Monday, December 23, 2013

A Christmas Marathon

Yesterday was a happy day; for the first time I ran sub 5 hours. It was a 4am start, so I was back in the hotel before breakfast finished!

Chiang Mai was fantastic. I'm now on my way to Melbourne to have a MERRY time.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Happy Holidays!!!

The holidays are here!!!

I've been sick for over a week, I've been fighting it with vitamin C and powders and tablets. Everyone is sick, but we are all determined to be involved with everything Christmassy that is on offer. School is very anti-Christmas. The word is not uttered, parties do not happen, special winter crafts are not done...or done in secret behind a closed door! Many Kuwaitis put up a tree in there homes and gives gifts...but at school we are supposed to follow the curriculum to that final bell. We ho and hum, but we made it...the holidays have arrived.

As an international teacher the Christmas holidays are my favourite. All the excitement of holidays away but with none of the wretched goodbyes. Just lots of love and hugs and 'can't wait to hear about it in January'.

Today I started packing- sundresses, bikinis and Christmas goodies for Kerry. I'm so excited about my trip to Melbourne that they are overriding my nerves for the marathon in Thailand.

I hate this part of the marathon training though...the waiting...the trusting the plan...the 'not eating too much' (hahaha) and resting part. It makes me feel unfit and unprepared.

But enough of that-the holidays are here and I'm so happy about that.

Go for a wee run on the 22nd ( or 21st night) and send me good vibes please!

I'm out of here!!!!!

If I don't check in before the big day, Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Currently - December 2013

Old copies of Runner's World magazines. I just want to flick pages or read an article in bed, hoping by reading about running I'll feel better prepared about my upcoming marathon. Usually though the articles have the opposite effect and I have butterflies in my tummy as I try to fall asleep.

Mad Men series 6. Amazing!!! I think it is better than the last couple. I am still constantly swinging between love and hate for Don Draper.

Beetroot juice. Daily. The shelves are empty when I leave the supermarket.

Far too many mince pies. They will be weighing me down on my run!

Listening to-
Christmas music!! Hooray!!
I started playing it this week while I baked in the kitchen-it seriously makes me so happy! ( Am easily pleased!)  I also get very excited when the American radio station VOA (which I sometimes listen to in the car) plays a Christmas song, momentarily I forget that I am living in Kuwait.

Thinking about-
My marathon....which is next week in Thailand...arrrr....and the holidays!!
I am so excited about my trip to Australia after my marathon that I've had a few sleepless nights this week. I am so excited ! Did I just say that! Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait.
I'm also thinking about all my friends and family that I won't see this Christmas...but I've had some lovely chats on the phone recently and that helps. I'll be home in Scotland for a holiday before you know it!

Taking photos of-
The beautiful sunrises and sunsets at the moment. I don't think Kuwait has looked so pretty! This was taken when the Red Arrows came to Kuwait a couple of weeks ago.

Happy. I'm happy at work, although running on fumes at the moment; I'm lucky to be working with such great people this year and I'm not taking that for granted. I'm also so happy more of my friends have recently taken up running. More running buddies for me!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The long run-32km

I tried to list all the things I was thankful for. I tried chanting "I am so lucky." But nothing seemed to help. Self- doubt had crept in and by KM7 I was already plotting an escape route by taxi. The beautiful sunrise , with its blood red and pumpkin bright orange helped to keep my mind positive for 10 minutes and somehow, by dragging one foot ahead of the other I finished my 32km training run.
Hopefully that is my bad dress rehearsal out of the way!
The Chiang Mai marathon is in 3 weeks!

 Not only did we have a beautiful sunrise, but the sunset was pretty good too! The sandpit has been looking particularly pretty this Winter so I have lots of things I can list during the run!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

3 Beautiful Things

  • My favourite way to start the day; morning coffee sitting outside in the sunshine. Winter here is my favorite season, with more clear days and blue skies than in the summer.
  •  "I've brought you lunch," says a kind parent of a girl I tutor for an hour on Saturdays; dropping off soup, steak, potatoes and mushrooms stuffed with spinach.  That's dinner sorted too!
  • Words from my friend Tania that touched my heart more than I can express. Today I was asked to be Godmother to little Polly. I feel truly honoured and I am going to bed feeling happy and blessed.

