Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Why is doing nothing such hard work?

I spent 2 days cleaning the house, top to bottom, sparkly tiles and windows I can see out of.

But it's not done, there's always something else to be done. I'd caught up with the washing and ironing, yet found another 2 loads to go in the machine today.

How does that happen? It's just me, hubby, the cat and dog. Peter is out all day at work and apart from cooking dinner or blogging, or watching TV I don't generate that much mess surely.

I've not been well, I was planning on resting the last two days ahead of the golf in Abu Dhabi tomorrow, instead I've been hoovering, dusting and mopping all day.

We bought 2 large rugs as I'm fed up of walking on hard tiles all the time. I've created work for myself hoovering up the dog and cat hairs out of the carpet, I can't lift the coffee table back on the rug on my own (I tried)

I batched cooked several meals ahead of child 2 and 2a's arrival next week, so after the golf I can just chill out for a few days after running the hoover round and catching up with the ironing again.

But I've gone and ordered a unit from IKEA that arrives the day before they do so I can't sort out their room until then.

The new sofa we ordered won't arrive until 4 days later. my timing for ordering online sucks.

I generated a pile of charity donations that now decorate the kitchen units also.

I swept the garden of sand and cleaned the balcony furniture and covered it so hopefully that won't need doing again before they arrive.

I've a pile of paperwork I've been 'sorting' since before Christmas. i.e. just moving it from room to room.

In between I've had all my hair lopped off, been to the dentist, had a minor car accident, repotted a cactus and started planning new furniture for the spare bedroom.


Child 2 and 2a arrive on the 23rd January till February the 2nd and I fly back to the UK on the 20th. After they leave I have the dentist to remove several teeth and have implants fitted, so I'll probably leave the new office furniture until after I get back (I won't)

Apart from the dog park, daily walks, pub quiz and coffee with a friend and upcoming visitors as well as a book to finish, a bike to ride and swimming and 4 days marshalling on the European Golf Tour, I've actually got nothing to do.

Just remember before you say I lead a full and busy life, please take into account I have no kids or a job and I'm awake for 16 hours a day and on my own 5 days a week while Peter is in work. So for now at 10pm I'll have a soak in the bath, read some of my book and wait for Peter to come home. I've been on my own since 7am. That's 15 hours to have done 'nothing in'

I'm hoping by next week I can find something to blog about, as blogging for no reason is pretty boring. 

What did you do this week?

Saturday, 12 January 2019

One Daily Positive - Week 2 Still ill

Bloody toothache and a loose front tooth, give me strength. I am quite literally falling apart. The post snapped mid 2017 and the tooth fell out, it cannot be put back in again, and with bone disease, I need grafts before I can have implants, which would mean no top front teeth for 12 weeks while the bone graft heals, but I'm now at the stage where I just have to 'grin and bare it' pun intended. Dentist this week for a plan to be made and it's not going to be cheap. Medical aid won't cover this.

I've been struggling to find interesting things to blog about, despite having a varied life, it's just normal to me to have visitors and travel etc. In between life is just the same as it has been for the past 8 years.

I've started reading a bit more and have 2 books on the go. one on the balcony upstairs and one in the garden, just chick lit style,  but it gets me off the laptop, but slightly confusing as I move between the two books.

6 Sunday Had a lazy morning and popped out for a coffee and a walk along the beach, spent the evening at Global Village a huge outdoor complex with shops, restaurants, lights, entertainment, funfair and so much more. It's only open during the winter months but I did see they're constructing a huge mall.

7 Monday Went to Festival City Mall and met a friend, ordered a new TV unit for upstairs from IKEA and had some lunch, packed mum's suitcase in the afternoon, she over shopped as in I've inherited a 3ft tall reindeer and 4 cushion covers.

8 Tuesday Took mum to the airport for 5am, home, had breakfast and Peter went to work while Bob and I went to the dog park for the morning. Caught up with all the washing after changing the beds and moved all the books out the hallway which involved moving furniture. Peter thought I was mad just buying one carrot and one onion from the shop, but it was all we needed.

9 Wednesday Did a bit of cleaning and moved the furniture and contents into place on the mezzanine. Had a bath at midday, went out for coffee, food shop and to blog. Dentist at 5pm and pub quiz and dinner out in the evening. In between I was back in bed.

