Dubai 40th Birthday Adventure

My husband (bless him) has a hard life, really it’s true. I make him clean, hoover, do the washing, food shopping, blah blah and all that stuff.

But I think he still must love me, even though I am a complete bitch. I know, I am I try not to be but I can’t help it. May have been the way I was raised!

Anyway, June is always a busy month our wedding anniversary, my birthday and oh, my birthday. We have never been a family for doing much on our birthdays once we reached adulthood.

Last year my youngest brother was 21 and I hit the big ol’ 40.

My husband had arranged for both of us to go away.  The kids were looked after by my sisters (Thank you Emma and Kate).

I didn’t know where I was being taken.   I only knew that it involved a plane.  No hints as to the weather either so packing was an absolute nightmare.  My packing tactic ended up being underwear, maxi dresses and some flip flops anything else I would have to buy therefore costing Tim more but if he couldn’t tell me where we were going then he would suffer (evil streak rears its head again).

My cousin Kev drove us to the airport and we checked in at baggage drop off so still no clue as to where we were heading.  Could have been Ghana, New York, Dubai or Australia. The girl at the drop off desk giggled as she thought it was amusing that I didn’t know where we were off to.  Went through to departures and hung around for a bit then the New York and Dubai gates opened.  I still didn’t know!

I only found out as we had passed the New York gate and headed for the Dubai gate.  I was so excited I was heading out to see my friend. So so excited!

We had a brilliant flight watched a few films and had a few drinks and arrived in Dubai in the morning.  The doors to the aircraft opened and some heat, not much rushed in.  Collected bags and headed for a taxi.  As we walked out through the airport doors the heat hits you like a tonne of bricks.  I love that feeling it feels like my bones melt and instantly feel chilled out,  Tim on the other hand shrivels in the heat.

Arrived at Kerry’s and had a look around her new villa which is lovely and then headed to meet Mike for lunch.

What I didn’t know is that more scheming was in place and I was going to stay at the Al Qasr Hotel, Dubai which is gorgeous.

After lunch the the boys disappeared.  I thought Mike had taken Tim to a shop to talk bikes (I am so gullible) .  

Kerry then took me round to the hotel reception and we checked. It was so exciting.

We were then taken to the lounge for complimentary afternoon tea. Massive spread of dainty sandwiches, cakes and fruit. Obviously this was going to end up a seriously food and sunshine orientated visit. I was in heaven!

The room was beautiful and overlooked the Burj Al Arab!

I love Dubai it’s a lovely little bubble of heat, sun and opulence!

   
     

Winding down – Where is the Off button?

I feel so fidgety! I can’t switch off I feel like my mind is doing somersaults, backflips and trapeze tumbles. All I want to do is switch off!

Come on brain what is going on? Share with me!

Tonight got home from work, ate dinner, read with kids and as soon as I got in the bath that was it…… No no serene calming thoughts of butterflies skipping across meadows of wild flowers NO! Contemplating how best to tell people the differences between insurance policies, how I need to sort out other bits.

Now laying in bed I should have made a list of all the things that are flitting around in my head then tomorrow I could set a plan to deal with them!

I would love to leave work and completely switch off but I can’t seem to do that. I’m sure I will wake at two or three in the morning with other thoughts gnawing at my brain.

So I challenge myself to find ways of switching off. Maybe I should try yoga, meditation or colouring in.

How do you switch off?

Work life balance? I can’t find it!

Ok, people keep mentioning work life balance. How is it achievable in these days of tech, wifi and the inbuilt feeling that we need to be on-call all the time?

I commute everyday on the train and usually I am in a world of my own. Today, I have actually realised it is a ‘train office’ a mobile office that transports you to the actual office! There is no escape from it.

I was sat next to a woman who couldn’t complete a single sentence without applying some type of corporate phrasing or business acronym into it. ‘Yes let’s get together and brain storm, try thinking outside the box and may be reach out to…..’ You get the drift.

The man sat opposite was tutting whilst typing on his laptop taking up all of the table so ‘corporate speak woman’ couldn’t put her Costa Latte down.

So if I can’t escape work on the train, at home or in my head where can I go to get the peace and balance I should have.

