As I sit here killing the final hour before my taxi arrives to take me to the airport to fly back to the UK, the UAE Government has just announced that the Moon Sighting Committee (it really exists) has witnessed the Shawwal moon (Shawwal being the tenth month of the lunar Islamic calendar), meaning that Ramadan ends today and the Eid Al Fitr holiday begins tomorrow.

This is a relief to me, not because it means I no longer have to fast during the day, but because I took a chance that this is what would happen and therefore brought my flight forward from Wednesday when I was originally meant to be flying back to the UK. The public holiday means I get to see Jo and the kids two days earlier than expected which is great news as it seems like months since I saw them, and I swear both Archie and Flossie have grown significantly in the meantime from the photos I have seen.

Flying out this evening also marks the end of my first year in the UAE, and what a fantastic year it has been. Despite some initial frustrations with the speed with which some things move out here, and an early visit to hospital, we settled in far more quickly than we could ever have imagined, the kids love their school and are doing really well there, and my job has given me renewed energy, and is going well too.

Outside of school and work we have packed a huge amount in (too much to mention), made lots of new friends, and already created lots of great memories with them. We’ve explored Dubai, and Fujairah, and been camping near the Saudi border in the West, but still have many places to go and things to see.

I can’t wait to see Jo and the kids tomorrow, and am looking forward to catching up with both sets of grandparents over the next few days. Then we fly out to Spain for a couple of relaxing weeks in the sun, because we’ve not had enough of that this year. 

But I’m also looking forward to coming home in the middle of August, getting the kids settled back into school, and embarking on our second year of adventures. We already have a few things planned, visitors to look forward to, and I intend to keep crossing things off my “UAE bucket list”, including camping in the desert when the weather cools down in the autumn (which I hope will be more successful than our last trip).

Anyway, enough with the reminiscing, I’d better do a final check round before my taxi arrives so I wish you all “Eid Mubarak”, and I’ll see you soon.

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