A quick catch up ..............

So life has been busy busy busy for the last 2 or 3 weeks! Work is manically busy still and I find that I am brain dead by the end of the day........even been too brain dead to knit - so I know that I have a problem!

However I have been sticking to my promise to be nicer to myself - so I have learned the word 'No' when I am asked to add something else to my 'to do list'! I have to say in all fairness that my boss and the other guys I work with do show appreciation and I seem to get more thanks than I ever did in London.......so not really sure what that says!! A ponder for another day!

Anyoldhow.......My Dad and Brother came over to visit last week and it was fabulous to see them. We went to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which was a masterpiece! The setting is truly awesome and despite my fears, it was run really well - the occasional hitch, but nothing to gripe about really! I managed to get to two of the four free concerts and saw Jamiroquoi and Aerosmith. Well people, if you had told me that I would rock out at an Aerosmith concert I would have laughed in your face........ex ballet dancer, knitter and mum! But I loved it - the guys may be collecting their pensions but they were an advert in 'not showing your age' - unless of course you ignore the inevitable big screen close up shots - which were probably best if you did not look to closely at them!

Other than the Grand Prix I managed to give them (my Dad and Brother that is - not the boys from Aerosmith!) a quick tour of Abu Dhabi and even (eventually after hitting the same missed turning 3 times!) the Grand Mosque which was truly breathtaking!

But of course I cannot blog without mentioning the knitting............

So I finished the Damson - its lovely and now languishing waiting for me to block it! I have promised Flo that once its blocked then she will model it for me so that I can take some pictures. She is a beautiful girl (ok ok I am biased - I AM her Mum after all!) and I think she will look great!

The second sock syndrome has also hit really badly and I just don't seem physically able to cast it on. I see lots of lovely lace socks which I would like to try and which look like they could knit up quite fast - but this pair is wrecking my mojo!

I also finally frogged a baby jacket that had been languishing in the UFO bag for at least 2 years! The pattern is in French and actually I had made some amendements to it, clearly, but of course had not written them down! Not only that but its in really chunky weight yarn - no good for the Middle East AND for a girl..........no baby girls in my life at the moment. So rather than waste a good amount of yarn on something I no longer love, I have frogged it and will probably make a hat out of it..............because of course I need a wooly hat here in the heat...!!!!!

So that means that actually my UFO list is down to just two!! The black mohair bolero - which can only be knit in the daytime as I cannot see in the twilight or even the electric light! AND the Earl Grey socks (or well technically sock in the singular!).

Feeling good about that I cast on a Phiaro last night! Hurrrah I thought and got going at the speed of light..........wasn't until I had done about 2 inches that I realised I had twisted it! HONESTLY of all the stupid mistakes to make on a garter stitch round! I have knitted in the round many many times and I should have know better - if I am honest I think I was just too 'cocky' and as usual life takes you down a peg or two - so I ripped back and started again - rather more humbly this time! Trouble was my shame was in front of a bunch of new knitters who were looking to me to help them in my expertise...........yeah right!!

I have lots of pictures from the Grand Prix but I thought I would just post the one below - knitting photos to follow.............

Mostly Knitting..............

So I just looked at the last time I posted anything and scarily it was back in August

A lot has gone on since August - as ever with my manic life - but some was not so good so to re-live the memories would be counterproductive! I have just finished reading a book called 'Excuse me, your life is waiting!' by Lynn Grabhorn and it was a revelation - by not sending out positive vibes I just attract more and more negative ones.......so enough said!! I have a tendancy to be very tough on myself and I need to give myself some good feeback from time to time!

ANYWAY! I realise that I really do want to concentrate on my knitting (and sewing and stitching!) because its something I am passionate about and I have now got to the stage in my life where I don't really care what others think - I should make myself happy!

So the Ishbels were a marvel once they were blocked I was absolutely delighted with them - hmmn so much so that I decided to go straight into another lace shawl - this time Luna Moth. I did actually cast this on whilst in the UK and knit it on the plane coming home (no problems with my Denise needles!!). The lace pattern was a bit more of a challenge but I got the hang of it and it seemed to fly off the needles in no time. So its destined to go to my Mother In Law for her Christmas present - she likes to go on holiday to warm places so would be ideal for her in the evenings.

