Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry Xmas, Happy New Year

Well, I am back in Australia (and have been for 2 weeks!) and we've had our first Christmas home since our big move to Dubai.  Firstly, the Xmas celebrations have been excellent and we had a lovely Xmas Day and Boxing Day with the families.  Both of the days being probably some of the best Xmas get togethers we've had.

Other than the Xmas events themselves, we have been incredibly busy catching up with family and friends.  We have seen as many people as we can and we still have some meet and greets to go before we head home on Sunday and whilst we are very tired, it has been well worth it.

Unfortunately, the Sydney weather hasn't been too kind on us with lots of rainy days, but we have ticked off most of our things to do before we head back to Dubai... I know that I am yet to get a Chocolate Thick Shake yet :-)

Its also been odd coming back to Sydney.  After being away for 10mths, I thought that things might have "changed" but the reality is that we have slipped into Sydney and it doesn't feel like we've been away.  The people are here, our friends and family haven't really had any dramatic changes in their lives and everyone has welcomed us warmly.  We have the "what's it like?" spiel down pat but its still enjoyable to tell people about Dubai and the great life we're having over there.

Also, as it is customary at this time of year, you do look back on the previous year and what happened and you look forward to the new year and what you want to achieve.  For me, and for all of us, 2009 has been probably the biggest life changing year for us and it also has been incredibly rewarding.  2008 was a horror year in which the dam burst but I am very proud of me and Niki and the girls because we have really changed tact in a huge way and have made alot of changes that have all been for the better.

And I don't just mean the physical move to Dubai, but that in itself would also be the biggest thing we have ever have happen to Niki & I since the birth of the girls.

We have made many new friends in Dubai, but we have also retained the good friends of Sydney and in short 2009 has been brilliant.

So, what for 2010?  Well, we are over the "hurdle" of the move and have settled into our new life... so I guess 2010 will be the year of travel and enjoyment.  I personally want to drop the 25kgs I have added over the past 3 years and spend more time bettering my health but also as a family, we're looking forward to the new experiences that the world can give whilst still keeping the home roots of Australia close to heart.

I know that this blog has suffered a bit in 2009 and perhaps its a sign that the therapeutic need I had to vent my spleen has dropped a bit... but Lime Kettles will enter its 7th year  next year and will continue on.  I hope that the readers of this corner of the Internet, both friends and strangers, continue to read and post the odd comment that you're out there :-)

So to you readers, I hope your Christmas was also great, that 2009 was kind and that 2010 will be better than any other year!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Greetings From Sydney

Well, we made it to Sydney!  The flight was excellent and I found the Etihad economy to be a little bit more roomy than the Emirates economy class.  It was my birthday during the flight, but I considered sitting down to watch movies and TV shows for 14hrs not too bad a way to spend the day.

With the flight being 14hrs but leaving in the morning, it was hard (impossible) for me to sleep but the girls got 2-3 hrs at the back end of the flight.  Niki and I didnt sleep a wink and we landed at Sydney at 7:30am local time.  We got our luggage in about 30 seconds after clearing passport control and we were out and hiring the car and on the road very quickly.

I got back into the groove of right hand driving on the left side of the road very quickly but I was really frustrated by all the traffic lights and the slowness on the freeways.  Have been here 5 days or so already and am still frustrated by the bad driving habits of Sydney-siders, the way trucks seem to have a god given right to the fast lane and ridiculously slow speeds on the freeways.

And being away for 10mths doesnt sound long, but things have subtley changed... I really noticed things like the trees on the M4 motorway being taller (at the M7 interchange) and the odd new roundabout or traffic light.  Also, the odd shop or business in the local area is gone and replaced with something else.  Just little things...

Have met most of my cravings already... have had my coffee from the local deli which is the best coffee in the world in my opinion, have also had a chocolate milkshake and last night I had a milk bar hamburger with egg and bacon.  Also, had lunch with my parents on Sunday and Niki and I shared a massive seafood platter (at Nicks Seafood at Darling Harbour) and I got my craving for decent seafood out of the way as well.

Also have had some decent Aussie beer - Carlton Draught, VB etc - as I have only really had Corona's and Heinekins in Dubai.

We have been very busy too... have caught up with both our parents (we're staying at Niki's parents place) and have caught up with Niki's brother and sister and their families, have seen many friends already and I managed to pop down and watch my old cricket team play for a couple of hours as well.

The kids are also seeing their friends... Kate has actually gone to her old school today and is spending the day in her old class.  Brooke tonight is going to see her dancing friends and has a sleep over arranged with her best friend tonight.

So, all up, its very busy but its been good to catch up with friends and family.  Alot of people are asking about Dubai and seem genuinely happy that we're enjoying it... perhaps even a bit surprised that we are!  There are alot of stereotypes about the Middle East and we're doing our bit to quash those.

And its only the first week of three!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Sorry for the lack of posts... i have had a few comments on "arent you updating" so, just as a placeholder, yes this is still a live blog but I have been busy.

I did actually make a post the other night summarising our Eid / UAE National Day holiday last week complete with pics, but for some reason Blogger crashed and I lost it all.  It was late at night and I didn't get back to it.

So, yes... I will try and post some pics up of our Ski Dubai experience, our first Greenfield Community Xmas party, some latest pics of our house etc.  We are however flying back to Sydney on Thursday morning UAE time for our Christmas Holidays in Sydney.  Will be in Sydney Dec 11 - Jan 4.  We're all very excited about heading home.