Friday, September 19, 2008

And still ........ we wait.

Still no news.

Still the sadness and frustration. We are in a suffocating purjatory with approx 12 other families in a similar Holding Pattern.

It appears that in the recent reshuffle (after the previous Minister for Women, Children and Social affairs had resigned - not entirely sure why) no-one was rushing for the post and so .......

...... it remains 'unfilled' (you can put my poor grammer & bizarre use of imagery down to a good old fashioned ratty-ness).

Thus it seems that without a Minister in place (pro-international adoption or otherwise) - nothing can/will happen.

The Prime Minister has taken the post as an interim measure but, I'm guessing, will be looking to appoint someone as he has enough on his plate.

The good news is that Sagarmatha Childrens Home has been given the governmental 'thumbs up' - this means that whenever the international adoption process starts again (ie for new applications), the government has inspected the practices of the Children's Home and has found it to be ethically sound.

There is much written about in the press about the problems of trafficking of children so those of us who are so closely connected to it wholly support anything that ensures the children are legitimately (though of course tragically) available for adoption.

No one who has or is adopting a child would / could argue that it is not better for a child to be with his or her biological family and within he or her own culture.

We could not sleep at night if we thought there was any chance that any child we adopted had been coerced away from a family that wanted & was able to keep him or her.

Bottom line:
our Arms,
our Hearts,
our Home,
our Families,
our Friends are all open and ready to welcome in any soul who's journey is supposed to bring him or her to us - we will not / must not judge the circumstances in which we will find each other.

Just as we do not judge others journeys to create their family.

We are not saints. We just feel this is meant for us.

HOWEVER, this is a darn hard road. Would we have started it had we had a Google Map for the WHOLE trip complete with a full breakdown of the hazards we would have come across on the way?

I don't know. I guess the key to it all is what happens in the end. If we end up at the destination we wanted, it will have been worth every tear shed, blister acquired.

When we set out we were armed only with a mini-A-Z and we only got one page at a time!!!

And so ......... on we plod..... one foot in front of the other......

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Heeeeeeerrrrrreeee's ............ MING!!!!

He's our new cat.

He's Devon Rex - which means he has a curly coat.

He's the cuddliest snuggliest thing in the world.

As we have a cat named after Alan Shearer the footballer (as he came to live with me during Euro '96), we have decided to name him 'Ming' in honour of Yau Ming the Chinese Basketball player who carried the flag for China in the Olympic Opening Ceremony in Beijing.

I am a HUGE Olympics junkie and have been watching any and every sport/event that has been shown (am now something of an officiando on HandBall, fyi).

Got so carried away after watching the Chinese team gymnastics I felt I needed to demonstrate some of their moves at work ...................... and hurt myself.

Apparently 39 is not the optimum age for starting olympic level gymnastics - huh, who knew?

HongKong has been the venue for the equestrian part of The Games which, of course, is the sport I'm most superly interested in.
The coverage here in Dubai of that aspect esp the dressage has been quite good and I'm now determined to ride for my country, HongKong, in the dressage, shall we say, one day when I'm grown up and leave it at that??

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Some more!

At the top of Glastonbury Tor with Becky, Jim & dogs (who aren't looking at the camera) Sam Lloyd

Artistic wall?

Is it so VERY wrong that I quite liked that!

This was the hotel we stayed in during our time in Chedder Gorge - was actually IN THE GORGE & our room was the one with the balcony. You can see the 2 columns.

View from our room up The Gorge.
What a great few days that was with our wonderful friends, Becky & Jim plus dogs.
REALLY REALLY great time we had. A real chance to spend some time together rather than a quick few hours etc.
Loved it and love them.
*sigh* such a happy few weeks.
Hey-ho - please stay tuned for next blog when we introduce you to the newest member of the Lloyd-Green 4-legged menagerie.
I shan't post any details till I know anyone is out there reading this sooooooo ....... you better let me know if you're there and paying attention!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A sorry excuse for a Blogger!

Just quickly I thought I stick some photos of our recent trip to the UK.

Had a really fabulous time catching up with our wonderful friends and of course, celebrating the wedding of Brother Trousers and his lovely new Pants.


Got to go to bed now but I'll continue soon, I promise!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Reading this awesome (if somewhat alarming book) at the moment.

