Monday, 25 February 2008

Eight days of music

As I've already written, last Tuesday I went to listen to the ROSO concert, which was a classical start to the week. Friday afternoon, our weekend, I went along to a chillout session with DJ Sam Farsio from Dubai's Zinc club. Last night, Sunday, it was jazz with the French Paul-Marie Barber trio who played their own music plus remixes of classics by Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk etc. It was a pleasant evening, although I wasn't too keen on the vibraphone despite the musician being technically brilliant, I did enjoy the pieces when it was just the 2 guitars and double bass. To finish off this musical extravaganza of a week, and the one I'm most looking forward to, on Wednesday it's Funky-house nite at Rock Bottom and it's also going to be the girls-night out :) What a mix of musical styles, all in 8 days!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

A shattered world

Strange, when I used to write my group emails and now with this blog I have realised that I always put a positive spin on everything. I always find the interesting things to write about, rarely write about the boring or sad. I've just read the post I published in the last 5 minutes, and it's amazing to me that as my world has dissolved into a thousand pieces this week that I can write something that doesn't reflect how bad I feel. Currently, I am counting the hours until I can curl up at home, can stop putting a false smile on my face and let the tears flow freely. I know in the greater scheme of things this is a minor low, I'm tough and I will be okay in awhile, but for now... I will stop writing, make a cup of tea, and put a smile on my face and hide my feelings.

Cultural outings

When I came back from Europe last Sept. the thing that I missed most, whilst here in Oman, was the culture, as in theatre, art galleries etc. Or, frustratingly, if anything is going on you read about it after the event, which isn't a lot of good. However, this year I'm doing much better at finding out about things in time to see them. I've already mentioned that at the beginning of February I went to the Muscat festival, though I didn't see any shows. The following weekend I went to an opening of a photographic exhibition by Anna Mair, which was very interesting - macro photos of flowers that were very abstract with very intense colours. Last weekend, I went to a local gallery to catch their latest exhibition: a British artist George Lewis who creates photo/oil fusion pics of Oman. I'd have bought one, but they were all very, very expensive. An Omani lady was also exhibiting, whose work I wasn't so keen on. In the normal gallery was a collection of prints by a Dutch artist, who I've admired for the last couple of years, so I spent my allowance on a pastel of Omani dancers. Finally, last night I went to listen to the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra, which was fabulous. Next week another opening.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

In the news again!

I'm thinking of growing my hair long, dying it blond, and straightening it, as I look like the odd person out. What do you think?

This pic was taken end Jan at Rock Bottom, Muscat when my friends & I went to see Hed Kandi. It was a night of great music (for a change),too much alcohol, and lots, and lots of dancing.

Sunday, 3 February 2008


Well it has been a very proactive start for the year from me...

The year started well when I went out, on a whim, and bought a whole pile of paints, a board, and an easel and started painting. I still think my medium of pen & ink is where I produce the best art, but felt with the new year I would retry something. I last used acrylic paints way-back-when at art college and I think my first attempt is better than anything I produced then. However, it has been abandoned as it's not turned out as I wished... start another tomorrow. Then 3rd will be back to pen & ink, as I need to keep working on that too. I'm fed up with people telling me I should draw/paint more; so I'm going to.

Also, I finally joined the History Assoc. of Oman, after talking about it since I arrived here over two years ago. I went to their 1st lecture of the year by Prof. A Matter on Changing Climates in Southern Arabia during last 300,000 years. I was lost at the title, and it was way over my head with scientific jargon. Ho hum. Then today it was off on a field trip to nearby Fanja, there was quite a convoy of vehicles leaving Muscat for the afternoon. We were guided around the old village, up to the old watch towers, along the falaj (irrigation system), and through date plantations. An embarrassing moment occurred when the group arrived at the hot springs and some local boys were having a bath, they were not fazed and continued washing their hair and taking their time, though I think quite a few of us were. I certainly wouldn't like a tour group to catch me having a bath :-( It was a lovely afternoon out of the capital.

Then this week, I found somewhere giving Spanish classes. Although I can talk and communicate quite well when I'm in Spain, I need to improve my grammar, which is virtually non-existent. The first class was Saturday evening and seemed to go ok. The classes are run by the Omani Spanish Friendship Assoc. (nice snappy name) and along with classes they also have cultural events. On Wednesday, after I went in to pay, I joined in movie night to watch an Argentinean movie El Camino de San Diego, about a supporter's quest to see Diego Maradona. There were not any subtitles, but the teacher provided some explanations in Spanish and a few in English. I think I followed it fairly well and I am definitely inspired to improve my Spanish.

Finally to finish for now:
On a dusty, cold, grey Friday afternoon I went to Muscat Festival with a friend and despite the appalling weather had a great couple of hours walking around the various displays, though we were a bit early for the majority of shows. Had a fabulous Italian meal afterwards at the Crowne Plaza and would recommend a visit to anyone here in Muscat.