Anyway, here they are from left to right - Ishbel in Malabrigo, Ishbel in Posh, Luna Moth in Posh.

I should also say that a skein of Posh laceweight is an absolute bargain - I made the Luna Moth and the small Ishbel out of one ball and I could probably get another small Scarf out ot the remainder..............a fabulous bargain in my view and its so delicate!

So I was done with the lace and moved onto socks for my father. I thought I would go for the Earl Grey pattern by the fabulous Yarn Harlot as I don't see my Dad in anything too fancy! Well I have to say I LIKE the idea of socks but in reality I don't particularly like knitting them! I guess this is partly to do with the fact that the only socks I have ever made are pretty dense knitting (as is the Earl Grey) and on toothpicks for needles!! So I have finished one sock and the other is waiting in the wings to make an entrance. My Dad has big feet too so that just might be why they seem to go on and on! Knitting them in Malabrigo sock which is nice yarn to work with and I love the forest green colour - as you can see in the arty shot I tried to do!!!!

I might add at this point that photography is another thing I would love to take up properly and so am seriously thinking of taking some lessons - saw some advertised locally and now the weather is actually nice enough to go out and about with the camera I should really do it properly!! (see what I mean about giving myself a hard time!!)

However.................leaving the best till last is the Damson shawl (or you could call it a capelet) by Ysolda Teague. I saw a couple of them on Ravelry, most notably by the lovely Debbie in our group in a truly lovely crimson, and I just had to make one. I have had the most perfect colour languishing in my stash - Malabrigo sock (again!!) in Velvet Grapes. Way too good to be knit into a smelly pair of socks! I have just finished the main body of the shawl which was actually in itself a bit boring but what is keeping me going is the colour of the yarn - I just look at it and sigh! So another couple of 'arty' photos below so that you can see what I mean - don't you just love that colour?????

I would just like to say that actually I want to be Ysolda Teague............does that make me weird?? ha ha!!

I should think I will have the Damson done at the weekend and then I really need to conquer my demons and cast on the second sock. Then I have three WIPS to finish before I cast on anything else.....

On other stuff in my life I am here:

Reading: The Aviary Gate by Kate Hickman

Am loving this - set in a Harem in 16th century Istanbul.............beginning to think life in a Harem wasn't all that bad!!

Listening to: Podcasts, Stash and Burn and Never Not Knitting - my new favorites although I do still enjoy Knit Picks too!

Also listening to The Tenderness of Wolves as an audiobook for knitting moments when I cannot bear to waste my life watching Football from the UK! I can manage to watch West Ham with my two WHUFC nutcases - but of late their performance has been dismal so not exactly an enjoyable occupation!

Very very very excited that we only have just over a week to go until my Dad and my Brother get here and we are off to see the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Whilst I am super happy that Jensen Button is now World Champion - part of me is a bit disappointed that he actually won it in Brazil rather than leaving it to a nail biting climax here in AD!!

So that's me ......................

Last week of heat....for a while.....

So its finally come around that we go back to the UK on Friday (well with it being a 2.30am flight I think its probably technically Thursday night!!). I have to say I am really looking forward to seeing the kids. I speak with Flo at least once a day, but Fred is often too ' busy' to talk to me! However he did speak to K on Friday night and I could hear him telling his Dad that he missed Mummy very much.........was too much for me and I let the tears flow for the first time in the two weeks since I had seen him! K of course was not so impressed - he did not mention missing his Daddy!!

I was a bit sad this morning to see a dead baby bird hanging out of the nest in the garage - I suspect it got caught trying to get out of the rather less than accessible nest its parents have built for it. I think we had about 4 babies originally as the parents bring them into the back yard to feast on the worms in the garden! I hope one of the kind guys that look after the compound will dispose of it for me.

I have managed to do a LOT of knitting and reading though whilst the kids have been away which has been really nice.

I have really got on well with the Ishbel and am on the C section - so not long to go now. I tried to use a lifeline, but to be honest found it to be more trouble than its worth - have been knitting a long time now so I pretty much know how to rectify my mistakes and when something looks like it has gone horribly wrong! So far I just had to back knit half a row - so am pleased with myself. I had not knitted lace for such a long time! I remember when I was in my teens (the 80's!!!!!) I knitted myself a couple of lacy cardigans and cute 40's style short sleeved sweaters (a la Madonna!!!!) - but since then had fallen into a bit of a trend of 'easy' knitting - interspersed with some occasional cables! Now I realise that I really like lace work - its very rewarding. Happy also with the Malabrigo Lace - feels incredibly soft and am sure it will block really nicely.

