“Well, limbo is not a good place to be.”

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Ramadan Kareem!

We live in a strange world of limbo. We are moving on but remain static and none of it is of our own volition. However, things carry on as normal; exotic foods, especially from the sea and things to get done before the winter!

Tasty in Garlic

Tasty in Garlic

Work was recently at university where it was nice to see that the segregation of the sexes was still strong; even stair wells were designated according to one’s gender.

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Girls to the left, boys anywhere you like!

Girls to the left, boys anywhere you like!

In fact, there is also a healthy degree of sexism, racism and probably every other ‘ism’ that you can think of, all alive and well and having no adverse effects on this society at least.
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I particularly like the idea of leaving all those dating problems to the parents to sort out. What could possibly go wrong?

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Taking off on adventures is generally curtailed this time of year. It is Ramadam so all food outlets are shut until dark and it is an arrestable offence to be seen drinking or eating in public (and that includes chewing gum, really!). We’re used to it now so we just hide indoors for the duration of this holy month. Anyway, it’s too darn hot to be outside as temperatures soar to above 50 degrees fairly regularly, although it’s been a little cooler of late.

Even if we were inclined to venture out, we are at a loss as to where we could go that we haven’t been already. With hand on heart we can honestly say we have seen more of Oman than most Omani people; we have been as far south as you can go, down to Salalah and towards the Yemeni border (not too close as there are kids with real guns loitering at the border), as far east as we can – to Masirah Island, then along the coastline and as far north, as when we visited Musandam. We have driven to the west and into the Empty Quarter. We have traversed most of the spectacular wadis, crossed the desert, climbed every mountain (I feel a song coming on here) ford every stream, followed every rainbow… well, you get the idea. We’ve shopped till we dropped at the lavish Malls and that’s about it. What more is there to do here? A trip to our favourite, five star hotel must be on the books fairly soon though. As per previous posts, we wait to depart this land but a little bit of red tape seems to have entwined itself around our ankles and we are, at this moment in time, unable to break free. Idle hands make…

Well, fruit sitting on the dividing wall in the office.

Tuesday is fruit day at work and a healthy selection of healthy consumables is delivered free to all employees. It is a brilliant idea except, it comes packed in an enormous polystyrene container, with lid!  Eat healthy and pollute the world, eh? It would appear that things weren’t quite thought through on that one. In fact, it is indicative of most things of late…

Next month will be the anniversary of the sad passing (from previous post) and if you have no clue as to what I am referring, it matters not. If you would like to know, then I urge you to buy a copy of ‘living IN A DREAM’ by Rowntree Travis, which you can find on Amazon, or visit Rowntreetravis.com for more details.

This weekend, when it gets dark, we will be off to a little part of Africa for some amazing grub that is spicy, unusual and somewhat pricey. It’s just like the real place, save the internal conflict, famine, disease and oppressive regime.

Savannah BBQ

Savannah BBQ

And, just quickly, for all you dads out there (as well as single mums that have the dual role) have a share of mine.

Mmmmm!

Where and when the next blog will be written I cannot say for sure. Every day brings as many disappointments as it does promises.

I trust, for the sake of sanity, those of you who were eligible voted to LEAVE the madness of the European Union.

Rule Britannia!

Until who knows when we’ll meet again,

Someday soon,

Insha’Allah

“There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people.”

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Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.co.uk

As we await to hear of pastures new, the other side of the fence where the grass appears to be greener, let me introduce you to:

‘living IN A DREAM’ by my good-self, with the pseudonym Rowntree Travis, is a novel AND a play. This is the second book from the Rowntree Stable and a corker it is too. It’s as cheap as chips, available to download for under £2 and if you fancy the paperback, it’s priced so that postage is free; I’ll even sign it for you next time we meet.

They’re available on the link below or click on the book covers (although the paperback is being re-priced so is unavailable for a little while).

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=rowntree+travis

Spread the word and Enjoy!

P.S. And if you know me, you’ll recognise an awful lot.

CAUTION: Anything you say may be taken down and used in my next book!

