Monday, January 29, 2007

Al Ain Air Show


Yesterday we attended the Al Ain Aerobatic Show 2007 and watched those remarkable men (and one Russian woman) in their flying machines.

The weather was perfect and I managed to take 277 photos before the battery on our new camera chucked it in. One of the shots of the British Red Arrows at work is at left. [Last year one of my photos was shown in The Australian]

We arrived at 12 pm and watched some stunning flying until around 5.00 pm and then went home via Al Ain Mall where we had a quick snack (no cooking or dish washing for us last night!)

We bought an Air Show T shirt for grandson Tory and I bought a baseball cap with a jet on the front for my cap collection. We expect to be off to Dubai tomorrow or the next day to meet up with our good friend Alison Pyper (from Alice Springs living in Kuwait) who is visiting an Arab Health Conference/Expo. Christina is going to attend the conference too (probably tax deductable) and I've volunteered to be left at a local watering hole for the duration, although I doubt whether I could last the distance. I'll have to find something else to do earlier in the day and hit the watering hole later in the afternoon ... maybe I can go shopping at one of Dubai's numerous malls.

Hope you are well.

for Robin and Christina

Saturday, January 20, 2007

College Mid-Year Holidays


Here in Topsy-Turvy land (Northern hemisphere, winter in January, different culture etc), the mid-year academic holidays occur in January. So, on Australia Day we commence our two week break before the second semester begins in early February.

We have decided to travel to Muscat, the capital of Oman, our neighbouring country and do some camping. Although we've been into some of Oman, we haven't been to Muscat, so this is a good opportunity to do it. Friends who were there recently said people were swimming, so it's obviously not a Canadian winter.

We've reached the half-way point in our contract. It's hard to believe we have only been here 18 months as so much has happened. It will no doubt take some settling in when we get back to Oz given the relatively higher costs of living ... we won't be able to dine out as often, that's for sure. Just the price of diesel will kill us.

On another note, I've had some trouble emailing people with Bigpond email addresses so I'll be checking email bounces soon with a view to rectifying the situation. This might involve my transferring my email addresses for blog subscribers to an alternative email provider. Either I, or the Emirates ISP I use isn't popular with Bigpond. If you are a Bigpond subscriber and want a Gmail account for your email, send a message to me at (change the AT for @) and I'll invite you to set up an account. It's a much better service than anything Telstra has and it's free. It's much better than Hotmail and Yahoo as well.

Hope all is well at your end as it is here.

Best wishes

for Christina and Robin

PS: Our new business at is slowly increasing its sales and when we advertise in Australian news media soon, it should increase much more. There are some great books so I've got to make sure I don't spend the profit buying my own stuff.

Monday, January 08, 2007

On, On Into the New Year ...


Well, another year is down and another has begun.

Thanks to our friends Michael and Gayle Dougall from Mount Isa and local friends too numerous to mention, we had a great Christmas and New Year period wining, dining and socialising. As I say more often these days, "What else could one want in life but good food, good wine and good friends?" We have certainly been blessed with all three and have a few other creature comforts too.

Michael and Gayle have driven off to Muscat in Oman today and of course I'm at work for this and the next two weeks until our end of semester holidays begin. Since Michael and Gayle have been here we've been up to Jebal Hafit for lunch, tried out the fish night at the Al Ain Intercontinental's Wok Restaurant ... delightful. We've driven to Abu Dhabi and up along the UAE coast as far as Dibba returning via Mussafah Friday Markets (the Friday markets that are open every day!). Chris and I also attended the wedding of Oscar, one of my work colleagues which was a Philipino affair. Good to see someone else taking the road to matrimonial bliss.

Between us we've taken several hundred photographs of the elaborately decorated roundabouts in the UAE (mainly Al Ain) and streets, mosques, parks and gardens, events and friends etc. These will add to our fond memories of our time in the UAE when we are back in Alice Springs wondering why we ever returned. We're bound to wonder that given the cheap cost of living here compared with that in Australia and particularly Alice Springs.

As another year dawns, we look forward to continuing our journey in the UAE, holidaying in Europe during the mid-year break, and consolidating and preparing our financial and other affairs for our eventual return to Oz in mid-2008.

We hope this finds you and yours well and you follow our lead and get a blog so we can keep in touch more frequently and easily. M&G have now got their own blog and have promised to update it at least monthly. Time will tell. On Friday M&G will have flown out of Dubai and Graham and Anne of Bundaberg arrive for a few days on their return from visiting family in England.

Every best wish


for Robin and Christina