Saturday, June 30, 2007

Happy 10th Anniversary - HongKong Handover


We'll be raising a toast to HongKong later tonight.

Wow! Has 10 years flown or what?

I so remember the uncertainty of how we were supposed to feel, so much worry and scare-mongering about what might happen.

Was China going to start marching over the border at the stroke of midnight? How were things going to change?

Truth is, for HK Everyman things have ticked along pretty much the same, I guess and, in many ways things are looking pretty good in HK. Booming economy the reward for riding out the Bird Flu and SARS storms.

Handover also has another significance for us.

I returned home to be there for Handover (where else could I possibly have been, for goodness sake?) and it was that holiday that saw Chris and Caroline become 'us'.

Altogether now.......................... ahhhhhhhhhhh.

Anyway, actual Handover Night was a blast. We were at a party on the roof of the SPCA building overlooking the harbour where we all drank too much & had a perfect view of the fireworks.

Earlier Mum & I we had watched the televised departure of Chris Patten (the outgoing Governer) and his family leave Government House for the last time - standing in the pouring rain, looking (to his credit) really rather sad.

However you might feel about it, no-one could possibly watch the lowering of the Union Jack, in the driving rain without feeling a lump in the throat and it bringing a tear to the eye.
Wish I could post the pics we took that night.

Catching a cab home was an absolute nightmare and I ended up standing in a queue at Admiralty MTR station (watching the newspaper people sorting out the mornings' papers) for about 2 hrs.
And so, despite all the emotion and politicising that went on ..... the next morning...... the sun still rose and we all just got on with life ......... and it was all alright.

Hooray for HONG KONG!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More waiting - just for a change!

Well, the 'not' news is that - there IS no news.

Few little rumours are drip-feeding out of Kathmandu but we've heard nothing.

The general jist of the rumours are that new draft documents for the proposed changes to the Adoption Law has landed on someone's desk ..... possibly and

................... perhaps.......... maybe ................ there might be some news in a few more weeks.

Yup, sounds about right.


No news.

Just wait.

Try not to lose mind.

Get on with life.......

Still going on about Singapore!

This is a very special little girl called Amelia (who has a very special little brother but I don't know how to get the pics of him off my phone!!) who lives in Singapore and is the daughter of my oldest friend in the world - the Other Caroline.

We've been friends since we were about 7 yrs or something, our Dads played golf in the same place, our Mums lay by the same pool and WE obsessed about ponies!!! And you have NO IDEA how we obsessed!!!!!
I haven't seen Amy since she was a pretty tiny baby and never had the chance to meet Ollie so it was absolutely fabulous to have the chance to stay with them in Singapore to hang out with my old buddy and get to know the kids.

Shockingly, a photo of the Two Carolines was never taken - shocking!

Just thought I'd stick some other Singapore Zoo pics on here (by no means all of them) - wouldn't want you to think all we did was cry over manatees!!

Quite pleased with these pics actually - would appear that my 'O' Level photography did have some lasting effect, Dad!!

Oh yeah, we didn't just go to the Zoo...

We ate stuff:

We schlepped up and down the famous Orchard Road:


We went to the superb Singapore Museum:

Sunday, June 24, 2007


A horrible way of raking up a past you were happy to leave behind or......

..... fabulous way to hook up with people you've shared stuff with but somehow lost along the way?

Discuss. (*)

Have had lovely day hooking up with an old flatmate, college mate and workmate (yup, we've been all those things to each other) but who haven't seen for almost 10 years - on her way back for hol to UK from NZ.

Despite all the time that has gone by, it is like we saw each other just last week.

Dont'cha just love it when that happens?!

(*) I think it's great!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Today is a rubbish day - look forward to today being done with.

Today was one of those days that reminds you that expat-life has one major negative aspect - those you care about most (or rather MOST of the people you care about most) are seldom in the same country and are USUALLY hours by plane away.

Another friend left Dubai.

You make friends (not always easy thing to do to find like-minded people), if you are lucky they are staying the same amount of time as you but usually....... you end up saying goodbye..... and I can tell you it can really get you down.

Anyhow, things will be better tomorrow - or later when I'm sitting in front of Coronation Street with a big pile of chips!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

What a clever clever parrot!


Makes me smile anyway.


Let me tell you - with this one, the tears were flowing within about 25 secs - SUPERB!

Get the tissues ready....

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A 20+yr dream realised - Manatee

That really is no exaggeration, for I don't know how long I have been consumed with the desire to actually see these things up close.

Where can we find them, I hear you ask.

