Saturday, 16 February 2019

One Daily Positive - Week 7. More dentists and a migraine

WTF are the neighbours doing at home every afternoon? The bounce, bounce, bounce for almost an hour everyday is the 8 year old playing football indoors before his parents return from work, lord knows what the maid is doing and I do wish whoever it was that plays the bannister rails would stop also.

I'm not sure they realise how noisy they are, they apologise and shut up when I complain, but that's only ever after 11pm and before 6am and mostly involves the dog barking.

Peter has agreed with me, no neighbours when we next move, even if it isolates us or costs us more.

41 Sunday Dentists at 8am and driving across the city is stressful, crown prepared, more moulds taken and plate adjusted. Head was hurting before I left home, had booked pedi and manicure and hair cut. Dropped some things at a friends and straight home to bed with a migraine.

42 Monday Migraine kept me awake from 3am, spent the entire day in my pj's, in bed, in the bath, on the sofa, slept, watched TV, ate.

43 Tuesday Off to the dog park first thing, still not feeling right so a lazy afternoon, another dog walk and an early night.

44 Wednesday Took Bob out for a coffee, swept the sand off the balcony, watched TV, sorted craft stuff and paperwork.

45 Thursday Bob's 9th birthday. We had a McDonalds and cake.

46 Friday Brunch at Nara. 2 for 1 all you can eat and house drinks for a total of £30. We of course over did it and spent the afternoon and evening on the sofa binge watching The Grand Tour. The neighbours decided to make a noise until almost midnight, not impressed.

47 Sunday A lazy day, coffee out, watched TV, carried out a few jobs, hubby cooked dinner and we watched football in the afternoon. My hometown Newport kick off late here against Man City so a late night for us.

Can I please ask if you join in with the blog hop that please find the time to visit and comment on everyone who does the same for you, it's polite at the end of the day. I read and comment on every single post that links up, every single week, even if I'm on catch up. There's a few of you here who haven't been over to my posts yet.

I might not be a baby/mum blogger or even have a job, monetise my blog or be an influencer you need to follow, but I'm here, every week, taking part and have a wide range of life experiences to share.

On the blog this week:

I guess it's because the kids have left home and I'm stuck in limbo, but it's not helped with all the ill health, family deaths and losing my teeth over the past 18 months, but I'm starting to feel old.

Animal antics - Bob needs a bath and Pushkins has been exploring the balcony.

Creating a garden in the desert - my gardening in January has been all about rain and sweeping sand


Friday, 15 February 2019

Creating a Garden in the desert. January 2019

This is our garden in Dubai. Yes it's small, but we also have 2 balconies we can sit out on. It's low maintenance due to the heat of summer and it being impossible to garden when it's 45c, but you'd be surprised at how much does grow.

We've had rain in January, it's been most welcomed,

however there is a down side,

sand and dirt in the rain and from the balconies.


I finally managed to purchase some covers for the outdoor furniture that we acquired in South Africa, it's been moved outdoors to make way for the new sofa. 

My seedlings have grown well, from sunflowers to tomato plants and

even my nasturtium flowered this year.

There's been a slight issue with Bob digging in the garden and the lawn has been reseeded.

Thinking I can borrow this tip from the local golf course and spray paint the gaps.

Despite the rain I've still needed to water the garden.

Mum and I came across these fun tulip chairs on the beach.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Animal Antics in Dubai in January

We've had mixed weather in Dubai this January from sun bathing in the garden to

dog walking in the rain.


We've had numerous trips to the dog park


 which means lots of baths

leaving both the cat and I traumatised.

The cat has been quite adventurous and scarring the living day lights out of me as she tries to catch birds from the balcony.  

Bob was caught napping on my chair. I now pile books on it when I vacate it.

We've had this cat visiting, it's in a bad way, someones pet they no longer want and have dumped, sadly the neighbourhood strays aren't very friendly towards her. 

We found these crabs and a starfish on the beach.


