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Showing posts from December, 2011

A thought

Perhaps sometimes a gift can be delivered in the guise of a tragedy. It's just a matter of perception, after all. I suspect that the talent lies in looking beyond the surface to what lies beneath and beyond. And, of course, being able to make sense of it all and going on to apply that knowledge to building a productive way forward.Here's hoping.

The Dubai Review: Mahiki Dubai

An outpost of the legendary London nightclub Mahiki opened in Dubai last week. I was meant to show up to the opening but, for one reason or another, I failed to make it. I was also invited to go the next night but, again, I didn't quite manage it. Rubbish, eh?

Last night, finally, I actually made it through the door of Mahiki Dubai accompanied by a selection of fine girlfriends for the new 'Pin Up Tuesday' night. And I was really, really glad that I made the effort.

Quite simply, Mahiki Dubai is sheer, unadulterated FUN. Here's the recipe:

- Take one part amusing decor, lots of seating space and a proper dance floor, all in the very convenient location of Jumeirah Beach Hotel
- Stir in an eclectic mix of highly danceable tunes from 1950's to present day (I swear the DJs even played the New Zealand Haka at one point)
- Shake it all up with a super-friendly up-for-it unpretentious mixed crowd
- Add a large troupe of affable and efficient barmen and two separate bars;…

Bah humbug

This has certainly been one of my more difficult Christmas periods. A lot of reflection, feelings of deep sadness, grieving for what I had but is no more, and fear about what is yet to come. And it goes without saying that I acutely missed my two older children, who are with Alpha and his extended family on a skiing trip in France.But, along with the sadness, it's also been a time to count the blessings I have. The company of a beautiful baby girl who has kept me going over the past few days with her infectious enthusiasm for life. My two older girls, who I can't wait to hug when they return on Friday morning. An almost-ex-husband who still cares and wants the best for our family, in whatever unconventional form that will take. My parents and extended family who I know are there for me even though they are many miles away in physical terms. And a whole host of genuine and truly wonderful friends who know me well enough to be aware that sometimes, when I'm struggling, a kin…

The Global Stereotypes Series: the Tortoise

The Tortoise is not one to ever willingly stick his neck out as he is overly fond of his hard shell and clings to it for protection at all costs. Painfully shy and somewhat reclusive following a distressing encounter with an especially vicious bird of prey in his younger days, the Tortoise will never willingly reveal his soft underbelly to anyone.Even when his lumberingly slow transit through life causes him to blindly bump into an especially tasty morsel, the Tortoise is far more likely to retreat than advance. And as for anything unusual or different... however tempting it may be, the Tortoise is still loathe to stick his neck out. "Better the devil you know," he mutters to himself as he snaps his armour into place and heads for the comforting familiarity of his favorite herbaceous border. What to do if you unwittingly fall in love with a Tortoise? Familiarity through repeated exposure and large amounts of kindness may eventually cause him to drop his guard - but don't…

An overrated virtue

Being strong all the time is all very well. It certainly allows a person to salvage a remnant of pride and avoids the danger of attracting pity from other people.But, as they say, pride often comes before a fall. And what's so wrong with being on the receiving end of a bit of pity now and then? Especially if your life isn't exactly turning out as you'd once hoped for.I guess I need to accept this new reality and stop focusing on the potential outcomes. After all, the only thing we really have is right now, however rubbish it may be.Despite all my prior protests, while change may be necessary and something which has to be embraced if life is to move forward, it is frightening. Having absolutely no idea as to what the future might hold is terrifying. Being strong is exhausting. The truth is that I'm struggling and the absolute opposite of whatever brave should be.This isn't a ploy for sympathy - it just is what it is but even an amicable split is damned hard; I suppo…

Global Male Stereotypes: the Trophy Hunter

Described in glowing terms by his mates as: "A bit of a rogue...", this wannabe lothario likes his women young, dumb and any flavor of desperate. And preferably in large quantities.Usually terrified of getting old and becoming what might be termed as boring, the Trophy Hunter has spent his life artfully dodging any woman who might want something more serious than the occasional 'booty call'. He just knows that if he were to allow any of his conquests the privilege of calling themselves by the title of 'girlfriend', he'll wake up the very next morning hog-tied, neutered and with nothing to look forward to except a stroll around the perennials at the local garden centre. The very thought makes him come over a touch queasy.When challenged about his questionable behaviour, the Trophy Hunter just shrugs his shoulders, shoots his opponent a charming smile and announces: "I have no defense. I just love women... all of them!" Then, without a smudge of s…

Happiness is...

A handbag half-filled with sand after a lovely afternoon running around the beach with my three girls. :-)Yes, BB decided to use my bag as a bucket... she's a very creative child...

Global Male Stereotypes: The Man Child

Since the popularity of the Dubai Stereotypes series - which seems to have run out of a bit of steam from my side recently - and in light of my current situation, I am starting a brand new series, Global Male Stereotypes.
At some point, although I must say I am in no hurry and in no way ready yet, I suppose I will have to start dating again. Not a very pleasant thought at the moment, frankly, but one I will have to face eventually. When that time comes I'll need to be armed with enough knowledge to be able to avoid the hounds, the rats, the emotionally stilted and all the other unsavory types on the prowl out there. 
In the interests of research I've been talking to my single friends about their experiences, and to my married friends about their encounters prior to entering the matrimonial state. We came up with a long list, enough to keep me busy writing for quite a while. 
Here is the first in the series: The Man-Child.
The Man Child is a more common phenomena than one might thi…

Life as I know it

My post on bravery seemed to strike a chord with a few people; I hope it helped some of you make a bit of sense of whatever difficult life situations you may be undergoing. Sometimes it's simply nice to know that you're not alone.

Carrying on in this vein, it is probably time for me to be more open about what's going on in my life. I have alluded to my situation but not felt comfortable enough to write the actual words on this blog prior to now.

Alpha and I split up some months back and we are now living apart on a permanent basis. Our main concern is that the kids get through as unscathed as possible - he and I are old enough to look after ourselves, to a certain extent - and so we have committed to friendship, and promised to stay rational, kind and adult in our interactions throughout the whole painful process. So far, we're doing pretty well... but even an amicable split is no picnic.

And yes, I did ask for Alpha's permission before I put this out there. As he…
Yesterday's post about bravery sparked some very heartfelt responses. I'm glad that I somehow managed to inspire other people to share their stories of loss.

The woman who posted the last comment about her experience of loss and unconditional love, please email me at Your words really touched me and I'd like to help if I can.


I'm feeling a touch introspective this week, as you may have guessed from the numerous posts about my thoughts and feelings in general. A bit too much dwelling on the past rather than focusing on the present, despite all efforts to the contrary.If you're finding it at all a bit boring, bear with me. I'll try to be more amusing next week, when hopefully my current somewhat somber mood will have passed.I went to a dinner party last week which was attended by lots of interesting people all far more important, worthy and intelligent than I - what I know about politics would fit on the back of a postage stamp - but somehow we managed to find common ground and a few kind souls even laughed at my jokes, which I truly appreciated. I do love a good dinner party.Anyway, I digress. The point of mentioning the party was that I met a rather wise woman there who I hope will become a future friend. One thing she said to me, which has had me thinking all week (all this bloody cogitating, …

A life less ordinary

Yesterday was a strange day.

It started with me coming off worse in a fight with a car park wall (as per yesterday's post) and ended with me hugging a dwarf (a real one, not just a very short person). This was not entirely as random as it may sound; I went to Cirque last night, a new-ish club at The Fairmont in Dubai. The music wasn't exactly to my taste and it was packed with wannabe Euro-trash types, but it certainly offered a departure from the usual nightlife spectacle.

In between these two incidents I made a new friend and rediscovered an old friend, one who I'd thought was gone for ever - a reconnection which has so far proved to be quite illuminating.

Life really can be very interesting.

In the words of those crinkly old rockers The Rolling Stones: "You can't always get what you want... you get what you need."


In one of my posts last week, Anonymous left a comment telling me to cogitate, then decide. This got me thinking about... well... thinking.I've always been guilty of over-thinking. In fact, I used to pride myself on being a super-rational person who was able to put even the strongest emotions to one side in favour of what my brain told me was the 'right' thing to do. But in the past few months I've changed my mind. In hindsight, over-thinking always got me into trouble, resulted in mistakes being made and made me shy away from good opportunities. My best decisions have always come from what you might term as being 'gut-feel', 'intuition', listening to that 'inner voice' or, perhaps, simply following my heart.Over-thinking kills spontaneity and breeds fear. Instead of going out and embracing life, we overthinkers merely spend that time sitting and mulling over all the possible things that could happen if we take this course of action, and the ot…

Incredibly stupid moment #33,214

Getting into a pointless tussle with a multistory car park wall this morning (tight exit, what can I say?)Result: Me nil, car park 1.Over here in Dubai, if you have an accident - even if there is nobody else involved - you have to call the police out so they can look at the damage and give you a bit of paper to take to your insurer. Without the bit of paper you won't be able to get your car fixed. Hence the following exchange with a rather charming policeman:Policeman (incredulous): "You did this on your own?"
Me (shamefaced): "Yes."
Policeman (puzzled): "No other car?"
Me (blushing): "No. Just me and the wall."
Policeman (shaking head in amazement): "Big damage!"
Me (squirming with embarrassment): "Yup."Agghhh.

Embarrassing moment #2101

Somehow managing to attach my handbag to the back of my dress on the school run this morning. All frenzied attempts to detach myself failed miserably, resulting in my having to ask a (highly amused) stranger to assist me in my predicament.At least I was wearing nice knickers. There's always an upside, I suppose.*sigh*