Monday, 25 February 2008

Is anyone out there?

There are days that go by slowly and some that just fly. Today was a slow mover for me. So I thought I might hop on and do a blog entry and then started to wonder what I might write about this time.
You see it doesn't really matter where you are in the world at some stage everything sort of settles into the mundane. You rise in the morning shower and dress for work, eat breakfast, have a short chat about how the day might go, hop in the car and off to the office. You hang out there most of the day doing what needs to be done and talking to some people and maybe slipping out for lunch; and then you find yourself in the car and on the way home again.
Once home you chat about how the day went, decide what to eat for dinner, check the emails and log on to MSN to see who is about, have dinner and maybe slip out to a movie, or an art class, or Arabic lessons. Ron has a bit more free time than me so he gets to the gym and the pool. I might go for a walk with him or Nerissa.
At some stage you think about planning for a night out with friends and what you might do on the weekend.
So really it is not too much different to living back there on the Central Coast. The company and the climate is different and the work is interesting. We miss people and we are happy to be away sometimes, other times we would like to be back there in the thick of it.
And then there are the interesting things like travelling to strange and exotic places and eating different foods and experiencing different cultures and we are really enjoying that part. Every now and then I wonder though - does anyone read this blog? Is there anyone out there ........... hello ............................. hellooo................h .. . .

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Dhow heading for home

This picture was painted for my boss, and friend, Sheila. She is leaving soon to go back to Canada. I hope she likes it!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Al Ain Air Show

Last weekend we went to the local Al Ain Air Show. We’d been to a couple of these back in Oz and so didn’t think it would be anything special, but it was something to do.

And so we were pleasantly surprised to see it was a day of non-stop entertainment. The show was recently upgraded and is now part of the world aerobatic competition circuit. So we were treated to a dozen pilots all making their planes do loops, turns, vertical climbs, stalls, and things that planes were never meant to do. They were followed by a number of formation flying teams from various countries, including the Saudi Air Force. Unlike some countries, UAE has not banned wing-walking, and so this was also a part of the show.

For me, the highlight was the feathered flyer! Falcons have a special place in UAE culture. Emiratis train them and use them to hunt. So it was a treat to see a falcon released by its handler to chase a small remote controlled model plane towing a “bird” target. The falcon chased the “bird” at top speed for about 5 minutes, finally diving and snatching it from the tow line and then returning to the ground with its quarry where it waited patiently for the handler.

For me, the day ended with a flight by the local air group’s recently restored Bleriot plane. However, there was also a typically huge UAE finale – stunt craft flying patterns across the strip in front of the spectator stand, accompanied by explosions of dynamite, sending flames and black smoke erupting into the air. Not for me, but the crowd loved it!

Click on the picture to enlarge it. And there are more photos on our Picasa Album page at: