Friday 31 January 2020

Post Comment Love - 31 Jan - 2 Feb

I arrived in the UK last night with child 5. Our former family home in the West Midlands has been lovingly restored at considerable expense after the last lot of tenants.

We moved here in 2002 with our 5 children and lived here for 8 years before relocating to South Africa with the youngest 2 children, then onto Dubai, just Peter and I with a cat and a dog and now I'm back in the UK.

The cat and dog fly into Manchester tomorrow morning and will be delivered to us around midday. I'll let you know next week how they're settling in.

The furniture will arrive the end of June as my husband is staying in our Villa till the end of May and moving into an apartment, so until we rent one, we won't know exactly what furniture is staying here.

Both Stephanie and I would love to hear more about you also. Do pop over to our Blogger Showcase answer the questions to be featured on future #PoCoLo posts.

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Monday 27 January 2020

Preparing to relocate to the UK

In 3 days time I'm leaving Dubai and relocating back to the UK. Peter is remaining in Dubai for the next 2-3 years before he retires and we'll be spending our time travelling between the two countries as well as visiting child 5 in Australia and spending time together in Egypt, Turkey and South Africa where Peter will also be working.

I applied for my Transfer of Residency in December and it came through in 48 hours. I need this to avoid paying tax and duty on our pets and furniture. The Pets are flying into Manchester this weekend, but the furniture won't be shipped until May/June. I need to write a list and upload that online also.

I arranged for painters, repairs and cleaners to renovate the house back in December and the work will be finished on my arrival. I also moved all the furniture from the 1 bed flat we own in South Wales, so I can operate fully in the house without any further expense and the flat is now on the rental market.

Also back in December I took over the dog and cat beds, food/water bowls, spare collar and lead and purchased a littler tray and food as well as a stair gate and a winter coat for Bob the dog.

Although the seasons are the same, Dubai in winter is still warmer than a UK summer, so I don't have to pack clothes or toiletries so my suit case on this trip contains paperwork, more paraphernalia for the pets, a steam cleaner so I can ensure the bathrooms are spotless and anything else I can think of that I'll need until the container arrives in June.

I've spent a few days sorting out the kitchen cupboards, table ware and bedding as we'll be dividing the house contents up here in Dubai as Peter will need to fully furnish an apartment. We've been to look at a few in the Marina and have decided on our budget and area already, but as our contract on the Villa is until the end of May we won't be renting until the 1st/2nd week in May.

Peter is joining me in the UK in 10 days time and I need to start looking for suitable boarding care for the cat and dog as soon as I arrive back as I'm back in Dubai for 3 weeks in March. I've done some facebook research but really need to visit the facilities before I make a decision. We'll also be buying a car in the UK.

When I'm back in Dubai next I'll have to sell the garden fence, slabs and remove the lawn and plants as our rental contract states we must return the villa in the same condition we rented it in or we'll lose our deposit of AED 10,000/£2,000 which will go a long way towards the damage our tenants caused to our property, for which we only got back their deposit of £1,450. We also need a new deposit for the apartment in Dubai.

This is the best time of the year to be in Dubai, it's quiet and cool and perfect for the outdoor life. I'm sad to be leaving, mainly because Peter and I will be living apart for a few years, but I know once I'm back in May, in the heat organising our move to an apartment and the shipping of our furniture I won't regret the decision we've made.

Peter will also visit the UK in June for a few weeks and I'll get to spend more time with the family and our friends. We have no plans after that date, I'll have the freedom to visit Dubai anytime I like as long as I can find suitable boarding for the cat and dog.

Saturday 25 January 2020

One Daily Positive Week 4. Abu Dhabi and Omega Desert Classic Golf

A very busy week and I've walked a total of 99,351 steps which is approximately 67kms/41miles and most of it round a golf course, 2 dog walks per day, 2 walks along the beach and malls and cleaning the house.

