Thursday, July 28, 2011

In Gratitude

Before he went in to theater yesterday, Tinus said to me his biggest fear is waking up with only one lung, so you can perhaps imagine how he felt when he woke up and the doc told him, he's had cancer and they removed half of his lung.

The operation was scheduled for 5pm - they ran late and eventually Tinus went into theater at quarter to seven in the evening.  The next few hours were some of the worst in my life.  Tinus eventually came out of theater at about half past ten. The doctor explained that as soon as they could see the tumor they said it looked like cancer.  They sent a sample to the path lab in the hospital and the result came back - it was cancer!  They have removed the top lobe of his left lung.

But this is not bad - according to the doc, it was 'curative' surgery.  If you can catch lung cancer early enough, you can get rid of it completely!  And according to the doc it should not impact on his quality of life at all.  Earlier in the year Tinus had a lung function test done as part of his aviation medical.  The doctor there said to him if he hasn't seen it with his own eyes, he wouldn't have believed it: Tinus' lung capacity was 40% over the  expected capacity for his age group.  This, according to Tinus is because he played trumpet as a youngster.  He's only lost 25% of his lung capacity, so technically he should still be well above average :D

And so I am so grateful that his parents made him play trumpet as a child, and not violin or to the piccolo.  I am so grateful that he's gotten the job offer from Dubai and has decided to accept it.  I am so grateful that the UAE has the x-ray test as part of their immigration policy.  I am so grateful that 'those Egyptians' decided to throw his x-rays out in spite of the fact that it wasn't typical TB scars, I am so grateful that his company suggested he come to South Africa to have it checked out.  I am so grateful that he saw Dr. Janssen who said:"whatever it is, it must come out."  I am so grateful that the doctors took one look at the thing and decided to send it to the path lab straight away, I am so grateful that Dr. Harris took it all out and it is now known and that we can move on from here to complete recovery.  I am so grateful for the ICU staff for taking care of Tinus for the whole night, and for Lana for  taking care of me and all of you for the calls and the messages and the love.

When I saw Tinus this morning he looked loads better than last night - thank you Schalk for preparing me :D After the ICU sister explained to him what they expect of him today he said to her; "sure, whatever you need me to do, I want to be out of here by next week. "  She looked at him for a moment, squinted her eyes and went: "Mmmm . . . . . I think you can do it!"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On this day

We woke up early this morning and went for a walk on the beach before the sun was up.  We had the entire Blaauwberg beach to ourselves as the rising sun coloured the lapping waves in hues of blue and purple oriental silk.  We saw two dead chickens, a discarded packet of half full Peter Stuyvesand Blue Cigarettes, an agile seal playing in the surf and a line of birds flying a perfect formation into the new day.  We had a R20 breakfast at Pakalolo's while Schalk entertained us with his endless portfolio of wildly entertaining stories of his life.  My favourite of this morning was the Wellington Wild Boar hunt.

Tinus is checking into the Vergelegen Medi Clinic in Somerset West this afternoon at 2 pm.  The operation will be at 5 pm.  The doctor told Tinus to expect to spend two days in ICU and after that two weeks in hospital. We're leaving now.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, all of you, for everything, but above all for the love.  Please keep the candles burning, the prayers flying and the healing energy flowing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Back in the Mother City

The view this morning from Schalk's place

A quick update on the medical so far:    Tinus had a chest x-ray in South Africa on Wednesday which showed something on his left lung; he had a blood test done on the same day and on Thursday he had a CT scan, which gives a three dimensional picture of his lungs.  On Friday he had the bronchoscope – a procedure where they looked inside his lungs with a camera.  The blood tests and bronchoscope results both were negative – no TB.  The CT scan showed that the scar, which they now call a node, is about the size of a coke bottle top.   It also showed that the node is too deep to be removed with keyhole surgery therefore Tinus will have to have quite a serious operation. 

We will find out today only when he will be having the operation.  I am trying very hard not to think of the physical procedure but the fact that he will be getting an epidural during the recovery process to help with the pain draws enough of a scary picture.  It seems that he will have to stay in hospital for two weeks after surgery and then an additional four weeks recovery time afterwards.  He says he’s going to try his best to be out after ten days – he’s got a lot of work to do :D

Apart from Tinus this whole scenario impacts most on the children.  They have been accepted in all the schools in the UAE, so we can pick – but – they can’t attend school there without residency visas.  We still don’t know if we are going to be able to go back to Dubai.  It seems that the best option is to have them go back to school here - for the time being.  

When we drove away from the airport yesterday and I saw Table Mountain, It felt like I was lost and unexpectedly came across a landmark which I recognized, which showed that although I now know where I am, I’m nowhere close to where I should be.  This morning when we woke up and I saw our mountain again it felt a lot better.  I now know where I am, this is where I should be – for the time being.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Suite Life

ОАЭ, Дубаи, Villa Rotana Suites 4*

Our bags are packed and we are all ready to leave, wake up call arranged for 5am, our flight is at 9.  The company brought me Tinus' paycheck to the hotel on Thursday - a cash check (I thought you spell that something like cheque - but the spellchecker disagrees with me) .  I was too late to get to a bank and I very nervously held on to it the whole of Friday until Saturday morning at 8 am, when the banks over here open again.*    The bank close to the hotel didn't do cash transactions (that would just be too easy) so after various people explained to me how to get to the branch that does; three different explanations to three different locations - yes, the same one: "Creek-side" branch.  The two kids and myself set off bravely to find the bank.  Almost an hour later - if you know what the roads around the creek on Bur-Dubai side looks like you'll understand, we saw the Museum.  "Look there's our bus Mom!"  From Louis. 'Our bus' was the Big City Tour bus we took a few days earlier.

I was so tired so lost and so without other options that I decided to employ the Dirk Gently method ( from Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - Douglas Adams) and I followed the bus, which - to prove Dirk's theory on the interconnectedness of everything correct - lead me straight to the bank.  A short while later (another few scenic routes on the way to the international exchange) and we were done with the financial stuff and decided to go experience ski-Dubai.  For those of you who do not know, the Emirates Mall has an indoor ski-slope, which includes a winter wonderland play area with ice caves, bob-sleigh rides, big plastic ball things and snow - real snow!  It was amazing.  We arrived there shortly after 12 in the afternoon and left at ten o'clock at night.  We've had an hour long ski lesson and also had a few (slow) goes at the (kiddy) slope.  It was such fun!!  They also have a typical ski lodge-style restaurant (the St. Mauritz) and we HAD to have fondue.  Unfortunately, Ms photographer took her camera with, went to all the trouble of managing the thing with all her snow gear on, only to have her camera tell her "change battery pack" after her first photo in the snow park. 

ОАЭ, Дубаи, Villa Rotana Suites 4*After almost a month living in a hotel it is understandable that we are a little sad to go.  The hotel is overwhelmingly beautiful - but then most buildings here in Dubai are.  Our suite is just slightly smaller than our house in Hopefield - ok so that's not very big, but still. 

The suites have a little kitchenette but the standard buffet breakfast are included.  Breakfasts are served in the 'atrium' which reminds me a bit of the inside of the Burj Al Arab, with hidden lights changing colours.  One gets bored surprisingly quickly with the same choice of thirty different cheeses .. ok I'm kidding.  The spread is amazing!   
 ОАЭ, Дубаи, Villa Rotana Suites 4*

Our rooms has the standard bi-i-i-i-ig bed and bi-i-i-ig screen TVs in both rooms with twin beds for the kids.  

ОАЭ, Дубаи, Villa Rotana Suites 4*

ОАЭ, Дубаи, Villa Rotana Suites 4*

On the top floor the hotel has a gym and then the outside pool, which is where we spent a lot of our time here.  The water temperature was never below thirty degrees Celsius but compared to outside temps lovely refreshing.  The staff are superb and we will miss them very much. These photos are from the Rotana website, but interestingly enough the girl on the photo below, with the long hair, lives in the hotel.  I always wonder about people's lives, she's got a very handsome boyfriend / husband which could be Emirati but she's french.  I need to get a life!!

ОАЭ, Дубаи, Villa Rotana Suites 4*

I hope everything will go smoothly with the check-in and everything else.  We're only 17kg overweight!!! Ha ha - will cross that bridge when we come to it.  We should be in South Africa tomorrow afternoon at around four.  Tinus has to check into hospital, either tomorrow or Tuesday morning, but he's having the operation to remove the whatever from his lung on Tuesday.  He will get the results from the biopsy tomorrow and I will let you know what it says as soon as I can.  Thank you for all your kind thoughts and lovely messages, comments and emails.  I hope all of this is going to work out just fine - insh'Allah.  

