The River of Slime is Coming

ghostbusters 2 slime  Ghostbusters 2 Mood Slime

With all the hate going on in world due to Daesh, racists, Fox News, cyberbullies and trolls, we are creating a gigantic river of slime of hate.

Remember it happened in New York and the only one who could save the city was a positively slimed Statute of Liberty!

I don’t think there is enough of those Statutes to help save the world, so can we start being a nicer to each other.

And if you can’t be nice, go onto an island with all the haters and build a house…or something. Thank you!

Shelina

2013 – bye bye

Image

2013 sucked in many ways with tension, stress and other things but it’s also been great as I started Decluttr Me, moved into my lovely apartment, went on lots of holidays in the Middle East, became spot free and got Oreo.

Still no man in my life who doesn’t irritate the hell out of me but I’m sure one day one man will turn up who is not a freakazoid.

Thanks if you were involved in the goods times, you have been blocked if you were involved in the bad times. Roll on 2014.

Foodie Blog – High Tea at the Burj Al Arab

A few years ago my Mum came to cheer me up and I decided to spoil her with High Tea at the Burj Al Arab.  At that time we were seated in the main lobby. Since then my Dad has complained endlessly that he has not had the privilege of going to the Burj for High tea with me. As Dad was here to visit last week, I put right to wrong.

This time when I made the booking they offered us a seat at the Skyview Bar. Of course I couldn’t decline this kind offer. I didn’t get the obligatory email with reference number, so had to call to obtain it the day before our reservation as you cannot get into the grounds of the Burj Al Arab without this number.

Once in, we weren’t offered the Majool date you used to get on entry but were advised by pretty ladies where to go to get the Skyview Bar lift.

Once up we got to the bar, we were seated by the window (I had requested for it and thankfully got it) with a view of the Palm and the World. Dubai would have been nicer but hey we got a view.

The tea menu is no longer as expansive as it used to be and had a page of wellness teas. Firstly, yuck and second who is going to pay AED495 for wellness teas when you are stuffing your face with cakes, sandwiches and stuff.  We started off with date tea (it was ok bit datey) and I had the Jasmine Pearl tea. It was ok but after a while all the Chinese tea tastes the same to me. Maybe I’ve been spoilt for too many years drinking the expensive stuff given to us as presents from Dad’s mates. You can try as many different teas as you like during the High Tea so we tried a variety but ended up liking the English Breakfast tea in the end. You can’t change us Brits.

First course was shortbread with fruit. Buttery but not too rich and with the tartness of the fruit was a nice start to the tea.

Shortbread with fruit

Shortbread with fruit

Next up was stuffed turkey from the Chef’s carvery. Being December and nearly Christmas there was a theme of Christmasy things for the tea.  The dish was lovely and would have been nice to have more but anyway.

Turkey from the Chef Carvery

Turkey from the Chef Carvery

Next up were the sandwiches plated on a metal Burj Al Arab. All very clever. The sandwiches were:

  1. Salmon with come caviar on it. – nice
  2. Chicken tikka roll – nice
  3. Tuna mayonnaise on squid ciabtta – interesting and nice
  4. Beef sandwich – my favourite
  5. Cucumber sandwich – it’s the same wherever you eat it.
Sandwiches

Sandwiches

We were able to have more helpings of the sandwiches as they brought a giant tray with them. I had a few more of the chicken tika, beef and tuna sandwiches.

The next course was scones and pastries. The scones were accompanied by  date, passion fruit (yuck) and strawberry jam along with Devonshire Cream. I’m a purist and I was very happy with the Devonshire Cream and Strawberry Jam.

Pastries

Pastries

The cakes were mostly coffee based and ok. Nothing spectacular to write about. I find pastries in Jumeirah hotels are always a disappointment.

On the bottom row of the Burj plates were muffins, chocolate chip cookie and crème brulee. The crème brulee did not have the crisp sugar topping which Dad and I found akin to blasphemy. How can you not have the sugar crisped top!? It’s wrong. The crème was lovely but it wasn’t perfect. The cookie was nice and soft and the muffin; it’s a muffin what more can I say.

