several weeks a year to our daughters care home paperwork. I watch TV, I go for walks, I blog, I read, I get bored.

When Peter retires I won't be on my own most of the year, we'll still travel, we'll still do all the other stuff above, but what will we do on a day to day basis?


Monday, 13 August 2018

Supporting Children living in poverty in South Africa

I spent 4 years living in South Africa and have been back many times to visit the charities I worked 
with when we lived there.

There are numerous charities in South Africa supporting children living in poverty in many different ways.

The Viva Foundation who supply affordable education and support the local community with a 
variety of projects. Including camping in a township, taking part in an arts project.

Dignity Dreams providing women with washable and reusable sanitary products. I reviewed them.

Santa Shoebox Project collect and distribute 110,000 Christmas gifts throughout the country each 
year. My Santa Shoebox journey.


Kungwini Welfare Organisation provide residential care for adults and children with learning 
difficulties, as well as providing education in their local community. I first started making scarves 
with them in 2014 raising funds for supplies for the workshop


I'm back in South Africa in September 2018. I've funded my own trip and will be staying with friends as I've done previously, since we relocated to Dubai.

What I'll be doing as well as visiting and supporting Kungwini and Santa Shoebox is to visit the 
children in the townships that I've met through these organisations over the years and bring a little  
extra happiness into their lives.

This could be through painting a classroom, holding a birthday party, donating toiletries and or 
educational supplies and I'd like you to help me succeed by donating £5 in exchange for a handmade scarf. That's it, that's all you have to do, just visit my PayPal account and donate.



In exchange for your £5, I'll select a scarf at random that I've made and post it to you. I'll tweet out a 
thank you, post the total amount raised, provide invoices and post photos online (with permission) of 
the children who have received your donation. Every penny raised will be spent directly on children 
living in poverty.








Visit my Paypal account, donate and then message me with your address on:

Sunday, 12 August 2018

My Sunday Photo Week 188 Dubai Metro Station Update

I started documenting the new metro line and station at Discovery Gardens back in November 2017. 

When this photo was taken in January, I had no idea where the station was going to be located, turns out it's right where the piece of yellow machinery is. 

I wrote a post back in June with photo's of the stations development which you can find here.

Peter has continued to take random photos for me while I'm in the UK, I suspect by the time I get back in October it will be complete, although the line isn't due to open until early 2019.

It doesn't look like much has been done over the past few months, but just take a look at the first picture and see how much they've done in 7 already.

17th June

24th June

30th July

5th August

10th August



You can see some of the other construction projects and interesting buildings I've visited around the world by clicking on the links below:


Week 158 Dubai Bluewater Islands and Dubai Eye. Man made island a 210m high Big Wheel
Week 159 Dubai Dubai Marina - Reflections
Week 160 Dubai Dubai Frame. A window between the Old and New Dubai and a 150m high glass floor.
Week 161 Dubai Dubai Marina 3 years apart.
Week 163 Dubai New Metro Line for Expo 2020
Week 164 Arizona and Nevada Hoover Dam 2002 - 2010
Week 165 Dubai Dubai Opera House What a difference a year makes
Week 166 Dubai Unfinished buildings. The Pentominium
Week 167 Coventry Mixing the old and the new. Coventry Catherdral
Week 168 Dubai New Dubai Metro Station 
Week 169 Dubai The new extension of the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa 
Week 170 Dubai Hotel fire After the Address fire 
Week 171 Dubai Unusual designs The Opus Building
Week 172 Dubai District Cooling. Keeping the desert cool.
Week 173 Dubai Can I visit the Burj Al Arab
Week 174 Dubai The Almas Tower
Week 175 Dubai The Cayan Tower
Week 176 Toronto The CN Tower
Week 177 Nevada The Paris Hotel 
Week 178 Dubai Ibn Battuta Gate
Week 179 A Wedding
Week 180 Dubai The World's Tallest Tower
Week 181 Dubai and Wales Al Fahidi Fort and Chepstow Castle 
Week 182 Dubai New Metro Station in Al Furjan 
Week 183 Dubai Ski Dubai
Week 184 Another Wedding
Week 185 South Africa Life in a township
Week 186 Austria Ski Jump 
Week 187 Dubai Green Plant Bio Dome 

Saturday, 11 August 2018

One Daily Positive - Week 32

After a stressful week I was hoping this week was better, but it started with Peter receiving a notification that his card had been used for over a £1,000 at 3am on Sunday morning. I had to sort my mum's TV licence, it was £112.86 for the year up till her 75th birthday. The guy on the phone told me that price 3 times, then said as the card transaction went through 'that's all gone through £150' I'm now waiting for a refund by cheque.

I've also been battling with our daughters care home as to why they don't inform as to why they don't inform us of new management, changes in care and medical appointments. They know I'm in the UK each summer and have all our contact details. She's been put on new medication which seems to have made her very sleepy.