And had plenty of cuddles with Bob and Pushkins.

Monday, 11 February 2019

I'm 47 and officially middle aged

I know age is only a number, but the feeling of getting old is here for me, having hit me in the face full force in June 2017, when routine blood tests sparked a journey to explore a potential cancer. I'm pleased to say after numerous tests, including a very painful bone marrow biopsy, I have the all clear. Now just to get my ferritin levels corrected after an iron infusion on boxing day which left me with an 8 day migraine, has seen my levels go back into the normal range. Next blood tests 3 months away.

Along my journey, my father died (sudden stroke) my sister in law died (cancer) my uncle, Peter's uncle and several friends also experienced the death of a loved one. But also in the time, we had our eldest son's wedding, best friend's wedding and our niece got married also. There was also the birth of Thing 3, my niece's son and the announcement of her 4th pregnancy over Christmas. 2nd youngest son also got engaged.

But why am I feeling so old all of a sudden? Well the number of deaths the past 18 months has made me realise I'm not immortal. We've finally got round to writing our wills, we bought another UK property. Peter turned 60 and we're starting to talk about his retirement and our eventual return to the UK.

Our children are getting married.

It's not about what I can and I can't do. I've no desire to run, I never had, the same with the gym. I'm not slowing down with age, I slowed down a long time ago. I need no more sleep now than I did when I had kids at home, in fact I get more sleep now.

There are lots more foods added to my list of 'can no longer eat this because it makes me feel bloated, gives me heartburn or causes me to put on weight' but I'm happy to have discovered new and different foods and would rather have fish or sea food these days, to meat, because as I've aged I've become more adventurous.

I own scarves. I wear them.
I carry a hanky.
All my knickers are big.
I buy shoes based on how comfy they look and not style.
I'm in bed by 9pm.

I have a full head now of naturally grey hair which has been cut short.

I have to use my reading glasses all the time as my arms are no longer long enough and the light is no longer bright enough.

To top it all off I started expensive, painful and long Dental work this month, as I have 2 loose front teeth, had teeth removed, crowns put on and a plate made for the next few months, while I have synthetic bone grafts and dental implants.

On a positive though, with loose front teeth, I've been mainly on a liquid diet of rice and fish and have lost 2 kgs in 2 months.

We have no plans to be grandparents, it's not something in our control anyway, but the thought of being a grandparent just reminds of how old I am getting and it's our kids now carrying the baton more and more.

I sit here drinking wine, wondering if the menopause will be kind to me and my ferritin levels remain in the normal range without me having to under go a endoscope, more bloods tests and a referral back to the oncologist.

I've not had a mid life crisis, I sort of missed that and had no need to buy a sports car or dye my hair purple.

When did you feel you'd moved on from middle aged? Did you skip that part? Or is your idea of middle age much older than 47?

I'd love to know if you had a crisis and how you coped/are coping with getting older.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

One Daily Positive - Week 6. Rain in Dubai and the dentist

It's been a difficult week physically and mentally. I had 5 teeth extracted this week in preparation for dental implants as I have bone disease and need bone grafts also. I've known this for over 10 years, but with child 4 getting married this September and a loose front tooth, I've had to get it done now. At 47, with a full head of grey hair, the past 18+ months of medical issues and living with chronic pain and migraines, I'm not handling this all very well. Physically I struggled in the dental chair for 2 hours, mentally I have no front tooth (I have a plate for now). Thankfully there has been very little dental pain, jaws and gums sore but can eat and drink normally.

It's also been a long time since we've not had visitors or I've been travelling and as great as it is to have the house to myself and catch up with chores and just relax, the days been incredibly long with Peter at work.

34 Sunday Up early and off to the other side of the city for 8am and the dentist. 1 tooth extraction and mould made for bridge, I'll need to wear for 6 weeks, while the gum heals, then an implant, a further 8 weeks to heal then a new tooth will be in place. Afternoon spent tidying, watching movies and walking for an hour or two after the rain storm we had.