10 Thursday Dropped car at garage and spent 7 hours with my friend walking round the World's largest mall. I bought a tea tool. My life is complete.

11 Friday off to Abu Dhabi to collect my uniform and instructions for marshalling on the HSBC European Tour (yes the Golf again). I'll be escorting players from the 9th Green to the 10th Tee on the Friday and from the 17th Green to the 18th Tee on the final day, Saturday. This means I can walk down the course behind the final pairing.I've also been accepted at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic the following week, but child 2 and 2a will be visiting that time, so I may just do the one morning shift. In the evening we visited friends.

12 Saturday Collected sewing machine and overlocker that can't be fixed, collected car that was fixed, cooked a roast dinner and then went to bed. I've ended the week with a sore throat, nasty cough and a blocked nose.

On the blog this week:
Going Green and recycling in Dubai
I've got nothing to blog about, so I blogged about it






Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Going Green in Dubai and recycling

Dubai is getting a little greener when it comes to recycling, but the onus is 100% on the individual and without much encouragement I'm afraid all waste is dumped as general waste.

I do my best to reduce the amount of packaging I use when shopping and we have a handy little shop within a 2 min walk from our house that is manageable even in the height of summer when it's 45c to walk to.

It's a battle though to walk out the shop like this, vegetables in hand. They try to put them in individual bags when weighing and then into one bag at the till. I really have to fight them every time on this.

This also cuts down on me needing to use my car and for when more shopping is needed I can ride my bike to the local supermarket 10 mins away, although I doubt I'll be doing that in the middle of summer.

I bought food nets from Lakeland, use a canvas bag for my shopping and buy larger vegetables frozen, as they retain the nutrients and cuts down on waste, expense and packaging than if I were to buy a whole cauliflower, broccoli and beans. 
I still have to battle the staff not to scan and bag. If they calmed down on assuming we are all in a rush and didn't ask us for our store card as we're loading the conveyor belt and gave customers a bit more time to get their reusable bags out, I'm sure more would be done to cut down on waste. 

There are recycling bins at the larger supermarket, but often full to over flowing and the malls all have small recycling centres for consumable waste when you're out and about.

Carrefour now offer lanes for service if you're reusing bags, but I suspect as most people in Dubai don't really care too much they'll probably just purchase a new recycling bag each visit as they can skip the longer queues. 

Spinneys (mainly Waitrose products) offer a plastic bag recycling service where customers can drop excess bags or collect a used one. I use this when I've purchased meat, unless I have a spare canvas bag I can use.

There is still a lot the supermarkets and shops could do to reduce waste. The till receipts are not made from recyclable paper and are often only printed on one side. With receipts having to be printed in both English and Arabic, a simple coffee in a ceramic mug from Costa is twice the length of my phone.

I keep my 3 reusable cups by the front door to grab when we go out to reduce the amount of waste we use with disposable mugs.
But why do the coffee shops give you a disposable mug automatically, even though you've said you want to drink in?

The new houses on our street have these new bins outside, I've not seen these before and will be making inquiries, our landlords (a building company) don't offer this service and I suspect it's an additional paid for service.


Blogging for no reason

I have nothing to blog about, I have plenty to say but it's probably of no interest to anyone. I had a great Christmas and New Year, but that's available in my #onedailypositive #project365 blog posts. Mum had a lovely trip over also, that's available on my facebook and instagram.

I did blog today about recycling in Dubai, but that was written for a prompt. I've a couple of construction project posts to update, but since the end of #mysundayphoto where I linked up a post a week on this, I've lost the desire to sort through photo's.

I've a couple of posts about the garden, a few day trips into the mountains and markets in the UAE and there's even a post waiting to go about things to do in Monmouth, South Wales, but I'll wait till I'm over there next before posting about it.

The cat and dog are OK, the husband is OK. Child 2 and 2a are visiting in a few weeks. I'm marshalling at the Golf in Abu Dhabi next week. I've got the dentist tonight and it's the Quiz of the Year also at our local pub. Yes we have pubs in Dubai.