The 'blurb' describes "surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change and Other Converging Catasophes of the 21st Century"
Life feels fairly 'half empty' at the moment (would like to think I'm more of a Half FULL kind of person but you can't be sunny all the time can you?).
Things in Nepal continue to be ludicrously complicated, promised deadlines come and go, mixed messages reach you regarding what kind of priority politicians are giving the completion of the final few (I mean VERY few, I mean we are 1 of 13 cases left of the old files).
Maoists do not appear to give a toss about anything other than scoring political points and flexing their muscles.
Bitter? Frustrated? Wondering how much longer we can keep on this crazy, cruel rollercoaster? Yep.
And then, you meet some people from a different country.
People you've never clapped eyes on but with whom you share a place on that hideous rollercoaster.
People who truely truely understand the highs and gut-wrenching lows. Some have made it to the end and are cheering and encouraging us to "hold on", assuring us that we will make it to the end.
Some are with us. Right there with us. We cling on to each other, encouraging and supporting - Helping us re-establish our death-grip handhold when we feel like we are slipping.
Thank you, Universe, Mother Earth, cosmic forces, Fate, whoever, for sending these peole our way - right when we need them most.
Hey-ho, onwards and upwards, eh?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Things I Learnt on My Recent Trip Home to Hong Kong

(At long last ......... we appear to have our internet connection back and I can actually post something.)
So much has occurred since and during my trip. Whilst I was without the WWW at my fingertips I kept thinking of things to blog about and now.... now that the time has come I find myself with a new syndrome, Bloggers Block.

I decided on the flight from HK to name my next post 'What I learnt on my last Trip' so that seems like a good place to start (please note this list is neither chronological or exhaustive!).

The Truth about Airline Seat choice
That there is much debate on which is the better airplane seat - some (me) say the window seat, others prefer the aisle.

I can confirm where it is NOT.
It is NOT the window seat when the man with the BIGGEST belly I've ever seen is sitting in the aisle seat. This gentleman was a very nice man but he did have the most gigantic belly - I'm sure he caught me staring at it on a number of occasions. Poor chap, he barely had room to lower his food tray ..... when the seat in front was "in the upright position".
I confess, however, that I had less charitable thoughts when the switched off the cabin lights and it was time for the collective and largely enforced nap-time.

This brings me nicely to my next point.

Snoring knows no racial, geographical, social divide, those that snore can be of either sex, of ANY creed, sexual persuasion or race. It is unifying act in which joins together those who snore into a ........ um..... let's call it a Tribe.

Snoring also joins & unites those of us who do not (as a rule) and therefore HATE those who do!!!
Simply put, I was trapped between the two loudest snorers EVER. Not only that but the gentleman behind me had such a variety of noises and had such velocity it was hard to believe it could be real. It managed to wake me up though headphones and that awful constant airplane drone-y noise.

I summoned up my sternest Paddington Bear stare and turned around to discover he was fast asleep with blanket over his head!!

The poor chap next to him was distraught, we caught each other's eye, we bonded, we understood each other. I gave him a bracing, supportive kind of look and thanked the Lord I was next to the lesser of two evils.
I am not by any stretch of the imagination a Walker - just ask anyone who knows me. The number of bracing walks I've been on that everyone seems to be loving and I'm just hating. I especially do not do hills and definately not hills and cold wind that makes my ears ache HOWEVER.......

I cannot express that joy and profundity that I discovered whilst walking around HK. In Dubai, you don't really walk anywhere. You might walk in the desert abit or when you walk the dogs but walking around town like you might in London or Hong Kong ? You just don't. You can't.

a) for about 6 months of the year you might die and b) Dubai just isn't set up for it generally (please note: there are of course places you can walk about and soak up atmosphere but again, approx 6 months of the year you can't do it for long and also the traffic is so hideous to get to them you just wouldn't bother)

So the sum total of walking is on shiny surfaces in malls or supermarkets. That's it.

In Hong Kong I walked as much as I could. There is something really grounding about getting your feet on the ground of the city, country, place that you are in. You feel actually connected to the place. Walking around (I never listen to my Ipod) and listening to the sounds of the place you are in, you experience the place fully. You become part of it or I guess to be more accurate, it becomes part of you.

In my case I just try to absorb as much of the HK vibe up through every pore and every sense I have. I re-charge my soul, refil my resevoirs again fully - I keep these reserves deep inside me. I guess it is part of the Buddhist philosophy of being 'present' in everything you do so you can fully experience it. I bet everyone who lives away from their Home does this to some extent when they return from whence they came.

