Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Rant for the Day - Taxi Bookings

Quite Meltdown Moment.
Now I am trying really hard to be reasonable, here. Well I lie, I am so beyond being reasonable,  but snakes alive, I booked a taxi at 4.30.  It is now nearly 7. I was put on priority at 6. I am sick to death of listening to the bloody recorded message telling me how many bloody people the taxi carries. Nor do I care about the well trained ( HA HA HA falling off my chair HA HA) the taxi drivers are. I don't care that they are available 24 /7 , 365 days a year. Because  EH EM .
They are not bloody  available at bloody all ,I am still waiting for a ride home. 
Do not dare to suggest that I should have a licence. At this stage that would be the tipping point  that would  have me  committing a gruesome nasty crime. I would be arrested and locked away in prison FOREVER. And no one would come and visit me because I was nasty and told Bryan that if he drank and drove and got arrested I would not visit him in prison so this would be my just deserts and oh it is all just too horrid to consider.
The phone has just rung. The taxi is coming. YIPEEEEEEE. I am going home. I am not going to be arrested.

What we do with (or is it to?) Visitors in Dubai

You may remember, or not, that I wrote how lovely it is to get visitors? So this is what we do when we have visitors. Who by the way make up a large chunk of our social life. We have a massive friend fix when people pop over.
Sometime last week I received a call from( lets be fair and "protect" peeps identity)  Mrs. P  to say that her beloved husband was trying to contact me because he (poor sod) had his Himalayan Adventure cut short by Horrid Inconsiderate Weather. Now, everyone I know that is “in the know” about the Himalaya’s said sagely “Oooooo , hummmmmn Ii is way too early in the season  “ use a wise voice in your head  -think James Earl Jones saying "This is CNN". Well I don’t know if it is "way too early" in the season to go torturing oneself on a mountain.  Is torture seasonal?  

The  sum total of my experience of such things is of reading a few books about mountain climbing-ish things. Do not ask me why I read these books especially considering my aversion to anything even a little bit adventurous, not to mention fool hardy and downright dangerous. But read such books I do and LOVE doing so.  Go here if you want to do a spot of mountain adventure reading http://zimbosinlimbo.blogspot.com/p/mountain-madness-adventurereading.html
I also can recommend the film “Touching the Void”  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379557/.
I recommend it because it is real and gritty and because a friend’s husband worked on it. But I am being side tracked.
Back to our guests. So via his wife I made coms with Mr. P. He had a flight to catch from Dubai a few days hence and needed a spot to doss down on  till he could catch his ride.  “Could we put him up for a bit?” “YES! YES! YES!” Said I, gleefully. Bear in mind that I am at work, at my desk and being all gleeful and enthusiastic was  done with some arbitrary visitor standing in front of my desk waiting patiently  ( well not really patiently) for me to end my personal call and attend to business. I know, I know, work at work and all that but this was an Important Call and the work visitor really could have taken a seat on the sofa instead of staring me down accusingly.
Mr. P arrived at a silly hour (if I recall correctly 3 or 4 am in the morning) on a day last week and had the very good manners to not grace our doorstep until ,what he considered was, a more civilised time. This was  a very sweet but totally unnecessary sentiment.  I threaten promise that if I am a guest visiting you , I will arrive on your doorstep at 3am. Anyhooo he arrived ( he tells me) at 6am and rang our door bell. No one answered, on account of us all being, I guess, fast asleep, although I swear I was awake at six and did not hear a thing. maybe I was in the shower in which case it was "I sleep like the dead Bryan" who did not hear the door bell ring and I am off the hook.  Heads up to anyone I may potentially visit , though I realise that I am pretty much sabotaging any invitations, if at first you don't answer the door I will ring again, and again..... Mr. P waited outside our door for an hour, poor  silly dear, and then tried again. This time I was up and pottering and nearly jumped out of my skin at the ring. There was much loving up and hellos and how lovely to see you’s.
We then ducked out of the apartment, dashed off to work, and left Mr. P to catch up on his sleep and give our other house guest a fright when she woke up expecting to be alone in the flat.

