Namaste!

mds failSo this was my first weekend without Bond because he is of course in the desert!  We managed to text a bit so I know that he is safe and has nice tent mates and seems in pretty good spirits.  As of yesterday the actual running began and hopefully soon the tracking will actually work so I can watch his progress.  So far it’s stuck in French and doesn’t want to show me anything remotely helpful…I looked on facebook though and it seems I am not alone in this and that the team are working on it.  He was able to get a message through to me last night though saying that all is well but it’s hard work which I find unsurprising to be honest!  Hopefully the tracker will work today and then I can stalk him to my hearts content!

File_000 (8)In his absence on Thursday Nat and I decided not to do the gym but instead go for a walk and have a proper catch up.  It was really nice to enjoy the fresh air and the beach, we also saw something called ‘football snooker’ which was bizarre but entertaining.  I was able to show Nat some fun places to take her parents who are visiting this week so not only did we have fun but it was productive too!

Once we had racked up some steps we headed home for dinner, I made chilli con carne which tasted really good surprisingly!  It was thanks to Bond leaving his recipe for me to be honest that it turned out alright.  We watched ‘The Secret in their Eyes’ which I honestly thought was dreadful!  We both found it dragged out rather and that the leaps between past and present weren’t clear at all.  I spoke to another friend though who loved it so it might just have been that we were a bit tired and not really in the mood for that sort of film?  If you have seen it I would love your opinion!  The premise of the film is that an FBI agents daughter was murdered and now 13 years on there are clues as to where the suspect may be.  I am sorry I wish I could make it sound more exciting but it just left me totally cold unfortunately.

pamper-timeFriday came around and I had a properly girly day of pampering, from the top of my head to the tip of my toes.  It was actually pretty fun and I felt really good afterwards, just what I needed! After a while though there was nothing left to preen so I got ready to go to my friends who had invited me round for dinner.  The lovely N&H who are my fave couple in Dubai said they would adopt me…little did the husband know that his wife and I were plotting a surprise with some other friends and at ten they turned up with cake and we all sang!  He was so chuffed it was really sweet!  In order to make a night of it we decided to go to Cantine du Faubourg which I hadn’t been to before but is a regular haunt for them.  It’s got a really fun vibe and they play good music and we even managed some dancing which was great.  I am looking forward to taking Bond when he is back!

On Saturday I did very little indeed although clearly my flat sensed my boredom and so the sink decided to back up so I had to fix that!  Honestly it was beyond gross, the drain cleaner I used stank to high heaven and then all this stuff came up from the plug…anyway I won’t tell you more and I wouldn’t have mentioned it at all but I was home alone and I really wanted to share with someone my plumbing success!  The sink is working perfectly now thanks to my new found skill set.  Now if unlike me you don’t ramdomly have ‘drainex’ lying around (seriously it’s a mystery!) then google tells me that hot water works a treat…I wish I had googled BEFORE I threw the TOXIC smelling Drainex down my sink…don’t do it people – it works but at what cost I ask you?!?!?!

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In the evening I watched ‘The Big Short’ all about the financial crash in the US and subsequently across the world.  It was really interesting but quite intense.  Still I am glad I watched it as I felt I learned a lot about an important subject.  I would definitely recommend it although it’s a bit hard going at times.  There are some great cameo moments including Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie which are random but work.  The acting is really very impressive as is the story line.

maxresdefaultNow on to the reason for the title of my post…’Namaste’.  Believe it or not I have gotten into Yoga.  This is all thanks to my friend Boo who said with great confidence that she had found a yoga instructor online that I would like.  Now I am a TOTAL cynic about such things.  I have been to a couple of classes in the past and really hated it, I do not find it easy to ‘relax’ when I am ordered to and I am not that bendy either so the whole thing just never worked for me.  Anyway I do trust Boo usually and she’s good at healthy living so I thought that I would give this instructor a go.  Adriene has a yoga channel called ‘Yoga with Adriene’ full of videos for all different levels and skill sets.  So I decided on ‘Yoga for complete beginners’ because that seemed to be right for me. It takes twenty minutes and I have to give Boo a virtual high five…Adriene is indeed GREAT!  She’s not remotely patronising, she wears normal clothing so you don’t get distracted thinking you’ll never look like her but instead you can focus on the moves.  I found myself really enjoying it…so much so I have now done three more sessions.  The next step up from beginners, the sleepy one and the weight loss for hammies.  I would say my favourite has to be the sleepy one, I found myself tucked up in bed feeling very zen and I slept really well.  If you’ve never tried yoga and you’re interested or you’re a cynic like I was then give Adriene a go – it’s free so there’s nothing to lose!

