Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

Posts Tagged ‘bloggers

On photo fatigue and living in the moment

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I was interested yesterday to see that a couple of French chefs have rebelled against the growing tide of self-styled food reviewers, bloggers and general foodies who insist on taking photos of every meal they order in a restaurant.

To be honest – and all respect to the serious food bloggers – it’s about time those of us not engaged in food reviews started to put the phone down, switch off the social media and get on with the enjoyable act of eating instead of cataloguing.

Put the phone down and, altogether now, 'ohhhhmmm'

Put the phone down and, altogether now, ‘ohhhhmmm’

And it’s not just food. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get serious photo fatigue.  What with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (the only three social media accounts I maintain), I feel a balance has been tipped between how much time we actually spend enjoying something these days – living in the moment – as opposed to photographing it to show others, or critiquing it on TripAdvisor.

It’s all well and good having your smart phone welded to your being – it’s great to be able to take those spontaneous pictures that really are something special – but I also think we need to harness this technology to our own advantage, and not to let it burn us out. As the French chefs said, life is not a competition measured in arty pictures of celebrity-chef dinners.

So how can we harness this technology to our advantage? I’ve started using an iPhone App called Mindfulness. I start each morning with a small mindfulness exercise and then, a couple of times during the day, my phone chimes to remind me to take a break; to breathe deeply, to put the phone down and take a moment of mindfulness. If that’s not enough, try Headspace for a daily 10-minute meditation. Honestly, kids, there are worse things to do with an iPhone…

Written by mrsdubai

February 17, 2014 at 9:46 pm

How and when do you blog?

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I got into a chat on Twitter today with fellow blogger Grace, who juggles writing Sandier Pastures with taking care of her new baby. Given I struggle to find the time and energy to write my blogs most days, I asked her how on earth she manages.

“I blog on my iPhone while breast-feeding the baby,” came the reply, making me feel like I’ve barely skimmed the surface of multi-tasking.


We bloggers are a busy bunch. Can't think why this pic resonates with me


I invited other bloggers to share their blogging habits with me. We’re quite industrious creatures, it seems, fitting in our blogging as and where we can.

“On the iPad, after the kids have given it back and in bed, usually on the sofa. Sometimes in Costa for a treat!” said @dubaiunveiled

“Usually blog late at night. I intend to start earlier but get distracted w other ppl’s blogs & twitter!” said @Strawbry_Blonde who produces a beautifully photographed beauty blog, often while her children are jumping on her.

“From 7.30-9.30 in the morning, same time’s I write me books!” said @AlexanderMcNabb, a self-published author with a full-time job.

As I try to get the writing done in those rare slices of time when the children and DH are either out or not in need of my housewifely and mothering skills, my blog is rarely written in daylight hours.

Sometimes I literally write three sentences, then rush off to marinade some salmon; I write another sentence then jump up to stop the children fighting. I help DD with her homework, then dash back to finish a sentence. I write two more sentences, then cook the children’s dinner; I rush back with a G&T and write five more, then disappear again to dish out the children’s dessert.

I fit my blog in between working, running the house, exercising (a bit), driving the school runs, cooking and falling asleep, shattered, in the evening. The average blog takes just 15-20 minutes to write and five minutes to upload.

These are my time slots:

Morning: My best blogs are probably the ones that get written in the mornings when the children are at school, I have nothing else to do and inspiration hits me. Those days are rare. If I get a day like that and I’m on a roll, I try to write four or five blogs to stock-pile for days when I’ve no inspiration.

5pm – Teatime: Sometimes (if I give large portions) I’m able to bash out an entire blog while the children are eating dinner under the watchful eye of Gerlie. This time slot’s often interrupted by wails of “I’ve had enough!”, “Mummeee, I don’t like this!” and “Pleash can we have ice cream?” but generally I push on with a G&T or a cold glass of wine for company.

5.30pm – After tea: There’s usually about half an hour after the children finish eating and before I take them up for their bath. I encourage playing in the park or on the trampoline with Gerlie at that time – it gives me another little slice of time. If I’m really lucky, I can post at this point and call it a night with a clear conscience.

7.20pm – After bedtime: Given DH has a high-powered job, he often works till stupid o-clock, which gives me another slot after the kids are in bed and before he gets home to tie up and post the day’s blog. But this time slot is hampered by the fact I’m usually chewing my elbows with hunger having had lunch at midday (so I can fit in the school runs) and, frankly, I’m fighting the urge to slump on the sofa with my dinner.

9 or 10pm – After dinner: After DH and I have had dinner together and chatted about the day, I sometimes slope off to the study to blog. I dislike writing this late as my judgement is usually marred by wine and my eyes are heavy. Many’s the good intention that’s gone by the wayside at this time. In fact, if I don’t blog on a weekday, you know that’s what’s happened…

Written by mrsdubai

January 15, 2012 at 6:11 pm