This is my second year marshalling at the golf events in the UAE, all part of the European Tour. The Race to Dubai, HSBC Championships and Omega Dubai Desert Classic. I've been static on a crossing or the 1st tee box and 18th green, worked with anti doping escorting players from the green to the anti doping facilities and this week I worked with the TV recording live sound of the players selecting clubs, discussing tatics and have been privy to numerous private conversations as well as quite a few rude jokes in an attempt to shock me. I've smiled a few times, but mainly kept a dead pan look on my face as I can't respond verbally to them whilst recording.

For 5-6 hours a day I'm wearing headphones that pick up every bit of conversation from the spectators, golfers, caddies, action on the other greens and tees. Have you ever watched 'What a woman wants?' with Mel Gibson, where he can hear everything women are thinking? Well it's like that, I hear words, can see people's mouths moving but find it difficult to place exactly where the sound is coming from, it's a sensory overload.

19 Sunday Last day of the golf. Took Peter to the airport in Dubai which is the opposite end of the city from where we live then back past our house to Abu Dhabi grrrrrrrrr. Mum took herself on a walk to the coffee shop then spent the afternoon pool side, she also did all the ironing. Lord knows what Child 5 did all day. I marshalled Tommy Fleetwood and Andy Sullivan and Mike Lorenzo-Vera. It was a televised match, but the other marshal and I already work within the protocols such as not walking up the fairway behind the players.

20 Monday Had a well deserved lie in, air conditioning serviced then off the other Outlet Village the other side of Dubai for the day. I went back out in the evening to Emirates Golf Club for the briefing for the Omega Desert Classic that starts on Thursday. I was violently ill during the night, no idea why.

21 Tuesday Mum and Child 5 got a taxi to Dubai Mall for the day, they went up the Burj Khalifa, they were instructed to get a taxi home as I spent the day, washing, sweeping and mopping the floors. I went to bed around 8pm and spent a couple of hours blogging, scheduling posts and tweets and commenting on blog posts.

22 Wednesday Off to Dubai Miracle Gardens in the morning then the Beach for a walk, coffee and ice cream.

23 Thursday Mum and I went out for a coffee and then she went off to the pool again for the day. I started my first day at the golf, lots of familiar faces from last week. It's rare for the golfers to remember the marshals, but the caddies and managers are starting to recognise me, I'm a professional stalker these days lol.

24 Friday More golf, an early start, walked the first 12 holes with a Signature group then was taken off the course and returned to the same group now carrying a 15lb battery pack strapped to my waist and a mic to record sound for the TV feed. Met Mum and child 5 down at Jumeriah Beach Residence (JBR), we had dinner out and stayed to watch the fireworks, getting home around the same time as Peter.

25 Saturday Peter in charge for the day as I was at the golf again. Another day with TV, after 16 holes I was collected and driven back to the 16th tee to walk down with Tommy Fleetwood for his last 3 holes. Home, bath, helped mum pack and an early night.

BTW I don't play golf

On the blog this week:

Relocating the cat and dog to the UK They started their life in South Africa, before moving to Dubai where they've been living for the past 5 years.

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Friday 24 January 2020

Post Comment Love 24-26th January 2020

More Golf this week back in Dubai with the Omega Desert Classic. Mum returns home on Sunday and next week I will be hosting #PoCoLo in my new home in the UK with hopefully the safe arrival of the cat and dog after their long flight.

The cat and dogs journey started in South Africa with the cat in 2012 moving in with us and adopting the dog in 2013. Since then we've moved them to Dubai and they will spend the rest of their lives in the UK. They both adapted very well to the heat of the desert, here's hoping they don't find the UK too cold and wet.

Bob now and then

Pushkins as she's always been

We'd love to hear more about you also. Do pop over to our Blogger Showcase answer the questions to be featured on future #PoCoLo posts.

Come and join up with Stephanie @lifeat139a and I with a blog post you've written this week.