Rule number one. All visitors must have at least one Arabic Meal. We got home from work and expected to take  Mr. P, and yet to be discussed other guest MS. F, out for dinner but as it turned out he took us out. Yay! I think it might have been some sort of delayed reaction-ee altitude sickness-ee thingy that had him happily forking out for dinner. Thank you.

We went out for an Arabic Meal at our favourite Lebanese restaurant http://www.reemalbawadi.com complete with live Arabic music and clouds of shisha smoke. i just love that smell.
Did I mention that we already had/have a lovely special visitor person visiting? Well we do. The next evening with a sand storm turning every outdoor encounter into a struggle for breath had our two travellers  emotionally blackmailed very kindly offering to cook us supper. This is a picture of hard at work guests.
Supper was delicious , thank you, thank you, thank you, and accompanied by yummy wine. We sat on the balcony eating, drinking, catching up and  tried to spot landmarks through the Sandstorm murk.
We also took our guests to the Dubai Fountains -what  won't do to avoid cooking a meal?  As always when we say to guests “We are taking you to see the dancing fountains” they look at us with a look that says “Seriously Dancing Fountains? How totally lame is that” but what they say is  “ That sounds lovely”. And it is! Lovely, that is.

We watched the fountains while  dinning at another stock favorite, Bakers&Spice http://bakerandspiceme.com/baker-&-spice-about.html. We think is one of the most pleasant places to watch the fountain show.

Following yummy dinner we marched Mr. P and MS. F to the fish tank and had coffee at the coffee shop there, because we clearly had not consumed enough at supper…. And the coffee is good.

After all that feeding we dragged our full as tick bodies home, MS. F, wisely, went to bed, Bryan and I and Mr. P stayed up till I could no longer keep my eyes open and Mr. P zoomed off to the airport to be joyfully reunited (ones hopes and assumes)  with his wife and children. Who are no doubt still wondering what on earth possessed their spouse and father to embark on such a hare brained endeavour as climbing a big mountain.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

My friend Mary and her Mojo

My friend Mary was out of sorts last week and she told us that she had “Lost her Mojo”. We all sympathized.
This week she told us that she was on the mend and had found her “Mo” but her “Jo” was still out there somewhere….
The following email communications ensued back and forth between several of her ever loving and clearly sympathetic friends and relations.
One can only conclude that everyone has tooooooooo much time on their hands……
TG wrote:
This has now gone viral...  worldwide, people are looking for Mary’s Mojo.  However now that her Mo has been found, we can concentrate our collective efforts on looking for the Jo.  
Jo n.(pl. Joes) Sc.  a sweetheart or  beloved [var. Of JOY]
Mary’s sweetheart could be Tony – so, is Tony missing?  No, he is not.  Therefore, it is possible that Mary has another sweetheart.  Perhaps we should not look for the Jo, then, in case Tony becomes jealous.
Or, maybe Mary’s Jo is really a form of Joey – which we all know is a baby Kangaroo.  In which case, we should institute an immediate, fingertip, pouch by pouch search throughout the Antipodes, asking each Joey if he or she belongs to Mary.   If we are successful and find the right Joey, the question then arises – how do we get the Joey back to Mary, who is in the UK?
The possibilities are endless.
What say all of you?
Jen wrote:
Is Mary's Joey in this pouch? In which case it is in Alice ……perhaps it's time Mary came for a visit to get her Jo back!

Sharon ponders:
But who is Alice? Is she related to Jo? Or even Tony?
And who is living next door to her?
Fifi wrote:
Ha ha ha! Dare I say it? Who the F**K is Alice?

Jen school marm’d:
Where did you both go to school???? Clearly somewhere where grammar was not a strong point cos its not 'who' is Alice and if it was, it would be Sally xxx

Sharon shot back with:
So is Sally hiding Mary’s Jo in her Mustang?


Monday, 12 March 2012

Social Issues - Honor women by naming and shaming Zimbabwe


So the low down on the above mentioned article is that there was a report sent to the powers that be in the UN about acts of violence committed against women in the run up to elections in Zimbabwe as a way of intimidating voters.