It's been week of twitter, instagram, blogging and real life friends.

I caught up with all my paperwork, booked coach and hotel for the airport before Greece next week and scheduled some blog posts.

217 Sunday Met twitter friends Rosie and Simon for coffee in Newport, did a food shop, had lunch and went to see Mama Mia with a friend I met in Uni 20 years ago. Spent the evening in on paperwork.

218 Monday Off to Ross to meet Instagram friend Alison @rubbishwife and had dinner at my mums.

219 Tuesday Met a twitter friend Pat for coffee, did very little else all day.

220 Wednesday Spent the morning in reading a book. Coffee with mum in the afternoon, visited the Things then dinner with Kath and the twins, locally. I met Kath the night my father died.

221 Thursday Drove to Gloucester in the morning to see child 1, food shopped, cleaned the flat and dinner with Andy and Vicki who got married last month.

222 Friday Woke to rain, glorious rain then remembered I had food shopping to do, on foot. The lovely Mary from Over 40 and a mum to one blogger and her son came to stay for the weekend.

223 Saturday After breakfast we drove through the Wye Valley to Chepstow, stopping at The Old Station in Tintern for coffee, then onto the Abbey and Chepstow Castle, driving home through the Forest of Dean and visiting the Kymin before getting back to Monmouth. The boy was still going strong after tea so we took a mammoth walk round Monmouth, through fields and to the castle, we were both broken.

Wedding Photo Swop #sp
I'm co hosting #PoCoLo in August
I feel displaced
My Sunday Photo - The Green Planet





Friday, 10 August 2018

Wedding Photo Swop in high resolution for printing.


We've attended two weddings this year already, our 3rd is in October and we have one more planned for September 2019.

The weddings so far have been that of our eldest son and best friends. It’s the turn of our niece in October and our 2ndyoungest son next September.

With family and friends living around the world and not everyone being able to attend, it’s rare for us all to be together at any family event. When one family member is unable to attend we still want to make them feel part of the event, even if they can’t physically be there. 

So when I heard about Wedding Photo Swap I decided to take a look. It allows you to create your own personalised space in an app where guests can share the photo's they have taken on your wedding day. Once you have downloaded the app you can email your guests or send them the link with the invite. 

Although a professional photographer has been at both the weddings to date, they spend the time with the Bride in the morning as she gets ready and arrives at the church. With the app we would be able to upload the photos taken of our son when he arrived at the church and for the second wedding, the Groom stayed with my husband and I the night before, we would be able to take and share photos of him and his best man getting ready also.

With the official photographer leaving the venue after the cake has been cut and the first dance, it’s a lovely way to have un staged moments of evening only guests and friends and family snapping away catching those other ‘unseen’ moments that the Bride and Groom often miss.

Wedding Photo Swop allows guests to share their photos from your wedding with everyone else and they are saved in high resolution for you to download and print. 

What I particularly like is that photos can be shared for those who can’t attend allowing them to still be part of the day but not posted online until the Bride and Groom decide to share their pictures of their big day.

For the last two weddings we’ve attended we’ve shared the photos we took with the Bride and Groom via face book, but the quality is affected when it comes to the Bride and Groom wanting to print any photo’s out. With the app the photos are saved in high resolution. 

Photos can then either be downloaded or edited and printed directly from your phone and they can be uploaded as the day unfolds rather than sending 100’s of photos via face book in the following days, as I’ve been doing for the past two weddings.





I certainly will be passing this on to my niece for her wedding in October and my other son for his next year.


It would also be a good app to use at hen and stag parties and who knows? Christenings in the future.

This is a collaborative post.

Post Comment Love (#PoCoLo) 10-12 August

Welcome to Post Comment Love (#PoCoLo).  Same linky as usual for all all bloggers to link up their 
favourite post of the week.  Just in a different place. Morgan is on her holidays at Walt Disney World 
so I'm co-hosting in August to help Stephanie.  

Another week of friendship and being slightly out of my comfort zone. I feel displaced. My home is 
in Dubai with my husband, cat and dog. But I also spend 6 months of the year in South Wales 
with my mother and adult children and family. I spend most of the summer in the UK. Peter joins me
a for a week or two a couple of times. Most of the time I have car hire so I can visit child 1, 2, 2a and 5,
who live in Gloucestershire and I'll visit 4 &4a in Belfast and they come here. Child 3 & 3a are based 
in Australia and currently travelling the world, I haven't seen them since July 2017.

This weekend I have my lovely friend Mary and her son staying with me. Mary is a fellow 
#project365 blogger. I've no idea how long I've known her online. Mary met my husband Peter and 
our eldest child earlier this year, it really does make a huge difference to be able to put a name to a face 
properly and for my husband to actually know who I'm talking about when I only have my online 
friends to talk to/about.

