I totally lost my blogging mojo but I am determined to get it back. I have missed writing and interacting with everyone who kindly read my posts. It’s time to get back to it and hopefully my groove will return a la Austin Powers!
I thought it best to get the wedding out of the way first then go chronologically! It’s a shamefully long time since I wrote so here are the highlights of the past few months. There have been mini-breaks, fabulous meals and all sorts in between but the below is the edited version!
The infinity loop has become the symbol for our wedding.
The wedding looms large in my life right now. Bond and I have proven rather efficient at all things wedding and have most things planned now. My mother has been an incredible source of ideas as well as patience, it turns out I got a bit weird about chairs and the only person who really got the importance was her! Not a single row has occurred so far which seems miraculous after every bridal magazine I read advised it would be carnage. My dad is a voice of calm and seems to just get on board with everything. Now that most things are in place and booked the next hurdle is the ceremony…what readings and music to have is proving a challenge. Getting the right tone of gravitas for the occasion but also levity for the kind of couple we are seems so difficult to get right. Still tackle it we must and research will commence soon! If you have any readings you think might be fitting please fire them at me!!! Soon I have my first dress fitting for which I will fly back to the UK and my lovely mother will fly in from Berlin to see me in what will hopefully be my glory! Depending how I look I will post photos for you to see…fingers crossed it all goes well. We have lots of other wedding meetings in the UK including with the florist, I am so excited to see the vision we have discussed over Skype become reality. Also living in the desert has given me an even deeper love of flowers so I imagine I will be basking in their beauty and snapping pictures like mad for Instagram.
October had BIG news as one of my closest friends got engaged and then married within 8 weeks – proving that indeed anything is possible! She even had a couture dress which I was pretty awe struck by. The second she announced the wedding date we booked flights, got outfits and headed to London to see the nuptials. It was such a fun evening, a small and intimate affair with all the people who really matter to them. I was even asked to make a speech which was such an honour and it was so special to be able to force my humble friend to listen to some compliments while she couldn’t tell me to shut up. So far they are happy and content and I couldn’t be more pleased for the pair of them, and their fur baby of course! Every time I see the pictures I smile, she deserves every happiness!
While we were in London my parents came over too and so we were able to celebrate my dad’s birthday all together which was so wonderful. It’s always lovely to have family time together especially so spontaneously! We had a lovely time together albeit it too brief but we did manage a couple of really fun dinners and breakfasts as we all stayed at the wedding venue which was magical.
In November Bond and I went on the most amazing holiday to New York and Columbia. It’s the first big trip we have taken in ages and it more than lived up to expectations. New York is an amazing city, it’s sort of how I imagine London would be if it got put on fast forward! I loved the vibe of it though I imagine living there must be quite exhausting. We managed to pack a lot in to our few days there, from art galleries to fabulous restaurants and many strolls through central park, including cocktails at Inn on the Park which was lovely. The meal highlights for the trip are a toss up between ‘Craft’ and ‘The River Cafe’. The two are polar opposites but they both excel at what they are trying to do. Craft is all about the food, everything is organic and the waiters can tell you where it is all sourced. The service is also exemplary though in a laid back and casual way, we both felt like we were old friends with the staff and had been a thousand times before, they had even printed the menu with ‘Happy Anniversary’ which was so lovely and made us feel totally special. I would totally recommend it and I suspect we will always go back when we are in NYC. The River Cafe is old school glamour, the sort of place where the men wear jackets and ties and the ladies wear proper frocks. The food is stylish and delicious and the staff make you feel like you’re back in the twenties and even though we were the youngest people there we LOVED it.
We hit all the major museums and had to accept that we will never be people who really appreciate modern art. The architecture at the Guggenheim was amazing but the Edith Martin exhibition left us totally cold. I still regret not buying the tea towel that proclaimed ‘my five year old could have done that…but I guess he didn’t’; it captures my ideas about modern art for sure. As well as Museums we went to Broadway and watched ‘Book of Mormon’ which was hilarious and very well done. We both enjoyed it a lot but I am not sure we felt it was quite as amazing as everyone had told us it was. We managed to go to a Basketball game and happily my team won! I really enjoyed the vibe and the energy of the game and Bond enjoyed seeing real life cheerleaders in action. I had to agree they had amazing moves and so much spirit! All in all so many fun things that I am beaming just remembering them.
As well as getting our ‘culture on’ there may also have been a spot of shopping, I am only human after all and we were staying very near 5th Avenue…I fell in love with Bergdorf Goodman’s and wish I could shop there all the time, though it’s madly expensive!
We also managed tea at the plaza where I discovered they have a shop for all things ‘Eloise’ who was my childhood heroine, I wanted to be her and live in a hotel like she did. We had drinks at the Rockefeller tower and enjoyed the gorgeous views. We went on a helicopter tour of the city and night as well as a river cruise which was just magical. We discovered Eataly and ate there far too often but it was so easy for a quick bite on our last couple of days so we couldn’t resist.
