Monthly Memories : February 2016

I have wonderful February family memories. February is my personal Aquarian month, memory month for my boy, born on 6th February. Often rainy and windy in Cyprus, it was a good month to go home, celebrate with the birthday boy and suffer some cold before the long hot summer starts in the Middle East.

But Cyprus was beautiful, a glorious spring Cyprus, almond blossom covering the hillsides, white clouds of fragile flowers everywhere. Winter skies and moody sunsets, sun-filled days, too short and sweet.

Another day, another flight, back to the city in the sand. Work days fill the week, waking on the 35th floor to white-out conditions as the Dubai fog swirls over the city, creating surreal views of skyscrapers towering above the mist. Weekdays consist of traffic, work and traffic. Work days and nights are quiet ones.

I take any chances that arise on my precious weekends. This time, a visit to the East coast of the UAE, with the Emirates Natural history group. A weekend of immersion in the history and nature of this region. Shell collecting with a group of keen enthusiasts, then visiting one of the region’s wetland sites, ending up with a wadi drive through Madha to Chees, an Omani enclave in the Eastern region. February is the month to head outside and explore this region, the summer heat is coming. I relish all the opportunities for fresh air before the long drawn out summer in air conditioning.

Another weekend, another flight, another place, this time, Kalptiya, Sri Lanka. Within easy reach of Dubai, it’s my place to go to relax, feet in the sand, a boat trip exploring the furthest reaches of the offshore archipelago. A beautiful country, far too quickly it was time to board the return flight.

Ah yes, the diet, slow progress, perhaps I must spend a quiet month to achieve faster progress… hmmm.

 

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Monthly Memories : January 2016

January always brings a sense of a new start. After the end of the year, it feels as if a cold shock is required to kickstart the new year. In northern climes, the cold shock is inevitable, in middle climes, it’s a beautiful time of year. Intense, exhausting summer heat several months ahead, but the temperate weather over the winter brings, for me, the advent of weekends travelling and exploring this beautiful region.

 Christmas family celebration time fell during New Years week for me, work commitments required me to remain in Dubai, where this time of year isn’t flush with Bank holidays and mince pies. A 5 am New Years day start for the airport, through the city which never sleeps, the new year had commenced. My joy to go home. Cyprus, chilly nights, beautiful blue sky days, precious family time with the children. Perfect winter weather, central heating and thick boots, this was my coldish start to 2016.

Back in the sand,  the annual Gulf News fun drive, a weekend of dune bashing with 1000 others out in the Western Region, then a trip over to the Oman coast, walking along empty beaches, not many souls in sight, with only flocks of flamingos and herons for my company.

Last weekend was a Dubai weekend, time to tidy up but do some in-town exploring but this past weekend was our cold shock. Weather warnings filled the papers, rough seas, rain and the temperatures forecast to descend below 20 degrees.

Clouds were in our normally sand filled blue skies, black over the desert threatening rain. In a country where rain is an infrequent pleasure, it was time to dig out something warm and head outside from the 35th floor flat and breathe in some fresh air.

Oh, yes and I started the diet this month too. 2016 is the fat-busting year.

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