The house has been restored to near normal after Christmas, although with the purchase of a new sofa for the mezzanine, there has been quite a lot of moving items around and deep cleaning. All that is on Instagram under #myhousethismonth

The neighbours are annoying us with their under 10 year old in regards to no discipline, he yelled 'fucking hell' twice in the garden the other week, his mother just asked him to calm down. He's quite a pleasant child and responds well to me asking him not to do something, but in this house he is very noisy, up till 11pm most nights and constantly thumping around, screaming and banging the stair rails. Twice over the holidays after 11pm I've knocked on their door and asked them to keep the noise down. I don't think he has any additional needs, just lack of parenting.

The car registration needs renewing, including the insurance. The diaries need to be updated and I'm resetting all passwords online. I've a cactus that needs repotting and yet more sand to sweep off the balcony.

I'm not in the menopause, I've written enough about depression and chronic pain. The kids left home years ago now so no more empty nest syndrome, I'm over the raw grief of my father's death mid 2017. After 8 years abroad, I can't really call myself an expat anymore, although we will return to the UK, life is just how it is now.

I've travel to the UK, Northern Ireland, Australia, the States and South Africa to look forward to this year, but the internet is full of 'how to pack/book car hire/things to do at the airport' posts.

Child 4 and 4a are getting married in September, this is our second child to get married so I've written all about being the Mother of the Groom and fretting over what to wear already.

But for now, my coffee has to come to an end, there is shopping to unpack, the washing machine and dishwasher need emptying and the cleaning and ironing can wait till tomorrow.

What are you doing this week you can blog about? Something new? or just repeating the same old stuff like everyone else is with a sponsored blog just thrown in here and there?

Sunday, 6 January 2019

My Sunday Photo for a year 2018

I completed 207 My Sunday Photo's over 3 years. In 2018 I focused each week on a different construction project around the world, mainly in Dubai. We also had 3 weddings, 3 funerals and many many visitors and lots of travel so of course that was all incorporated into the year.

I'm changing the My Sunday Photo tag, now it's come to an end, to construction photography and will continue to update my blog posts over future years.

But for now here's a summary of my year. Some of the photo's were taken on visits this year on my travels to the UK, Germany, Austria, Greece, South Africa and Egypt. Most of the construction projects are in Dubai, but there are a few posts from previous trips to the US and Canada. Not all of the Dubai photo's were taken in 2018.

January spent in Dubai. Completion of the final section of the big wheel. Dubai Frame and the Marina.

February starting to build the new metro station, revisiting the Hoover Dam in America. Dubai Opera House and a new road bridge. A trip back to the UK in the snow for my SIL's funeral.

March The Address hotel after the fire, 2 years ago. Coventry Cathedral, The Burj Khalifa and a forgotten building in Dubai.

April How they cool Dubai, inside the Burj Al Arab, The Opus Building and The Fire in the Almas Tower.

May Ibn Battuta Mall, The CN Tower in Toronto and Spiderman climbs the Cayan Tower.

June Chepstow castle, new train station in Dubai, Construction plans for the Tower in Dubai and The Old Fort. Back in the UK for Child 4's wedding and a funeral.

July Best friend's wedding, the ski slope in Dubai, how they clean the windows on the world's tallest building and Innsbruck Ski Jump in Austria on a day trip from a trip to Germany.

August another train station being built and a bio dome in Dubai and a trip to Greece.

September building a ship in the sky, road construction and Christmas charity work in South Africa.

October niece's wedding, a new building, yet unknown in Dubai and proposed new building in South Wales.

November off to Cairo to visit the pyramids, volunteering on the European Golf Tour, building with bamboo in Hong Kong and Dubai's changing skyline.

December in South Africa and Dubai, Christmas, gift giving and housing in South Africa.