Monday, November 18, 2013

When it rains, it pours...

This was my drive home on the motorway today...

I contemplated swimming.

Now I'm safe at home I just want to stay under a blanket all evening and watch Downton...So I think I will!

I'm packing my goggles for tomorrow.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Only in Kuwait...

Flags line the roads and signs are up to welcome leaders of African and Arabian countries for the upcoming summit. A last minute decision by the Prime Minister was made to close schools this coming Tuesday to ease congestion on the roads. Great! Another day off...we teachers don't have enough!!!  
I made a sarcastic comment about the country and the number of holidays on my Facebook, asking where else in the world could be like this. The responses and comments came rolling in; days off in China due to pollution, rain days in Oman, visits from Bush in Dubai and Obama in Brunei ( even though he was a no-show)...and I lived in Uganda when due to election riots schools closed,so ok...Kuwait is not alone in announcing days off here, there and everywhere...
Then it should be no surprise that if this storm that is forecasted to hit in the next few days does actually arrive that the schools will close...again.

It will be an interesting few days.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Change of seasons in the desert

Autumn is nearly over here in the sandpit. Soon our air conditioners will be switched over to heaters to warm the cold tiled buildings. Pupils are now wearing winter uniforms to school and the International Award expeditions begin this weekend (it always rains during the Bronze desert hike!).
We've had a couple of early sprinkles of rain, just enough to break the humidity and a couple of electric storms, that try hard to be as aggressive as their African sisters but just don't quite have the wow factor. But, the real tale-tale sign that winter is arriving in the desert...

First world signs in a developing country.

Friday, November 8, 2013

What I talk about when I talk about Kuwait

I've not been very good at getting out during the week for my short runs; days off and weekends away (that take a few days to recover from!) are great but mess up the routine. But I have been consistent about plodding the pavement for my long weekend runs.

I ran 25.7km today. Why the.7 - well, it was converted from miles and I wasn't planning on doing a metre more than necessary! This marathon, my third, still seems like a VERY big challenge.
I was running with two male friends that are a LOT faster than this was a slow run for them...but I was so grateful for the company. We talk about news in Kuwait, talk about holidays but mostly we talk about running; races, training and injuries. Even at times when we are all lost in our own thoughts, the presence of company makes the run so much more enjoyable...and also I'm so much more relaxed.

The majority of the time in Kuwait I feel very safe, but running attracts some unwelcome attention here. The weirdos seems to come out...or more likely they have stayed out from the night before. So instead, I would much prefer to have the attention diverted to Colin, who runs in tiny flappy shorts and a vest! Haram! (I'm just envious as I'm running in black leggings...and it's still 27 degrees Celsius when we are running!)

My early morning weekend runs is one of my favorite things but it does show the best and worst of the sandpit. The beach which is covered in litter from BBQs and picnics, left to be picked up by the Bangladeshi workers,  rather than fill the empty bins nearby. The sunrises turn the sky from yellow, to orange, to red. The smell of pure sewage making us momentarily gag as we run. The blue skies that spill like a watercolour into the sea. The idiots on their motorbikes, taking advantage of the quiet roads to stand on their bikes and do circus tricks.The reward of a freshly squeezed orange juice sitting outside at the marina. The best and worst, but still my favorite time of day.

I have 6 weeks to go until Thailand. This week I am going to get serious!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Currently- November 2013

A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks. It is too early to pass comment on this read, (the reviews aren't great) but his past novels are some of my all time favourites. I recently read 1913 by Florian Illlies, which I picked up in Munich and was the most enjoyable and interesting book I've read in a while. It is particularly focused on European history for that year, so if you are intestine in that I would highly recommend it.

AFRICA. The BBC series narrated by David Attenborough. It is fabulous!