Blogger Showcase: This week is the turn of Chloe from Beautiful Bundle of Chaos 
Chloe blogs about fashion tips, trips and her gorgeous daughter Lola and some of the hilarious things they get up to. If you want to find out more about Chloe then pop over to Stephanie's post where you can find out what Chloe's idea of both a perfect night in and out is.




Monday, 6 August 2018

I feel displaced.

My home is in Dubai with my husband, cat and dog. But I also spend 6 months of the year in South Wales with my mother and adult children and family. I spend most of the summer in the UK. Peter joins me a for a week or two a couple of times. Most of the time I have car hire so I can visit child 1, 2, 2a and 5, who live in Gloucestershire and I'll visit 4 &4a in Belfast and they come here. Child 3 & 3a are based in Australia and currently travelling the world, I haven't seen them since July 2017.

I arrived the end of May, I'm not going back to Dubai till the end of October. I was here in February and March and will be back next March also. Peter joined me in June for child 2 & 2a's wedding then again in July for another wedding and we're meeting in Greece for a weeks holiday together next week. I've also got a trip to South Africa in September with a few days stop over in Dubai. I've also been to Belfast to visit child 4 & 4a and spent a week in Germany with friends.

I'm lucky to be able to travel so freely, but the novelty does wear off and after 8 years with 'not allowed to work' written on my visa, I need a change. That change won't happen till 2022 when Peter retires and we return to live in the UK and I can go back to work. I'll be 51 by then, will I want to work? Will I be able to work?

I have a few friends in Dubai, but contact always cuts back when I'm not there. The UK and Dubai are so different. Despite the heat in the UK this summer, which I'm enjoying as I'm actually able to get out and about and enjoy it, it's 200 degrees hotter than the sun in Dubai and the lifestyle is based indoors for much of the year.

In South Wales where we have a flat, I know all the neighbours, they know my drink in the coffee shop and my drink in the local pub. I have friends here, my family are here, but it's only for a short period of time and by October, my life will change again as I rebuild friendships back over in Dubai and get back into a different routine where I pretty much only have my cat and dog for company.

I did work over in Dubai for a year, as a teacher, but it became impossible to dedicate the time needed for my family around the world. I also worked as a volunteer for 4 years in South Africa, hence the reason for my trip there in September. When my father died in 2017, I turned down another job due to needing to be here, for both myself, my mother and the family, I don't think it will be possible for me to work again until we relocate in 4 years time.

When I return to Dubai my contact with family and friends is greatly reduced as there is a total ban on voice over internet, so no Skype, FaceTime or WhatsApp calls. It distances me from my family and friends. 

I currently don't feel that I actually belong anywhere. I'm busy when I'm in the UK. I'm busy when I'm in Dubai, but these constant changes mean that as soon as a settle into one place, I'm making plans to head back to another.






Sunday, 5 August 2018

The Green Planet, Dubai. My Sunday Photo 187

With the weather being so hot in the UK right now, I'm starting to think I'd have been better off staying in Dubai for the summer, as at least they have air conditioning everywhere. 

When the sun shines in the UK it means I can enjoy being outdoors, it's free to take a walk, sit in the park, have the windows open and enjoy the late summer evenings.

In Dubai, when summer comes it's a case of retreating indoors under the aircon. Going out involves a mad dash to a boiling hot car to get somewhere else that's indoors also.

One of the places I like to visit when I'm in Dubai is the Green Planet which is a bio-dome recreating a tropical forest with over 3,000 plants and animals. It's a great way of bringing the outdoors, indoors. The best of both worlds.




For 2018 I've been linking up posts about construction and unusual buildings I've visited around the world, but mainly in Dubai. If you're interested take a look at the below posts.

Week 158 Dubai Bluewater Islands and Dubai Eye. Man made island a 210m high Big Wheel
Week 159 Dubai Dubai Marina - Reflections
Week 160 Dubai Dubai Frame. A window between the Old and New Dubai and a 150m high glass floor.
Week 161 Dubai Dubai Marina 3 years apart.
Week 163 Dubai New Metro Line for Expo 2020
Week 164 Arizona and Nevada Hoover Dam 2002 - 2010
Week 165 Dubai Dubai Opera House What a difference a year makes
Week 166 Dubai Unfinished buildings. The Pentominium
Week 167 Coventry Mixing the old and the new. Coventry Catherdral
Week 168 Dubai New Dubai Metro Station 
Week 169 Dubai The new extension of the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa 
Week 170 Dubai Hotel fire After the Address fire 
Week 171 Dubai Unusual designs The Opus Building
Week 172 Dubai District Cooling. Keeping the desert cool.
Week 173 Dubai Can I visit the Burj Al Arab
Week 174 Dubai The Almas Tower
Week 175 Dubai The Cayan Tower
Week 176 Toronto The CN Tower
Week 177 Nevada The Paris Hotel 
Week 178 Dubai Ibn Battuta Gate
Week 179 A Wedding
Week 180 Dubai The World's Tallest Tower
Week 181 Dubai and Wales Al Fahidi Fort and Chepstow Castle 
Week 182 Dubai New Metro Station in Al Furjan 
Week 183 Dubai Cleaning the windows on the world's tallest building
Week 184 Dubai Ski Dubai
Week 185 Another Wedding
Week 186 South Africa Life in a township
Week 187 Austria Ski Jump 

