There are lots of tips for bloggers if you look for them. One of the most common pieces of advice is to get into a routine of blogging on the same day each week, or every couple of weeks, or whatever. A number of the bloggers I follow and admire manage to do this very well, and I am sure a great deal of hard work goes into achieving that. Not me though. I have failed miserably to establish a routine meaning that this blog is at risk of joining the countless others that have started with all guns blazing only to fizzle out a short while later. In a desperate attempt to avoid this here I am again with a quick update. It remains to be seen whether this post is the final breath of a dying patient or the start of a new golden age of “The Quantified Expat” (I know which my money is on).
It’s not even as if the last five months have been quiet (actually maybe that is part of the problem). The following is just a few of the things that have been going on:
- Following a great deal of hard work Henry sat his GCSE exams and came out with an impressive set of results, so well done to him, to Jo for the relentless “encouragement”, and to the school for showing great support when it was needed.
- With the exams out of the way Henry made his planned move back to the UK to prepare for the next stage of his education in Scotland. Yet more hard work from Jo secured a place for him at one of the preferred schools which was a relief to all. Unbelievably he has nearly completed his first half term, and seems to be settling in. We are looking forward to welcoming him as a visitor at the end of next week, and I know he is excited about catching up with all of his Abu Dhabi based friends.
- Following months of back pain Jo was admitted for a planned operation in May. After what we hoped was a successful operation, less than a week later we were rushing her back to hospital in Dubai due to unbearable pain, where she was diagnosed with a serious infection. A two week hospital stay followed, which I’m not sure I would have survived without Jo’s mum jumping on a plane within three hours of our cry for help, and lots of Jo’s friends rallying round to help out with the kids (thank you to you all).
- At the same time as all of that was going on I was in the process of moving jobs. In the middle of June I left BDO after a good two years there, and moved to a Mubadala, a prestigious company here in Abu Dhabi, as a senior vice president in the internal audit team. I’ve been there three months now, have settled in and am thoroughly enjoying the new role. The worst part about moving was having to start the process of obtaining residency visas and identity cards all over again, a process which has only just finished.
- Thankfully Jo was out of hospital in time for us to enjoy our two week summer holiday in Thailand. Lots of sitting by, and playing in, the pool and a couple of days out. The first one taking in Phuket, Tiger Kingdom, one of the main temples, a round of crazy golf, and finishing with dinner at one of the local seafood restaurants. The second (highly recommended) involving a boat trip to some local islands, and kayaking through tunnels into the heart of those islands.
- Back from Thailand and a much looked forward to visit to Abu Dhabi by Cal, Kimani and Amari, (my sister and her family for those of you that don’t know them) on their way back from their first trip to the UK since emigrating to Australia five years ago. We had a lovely few days, then I joined them in Dubai for a couple of nights, having waved Jo and the kids off on their way back to the UK for a family wedding and a couple of weeks of catching up with friends and family.
- September came round and it was back to school for Archie (Year 5) and Flossie (Year 3). Both of them have settled back in quickly, although there has been a noticeable ramping up of the homework for Archie now.
- As if all of that was not enough “we” then decided to move house, having become thoroughly fed up of waiting for the compound pool to reopen after months of being closed for maintenance, and a number of false promises that it would be sorted “soon”. We were part of a mini exodus as a result of this issue, and Jo found us a lovely new villa on a compound a few miles away from where we were. We’ve been here almost two weeks now and do not regret a single thing about the move (apart from the inevitable nightmare of getting the internet set up, a saga which looks like it will continue for some time).
So that is you all caught up. As the weather finally starts to cool down a little the events calendar heats up here. Thursday night was Bon Jovi in concert at the du Arena on Yas Island (which Jo thoroughly enjoyed, honest), and forthcoming concerts by the Dave Matthews Band and Motley Crue complete a rock trilogy between now and the end of November (Jo has been excused these next two instalments, but is excitedly looking forward to seeing Take That / lusting after Gary Barlow in Dubai at the end of October). On the sporting side, the UAE is hosting the England – Pakistan cricket series, next weekend is the Abu Dhabi Cycle Tour, and the Grand Prix is fast approaching. It is a hard life but whilst we are here we have to make the most of it.
It appears that Saturday evening is going to be my regular posting slot from now on. Of course I’m not promising it’s going to be EVERY Saturday evening but who knows, maybe sporadic posts are better than nothing…….
As always, thanks for reading.