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Monday 20 January 2020

Repatriation Part 4 - Relocating the cat and dog to the UK

We brought Bob and Pushkins to Dubai from South Africa Now we're taking them both to the UK. Entry requirements to the UK are far less complicated or so it seems at this moment in time, but as with all relocations, things do get thrown up and tend to cause a lot of stress at the last minute.

Bob in South Africa

Pushkins in Dubai

We're paying a relocation company to help us with the move, they've provided all the information we need and links to UK government websites to avoid tax and duty.

All their injections are up to date. The vets have the forms they need to complete and sign to confirm all injections have been given and that both the animals have a micro chip.

Micro chips must be implanted prior to giving the rabies jab and the pets must have at least 30 days left before the next one is due to be able to travel. Bob the dog must be treated for tapeworm and fly within 5 days of the tablet being administered by a vet.

The cat and dog need to travel within 5 days of my flight and can only fly into Manchester, Edingburgh, Gatwick and Heathrow, so I'm arranging for them to be processed and transported from the airport.

I don't know what airline they will be flying with as the relocation company will book the flights. Pets have to fly cargo out of Dubai, regardless of the airline and the price is per kilo, including the weight of the crate.

We kept the pet crates after the last move, but not sure if the dog crate is up to standard. We will attempt repairs, but it's looking likely we'll need to purchase a new one. The cat's crate has been stored indoors and is ok to use.

The dog needs to be measured.

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR DOG LENGTH _______________ cm From the tip of the nose to the base of the tail (i.e. excluding the tail itself). 
LENGTH OF FRONT LEG _______________ cm From the ground to his or her elbow (left or right will do!). 
WIDTH _______________ cm With your dog standing, and you standing over top of him or her and looking straight down, find and measure the widest part of his or her body, wherever that happens to be! 
HEIGHT STANDING _______________ cm From the ground to his or her highest point (normally the top of the head, or in some cases his or her perky ears!). 
HEIGHT SITTING UPRIGHT _______________ cm Again, from the ground to the highest point.

The cat's breed as per the booklet book and information if the cat is particularly tall or long bodied.

Pushkins has been an indoor cat for the past 2 years due to her getting in frights with strays and over eating with the food put out by neighbours. Her new home is also on a busy road and as she's almost 11, she'll continue to be an indoor cat.

I'm hoping Bob will like the UK, not sure what he'l think of the rain and cold, it's not something he's used to. In South Africa the winters are cold in the night but warm in the day and dry. It's the summer it rains and it doesn't last long.

He's never seen snow, but the UK is much better suited for owning a dog than Dubai is with this heat and ability to take him places. He adapted to Dubai, I'm confident he'll adapt to the UK and I have bought him waterproofs.

The cost for their relocation is AED 12,000 approximately £2,500

I'll let you know how they're settling in.

You can read more of our Repatriation story below:

Some of these links aren't yet live and will be updated.

Repatriation or Operation Relocation

Part 1 Things we have to do

Part 2 Starting to get organised

Part 3 Transfer of Residence

Part 4 Relocating pets. Dubai to UK

Part 5 Sorting out our new home in the UK

Part 6 Bob and Pushkins arrive in the UK. What do they think of it? February 2020

Part 7 Renting an apartment in Dubai May 2020

Part 8 Vacating a Villa in Dubai May 2020

Part 9 Moving Day May 2020

Part 10 Relocation

Saturday 18 January 2020

One Daily Positive - Week 3 After the rain and the Abu Dhabi Golf

We had 150mm of water fall per hour for 3 hours here in Dubai over the weekend, the worse weather in 24 years. No big deal I hear you say, but we have very little drainage, the area we live in Jebal Ali and Discovery Gardens was the worse hit and on Sunday roads were still closed while they pumped the water away and abandoned cars littered the roads.

12 Sunday Off to Ibn Battuta around midday, mum did the ironing and I did more washing and some tidying up. In the evening after dinner we watched The Prestige. Mum is moaning that the TV here is rubbish, we have films, sport or netflex, TBH we don't watch a lot of TV.