Saturday, 4 August 2018

One Daily Positive - Week 31

It's been a stressful and expensive start to this week. I've also not achieved my 'to do' list which is stressing me out.

First off I had a minor panic and major meltdown when I couldn't find the buildings insurance renewal email for the house we rent out in the UK. It had been sent to a different email address. Then I had to renew the contents insurance for the flat, my passport is almost full so I made an online application to do that on Tuesday. I finalised the accommodation and car hire for Greece in 2 weeks time and I still have to book transport and a hotel at Manchester airport.

The last few days I've been experiencing shooting pains in my left leg and side of my head, I often have this, I think it's the nerve damage at the base of my spine playing up again, I've also been a bit headachey and I don't think the heat is helping me much.

It's not been the most interesting week for photos either.

I'm co hosting #PoCoLo for August with Stephanie while Morgan is on holiday.

210 Sunday I'm sleeping over at my mums for the week as child 4 and 4a have exclusive use of the flat. Torrential rain when I walked to a friends to have a melt down at the thought of all the above. Out with Children 2, 2a, her parents and 4 & 4a for dinner in the local pub.

211 Monday Most of the day was spent drinking coffee and getting on top of all the calls I had to make and emails that needed sending as well out sorting out insurance for the flat. I spent some time with friends in the morning and popped in to see Thing 1, 2 and 3. At least there will be no questioning my identity, this is pretty much what I look like when I arrive at border control after a 7 hour flight.

212 Tuesday 4a flew back to Belfast. I took mum with me when I went to the passport office. On the way home we stopped for fuel and then the starting motor just died, I walked mum home then child 4 joined me for 3 hours while we waited for a tow.

213 Wednesday was spent in caffe nero sorting out contents insurance for the flat and replying to several hundred emails. I then cleaned the flat and rearranged the furniture to create more storage space for my fathers stamp collection, then 4 and I headed off to Cirencester to meet child 5 for dinner. I've now been relegated to the back seat and often get asked if I need to pee before we leave.

214 Thursday I had a new smart meter installed, then met a friend for lunch who gave me a very belated birthday girt, followed by spending the evening with another local friend and popping into the pub.

215 Friday I sorted through child 5 & 3 belongings they've left in the flat for storage and repacked. There are quite a few things they didn't want so child 4 helped me with rehoming. We called into see the 'Things' late afternoon. Passport came back today. Too hot and muggy, hoping for a storm soon.

216 Saturday Child 4 left early evening to return to Belfast, next stop for him the Falklands till the middle of December. i won't see him again until September 2019. I tidied and cleaned the bedroom and bathroom and did some washing. Off to the last night of the music festival later. It's T-Rex night.

On the blog this week is all about friendships. What makes a friend? Friendship is a mutual but not exclusive relationship. How much value do you put on your friends?

My Sunday Photo: Bergisel Olympic Ski Jump, Innsbruck, Austria.



Friday, 3 August 2018

Post Comment Love (#PoCoLo) 3-5 August

Welcome to Post Comment Love (#PoCoLo).  Same linky as usual for all all bloggers to link up their favourite post of the week.  Just in a different place.  Morgan is on her holidays at Walt Disney World so I'm co-hosting in August to help Stephanie.  

As I live in Dubai for most of the year, I'm told how lucky I am to have all that sunshine. However the reality is, it's too hot to be outdoors in it most of the year. So I'm loving this UK summer, although I will admit, I am finding it too hot sometimes.

Whilst I love to travel, I'm often out of my comfort zone and last week I was in Germany visiting friends. They lent me their car and I crossed the border to Austria relying on hope alone that I would have a signal, driving through the Alps, on my GPS. 



I joined in with the #PoCoLo linky a couple of years ago and it's been great to meet a variety of bloggers and connect with a wider audience.

Blogger Showcase. This week is the turn of Kylie at Simple Little Secrets.

Kylie blogs about the latest beauty, fashion and lifestyle, creating a new look whilst saving money. if you check out Kylie's Instagram account you'll see cute pictures of her daughter and see she has a passion for coffee. If you want to know more about Kylie or find out if she prefers cake or biscuits with her coffee you'll need to head over to Stephanie's post.






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