Sunday, May 25, 2008

The new arrival...

...of our niece, Madison Grace on 25 May 2008 at 18h45. An absolutely beautiful baby girl weighing in at 3.780 kilograms. Fiona - you go girl!!! The birth was done naturally and I mean naturally! No epidural or spinal block!

Some pics of Madison

Congrats Row, Fi on the birth of your baby girl! We are so glad to here to share this joyful occassion with you.

I will be back soon to update you on some cards I made recently...

Friday, May 16, 2008


Today my dearly beloved mother turned ... okay Mom I won't tell them how old you are! A milestone birthday though and the saddest part is that myself and my two brothers could not be there to celebrate with her as we are all sitting in Dubai! Sorry Mom but you know we would be there if we could! We will all make it up to you when we see you soon! Enjoy your time with other part of the family and your party!

You were always there as we grew up
You're as lovely as they come
In the lottery of life, we got the best
We're so proud that you're our Mum
You didn't study for this job
Or have to pass an exam
So how come you turned out to be
The World's Greatest Mum.

So Mom...I want to thank you for your patience... your encouragement... your strength... your generosity... and your unconditional you always! Happy Birthday and may you have many, many more!!!

That was then...16 years old

This is now... mmm...still will keep you all guessing!

Sunday, May 11, 2008 has been a tad bit busy!

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY MOM! Also to all those Mother's celebrating I hope you got thoroughly spoilt!

Yep! Surprisingly enough it has all been go, go, go the last couple of days which makes life more interesting in Dubai! So, firstly the drivers license saga... I am pleased to announce I am now a legal driver in the UAE! Peter, the boys and myself drove through back to Abu Dhabi on Thursday (now a week ago!), I had a sense of de ja vu! I could not believe we had to do this trip again but after going through the process and now having the right documents it took about 2 hours to eventually have this id card in my hand! The proof...

On Friday (also a week ago now!) afternoon we went to a South African Freedom Day celebration at a hotel called the Le Meridian Mina Seyahi. What a blast! I was so homesick! We meet our one and only SA friends, Bruce and Celeste there and drank in true South African style! It was extremely hot and humid and the venue was running out of alcoholic drinks...I mean, really people, do you not know that South Africans have a reputation for drinking!!! There was a potjiekos competition, Johnny Clegg and the likes blaring out the speakers, over 2 000 expat South Africans mingled around, drinking, drinking and did I mention drinking! The afternoon also included a drumming session (Bryce also enjoyed a session!), lots of South African accents and a buffet including lots of salad and meat! Peter eventually dragged me away at 20h30! We were expecting my Aunt Gwen and Uncle Tommy from Glasgow on their way back to South Africa after visiting my cousin Cheryl in Edinburgh for almost 8 weeks. Aunty Gwen was lucky enough (and so was Cheryl) to meet Prince Charles on this trip! Anyway, we were expecting them to arrive at 00h30 in the morning so we eventually got to bed at 02h00! So a very long day (although we did nape between 21h30 and 00h00 before leaving for the airport - lucky for Peter's alarm on his cell phone because mine didn't go off otherwise my aunt and uncle will still be stranded at the airport!)

Peter went off to work on Saturday while I took my Aunt and Uncle to the "Mall of Emirates" - a huge shopping centre situated about 10 minutes from us and it also has Ski Dubai, the hugest indoor skiing slope in the world. Peter had Sunday off so we went to briefly have a look at the beach, do a bit more shopping and take pics of the Burj Al Arab. Monday morning I braved the Dubai traffic and drove my aunt and uncle back to the Airport - driving in Dubai is a real experience and you have to have eyes literally in the back of your head as there are some shocking drivers out there! Anyway, I got there and back safely which is what counts! It was so nice to have you here Aunty Gwen and Uncle Tommy - miss you already - see you July!

This picture at the Burj Al Arab with Peter, Logan, Aunty Gwen and Uncle Tommy.
I have also been creative the last few days, making cards but will add them to the blog shortly so you can see. On Friday I went to an Art & Crafts day, did my first cardmaking workshop for one person but I suppose it is was a start! Got a few leads so lets see where that will "lead" me.