The new road system will be opened soon and some of the buildings are now occupied.

13 Monday We headed out to Dubai Mall for the day, coffee, lunch, some shopping and exploration. I sent mum and child 5 ahead of me to the car with the supermarket trolley, they got lost, were no where near where child 5 messaged me from to say 'help, come and get us' and they giggled all the way home when I called them idiots. My mum said I was the idiot for expecting them to find their own way back. I walked round the 1st floor before spotting them down below on the ground floor grrrrrrr. We had a BBQ in the evening, but ran out of gas so Peter had to finish cooking under the grill.

14 Tuesday Off to Dubai Marina for a walk round. In the afternoon we visited the outlet village.

Sunset over the desert/building site

15 Wednesday Mum and I went to Mall of the Emirates, child 5 was out when we got home. I spent the afternoon in bed, I'm exhausted.

I bought myself the feathered rucksack, it has a built in hood, handy for my move to the UK.

I'm working as a marshal at the golf in Abu Dhabi, it's an hours drive each way, the speed limit is 140km/p/h. Dubai is 120km/p/h and my car is from Dubai and is fitted with a regulator that beeps, none stop when I go over 120, so I have the radio on full blast to drown the noise out.

This is part of the European Tour and the Rolex Series. There is some serious prize money up for grabs US$7,000000.

It's been chilly in the mornings, but lovely and warm in the afternoon with a cool wind (not so good for the golfers) I've topped up my tan nicely, taken over 45,000 steps and also walked the dog twice a day. Met up with friends from previous golfing events and it's been nice to catch up with everyone. Quite a lot of the volunteers fly in for their annual holiday.

16 Thursday First day of the golf in Abu Dhabi. I'm a walking marshal, I walked round the course with on a Marquee Match with Matt Wallace, Victor Perez and Danny Willet who won The Masters in 2016 and The Open in 2019.  Danny's mum and Matt's girlfriend walked with us, 2 very nice women.

It's difficult to take photos when marshalling as you never know when a camera crew will turn up.

17 Friday Out walking today with Andy Sullivan, Jason Scrivener and Scott Jamieson. Peter brought Mum and child 5 up for the afternoon, they went off to visit the Mosque afterwards and I got home at 7pm.

My most difficult crowd control moment.

18 Saturday Another day at the golf this time with Romain Langasque, Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Ashley Chesters.

A well deserved break and a chance to actually watch some golfers play.

Last day tomorrow. 3 days off then it's time for the Omega Desert Classic back in Dubai.

On the blog this week:

We're getting our house ready for the relocation at the end of the month, pop over and have a look at how we got our family home back after 9 years

I'm co hosting Post Comment Love #PoCoLo with Stephanie @lifeat139a, you can link up any blog post written this week, do pop over and take a look and a bit of support would be lovely, thank you.

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Friday 17 January 2020

Post Comment Love - 17th - 19th January 2020

It's the HSBC Championship this week, part of the European Golf Tour in Abu Dhabi and I'm working as a marshal at the event. I don't play golf, I just enjoy being out and about, meeting people and volunteering.

Yesterday I went out with Danny Willet, Matthew Wallace and Victor Perez. This is the view of the first tee half way down the fairway where I was ball marking for the players.

My mum and child 5 are visiting, they had to entertain themselves on Thursday and Peter is bringing them along to the golf today and tomorrow they're off on a road trip.

My mother needs supervising with her purchases, she thinks I can pack everything she buys into her 25kg suitcase allowance each trip.

We'd love to hear more about you also. Do pop over to our Blogger Showcase answer the questions to be featured on future #PoCoLo posts.

Come and join in with #PoCoLo with Stephanie and I and link up a blog post you've written this week.

If you'd like a weekly reminder leave your twitter name in the comments below

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Monday 13 January 2020

Post Comment Love #PoCoLo Linky

Post Comment Love or PoCoLo is a weekly linky that was co-hosted each week with Stephanie and Morgan since 2016 following in Vicky's footsteps. Morgan moved away from blogging the end of 2019 and I've stepped in to replace her.

