Saturday, 1 January 2011

Another year over - farewell 2010.

Falcon © Sue Pownall
Wow I'm not sure about the last month, but I'm looking forward to the new one in this new year of 2011. December started on a high, but seemed to have finished in a whimper. Whilst I like Doha I am finding it's a place where I am perpetually tired and feeling not 100%. Furthermore, I spend too much time in can't-be-bothered mode, even little things like going out for milk is too much. My only motivating force is my art, but sometimes even getting off the sofa to pick up a sketchbook doesn't happen either. 
Jude & Lola on Shatti beach at sunset, Oman © Sue Pownall
Anyway, I started the month with a visit to Muscat, Oman for the exhibition I mentioned in my last post. I stayed with some old friends and their children, who I have missed a lot in the last year, so it was good to catch up. I also got to meet a few of my other friends too, although not as many as I would have liked nor for as long. The exhibition event was a success for the organisers and is important for me as being my first show. I hope there are more to come.
Al Shaqab Stud horseman © Sue Pownall
Celebrating National Day
The 18th December was National Day here in Qatar and marked the end of a week of celebrations. On Friday 17th I got to see camel dressage as the riders took them through a course, falcons, selouki dog races, and beautiful Arabian horses. Then the next day, I joined the masses in the streets where the city had a buzz, a vibrancy, that was contagious. I walked along the Corniche where the military parade had taken place ( I missed the soldiers on camels unfortunately), amongst people of all nationalities dressed in the Qatari burgundy and white and/or waving flags. In the streets people had hung flags on their cars, added transfers and decorated them, then were driving around tooting and waving at people. Benign nationalism like this is fabulous.
How do they see to drive?
Two other notable events of the month were my friend's 30th birthday, celebrated on the 23rd, although her birthday is Christmas eve, at a restaurant on the Pearl - Qatar's artificial island. This was a lovely evening where my friend got thoroughly and deservedly spoilt which included waiters singing Happy Birthday to her when the cake was brought out. Finally, I spent Christmas Day with colleagues for lunch and silly games next door, followed by drinks with others colleagues further down the hall. Fortunately, Christmas Day fell on a weekend, but it was back to work again on Boxing Day.
By the waterside at the Pearl, Doha.

Happy 2011, may it bring you peace & happiness.