The only sad day we had was when we went to the 9/11 memorial and museum which is tragic and harrowing and left me in tears for most of it. They have created a beautiful and fitting tribute. From there we went to Vietnam Plaza which is equally tragic and heart wrenching, not just for the memorial itself but for the fact it’s tucked away and treated like a secret which just feels so wrong. I am glad that we went to see both places but I admit to being a bit of an emotional wreck by the end.
There are probably so many other things we did that I am forgetting now – but all in all it was an incredible trip and I really want to go back and do all the things we missed this time around!
From New York we flew to Colombia. What an amazing country! One of my oldest friends got married there and it was so special to be part of this amazing occassion. The wedding was beautiful and fun – we all ended up in the pool at the venue, even the bride and the mother of the bride took a dip! We were in Cartagena and stayed at the Sofitel Santa Clara which is just the most beautiful and incredible place. Soon it became the hangout for everyone regardless of where they were staying! It was so so lovely to reunite with old friends and have wild times in a new place and create new memories that we will all treasure forever. While we were there I fell in love with the culture, the people are friendly and fun loving and so kind. The food is unbelievable though very bad for the diet – how the Colombian women are so slim and healthy looking remains a mystery! The weather was glorious, although one day it was overcast to the horror of the English set who wanted to sunbathe constantly. We managed to go to a museum about Emeralds and Bond treated me to a stunning set of earrings. We also went to the old fort which is a world heritage site, the scale of it is incredible. I couldn’t believe how vast it was! I urge everyone to go to Colombia, it’s beautiful and interesting and so fun and truly I felt very safe. It’s firmly on my list of places to explore further!
On our return to Dubai three of my friends came for a visit! It was so much fun to have them out here! We went to ladies nights, had fun dinners and just enjoyed being reunited. i can’t wait to have them visit again soon. Luckily they all loved Dubai and are keen to come again!!
For Christmas my parents and I joined Bond and his family at their home. It was so fun to all be together and to really enjoy the festivities. Bond and his parents went above and beyond to make us all feel comfortable and at home and it was lovely to see my parents and his really becoming friends. We played Charades, watched cheesy movies, ate way too much and really relaxed and had fun. By the end of our time together we were all sad to part ways and now we are planning our next family Christmas.
Now to actually read Sophie Robehmad’s book about Dubai Expats!
In other ‘news’ I got made redundant, which I am seeing the bright side of. Thanks to the generosity of Bond I am having a bit of time out to enjoy planning the wedding as well as do some travelling. First trip London and Berlin! So far I have embraced being a Jumeirah Jane as they call trailing spouses out here who don’t work. I am becoming quite the gym goer and it turns out I can actually cook if I put my mind to it. My mother also helped me do some major decluttering while she and my dad visited (dad did some useful heavy lifting under her instructions) and it turns out my utility room has a floor that isn’t made of plastic bags!!! Who knew??? Not to sound too virtuous though I am also now on Season 4 of House and Season 2 of Ray Donovan and I binged on Call the Midwife which resulted in a lot of tears.
In happier career News the wondrous Bond has moved companies and been promoted in the process. To say I am proud is an understatement! It seems he is unstoppable! So far he is doing really well in the new role and is enjoying it which is great!
My parents came to visit for two weeks, the poor souls had the most miserable weather I have experienced since moving to Dubai. I couldn’t believe how grey it was, we even had rain on several days. Luckily they really come to see us so they said they weren’t too upset about the bad weather. We had such an amazing time together, as I wasn’t working we got to spend real quality time together and we went on some fun adventures too. The Miracle Garden was a real highlight, it’s a bizarre place but well worth a visit – I imagine it’s one of the few places in the world you can see an Emirates Plane bedecked in blooms. Another fab day out was to the Burj Khalifa to see the Bond exhibition – my Bond thoroughly enjoyed seeing his namesake in all his glory and he and Dad geeked out over the gadgets while mummy and I decided which gowns we liked the best. I thoroughly recommend it to any Bond fan! We also had many fabulous meals while they were here, wedding diet be damned was the theme of their trip! I would say the two best were Marina Social and Dragonfly. Marina Social is the restaurant by Jason Atherton at the Intercontinental where my parents stayed. The food is incredible and although it’s a sharing concept you can opt out of that should you have to dine with only children like my dad and I…a wise call by mummy and Bond! Dragonfly is next level dining, truly I haven’t had a meal like it in my life and I urge EVERYONE to go, fly to Dubai especially even. I don’t think I can do the food justice in words and my mouth waters as I try to. From the amazing Langoustine to the truffle Dim Sum to the best chicken I have ever eaten and all the epic courses in between I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to go here to eat. The restaurant is dry and they have come up with this ‘Jein’ (juice wine) concept to combat that, every drink is paired with the course and comes in a special glass to bring out the flavours. Truly you feel you’re drinking wine and even whisky with the last course, but you can still drive yourself home! A brilliant concept for non-drinkers and drinkers alike. Go to Dragonfly, you’ll thank me and your taste buds will thank you! As well as eating we just enjoyed hanging out together and chatting.
Right I think that is everyone up to date…now I promise to do much better at updates from now on!!