Monday, 14 May 2012

An exercise in counting one's blessings

Some icky things have happened over the last few days.  My computer keeling over with no notice, the removal of kittens from engine bays three times, the constant financial hiccups and discovering they were probably my own fault, realising that there was no way the phd was going in when due, weird dreams that probably mean I'm homesick, and to top it finding one of the kittens dead in the engine bay of the blue car; after I'd been driving it around all morning.  It took 20 minutes for the lovely men at our local service station to extract the body and I was a touch pathetic. I know it isn't my fault, but that doesn't help very much.

Anyway, I need to concentrate on some good and lovely things.  So here they are:

1.  Thanks to the wonders of technology, I have talked to fabulous friends for long stretches (thank-you google-talk), had random phone conversations and sms's from James and George as they travel round the USA (thank-you viber) and got to chat with my mum and dad when I felt like it (thank-you NAWRAS even though you cost me lots - it's all worth it)

2. I have a fabulous husband who let me have a very cute kitten (not the one in the engine thank goodness!)

Said husband after work with Bundle

Helping quietly (for once)

Impossibly cute from afar
Impossibly cute close up

3. My house is slowly becoming a home as things get added, such as:

Carpets, and plants and blinds

More plants!


The curtains and blinds have made a huge difference in the house.  They keep everything cooler and look great.  The large blind is still waiting for Elmer the Curtain man's scaffolding man to come and help him put it up.  The Roman blinds in the entry look gorgeous and don't detract from the rather dramatic light and dark contrasts; the little pleated blinds are just plain cute.  The other curtains add a splash of colour in otherwise stark, white rooms and the echo's are slowly receding.
One of a pair of Afghani woven wool carpets
Did I mention carpets?
The Afghani knotted wool carpet in the study
A working study!
Check out the Ikea bookshelves!
Hours of entertainment for one little kitty!

4. I get to collect more rocks, shells and coral!!!!!

from Sawadi Beach

5. I can count to ten in Arabic - slowly, but I can - all I have to do now is learn to spell them in their transliterated form. sigh.

Thank-you all for listening :-)  I feel much better now.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Present is a foreign country...........(with apologies to L P Hartley

So, we're learning Arabic.  Right, who's idea was this?  Is it really a good idea to explode your brain?  Well, yes...apparently.

Five times a fortnight (two days one week, three the next) we hop into the lovely sonata, with the comfy seats, the superb airconditioning and the zoom,  and hurtle down the Muscat Expressway for about 50kms and spend two hours turning our brains inside out, pulling them out through our ears, bashing them on the desk and pushing them back in up our noses.  At least that's what I'm doing.  It's a really fascinating language, and does make a lot of sense (apart from being written backwards, that's just weird) and seems to be much more sensible than English - except that I have been communicating with myself and the world in English for nearly 55 years. But it makes me realise a few things.

1. It's very humiliating to not be able to count to ten.  It's also amazingly awkward, frustrating and quite bewildering.  I don't know about you, but I don't remember not being able to count to ten.  Oh, I can read them all right, that's not a problem, but saying them?  It doesn't help that the rest of the class (except David of course) can all count to ten (and beyond) already.  There are all sorts of levels of knowledge in this beginner class and we are the only two with absolutely no Arabic to begin with.  Not great for morale.

2.  No one actually greets me in Arabic.  I am very obviously European, so wherever I go people speak English to me before I get a chance to try Arabic.  Once they speak to me in English I am, it seems, completely incapable of speaking in Arabic. Of course it doesn't help that many of the people I deal with are Indian or Pakistani or some other flavour.  I have had a couple of nice moments though.  When someone indicated that they wanted my parking spot I answered Laa (no).  Small step I know, but at least I did it.

******Newsflash******** While I was writing this my computer decided to start some updates.  It never came back.  Hopefully something good will happen tomorrow.  Meanwhile I shall continue on David's computer when I can.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Gratuitous Bundle

Just because she's so cute!

Bundle's First Day with us!

And now today

Don't get up, I'm comfy.....

I'll clean your caps lock for you..
Soooo tired, must grow