Posts Tagged ‘life in Dubai’
Forgive my silence. I was on holiday.
Well, I say “holiday” but, as all expats know, a trip back home can, at certain points, seem more like a month in a Victorian workhouse than it can a holiday. For a start, the children are off school and, unless you either ship your full-time, live-in helper over to the UK with you or don’t mind your offspring ripping each other limb from limb through boredom, you have to come up ways to keep them entertained. Constantly.
The maid-less status also means there’s no help with the washing, ironing, cooking, washing-up and certainly no help spooning dinners into reluctant children’s mouths as they run full pelt around the garden (not that that should ever be happening, but…).
As if that in itself isn’t enough, I have the type job that doesn’t stop over the school holidays so I spent the last month entertaining children with my toes, washing clothes with my elbows and typing with my teeth while Googling ‘Fun things to do with children in London’ once I’d finally coaxed the little darlings into bed. Which, in itself, is an issue when the sun doesn’t set till 9.40pm.
But I’m not complaining. I do enjoy doing it all myself for, as the ads say, a limited period only.
One of the things that does tend to fall by the wayside while I’m in the UK, however, is beauty. Last night I flew back to Dubai with two children, three suitcases, two boxes of Playmobil, an inch of grey roots, a six-week-old pedicure and a rather embarrassing bikini line.
No surprise then that I was up at eight this morning, inhaling coffee and dashing off to a hair appointment I’d made over the phone from London.
“But you haven’t even unpacked!” DH muttered from the depths of our bed.
Priorities, darling: priorities.
There’s a compound in Dubai called Arabian Ranches. I call it a ‘compound’ as if it’s a dozen houses around a communal garden and pool, but what I really mean is several thousand houses divided into individually themed “villages” of a couple of hundred houses each, each with their own subsections of gardens and pools.
No-one knows how many houses it contains exactly. Some say 6,000. But what you need to know is that it’s big.
And, since Dubai “took off” again, Arabian Ranches has been doubling its cells like an amoeba on a reproductive frenzy. Every week, we see new “exclusive” sectors launched as the community’s boundary creeps steadily across the desert towards the Omani border.
At the weekend, the children and I drove down the side road, from which you can see the land pegged off for all the new sectors.
“Look how big the Ranches is going to be!” I said, as we drove on and on past great swathes desert about to be reclaimed by new developments called Lila, Rasha and Casa.
“Wow,” said DD. “It’s massive. It’s as big as Dubai itself. They can’t call it all Arabian Ranches! They should come up with a new name for the new bits.”
“Yeah! Yeah!” piped up DS. “They could call it something really cool, like… umm… Angry Birds Ranches!”
The children fell about laughing but, the more I thought about it; the more I thought about the frustrations residents will face as the community, with its paltry two exits and – to date – one small shopping centre, absorbs another x-thousand residents, I began to think DS had hit on quite the perfect name: Angry Birds Ranches. I think it could catch on.
- Wake with a grateful heart (as always). At 6am (not so grateful).
- Get showered, dressed and make DS’s packed lunch.
- Be out of the house by 7am with two kids and their relevant bags, snacks and sports kits.
- Drop the kids at school, come home, be at my desk by 8.15am.
- Work till 12pm, have lunch, work from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, cook supper till 3.15pm.
- Drive DD to dance class the other side of town while listening to her school reading in the car. Hang around for an hour, bring her home.
- Give the children supper while talking about their day, supervise DD’s homework, bathe DS, cajole DD into the shower, read to one or both of them.
- Put the children to bed (DH is travelling).
- Get changed (maybe brush hair and put on lipstick), run downstairs, set the dining table for my book club group: set out a cheese platter, grapes, crackers, wines, soft drinks;, plates, glasses, napkins; arrange the books, think about what I’m presenting.
- Host book club… kick out book club. Tidy up after book club.
- Fall into bed exhausted about 11.30pm (I hope – but book club can go on…).
Hats off to every other mum working the same kind of schedule – or more. And the Daily Mail wonders why women are Oblivion drinkers. Oof.