I also indulged in last weeks Posh sale and managed to bag 5 skeins which are waiting for me at my Mums house - so excited by that. I rather think that the Sunday sales will become a bit of an addiction (well until the money runs out.......ha ha as if I had any in the first place!!). I feel more lace coming on.........

Anyway I was talking about reading too.............am currently reading The Host by Stephanie Meyer. Not my usual sort of thing, but enjoying it a lot. Its an easy read and certainly so far away from 'normal' that is very relaxing. I think that the book at the lace knitting have shown me that I have been in a bit of a rut in terms of sticking to what I know rather than trying something new and exciting. Now I just need to find that new and exciting sport which will tone up all the flabby bits I have managed to acquire in the UAE! In London I walked for about an hour every day by the time I had walked Fred to the childminder and then walked across Green Park to work - all in my MBTs! Here it is almost impossible to walk further than from the door of the house to the car without expiring...... lets hope I can shape up a bit in winter!

This week I am mostly listening to:

Podcasts - Knit Picks and Lime n Violet
Albums: Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of Understatement (Standing Next to me - great song!), The Smiths - the Singles and of course lots of Ryan Adams............as always!!

Films I saw this/last week:

Duchess - love that film!!
Spiderman 3
Casino Royale - Daniel Craig.......what more can I say!!
August Rush - who had the right to make that so sad!!

Still need to upgrade the firmware on the Blue Ray player so that I can watch Quantum of Solace - stupid Samsung.......................................

Its quiet around here..............

So, the children have gone back to the UK - and the rain! - and so it is very quiet around here! Speak with Flo every day, but often Fred does not want to talk to me as he is so tied up and busy with whatever a 5 year old boy is into! Keith and I have found time to talk to each other again and we have not squabbled as much as I thought we would!

Anyway the day before they left was Fred's Birthday so we threw a little party at home for him - with a Dinosaur theme naturally............

Work is manically busy, despite people saying that it would be quiet this time of year - not for us, we are selling cases like mad and although it seems very disingenuous of me, I wish we would lose a couple of cases so I don't have to staff them out of thin air! A Consultant with a pulse is all I need at the moment, don't care what practice area they come from........... I still hate Staffing, but my boss has agreed that I can have another member of staff early next year so that I can go back to being the HR Director properly (or should I say 'start'!!)

Anyway knitting is good for stress and so I have been doing as much of it as I can (amazing how much more time I seem to have without the kids!

I have finished the Liesl which I love, Initially I was a bit sceptical and actually I usually like to be different and not 'follow the crowd' but I like the sense of camaraderie that comes from knitting something that lots of other like minded people have done too. See picture below of me in it.........yes I know very rare for me to take a photo of myself, much less without makeup and with a large spot on my chin.

Also note that I went finally to have my hair done yesterday! Went to Sharinis Spa which is not far away and had highlights and a cut for 342AED which is a bargain in my opinion. I am useless at explaining what I want, but actually, although she straightened it much more than I am used to - I am really pleased with it.

Not entirely sure what to do next from my WIP. I thou gt I might finish the baby jacket I started ages (ages and ages actually) ago, so I re-cast on and knitted for an hour before I realised I had cast on for the back...........and I have already knitted the back!!! What I needed to be doing was knitting the fronts DOH!!! So now although I have cast on the front, I am less than inspired to carry on. Ishbel is still calling but need to get my head in the Ishbel 'zone' first. As I want something to take back with me on hols to the UK, I MAY cast on some socks for Flo with the Happy Socks wool I got from Jennifer...........decisions decisions.........and I STILL have not blocked the Mohair..........Then there is the lovely Noro that I got for my Birthday.........hmmn

Time for a Holiday!

So today is Thursday................hurrah! Except that up until now ie 4.00pm I have thought it was Wednesday! I need a holiday, but I did not realise just how much!

