Posts Tagged ‘Dubai’
Don’t you just hate it when your child makes a BFF and then said friend disappears off to Hong Kong / Saudi / Singapore / back home and you end up spending every bedtime for the next year wiping tears from the lashes of a child who can’t understand?
DS made a best friend before he was two. He’s always been the kind of child to single out one BFF rather than play to the crowd, and this other little boy wasn’t only in his class at nursery, he lived just down the road – they played together in the park every day once nursery was done.
But then, when the boys were two and a half, the friend moved to the US.
And I – shoot me now – I lied. “He’s on holiday,” I told DS as he searched the park each day for his friend. I hoped that, after the first three months, he’d forget his friend and move on.
But he didn’t.
So, after three months of sobbing, “I miss X!” I admitted that the friend had actually decided to stay in the States.
“I want to go America,” said DS (fat chance, I thought).
But then amazing news – the friend was coming back to Dubai on holiday, 18 months after leaving. I wondered whether DS – who has truly moved on now – would care.
DS cared. He was beyond excited all week before the scheduled play date. But I couldn’t let go of my scepticism. They won’t remember each other; they’ll be shy; they won’t like each other anymore… I couldn’t have been more wrong. Within seconds of seeing each other they were playing like the past 18 months hadn’t happened; like they’d never been separated at all.
Now I’m working on the mum to move back to Dubai… well, with a friendship that special, wouldn’t you?
I was telling DD last night that she must wash carefully under her arms because, after a day in her poly-crap school shirt (why can’t they make them in 100% cotton?) with a polyester blazer over the top, she can get a little pongy.
But then I don’t want to give her a complex about it, so I started explaining that she only smells, a bit, because the school shirt’s not a natural fibre.
“It’s made from a manmade fabric,” I told her. “Not a natural one. It’ll make anyone’s armpits smell – even the tooth fairy’s. If it were down to me, I’d make your school uniform in cotton because it doesn’t make you smell.”
“It’s the fabric,” I added, “not you.”
I was desperate not to give her a complex. But it’s a fine balance between not saying anything and teaching her why she needs to wash properly.
“Is it still called manmade fabric if it’s made by women?” she asked. “Or is that called lady-made?”
Good point, I thought. And what about those school uniforms made by children in child-labour sweatshops? I didn’t say that, though. She’s only eight and it was bedtime.
“Maybe it should be called human-made fabric,” she suggested. “Then everyone’s covered.”
DH writes from a conference he’s at in the south of France (I know, seriously, the south of bloody France): “Hi darling, how are you?”
Me, from home: “Glad the week’s over. How about you?”
DH sends me a couple of photos of the view from his room: “I’ve just checked in. That’s my view.”
I’m looking at the photos – they’re all palm trees, Art Deco architecture and bright blue Mediterranean Sea. I can even see a cruise ship anchored offshore in one of them.
Me: “Looks gorgeous. It’s been a tough week; I’ve been working till 11 every night. Obviously up at 5.50am to do the school run. Can’t wait for you to get back.”
DH writes: “Oh, hold on. Got to go, they’ve just told me I’m moving to a suite…”
Messaging resumes the next day – Saturday.
DH: “Hello, conference is finished. Suite’s gorgeous! I’m sitting in Cannes old town, having a beer. So what are you up to?”
Me: “Oh you know. Usual Saturday. Screaming loud kids’ birthday party. Now I’ve just dragged two bickering children round the supermarket, fighting with them all the way. When are you back?”
DH: “After the weekend.”
My hips sometimes get an honorary mention in this blog. It’s not that they’re fat – honestly, there’s not a lot of fat on them – but they’re wide. “Child-bearing hips” says mum – to be honest, I’d have gone with two C-sections if it meant 5cms off the hips for life (before you shoot me, I had one C-section – I know they’re not easy).
Anyway the other night we were at a friend’s house for a little evening soirée and it turned out she’d arranged a belly-dancer to entertain us.