Training for-
Chaing Mai marathon in December. Today I ran my longest run ( since my two marathons at the start if the year), 24km. 42km still seems a looong way off! I'm a bit worried that I am not training seriously enough...and a friend warned me about doing more long runs alone ( as I'll be doing the marathon alone) so, although it won't be fun...or easy, this is what I'm going to have to do!

The cooler weather. We had a week of autumn; fluffy clouds and pink skies at night. I love this time of year, mainly because it means no more super early get-ups for runs!

Listening to-
The same 20 songs on my shuffle over, and over, and over again. I need to sort out my i-tunes and get some new running tunes.

(When I'm not running...) I love Bastille. They even make Miley Cyrus cool!

My about 20 minutes or so I'll be 31. Remember remember the 5th of November....
It's Islamic New Year so school is closed. A pretty decent birthday gift in itself!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Three beautiful things from my day:

  • Our team dressed up in pink for the netball tournament in aid of Breast Cancer awareness; lipstick, socks, tutus and a pink Afro. Our efforts were awarded with cheers...and a wooden spoon!
  • "Do you want to do brunch, or just sit by the pool with cocktails?" My friend and I have booked flights to Bahrain for the weekend! It won't be the same now that Jane and Sven have left and the running gang aren't together-but it will be fun and reckless all the same!
  • "Your phone call really cheered up Dad," messaged Mum. My dad has shingles. He is NEVER sick. I knew he wasn't well when he offered to pay for half the fare if I flew home to Scotland (from Kuwait) for the weekend!! Ha! (Love you!)

Monday, October 28, 2013


Three beautiful things from my day:

  • Baby Ella has entered the world! I received two photographs today and she is beautiful (and apparently very well mannered!)- can't stop thinking about her and her Mummy in Canada. 
  • The weather was fresh after an early morning shower...the first rain for a LONG time. Not enough to cause havoc in the sandpit, just enough to break the humidity and clear the air. Fingers crossed for blue skies this long weekend.
  • "I'm at the Ugandan border." This message from the African Adventurer brings back good memories and I am flooded with ideas of how and when I can visit Ug next year.
It's the little things. I hope you had a nice day too!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Memories of a mini-break

I'm back in the sandpit.

The Dreamliner, with its fancy gadgets and wireless Internet, got me back safely.

I wrote a little while I was away. After I hugged my friends goodbye and had time in the city by myself, I jotted down lines as I sat outside, drinking beer and people watching.

But now that I am back in Kuwait, reestablishing my routine, the words I scribbled down all seem trivial and rather pompous. (Having been reminded that actually, a person or two read my random thoughts and misadventures, and sometimes my drivel needs to be edited before it reaches the computer screen.) The words on that notepad don't matter anyway, they aren't the things I remember from my mini break in Munich (the beer has a lot to do with that), but the memories of good times with great friends are what last and what I will treasure. Them cheering me on during my race. Handing me a pretzel and a beer after I crossed the finish line. Us listening to Daft Punk recreated on a double bass and violin by Marienplatz and having a wee dance on the cobbled streets.

The three of us could have been anywhere at times. It didn't matter. Especially since we spoke a mixture of French and Spanish to the waitresses (when we weren't joking with them in English), forgetting where we were when we opened our mouths and not translating thoughts in time.
Munich just happened to be the backdrop of our weekend, beautiful as it was, it was more about the friends I was with.

It made me think about another trip to Europe sooner rather than later...

PS-The first photo is about 15km into the run. Look how excited I am to see my buddies! I think I cheered more than them! Scary!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Munich half marathon

Yesterday I ran the Munich half marathon. It was a 2pm start, which I was not expecting and I had to think more about what I could do in the morning and what I should eat, but at least it gave the city more time to warm up...the sun even came out!

It was my 10th half marathon and one of the most enjoyable and picturesque routes I've ran. It also made a huge different having two of my favourite people cheering me along the route. They got to 4 different spots and gave me such a boost. I worked hard but enjoyed the run and my recovery has been very quick, which always makes me wonder if I pushed myself enough..? Nonetheless those beers afterwards went down very easily! (I was in bed by 9pm..!)
Today I'm eating and drinking my way round the city.