Was supposed to be finishing up my Mohair Bolero - but still have not blocked it!

Instead have been working on a few gifts - which I cannot reveal just yet as one is for my swap partner and one for my sister..........both of whom may stop by to read the blog!

I am really, really pleased that the booties pattern went down so well with everyone. I think my next pattern is going to be for a baby jacket with edging in ribbon yarn - just got to make it work now!

I went up to Dubai to work today and it was very dusty/hazy. Never seems quite so bad in Abu Dhabi so not sure why that is!

Only a few days until Freddie's birthday. We visited the Party Shop in Al Raha Mall and have got some fabulous Dinosaur party bits: plates, cups, napkins, hats, centre piece, pinata etc! Will only be a fairly small affair as there are only the four of us - but seeing K wearing a Dinosaur 'nose' should be quite amusing.

Then of course the kids go back to the UK the day after. I have mixed feelings as I will miss them for the 3 weeks we are apart, but if I am brutally and selfishly honest - it will be lovely to have some time to ourselves, although heaven only knows what we are going to find to talk about!!

Oh well back to the work I thought I was going to leave until tomorrow, until I realised that tomorrow was infact today!!

Funky Booties - here is the pattern!!

Funky Booties

These are super simple, cute little booties based on a pattern that I used years ago when my Mum and I used to make a ‘Box of Booties’ for each person we knew having a baby. I lost the pattern long ago and recently decided that I should try and remember how to do them as they are so simple and quick. So I do not present these as my own pattern – just my own version!

Sock yarn is especially suited to these little beauties, as they look great knitted in a variegated yarn. You can change the size as you wish by using chunkier yarn and or bigger needles.

The pair featured have a contrasting yarn for the toe area, but they look equally cute knitted in one colour or one yarn.

To use sock yarn you need slightly bigger than a golf ball amount of yarn – that should leave you with plenty to do the Booties and the ties – again they are cute with or without the ties – you decide!

Needles: 4.5mm for sock or a size suitable for your yarn.
Corresponding sized crochet hook for the ties (you could even experiment with and i-cord or French knitting cord or even ribbon)

· Begin by casting on 20 stitches

· Knit 40 Rows

· Cast of 10 stitches and knit to end – 10 stitches

· If you are using a Contrast colour attach it now (remember to carry yarn up as you go – although if you forget its no big deal as you are gathering the toe section anyway!)

· Toe section:

1st Row – Knit (in C)
2nd Row – Pearl (in C)
3rd Row – Knit (in Main)
4th Row – Knit (in M)
5th Row – Pearl (in M)
6th Row – Knit (in M)

· Repeat these rows another 4 times

· Then repeat 1st and 2nd rows once.

· Cast off remaining 10 stitches

To Make up:

The finished knitting should look like this:

Attach cast off row to cast on row as below:

Gather up the toe section at top and bottom

Sew up the sole and turn the right way around – Simple!!

Where do I live????????????

Now I live at 838..........is that right or left????

........... good job the sign is right outside the house...........only in the UAE...........!!!!

Happiness is a FO

So I have made a bit of a decision to finish all my WIP.............yes I know that is probably a very false dream as I am sure I am going to be tempted to cast something on before I have finished what's on the needles - but its an aspiration!

This week I have finised the Purplewurple scarf which I have knitted as a gift - initially for Sue - but now she has retired to France and I don't have her address yet, it might have to live in the gift box! I am sure if I can't find a home for it I will keep it myself!

So why Purple'wurple' I hear you ask............well or maybe you don't ask, but I will tell you anyway! I was watching the sublime QI one day and Stephen Fry asked if there was anything that rhymed with 'Purple'? Well in his usual style Alan Davies (bear with me non QI watchers...) thought he would be clever and shouted 'Wurple'........and to everyone's surprise it is actually a word in the Oxford English Dictionary. Wow you say, what does it mean - well to be truthful I forgot! But the name seemed apt for the scarf so there it is......PurpleWurple!

The other things I finished was a pair of booties made from the same yarn. These are working from the Funky Booties Pattern I have been working on (well 'working on' is a very loose term!). Bascially I remember knitting a pair of booties years ago, when Mum and I used to make a 'Box of Booties' for everyone we knew having a baby! It was an Australian pattern book I think and I have remembered it as best I can............not that its exactly difficult! So I am going to put the pattern together and publish it on Ravelry - I am not claiming to invent it of course, but this is just my version!!