35 Monday A full day at home catching up with all the upstairs housework, washing and ironing. I mad the beds, cleaned two bathrooms and swept half the desert back outside.

36 Tuesday Off to the dog park then back to the dentist at 1pm for a deep clean of my gums, 5 teeth extracted and a plate fitted. Afternoon spent sleeping and shivering.

Getting cold over here in the mornings.

37 Wednesday Swept the sand off the balcony and the garden, rearranged the plants to get maximum winter sun. Went out for coffee and food shop, spent the rest of the day in front of the TV.

38 Thursday Cleaned the downstairs of the house, now the whole house and outdoor space is clean, tidy and welcoming.

It takes forever to get the pet hairs out this rug and then they ignore their comfy beds to sit by my feet on the rug.

39 Friday Breakfast with friends on the beach and our new sofa for upstairs was delivered in the evening.

40 Saturday Trip to the bank, coffee out and a food shop.Afternoon and evening spent on new sofa sorting paperwork and paying bills.

Cat and Dog had a spat.

On the blog this week:

Latest development at BlueWaters as part of my construction photography series, documenting the ever changing skyline of Dubai.

Reducing food waste with #goinggreen

What stresses me out the most and why?



Tuesday, 5 February 2019

What stresses me out?

Micro managing....

Ask me to do something for you, give me a date and time it needs to be done by and I'll do it.

I always do.

But please don't keep checking up on me every 5 mins.

Don't ask me to explain to you or to other people exactly how I'm doing something.

Just leave me alone and let me get on with it.


Organising what other people are going to do....

We're going out for the day or arranging a dinner. Date, time and location are sorted, don't keep checking with me and confirming arrangements 20 times.

Don't ask me to sort out what you're going to wear, whether you need warmer clothes or not, I'm not you.

If I've never been somewhere before I can't tell you which car park to use, whether the ticket machine takes coins or not or where the nearest toilet is.

I don't need to tell you what time I'm leaving home and what route I've planned when I'm coming from a different location.

Who eats/drinks what, where and when....

If I'm out with a group of people and one of them wants a drink then just say. If I've been there before I can tell you where a coffee shop is, but it's not my decision which one you go in and what you have to drink either.

If I say I really don't mind what I eat or where and when, then that is exactly what I mean. If you want help making a decision then ask, don't put it onto me.

If we're at a venue and you can't decide what we should do first, then use the word 'we', don't expect me to decide for you, it's a joint venture.

Consequences of me being stressed out....

I'll say eat here, drink this, turn left, sit down if you're tired.

If you ask me to do something I'll do it my way, I don't have time to keep checking in with you to discuss my progress, especially if it's something I've not done before. Allow me peace to get on with it. I'll answer your questions when I've found out the answers, I won't make decisions on your behalf that will cost you money or stress you out. If you want something done your way, then do it your way, without me.

If you ask me to recommend something and I say I have no experience of it, then don't push me to give my opinion, I obviously don't have one or I'd offer it.

Consequences on me being stressed out.....

I get called a bossy cow, secretive, control freak, opinionated. I get migraines.

How I manage my stress.....

I've learnt to say, please don't ask me to make the decisions, lets decide together.

I explain my stress and how it manifests when I'm feeling stressed, which isn't always easy to do.

I say 'yes I'll help you with that, but please don't put pressure on me while I'm doing it'

By not engaging with other people's issues if they think I'm interfering by asking them if the person they're concerned about has actually complained or not, or offering them the chance to complete the task I've been asked to do, but first THEY must check with the other person.

By doing my own thing. I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, i make the decision and ask if the rest of the party want to join me or not, if not, arrange a time to meet them somewhere later.

Does any of the above sound familiar to you? How does your stress affect your life? 

Monday, 4 February 2019

How I reduce food waste

There's only Peter and I, plus a cat and dog. We both like the same types of food so cooking is easy for us. We don't feed left over cooked food to the cat and dog, but do give them the trimmings of any meat and fish added to their next meal.