The fuss is that this information was not included in  what is known as "the naming and Shaming resolution"  UN Security Council  Resolution 1960. It was focused entirely on sexual violence in situations of armed conflict,in response to Resolutions 1820 and 1888 also dealing explicitly with sexual violence in conflict, the Security Council asked the Secretary-General, in his annual reports on the issue, to include “detailed information on parties to armed conflict that are credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for rape etc.

My reading of the article and  my convoluted chain of thoughts following the reading are as follows.

I found the fact that Zimbabwe was missed off interesting, and unfathomable. I would get it if all the women of all the nations mentioned were treated with the same lack of attention and care but it is very odd that Zimbabwe is left out.
Then I got to thinking about what it means to society when  women are singled out for attention when acts of violence are committed in conflict or as a means of intimidating a group of people. Does it mean that acts of intimidation and violence are not used on men to the same degree or are women being highlighted. If so why are men's suffering not being highlighted. and so my thoughts went.
I  decided ( right or wrong )  that universally most  men  ( and women so is that society?) pay lip service to the  notion of equality for women. And I am not  just talking in the way of job opportunities and the legal issues of rights bla, bla, bla. At a fundamental level, pretty much universally, deep down inside,  society does not accept that women are equal to men in having the same right to  breathing space that men have. I am grateful that I do not have  a daughter because I would have to fight for her rights more,  and be a better example. Shame on me. I am lazy and it is  a hard, hard battle. I am grateful that there are people out there that have fought for civil rights that I have benefited from and I am ashamed  (but clearly not ashamed enough) that I have not done anything myself.

If I were to call  out the men that I know on this touchy subject they would be offended and probably hurt at the thought that I was “accusing” them personally – I am not.  As a bloc of the population of our planet I say that societies  actions  against women speak louder than words and laws. There are men (and women) that do believe that women  are equal to men. They are generally from an environment that have had ideas  about human compassion and equality for all drummed into them from the time they entered kindergarten. Or they come from families with strong opinionated women married to strong opinionated men!

Lastly - on the whole rape in conflict issue in relation to the equality of rights for men and women. I resent Woman’s Day DEEPLY. I resent that it is “Celebrated” It is not a celebration. I get that such a day is desperately needed to highlight  issues such as those laid out the report. I resent that the report was instigated at the request of a group called The Girl-Child Network. I resent  the need for being represented by a group supporting children, I am a fully grown adult. I am grateful that the Girl Child network  highlight this situation to the group AIDS-Free World and that it was made available for me to read.

Every time I hear or read in the media about "women and children" my blood fairly boils over. I do not want to be classed with children in my success's or in my suffering. I want to read about the suffering of Children and the suffering of Men and Women. Well actually I don't want to read about anyone suffering but I think you get my drift.

Thursday, 8 March 2012


                                             So men have problems with buying shoes too.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.

Donate to Invisible Children: stayclassy.org/checkout/donation?eid=14711
Purchase KONY 2012 products: invisiblechildrenstore.myshopify.com/
Sign the Pledge: causes.com/causes/227-invisible-children

Yesterday  I left my keys at home in the morning and could not get in when I got home in the afternoon. I blame the “Developers” of our buildings. I cannot possible blame myself.
From the day we moved into our apartment some four plus years ago until sometime in December 2011 I  had a spare key or two or three kept with the security staff at the concierge desk in the lobby.  The powers that be ( Nakeel ) decided that we could no longer leave a spare key with the  security staff. It was a mightily inconvenient thing.  I had to arrange for the cleaning and ironing service to have their own keys. Any repairs now have to happen  after I get home from work which is DULL, DULL, DULL and a bit annoying. I don’t want to be in the apartment when the air conditioners are being serviced. The worst thing about this RULE is that I have been living in  a semi state of terror worrying that I would forget my key "one day" and not be able to get in. Well One Day happened.
If I am honest, it was not so dreadful. I called Bryan and plaintively asked when he might get home. He was being particularly sensitive yesterday afternoon to atmosphere ( go figure) and asked why I was asking when he was coming home. I confessed all thinking, that in this new "aware" mood he had developed, he might jump in his car and scream across town to let me into our home. Silly me. He bemoaned my fate very sympathetically and prettily. Told me a bit about his day (yawn…..) and said that he would be home after he had “finished up a few things”. My heart sinks when Bryan says that because what it actually means is “you might see me anytime between now and the next blue moon, darling”. FYI  the next blue moon is on the 2nd August this year. Accepting my fate, it not being  a worse than death thing , I plodded down to the Costa coffee to read whatever papers and magazines they might have and wait for Bryan.