Well, apparently they are fairly nearby to us here in Dubai (as well as Florida and Belize) though never figured out:
a) exactly where and
b) how we manage to find them.

Anyway, whilst browsing the Singapore Zoo map, the word just jumped out at me. "Chris! m-m-m-m......" (seriously, I couldn't get the words out).

Ended up just pointing at the map. He understood. BUT it gets better...............

It turns out you can FEED manatees at Singapore Zoo - YES, FEED MANATEES ....... BY HAND.

I'm not ashamed to admit that the world went a little black and fuzzy round the edges for a min - closest I think I've ever come to fainting!!

So, we hotfoot our way to the relevant area and when we get there ...... I elbow 3 x under 7's out of the way and get told by security (well, the handler in charge) to step back and wait my turn.

Thrust camera at husband and tell him to just keep taking photos (good photos) - he knew the future of our marriage depended on it.

So now you have the background...... enjoy:

Have quite a few more but 'puter is playing up and have tried to put them on about 5 times so have given up for now.

More to follow - brace yourselves!!!!


And then.........................................


I cried..............

like a big ol' baby for about 20 mins

Cyclone UPDATE

Cyclone Gonu has ............... er ................ well,............... gone.

End of update.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Cyclone Gonu

Tropical Cyclone Gonu reached the level of a Category Five hurricane, the most powerful kind,
though it weakened before reaching the Gulf state of Oman.
MUCH excitement over this indeed.
Chances of it effecting us majorly fairly remote although today it has been pretty windy and therefore dusty .... therefore unable to see skyline etc.
Last night whilst dog-walking (about 7pm) the light was that funny pinky-orange light that often indicates a storm AND I've had the mother of all headaches for days now.
A bit of rain here always stirs up a bit of excitement so if we get any, will let you know.
For the uninitiated, Dubai is about 2 or 3mm down (on the west-side) from the point of that pointy bit of land in the top left hand corner of the above picture.
A state of emergency has been declared on the direct opposite side of the penisula from us (in Fujairah).
Global Warming? How can anyone deny it?!?!?! Godammit - come on G8, sort your lives out and help us sort out this environmental mess.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


(ever seen a Weeble.... or is it....

...... a BabaPapa in the jungle!!??
look! *shh* There's one now in above pic)

Well, where to begin.

We had the most amazing weekend in KL visiting some lovely Dubai Buddies of ours, The Dawsons, who moved there in January.

It was so fabulous to see them - can highly recommend Chez Dawson for anyone interested. Service pretty good, The Manager will take the men-folk out to a bar to watch rugby and shout at Australians (or was it South Africans?) and the Manageress and the younger staff members will accompany the ladies on any shopping or fast-food eating you require.

ONE of the highlights (and possibly sweatiest activities on offer) was a 30 m high jungle canopy walk that the youngest member of the gang skipped over and some of the older members had a little bit more trouble with.

There IS no greater feeling than knowing that there is a rickety swing-y, sway-y canopy bridge behind you and NOT in front of you.

Hannah and Chris felt exactly the same way about that darn bridge and have identical post-bridge euphoric smiles - hooray for them!!

Tune in again for the continuation of the 'Laysia photos, followed by Singapore photos including the out-of-control maniacal shots of me realising a 20 yr dream (now if that doesn't keep you checking this blog, I don't know what will.)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

LOOK! LOOK! he sits and he holds stuff!!!!!

We are very very proud!!!!

Have just returned from a much needed break in Singapore and Malaysia (more of that wonderful trip later).

Here is The Kid showing off his new found skill of sitting upright and holding stuff. Actually he looks like he's been stapled to the wall and has had that toy thrust in his hand but you get the idea!

Our poor lawyer has been hounded to within an inch of his life for this photo - I specfically (god why can't I spell that?!?!?) mentioned the fact that the latest dr report mentioned the whole sitting up and holding business and how much we'd love to see that......... so ..........

.............. they have stapled our kid to wall and given him a Hitler Youth hairstyle (that seems to be what is bothering Chris the most actually.... and he's hardly in a position to comment on ANYone's hairstyle).

Anyhoo, its indescribable (that appears to be another word I can't spell) as to how amazing it is to see the little fella.

Lawyer and Others-in-the-know have advised we write a personal letter about our journey to track The Nipper down and how much he is part of our family already.

Basically the hope is not to tell the Authorities what to do in their country and with their kids but to help them see us adoptive parents not as baby-buyers, do-gooders, or worse Latest Accessory Seekers (believe me, we've collective been called that by some ill-informed and, in my mind, hateful people) but as real people who love these kids, not as second best options but as OUR kids.

Anyway, will keep y'all informed.