You can see more of the projects 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 Our first child got married
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 
Week 188 Dubai Update on the Metro Station
Week 189 Dubai My view from the balcony changed in 8 months
Week 190 Greece Just how instagramable is it?
Week 191-192 Dubai Before and After. 3 months out of Dubai
Week 193 Dubai Building a boat in the sky
Week 194 South Africa An African Sunset
Week 195 South Africa Building with boxes Charity work in South Africa
Week 196 Another family wedding and a year of travel
Week 197 Dubai What are they building now? World Trade Centre
Week 198 Monmouth Building work in South Wales
Week 198 Dubai The cladding is going on, on the metro station
Week 199 Dubai They're building on the beaches in Dubai
Week 200 Hong Kong Building with Bamboo
Week 201 Dubai My Week as a volunteer on the European Tour
Week 202 Cairo Probably the largest construction project in the world. The Pyramids
Week 203 South Africa Christmas gift giving in a South African township
Week 204 South Africa A sense of community in South African Townships
Week 205 Dubai Christmas in Dubai
Week 206 Dubai When Bob met Santa 
Week 207 Dubai Al Furjan Construction Project

One Daily Positive Week 1 2019.

I'm starting this year by including the last 2 days of last year in this weeks post also. I also went into the new year with a bloody migraine and my chronic pain has flared up, I'm aware of every part of my body hurting, including my teeth.

The thing is, resting makes no difference, it comes and it goes, it mainly stays. I came close to going to the hospital on Monday, once Mum goes home next week I'll go back to the Dr's for some more medication.

364 Sunday Having a lazy day, dropped mum at the local pool while I blogged, washed, cleaned and generally sorted stuff out in the house and measured up for new furniture on the mezzanine. Popped out in the evening to Riverland an area of restaurants and shops from which you can access Legoland, IMG world and Bollywood theme parks.

365 Monday The day's plans were cancelled as I had to give into the migraine on day 5 and spent the day in bed. Spent the new year at a friends house, to watch the fireworks for New Year from their roof top. They're in the UK for new year.

2019 Happy New Year

1 Tuesday Up at 8am and drove home. Peter and I took Bob to the dog park as he'd been stuck indoors for 15 hours, thankfully no mess, but the cat thought it was going to starve to death. I went back to bed, blogged and watched TV in the afternoon and we had a BBQ and an early night.

2 Wednesday Had my car re registered similar to a MOT, no problems. Went to Miracle Gardens with mum and called in at the Mall of Emirates, chilled out in the afternoon. Pub quiz was cancelled.

3 Thursday Mum spent the day pool side, I tidied the garden and did some batch cooking went to the Marina for dinner in the evening after Peter finished work. The Dubai Shopping Festival fireworks go off every Thursday and Friday at 8pm till the 2nd of February.

4 Friday Took a drive out to Masafi to visit the local markets, had lunch out. Drove to Fujairah and paddled in the Indian Ocean and chilled out in front of the TV in the evening.

5 Saturday Dropped my sewing machine and overlocker off at Dragon Mart for repairs and ordered a new sofa, just need to sort out a TV unit, desk and side tables, so a trip to Ikea is called for. Went to Dubai Mall to watch the LED show on the Burj Khalifa had dinner overlooking the fountains. Finally found a Christmas tree big enough for mother. All 828m's of it.

On the blog this week:
My year in pictures





Tuesday, 1 January 2019

2018 in pictures One Daily Positive

I’ve been looking forward to the end of 2018 so I no longer say ‘my father died last year’ it seems so fresh still, yet it’s been 17 months. 

2018 started badly with the death of my SIL to cancer, my uncle Tim and Peter’s uncle David. 
We then had the wedding of child 2 and 2a, friends and our nieces wedding. 
Harvest festivals, volunteering on the European Golf Tour. There has been lots of travel this year to the UK, Germany, Greece, Egypt and South Africa twice. 
I’ve had a cancer scare, still trying to find out why my body refuses to store iron and B12, but WBC is now back in the normal range.
Mum and I appeared in the Daily Mail, we’ve had the usual birthdays and anniversaries, spent time with our family and friends and had more than our fair share of drama as usual. 

2019 sees child 4 and 4a getting married, we’re planning a trip to Australia to see child 3 and a holiday with friends to the US, as well as trips to the UK. Every year I keep a shoebox of memories as life as expats, creating a time capsules recording our lives abroad to be opened on our return to the UK. This is our 8th box.

I started taking a photo a day on January 1st 2014 when we moved from South Africa to Dubai and set up #OneDailyPositive, always looking for the good in every situation.

January 2018

February 2018

March 2018

April 2018

May 2018


June 2018 


July 2018

August 2018

 September 2018

October 2018

November 2018

December 2018

Here's to a happy and healthy 2019.

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