I remember that when I started work, all of those many moons ago there were those that worked and those that coasted or blagged their way through! Maybe that’s the way forward but I am to scared to do that because I will trip up and people will find out so I think I am clearly open about what I know, what I do and what I really have no understanding of. I do strive to be good at my job I don’t ever think I am the best but as long as my clients/customers/associates whatever you want to call them are happy then what else could I really ask for, ok, other than being paid a fortune to work only mornings or a couple of days a week.

So how do you start to manage a life/work balance? Answers on a postcard please!

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Make Mine A Diet Lemonade and Vodka – Low Calorie Drink Options!

Make Mine A Diet Lemonade and Vodka – Low Calorie Drink Options!

This really infuriates me! There I have said it, now to unleash the debate!

I am again trying to tackle my weight.  Well it is January and that is what I believe I am supposed to do! Not that I am particularly unhappy with my weight it just how I look.   I have now reached the age or period in my life that there are other things to worry about but I would still feel conscious in a swimming costume (don’t even mention the B word – not at my age, size or colour which is somewhere in between white and smurf blue).

January and the diet change is a struggle enough so when know you are going out for a meal (alarm bells trigger) or even worse out for a few drinks (sirens wail) you know that you are walking into a minefiefood-drink--vodka--party--drinks_3242687ld of sugar filled mixer or soft drink options!

I know it’s radical but what if pubs and restaurants served low calorie or no calorie (zero) options as standard and you have to specifically ask for full fat! It really could be that easy.

Come on, you restaurant chains and you independents

we want to visit but you make it so difficult.

When I have asked for slimline bitter lemon they either just give me the full fat option or full fat lemonade. Ok, I can appreciate bitter lemon being less popular but sprite zero or Diet 7UP surely this could be available in cans or bottles.

Is it that they are really less popular or is it because they are generally not available? I look around the office and the majority of desks have a low cal drink of some kind in view.

A few years ago (2009 to be precise) I asked Greene King/Wetherspoons and a few other outlets why they didn’t stock diet lemonade and their reply was the same ‘lack of demand’.

I wonder if 5 years on there is still no demand for the low calorie options, who can answer this question?

Tell you what, why don’t you complete this little survey (4 questions) and we can go from there?  If its a pie in the sky idea I will forget it and if not lets unleash a campaign.

Low Calorie Drink Survey

So excited to see your responses.  Thanks for your time and if you have any views please share them with me :)

Elaine

 

Fat Traps or Blocked Drains?

Fat Traps or Blocked Drains

This year it was my turn to cook Christmas dinner and although I think I was super organised by googling things to prepare ahead, gravy, roast spuds etc the one thing when cooking always concerns me is the lard/fat/juices etc that are left over.  Being veggie this also freaks me out quite a bit.  

Usually if cooking for the boys I save the fat and mix it with bird seed to put in the garden but with two turkeys and a gammon there was too much fat to even think about using all of it.  I was trying to pour the warm juices into squash bottles so that I could bin them rather than throw it down the sink when my sister appeared with these.

Fat Trap

Fat Trap – www.thameswater.co.uk/binit

These came flat packed and pop up easily into little boxes that you can keep on the work surface to be filled with fat and juices.  Each box is sealed with a plastic liner and a seal on top so that the contents do not spill out.  This means that once the liquid/fat/juice has cooled you can tip it in here and throw it in the bin.

For me this beats the worry of blocking the drains so no more running the hot water and pouring half a bottle of Fairy down the sink as you tip your fat etc away and therefore I will no longer be contributing to the Fatburgs that are smothering our drainage systems.

If you don’t have these boxes then there are other ways to bin your fat such as collecting the fat in old containers and jars or using for the bird to make fatballs.

If you want to see more about Fatburgs then visit www.thameswater.co.uk/binit

 

 

Today I have my WHY head on ….

So WHY?

  • Why isn’t there a courier firm that specializes in delivering before 8am and after 6pm?
  • Why can’t someone make tights that do not dig in your middle making you look like a B or slide down your body and give you wrinkly canckles and pull your knickers down?
  • Why do men get so arsy when they can’t get their own way? Just like kids!
  • Why can I no longer cope with hangovers? I think its an age thing.
  • Why do I always feel the cold?
  • Why do kids no longer think that detentions in school are nothing to be bothered about?  I would have been mortified if I had to have a detention.