No, I’ve not quit blogging already!

Yes, it has been far too long since my last post. I left you just before moving out of the hotel. Well, we have been in our new house for a few weeks now and although I have been busy assembling furniture, shopping for bed linens, towels, rugs and stair gates, this is not the reason behind me not blogging. Frustratingly our gorgeous house and new lifestyle does have a blip and that is that the internet provision is shocking, Without fail it goes from rubbish to nothing every evening and I am sure you can all understand that blogging in the day is a tad tricky. However, S is napping in the pushchair right by me,  our ‘house maid’ is sorting the washing (I saw that face!!) and If I am quick I could possibly publish a post.

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As you can see, its looking lovely and homely in the living room. The playroom has come on nicely too and even the guest room now has a bed and a lovely Indian handmade quilt over it.

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We have been eating outside in the back garden a lot, and have been enjoying tomatoes fresh from the same back garden. We have invested in a water table for the girls to play with out there and I have bought a baby bath for some more creative water play outside too. We have bought several stair gates and one is now at the door of the girls room leading onto balcony so they can sleep with that door open now with the breeze cooling them, and listen to the waves on the beach as they fall asleep. Only in my dreams did I ever think we would live so close to the sea. It’s wonderful.

A few weeks ago my new spangly UK driving licence arrived and although pretty terrifying at first, I am now thoroughly enjoying the freedom it provides me. The girls are enjoying it too as it means I have been able to take them to playdates and classes. Both now enjoy yoga classes once a week and S will start a music class tomorrow morning. Swimming lessons are in our pool behind our garden. I love my massive beast of a car- it was especially appreciated the other day when another storm came, the rain closed the school, roads started to flood and I had to drive in it to collect L. I was VERY brave.

We have been back to Dubai for a third and final time so the girls and I are no longer ‘tourists’. We all have the residency stamps in our passports… now just need to get my Omani driving licence.

The compound has a lovely little playground which we have been making use of while it’s not ridiculously hot and humid. It has several frangipani trees in it which I love. I can’t wait for them all to be in flower again. Just a couple of flowers are left…

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Well, S awakes so thats the end for now. Looking forward to our first visitors in 3 weeks… who else wants to come?

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Mixing Cultures: Getting it right and getting it wrong

a bit of mid day shade after a pizza lunch. that blue gate in the background is the house compound side gate leading to coffee shops and restaurants

a bit of mid day shade after a pizza lunch. that blue gate in the background is the house compound side gate leading to coffee shops and restaurants

Lets start with the rant. What is it with people going on holiday, experiencing other cultures, but  said cultures while there? We are in the Middle East and around these parts, less is more! That is, less skin, not less clothes. Today we got off the hotel grounds and while both driving and walking we saw shoulders, knees, THIGHS, and one lady was even wearing a virtually translucent vest top with her very short shorts.  I cringe when I think back to what I wore when escaping Saudi in Dubai years back. But it was unlike me, I have travelled a lot and always used to bear local customs in mind, I think perhaps in Dubai while I was swinging too far from the compulsory abaya in Saudi I was a bit bonkers (was I rebelling in my sleeveless tops etc?)  I would feel naked in a swim suit on a public beach here (others today obviously didn’t!). I would feel naked in a vest top. Whats the big deal with covering up your shoulders and knees? Theres plenty of time for baring skin by the hotel pool. Maxi dresses, and tee shirts, tunic tops and cropped trousers, thats ‘where it’s at’.

We witnessed all the bare skin while driving to the National Montessori Nursery for a visit to see if we’d like L to go there. Crikey, it made her ‘Montessori’ nursery in Reigate look a bit, ummm. weak. I was a little alarmed at the size of it as we approached but we were nothing but impressed once in. ALL of the teachers are properly Montessori trained, ALL of the staff are trained in Paediatric First Aid (something following http://www.milliestrust.com has made me aware of checking), they have rabbits and chickens loose in the play area, a pool, they don’t separate kids by age and 50% of the kids are local Omani while the other 50% are from all over the world. I can’t help but think that mixing up the cultures at that age has to be a brilliant experience that will help make more globally aware kids later on. We just need to figure out some transport logistics while we wait for my new driving licence, then will be grabbing L a spot there.

Our other ‘job’ for the day was to have a look at our new house / villa again and take some measurements before we go furniture shopping in Dubai at the weekend. Importantly, we also checked the temperature of the water in the pool that is officially a communal compound pool, but unofficially will be ours. I have taken pics to try to show the jammy proximity of pool to house, just look for our back wall by the stoned wall bit to the left on the photo. Super lucky. L was keen to jump in right then. We will be keeping some of the furniture in there, but a lot needs replacing. I’m looking forward to my sewing machine arriving with the rest of our gear that was shipped, and then going on a fabric hunt to prevent it ending up like some Ikea show home.

Other news: The washing is still in the machine and I am in need of vegetarian low / no carb food ideas as am now getting a bit nuts about nuts. Is humous OK?

on 'our' beach

on ‘our’ beach

this shows the bit of back wall peeking in other pic, plus back gate to access pool…. that isn't used by anyone else by the looks of it!

this shows the bit of back wall peeking in other pic, plus back gate to access pool…. that isn’t used by anyone else by the looks of it!

'our' pool. look to the left and see the stone brick wall then above that you will see the top of our garden back wall!

‘our’ pool. look to the left and see the stone brick wall then above that you will see the top of our garden back wall!