It has been a rather uneventful start to the year, in fact this year feels pretty much like more of last year so far. Work has been super busy already, so I am already rather nervous that its going to be a busy one, but then at least I won’t be bored right? Our old year’s eve was a quiet affair as predicted, we had a lovely prawn braai and I had plenty of champers; our guests left around 2am so we did see the new year in, but almost missed it as we weren’t watching the time! I haven’t done any new year’s resolutions this year, mainly because Stu and I did some outcomes in August for our stay in Dubai, so we will just keep on with those. And as I never seem to keep resolutions there doesn’t seem much point in setting them in the first place.
On the 26th January we will enter the year of the ox, at least according to the Chinese Zodiac. Master Andy Goh (whomever he might be) predicts that “the global economy will begin to recover from the financial meltdown” which is certainly good news for most of us. The credit crunch is starting to bite even here in Dubai, some construction projects have been delayed or even cancelled entirely, people are being retrenched, and property prices keep falling. We are watching the property developments with interest as we are keen to buy a place here before our current lease is up, but with the banks hesitant to give you a mortgage of more than 60 or 70% this may not happen for us even if places remain affordable. The other good news is that the rental prices are also dropping as demand is slowing with many people leaving Dubai as their contracts were up in December and they didn’t renew. Sadly the T word has reared its ugly head again here, the government is looking to implement personal income tax before 2012 which will have a massive impact on the expats here, and anyone looking to come here, especially as the cost of living is quite high here altogether. I will let you know what happens in this respect.
This little guy was found this morning on our front doorstep. In fact if he could have rung the bell he probably would have but as he was making so much noise I heard him from the kitchen. He is about 2 months old, with a collar and little red bell, and as friendly as anything. We have posted fliers around the complex and hopefully will find his owners soon, as our 3 would happily eat him for dinner. Hold thumbs!
The days are now growing imperceptibly longer, sadly, which means the hot weather is on the way back. We have so enjoyed the winter here. According to the gulf news this week its actually been 4 degrees cooler than normal for this time of the year, I have even worn the odd polo-neck as I have felt rather chilly. It’s all a bit silly though when I check the temperature readout in the car to find its actually 22 degrees C and I have goose-bumps. I guess my blood must be thinner already or something. We really need to start planning our summer trip out of here for July or August, not sure I can cope with being here over those really hot weeks. Although, happily, we have started planning our trip home for March, and I can’t wait. A few days in Jozi to reconnect with family and friends, followed by a lovely week in Kruger Park, should help to banish any budding homesickness I think. Looking forward to visiting the bushveld and getting some peace & quiet, far away from malls, traffic and endless construction.
Lastly the Dubai Shopping Festival starts on the 15th January and runs until the 15th February, they are giving 2 cars away, as well as cash prizes, every day for a month. It certainly sounds like something that shouldn’t be missed.
See you there!