Thank you, Daddy

08/04/2015

Zara has a scooter. The three wheeled things you can get these days are easier to ride than the two wheelers I remember but still require some help.

Next up will be a bike. Memories of my father bent double pushing me along Arlington Rd now have a greater significance and a stronger element of empathy.

IMG_3758-0

Dubai with kids

08/04/2015

It’s been interesting rediscovering Dubai now that we are parents.

The parks are incredible, there are playgrounds and play areas everywhere and lots to do outside for the months when it’s not too hot.

I’m feeling particularly lucky and privileged to live so near the Dubai Fountains, even if walking around them is delayed by Zara taking pictures on her toy phone.

IMG_3800

IMG_3805

IMG_3804

IMG_3781

Chewin’

04/04/2015

Interesting to see practically everyone with a gun in the photos in this article chewing qat.

Look for the telltale bulge in the cheek.

On my last visit to Sanaa, guns had been banned from the city centre, but we encountered a grizzled looking man, probably only forty at the most, selling plastic mats for car seat wells at some traffic lights. He had the usual traditional clothes with ‘English’ suit jacket and a dagger tucked into his belt along with an AK47, cheek full of qat, bag full of qat, cigarette, cup of tea and his plastic mats all hanging or held somehow from arms and hands.

Imagine 50s or 60s UK or USA, but swap drinking at lunchtime plus twenty Woodbines a day and a bit of drink driving with being fully armed at all times and under the influence of amphetamines from the early afternoon onwards.

How anyone controls and directs any of these guys into a manageable fighting force is beyond me.

Up the top

28/03/2015

Finally made it up the Burj Khalifa. What’s really interesting is the amount of space around still left to build on.

IMG_4928

IMG_4926

IMG_4955

IMG_4934

IMG_4933

IMG_4955

How they make them in Africa

27/03/2015

Kenya has lots of buses plying the roads, as you might imagine.

I’ve often wondered where they were made – they all have Isuzu, Scania or Hino badges, the but the designs look a bit, well… Kenyan.

During my last trip I happened to visit the coach makers where they are made. The chassis are bought in and the bus built around it. The cabs are usually dispensed with but sometimes not. Some of the buses you see are literally large lorries with some seats welded on.

Lifetime is around four to five years of constant use. I’m sure after that they are sold on to neighbouring countries.

Kenya also has some Isuzu and Bedford lorries that must be forty plus years old. I’d love to talk to some of the drives, take some pics and find out what these things sell for even after years of use.

I knew the answer already, but asked if the buses being made met European safety standards. The answer was an emphatic ‘no’, but then again a European bus wouldn’t last a year on these roads.

IMG_5081.JPG

IMG_5082.JPG

IMG_5088.JPG

IMG_5085.JPG

IMG_5099.JPG

IMG_5095.JPG

IMG_5092.JPG

IMG_5101.JPG

IMG_5101.JPG

IMG_5104.JPG

IMG_5105.JPG

Movement

27/03/2015

I love the way the iPhone camera sometimes catches movement.

IMG_5111.JPG

Solar’s here

15/03/2015

This is brilliant and long awaited.

Dubai is really coming along in leaps and bounds.

There’s been an incredible improvement in services recently – government and telcos’ online offerings and smartphone apps now abound. The road infrastructure is frankly superb now, du have 4G internet everywhere, the airport is absolutely world class and carries more passengers than Heathrow.

Compare Dubai and the UAE in general with the rest of the region…

Tuning up

13/03/2015

IMG_3453-1

Wheels on the bus

20/02/2015

I played some nursery rhymes at Zara’s second birthday party last week.

The bouncy castle was also a hit.

IMG_3291

IMG_3272

IMG_3230

IMG_3252

IMG_3242

Snowed in

20/02/2015

Flight home from Istanbul on Weds was cancelled after the incoming EK flight arrived but turned back as there were no ‘spaces left for the plane’, we were told.

Fortunately a friend from Dubai was on the same flight and helped out finding a place for us to stay that night. Got home the following day a few hours later than expected, but at least I am home.

Istanbul doesn’t seem to be well equipped for snow!

IMG_3351

IMG_3346

IMG_3339

IMG_3354

IMG_3355


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers