Saturday, 15 March 2014

A Little Produce Craze

The kitchen this week has been filled with fresh produce and I’m loving it! Strawberries from Egypt and local beef tomatoes seem to be in season since there is a crazy abundance of them at the hypermarket.

Such beautiful quality too that I couldn’t help but snap a few pictures before getting to business devouring them.



These picture do not do justice to the size of these tomatoes, not to mention their weight! I read somewhere that the proof of quality in a fruit is in it’s weight – if there is any truth to that, these babies are gold. I’ve been squeezing them into every meal I can while hoping I can get away with this sudden tomato craze without making both Sam and I sick of them for life.

Now, before I bore you to death with all this tomato talk and pictures, I’ll move unto something much more interesting – STRAWBERRIES!


I must admit I got a little carried away in the shop and bought three trays of them, but I’ve already been proven just since one tray is already gone and another is well on it’s way to being left empty.

Needless to say I’ve been finding any excuse to eat more of these. Which hasn’t been that hard, after all, what breakfast, dinner, lunch, midnight-snack is complete without some strawberries?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Spring has Sprung – Just in Time!

Spring has now sprung over here in Dubai. Patches of poor irrigation have started showing themselves through wilting trees and flowers. Everybody and anybody who steps outside glistens with sweat. An the balcony is officially too hot to stand on during the day again – confirmed by my poor burnt feet from a foolish attempt to water the plants barefoot this morning.

Aside from the heat, one big sign of spring is that the Palm trees have started shooting up bright green stems with little green bubbles all over them which I have been reliably informed are the beginnings of dates.


These little sprigs have gone a surprisingly long way to preparing me for the idea of leaving so soon. When I moved here in August, these same trees were at the stage where they had carried these little fruits their full cycle and were dropping them left right and centre. Since then I’ve seen them pruned for the winter, watched stacks of them being uprooted and heaped into the back of those little white pick-up trucks which Dubai seems to have an inexhaustible supply of. Seen them being planted in some truly random locations – in case you’re looking for an idea for sprucing up an empty stretch of road, apparently somebody seemed to think planting a lone palm tree three quarters along it would make all the difference.

Now as I watch them start up their date producing season again, I feel like I’ve come full circle on my journey with these trees, and by some weird extension that makes sense in my mind, I’ve come full circle in my time here in Dubai. I can look at them working hard at pumping out those little stems and say that it’s going to be alright, I know what’s ahead of them and I know it will turn out well. In the same way I feel like I’ve experienced every season of Dubai – cheating a little by skipping the worst of the summer – I’ve gotten to know so many different people that I would never have met elsewhere. And at every turn I’ve learnt something new, not only about this place and it’s melting pot of cultures but also about myself, and that, though this time here has been brief, it’s been by no means fruitless.


Monday, 10 March 2014

And so it begins…

It looks like we might be moving back to the UK before too long. So the past week has been filled with preparations. After picking up boxes and bubble wrap so that I could start packing, I procrastinated/completed a different project by spending an entire morning photographing everything and anything non-essential that won’t be coming back with us. Then gradually through the rest of the week, I placed ads for them on our local copy of craigslist – Dubizzle. Actually going through the form filling rigmarole of placing the ads turned out to be much more tiresome than expected, which is why it took me a few nights before they were all up – I decided that once I started submitting ads with only a two word description of the item, it would be time to take a break.

As part of the getting-ready-to-leave movement, I’ve had to get a sprucing kit back together which is bringing back not so distant memories of getting the Glasgow flat ready for hand-off. This time though, Olive oil and my trusty magic eraser sponge have been teamed up with black paint from my art kit instead of the previously trusty but now failing black felt tip marker – originally inspired by Julia Roberts’ black boot sprucing moves in ‘Pretty Woman’.


As you can see in the picture, my sprucing kit has also grown to include the laptop mouse which keeps the the stream of ‘University Challenge’ and ‘Mob Wives’ episodes steady – another essential to any housekeeping endeavour.

The Selling has actually been going surprisingly well. After a quiet first couple of days there’s been a steady stream of enquiries and I’ve surprised both Sam and myself with my newly discovered haggling skills and even managed to make a profit on a couple of items!

Friday, 7 March 2014

This morning

Looking out he window just now, I realised that the cute little pile of sand, dust etc. which I’d swept from the rest of the living-room floor yesterday is no longer there.

I know it’s not because I swept it up both since I remember the hurry I was in yesterday to get to started cutting my pattern and because I can see it’s remnants scattered about the place after no doubt having been tromped through countless times yesterday.



Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Pigeon Little

A Couple of weeks ago we had a little baby pigeon hang out on our balcony for a couple of days before he was fully ready to take on the big bad world. He turned up looking bewildered and fluffy and went on to huddle in a little corner, preen his itchy new feathers and stare intently at my carrot shoots before launching himself into grown up pigeon life.

Pigeon little1

Pigeon little2

The poor wee thing didn't seem at all amused with this whole life-outside-of-the-nest thing.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

This year so far…

Sam and I finally made use of the buildings’ cinema room and hired it for a viewing of TinTin accompanied by some extremely indulgent Baskin Robins treats. After a bit of the obligatory running back and forth trying to figure out what control did what - and where to point it – we had a really nice evening in what felt like our own little private cinema.

why the conference table?

I repaired a top that’s had a hole in it for four years – small victories count too!


I got a ‘hug’ from my phone at a very opportune moment.


We were visited by a giant mystery bird of the night who pooped on our balcony rail. Probably TMI but I had to share – with photographic evidence of course – since it genuinely was like a mammoth poop compared to that of our regular pigeon visitors.

Mammoth poop

Normal poop

And finally, the two little pansy plants I picked up have been going nuts, taking over their previously far-too-large pot and popping up flowers like there’s no tomorrow!

     Pretty pansies