In Arabic, if you say 'how are you?' to someone, the correct response is "Al-ham dul Allah"  which means 'God is good.'  So tonight I want to say whatever tomorrow, and all the tomorrows after that brings, Al-ham dul Allah.  

*Just a note on work days:  In the UAE weekends are Fridays (the holy day) and Saturday, but for most businesses Saturday is a normal working day.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tourist Distractions

A while ago I said to Tinus I wish we could go on a holiday where we didn't have to do anything but just eat and sleep and see the sights - and what do you know:  Here we are in Dubai, waiting for the time to pass so we can go to South Africa with nothing to do all day but eat and sleep and see the sights.  

This is a truly beautiful city but what I appreciate most of all is that the Emirate-es did not forget their humble beginnings.

A city of contrasts, where glass and steel towers over the still-operational wooden dhows and you'll find state of the art SUVs parked next to humble dwellings made out of mud and stone.  The eight years since we lived here the last time has seen Dubai bloom.  I am told there was an economic meltdown at some point, but business seems to be booming still and I am sure Dubai will bounce right back.

If you are wondering why I include so few photos in the blog; firstly, its very hard to take photos when your lens keeps on fogging up, secondly, the GLARE, and lastly, well I guess I am not really in a very creative space at present.  But since we are accidental tourists I took some photos for you - yeah for you, I've seen it remember.  (Gotta do a LOL or smiley here, does one do that on a blog?)  You will not believe how much the blog helps me, it keeps me sane, like an imaginary friend, someone who sits here next to me and hold my hand.  My mother asked me today who will be with Tinus today - saying he must be very scared and alone.  So just to put your minds at ease - he's staying with Schalk, an honorary brother who took him to the hospital and Schalk's girlfriend, Michelle will collect him afterward, because Schalk is flying - a plane, he's a pilot.

Tinus went in for the biopsy this afternoon at 2pm South African time, 4pm UAE time.  The time difference didn't help as my level of concern increased as the day wore on.  He's ok but has no results as yet, the results from the blood tests for tb will also only be available on Monday.  After the procedure Michelle took him to Rocky, another wonderfully interesting pilot friend, I think Schalk is doing a night stop and they didn't want him to be by himself, for which I am so grateful.  We started packing today, This is the first time ever, I think,  that I am packing more than a day before my flight. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tb or not tb ... that is the question

Act 1 scene 1:  Rooms of the radiologist: (Happy elevator-type music plays)
Tinus had the first x-rays done – it seems ‘those Egyptians who read the x-rays’ were right.  He has a mark on one of his lungs, 1cm by 1.3cm.  The radiologist said it is not a typical tb scar. (Sigh of relief -maybe not – think about it)

Act 1 scene 2:  Rooms of the pulmonologist:  (Faster music – tension builds)
The doctor is skeptical, said typical tb scar or not – it could still be tb, blood drawn to do (one of several) tests for tb.  Results should be available on Friday.  Doc said even if tests shows negative it could still be tb.  The doctor requests last x-rays done in South Africa. (2007 AMI Pretoria)   Why – to compare, if he had this scar and it was the same size in 2007 – no problem, but if not (scary music) … what is it????

Mmmm … all of a sudden tb doesn’t look so bad.  I have said to Richard, our wise and witty friend of many years who by the way came up (unwittingly) with the title of this blog, that if there is something wrong with Tinus, I am glad, so glad that we found it out now.  If this is tb we know he has is AND IT CAN BE CURED … but what if it is that other scary thing …

Tinus is having scans done today.  Whatever the outcome I think the chances of us living in Dubai is very slim.  There is so much to think about – to plan and to worry about, but all I can think about now is how much I wish I could be with him. (Violin music, blogger exit stage left)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Going up ...

I do not like elevators. Actually I'm very scared of elevators.** The hotel has a set of three elevators. Yesterday, on our way back down after our early morning gym session; where Tinus does his running on the treadmill, and I have a smoke by the pool, the middle elevator was a gaping hole with workmen and wires poking out the door. About an hour later, back from dropping Tinus off at work, I pressed the button to summon the elevator - and the middle one showed up. 

I bravely entered, trying very hard not to think of THE GAPING HOLE ... the doors slid closed behind me with an ominous hum ... and nothing happened. I stood there clutching my cell phone, wondering who on my contact list will be able to get to me in the shortest amount of time while chanting "I am a hollow reed" in my head. The fact that I experienced no immediate sensation of plummeting down THE GAPING HOLE made me feel considerably stronger and I decided to try and reach the 'doors open' button from where I was clinging to the railings. (Have you ever asked yourself why they have railings in elevators?) As I reached over and pressed the 'doors open' button, it lit up - making the fact that there are no other button lit, stand out.  I never pressed the button to make the elevator go up.

This made me think of a moment by the Merry Widow when a friend asked me what I wished for in Dubai: A good school for the kids where they would be happy and have loads of friends; a lovely villa with enough space for the puppies to play and for Tinus to be really happy in his job. No, she said; what do YOU want... What do I want - recognition? Acknowledgement? The perfect cup of coffee? In all honesty the only truly meaningful thing that I can think of at the moment is to have the ones I love to be happy. I'm still not sure, isn't it ok to get your happiness from others' happiness? A long time ago I explained to someone why I think it's good to be selfish: If you're happy, it's much easier to make those around you happy. But then if the ones around us are happy, its so much easier for us to be happy, isn't it? 

 Wishing is a big thing - and difficult - this is why there are always limits on wishes. If you had ONE wish, that WILL come true - immediately - what would you wish for?  Tinus is on the plane back to South Africa right now. I know he is very disappointed and frustrated. So naturally my one wish will be for him. Now to find the the perfect phrase: My one wish, is that Tinus is completely healthy ... - no, won't work, it leaves the potential for him to become infected... My one wish, is that Tinus is completely healthy and will... - no, won't work, "and" implies two wishes ... My one wish, is that Tinus will test negative for ... - no won't work, he can still become infected after the tests, get back here, and then test positive... You get my point, truly there is only one way to wish - for all of us: My one wish, is that things are exactly as they must be. If you think about it, we don't need to wish this, because this is how things are, exactly as they must be.  We don't understand why, but this is the way it is.  A bit like standing in a dark  elevator, without going anywhere.  

So I choose to press the button marked "Happiness" - going up ...   

 **I looked it up and there isn't a phobia name for fear of elevators. It either falls under acrophobia (fear of heights) or claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces). Sadly, for those of us who are afraid of elevators, we suffer alone in the unnamed phobia world.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tempis Fugit

Weekend in the UAE is on Friday and Saturday.  We've decided to be where we are, spend some family time together and not think (too much) about our uncertain future.  The gentleman in the collage is Ibn Battuta - a Tunisian explorer - much like the Maco Poplo of the Middle East.  One of our favourite malls here is named for him.  The mall is divided into sections depicting his travels.  I love the amazing domes - all throughout the mall there are bits of museum-like displays with information about Ibn Battuta and other Arabian scientists, explorers, inventors and their legacies.  This is just one of the many reasons why I like being able to live among people of a different culture than my own, there is so much to know and learn.  We are taught about the Wright brothers, but who has heard about Abbas bin Farnas?  

The reality of quite possibly not being able to live here is slowly settling in.  When Tinus received the offer to come and work here, we were both reluctant to accept the offer.  We had an amazing life in South Africa.  For the first time since I was at school I lived close to my parents, we had (have) amazing friends who were our neighbours, the kids were happy and did well in their school,  the only drawback was Tinus working in Cape Town, one and a half hour away, and we only saw him over weekends and on Wednesdays.  

He is leaving for SA in two days.  We did some shopping, saw Transformers in 3D on IMAX and also the final Harry Potter movie.  We had a lovely afternoon with our long-time friends Richard and Marianne.  We swam and ate and enjoyed our time together, trying not to think how fast it flies.  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cabbages and Kings ...

"The time has come," the Walrus said,To talk of many things: Of shoes...and ships...and sealing-wax...Of cabbages...and kings...And why the sea is boiling hot...And whether pigs have wings."