It's a friendly linky that Stephanie and I both hope you'll join in and become part of our community.

So what can I link to #PoCoLo?

It is one of the easiest linkys as you can link any of your posts. You know the blog post that you're proud of, the one that's perhaps not getting seen by as many people as you thought. That post can be personal, sponsored, a photo, a review, a competition - yes whatever you like.
You'll be able to add your link to either of our sites every Friday and between us we'll comment on every post in the week that follows.
Please remember these three rules:
  1. To comment on at least two of the other posts and help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter - you can find us on twitter here: Stephanie - @LifeAt139a and Suzanne - @ChickenRuby
  2. Your post has to have been written in the last week.
  3. Please include the PoCoLo badge on your post.
Stephanie and I also host a Blogger Showcase feature as part of PoCoLo. We've recently added some questions for you to answer, any blogger can take part and if you'd like to be featured then please get in touch.

The #BloggerShowcase Questions

  1. Who are you? (a short introduction)
  2. How did you discover blogs/blogging?
  3. Why did you start blogging?
  4. What do you find most challenging?
  5. What is your favourite topic to write about?
  6. Are you blogging for fun or do you have goals?
  7. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
  8. Have you ever attended a blogging conference and if so, what did you think?
  9. What are your 3 best posts?
  10. Describe yourself in three words!
  11. Are you a tea and biscuits or coffee and cake person?
  12. What's your idea of a perfect night out?
  13. Your perfect night in?
  14. What would your best friend/OH/mum or kids say is your best quality?

I was featured on Blogger Showcase

I was featured on Blogger Showcase

Sorting out our family home in the UK

We've had tenants in our family home for the past 9 years. We've had really bad tenants who trashed our house and we've had really good tenants. Our first agent really let us down and was paying our rent from his own account as the tenants were late and missed payments, then when he could no longer manage this he told us, we issued a section 21a, he messed up their eviction and in total with lost rent, mortgage payments, replacing stolen items and repairing the house, along with court and bailiff fees, we suffered badly. We also had to sort out their debts and utility bills also.
Our current agents have been brilliant, mediating payments and finding us 3 sets of good tenants over 8 years.

Our current tenants vacated the property on time, but asked to keep the keys for a further 6 days to allow them time to clean and remove the rubbish. The agents agreed, but billed them for the extra days.

I was back in the UK early December, the house needs quite a bit of work doing to it, the locks have been changed, utilities switched over, the contents from the flat are now in the house so I can live in it until our furniture arrives in May/June and the flat is being rented out to fund the running costs of the house.

I'll be writing separate blog posts on the renovations.

But for now here are some pictures of the work we need to do to return the house to an acceptable standard. The tenants are liable for redecoration, repairs, new doors, carpets, rubbish removal and the cleaning, but their deposit will only cover just over 60% of the total costs.

Fire automatic door closures were removed

A whole door is missing

What doors remain are damaged

Window handles broken

Sky cabling just lying loose over the conservatory

Sky cables everywhere

 Broken furniture and waste left behind

Pull cords and light fittings damaged so I can only shower during daylight hours

Steam mop purchased as normal cleaning won't suffice

I only cleaned 10 tiles so I could take delivery of a fridge freezer

Boxes glued to the walls, along with 101+ nails and screws removed

Damaged flooring

Broken bathroom tiles

Carpet is beyond cleaning

Oven needs cleaning as does extractor fan and cupboards are covered in grease. Hob is badly scratched.

Neighbours have been written to about their plants, shrubs over growing my property and damaging the fence

Neighbours shed has collapsed, breaking my fence, until their shed is repaired and garden cut back, we are unable to replace the fence panels.

There are several jobs we want to do also but for the meantime I've requested additional quotes for complete redecoration, new carpets, bathroom, tiling, matching all the internal doors and a new kitchen.

