ABU DHABI DIARY (8)

On Saturday we waved goodbye to our first visitor of the year. Penny arrived last Monday and in the five days she was with us she and Jo packed a huge amount in, including a ladies night, cycling on the Corniche, multiple gym sessions, a day at the beach, a visit to the Grand Mosque, various other things I have forgotten (or never knew about), and (of course) a brunch. Hopefully Penny enjoyed herself, and we now have a break of a few weeks to get ourselves sorted before we welcome our next visitors.

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In amongst all of this Archie and Flossie started at their new school. Other than a few nerves on the first day (and that was just me) it has gone very smoothly and they both seem to have settled in really well. Hopefully that means we have done the right thing moving them. Mind you, I’m typing this before they have done their first lot of homework which seems to be considerably more voluminous than what they got from the last school, so maybe I’ll be saying something different next week.

Henry has now finished his GCSE mocks. As far as we can tell they seem to have been a mixed bag, so we will wait and see what the position is when the results come in. He seemed to knuckle down and do some revision late in the day (at least he was closeted away in his room so we assume this is what he was up to), although he felt confident enough to head off to a party at a friend’s house on Thursday night, following which evidence would suggest he ended up with a bit of a sore head, so I’m not sure how much revision got done on Friday.

I mentioned that we “did” our first brunch of 2015 whilst Penny was here. We decided to try somewhere new, so we headed to the Rosewood Hotel on Al Maryah Island, which had been recommended to us as being a little more sedate than some of the more frantic places, and therefore suitable for smaller parties.

We were very pleased with the choice. The environment was much calmer with fewer tables than most places and a more relaxed atmosphere. There was an excellent selection of food, with particular highlights for me being the dishes from the pasta station, the paella and the homemade chocolate brownie ice cream (I was less keen on the olive oil ice cream). The waiter looked after the children really well, keeping them stocked up with freshly made pizza and spaghetti, and providing “Rosewood Hotel” gift boxes for them to take their stash of sweets home in (they were very pleased with these).

On Saturday, after picking up the car from the hotel, I stopped off at the HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship for a couple of hours. The competition was being held at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, less than five minutes from home, so it seemed rude not to pop along. I spent a couple of hours wandering about, watched Rory McIlroy start his round and then headed home. I’ll definitely try and go for longer on one of the days next year.

I had a busy week at work, spending too many days in Dubai in and out of meetings. The highlight of the week was probably the day that my packed lunch got mixed up with Henry’s meaning that I got a less healthy selection for once. I think Henry got the less good side of the deal when he unwrapped what he thought was a cheese and ham sandwich to find out it was in fact tuna mayonnaise. I must ensure they get mixed up more often in future!

This coming weekend we will hopefully be camping for a night on a “desert island’ – intentionally this time, not because we are planning on getting the boat we are going in grounded again. Before then I’ll hopefully be back with my next “2014 in review” post, this time looking at the numbers around us eating out.

Thanks for reading as always.

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