Tuesday, 27 November 2012

And now to Blog again

Don't get excited, I haven't finished the T-thing.  The School of Music managed an even more spectacular melt-down than usual and I ended up with no supervisors.  Well, now I have interim supervisors.  So interim that they have no idea what my topic is and don't have the time to talk to me.  Yay!  I'm sure you all know how good I am at slogging on under those circumstances - not at all!

Well, I have surprised myself a little and am still slogging on.  If I can manage a few more thousand words by the end of the month I will only be two weeks behind.  Yay me!  Of course if someone gets round to looking at my new outline, and disagrees with it, I get to throw out 20,000 words.  Worried?  Me?  Noooooo.

Anyway, life in Oman has been speeding by.  I just cannot believe that we have been here for nearly nine months.  NINE MONTHS!!!!!!  We must have been here for a little while, I've started running into people I know at the shops!  Of course, I might be running into the lovely Omani ladies I workout with at the gym, but that's not so simple when the difference between gym clothes and street-wear is so dramatic.

Talking about gyms.  I left Horizon.  It was too expensive and really, all I like was the PT.  I needed more.  A friend from book-club suggested aquarobics at a private gym. "Sure" I said, and went off with her.  Such fun!  I've never done it before and there I was, jumping up and down and doing all sorts of things that my knee just won't let me do.  Anyway, the lass who owns the gym had decided that she was going to open a public ladies gym and her entire top floor is now given over to a small, but dynamic gym.  I'm doing PT with her and she's pushing me much harder than the far to nice trainers at Horizon.  I did my first body pump class for about 3 years the other day (arrgh) and am now back to a regime of weights, cardio, yoga and pilates.  With some circuit training thrown in for good measure.  I can feel the difference (says she with a cold pack on her knee).  Of course when I say lass...she's not all that much younger than me, Omani of African background, married to a Dutch man and mother of six.  What a power house.

The weather is cooling nicely, it now drops into the mid 20s overnight - which would be great if we could open the windows.  Too many mossies and too many cats that need to stay on one or other side of the wall.  The plan is to get fly-screens -if we can find someone to make them.  I have no idea how to even begin to find out.

So what has been happening over the last three months?

We got to go to the opera house!!!!  Twice!  The first time was to see the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra, which was very enjoyable, but I should have left my assessment brain in the bed-side table.  The folkloric society was amazing and such fun.  You're not supposed to take photos during performances, so I didn't, but here are some photos of the inside.  It is amazingly spectacular!!

The view stage from our box (yes, we had a box) 

The outside, walking from the carpark

One of the worlds cutest usherettes.  We discovered that they dress like that for all the concerts, traditional Omani dress from different areas of the Sultinate.

The auditorium.  What can I say?  You have to see it to believe it!!

The organ.  We're hoping to go to the debut concert on 3 December!

A pretty little lad who comes and eats nectar out side my study.
A Purple Sunbird.  He is wearing his boring plumage for winter.
Well, we've had our first international visitors!  The Sexi's and the Inlaws came and visited at the end of their European tours.  I can't tell you how lovely it is to talk to people we know.  It was just lovely.  The size and grown-upness of the girls reminded me that time is passing over there as well.  Of course the cats just had hysterics, Bluey had never seen a non adult before.  They were very relaxed pussycats when those short people left :-)

The results of hitting the Mutrah Souq

Drama on the roof
Speaking of roof.  We've put up a shelter on the roof and filled it with chairs, table and couch - not to mention a BBQ!  We've also spent a small fortune on pots and plants to go up there.  Hopefully we won't kill them in our usual way.  The cat's love the roof, although Bluey has worked out how to get down, which does cause interesting problems with mummycat downstairs.  Of course, he loves hangin' with his bro's.  It is a particularly beautiful place to be in the evening.  Lots of frankincense to keep the mossies at bay, a beer, a glass of wine.  Some flashing lights...  Wait, what??  Yes I wanted fairy lights and the only ones we found were green, red and blue.  Flashing, flashing, flashing.  Anyway, we found some white ones and managed to calm them all down, so for National Day we had green, red and white lights on the roof.  Very cool.

So there we are.  I think I'm going to put some time aside for a little blog each week.  Wish me luck!