Muffins, cookie and creme brulee

Muffins, cookie and creme brulee

Whilst we were getting a sugar fix we also were offered Christmas cookies, which had some bizarre non-sensical names, which could have been German. They were nice enough especially dipped in our tea (told you we were too British).

Christmas cookies

Christmas cookies

The final course was a lychee and rose sorbet. I am not a fan of lychee based products and drinks. Give me a lychee and I’m fine, anything more and I’m not amused. We also received a box of chocolates to take home. I kept that unopened to give to Mum as she wasn’t able to join us on this trip.

Chocolates and Rose and Lycee sorbet

Chocolates and Rose and Lycee sorbet

Have to say the Manager was very good (looking [sic]) at the end of the meal about trying to sort out the lack of Sirius card still from Jumeirah after all these years. Haven’t heard from Jumeirah since last week so I’m betting that after 8 years I won’t be any closer to getting rid of my temporary card. :S

All in all the food was nice and we had a good time. The staff were really friendly and patient with us and our multiple tea requests. The place was mostly full of tourists. One lady thought that wearing a see-through white top and see-through trousers was a great idea as she had a see through shawl on top. It’s never acceptable. I have no idea how she was allowed into the Burj. A family next to us decided to call Scotland and Pakistan and boast they were at the Burj for most of the tea which was piss annoying. Fine, yes you are excited but seriously?? Otherwise me and Dad had a lovely very genteel time.

Here are some photos of the Burj just to prove we were there.

Totally Fabulous Fujairah Food Tour

As a few of us were missing the food delights of Fujairah we organised a tweetup to join our good friends @daddybird and @kangayayaroo to eat ourselves full yesterday.

Our first pit stop was at Nepal Kitchen House where we had Peanut sandeko, chicken momos, mutton momos, thukpa (noodle soup), chicken chili, chicken tass (chicken and puffed rice), and aloo jeera fry (potato, cumin seeds, corriander). I loved the mutton tass last time and had been dreaming about it for this trip. Unfortunately the chicken tass whilst tasty, the rice was not as puffily nice as last time. :(. The chilli chicken and momos were delish though.

Mutton momos Chicken Tass 2

To give our tummies a rest we ventured up to Al Hayl Castle. The road was slightly bumpy but it was nice going through an old skool village (with beautiful doors for each residence).  The castle is the very old home of the Fujairah Royal Family (saw 100 odd years old).

View from top of fort Daddy, Kanga and Mita Al Hayl Castle 2

We then took our first tea break on one of the main streets, with the men coming to the car to give us our 1dhs karak chai.

Next stop was Salu Salo which is a Filipino restaurant in an alleyway. I couldn’t tell you which alley, but you can find it on Foursquare. Here we had: Bicol express, Bopis, Lumpia, Pinakbet, and Kare Kare were our choices. Bicol express is a stew in a coconut milk sauce. Bopis is heart and lung sauteed in tomato, chili, and onion. Lumpia is meat filled fried rolls, Pinakbet is a shrimp and vegetable dish, and Kare Kare is an oxtail stew in peanut sauce. I loved Kare Kare and Lumpia, but my mate G was a big fan of Bopis.

Filipino

After that lovely meal we had one of the best karak chai’s i have ever had at Finjan Cafe on the Corniche which was served in a clay pot! It was 4dhs but worth it.

Karak Chai

Our final meal for the day was at the very long titled Zamarod Al Afghani Rice Bukhari Restaurant. There we had mixed grill, mutton curry, lamb kofta, “special” flat bread and hummous. The hummous was freshley made and divine. Reminded me a lot of the lovely hummous we ate in Beirut. After a final cup of tea we left our lovely guests and headed back home. Full but happy.

Afghani

(Thanks to Kangayayaroo for the list of food we ate from her blog post (with the same title)  as I couldn’t recall them off the top of my head :)).

Working from Home

Last week was my final week as a Solicitor. Did I feel good?

Yes!!

