Tuesday, 23 August 2011

and so another chapter draws slowly to a close

Another year has come and gone since my last blog. Another Summer holiday has been had. This time it took us off to exotic Australia where we landed in Melbourne, visited family and friends of old and dined in wonderful restaurants before jumping in a hire car and heading north along the coast. First stop Gippsland where they had the coldest night on record. We continued up into NSW along sensational beaches where we caught up with a band friend Karl had known for 40 years, continued up past Sydney where we caught up with another friend Karl had known for even longer. Wonderful times and wonderful meals were had. It's so nice to meet face to face every few years! On to Cabarita Beach where we had lived for a few years - what a sensational part of the world. Why did we ever leave? The whole trip from Melb up the coast to the Gold Coast was gorgeous. Aus is such a beautiful country. We found ourselves having dinner on the GC at Chiang Mai Thai which was fun as we'd just spent a week in Chiang Mai. The CMT on the GC had fantastic, incredibly heavy elephant chairs ... well, each chair had an elephant's head and trunk carved into the top and back. Great meal. Spent a week in Brissie with the kids - fabulous. I wanted to scoop them up and take them on the rest of the trip with us, but alas and alack, that wasn't to be.

Next stop Bangkok which is always a love / hate affair for me, then onto HK where after a few days we jumped on a cruiseship heading to Taiwan and South China. We met some fabulously entertaining folks on board ... world champion snooker player Rocky and his HK girlfriend / school teacher and Dutchman John and his lovely HK wife, Helen. Good times were had, company was enjoyed. But, like all things, it came to an end.

So here we are back in Al Ain. We got home to scorching heat. It took several days for the apartment to cool down. I'm back at work - well, if you can call it that. There's absolutely nothing to do but be sociable, which I'm not very good at. So I did a little of that, a bit of net surfing and ended up printing out a few kakuro puzzles and doing those. Tomorrow I'm taking some reading along with me.

I've just jumped, plunged, dived, foolishly leapt into a doctorate. First paper is sitting with my supervisor in Brisbane as I write. So it's onto the next one. Who knows, one day I might even know something about this topic I'm supposed to be researching. I may never finish the doctorate, or I may be 117 when I do, but it doesn't really matter. It keeps the grey matter bubbling along and I guess that's what's important. It may keep me out of mischief for a bit.

My other news is that this next few months will give my blog some shape. I started the blog as I was starting my journey to Al Ain, the next few months will see me packing up my life in Al Ain and moving onto greener pastures. They'll literally be greener as I'm moving out of the desert and into the tropics to see what life on Borneo will bring.