A new arrival

Well a lot has gone on since I posted last. We’ve had the summer at home in the UK & Ireland, moved house again (I Know) and we now have a new edition to family expat!

Introducing Luna Pug-Good

Yes, she is named after Luna Love-good from Harry potter, Yes I know she’s wearing the wrong house scarf, however she’s a now honorary  Griffyndor now and I think the colours suit her.

we only had her a few weeks and yet we are all totally smitten with her.

So we have adopted Luna from a charity here in the UAE called PARA we only had her a few weeks and yet we are all totally smitten with her. She is absolutely bananas she’s turned our lives completely upside down. She has the biggest tongue I’ve ever since and an attitude to match. Clearly visible when she barks her little toosh of at anything that moves when we’re out walking. Having a dog/puppy is just like having a third child. Trying to establish boundaries, to avoid crapping on the floor and she’ll only do as she’s told if you give her food!! She has a thing for socks, will shout at you when you’ve been out too long and looks at me like I’m insane when I let her out at night.  It’s actually very hard to believe that someone just dumped this cutie and left her to fend for herself in the burning Dubai sun. We were lucky that she didn’t have any serious injuries or skin conditions from being abandoned. Some dogs aren’t as lucky, there are so many wonderful people around Dubai and other emirates doing what they can for these poor animals that are just being discarded.  PARA regularly hold adoption days so if you are in a position to offer a foster or forever home please contact the lovely Sara or Fatima via their Facebook page.

I’m sure there will be several more stories about Luna as living with a dog will not make life boring, especially her doggy training with Dog Tags Dubai. I’ve never seen someone have such a hold over a dog just by holding a piece of duck doggy treats!!

Making small changes

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”
                                                            Margaret Mead

Now I don’t usually get all tree huggy on the blog, I feel strongly that what you believe in is your choice and I for one HATE having others opinions and beliefs shoved down my throat via their SM platforms. However after staying at Flying Duck farm (another post to come) and seeing how environmentally aware our fantastic host was, it inspired me to start making some changes in our own home. I have often worried about the effects of the cleaning products have on us as a family. So recently I’ve started making small changes to the products that we buy. Slowly I am replacing my chemical laced cleaning products with environmentally friendly ones. Like I said its only starting with small changes so for now its just washing up liquid, surface cleaner and dishwasher tablets.  I’d love to use the same brand for everything but with Dubai being so inconsistent with its imports its difficult. Also these products do cost more, especially out here, so depending on shopping budget that week depends on what I can buy. Although I do find the Earth choice range a lot more value for money. I feel a bit safer in the knowledge that although its only a small difference the kitchen surfaces are being sprayed with less chemicals, when the bottle is thrown it’s biodegradable. As a family we’ve also flung ourselves into recycling a lot more. Truth be told we’ve been terrible at it but now we are making a conscious effort, as really there is no excuse not to do it. Moving forward I’d love to eventually be able to compost left over food but at the moment my irrational fear of cockroaches takes over! The children go to a very environmentally friendly school, which will soon be purchasing machine to recycle waste into school items such as pencils etc. This last term they have been learning about sustainability  and LPV was on the lookout for fair trade signs all over Sydney. 
I really want this planet to be in one piece for my children and their children to come, so if I can help with one small thing then I’ll try.
See you soon.x
Oh and PS this is not a sponsored post, I’m boring you from my own free will!!

An affair to remember

Dear Dubai, I’ve cheated on you, I’m not sorry, I didn’t think about you the entire time, in fact you didn’t cross my mind once and I will do again…………You want to know who with, you say? Ok…..It was with Australia.

Yes it happened as I knew it  would, I fell in love with Australia, now I have been known to fall for other places like Hong Kong but this time it was different. Australia is a place you would never tire off. a great outdoor lifestyle, beautiful greenery and fresh air, laid back and friendly people. Expensive? Yes but so worth it. From the minute we arrived we were greeted by a really friendly taxi driver, who gave us tips on where to go, to buy an Opal card (which was a godsend). Rather than selling us 4 adult ones the newsagent sent us somewhere else  to buy children’s ones. You can use these on all forms of public transport and it makes life so much easier and top up when they needed it. Our Uber drivers were so fanatstic and full of local knowledge too and as an added bonus knew where they were going. Our first airbnb was in Birchgrove, Balmain. A 10 minute walk to the ferry crossing and park just down the road which the kids loved. On our doorstep a newsagents, corner shop, launderette and cafe. With a high street about 10 minutes away too. I swear now with children Airbnb is the only way to go. The house we rented was spacious enough, had a big enough kitchen I cook a basis meal for 4, we ate lunch out most days but eating out in Sydney isn’t cheap and we would have gone through our budget like no ones business. Birchgrove had no wifi or TV so we downloaded a few Netflix programs for the kids but they basically made their own fun playing with some toys we brought with us. In the evenings EPD and I sat outside on the terrace with a beer or wine and read our books, he read 5 and I’m still working through mine, god damn you Outlander series for being so thick!!!! and talked. I feel like as a family we re connected without the distraction of electronics. I know not being able to go on FB every 5 minutes did my head the world of good. It was us in our little world and we didn’t need anyone else. The house was nothing fancy at all, in fact it did lack a bit of character but it was clean and comfortable and did its job of being a base for us. Our 2nd Airbnb in the Blue Mountains was spectacular and will  into more details when I get to that point of our trip.

Our first day In Sydney is when I fell in love, we caught the ferry to Circular Quay, had lunch along the harborside and took a walk up around the opera house, all through the botanical garden and then to Sydney Tower.

 

 

It was hot but hot lovely not sticky or humid. The Gardens were beautiful and the children loved running and exploring. The Opera House was everything I expected it to be, feeling so surreal that we were actually stood in front of it. We took some token photos but didn’t go inside.

 

We then moved on to  Sydney tower which was fabulous though and actually great value for money as when we brought our entry ticket we got an offer that covered two other attractions in Sydney. We watched a 3D short film about Australia and then headed up in the lift! By the time we got to Sydney tower we had pretty much reached our limit and being jet lagged we had a look from the 360’C viewing area and then headed home to sleep off the jet lag and start afresh the next day! It was a great day and everyone was pooped I went to bed with a big smile on my face knowing I was going to enjoy EVERY minute of this trip of a lifetime.