After 12 years  it felt brilliant to finally stop being an in-house lawyer and start running my own business – a decluttering service business (see decluttrme.com) It also feels good to say I am an entrepreneur, owner and even Managing Director (as it states on the trade licence and my business cards – slightly knobbish I know but hey it was offered to me). I am excited, scared and thinking as I type of how to get more clients.

I have faith that this is a great idea but it is a new concept in the UAE and it is a service that people have to get used to. Also you have the trepidation from potential clients to let you into their house and clutter. No one would want a stranger into your house to see the clutter and tell you that you need to change your space. There may be images of me coming in and just throwing everything away into a big bin bag, but the reality is different. Decluttr Me is about organizing your belongings into a neat easily accessible manner for future use. The bin bags will be used mainly for out of date food and torn underwear.

After years of helping corporations, I now have a chance to help people in a way that can change their lives even if it is in a small way. Also the items that are cleared away will be sold and their proceeds donated to worthwhile charities, or if they are not sellable items, provided to clothes banks for recyclable use.  I am still undecided on which main charities to assist. I would like to help a woman’s charity in the UAE and a charity in Kenya (where my family are originally from). I have been in touch with Dar Al Ber Woman Affairs Dept and hope to liaise with them for Decluttr Me and also to volunteer as well.  If you have contacts with worthwhile charities in both countries please let me know.

Starting this week as a full time business owner, I have been working in my apartment in my home office, which I formed over the last few weeks (see the picture with kitty included, the kitty does not want to leave my office…ever).

131002 Home office and oreo

I had been warned by friends, who are freelancers, of the perils of working alone and they weren’t wrong. The issues I have faced so far include:

–  Munching on chocolates, cookies (from Ben’s cookies – bloody tempting), salt n’ vinegar crisps;

– Making lots of cups of tea (not normal for me) and a big cooked lunch;

–  My two lovely cats sitting on my chair, desk, keyboard, blocking the screen and generally getting in the way;

–  No one to talk to except the cats

–  Distractions of new TV to watch – I had to start this home office the week of new TV coming out. The Ultimate Airport Dubai was very good by the way.

–  The balcony is a few feet away to have various breaks;

–  Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook easily distract me, but to be fair they are mainly accessed for Decluttr purposes (honest!).

Working at home you have to be strict with yourself. I am continuing to wake up at 7am every morning, however I will start dressing up as if I am going out to work, as wearing my slob clothes doesn’t inspire the work juices. I also have to stop the snack food and breaks.  My friend wisely advised that you need a break and not to work 7 days a week. I hope to follow that advise and also not work in the evening as well. I do need a distraction from myself every so often so my social media viewings will be allowed.

I also think that it is a good idea to get out even if it’s to a coffee shop to work for a bit. There are places I have read where freelancers and entrepreneurs hang out during the day. I have been to one or two places and the clientele have annoyed me with their superiority complexes. The corporate side of me is not a fan of bs chat and behavior so it will be hard for me to summon the willpower to go to these “hubs”. I should try them out as they might not be that bad now…

One or two places I will be trying include the Archive in Safe Park, which was expensive but had great coffee and atmosphere, Bastakiya (as it is my favourite place in Dubai) and the coffee shops in Motor City (as MC is near me). I will be giving my review of these places and business hubs so that other newbie freelancers and entrepreneurs have an idea of where to go when they want to work outside home.

For now, I have to take a break from working and watch TV.

Pamper pamper

One of the great reasons for living in Dubai are the many salons and spas that allow us to pamper ourselves for a much cheaper price than in the UK. This pampering fest is appreciated more when you buy the Entertainer – a book full of vouchers to buy one get one free for different services from waxing, manicures, spa treatments, etc.

The choice of pampering is huge and varied. From posh spas in the top hotels to the dodgy salons in the alleyway.

If you follow me on twitter you will know that I have been testing a multitude of venues around Dubai each week. Predominately my research is based on manicure, pedicures, blow drys, hair cuts and massages.

Some have been surprisingly good like nail point in Dubai Marina and some incredibly poor such as Tchip (Ibis MOE) and the nail salon in Times Square; so bad that I can’t recall their name.