Natural Disasters
I learnt that I do not ever want to become so jaded, self-absorbed or detached from feeling like a World Citizen that I become blase about suffering.

I also learnt that it is only human to identify with some things more deeply that others or places that you might not have experienced.

In past times, the Bali Bombings (although not 'natural') touched our lives in what felt like a very personal way - although, thank goodness, it didn't ....... directly.

It has been hard to comprehend the scale of the issues and the scale of the problems caused by the recent Burmese cyclone - but we can all understand the tragedy of loss. Mind-boggling.

The Sichuan earthquake, I guess for obvious reasons has touched myself, my family and actually all of Hong Kong in a profound way. The Chinese Government declared 3 days of mourning which included a 3 minute silence every day for 3 days at 2.28pm (the moment the earthquake struck). If you saw the footage or photos of people all over HongKong and China observing this silence, it would give you goosebumps and I challenge anyone not the be wiping at one tear away.

Someone said to me 'How could God let something like this happen? Where was God when this occured?' .

I believe that God (substitute 'Mother Earth', 'cosmic forces' etc according to your beliefs) is in what happens afterwards.

The awesome, breath-taking miracles of survivors, the tales of school-teachers and parents protecting children with their own bodies whilst losing their lives, the school-teachers that ran back inside to rescue their students and then tragically not coming back out again, the soldiers & other rescuers working tirelessly to find people, the joining together of an entire nation and indeed, a world community, the discovery that humankind is not always as selfish and self-seeking as we could be forgiven for thinking it is.

That is where God is.

There is so much more to be included on this list, I shall have to continue at a later date. I have 2 dogs that are demanding to be fed and as I've just written about how my faith in humanity has been restored by acts of selflessness - it is kind of hard for me to justify delaying the feeding of the animals!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Will blog properly when I return to Dubai as currently am in the bosom of my Special Administrative Region aka Hong Kong aka HOME!!!!!

I have been keen to try and get hold of one of these Mee things but I believe the site is blocked in the UAE or at least Dubai - I hope this works!!

Back in Dubai in a few days so will 'see' you all again then - currently too busy catching up with my folks and the most wonderful friends any one could wish for in the world, shopping, EATING (I'm quite the Fei Mui now and just loving being at home in a real town (warts n'all!)!!

I never sleep any where in the world like I sleep in the room that I grew up in with the sounds of mini-buses, taxis, buses, the movements of people upstairs (or my Mum still on the computer or watching TV into the wee hours), and the loud conversations of the downstairs watchmen with each other or various tenants in the block as they return home.

Silence to sleep? NO WAY!! Give me the sounds of my bedroom in HK and I'll sleep like a baby ANY day!!!! :)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Squid - Watch

This is one of the most amzing thigns I have seen on the ol' www for a long time!!

Totally hooked and nearly cried when we found it was a girl.

Everyone, check this out!!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

K9 Friends Puppy Ball (its for charity, mate)

Well, we survived another Puppy Ball - which is up there on our social calender as one of the best laughs of the year (along with the Sevens). And it's all in a good cause too

There are many similarities between the Puppy Ball and The Sevens for us primarily there is a bit of singing, a bit of dancin' and a bit of boozin'.

Main difference would have to be the wardrobe:

Brother Trousers

Sister Pants

Posh Trousers & Pants

Anyway, we had a lovely time with our lovely friends and have taken a few days to recover - always a sign of a good night - think I'll be just about ready for the Sevens in December.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

It's Official - I have stepped over the line ...

..... and can know legitimately be called 'That Wierdo Animal Lady'!

In recent days, a number of baby birds have been brought to the hospital and have as a result been hand-reared. Our Italian vet is very skilled with them and was the proud temporary Papa to 3 swallows, now named the Russo Three:

They have now been released and we assume doing well.

Head Nurse Hives has a really cute little thing that is utterly gorgeous and really teeny that trills and sings to you but is, worringly, showing no interest in fending for itself. It prefers to spend its days sitting on a towel in the office, looking out the window and awaiting someone to deliver its next meal worm or sugary water meal. It is professionally cute (photo to follow).

I watched all this successful nurturing taking place and thought, yep, the next one I'll take it on. love it and care for it. It'll be gorgeous and I shall help it get strong and then ...... one day, it will be able to fly away to become a pillar in the Nad Al Shiba bird society.

