raining cats and camels?

As unexpected as this wet, cloudy weather is I have to say that I am really enjoying it. Well for the most part anyway. Travelling around on the flooded streets is no fun at all, especially when people don’t slow down. Everyone knows that having your hazard lights on will instantly halve your stopping time so you don’t need to slow down, right?? Getting to work this week has been challenging, I always had an idea that desert sand was like beach sand, and so wouldn’t be muddy. Yeah right! The sand here seems to turn into something resembling soft porridge. Very sticky and sloppy. Thank goodness for 4 wheel drive. On the plus side though I am definitely getting braver, the large lake of water that stopped me just a week ago was no big deal on Wednesday, especially as I was already late and could not be bothered with turning back and finding another way. So I drove through it, despite the fact it seemed bigger and deeper this time, or maybe that was just when I was half-way through and beginning to have second thoughts. Anyway I made it. Although my car is now making a very strange noise at high revs and has no power, it almost sounds like something is stuck, so now I have the added joy of having to take it in to the dealership this week and have it checked out. Needless to say I haven’t bothered to wash it again, I will wait until the rain is completely over I think. More news on the recent weather can be read here, including pictures of hail! My picture of mud below is rather mundane in comparison :-).

Muddy road

[thank goodness for 4 wheel drive]

Well I wrote the first part of this post this morning when it was cloudy and grey, but this afternoon the sun has come out and we are having a glorious day after all, not too hot, just right in fact. I am doubly happy in fact, our one cat went missing yesterday after breakfast, and I spent a rather stressful day trying to find her, calling up and down the street outside our place but there was no sign. Stu and I had made dinner plans, we didn’t cancel these but we both felt a little worried when we headed out last night and she still wasn’t home. But I am clearly a terrible person as I managed to thoroughly enjoy my evening out. We tried a new restaurant, well new for us that is, at the Le Meridien hotel near the airport, called Casa Mia. I am not sure how old the restaurant is but it felt like a warm family favourite, in fact it reminded me a little of a restaurant in JHB called La Mamma. Anyway I started with a small caprese salad, whilst Stu had a seafood salad. We shared a bottle of La Tunella merlot which was a perfect accompaniment to my spaghetti vongole main course. Stu had a rib-eye steak. My pasta was lovely but Stu wasn’t completely happy with his meat sadly. We ended off with a cinnamon souffl√© for me and a grappa with an espresso for him. All in all a lovely meal indeed. Sadly our hearts were heavy again when we returned to find our cat still wasn’t home. Happily I can now report that she was home for breakfast this morning. I am very relieved indeed as the thought of printing flyers and calling the pound filled me with dread.

According to Dewa, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dubai saved 146,000kWh during Earth Hour 2009 last week Saturday, the 28th March. We took part, switching EVERYTHING off (well except for the fridge), and ate our supper by candle-light. We were disappointed to notice how few houses in our street took part, not even the street lights in the area were switched off, so I was excited to read the statistic on the Eye of Dubai website. One does have to take everything reported in the media here with a grain of salt as the positive spin makes your eyes water sometimes, and my happy glow was a little further diminished when I read a post on GO! Smell the Flowers wondering how much electricity was used lighting the Dubai World Cup horse race which took place at the same time. But despite that I think its inspiring how many people DID take part, and so thank you from me if you were one that did!

The day before that, Friday, we felt like pizza, and headed off in the car in the general direction of the Marina, not sure where we would end up but willing to be in the enquiry. Stu suddenly remembered, and I do mean suddenly I had to execute a rather sharp right turn at short notice, being told about a place in Dubai Media City, called Vapiano. Its labelled a pizza / pasta / bar spot in what is essentially a business area, so it was pretty quiet when we arrived but it did do some steady trade during the hour we were there. Because of where the restaurant is located the concept is all about a quick and painless lunch, so when you arrive you are given your own chipcard, and then you order from the various stations (pasta / pizza / drinks) using the card, and pay at the end. No mess, no fuss, very efficient. And the food was great!

Did I mention how fantastic Cirque du Soleil were? No? Well the show was AMAZING, I am thrilled we went and highly recommend seeing it if you can. And of course it was even more fun going VIP, the champagne flowed like water, awesome!

Interesting fact #8: just 160 days to go until the Dubai Metro train is open for business. Of course the last hurdle seems to be agreeing on the fares, will keep you posted, this part may take a while.

In the meanwhile, enjoy your week!
 

Animal Rescue

If you would like to contribute a few dollars towards my TNR work with stray cats I would be most grateful

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