They turned out quite cute although I am not sure if they look better with the tie or without???

Getting Back to Normal!

So we have been here for 4 months now - can you believe it!

I think we are pretty much settled in now:

1. The heat not longer makes me gasp for breath!

2. I have survived 4 months of Land Cruiser Grand Prix

3. I have already bumped my new car!

4. I no longer get stressed about calling contractors etc at least 6 times a week

5. I have bought white trousers!

6. Freddie can swim like a fish

7. Florence has FINALLY ditched her obsession with black opaque tights

8. Keith has found an excuse to eat curry 3 times a week - says if the Indians can do it - so can can we!

Some of the highlights of the last 4 months :

Our first off roading trip - foolishly with no back up and not enough water.........but we had fun!

My February Lady Sweater - cast on in the UK and cast off in the UAE

My first pair of socks - yes I know too warm for the UAE - but I will save them for trips home! Made from 'Harry Potter' yarn in the shade 'Dumbledore'............... ha ha!!

The Pool - small but very welcome!!

The kids...............aw how cute!

View from my office - not sure it lives up to Manchester Square - but at least I have a big window!! I am amazed daily when I see the traffic incidents on the Airport Road!!

Oh goodness no time to blog...... going to change that now!

So of course I have had no time to Blog for the last 3 or 4 weeks! Life has been a huge round of shopping, organising, taxis and phone calls.........you make 4 calls in the UAE to every 1 you would have made at home!

And don't even get me started on Taxis.....I have not been the same way twice to the same destination and a lot of taxi drivers tell me they are new and we end up travelling half way around Abu Dhabi at huge expense! Am try to buy a car, but of course in the UAE tradition that too is not without its hassles! K seems to get much better treatment because he works for the Airport - in my case, a world renowned Management Consultancy firm has about as much clout as a one man shoeshine business!! I am sure I will look back on all this hassle and laugh!

We have been trying to get people to quote for our landscaping (currently living amongst sand, sand and more sand........) not having too much luck - people come around and say they will phone, email etc with the quote and it never comes - I think they take one look at us and run for the hills (or should that be the Dunes.........!)

Have to say I am not particularly enjoying my job at the moment - staffing people on cases is not proper HR and it takes so much time and effort! Good news is that we are very busy, but that is a pain as have to get staff from other offices..........and asking them to come over here at the hottest time of the year is not particularly attractive!

Kids are fine and off school at the moment - F keeps watching the Vicar of Dibly and I am finding at the moment that it is making me a bit homesick!

The good news is that I have managed to pick up my knitting again - to stop me from going mad!! I have made more progress on my February Ladies Sweater and started some socks from my stash (Harry Potter yarn!).

Even better than that I managed to meet up with the ladies of the Ravelry Abu Dhabi knitting group on Friday and it was good to sit and chat about knitting for an hour or so, before yet another trip to Ikea to get stuff for the house. Actually the only two things I am looking forward to from my shipping is my bed and my stash!

Anyway first sock attempt below - totally unsuitable for Abu Dhabi, but fine for the cold weather at home.....................

Good Day!

Hurrah K has picked up the keys to the villa so hopefully I will be able to move straight in! Can't wait now, miss him and Flo very much.

Had a good day today and managed to get lots of things sorted into boxes and rubbish bags - really should have done all this before! Anway it should make for a quicker pack on Saturday morning when the removers arrive.

Upset that I have not been able to do very much knitting - either too busy or too tired! Must make sure that I pack enough to keep me going in my luggage - could not bear the thought of being without it for 6 weeks!

Been eating terribly for the last few days - did have a healthy stir fry for supper and then washed it all down with a bar of chocolate! Oh well.............!!

I must knit these............

Exhaustion setting in...............

This is going to be a short entry as I am more tired than I think I have ever been in my life. Trying to get the house into shape to move has been exhausting - we had just SO much junk to get rid of and of course I say 'we' - I am doing this on my own whilst still working full time (at full pelt!!) and having to manage a 4 year old - there is just no let up.

One of the worst things about it all is physically getting rid of the junk, I am freecylcing, selling, asking the council to come around and then finally deciding that I am just going to have to leave some stuff for the tennents.