“I don’t just wish you rain, beloved – I wish you the beauty of storms.”

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Marhaba!

The thing about living in the desert, or what was once the desert but is now a collection of high-rise apartments and shopping malls, is that one expects glorious sunshine every day. Before we got here, there were stories of it not having rained for some four years however, since then, it seems the rainy weather has become more and more frequent. Goodness! Barely a week goes by now without some rain, which can be drizzle or a deluge causing flash floods, incredible lightning storms and thunder, high winds, dust storms or very cloudy/overcast days. The temperature drops to the mid-twenties Celsius and we don’t mind admitting it, it feels a tad chilly at times.

Another storm rolling in

Another storm rolling in

Here you have the Grand Mosque and we live a little way behind it.

We wonder, is it a sign?

Are we being told to up sticks and move on?

We kinda think so…

First seek ye the kingdom of pure practical intelligence

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Deep inside the Arctic Circle, approximately 160 miles north of the Arctic line, we stepped off the airplane and into the natural freezer compartment that is Finish Lapland. Blimey! It was jolly cold and you could literally feel the heat dissipating from your body while the adverse effects of exposure quickly set in. From one extreme to another, leaving behind plus 29 degrees Celsius to arrive in minus 20 degrees Celsius, we were on our winter wonderland adventure to see the portly chap himself and partake of all things Christmassy.

This is where the Northern Lights can be seen at their best, the Aurora Borealis, the planet’s natural firework show – but, unfortunately, we slept through that one on our first night so, the less said the better!

The snow was perfect with none of the slushy brown stuff that makes a British winter so miserable; the air was dry and although cold, we were toasty warm inside our several layers and onesy thermal suits.

Icicles as nicecles as these

Icicles as nicecles as these

We made the best of the weather with sledding and snowball fights, sucking on icicles and generally doing the sort of things we always dream about but never quite have the weather to do so.

We took a Husky drawn sled ride, rode in a landau pulled by a Reindeer, went crazy on snowmobiles, played ice-hockey, walked across the frozen river to Sweden (against all advice and our better judgement), saw the church from the Coke advertisement, ate, drank and generally made merry, walked back to Sweden again (across the bridge this time), took photos and made some amusing video footage of our sledging fun:

Snuggly-Buggly

Snuggly-Buggly – MUSH, MUSH!

All of which can be now be told in pictorial form for you to enjoy, just as if you were there yourself…

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Crossing the divide to enter Sweden

Crossing the divide to enter Sweden

Then back to Finland

Then back to Finland

As seen in some Coca Cola ad we are told.Swedish Church to us.

As seen in some Coca Cola ad we are told.Swedish Church to us.

The Santa Express

The Santa Express

And a couple of Santa's Elves whom, I might \add, I wouldn't mind finding in my Xmas stocking!

And a couple of Santa’s Elves whom, I might add, I wouldn’t mind finding in my Xmas stocking!

Once Business Class, one can never go back to Economy (cattle class)!

Once Business Class, one can never go back to Economy (cattle class)!

Suffice to say, it was all great fun and ticked several of those ‘things to do before you get too old’ off the list But what next?

2016 was warmly welcomed in traditional style, by going to bed early with a hangover from the previous night, but we believe this New Year will bring many surprises as we prepare to relocate. The upheaval has already begun and as we anticipate pastures new in search of more travel and adventure, where surprises come thick and fast,  we endeavour to remain on holiday – Forever!

Coming up, a link to some sledging madness!

“Never trust anyone who has not bought this book!”

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Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.co.uk                                         Amazon.com

AT LAST!

You can now buy the much acclaimed, highly praised, rollocking good read that is ‘Slugs, Snails and Casino Tales.’ Buy the paperback or download it to your Kindle, iPhone or other reading device. Watch out for the movie in 2017. Surely a contender for The Booker Man Prize. Trend it, be the first to tweet it, say you were the one that made it a hit (just like we all did with One Direction – or was it just me that phoned in?).

 

DO IT NOW, TELL YOUR FRIENDS. IT’S A DARN GOOD READ!

BE WARNED – ADULTS ONLY