Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer Holidays !

So it is the summer holidays - yeah !!!! Jacob broke up from school on Wednesday and we are on the count down to our trip back to the UK - which will commence on 7 July in case you were wondering. Oscar is still at nursery until the end of June - so Jacob and I are having a few mornings together, which is just lovely as we very rarely get to spend any time alone these days - how do you manage the "give each child their own special time with you" thing, when you have two children and no time ?

Anyway, whilst most of you in the UK and maybe the US I'm not sure - are dreaming of exotic beach holidays, with sun, sea, sand and general summeryness - what you can see above is what we are all dreaming of ! It is HOT here at the moment. It is not only the temperature, which is bad enough - up to 45 degrees and sometimes a little above that - it is the humidity, which can be 78% at 7am, which is just downright unpleasant. It matters not what you wear, or how gorgeous you look in your summer dress and sandals in your bedroom mirror, you will look like a soggy frizzball within minutes of leaving the house. If you wear glasses, you will not be able to see when you leave a building because your glasses will immediately fog up so badly you can't see out of them ! You will not be able to go to the beach, because the sand is so hot it will give you third degree burns if you try to walk on it and really it's best just to try not to leave the house at all. So, if you have to children, what do you do ?

I tend to buy lots of activity books - and I find Klutz do the best of all I just bought one called "The Only Colouring, Puzzle, Game, Dot to Dot, Activity Book You Will Ever Need" and it is fantastic. These books seriously keep Jacob entertained for ages - that and Where's Wally, well you can't beat Where's Wally can you. We do watch far too much TV in the summer I have to say, otherwise I think there would be murder afoot in our house. We try to go swimming as much as we can, but we can only stay at the pool for two hours at the most - no chance of getting a tan then !

However, today I have been to Nirvana and it is called an indoor play centre ! Muscat has been calling out for a place like this for years, I mean we have been here for nearly five years now and we have desperately needed one. It's a simple concept, there used to be loads of them where we live in the UK, it is just one of those large indoor areas, with lots of slides, and padded areas for the children to throw themselves around on. Being as this one is at the Shangri La it also has a section with Wii and Imac computers for them to play on, but it's the huge slide that is the talk of the town. I forsee many a visit to this place never mind that it is about 45 minutes drive away (this in a town where you are never more than 10 minutes from anywhere) and it costs nearly 7 pounds per child for a 2 hour session - I don't care. It is indoor, it is air conditioned and my children can throw themselves around in crazy fashion and if I'm really lucky fall asleep on the long journey home. So thank you Shangri La - I love you !

So I'm off now - Jacob is poorly today, he just slept for 4 hours in the middle of the day and refused food for most of the day, both of which are very out of character, so I know he wasn't feeling well. Now he is sitting on the sofa eating toast and I am wondering what time he'll go to bed tonight - not the usualy 7pm I wouldn't think given that he only woke up at 6.15pm - could be a long night !


Friday, June 18, 2010

Ch-ch-ch-changes !

Why do we change ? why do we look back at a time that has gone before and think - Oh I was was relaxed and carefree then - what happened ? Was it really carefree back then, or do we just think it was. I was reading over old blog posts the other day and I could feel the contentment coming from those posts, then as I read on, the contentment became less and less. We had a really rough few years, we had a horrendous business situation in the UK that left us with terrible debt that was not ours, meaning that we had to sell our house and relocate abroad. Don't get me wrong, I love living abroad, always have, but having to do it, is different from wanting to do it. That was stressful. We were desperate for another baby and kept on trying through it all and then, wow, we got pregnant, only to loose the twins at 15 weeks. I got pregnant again which was fantastic only to be totally flooded out when I was 8 months gone - this was not a little bit of water in the house, this was major flooding and it was very frightening indeed. Then Oscar arrived, in a rather stressful way - dash to the hospital, emergency C-Section, the works. We were both safe and sound though - but hey, more stress. Then, James was made redundant, he looked for work for two and half months of his three month notice period, found something and then was told that he was being kept on by his company. Lordy more stress.

So, all of the above have consipred to change me somewhat. I was, previously fairly naive - I assumed that things would always be alright and generally they were, then all that happened. I stopped being happy go lucky and became a worrier. I was never a worrier before. I started to worry about my health and what might happen and it all became too much. This was all in the year leading up to my 40th birthday. So, I hit 40 and had a minor panic. I'm afraid that all that has happened has made me into a less great parent that I would like to be, my temper is shorter than I would like it to be and I have become more selfish that I should be - I like to spend time alone - I don't put as much effort into my children as I should and I feel terrible about it.

So far, we are having a good year - I hate to speak too soon but hey - I've said it and I am feeling much better. We have moved to a new house - had another cyclone that wasn't as bad as the last one and didn't flood us out and I feel relaxed again. I feel like I can see the wood for the trees. I am enjoying spending time with my children again and I'm happy to plan activites to do with them and watch them having fun. I am still having trouble managing the two children thing - but I think that is normal - who among us is perfect as splitting ourself between two children - not many I would think. I am learing new techniques, I am reading again to get advice and I am happy to be doing it. I'm looking forward to the summer and spending time with family and friends in a relaxed way. Many many things have changed and I have no control over them and I am happy with that. I can move forward in a positive way and take charge of my life again. It's taken a while, but I feel like I'm starting to get back to my old self.

However, the one thing that frustrates me beyond all compare is my weight. I put on a lot of weight with all my pregnancies. Really, a lot of weight and I am struggling more than I can say to get rid of it. I want to do it, I really do, but not enough it would seem to actually do it. Everyone around me is loosing weight. A good friend of mine recently lost over two stone doing Slimming World and she looks fabulous. I gave it a try but just couldn't stick to it in a way that made a difference to my weight. I have lost a lot of weight don't get me wrong, but I feel I need to loose more. Now this is an interesting point, why do I feel I need to loose more - I am slimmer now than I was when I got pregnant with Jacob, but still I'm not happy - why ? I am healthy and I am pretty fit but all the images I see around me every day make me feel like I need to be teeny tiny.

Everyone tells me I am doing really well, but are they just saying that ? When I used to live in Indonesia and the Philippines I never really saw media images, we were rather isolated and I never worried about what I looked like at all - I was what I was and that was that, then I came back to the UK and everyone was super slim - everywhere. When did it become OK to be so skinny - when did it become more than OK, desireable to look like you were just recovering from Dysentary - it's not healthy and it's not beautiful - it is scary and unacceptable. I must say that we don't have so much of it over here in Oman and I can only imagine what it is like for women in the UK who are full on bombared with skinny images all the time. Here is it desireable for a woman to have a little meat on her bones - there are the skinny younger girls of course, but most women are plump and loving it - good on them I say.

So anyway - those are my musings for the day, but so as not to post a totally photoless blog post - which frankly is just more than a little boring - I thought I'd share with you some images that I took on a recent visit to Dubai - now there is a place that is messed up - don't get me started - super skinny young western women wearing skirts up to here and tops cut down to there walking next to chic UAE nationals in full abaya - it's just not right - where is the respect ? Don't get me wrong I wear shorts (not short shorts, bermuda ones) and the odd strappy top, but I do it in a respectful way - these women who are flaunting it all in a Muslim country strike me as foolish and arrogant - just my tuppenceworth. Anyhooo - I went to Dubai with a friend of mine for her Birthday weekend - just us girls and it was fabulous - shopped from 10am until 10pm and then flaked out in our hotel room. At the start of the day we had a lovely cuppa in a gorgeous cafe that serves mainly chocolate - well how could we resist - it was a work of art just being in the place - look - this is all bars of chocolate - how beautiful are they ?

And then there were these fabulous macaroons - they were a work of art - we were there around Easter time and the displays in the chocolate and patisserie shop windows were amazing - this is just a little section but it was amazing, trust me !