Munich half: 2h15min

Monday, October 7, 2013


Three beautiful things from today

  • I was on playground duty this morning and it was cool and windy. There really are only two seasons in Kuwait; Summer and Winter, this transition period is short, but it is so heavenly.
  • I've opened my small wheelie case and started to fill it with warm clothes for Munich. I texted my friends 'See you soon!x'
  • This song

Monday, September 30, 2013


Another pay day has rolled by and marks the end of another month in the sandpit. Soon my 'w' place will be asking if I want to sign on next year. Time here goes even faster than other places of the world, so it seems. Even getting up at silly o'clock doesn't give me enough days in the week to do everything I want. But, oh I do love when pay day comes around again! This is what I'm up to:

Currently Reading- Yoga School Dropout by Lucy Edge. I've been too tired to read in the evenings. I recently read Crampton Hodnet by Barbara Pym, which was recommended to me by Mud. I really enjoyed it; it was funny and sad and very British. I will definitely read more by the same author.
Big, exciting news here; a new (old) book shop has opened its doors in Kuwait. I went on the first day...keeno. Shelf upon shelf of battered and loved books, creased pages and yellowed sheets of paper. It is fabulous. Comfy chairs and a large wooden table, bean bags and carpets. Hours will be spent there for as long as their doors are open. And hopefully that will be a long time; the books are second hand so apparently they don't need to be censored.

Currently Watching- Friends, series 1. It's actually just on in the background, I know them so well but they still make me laugh out loud. I keep thinking, they were filmed not so long ago. When my Friday nights were marked and sleepovers arranged, just to watch this show. But it is SO dated now. The clothes. The hair! Makes me feel a little old.  Ross is meant to be 26. Married, divorced, a father. Anyhow, still know all the punch lines and would choose it for my specialist round on Mastermind!

Currently training for- Munich half marathon. I switched my distance- I'm so happy I did this! Germany seems to be the place to break records, maybe I'll get a PB! (My voice is dripping with sarcasm...can you hear it?) No matter, I'm going to meet up with Jo and Jerome, drink beer and use my not-even-Standard Grade German. I think I can only remember to say I am 13 years old.

Currently thinking about (and talking about)- Nairobi. What a mess. Hiring out a space in Westgate to stockpile weapons. The government making announcements like 'hardly any people are still accounted for' but numbers changing constantly. And shops, like Kazuri being allegedly raided by Kenyan security forces. All this news made the news of a new marathon world record holder in Berlin on Sunday more heartwarming and meaningful. Well done Wilson Kipsang. Kenya is in the news for all the right reasons! 2 hours, 3 minutes and 23 seconds...unbelievably amazing!

Currently trying to-find the pretty. We are entering one of my favourite times of year here; the weather is cooling, so I am outdoors more and trying to take more photos. I am quite hooked on Instagram and finding lots of new things to do in Kuwait, like yoga on the beach by Green Island. I'm @africaandbeyond

Currently planning- for some quiet time on the weekend to read and write and drink copious amounts of tea.

Currently listening-to Milo Greene, every single morning, also loving John Newman. I have mini private parties in my car.

PS- I always love recommendations. What are you reading?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


The African Adventurer has been writing. Guilt he says, made him write.
Now. It's taken him this long to be in touch. Maybe karma came a knocking or maybe somehow he knows it took me that long to get over him that now was the right time to get in touch. He's in some war torn jungle at the moment. Sent me a picture of his dinner, a slaughtered calf. He's a cowboy that one. Safari boots, Swahili and all. Still just needs that tiger moth plane. He writes and tells me his family are safe in Nairobi (thank goodness), but his friend was shot 3 times when he was caught up in Westgate, he survived, a lucky one.
The traffic was really bad this evening as I drove back from having plodded on the treadmill for 10km. An accident on the other side of the 30 (the expressway), caused massive delays as everyone slows to gawk at the bashed buses. I got frustrated. Then I remembered how blessed and lucky I am. How easy my life is and how it goes on as normal.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Date night

I suggested it thinking I could close my eyes and have a little nap.
It's been a long week and a two day 9-4 training course on my weekend has taken the little energy I had, out of me. But, I am trying to be more sociable, get myself out there a bit, meeting new people yadda yadda yadda; dinner and a nap in the cinema...this is me making an effort!