You would think that would be the end of it, but you would be wrong. You see reading magazines and most newspapers is not a good thing for me to do. I get totally worked up about poorly written articles ( I don't get paid to write so I am  sort of exempt from criticism about my DREADFUL spelling , poor grammar and disjointed prose) that are not at all researched. Unless you count personal experience and a product sales pitch research. Which I don't. If you are writing about telling me how I should part with significant amounts of my hard earned dosh because you say some pseudo science therapy or diagnostic tool works then I think that you should be just a tad more responsible in your reporting, maybe get a scientifically trained ( and qualified) doctor to also comment. For balance if nothing else. Now I am not saying that the particular diagnostic tool is not brilliant bla bla bla but evangelical reporting is irresponsible when the reader cannot see any balance. Particularly when the written word is so powerful. It really is, once something is in print it has the potential to become "the truth". It is a big responsibility and most magazines don't seen to have a grip on that. But then should they? Oh this is becoming a whole new rant. Best I sign off. NOW

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Central Perk in Jumeirah

Yesterday, being Friday ( Dubai's Sunday-?), meant that Bryan and I got out of bed very late, you really don't need to know exactly how late, suffice to say that there are teenagers out there that would have been out of bed before us. Anyway, that is not what this post is about. Be relieved. Having dragged ourselves out of bed we decided that it was tooooooo much effort to actually do anything constructive. Code for Bryan had a hangover from hell. I had no excuse. We needed lunch. I told you it was late. Bryan was put in the hot seat on the decision making of where we would go. My criteria being that I did not want to be outside because of the lovely continuing wind and not  in a mall. We found our selves at Central Perk. It was just the right place to be. Not too busy, not too quiet. They have a very pleasant pavement seating area and a cosy inside area. The decor is as you would imagine it to be,think of "Friends" the TV series. And, it was ever so slightly shabby which gets it brownie points from me straight away. I love shabby and squishy and comfortable. The Loo was on the bright and tacky side, red and white tiles everywhere. Hint to the proprietor... get a new soap dispenser. Really there is no excuse for that ratty-tatty looking  soap dispenser in the Ladies Toilet.

The coffee is amongst the best in Dubai. The iced Americano I had was the best I have had in this fair city. Finally somewhere that understands what an iced coffee is. Coffee. Iced.

I ordered the soup of the day, Tomato, and being greedy , a side order of potato wedges. The soup was LOVEY. I will be hard pushed to order something else if I go there again. The potato wedges were delicious too but the ordering of these was overkill. Bryan suggested that I did not need to finish them.......Silly man. He ordered a  sort of turkey cordon bleu on a bed of spaghetti which sounded a bit odd to me but Bryan assured me it was all very yummy.

After lunch we moved to a sofa for a bit of discussing the world, reading the papers and deciding on the next course of action for the day. Which proved to be a bit of a damp squib. Movies- well nothing appealed except "The Artist" and that was only starting several hours later. I did the grocery shopping and then we went home. Bryan watched Rugby and the Dubai Open Tennis. flipping channels here and there desperate not to miss either sport. I considered pulling out my nails one by one....

The TV tells me how very lucky I am to have all 123 rugby games of whatever competition it is that is currently running for my viewing pleasure......... I have lots of reading to catch up on so its okay- really.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Inspiration for the day forwarded to me by my friend Nicola.

           Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic", delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910. F D Roosevelt

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat