Thursday, August 20, 2009

Off to the UK

"out of office" enabled on my email, "on leave" voicemail message recorded, cases are packed and now just whiling away a few hours before we leave for the airport. Yippee!

Below is the London weather report from the BBC. Great! Can't wait to get away from the heat for a week. I will be standing in the rain for a good soaking, with the local population looking at me like I am an idiot!

Will be great to see all the kids again. Jess got her A level results today and although she didn't get the grades she was hoping for, she has now got 3 A levels, which is one more than me! So well done Jess! Just got to wait and see if she can get a place at Coventry Uni which is where she wants to go. Next week it will be Darryl's turn to get his exams results - GCSEs this time.

Hoping we don't get swine flu which is rife in the UK at the moment.

Borrowing my brother's season ticket to go and watch Watford v Blackpool on Saturday - oh how I miss watching the hornets getting beaten!

Well it looks like tomorrow could be the start of Ramadan, so at least we will miss one week of that. I hear the moonsighting committee will be heading for Jebel Hafeet tonight to go and look at the moon and declare it a full moon. So, that means no eating, drinking, smoking, playing music or having sex in daylight hours. But apparently you can stuff yourself silly and fornicate as much as you like once it's dark! - so I'll look forward to that!

Apparently on average, despite it being a fasting month, most Muslims put on weight during Ramadan because of the gorging on calorific food in the evenings at the "Iftar" breaking of fast.

Most of the International hotels do cater for non-Muslims and have at least one restaurant open during the day. But you can be fined or worst case, imprisoned, if you are seen eating or drinking in public. In practical terms I didn't find it too difficult last year. I think as long as you are sensible and respectful of people who are fasting, then you are fine. At lunch I would either find a hotel coffee shop that was open, or go to a grocery store, buy something and eat it discreetly in my car. I was quite surprised last year to be offered tea or coffee when having a meeting with an Emirati in a government department - but I think the rules are balanced with the Arab wish to be welcoming to visitors and be good hosts.

On the whole though, honestly, I would rather be elsewhere in Ramadan, especially while it is falling in the peak of summer.

So, we'll be back in a week's time - swine flu allowing!

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