Whilst in Dubai I bought the boys some lovely crazy glasses - there were mad and seriously reminded me of the movie 12 monkeys - great movie by the way. Anyway - the boys loved them and they looked hysterical in them - here they are

Lastly - a little while ago we got our hands on a very nice label maker - I can't remember the name of the make, but it begins with a D - I'm getting old - I told you ! Sooooo - Jacob went a little label crazy and decided to make us all name labels just incase we forgot who we are - it could happen - seriously, it could, now I'm over 40 I'm not ruling anything out !!!

So that is me for today - over and out. x

Thursday, June 17, 2010

So .....

I have been thinking. All about this blog business. I am really not knitting that much at all at the moment. There is really no call for it here - I mean frankly at the moment the temperature most days is around 45 degrees C - who needs a nice cardy or a wrap ? I knit the odd thing for babies, little cardies, blankets etc, and I am knitting quite a lot at the moment because I have a few things to finish before we go back to the UK for the summer, but usually the knitting is not happening so much just now. So I was thinking - do I just let my blog go, give it up and let it die a death - or do I re-purpose it (a phrase that is very much of the moment) ? Anyway I have decided that I don't want to let it die. I used to post here nearly every day and I enjoyed it immensely and I would like to get back to doing it more often. The content won't be knitting focused - that is for sure. However I would like to post about things that I read, things that I do and things that matter to me. Maybe you'll read it and maybe you won't but hopefully I'll enjoy doing it and it will be a good record of things I have been up to and how I have been feeling.

So, I shall start the new - re-purposed blog with a few photos of things that we have been up to recently.

Firstly - a little photo of my new PJ's. I love new PJ's and have been looking for a nice pair for ages. These are, I have to say, near perfect for me. They are comfortable, cool and flattering - what do you think ?

They are from La Senza - which is a shop that has only just opened up here in the last couple of months and I love them so much that I am seriously considering going and getting another pair, even though I don't like the idea of having two of anything - but man, they are comfortable.

Secondly - we have a picture of something that has been causing quite a furore (I am not sure how you speel that word !) amongst my Facebook friends. Jesus sandals. I first read about them over on The Women's Room, (one of my most fav blogs by the way) I had to ask my Facebook buddies what they thought. 99.9% said - no way - that they reminded them of their old school teachers etc, many a joke was made about never having to shave your legs again, being able to wear polyester skirts and aran jumpers - but you know - I quite like them I have seen them worn in a super funky way (at That's Not My Age - also a fab blog, picture below). So anyway, I want a pair - what do you think ? Cool or lame ?

The next thing I would like to tell you about is an annual event here in Muscat - it's called Mangomania !!! and I love it ! Each year the very large local supermarket here called Lulus' (I know, crazy name !) has a Mango festival. Now, if you thought a mango is a mango - oh you were wrong, wrong, wrong !! There are many many different varieties of mango available and at Lulu's during Mangomania, they sell them all. I adore mangos and DH used to get a whole crate of them from a contractor every year, we used to make mango ice cream out of them - yum yum, sadly he has moved job now and no longer gets the mango perks that he used to - however I still have Lulu's to turn to at a time of Mango need and boy do they deliver !!! So here is a picture of the display at the entrace to Lulu's at Mango time - yummmy !!

Lastly - I have a picture of me and my little Oscar this morning. DH and I always go out for breakfast together on a Thursday morning, alone, without children, I know miraculous isn't it - well it's only because we have a lovely maid that works on a Thursday morning (oh in case you think I've gone potty, Thursday and Friday are our weekend). Anyway, this morning we had to take Jacob to a friend's house and we felt too guilty leaving little Oscar at home alone, so we took him with us. We had breakfast together at Starbucks and then went down the Souk to get a few bits that we need before our trip back to the UK this summer, that's a whole other post. He was wonderful, he has been ill all week and this was his first trip out of the house, by the time we had finished he was knackered and passed out in the car - 45 degrees and no AC at the Souk would do that to you !! Still here he is first thing this morning - did I mention how much I love my boys, they are fabulous !!!

So, that is the first post of my new blog - I hope you like it. I may fiddle with the look at little some time soon, after all I have looked the same for a very long time now and well, that's just boring !!! I am glad that I have decided to start blogging more on varied topics and I hope you are too.