Lewis Carroll : from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872
The children went for another school assessment today, Skye finished her two hour paper in 45 minutes and Louis was done ten minutes after that.  School placement here is ... complicated.  South Africa has a 12 year schooling system and starts the school year in December.  The majority of the schools here in the UAE have a 13 year school system and an academic year, which starts in September.  These schools insist on entering them in their "age appropriate" year, which mean they have two jump two grades from where they are now.  The schools here that do run the 12 year school system would like the children to restart their year.  In other words repeat the six months they have started in South Africa.  If the children had finished eight months in their respective years in South Africa, the Ministry of education here would've allowed them to progress to their next years when school starts in September, because they've only done six, they have to repeat.  The implication of the choice of school system essentially is a possible three year difference in their school careers.

We have made some decisions and have dates:  Tinus will be leaving for South Africa on the 19th to start the medical tests.  It apparently involves three consecutive days of testing and the results will be available five days later.  The children and I will follow on the 25th of July.  We are going to attempt to get the children back into the school which they've just left, we'll have to get all the books and uniforms - hopefully some of the things we left have not found new owners yet, else we'll have to buy new ones.  The plan then is to have them carry on with school in SA till the end of August.  School here starts on the 9th of September.  The extra time in the SA school will allow them to get placed in their next year up here, instead of having to repeat. Insh'Allah.

Tinus will be working out of office for the time that he is in SA, he has mountains of stuff that he has to do ... among others some or other thingy that he has to do in Egypt ... FOR FOUR WEEKS ...and guess who is making sneaky plans to leave her children with her darling gorgeous beautiful kind and caring parents to go with?  But that is in the future. Tonight - Thursday night (the TGIF day in the UAE) is official ice cream night in the Olivier family.  We're about to go for a nice walk in the warm and humid night air to the Baskin Robbins followed by Chocolate and Cherry on the roof under the sparkling Burj Khalifa.  

May you walk in beauty.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Do Be Do Be Doooo

Things are a bit up in the air at the moment - There seems to be a serious enough problem with Tinus' x-rays for him to have to go back to SA for more tests. This is going to happen early nest week and will take at least five days.  Our visas expire in just over three weeks, and if we cannot extend it, we will have to go back with him.  We don't feel much like staying here without him.  To make us feel as if we are partially in control of this situation we have worked out a fairly complicated plan of action with sections A1.1 to A3 through to C - I could draw you a flowchart but bad news is boring enough as it is - well not for us, but for you.  

Bottom line: Best case scenario:  All's well and it is, like his boss said "those bloody Egyptians reading the x-rays." He gets back in a week with a clean bill of health and we restart the visa processes; Worst case scenario:  He ends up working in Baghdad for four months at a time while we roll in the cash on the West Coast ... without him, which I really really don't want to do - the main reason why we came here is to be together.

So please keep those happy thoughts coming, we're all holding up very well, although I could do with lots of hugs right now.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dusty before the Dawn

I think we’ve reached the part of the story where everything goes wrong for the heroes:  There is a problem with Tinus’ chest x-rays, medical problem.  His company PRO advised him not to go for another x-ray.  The hospital cannot tell him what the problem is.  Where to from here?  We don’t know.  I have heard of another company employee who also failed his government medical.  He then went to a private doctor who gave him a clean bill of health – it seemed the government doctor misinterpreted the x-rays in his case.   

Apart from this it also seems that the “transfer certificate” which Curro – the children’s school in South Africa - gave us is not the correct paper.  (grrrrrrrrr)  We have decided that if we don’t get the kids into a school here, we will home-school again.  I must say I’m actually looking forward to that.  Tinus is due to spend four weeks in Cairo in September.  Dream come true for me, I’d love to go with… apart from the fact that this is when the children will be starting school here.  But this is small compared to the possible ramification of Tinus not passing his medical.  Do think of us – good energy, loving thoughts please.

I’m looking forward to seeing how this is going to resolve itself.  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Taxes and Thyme

Yes, we don’t pay tax in the UAE, but there are taxes – not monetary, but taxes we pay.  Our taxes are very often preceded by the words “bukra insh’Allah”  - tomorrow, God willing - which does not really mean tomorrow, but can mean sometime, hopefully in this future – God willing.  Tinus had to have his chest x-rays redone.  Why?  Shrug of shoulders – the ‘paperwork’ which I mentioned starts with this; a medical where firstly Tinus and later me - not sure about kids - have to be tested for Aids, TB and Hepatitis B - because we’re form Africa, my dear. 

