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Hi Lauren,

For some reason my internet connection is slow on a Neanderthal scale, yet AGAIN, so I’m sending you this via Outlook Express which for some reason seems to work even when everything else is at a snail’s pace. Causing a bit of a problem with blogging, as you can imagine.

The girls and I are off to the States tomorrow for a family gathering, the first time the bulk of the family will be together in one place for more years than I can remember. I’m really excited to be seeing my American family, especially my Grandpa; he’s 90 now so I am acutely aware that every visit could be the last time I see him, especially since Granny died just over a year ago. We’re having to leave poor Alpha in Dubai as he can’t get the time off work; he’s pretty cut up about it and has had a long face all week. The kids have been weird all day and the Small(er) One had a little weep about “leaving Daddy behind” – when you’re that small I guess a two week absence from your father is a hideously long time. I really wish Alpha could come with us, it just won’t be the same without him, but it isn’t to be.

Dubai has been beset by storms and raining all week. The rain is warm and the storms dramatic, so it’s been quite exciting. Alpha and I have been sitting out on the porch in the evening enjoying the cool wind and watching the lighting cut through the sky. Such is the expat life! Wish I could say that we do this while being served gin and tonics but sadly we’re not that glamorous a cliché.

I wanted to tell you about the surprise visit from a dancing chicken with a penchant for Europop at the school Arabic Heritage day this week, and how I got bashed on the head by a box of Nescafe in the supermarket (funnier than you may think) but my eyelids are starting to droop. I have to be up at 5am so a little sleep is needed - being a solo mama with two small girls (more like monkeys than human beings) on a 16 hour non-stop flight is not likely to be trouble-free.

My next blog post will be from sunny Fresno, California…

K xxx

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