Monday, December 27, 2010

Just a Minute - December

Here I am again just about squeezing this in at the end of the's time for 'Just a Minute!'  Once a month quick summary of events.  If you are doing this too, or would like to start, please share your posts, I'd love to see!

Reading... Just a little Run around the World by Rosie Swale Pope. This was one of the library books my mum had ready for returning when we arrived, so I renewed it, got stuck in and am really enjoying it. It's so real I almost feel like I have experienced it, but  all without getting out of my warm snuggly bed! ;) Lol!

 Watching... All the English TV we don't get at home! 'Come Fly with me'  and 'Black Adders Christmas Carol' last night were particularly popular with the whole family, giving us all heaps of laughs. 

 Loving...SO much! Being with my parents and sister again!  Seeing my children enjoying the winter, as they  experience real snow, make snowmen, roll around in it, and bury each other. Catching up with old friends, central heating! Coming in from the freezing cold to a wonderfully warm house, roaring fire and hot mugs of tea!

 Craving... Nothing edible thats for sure, unless it's a fruit! We had such a huge traditional Christmas dinner yesterday I don't know whether I will ever want to eat again! 

 Learning... All sorts of new possibilities with this book a friend gave me! Now I just need to take the plunge at get CS5 so that I can make use of the things I'm learning!

 Planning... Fitting in all the things we want to do before we leave England to return home at the end of the month. So many places to go,friends to catch up with, and of course, shopping to be done!

If you’d like to do this on your own blog please leave the link in the comments I'd love to see! :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010


A couple of days ago we took the train to London to play at being tourists.
First stop was Buckingham Palace.
 Where we were just in time for the changing of the guards.
Even the Policemen looked cold!
 We walked through Hyde Park, where this little squirrel posed for us, changing position, holding it, then changing again, making us all laugh!
Past Marble Arch  
Then on to the Science Museum, where the kids had great fun pushing buttons, and exploring.
I wanted to take this gorgeous red Beetle home!

By the time we came out it was dark. After an attempt to get a bus, which got stuck in the city rush hour traffic, we jumped off and waked the rest of the way to "Forbidden Planet" a shop my son wanted to visit to check out their Anime selection.
 Past Piccadilly Circus
 and loads of pretty Christmas lights
 To Covent Garden, where Rudolph was standing guard.
 Giant baubles hanging from the ceiling!
Next stop was Trafalgar Square, where some carol Singers were performing under the enormous Christmas Tree. 
. We caught the train home, and found that my parents had got the foot bath out for me! (I could get used to this pampering! ) Perfect end to an exhausting but fun day!

Friday, December 10, 2010


Everything went smoothly with the trip from Auckland to Dubai.
 We spent a wonderful couple of days discovering Dubai and soaking up the last we would see of the sun for a while. Before we left home I had booked tickets for us to go up the Burj Khalifa tower, luckily a friend who used to live in Dubai had advised us to book in advance as if you turn up on the day to buy tickets its 3 or 4 times the price!! Something to remember if you ever visit! 
Burj Khalifa from the ground
The tower is the tallest building in the world, at over 828 metres high. The observation deck, on level 124 is where the high speed lifts whiz you up to from the ground. At a speed of 10m per second, so we were told.  Now I must admit, that as someone who has trouble standing on a chair to put up the Christmas lights, I was slightly nervous about going quite so high! The odd thing is though, that when you get to the top and the lift doors open, the views are more like those from an airplane than from the top of a building, and it was strangely calm and not at all scary. We wandered around, taking photos and video for quite some time before heading back down to solid ground. 
Views from the observation deck 

On our second day we headed for the beach, a free bus from the hotel dropped us off at the gates to the beach park. There is a small fee to enter the park grounds which lead to the beach, all beautifully kept, clean and tidy. Soft white sand, clear blue sea. Bliss!
On our last afternoon we went on a Dune Safari. Jeeps take you out into the desert, and if you try not to think about all the fuel being used, the pollution and the 'tourist trap' side of it, it really is an amazing experience! :) Bouncing over the dunes, the drivers take great delight in showing off their skills tossing their passengers left and right as they skid sideways down dunes covering the car in sand   before flying up the next one. We only saw one car that got stuck, but it was soon free and on it's way again.

 After watching the sunset over the desert we were taken to the company's camp, where tents were set out with cushions and tables for us to sit at to eat. A free bar, henna painting, Shisha or Hubble bubble, camel rides, and belly dancers added to the atmosphere and made for a very enjoyable evening. 

We really enjoyed our time in Dubai, it is such a different place, not like anywhere we have been before. Where else can you find enormous tower blocks and luxury hotels, right beside camels and gazelles gliding past in the desert? Very odd, and strangely compelling, I'd love to return and explore more one day.