Wednesday, December 30, 2009

photo: afternoon quota

afternoon quota

Ending the year with a shot of a cake I made in November. It was one of the most decadent cakes that I have made and it tasted divine. Hope the new year will inspire me to continue with my baking streak! Happy new year to all who visit :-)

online sharing

These days one can pretty much live ones life online, right from sharing photos with family and friends to party invitations and baby announcements. I've used the first two, especially sharing photo albums directly with friends, instead of posting them on photo sharing sites, where you're not sure who has actually come to see the photos or not. I'd rather send them directly into a few people's mailbox instead. But just the fact that there are so many options is a great thing, right!

a focused blog or a free-flowing blog?

It's certainly been a very interesting year for blogging. I got back to blogging a lot more this year, although I still haven't kept the focus of the blog strictly to what it should be and have been randomly blogging about everything and anything like acne treatment to tile flooring and so on. It's not the best of approaches to have, but then it's also the reality of a blogger's life. One writes about anything and everything and this very freedom to post just about anything is what makes blogging interesting. Sure, it might confuse readers and stop them from coming back, but in my mind my blog is an expression of myself, and if I only cater it to my reader's tastes, then I'll lose my creativity. Although the title suggests that the blog is about travel, I like to think of it as a journey of my life, the good times, the tough times, the rollicking holidays, the quiet sojourns into the hills as well as my daily life and the travails I face there, big or small, petty or landmark. Happy trails!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

photo: reading time

reading time

Spending time at home always means that I get to sit out on the terrace and read my book for an hour or so everyday. I love the simplicity of life back home, the old routines, the familiar ways and the ease of life. This is a shot taken a week or so back.

Job security to the forefront

And so it continues, just when I get done with writing one of my quick and short posts and hit "publish", I find I want to add something more to it, and so here I am again posting about the same topic, namely jobs. Considering the amount of upheaval the world has seen in the past year, no one takes their jobs for granted anymore, and rightly so. Job security has suddenly become one of the key factors in selecting a job these days and governmental jobs are seeming more and more worthwhile despite their lower pay.

still job hunting?

You wouldn't think Christmas or New Years is a very good time to look for jobs right? That's what I thought as well, since everyone is either preoccupied in holiday stuff or wrapping stuff up for the end of the year accounts and so on, but it seems that for many companies it is the perfect time to hire new people. I read an article online that quoted several HR managers saying this, so decided to go to some job search sites to see if it held true and if more companies were advertising for say jobs in Philadelphia, and it turns out that it holds true. It is possible to find a good job even at this time of the year.

Do the salsa!

Now this is something really interesting: Dancing lessons that you can take online! That's one less excuse for all you people who said there were no good salsa instructors in town. SalsaCrazy's Salsa Dance BootCamp is an innovative way to learn how to salsa. Once you sign up for the classes, you will gain access to hundreds and thousands of online salsa classes that you can see online as well as get via DVDs to your home. One thing is definitely clear, that these lessons are for those who really are serious about learning and also are able to keep themselves motivated about the challenge of learning on ones own. If you fit into one of these categories, then you can be sure of being able to pick up some great salsa dancing skills and impress all your friends and family. Sounds interesting, right!

its browsing time...

So the holiday season has started once more...and so has the cold weather. Till date we've had wonderfully bright and sunny days, but today all we got was watery sunshine and a cool breeze. It's a good time to catch up with stuff inside the house I suppose, pending emails, uploading photos from the holidays and so on I thought. And while I was surfing around I came across some nice sites to browse for home decor for the holidays, nothing to do with industrial safety supplies or anything boring though. A little bit of browsing on the side never hurt anyone, right!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

home for Christmas

It's almost Christmas time and it's a wonderful time to be home with the entire family! It's a bit last minute, but I still haven't got all my presents done as yet. But today, I found something really nice and traditional, something that is a bit different than the usual Christmassy presents. Well, it's certainly not loose diamonds or an iPod or anything like that, but it's a sweet thing to give a child. I've still got a couple of more gifts to buy and then some nice interesting wrapping paper and then I'll be done. It's nice to be home for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

photo: weekend morning

weekend morning

Reading about the local golf scene and drinking cold coffee with chocolate ice cream. Yummm! That's Lee Westwood on the cover...He won the Dubai World Championship a few weeks back, and although this was printed before the tournament finished, the title works very well still.

Getting ready to leave tomorrow for our trip. Not sure how much I will be online, or if I will even take my laptop with me this time.

This shot was taken on a sunny day, but today is hazy, dusty and gusty. A sandstorm is predicted for today, but right now it's just a weird yellowly feel to the sky and sand flying everywhere. Photos of the dusty conditions in Dubai today on a local blog.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

photo: patterns

patterns

As a lot of you already know, I love noticing the light that streams into our home. In the desert of Dubai, having sunlight coming into one's home is not necessarily a good thing, but I simply love the energy that it brings with it. And thanks to living in the Middle East, I have started noticing and loving all the patterns one sees here. This one is the shadow of our window grill.

an incentive to buy....a camera or a tv?

We renewed our annual newspaper subscription this afternoon and are now looking forward to our coupons along with tomorrow's edition. Yes, the newspaper subscriptions here give you great deals for subscribing, and so we're going to get the same amount that we paid for the newspaper as coupons for two different stores...one a huge electronic store and another a clothing store. The electronic store one will be very handy indeed, since we were thinking of buying one of these new Samsung HDTV or a camera...well, I'm always on the lookout for a good camera but still haven't got around to actually buying one..oh well. Maybe this will spur me on!

our tile crazy landlord

We've lived in so many places, so many cities and have such different types of landlords. This one has been very enthused about making changes in our building, sometimes painting the exterior, sometimes installing some fancy looking glass tile in the entry hallway and at others descending with his team of workmen on the holidays to make as many changes and clean up stuff in the compound. Yes, he is a very different kind of landlord and we're very happy for that. But we all have to admit, he's a bit crazy when it comes to anything to do with tiles!

a new mantra

        A tiny window in a traditional courtyard building in Bastakiya.

Yes, yes, since I mentioned it already...we're leaving on vacation in a few days so have been busy with getting everything sorted out and ready for our trip. It always seems that a hundred pending things all need to be taken care of all at the same time, and there's only so much that I can do, but this time around, I'm not getting hassled with all that I am not able to do, but instead am keeping happy with all that I have managed to do. A new mantra, a new way to live, and a new way to bring in the new year.

a new sink...no thank you!

It's been a bit crazy around here, with all sorts of work going on. The landlord got into high gear over the long holidays to get all the pending work sorted out with our recent problems with water leakage from the main line. At first he really didn't know what was going on, and neither did the series of plumbing chaps he brought with him, since the water seemed to leak from a variety of sources, but then he got into battle mode and decided to redo it all. And so we got new tiles in our bath and very nearly got some new Toto sinks and toilets that he was very keen to install, but we resisted since it would have just taken too long and caused too much chaos. Glad it's all done and over with before we head out for the holidays.