Monday, 24 November 2008

The end of the road?

I began November in Nizwa for another Shell graduate team building week, and then headed off to visit Barbara in the back-of-beyond, UAE. (see pic). It was a long, long drive, and if I visit again I shall fly to Abu Dhabi and hire a car from there. From Nizwa it took me 7.5hrs, but just over 8 back to Muscat as I barely stopped or got held up at the border. It was a very short visit, but good to catch up and also go somewhere new. I especially liked going to the fish market and a trip to Barbara's school.

Last week was very tiring. Saturday night Jim had his birthday party – a party on the equivalent of a Monday yuck. I had an early start the next morning as training so left at a sensible 11pm after not drinking, but 6am came around far too soon. 2 nights later J was hosting a company manager’s dinner at Rock Bottom. Nice food but horrendously slow service, again I was sensible, leaving J there to head home for bed. When did I get so old, sensible, and boring???? Unfortunately, I left the door key in the lock and was woken with J ringing the doorbell to get in. oops. Finally, Wednesday was Valia’s birthday do and it was very pleasant to stand outside chatting until nearly midnight. I got a bit cool, so I had to put a cardi on about 11ish. Don’t we get soft??? It was about 19/20°C.

Whatelse... Oh been in The Week again, twice! The first event with J was an opening of an Austrian art exhibition. The majority of the art was a bit strange, home-made Japanese style paper hangings for example, but there were a couple of paintings we liked. The following day a Lebanese friend invited me to the opening of a handbag exhibition, not really my thing but… This is the background: “Sarah’s bag. Sarah decided to set up her company as part of a rehabilitation program, whereby women at risk from economic depravation or the stigma of having served time in prison would learn valuable skills in return for a reliable income and a stable source of pride, dignity, and empowerment. In the process, these women would be helping to revamp the centuries’ old traditions of artisans and textile makers in the Middle East for the purpose of invigorating contemporary fashion.” After the exhibition, Ale & I went to a store, it like TKMax however among the bargains we saw some of the funniest garments and despite my not liking shopping had a really good giggle as we teased each other into buying horrendous nylon garrish outfits. We both resisted, but I did manage to buy a pair of casual trousers and a couple of Ts. I went to another opening this week in a new private art gallery. It was an exhibition of Omani artists, some very interesting, with VERY nice prices. I shall take mum when she is over as the exhibition will still be on. I didn’t have my photo taken, so no photo in next week’s edition. Yes I know, I complain about the lack of cultural things to do and obviously I'm doing ok at the moment.

Finally, my flat purchase still hasn't gone through & I'm getting really fedup. As is my estate agent, & mortgage broker. The new completion date is December 6th, and if that doesn't go through then my mortgage offer expires and will have to start again. AAAAARRGGG! If that isn't enough I am very confused. My job contract expires whilst I'm on holiday at Christmas, and I was contacted by a company in Toledo Spain with a job which sounded perfect, and paid ok for Europe (with current eco-situation less than half my current salary). Thought I could do that for one semester, giving me some breathing space from Oman, J etc but they want me to start when I'm supposed to be still in SA. I told them I couldn't accept and to bare me in mind should the position remain unfilled... but I am sooooo tempted. Guess that says a lot about my state of mind here.

A positive note to end on is that mum will be here in 10 days, which I am really looking forward to her visit, and spending some time with her. As Eid falls during that time I thing I will only have to work a few days whilst she is here. Even if I'm working I'm sure she'll be ok by the pool - It may seem cool to us who live here, but coming from Colchester at 7°C to our cool 28°C will be great for her.