No time for any knitting and sleep is fraught because I am worrying so much about getting everything done in time for the removal people who come next Saturday. I guess in comparison to some, I will be quite organised. Just hope the dear husband has sorted something nice for me when I arrive - although knowing him, all he will have sorted for me is yet another 'to do' list in Abu Dhabi.

Have just shouted at my son, and its not his fault bless him - just am too tired and stressed!

Note to all - NEVER try and emigrate as a single (ok I am tenchically not single, but for the purposes of this note I am!) , full time working mum of a small child - that's if you want to keep your sanity!

Only wish all this had made me lose weight - sadly when I am stressed all I want to do is eat!

End of moan..........................

The length of the to do list..........

Well have been back 'home' in London for nearly a week - although have to say it no longer really feels like home now that the family are broken up. It all seemed a bit overwhelming when I got in and realised what a state I had left the house in! Still, have now managed to make sure most things that need washing are indeed washed and going forward Fred and I won't make much dirt!

Its a bit scary being the one left behind to sort everything out here - but guess its also scary for K having to sort out Visas etc in AD. Made the mistake of forgetting to attest the education documents - so that has taken up my time over the last couple of days - 2 and a half hours in Milton Keynes was not fun - neither will be visiting the UAE Embassy in the morning!

Spent most of the weekend with my family in Northampton - strangely did not cry when I left - only most of the way home in the car whilst listening to 'Sunday Love Songs' on the radio - they were relentless - someone should ban Radio 2 from deliberately making me feel melancholy! Especially as I heard a song which have not listened to for years and reminded me of when K and I met.............drys eyes LOL!!

Good news though is that K has found a villa and we are now getting the deposit and all the paperwork together. Managed to do a bit of a deal so got one which 3 months ago we would never have been able to afford!

Did quite a lot of February Ladies Sweater on Saturday - probably upset the family by sitting there knitting, but to be honest it was the only way to keep my sanity! Had a bit of a falling off needles incident, helped along by small fingers!, but managed to sort it out.

Anyway must go off and sort out some more things for packing/throwing!

Attached picture of my new home and my girl who I miss loads..........

Abu Dhabi for the week!

So here we are in Abu Dhabi - I am here for the week and then return to the UK.

Have visited the school and got the uniform. Flo is understandably a bit worried about starting a new school, but I think she will be fine. K is being a bit of a pain - not really wanting to sort things out - took him 2 days to find a temporary sim card for the phone! I think actually he will be fine when I leave - not that he won't miss me - but he will just have to get on with things.

Housing seems to be less of an issue than we thought. Went to see 3 houses in Al Raha Gardens and all three would be suitable. So now just the choice!

Went to Dubai to meet my new colleagues and then met my boss at the Shangri La Hotel for breakfast which was very nice. Poor K has not had any contact from his boss - not a phone call or an email to welcome him, or suggest a drink or lunch or anything - pretty poor show I think!

Anyway we had Brunch today at Le Royal Meridien which was lovely and great views from the revolving restaurant - bit of a muddle over the booking but sorted out in the end!

I liked the champagne......................

Better Week

Well this has been an interesting week, so we had snow on Monday and Tuesday! The whole place came to a halt and in some places its still bad - cold in London but no snow at the moment - although the forecast is for more tomorrow!

In terms of the move, things are going better. Flo's place at Al Yasmina is confirmed and she has a space on the bus from the Corniche. ADAC are now helping with Fred's place so fingers crossed.

Nothing on my replacement at work yet - so that is worrying. I am not sure Keith is going to be too keen on being out in the UAE with Flo on their own for too long. I hope to get details on my package tomorrow - I am thinking the worst, and that it won't be enough - then I can only be pleasantly surprised!

Still clearing out the house, its never ending! No news on the rental yet which is a concern - but we are where we are, and there is no point worrying about it.

Birthday was good and got some lovely Noro wool from Sue! My birthday present to myself, my Knit Picks needles arrived and they are lovely. The KAL is coming on well - suppose I should take a photo.

The other funny thing was that I knitted Flo a sperm for her biology homework - did not seem too bizarre at the time (well it meant another knitting opportunity after all!) but everyone else I told thought it was hilarious..........well see for yourself!!