We're currently in arbitration with the tenants claiming this damage is where and tear or not their responsibility. The 6 new doors that need replacing, due to damage, well actually 1 door is missing all together is apparently my fault as the automatic door closures for fire safety requirements as per building regs and insurance were all damaged by the wind blowing them shut, the carpet is wear and tear, the mess in the garden is due to it being winter and that's how gardens looks, they cleaned just not to my levels of perfection and the junk left behind was furniture I left in the house in the first place and it obviously just broke.

You can read more of our Repatriation story below:

Some of these links aren't yet live and will be updated.

Repatriation or Operation Relocation

Part 1 Things we have to do

Part 2 Starting to get organised

Part 3 Transfer of Residence

Part 4 Relocating pets. Dubai to UK

Part 5 Sorting out our new home in the UK

Part 6 Bob and Pushkins arrive in the UK. What do they think of it? February 2020

Part 7 Renting an apartment in Dubai May 2020

Part 8 Vacating a Villa in Dubai May 2020

Part 9 Moving Day May 2020

Part 10 Relocation

Sunday 12 January 2020

One Daily Positive - Week 2 Rain in Dubai

Getting really fed up of the UK media with its click bait articles, you just don't know who to believe these days. Anyway at the time of writing we're perfectly safe here in Dubai, there has been no warnings from the government either here or in the UK and if you check the UK government travel site you'll see there is more risk of terrorism in the UK than in Dubai.

It was very windy at the start of the week, which usually indicates rain is on the way, it is forecast for Monday and Friday but who knows? Everything in the garden is now covered in a fine layer of sand and I'll be back to constant sweeping and taking the soft furnishings in and out everyday. So far we've had 2 uninterrupted weeks of lovely weather.

5 Sunday Updated all the memory sticks and hard drives from last year. Slow cooker on and took Bob for a walk, it's quite chilly outside and windy. Off to the local mall for coffee and buy rice crispies and powdered coffee for my mums arrival in the early hours. Did some tidying up and sat outside updating blog posts. After dinner we continued watching don't f**k with cats on Netflix. Off to the airport at midnight to collect mum, she couldn't believe it was raining on her arrival.

Scared the life out of me when I came to pack away the table settings outside.

6 Monday Bed around 3am, had a lie in then pottered around before going out for a coffee, afternoon at home then off to Global Village in the evening and met up with Peter to show mum the last of the Christmas lights.

7 Tuesday A visit to Ikea in the morning, can't believe mum has flown 3000 miles and wants to go here lol, did a food shop, batch cooked and evening spent at home in the garden and an early night.

Bob was agitated most of the afternoon, he knows the rain is coming. 

8 Wednesday Off to Dubai Creek to the souks/markets to purchase material for outdoor seating. Mum did her souvenir shopping, coffee at the Souk Madinat on the way home, they were taking down the last of the Christmas decorations. Had a roast dinner, watched TV and bed.

9 Thursday Mum made herself a pack lunch and a flask of coffee and was dispatched over the road to the pool for the day. I spent the day catching up with some housework, blogging and resting. It rained during the night and throughout the day.

The only photo I took today and it's a screen shot

10 Friday Off to Abu Dhabi for a meeting in preparation for the HSBC Championship Golf next week, then off to Dragon Mart. Child 5 started his journey to Dubai. Thunder storms and torrential rain throughout the night.

11 Saturday An early start to collect child 5 from the airport, our journey was hampered by the flooding and his plane was put in a holding pattern for 90 mins due to surface water on the runway and finding a none flooded bay to park in. We then went out to brunch at 1pm, taxi's and cars were unable to get through the floods, but we have a 4x4, our only problem was our routes were cut off due to people having to abandon their vehicles in the flood water. The afternoon/evening just vegging out in front of the TV.

On the blog this week:

Our year 2019 and plans for 2020. Linked to #PoCoLo 

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