Once this is done, his company will apply for a residency visa for him, and then only can we start the paperwork for the move – currently waiting in Cape Town harbour.  The removal company mailed me today saying they need me to tell them today - before lunchtime, when  we would like our move to be shipped – I thought about replying “bukra insh’Allah.”   

We are not sure if we can just exchange our driver licenses.  We do not know if the children can be placed in schools here … Nobody knows; this is where “insh’Allah is used - God willing, which actually mean ‘maybe’ or ‘we really don’t know.’  Endless queues, shoulder shrugs and “insh’Allah”s in our future.  We live in a country, which is not ours.  We cannot just have our friends come over for a weekend, we have to sponsor them.  One is very aware of the fact that you are – not even a guest, merely part of the workforce, you feel like you should use the servants’ entrance. 

But then why are we here, why do we endure the taxes?  Behind me stretch the endless desert from which this city, Dubai - tribute to mankind – sprang.  The warm evening air carries the sound of the prayer call:  “Allah o akbar!”  God is great, (and although I don’t know the Arabic) – followed in one of the calls by ‘we are all brothers.’ The timeless desert which born these wonderful people intrigues me as much as the people themselves.  I love the way the warm nights fold around you.  I endure the warm (read hot as hell – in summer time) days because of the thyme - “zatr” in Arabic.  The smell of thyme waft through all the old streets, you find it in food in chocolate and in tea, and in one of my memories;

When I taught here many years ago one of my young students came to me during break and asked me “Miss, you want sandwich?”  On my “yes, thank you” he eagerly ran to the tuck shop and came back carrying something that looked like a pita bread filled with camel food - dried thyme.  I dutifully crunched my way though international, language and religious barriers, sitting next to the son of a king on a swing.

So we will get Tinus’ medical results, bukra insh’Allah, and then insh’Allah, see the owner of the villa we hope to make our home while we are here.  And for the next few years we will swim in the warm ocean and drink lovely freshly squeezed fruit juices, make interesting friends from this and other countries, eat night naan and spend days and nights in the open desert, explore wadis, discover cool oasis and walk the narrow alley ways of the souks - and everywhere we will smell the bitter sweet smell of thyme. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

House hunting in the UAE

 One of the most difficult things about living in the UAE is the communication barrier.  Almost everyone here speaks English, but one can be in a conversation with a person for 45 minutes before you realize the person you are talking to  actually have no idea what you are talking about.  A heady mix of Arabic, Urdu, Tagalog with some Tamil for flavouring is what you need to be able to speak to the man in the street.  For example; the expression “Ha” can mean any of the following; Good morning/ evening / afternoon; I beg your pardon; How can I help you; This one here … etc.  Much like the South Africa word “Eish” but you wouldn’t want “nog enetjie” with this one.  

In a city where the average house has seven bedrooms and gardens are paved in marble we are looking for a modest family home with a big yard for the rest of our pack - a black could-be-Burmese called Tanzanite and his two Basset body guards called Bridget and Brandon - still waiting in South Africa.   As with any other estate agent in the world, you are shown exactly what you don’t want.  We do not want to be in a compound, I would like to have a kitchen IN my house, and we really don’t need rooms for a driver, a gardener and a housekeeper outside the house as well.  And then of course there is the problem with the budget, some houses here are going for a mere AED 600 000 per year…rental. 

The challenge therefore is not only to find something you like, but also can afford.  After much getting in and out of the car in the gusting Shamal, up and down staircases of every look and design, we even climbed through a window once; the scrawny little Abdullah quite gallantly placed an upturned potted plant at the edge of the window for me to step on and offered me his broken arm to hang onto.  We saw splendor and squalor together in the same house, and houses so wide in spectrum – from still being built to glass and steel mansions and the in between ones which comes straight out of stories like The Secret Garden and Arabian nights.  But I do think we found one.  It’s called the Football Villa, because the two children’s rooms have football-shaped light fittings.  Its garden is still a mess – big holes and sand dunes, no shaded parking but it is brand new and best of all, something we like which we can actually afford!!

Now for the paperwork …


Monday, July 4, 2011

This day

and so we are here - Dubai - again, but new.  I must say I love this city.  Tonight the clouds were hanging about half way up the worlds tallest tower.  Midnight is here, morning is lurking.  We're going house hunting in the morning - so this is a trial run, post number one. Done :D