Snow Aliens

So where did making a plain old snowman go.........Fred made a snow Alien with a red chilli pepper for a nose!!

Life has come to a grinding halt.............

Snow in London - whoa! At first it was lovely, no school, no work, thoughts of being holed up in the house in the armchair - knitting!

Ah so actually it meant I have been logged onto work trying to sort stuff out 'virtually' and have only just stepped away from my work email page. On the other hand Keith and the kids went for lunch in the pub followed by snowball fights...............hmmn not sure I got the deal there!

Anyway its very pretty (or at least it was!) but has caused complete havoc in the city - with more forecast! I guess its the UK weather's way of saying goodbye!

K's family were over yesterday for a farewell lunch so it actually feels like we are going now!

Managed to get on with the KAL - although the wool looks lovely, its is a nightmare to work with! Moving onto the lace pattern shortly so that will be interesting. Anyway enjoy the snow pictures............

Giving it all away!

Well I seem to have made a reasonable start to all the clearing out and sorting! Today I have put a number of things onto Freecycle (fantastic concept!!) and already my 'too good to throw away' stuff is going to good homes.

In this climate of uncertainty it makes a lot of sense to recycle! A guy just came to pick up some of my jigsaws for his elderly parents and he was chuffed to bits - which made me chuffed to bits too!

Of course still have a mountain of stuff to go, but getting there!

Still not 100% sure of Flo's start date at Al Yasmina so that's a bit of a worry - but I remain optimistic for the 22nd (well flights are booked............!)

I went to Iknit London to 'have a look around' hmmn , ended up with 2 lots of sock yarn to add to the sock yarn I have already bought...............guess what..........I have never knitted a pair of socks!! Was drawn by the colours and the fact that one of them was the Harry Potter brand - although of course Harry was sold out and I had to settle for Dumbledore - honestly I despair at myself sometimes! The Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn is Fab-u-lous though! see below.......

Oh and also got a set of Denise needles from a friend ...............can't wait to use them! My Knitpicks ones are on the way do I really need more Knitting 'stuff' - YOU BET I DO!!!!

My Birthday next week and I am hoping the Knitting Fairy and the Philosophy Fairy will visit - hmmn I had best keep hoping!!

Packing the Stash!!

Well this has been quite a busy week again! Seem to be doing the whole 'two steps forward, one step back' again, but I think overall we are making progress.

Have one quote for removals and shipping which does not seem too bad! Sent all the documents to Al Yasmina school - again! - and 'should' have the place for Flo but not confirmed!

However have confirmed a trip out over half term and managed to get work to pay for it! So K and Flo will have a one way flight and me and Fred will go over to AD for the week and come back on the 23rd. Hopefully will be able to come out permanently a couple of weeks later.

SO...........today I have had a mega clear out in Fred's room and I am pleasantly surprised at how co-operative he was about the radical 'recycling' of toys and books. However I am in that position now where the spare room is full of labelled up bags and boxes which I now need to distribute to various people and charities! We have to start Flo's room tomorrow and that is going to be 100 times worse!

The most enjoyable bit was packing my stash in its posh plastic crates, which I bought especially! I managed to get my yarn into two boxes (quite big you understand!!) and my sewing and needlework into the other. Of course I have not even begun on the patterns and pattern books although to be frank I think I might have to leave some of them with my Mum and just take my favorites (which is still a considerable amount!)

So after all that I was feeling tired and dusty so had a bath with my Philosophy 'Field of Flowers' bath foam - although I hope I get some of the coffee and cream 'flavour' bath/shower gel for my birthday!!

Still have not taken a photo of Flo's finished cardigan - I am quite pleased with it although I did not have enough yarn left (I substituted) for the picot edging so had to double chain crochet the important bits instead - nevertheless I think it looks ok. Will take a photo tomorrow - its too dark now!


Louisa Harding Mariposa

So for my first UAE Knitters - Knit Along, I have bought the most gorgeous yarn in the sale at John Lewis Oxford Street.
Combine that with my new camera and I have been a bit of nerdy/knitty geek and taken some photos of it.......hope the colours come out well on the net!