Choosing the film here is based on the running times; how much has been badly edited from the film. All the good parts are cut, the hugs and kisses, the guts and gore is enjoyed by all! (One of my 7 year old pupils decided to share the film he watched in the weekend, about dolls that came alive. 'oh thats nice ' i said. he went on to tell the class that the doll came alive in the car to strangle the driver. I googled this film...Child's Play. A kiss in Finding Nemo on the other hand...harram!!) We check the actual running times of the film on the Internet, then the running film time here in Kuwait and compare. Less than 3 minutes, not bad, that's the one we go for.


We choose our seating area; families. The front few rows of the cinemas are reserved for 'bachelors'. Single males and groups of lads, just in case they tried to pester any ladies, even sitting next to a stranger in the family section can cause quite a stir!

Almost instantaneously as the lights dim for the start of the film,  it seems dozens of hand help torches turn on. Mobiles. Cellphones. The lady next to me had one in each hand. The reminders at the start of the film are not heeded. The constant what's app whistle and chatting on the phone throughout the film 'keeps' the audience in Kuwait in a room with a big screen, rather than being transported to the the world we are watching.

Then the plot seems to thicken. What is this???? I had obviously not taken enough notice of the actual film synopsis. I hate scary films. If I wasn't stuck in the middle of the row I would leave the theatre, no doubt about it.

Are the outbursts of laughter from the audience due to nerves, are they also uncomfortable with all the violence (doubtful), or is there something lost in translation, or is it to do with the black supporting actor. It confuses me.

My nap is not going to happen. I spend most of the film behind my hands. There is a round of applause from the audience as the end credits roll. I had a headache when I left.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Nairobi News

Westgate; the shiny modern mall that attracts so many people in Nairobi to shop, drink, eat frozen yogurt, have the best red-grape martini's, write reports on a rainy day in Artcaffe, go to the cinema and catch up with friends over beer.
My thoughts are in Kenya. Thankfully the flurry of messages coming in from friends all say that they are safe.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


I like reading other people's blogs but I only have a handful of blogs I really love. People that type as if they are writing lyrics to a song. Only a few whose adventures I truly want to read about. Real sit up and pay attention stories-I'll read every single word. So, my blog. What shall I post about? I'm sure there is only so much you want to know about what I bake or only so many photos you want to see about my wonderful holiday. I started this blog in Uganda, when every day was an adventure, but now feel I have nothing more to share than my first world problems.

I've told you Kuwait is hot, running can be wonderfully special at 5am on the seafront or hell as you dodge rubbish, man holes and catcalling. It is unusual to have a date anywhere else apart from Starbucks. And driving in the expressway is mirrored to a rally car video game. So, I need to take a fresh look.  I am going to try and write again with a pen and paper...I have to practice my handwriting for class anyway (my mum knows I'm not joking!) and see what happens.

But, until then I will share with you how this weekend I took a day off to be sad. There are times when going to bed all afternoon is justified. Tears are tiring but goodbyes are exhausting.
I've had to say goodbye to a couple of dear people in my life recently and yesterday I said goodbye to my mum in Kuwait. She has been ill in hospital for over a month and now it's time for her to go to be with her family in Sri Lanka.

In the hospital room friends pretend there is hope, put on a brave face, but my eyes are covered with my sunglasses. Flying business class, we say. What an adventure a real treat, a lovely way to start retirement. Do you think she cares that she has a wine list or a glass of champagne at takeoff or a better magazine collection? She is just so tired she says. Sweet tea and goodies are passed around and memories are shared. But I'm not sure if the show is for her or us. I feel I'm part of the back stage crew, just popping in and out of the room, not getting involved in the script.

 This powerhouse of a lady that looks after me and everyone is tired and leaving us. She was the driving force behind collections for ladies who take refuge at embassies here in Kuwait. For ill-treated maids waiting for weeks and months on end in the safe house before legally escaping back to their home country, sometimes these ladies have nothing but these care packages lovingly gathered. My dear Pyaseli will be welcomed with two big arms.