So I waited. I waited for the next phone call from a kindly Member of Public....... and sure enough, she called yesterday. I gave directions and told everyone 'We've got another one!'. I reassured them proudly 'this one will be mine' 'I'll take care of this one'.

And this is what arrived:


Errr ......... ok

But in short, Chuckles (for now 'tis his official name) survived his first night, ate 2 worms today which I think may have given him tummy-ache and feeds on special baby-bird gruel about every 30 minutes!!

He came to the supermarket with me and started squeaking and making those baby-bird noises from the trolley. Caught myself in Park n'Shop leaning over into the trolley and whispering 'shh' - hello crazy Lady!!!!!

But honestly, now, who could resist a face like this????

Gotta go - The baby needs feeding!!!!!!
Fingers crossed we get through tonight, eh?
Assuming he does, we are off to the hairdressers together tomorrow.
He lives, He lives and now, is eating a worm about every 30 mins!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Flee, flee, flee from the shopping mall, Scruffy Girl!!

So for the 2nd night running I've had to pop to one of Dubai's legendary shopping malls (it was the one with the ski slope in it) - quite why they are so legendary is a cause of some debate - and was the scruffiest female of the species there!

I dress appropriately for my average day which often involves a variety of animal hair, dribble or worse (yesterday it was baby lion wee-wee, tomorrow it could be an overly bouncy Labrador) and the freedom to be able to get from A to B as quickly and comfortably as possible.

Am pretty proud of my life, who I am, what I do and pleased to not be so self-obsessed as to spend hours and 1,000's on over-priced clothes and make-up.

However, there are occasions when I am struck by the chasm between myself and your typical Dubai glamour-puss trawling the Mall who having stepped out of the nearest nail bar and finished their skinny-decaf-mocha-bocca-cino, are carefully 'clip-clip-clipping' their way to the next designer shop.

These visions are perfectly and hugely coiff-ed - I am badly in need of a coiffing session but have to wait another week till my friend the hairdresser has a minute to fit me in. (Here was Carolyn's last fab job she did on me, just seconds after, 5 mins later it looked very different - a worryingly long time ago now!!!)

They have perfect eyebrows (often drawn on most dramatically & at alarmingly impossible angles) and skin (or certainly appear so) - actually they are usually made up to within an inch of my life and do not have a look I could bear. It is all thick foundation, mega-dramatic eyes, HUGE botox lips, big hair.

However, I'm sure the ladies in the cosmetic counters do not recoil in horror as they approach. And for this I kind of envy them. A WHOLE lot of time, money and effort has gone into these visions. Would be nice I guess but I simply haven't the inclination. I could always think of better things to do with my time & cash.

And so, this is how it went for me this evening:

Take deep breath and enter cosmetic place where there are about 50 assistants waiting just waiting ....... but not for the likes of me who buys ONE bit of posh make-up once in a blue moon.

I was approached (god how I hate the way they lurk and pounce, must be in the training manual) by a creature with THE MOST amount of black kohl round her eyes I have ever seen. It was everywhere. Top, bottom, inside, winging almost out to her ears - thick, thick, thick, inches high above and below her eye, black black kohl. Sharply outlined lips, 2 or 3 shades darker than her thick thick thick jammy lipstick - god how they love that look here. Foundation you could probably find the remains of Shergar in etc etc.

'Can I help you?' she said, looking me up & down, taking in my scruffy Crocs and looking thoroughly convinced that I was well beyond ANY help at all. (please note: mine are not pink!)

- as this point I usually say a stern 'no thank you, I'm just looking' and go about my business. But tonight I said....

'Yes, please, I'm looking for ..... My friend recommended it.'

They don't have the thing I'm looking for but helpful lady points me in the direction of something similar.

She puts a dab on my finger - I crack a joke (a thing I do when I'm a bit nervous). I thought it was funny, she didn't.

I look up into mirror so I am able to apply said cosmetic in the appropriate area of face and am met by a pale, tired-looking, SHOCKING-HAIR'D, freckly, make-up that went-on-this-morning-all-gone-now face.

I recall the phase that draws some comparison between purses and sow's ears and ......

....... I flee. I flee as fast as feet in Crocs can flee.

I flee to McDs and get chips.

I start counting the days till the facial that I have booked on our wedding anniversary. My 2nd EVER facial.

I shall be a vision and then....... then, I shall return to cosmetic place, with my good hair and glowy face.

But I'll still be wearing my Crocs cos you never know when a baby lion might wee on you.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Inspired by another blog that I read I decided to attempt a tally of occurances that have taken place in the last 6 day or so.