Tonight it’s back to C25K…wish me luck please!

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Can’t go wrong with a long weekend!

bangleThe above title turned out to be a case of famous last words for me as I woke up on Friday with food poisoning and ended up spending the whole day glued to the sofa feeling sorry for myself!  So pitiful was I that Bond turned up with gifts and my favourite foods for supper to cheer me up.  I was so touched by his loveliness and thoughtfulness – he went to my favourite store to get me the above bangle and a mug  just to make me smile even though I had been a real moaning minnie all morning.  Luckily it was just a 24 hour thing so by Saturday I was back in the land of the living.  Bond must have still been feeling a bit sorry for me though as he agreed to go and see ‘Zootropolis’ (who knew food poisoning could come with so many bonuses?!)

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If you have children go and see ‘Zootropolis’, if you have children that are technically adults (here’s looking at you Mummy and Daddy) go and see ‘Zootropolis’, if you don’t have children but you like them go and see ‘Zootropolis’ and if you don’t have children and you don’t like them (well you’re missing out, a lot of them are better than adults) STILL go and see ‘Zootropolis’.  Honestly EVERYONE I know who has seen it loved it and it’s not hard to see why.  It’s an animated film about a world where animals live side by side be they predators or prey.  They work in offices and wear human clothes and basically live like us.  Sloths run the DMV and rabbits own carrot farms and the mayor is a Lion!  The main plot is about a bunny who wants to become a policewoman, which has never happened before as all the police are predators so everyone expects her to fail.  I won’t tell you more because it will ruin it suffice to say it’s funny and clever and has a moral story for us all.  It will make you laugh and think and you can’t ask for more than that can you?  Also if you have kids they will LOVE you for taking them and that seems like a good thing too for all the parents reading!

Easter decorationEaster weekend in Dubai is not a public holiday so companies can choose to give you the Sunday off.  Fortunately for me my company said we could have the day off…sadly Bond’s company didn’t!  So while he was stuck at the office I found a friend to pal about with for the day and we had a whale of a time.  First there was essential shopping, new jeans that aren’t skin tight so can be worn in a million degrees and a t-shirt that I didn’t need but really liked.  Nat got her gym kit (more on this later) and we found a few stores we definitely want to hit up once we have lost the weight we plan to lose at the gym (hence the kit!)

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Having shopped our fill we went to have lunch at ‘The Scene’ in Pier 7 which is fast becoming a favourite place.  The food is great, the service is exemplary and the cocktails aren’t half bad either.   We were able to get a table outside on the terrace so we could also enjoy their fantastic view of the Marina.  It seemed a lot of people had the day off because there was lots of activity on the water with people taking their boats out.  We spent a couple of hours eating good food and enjoying the gorgeous weather before we decided it was time to shift.  From the Marina we walked over to JBR to meander about the shops there, I for one can’t wait for Muji and River Island to open and Nat fell in love with Essential Antwerp.  Yet more shops hit the post weight loss shopping list!

sofitel-dubai-012From the shops we went to Sofitel, on the way we spotted a couple taking wedding shots on the roundabout which did seem a bit odd as it’s not remotely picturesque – still to each their own.  On arriving at the bar at the Sofitel we realised that the wedding reception was happening there.  Well we both felt rather sorry for the couple, the weather by now had gotten a bit gloomy and the whole thing was outside.  There were also a fair few people at the bar who were able to watch the festivities – some of them were in beach gear and no shoes and Nat and I hardly looked like glamorous wedding guests.   It was really a shame that the hotel hadn’t thought to provide some privacy for the wedding.  Still I hope that they were so blissfully happy (they certainly looked it when they were posing) they didn’t even notice us!

All in all it was really a lovely weekend even with the food poisoning!  I hope that you all had wonderful Easters!!

 

 

Old friends and New places

df8241201517c3466d6fab94cc411608My lovely friend H was able to carve out an evening during his stint working at Art Dubai to have dinner with Bond and I.  I was so pleased to be able to see him as we have been friends for such a long time and he is one of my favourite people.  H and Bond also get on really well which made for a fun evening!

Naturally we went to our regular haunt ‘Frankie’s which was a great choice because H remembered me hosting my birthday at the London branch all those years ago!  It’s enjoyable to be nostalgic every once in a while and he was telling me stories I had long forgotten. Bond is now not drinking in the run up to his big running event and I was very impressed that he managed to be abstemious while H and I indulged ourselves.  H is getting married to his Colombian fiance in Cartagenia and Bond and I are invited.  I for one can’t wait and Bond is excited too – and even more so after H told us all the plans.  It should really be a fun time with old friends and I am looking forward to meeting lots of new people too. It is an added bonus that his fiancee is terrific and makes him happy so it should be a joyous day watching two people I really care about committing to spend their lives together!