Not sure if I will start it today thought as managed to slice my thumb with a piece of paper and its a bit too sore to knit.........disaster!!! May do crochet instead!! Seen some cute birds to crochet which I think I will use as Easter decorations - assuming we are out of a hotel by then - and indeed if Easter is generally acknowledged in AD? Oh I have so much to learn.... ha ha!

Marking stuff from the 'To Do' List!!

Well I have been working through the 'To Do' list! Actually I think its better now that I have written everything that needs to be done in a list - its like it has a home now other than floating around inside my head - and I can be making a start!

So I have sent the reams of paperwork to Al Yasmina for Flo's school place - but worryingly I have not heard anything back from them - so will phone tomorrow! I get the feeling that I have to follow every email up with a phone call!! House is finally up for rent - see below! So is feeling more and more real!

K has not heard from his new boss or new HR department about his start date, which is worrying but he will just have to do the thing he hates most in the world - pick up the phone and call a scary stranger who may just be able to help him (not a joke, he won't even ring for a delivery pizza unless he is on the point of starvation! - how he manages to pull off a reasonably intellectual job is beyond me!).

My move has finally been confirmed with my Firm - now just the negotiations over the housing allowance! As they don't actually give any housing allowance in the UAE at the moment that could be challenging, but in my role as Head of HR for the Middle East, I think this particular change of policy is first on my list!! However, the thought of 4 of use in a one bedroomed apartment (what we will get for the the amount of housing we have been given by K's firm) is not particularly attractive at the moment! I must chill it will be sorted soon!

Anyway on to more important things in my next post..................

All Systems Go Go Go!

So - K's security clearance has come through - so we are green for go! Now I am truly scared! I think its going to be a move out by the end of Feb for him, and we will follow on as soon as I get the schools sorted. I think my move is fairly safe - but will hear for certain about that on Monday I hope!

So I have now started a 'to do' excel spreadsheet which is getting bigger by the moment.

Schools are the first thing on the list and then it all crashes along from there.

Of course whilst I should be sorting stuff out I am still wanting to finish the cardigan for Flo - went to get the ribbon today for the ties, but of course could not make my mind up on the design so ended up buying two lots of quite expensive V Rouleaux ribbon!!!

Crinkle Cardi for Flo

So I am on the last sleeve thankfully!

Hoping to finish this before I go back to work on Wednesday and then sew up during the weekend. Need to get the ribbon - may take a trip to John Lewis in my lunch hour - and yes that is a New Year Resolution - take at least two lunch hours each week, rather than no lunch hours ever and get the the exhaustion stage I was at before the Christmas break!

Ok so I think its finally happening........

So after lots of time and frustration, I think the move is actually going to happen.
Waiting for the Visa stuff to get sorted and also for my husbands security clearance to come through. I will hopefully transfer with my current firm which will make life a bit easier I hope - an oasis of what I know, amongst the ocean of the unknown! (or maybe that should be the desert of the unknown!)

Things worrying me:

1. Housing - we are getting a terrible housing allowance from ADAC and so I hope that my firm will be able to cough up some more or we will be in a one bed-roomed flat and that would be a nightmare! That’s before we even start the search. I have my heart set on Al Raha Gardens and I am not sure that’s going to be possible from a cost and an availability point of view - however as is always the case with me I am making huge assumptions!

2. Schooling - I think Al Yasmina have a space for Florence in Yr 7 which will be good but not sure about Fred - so that’s worrying!

3. Work! - can’t really afford to have a month off as DH will not earn enough to keep us going so I am going to have to go straight to work. I have been working myself to exhaustion in London and I understand the Middle East operation from an HR point of view is in a bit of a mess and will require some major input from me. Again the huge assumptions are coming out here

4. The kids - although I am sure they will be fine and at the end of the day we are doing this in part for their futures………..so I must stop worrying about it!

5. DH - he seems to be having some second thoughts - although to be fair he has signed his contract so as long as the security check comes back ok then its pretty much a done deal!

6. Last and by no means least…………sorting stuff out here. I just want to get on with it now!

Anyway in this blog I will try and put together something around how we are getting along (or not) with the move and then hopefully I can look back on this challenging period with some sort of fondness………..hmmn well that’s the plan!

Anyway to remind me of what I am moving away from…….this is my bleak road in South East London on a cold January day!!