I've always batched cooked and frozen left overs from the days when we had 5 kids at home and soon discovered that this way there was less food waste if we banned fizzy drinks and bread from the dinner table as the kids would fill up on that and leave most of their dinner then be hungry later on that evening.

Batch cooking allows me to freeze meals according to the number of people I'm feeding. Currently Child 2 and 2a are visiting so there are meals for 4 portioned out ready to cook/reheat.

You'll have noticed the frozen plastic bottles of water in the fridge. In Dubai our water is stored in a tank under the ground, it's sandy here and quite often it gets into the tank, making the water undrinkable.

If Peter is cooking, we will portion out our meals and then freeze what is left in individual pots for days when only one of us is eating. It's difficult to only use enough ingredients for 2 and if there is only half a meal left, we'll often reduce our size portions to put more in the tub for a meal next time.We also freeze the tomato puree as we never use a whole tub with each dish.


We only buy fresh veg, fruit and salad as we are going to need for each day.

We usually buy a small carton of milk and if we run out the shop over the road is open from 7am till midnight every day. We also buy boxed wine and keep a jug of cold water in the fridge. In summer the ground heats up and the tap water doesn't run cold.

We portion out enough butter for the week and freeze the rest till needed.

We freeze bread on the day of purchase, we don't eat much and living in a hot climate it goes off quickly. This allows us to have several types of bread on the go at one time also.

Do you think about food waste? Do you batch cook and freeze left overs? Do you have any tips you could share with me on reducing food waste further?


Saturday, 2 February 2019

One daily Positive - Week 5. Golf, a chest infection and the kids fly home.

I'm fed up of being ill, went for routine bloods on Monday to be told I have a chest infection and now on antibiotics. Had this cough and cold for 2 weeks. It's flu season, everyone has it, but no, mine has gone onto my chest. Doctor asked why I didn't come and see her earlier, my reply...I'm always ill, I can't come here every 5 minutes, she said I'm always ill because I don't go soon enough.

Iron levels have risen after an infusion last month, next blood test 3 months away, lets hope I don't need anymore infusions now as the last one gave me an 8 day migraine.

Now it's February I have to start counting the days or I get out of sync with this project. I've numbered the whole year in my diary and made several mistakes so it's now one big mess. How do you remember?

27 Sunday Dropped 2 & 2a at the beach then I headed off for the final day of the golf. I walked out with Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood. I don't see much golf as a marshal and the golfers rarely introduce themselves or say thank you after the round. Some are very friendly and chatty afterwards, not these two.

28 Monday Dr's for a routine blood test after last months iron infusion. It was a year ago today I woke up to the news that my SIL lost her fight with cancer over night. Headed off to Mall fo the Emirates for the day and visited the Frame in the evening.

We're 150ms in the air on a glass floor here. All 3 of us have also stood on the glass floor in the CN Tower, Canada which is 342ms high.

29 Tuesday Visited the Souk Madinat, took a walk on the beach and after Peter finished work we went to Global Village for the evening and dinner.

Peter photobombing.

30 Wednesday I popped to get my nails done as 2 and 2a sleep later, then off to the local mall for lunch and 2 and 2a went off on a desert safari in the afternoon. Peter and I watched TV all evening.

31 Thursday 2a and I went to Miracle Gardens for the morning as 2 doesn't surface until midday, spent a couple of hours at home catching up with the washing then headed off to the beach in a taxi, for a walk, dinner and to see the fireworks. Peter was working near by and joined us.

Too many nice things for just one photo.

32 Friday Brunch, not much else to say, ate and drank far too much but it was worth it, evening spent in front of the TV.

33 Saturday Up early to take 2 and 2a back to the airport. We were home by 6am, had breakfast and hit the last day of the sales. Dinner in front of the TV and the football on.

On the blog this week:
Do you actually get to just sit and enjoy your garden or is there always something that needs doing?
2a came to visit. It's the first time our Daughter in Law has visited our home.




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