I'll write again, hopefully with an adventure of that doesn't involve gym changing rooms!
Bye 'til then...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A random post with bullet points

I've written a few post recently, all a bit random and I've not been brave enough to publish them.
At a loss of what to write about really, but my good friend said he liked my "self absorbed drivel"...a compliment if there ever was.

So, I'm going to go with bullet points-

  • It has been so humid lately that sunglasses can't be worn. Hopefully this is a sign that there will be a break in the weather and it will start to cool down.
  • I just joined a gym/beach club. I am still pretty nervous about going and not very relaxed there ( I get like that) - it does not help that it is a communal changing room and I got stuck in my sports bra the other day. (Think Miranda, then think of me! I blame the heat) Three random ladies watched on in amusement. I had to then leave. True story. Going to change at school tomorrow- just in case! ( My running buddy and I laughed about this for a good 5 minutes- but it is not so funny when you are by yourself!)
  • An ex-boyfriend got married in the summer. His wife is a member of the same gym...same communal  changing rooms. Oh dear God.
  • I recently found out that swans are mute for most of their lives, then only sing before they die. Hence the term 'swan song'. Factoid for you for free.
  • Someone at my 'w' place got emotional during a training meeting and cried over how much progress she had seen because of suchandsuch initiative. I think she knew from my face what I was thinking! (I like this person a lot I might add, but really...)
  • At the 'w' place, the phrase, "Well, in the UK..." is used a lot. A lot of people are getting peeved off with this, but not me, as I am known (in school, I should say) as the 'positive' one. Bare this in mind when you read my sarky posts about teaching. 
  • My day is mostly spent walking around the school with my class from A to corridor B, then watching them sweat in a playground with a tin roof. Today was 46 degrees Celsius-in that playground it was easily over 50.  This may be seen in abuse in some countries. A tin roof in the desert cannot have been anyone's first choice.
I realise that this maybe more random than some of the posts I didn't publish- but I'm going with it!

(A photo can make or break a post I feel!)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Vancouver Island-Vancouver-Dublin

This seems like a l.o.n.g time ago already!

I'm back in Kuwait and back at work. All that green hurts my eyes now.  

The day was mostly spent hugging friends and talking about holidays. Occasionally showing lost newbies around and, for rather too long, listening to loud animated voices trying to motivate teachers by showing them photos of Mr. Bean and sporadically shouting out names to check that everyone was listening. All that was missing was the red nose and clown shoes, but it was all rather (I've spent a long time thinking about the next word- fun/good/nice/inspiring...) easy.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Dog Days Are Over

There is nowhere more beautiful than home.

I am obviously a little biased in my thinking, but as I run along the back road over the rolling hills behind our house, I am always struck with how beautiful the view is. Or when I turn the corner just by the shops and the loch opens up in front of me, I think, why was it do hard to get out the door this morning in my trainers, look at this!

The mornings and the nights are generally the best time of day for clear skies and little rain. At night the sky is ever changing in colour, purples to pink, delighting those shepherds.
We don't often see clouds in Kuwait. The sky is just awash of yellowed grey. Grainy and hazy. It's hard to describe in words, I doubt many poets have tried.

I've had a quiet couple of days at home, doing those jobs that need doing; the dentist, the hygienist, the hairdresser (you would think I was off to the DRC rather than the sandpit), the last minute round of phone calls and final visits to my grandparents. I'm not a fan of this bit of the holidays. Knowing it is over so very soon. The bit where you start to actually think about the upcoming school year and think about all the things you could have/should have (nahhhhh, it's my holidays) done, the reading on mentoring NQTs or new BUILD initiatives (!!!). Oh well, too late anyway, try not to think about it. The bit when you realise that soon my time is not my own again.

I had a wee mini-break to Wales, nicely timed to get the most out of these last days. I stayed with lovely friends (my Lewa running buddy and her family)that I worked with in Nairobi. We didn't stop talking for two days as we connected all the parts of our lives together, making us, hopeless wanderers full in our hearts.

