Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Mum is Sick

Gee, it's 13 days since my last post! This time it is not because I have been away somewhere, but because I have been looking after Mum. She has been very, very sick. We have had her in hospital for some days and a nurse has been coming to our house on the other days. Somehow or other Mum caught a horrible infection and it wouldn't be killed by ordinary antibiotics. (Don't you think it makes more sense to say that the infection caught Mum? English is a crazy language). So for the last week and a bit she has had little tubes plugged into her arms and hands and the doctors and nurses have been pouring strong chemicals into her. She is slowly improving now. I helped by bandaging my paw in sympathy with the big mess of needle holes in her hand and arm (it looked like a porcupine had attacked her). That sort of sympathy always helps. I also cooked a dozen cupcakes for her. Actually, she didn't get to eat most of the cupcakes because there is a sneaky cake'n'cookie snitcher in our house. Not pointing the finger at anyone, but Dad has been observed licking icing from his lips. Next batch I cook will contain a special cupcake that I will fill with chilli, curry and tabasco and leave out in an obvious spot. That should unmask the snitcher.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Inside the Grand Mosque

Here's a few photos of the inside of the Grand Mosque. The flowers in the mosaics and reliefs on the walls and floors are inlaid with gold and semi-precious stones. The carpet is around 5,600 square metres and it took around 1,300 Iranian carpet knotters two years to make it. The chandelier above Mum's head is one of 7, made of gold and Swarovski crystals. Note that Mum is dressed properly for visiting the mosque. Courtesy demands that arms and legs be covered and that ladies wear a head scarf. The Oldies always fit in with local custom, that's why they have so much fun and get to see so many interesting places. How do small bears dress? Well, this one stayed tucked inside Dad's backpack with only my eyes showing.

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A Grand Mosque

This is the most impressive building that this small bear has ever been in. It is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. We visited it one day while we were in Dubai. According to Mum the only other buildings that come close to it for sheer impressiveness are St Peter's in Rome and St Paul's in London. She has seen all three, so I guess she knows. This mosque is absolutely beautiful. It is the eighth largest in the world.It has 82 domes, over 1,000 columns, 24-carat gold chandeliers and the world's largest carpet. The building is entirely marble of different colours, from Macedonia, Italy, India and China. It can hold over 40,000 people. The mosque is surrounded by gardens and pools. An absolutely breath-taking bit of architecture and something that you must see when you visit the Emirates. No, the minarets are not crooked. That's just the effect you get when the thing you are photographing is so big and high; it's called perspective. The camera sees things slanted but your brain knows that they are really straight and that's how you see them.

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Friday, September 07, 2012


More Models!

At last! Dad and I have been busy, whenever we have been able to find time, building the models in the big stash we have collected over the years. The problem with having lots of model kits to build is that there comes a time when there aren't any new ones being produced that you haven't already got an example of in your stash. So it's great to finally see stuff being made that you've just gotta have. I keep an eye on the model sites on the web and finally found a batch that Dad was willing to buy. They arrived in the post yesterday. I can't wait to get them out of the boxes, fondle the plastic, and get busy cutting, gluing, sanding, painting,etc. I am a very lucky small bear to have Oldies that let me help with interesting craft and hobbies.

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Monday, September 03, 2012


Jumierah Abras

Mina a'Salaam is a fantastic resort. It is built at one end of a 30 acre lagoon, a canal system that surrounds it and the Al Qasr. The most fun way to get around this part of the Jumierah resort complex is to use the abras. Abras are small traditional Arab ferry boats. Unlike most boats, you don't sit IN them, you sit ON them. Only the driver has a seat in a small cockpit that goes inside the hull. There are lots of abras that take you to any place around the lagoon where there is an abra station, so you can go to the souk (Arab market) or the spa or the ressertorornts (I just can't spell restaurant no matter how hard I try) by boat. For a small bear that loves boats, that makes travel around this resort the next thing to heaven. With golf buggies and abras to ride I had a great 3 days at Mina a'Salaam.

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Jumierah Buggy

We stayed in two places when we were in Dubai. The second one was a big resort called Mina a'Salaam, right on the Arabian Gulf. It is part of a group of resort hotels that includes Al Qasr, Jumierah Beach Resort, and the fabulous Burj Al Arab. If you stay in one of these places you can use the facilities of most of the others. There are 2km of private beaches that you can use. There are golf buggies running a shuttle service around the whole complex and we did several trips, day and night, to get photos. The drivers soon get to know you and some of them let me help drive. So here we are out on the jetty at one end of the complex, and zooming along the road near one of the beaches. There aren't any hills like there on Hamilton Island, the other place that I've used buggies. Golf buggies are great for this sort of transport and I wonder why more places don't use them.

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