Friday, 6 July 2012

A Birthday Abroad

Well, it happened.  I had my first birthday far away from all my family and friends and I survived!!!


I confess to a partial melt-down a few days before.  I almost stayed home and moped until it dawned on me that going to a coffee morning with a bunch of girlie expats would be a good idea, so off I went.  I had a little cry, got reassured that I wan't being silly and felt much much better.

Then I got proactive and decided to have some people over for dinner the night before, so we had a little dinner party. That was an excellent idea and we all drank a little too much and were vastly entertained by the antics of young Button and a lovely little 9 year old girl - Elise.  Elise has never had much to do with animals and was as uncertain of Button as Button was of her.  The result was a lovely evening of squeaks, squawks and high speed chases.

We spent my birthday morning in bed. How divine!  Lying around, watching David's hangover and chatting to friends and family on the telephone.  I can't tell you how fantastic it is to be living in the 21st century and living a long way away.  Oman is definitely not Australia and sometimes I feels every one of the thousands of miles it is from home, but the digital age has made is sooo much easier to keep in touch and shorten those miles.  It was not that many years ago that I would have had to go into the post office to arrange a long distance call, hoping that someone might be on the other end.  Now it is possible to call quickly and cheaply.  Even better, it's possible to call using Google Talk (Oman's internet speeds are too slow for video images and government really doesn't approve) and chat away for ages for no money at all.  I spend a lovely hour or two every Wednesday chatting to Joanna, just the way we did in person on a Friday. Sure, sometimes the connection is interesting (to say the least) and you have to persevere, but it's lovely to just chat with someone you know well. Viber is pretty good as well. As long as your telephone is running through a network. It also gets wonky, but that's a small price to pay for chatting regularly to family and friends.

But there's something to be said for a good old fashioned letter. My mum always claims to not be very good with technology and has been writing regular letters - just little chatty notes with a bit of gossip and a bit of family news. They're lovely to read over and over again and reinforces the power of the written word. When we went to the Handwritten exhibition at the NLA at Christmas, I felt the same way about seeing the handwriting of those people. It's a personal connection that you feel, knowing that someone touched that same piece of paper.

Trashing wrapping paper is exhausting

Birthday Perfume
David decided he was getting me perfume for my birthday.  He's never given me perfume before so he dragged me off to shop for perfume. Sniff the perfume, sniff the coffee beans, sniff the perfume, sniff the coffee beans and so on...  A young lad who had very little English, but was a very clever salesman, sold me on a rose/musk combination.  Perfume here is a high art and taken very seriously; not just the mixing and making, but the presentation and the selling.  There are perfume shops everywhere, and Muscat is home to the most expensive perfume in the world.  I have no idea how much this cost, but the bottles, display case and box are beautiful!  The lids screw off and they have glass rods that sit in the oil.  You only need one tiny dab on each wrist and you're perfumed for 2 days - including showers! It makes the bed smell rather nice too.

Birthday top all the way from Australia
(in record time - 4 days!)

Birthday flowers
Ali and Bob (who came to dinner) presented me with the most gorgeously huge bunch of flowers, which necessitated the purchase of the birthday vase!  After all that lying in we popped off for brunch at the Intercontinental - expensive and lush -if only David could have appreciated all the food!

All in all a very satisfactory day.

And introducing............
 The young lad from our backyard.  He was enticed in last night and will hopefully be joining the household.  He's been living wild with mum here and there.  Someone's nose is distinctly out of joint.


  1. And i am not telling how much the perfume cost. katrina chose and i chased her away before paying, which I did before asking how much!

  2. Belated Happy Bithday wishes! And that perfume sounds amazing.