Then mum and I went on a shellfish cookery course at Nick Nairn's cook school, which was a fantastic end to the summer. I learnt a lot, but drank too much wine to remember what it was that I learnt. I'll have to just YouTube the next time I dispatch a lobster!

But now it really is time to start packing (I fly tonight!). It is easier returning back to work after 10 days rather than 8 weeks (HOW MANY!!??). I'm not sure I'm going to cope with it!

Enough of that, I'll be fine after a day back in the sandpit. I just need to take a big breathe and hope my bags are under the limit!

Friday, August 23, 2013


Currently reading-The Favourite Game by Leonard Cohen. (No jokes about having razor blades nearby.) This was the first fiction I've read by the poet, and although it is taking me a while to read, his words are beautiful...and I will stop giving my dad a hard time for being his biggest fan!
I recently finished this by Maria Semple. I picked it up cheap in the supermarket. It was witty and different and I loved Bernadette, the main female character.
I haven't read much else in the past couple of weeks, but I was engrossed by this book which I started on my way to Canada and finished before I landed. (That also tells you a lot about the entertainment system on Air Canada flights!) It is so much more than a parenting book! I left it with my friend Kirsten, so that we can talk about it when we run together soon. I didn't take my kindle with me to my friend's cabin, so read a book on their shelf; this. I've never read a Ken Follet book, but really enjoyed this thriller...although I did keep thinking the stabbings were being done with a shoe-who knew a stiletto is also a knife!!

Currently packing for-my return to Kuwait and work..well, I've dusted off my suitcase...that is a start! The holidays are nearly over. That is all I have to say about that.

Currently training for-Munich half marathon. I signed up for the October (full) marathon after returning from Seville, purely because it is on my October holidays. When I return to Kuwait it will be 47 degrees Celsius...I'm not motivated for the long runs in the heat, so I am going to stick with the shorter distances and transfer my registration from the full to the half.

Currently watching- Celebrity Masterchef. I don't watch much TV, partly because summer television is full of repeats (on our 5 channels), but I like cookery shows...and it happens to be on at 'let's slouch on the sofa' time.

Currently looking forward to-going to the Nick Nairn cookery school on Saturday for a day long shellfish cookery course. So excited!

Currently thinking about- my next holiday...even though I haven't started work yet! I'm not wishing my life away, or dreading work, just thinking happy thoughts.

Currently listening too-

Friday, August 16, 2013


Three beautiful things from my day:

  • Writing and sending 5 cards of congratulations-to pregnant mamas and happy couples. Happy days ahead for special people.
  • "Your oral hygiene is good." Never one for niceties, I usually leave the chair in tears, this is a compliment indeed from my dentist. Flossing before my appointment was 5 minutes well spent!
  • A phone call from Australia, to say hello and have a quick gossip-even though I catch only one in every ten words, it makes my morning and sets me up for my run in the rain.
(A bonus one- watching this video!)

Monday, August 12, 2013

We're going on a bear hunt...

A highlight of my trip to Canada, was spending time with my friend Heather at her dad's cabin. The cabin is not reachable by car, so after a three hour ferry ride from Port Alberni, we kayaked for an hour and a half through open water to a small pass where half a dozen cabins were hidden. Seals and sea lions popped up to say hello and once we were in the pass we opened a can of beer to toast the god of good weather.

Heather's dad and family built their cabin. There is no mobile phone reception, sounds of passing cars or noisy neighbours; a few days there felt like a month long holiday- a true retreat. The water gently rocked the cabin like a cradle and we slept long and soundly, only waking early one morning to fish for salmon.

Every morning and evening we watched a bear nearby searching for food. We even were lucky (!) enough to see a mummy bear swim across the water to protect her two young cubs. (The fact that Heather and I were sitting in a row boat separating the bears was a bit nail biting-thankfully I had a glass of wine in my hand to calm my nerves!!) The light was not great, so my photos are memories of a wonderful experience rather than art for the wall.

I feel so lucky to have been shown this part of the great outdoors by Heather, it really was a 'Canadian' experience.