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!)