I haven’t seen a belly dancer perform live for about 12 years. Like visiting the National Portrait Gallery when you live in London, it’s not something you do much once you live here.
So she shimmied and she jimmied and she jangled and she wiggled – and she held me totally entranced. She had a little belly, but what I noticed that night was that belly-dancing is actually not dependant on a big, wobbly belly. It’s more about a slim waist and curvy hips.
It was a revelation to me. At last the hip girth is useful for something. My friends, may I reveal my new career: Mrs Dubai – belly-dancer.
I like to think my children are pretty literate. You could discuss some quite hifalutin topics with DD when she was two, and DS, while being slower to get there, is also showing the same tendencies. Which I’m happy about.
But there are times when he just doesn’t know the word for what he wants to say, so he tries ever so hard to describe it. An example would be: “Mummy? Mummy? Please can we get a … a … what are cats called when they’re really small?”
“That’s it! Yes, please can we get a kitten?” (The answer was no. Mean mummy!)
But he flummoxed me the other day when he asked if he could go to the “castle with pointy bits”.
I racked my brains. “Atlantis? Where Aquaventure is?”
“The Tower of London?” Who knows what they’ve been learning in school.
“No!” (Rise in pitch denoting increasing frustration).
“Darling, you’re going to have to help me a bit more here. I can’t think of a castle with pointy bits.”
“It’s here. On the way to the shops. That castle, you know, with the pointy bits? Can we go to it?”
Here? On the way to the shops? Oh good god, I have no idea what he’s talking about and, if I don’t decipher it in the next 20 seconds, he’s going to go into meltdown.
“Where on the way to the shops?”
“It’s by the car park. You know, the castle with the pointy bits. It goes ‘Allahu akbar!’” (he sings the call to prayer remarkably well). “S goes on Fridays?”
“Oh! The mosque! You want to go to the mosque?”
“Yes,” he says. “I want to see inside. Can we go? Please?”
Can he? Can I take him into our local mosque? I’m ashamed to say I have no idea.
Dear Estate Agent,
Please excuse this direct approach, but I am writing to introduce myself as a homeowner.
In an attempt to put an end to the flood of emails that arrive in my inbox from you, I’d like to let you know that I bought the property in question because I liked it and felt it would be a good investment. Since then, I’ve been pleased with the return on capital investment and I have no plans to sell.
Furthermore, currently living in the apartment are excellent long-term tenants – whom I found myself. If I required a real estate manager, I would call a reputable company.
But, generally, I find it more cost-effective to advertise the apartment myself and show tenants around myself, rather than having you fleece any potential tenant of two per cent for the pleasure of handing them the front door key that I’ve just handed you.
I’ve no idea how you got my contact details, although I suspect you bought a “list” from some unscrupulous company. I would be delighted, however, if you deleted me from your database and never bothered me again.
Please rest assured that, should I ever require the services of a dodgy fly-by-night real estate company of whom I’ve never heard, I will not hesitate to call you.
When I was nine, my school teacher asked us all what we wanted to be when we grew up. Pony mad, I said I wanted to be a show-jumper. Nick Skelton was, at the time, my hero.
“You want to be a horse?” asked my teacher (he was a bit of a prat, I realise now, looking back).
Well, my show-jumping career never really took off, despite me winning a rosette in a local gymkhana, but these days I find myself thinking more about another type of horse race: The steeplechase.
For those not familiar with the steeplechase, it’s the one where the horses have to gallop flat out for all they’re worth, then leap over various “obstacles” such as fences and ditches that are often much, much higher or longer than the horses are themselves.
They land hard and at high speed – scrunch – then throw themselves straight on towards the next obstacle, nostrils flaring, breath rasping. With no time to prepare, to gather themselves or even to consider what they’re about to do, they hurl themselves over that, too – ad nauseam till the end of the course.
I have to say: It sounds very familiar. I may not have become a show-jumper but, some days I feel more like a steeplechaser than a mum.