Anyway, that is it from me for a while...until later...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The saga continues...

Well, the good news is that I eventually got my resident visa! Woo hoo! Which now means that I can get my drivers license! Double woo hoo! Except...the saga continues...

Yesterday morning Peter and I went off to the Dubai traffic department to get my drivers license only to be told that they will not issue it because my resident visa is issued in Abu Dhabi, another UAE Emirate which is about 140 km's drive away. Peter's office is based in Abu Dhabi and therefore, the reason why it was issued there. Peter and I were absolute sure that there was a law that came through at the beginning of March that you can get your license issued in any Emirate but obviously not!

So Peter decides we will take the drive to Abu Dhabi after work as the Licensing Department in Abu Dhabi closes at 20h00. So if we left around 17h30 we should make it in time before they close. Well, how wrong were we! We did get there at around 18h45, got some forms in Arabic and trying to understand the procedure that the information desk was giving us we eventually find out from a very nice Emirate man that we need to get my driver's license typed into Arabic at a typing office. Okay! So off we rush to find a typing office - one thing about the UAE is that no one uses a physical address here - it blows my mind! Basically, if you follow that road, you will get a building and if you turn right there after the next building you will find it, etc. What more can I say...easy to find! No problem! Wrong again!

So off we head to a typing office, to get what we think are the right documents and head back to the Licensing Department at around 19h30 (traffic is a nightmare and isn't it so true that when you want a traffic light to change it takes forever!) only to be told by the very nice Emirate man that it is the wrong documents! So fustration reigns! We now have half an hour to get to the right typing office in the middle of Abu Dhabi city centre which is about a 10 km drive there and back and be back by 20h00! So we get back into the car and head off to try and find the right typing office! Well, you can just imagine how we were feeling at this stage! Peter and I both felt we were part of an amazing race team trying to find clues along the way, it is still hot at 33 degrees and traffic is still a nightmare! Well, as you can imagine, the odds were against us and we never made it in time. We only found the right typing offices - there was a whole street of them - behind that building that the Emirate man told us - after stopping off at various buildings, asking various people who had no clue what we were talking about, eventually after we were just about to give up Peter spoke to another typing office who graciously explained where we needed to be - two ladies, I must add and guess what! At 20h45 we found the right typing office! Unfortunately we did not make it back to the licensing department in time!

In all this going on we still had Logan and Bryce with us, moaning that they were hungry, irritable because they are confined to the car, they are tired and each time we keep trying to put them off to explain that we have to race again time to get what we need! We eventually only managed to get them supper at 21h00 and Peter and I had a much needed Cafe Latte from Starbucks! We left Abu Dhabi - mission not accomplished! We got home at 23h00 - so what can I say, tired and fustrated we have to put it down to an UAE experience which I am sure there will be many!
This was our second trip to Abu Dhabi - the first was last week Thursday to get visa's for my aunt and uncle visiting this weekend and I took pics of the Sheik Zayed Mosque. It is the third largest mosque in the world - beautiful building - facts about the mosque which has broken a few records:

The carpet laid out on the vast expanse is the "World's Largest Carpet" made by Iran's Carpet Company. The carpet measures 5,627 square meters, and was made by around 1,200 weavers, 20 technicians, and 30 workers. The weight of this carpet is 47 tons - 35 tons of wool, and 12 tons of cotton. There are 2,268,000 knots within the carpet.
  • This mosque also holds the largest chandelier. There are seven imported chandeliers from Germany. The largest chandelier has a 10 meter diameter and a 15 meter height.
  • The Mosque is large enough to accommodate more than 30,000 worshippers.
  • There are four minarets on the four corners of the mosque which rise about 107 meters in height.
  • There are 57 domes covering the outside yard and the main building as well. The couryard is paved with floral marble designs and measures about 17,000 square meters.

Abu Dhabi is a beautiful city and true to its Arabic influences. Unlike Dubai which has these huge high rise buildings, Abu Dhabi has only a few high rises in the main city centre.

So I will update with the continued saga...