3We called it a night not tooooo late and Bond and I enjoyed a walk along JBR taking in the #DubaiCanvas festival that’s going on at the moment.  These pieces of art are really very impressive but my photo’s are definitely not sadly!  It’s on Instagram though so do have a look at them.  The giraffes are my favourites and looking at this photo it seems I am not the only one.

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The following morning the sun was shining so we met at the pool to soak up some rays (that tan is still not really turning up though!!) and then agreed to a cinema date night.  Bond had seen the trailer for ‘Eye in the Sky’ and was keen to see it and as it’s the last film Alan Rickman made I also wanted to see it because I really thought he was talented and he is a real loss to the acting world.

Before the cinema we decided to break with tradition and try a new restaurant and not go to the counter (i know…shocker!)  Tom Aikens just opened his Dubai outpost ‘Pots, Pans and Boards’ right on the beach.  I was a bit of a fan of Tom’s kitchen in Chelsea so I was intrigued to see what his Dubai gaff would be like.  The menu looked promising and the service was great too from the second we arrived.  Our drinks were delicious and Bond announced that the milkshake makes top 5 in Dubai which is a big accolade as he is quite the connoisseur nowadays (my blood orange punch was also excellent).  Bond won the ordering with his spatchcock chicken, while my crab burger was delicious it was battered and rather negated the healthy option I was hoping for.  The creamed spinach was also delicious but again covered in cheese so not as healthy as you’d anticipate.  All in all the food was REALLY good but I think the menu could do with far better descriptions so you know what you’re getting.  Honestly I was very impressed by the place and we will definitely be going back…i’ll just leave the diet plan at home!

220x320_38e0fdc9dfbe981567983d9bad611ff2So following dinner we headed on to the movie, I can’t urge you enough to go and see ‘Eye in the Sky’; though if you also watched 13 hours at my recommendation then after this it will definitely be time for some comedy!  I for one am looking forward to Zootropolis after a glowing review from my friend.  I digress, back to ‘Eye in the Sky’ which is full of suspense and emotion that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  The film is all about a scheduled drone strike in Kenya in order to capture known terrorists.  As it unfolds it becomes clear that the simple ‘capture’ is not to be and hard decisions have to be made.  The film is at its’ centre an expose of the conflict between morality, politics and military solutions in this sort of situation.  The part I found fascinating was the portrayal of the different approach the Americans and the British tend to take, as well as women versus men.  The other interesting factor was the idea that all these people wanted power, but not apparently the responsibility that comes with it.  At every moment people are passing the buck to get out of making a decision.  All in all it’s an amazing expose of what happens with these drones and the people who control them.

From seeing an old friend, to finding a new favourite place and watching a good movie this was a lovely weekend!

 

Oh so spontaneous!

File_000 (2)Spontaneous is not usually one of my buzz words, I am more plan everything to the last detail and control it all!  I am a list maker too…anyway this weekend I threw all that to the wind and I went with the flow (another new thing for me!)

On Friday the girls text me to see if I fancied a cocktail and catch up and I said YES, I threw on a frock and headed over to the Address Marina to see my musketeers.  We ended up in Blends where we decided to be abstemious and had mocktails.  The highlight for me was the strawberry daiquiri sans booze.  Honestly it was DELICIOUS, it was almost like a dessert!! We thoroughly enjoyed it before we succumbed to temptation and had cosmopolitans..well one can only be so good for so long!  We had such a lovely time chatting away and I thought to myself I should say yes to these things more often!

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In the evening I went and joined Bond to watch ‘Steve Jobs’ the movie and enjoy a Leopold’s supper, that quiche remains amazing!  The film is quite good, it’s been heavily critiqued though and I can see why…he comes off as a major jerk and it seems like there is no chronological order to it.  They also said what amazing performances these were…I think for such a great cast they have been somewhat over hyped.  While all these actors are great and they do a fantastic job I wasn’t really surprised!  Still give it a go if you’re really interested in the man and the brand.  Personally I found it a harsh portrayal of a man who always seemed fairly personable.  I may have to learn more to see how accurate it is though…

On Saturday we decided to chill out at the pool and enjoy the gorgeous weather, the sun is shining but fortunately it’s not too hot!  In the evening Bond proposed a cinema and dinner date (more spontaneity!!)

