Ramadan – The Holy Month

Living in Dubai, there is no escaping Ramadan and it’s practices.  I actually think that is a great thing!  What a fabulous way to understand another culture.  I have learnt so much in the last few, that I actually look forward to learning more again this time round.

For those of you who do not know a thing about it, here is some random factoids:

(These may not be entirely accurate, but are true to the best of my knowledge.) Continue reading

The Early Morning Swim Log

A few weeks ago, my friend Justine and I got a fabulous idea into our heads to go swimming every morning before work.

It all stemmed from the fact that I had swum two lengths of a hotel pool and my lungs nearly collapsed!  I am just not a natural swimmer.  I in fact really do not like it at all.  Pools are for tanning around, and dunking yourself to cool down.  But, one of my greatest fears is that I will have children and not be able to help them if them if they were to get in trouble in the water.  Ok, so the likelihood of me having children is getting smaller every day, but I am keeping positive!!

That thought, coupled with an abundance of ‘wobbly bits’ was enough to spur me into action. Continue reading

Hakkasan, Jumeirah Emirates Towers

I am lucky that I work in a building with a fabulous array of award-winning restaurants in.  My rapidly expanding ass doesn’t agree!!

Today I met my lovely friend Denise for lunch at Hakkasan.  It is the first time I have been here in years as the last time I went (a couple of years ago for Chinese New Year), it was abysmal.  I am pleased to say, that is no longer the case.  I am now a fan and will totally be going back!!

We had the 3 course business lunch.  It’s AED120 for food, or AED140 with a glass of house grape.

There are 4 options per course, and each one of them sounds amazing.  I have an easy way of deciding… which of the dishes do not have nuts in!!

To start with I had the glass noodle dumplings.  Then I had some or other spicy minced beef on lettuce leaves.  Then I had crispy Chilean sea bass with capsicum and black olive rice (which yes, is a little odd!!).

Not only was the food perfectly cooked and portioned, the flavour profiles blended perfectly and were presented beautifully.  On top of that, the staff were attentive, knowledgable and friendly.

What a fantastic lunch spot!  I am absolutely going to be going back, and look forward to my first post-Ramadan lunch already!

(NB: Hakkasan is open only for dinner from 6pm until 1am during the Holy Month of Ramadan.)

Lists & Bacon

I love lists.  I always have and I always will.  Writing everything down makes me feel comforted.  I know I can’t forget anything then.  The best part however is when you get to tick things off that list!

Yeah… I have issues… I know.

It is however great being me just now as I have lots of lists on the go:

What to pack to go on holiday

What to buy when I am on holiday

Things to do and places to go on holiday

Things to do at home before I go on holiday

Things to do at work before I go on holiday

 

These are the ad hoc lists, obviously as I do not go on holiday every week.  My favourite of the regular lists is the grocery list.  It very rarely gets used as I change my mind from one second to the next as to what I want to eat.   I always fill it out though, just in case!

On today’s list is: bacon, large onion and toothpicks.  Random, I know, but I found this amazing new recipe that I absolutely have to try: http://halfbakedcooks.com/2014/06/sriracha-bacon-o-rings/

I think the results are going to be absolutely amazing.  I also think I am going to alter it slightly and make it bbq’able.  I can’t have a bbq here (apartment living) but I do have some lined up when I am home!  I think it would be a great and surprising dish to bring to a bbq, alongside my fabulous and famous potato salad, of course!!

So, now all I have to do is count down the next 6rs until I am able to get to the store and purchase my ingredients!!

(This is going to be such a long day.)

The Great Gatsby Gala

Birthdays can be fairly big out here in Dubai. You don’t have your family with, so your friends band around and make sure you have a good time!

My friend Denise always has the best ideas for birthdays, and the celebration of her 35th birthday which she hosted this year was probably the best yet… or going forward!!!!!

The Great Gatsby Gala!

Dressing up of course was the name of the game. 1920’s inspired whether in the ‘flapper’ way or the latest movie way. Anything would go… and did it ever go! Everyone made such an effort and we all looked fantastic!!

