Summer is on it’s way, today was around 32 degrees C. It’s hard to get used to the sudden change from Winter to Summer, as Spring doesn’t seem to happen at all. One day you wake up and it’s hot again, all of a sudden. This of course means that all the lovely outdoor activities we have enjoyed over the cooler periods will be winding down, but happily they aren’t all off the menu yet (pardon the pun). Taste of Dubai ran this weekend, and we spent a few (sweaty) hours there this morning.
If you haven’t visited a “taste of …” event yet then you may not know that it’s a massive festival of food – various restaurants offer up tastes of their menus, with the idea that you get a sense of their cooking styles and menus, and then obviously the idea is that you will go and have a full meal there at some point. Really a great way to discover some new places to try for a meal. There was also live music by the “Maple Jacks”, who were amazing. Some of the visiting celebrity chefs also host live cooking stations where they may even teach you a trade secret or two.
Next year I will be celebrating my 40th birthday. Inshallah of course as one must always add here, because you never know, do you, what will happen between now and then. But that is the plan at this stage. And it’s giving me grey hairs already – the planning of the celebration (celebrations?) that is, because as an expat my home is here (for now) but my family and oldest friends are not. So no doubt I will need to have at least 3 parties in 3 different countries, but that’s OK. As long as there are lots of gifts (hint hint). No but really that is not actually what I wanted to tell you about today. But you may start saving for the presents now – if you insist :-).
There are some encouraging signs that things are changing in the Middle East. And no I’m not referring to the Arab Spring movement or anything political. No the thing that is encouraging for me is that environmental issues are slowly becoming mainstream and being talked about in the newspapers; all kinds of people here are taking steps themselves to have less impact on the planet.
Stu and I do our small part; we recycle as much as we can, sadly there is no collection at the house and we have to take the recycling to a depot but that’s ok. The food scraps we turn into compost with our Bokashi, a great way to improve the poor desert sand in the garden. Other than that we turn off air-cons in rooms we aren’t using, turn off the water heaters, use LED globes in the lamps and turn lights and appliances off when not needed. We are also about to switch over to a chemical free cleaning product called Enjo, which cleans with water and fibres only. Apart from having a positive effect on our carbon footprint (which is the biggest in the world here in the UAE apparently) these changes have also had a positive effect on our utility bill each month. As the cost of water and electricity climbs all over the world this may be the thing that gets people motivated – the dollars and cents. Of course it’s great that we all do our bit at home, but in my opinion it’s not enough. The bigger consumers – the shopping malls, office blocks and other industries – must also start being mindful of their consumption. Small signs of this are starting to be seen and it’s very encouraging to me.