13 hoursWe had a walk around the area and saw some new spots we need to check out!  The counter was excellent as always, Bond resisted the milkshake which has to be a first!  Then we went to see 13 hours…now while Steve Jobs left me cold 13 hours was intense, moving and incredible.  I honestly can’t urge you enough to see it.  Whether you know nothing about Benghazi and what happened there or you know it all this film is worth a watch.  More than just a portrayal of a political crisis this film captures the strength of the human spirit and the power of love, friendship and family.  I found it incredibly powerful and struggled to even articulate how I felt about it to Bond at the end.  Please watch it if you feel like something that will get your heart rate going and make you think!

All in all a lovely totally unplanned weekend, I must do this more often for sure!

Concussion

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I have always enjoyed Will Smith films, from laughing my way through the Men in Black franchise to weeping my way through In Pursuit of Happiness I have always been impressed by his diversity and talent.

His latest movie ‘Concussion’ was on a subject I didn’t really know about it but by the end of the film I found myself fascinated by the topic.  The movie centres around a Nigerian Doctor who discovers that NFL players are developing brain damage because of the sport. He proves that the impact on the brain is more than it can handle and that inevitably leads to major damage.

Several players exhibited symptoms and came to tragic ends, it’s really terribly sad to watch these huge men being destroyed by the sport they love.  It makes total sense when you think about it, and yet somehow the NFL have been keeping this covered up for years. The angle of the NFL cover up adds a lot to the movie.

There is also a love story element which adds a nice layer to the film – this is really the part that led to tears on my part…

Honestly I enjoyed every moment and I urge you to watch it, both for his fantastic performance and for the subject matter.

The revenant…

maxresdefaultBond insisted we go to see The Revenant and even booked tickets online.  I have to admit I was somewhat less excited as it didn’t really seem my thing, still he endured the minions for me so he was due a film of his choosing.  We had a quick bite to eat at Counter before hand which was lovely, the veggie burger remains perfection!

From the beginning I realised that indeed The Revenant really was not my thing and two and a half hours later I hadn’t changed my mind.  I was not alone in this, people actually left the cinema before the end!  It just felt interminable, I hate films that seem to just take too long to deliver their message.  I realise that this is based on a true story and it is an incredible story of survival and revenge hut it could have been told equally well in a more concise way.  Bond disagreed with me and liked it but I partly suspect that’s because he chose it…

Leonardo DiCaprio puts in an incredible performance and he definitely deserves an award, perhaps this time the Oscar will be his!  Tom Hardy also puts in a sterling performance as the villain of the piece.  I was also pleased to see William Poulter who is a great talent and who I imagine will continue to do brilliant things.  None of the acting lets this down, it’s a talented cast who act their socks off.  It was the total lack of dialogue that let the film down in my opinion.  You really knew so little about any of the characters that it was really hard to care what happened to them.  I am a total crybaby in the cinema and this didn’t make me shed a tear and believe me some of the things he endures are terrible…I just didn’t feel emotionally invested in any of it which made it really unenjoyable.

It’s also an extremely gruesome film, there is so much blood and gore that I found really unsettling.  A lot of it seemed somewhat gratuitous too…I don’t want to give away too much but there were parts I felt quick sick watching!

The scenery is stunning though and the way it is filmed really makes you feel like you’re right there, the wilds of America are beautifully portrayed.  The depiction of the Native American feels respectful and is handled well, in fact the French and Americans come off as savages.  I think if this is your genre of film you’re likely to love it and be impressed by the cinematography…but if you’re on the fence I’d advise you to pass!

I would love to hear people’s opinion – maybe I missed something!

Bridge of Spies

 

bridge_of_spies_poster1The moment that Bond saw the trailer for ‘Bridge of Spies’ he was desperate to see it.  Then my parents saw it and said it was incredible, and then Bond’s parents joined in and said it was the must see film of 2015 and so tickets were booked for the first evening of the long weekend!  No trip to the cinema is complete without a trip to the counter, I am so obsessed with their veggie burgers it’s mad.

Having binged on good food we went to the cinema where Bond treated us to slushies and popcorn.  The cinema was pretty full so we realised we weren’t the only people who had heard good things about this film.

We ended up agreeing with our parents, it’s a really well done film with an amazing cast, Tom Hanks is incredible as always.  He just doesn’t put a foot wrong in his portrayal of a Lawyer who has to defend a Russian Spy.

What starts as a court case soon escalates to Mr Hanks getting involved in some deep cover Cold War spying. It was great to see parts of Berlin that I have now been to and it made me really excited for my holiday as I will be in Berlin this time next week!!

I don’t want to say too much because it’s really a great film and a large part of why it works is all the suspense.  I urge you to go and see it.  I enjoyed it so much the book is now on my kindle for Christmas reading (festive indeed!)