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.