The party was set on a 70ft yacht that cruised out of Dubai Marina, up to the Burj Al Arab and back again. The staff on hand to make sure you always had your glasses filled were polite, un-invasive and always on hand. The boat was beautiful, well maintained, and the perfect size.

But then there was the entertainment… Luke Britton.

(Twitter: @lbrittonmusic Instagram: @lukebrittonmusic)

While not era appropriate for the Gatsby theme, his vocal stylings were the perfect musical setting to cruising along the ocean with the lights of Dubai twinkling behind us. Just wow!

For those of you who haven’t heard the name before, Luke is the fabulous singer at Ruth’s Chris Steak House at the Address Marina. He is so good in fact, that it took me a good hour to realise he was there the first time we went. But, not only is his voice amazing and smooth as honey, but he is great fun too and takes requests.

(As a reminder Mr. Britton… “Hollywood Will Listen” next time please!!!)

All that is needed now, is a few photos!!

photo 02 10468636_10204009757422886_3190215773026233000_n photo untitled photo 01

Heavenly Hair, again!

Yep!  That’s right!  I went back to visit Hair God, Stylianos at Jet Set in Jumeirah Emirates Towers.  Not only did he do my hair, but this time he did my eye make up for me be because I am entirely useless.

Not sure how many words I need for this.   Just have a look at the photos!

LOVE him!  Highly recommended.

photo 3 photo 4 photo 6 photo 7 photo 8

So, here is the finished product….

photo 1

And here is the end of the night!  Not only did the make up last but I had funky hair!!

photo 2

You juys didn’t think I was classy at all, right?!?!  Me and my zebra print snuggie are very happy with this pic!!  LOL!!!!

 

 

Irresponsible Journalism

Call me old-fashioned, but I belive that journalism should be impartial and factual. It should not inflame potentially volatile situations.

It is a shame that the Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday/Mail Online do not agree with this.

In the last week, there has been a flurry of information on the Iraq situation, which has been both informative but also I believe, scaremonguring. The situation out there is very bad and scary (yeah, I am great with words), but I honestly think publications like the Mail are trying to scare the UK into putting pressure on the government, be it the UK or the US, to intervene. What do they have to gain? It worries me.

Not as much as the following two examples though…

Example 1
Headlines screamed last week that a Saudi woman, Nahid Almanea, was murdered because she was wearing an abaya and hajib.

If, and only if, you read through the rest of the article did you see that it was one of the theories that police were working with.

It is absolutely disgraceful to take a possible theory and run it as a headline. What makes it worse is that it is in a squaddy town (Colchester) and running next to articles where ISIS jihadists are urging people to replicate the slaughter of Fusilier Drummer Lee Rigby.

I really wish I was kidding.

Example 2
Today sees an 88yr old great-grandfather “exposed” as a Nazi War Criminal. Mychajlo Ostapenko was apparently a member of the 31st Punitive Battalion who were responsible for so many horrific war crimes.

If, and only if, you read through the rest of the article did you see that “there is no evidence Mr Ostapenko took part in any war crimes, but campaigners say he may have been a witness”.

Again… are you kidding? No. Sadly not.

The Mail have put a photo of this elderly gentleman up. They have splashed his name and the area he lives all over the internet. With what evidence? Basically none. They know that he was a member of the battalion, not that he was an active or willing participant in the WW2 atrocities attributed to them.

How many soldiers do you know who have had to carry out the orders of their superiors or be punished themselves? I fully agree with chasing down the decision makers. These are the war criminals. If you can show me evidence that a person actively took part in the murders and enjoyed or relished their roles, then again, fair enough. But from what I have read, no one chose where they ended up, on either side. You were put in a position and you had to serve. Something else that maybe should be remembered.

 

So, in conclusion to my rant, because I really am very annoyed by this level of irresponsibility, the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday and the Mail online should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. The editors and whomever runs the shows should be held accountable for anything that is incited following reading their poorly written articles. Because mark my words… if they carry on like this, they will not be able to wash that blood off their hands.