I have said for a while that I will review these places and I will do after I have finished my hair cut today at Raffles Hotel Amrita Spa (hair cut and blow dry).

2010 – the year of many downs and a few ups

I know that many people have written blogs about last year and what they thought of it. Well you might be bored of it now but hey it’s my blog so I’m going to write about my year.

2010 early on was shite for me. I had three days of being incommunicado which scared the shite out of my parents, brother, friends and work. I survived the hell and I got out of it a stronger woman but it haunted me for the rest of the year. Thankfully the people mentioned above were there for me with their support and love and I apologise for putting them in that position and thank them for being there for me. I would be a broken woman if it wasn’t for them.

The *insert swear words* couple who stole my money (see previous blog) have yet to be found by Interpol or to return my money. Hatred remained for the whole of 2010 and will remain until…

I also became one of those horribly boring 100+ hours’ working women. Due to a massive project at work and lack of a department except me, I have had to work like a dog with the help of various external counsel to do this project. I have lived on about 3 hours sleep, had near nervous breakdowns, screamed, cried and drowned in paperwork. But on a plus I had the steepest learning curve ever and got to go India (finally) and Geneva for the deal, as well as two visits to London which meant I got to be home more than I expected. Was it worth all the hours of work? I have yet to see, but hopefully there will be a decent size bonus at the end of this long tunnel and maybe a few people working for me??!

Due to the work issue, it meant I once again didn’t get to go on a holiday. I desperately needed a holiday to be away from my laptop and blackberry. I’m hoping this year I get a reprieve and can book somewhere far away to just unwind and read books.

On a plus I welcomed into my life my little nephew, my close friend’s third son and my little kitty Amira. All are completely adorable, lovely and cuddly and I miss them when I am away from them. So I have become an Auntie and cat woman again 🙂

I also had to live through my older cat going through her teenage bitch years for most of the year but she suddenly snapped out of it in November after a super duper hair cut. There was something in that shampoo I tell ya.

With regards to my love life, I decided it would be a brilliant idea to redate my ex from last year and get re-engaged to him. Of course we once again didn’t properly get engaged and he failed to buy me a wedding ring (or anything else for that matter). I realised after a few months that if I loved my cats more than him that it was a recipe for disaster and that it might be best to dump him. Of course, I did the new social media thing and dumped him first on this blog and then to his face. But hey don’t judge me, he dumped me via Facebook (changing his status to single) last year.

I also realised that although there were men to fancy and date this year that I didn’t love any of them or let alone care enough to have them in my life for very long. This realisation dawned on me at the end of the year which was surreally scary. I don’t like being alone and I want to share my life with someone but I don’t want to be with just anyone just for the sake of being with someone. I want to share my life, I want to  be respected, I want to be loved  – I think I deserve it now after all these years of being in the dating world. So I have decided I am going to wait with semi open eyes for that man to turn up. I also think it’s best I stop looking to the past men and also to the men who only want to be friends. For the latter, I need to stop making a fool of myself.

So that was 2010, but what about 2011?  I don’t do new years resolutions, but due to the fact that I have become a bigger girl due to the lack of time to exercise, I have decided that I will start dance classes again  – hip hop classes to be exact. Yep I will be dancing to tinie tempah (my new love) and hopefully will go down two dress sizes by March.

Due to the fact that everyone who is anyone can’t stop giving me a lecture about my smoking, I think it might be time to stop soon. Patches, gum and plain old will power don’t work so I will be visiting a hypnotherapist when I have some time to test that out. It worked for one person I know so it might work for me. Otherwise will try that needle thing that the Chinese do.

My other plan is to redecorate my pad. I cannot take the pink walls any longer and need to clean it up and make it livable again for myself. That will be project numero uno for this year.

Of course I would be disillusioning myself if I didn’t say I wanted to meet someone, fall in love, get married and have babies this year. But I hope for that every year and it’s failed so far so why start this year with a stupid wish. Let’s see what 2011 has to give and take it from there.

To all of you readers have a great year and if it goes shit, just believe that things can only get better. xx