I've been to Aus and back since my last post because my brother-in-law passed away quite suddenly. Although it is sad, there is some comfort in the fact that he was happy and quite active in his last few years. He regularly rode his bicycle 200 kms or more on the weekend. That's like riding to Dubai and back! He had lots of friends, family and was involved in the community in a number of capacities.
His passing struck my niece and nephew hardest. They lost their mother 10 years ago and now their father. Their courage in the circumstances was amazing. They are both married with young children. Both have a three year old and a one year old. They organised the funeral at which they both spoke. They met all of their father's friends and relatives and remained composed throughout. As well as managing their familes and the funeral, they had to sort out their father's business affairs. He was a lawyer who worked from home and had a large client list with many cases half done and in urgent need of attention. Neither of them work in that area, but they managed to contact the appropriate people to help them sort through it all. In addition they had to find the will and start thinking about what will happen to the property. I was amazed by their ability to cope. I was proud of them and know that my sister, their mother, would have been very proud of her children.
On a far more mundane note, I finally ventured over the border into Oman. We went to a souk in Buraimi and on to a hotel for lunch. Later we peeped at fossil valley which is quite a sensational landscape. Speaking of fossils, I wouldn't have been surprised if John Wayne had ridden by on horseback wearing his red and white kerchief. It is a stunning landscape.
Oh, and I recently went to the zoo. I just love it. We went during Eid but having heard about the likelihood of crowds, we got there at 8:30 in the morning so it was reasonably quiet. Some of the exhibits are a little sad. There is a lone gorilla who was intent on showing his back to any onlookers. The monkeys looked a little cramped. The highlight was the giraffes. It was quite funny to see a keeper wheeling a wheelbarrow along being followed by giraffes, deer, ibises, emu and an assortment of other animals. Clearly it was breakfast time!