Number of times I was late for work because 5 camels blocked the road from the house.


Number of minutes of quality phone chat with a great pal in Malaysia.

27 mins 52 secs

# of guinea pig castrations witnessed


# of bowls of noodles consumed


Nights spent in desert

1 - another happy camping experience in Schwaib

Number of silly lurchers who tried to get in sleeping bag with me

2. NB zero were successful

# of times I hugged my lovely horse this morning

innumerable! It is almost daily that I am so thankful I was able to buy her - such a lucky girl!! She has really been a lifeline of normality through some pretty dark says

# of times I've cried

Potions of fries consumed (McDs or New York Fries)

4 (pretty easy for me to achieve, this will of no suprise to anyone who knows me)

Books read for more than 15 mins
3 ('Persuasion', 'The Other End of the Leash' & Shantaram)

# of tabby feral cats that yelled at me to feed them
2 (one outside hospital and one outside shop)
BabyBel consumed
6! But all to accompany a crisp green apple - does that make it better?
Episodes of The Archers listened to
4 (via podcast)

Trips to Red Lion pub

Just the one so far!
# of Marble Slab ice-creams
2 - always cheesecake with fresh raspberries
Number of great pals who live in different countries who I've wanted to hug this week

Old lady falls on wet floor after someone smashed my full mug
thankfully just the ONE but that was embarrassing enough!
Whilst driving the fabulous LandRover LR3 lent to us by some lovely pals whilst our other car in the shop, what proportion of the time do I grin from ear to ear?
Pretty much 95% of the time!!!!!
# of blogs that I read or check on a daily basis
approx 22

# of dogs (and their owners') lives that I hope to have made a little bit easier

# of times woken by explosions

that would be just the once, today! And, I can confirm that this, is, a fairly unpleasant way to wake up

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hodge-podge of things that travel through.... brain in a day.

Books - I juggle several at a time. Currently, I am alternately reading Jane Austen's Persuasion and the Eckhart Tolle book ' A New Earth'. This is a fabulous book and I can highly recommend it - it discusses how you can be a spiritual person without having to identify solely with one dogmatic religion.

My interest in Tibetan Buddhism has given me some deeply inspiring perspectives on Life and this book can potentially do the same for me.

I love how he talks about modern man's obsession with things and stuff and yet he doesn't suggest that the solution is for us to renounce it all but instead to investigate and really understand our relationship with these 'things' - jobs, relationships, cash, cars etc.

The crux of it is that many people use 'things' to define who they are and so are desperately fearful of losing them for fear of 'losing themselves'.

Interestingly he discusses that 'there are people who have renounced all possessions but have a bigger ego than some millionaires'. They have used their 'renouncement' to define themselves again and consider themselves better spiritually than those who haven't.

I cannot bear to think about things in TIBET at the moment. The fear has been that another Tiananmen might happen again but I have just read the 'protesters have surrendered' - it doesn't bear thinking about what the future holds for them.

I am deeply proud of my Chinese heritage but on this topic I am also deeply ashamed. Guess the blessing and the curse of being mixed race is that you get to be proud of 2 heritages but also frustrated and angry with them as well. I',m not exactly proud of the British government's stance of certain issues in recent times either.

However, my thoughts are with those in Tibet and the Dalai Lama - honestly the nonsense that is being written about him and his 'agenda' in the propaganda is embarrassing!! Anyone who has ever bothered to read 15 mins worth of the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism would see how laughable the 'allegations' the Chinese make about him!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Long time no see - I guess!

It has been a hard few months.

I tried to continue blogging but it seemed strange to follow the news of the loss of Umesh with flippant posts on our latest camping trip or photos of the last BBQ we went to.

We have been back to Nepal to say our goodbyes personally which was very cathartic and to set some further wheels in motion. I'm sure you can understand that Chris and I feel we need to be a bit more circumspect with our emotions this time so , for now, we ask anyone who might be interested to just sit tight and watch this space on that particular subject.

So, since we last 'met' - we've done Halloween, Christmas and New Year. Today is st Patricks Day and a few days ago Wales won the Grand Slam in the Six Nations Rugby. As I say we've been back to Nepal (which just in itself was superb) and this coming weekend we are off camping again.

Not the most scintilatting (sp?) post I've ever done but its been a while so bear with me.

Would love to hear if anyone out there is still reading this - so do drop me a line to let me know.