Thursday, January 20, 2011

The rain in Bahrain falls mainly on the plain

Whilst the floods in Australia wreaked havoc, we had a few puddles (fortunately, not floods) of our own to contend with here in Bahrain.

After a deluge, chaos often ensues on the Island. Last time round, school was cancelled as a result of minor storm damage. This time I didn't hear of any major after effects - although there was this pool in the school car park, giving the Arabian Gulf a run for its money:

Because it's not everyday that it pours in Bahrain, for me, two days of rain is a welcome change from endless sunshine...just listen to me, a welcome change from endless sunshine!? (I wonder if people in the Middle East suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder in the Summer?)

I know that rain, drizzle, wind, mud and sludge are strange things to be happy about, but putting on a pair of galoshes brings with it its own kind of joy. Not that we even own a pair of galoshes... I'm just saying... nothing says winter like jumping in a big puddle. Well that's what H thinks anyway.

Then there's H's friend S - she 'celebrated' the wet weather by sailing origami boats in her puddle, props to her mum JS for this awesome pic:

Back to sunshine tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

St Kilda Esplanade...with a squint

Just returned from our trip to Melbourne where our new baby girl made her debut. Great seeing family and friends and spending an extended period of time at my parents place with the girls. Nothing compares to quality time with loved ones.

It was hard coming back, the first day I was a bit teary, but then I took some inspiration from H. She just picked up where she left off, excited about sleeping in her own room, starting back at kindergarten, playing with her OWN toys in her OWN house... a few weeks of SHARING someone else's toys is like being subjected to extreme torture and punishment for a four year old. I asked her yesterday if she wanted to go back to Melbourne, "No" she replied with more certainty in her voice than I've ever heard..."I don't NEED Melbourne right now" - well I guess that answers that!!

It made me think about what a four year old needs. I always feel bad about depriving H (and now A) of her (their) extended family (especially grandparents and cousins) and depriving her of all that Australia has to offer (all year round) and Bahrain does not - acres of green grass, trees to climb, a million varieties of flowers to plant and pick, the zoo, farms, beaches, picnics and BBQs in Summer/Winter. That's what I want her to be enjoying in her free time, not staying indoors to watch Dora the Explorer because it's too hot to play outside in 50 degrees centigrade.

But when I have all of that in mind for H, all she want for herself is her mum, dad, sister and her home. Bahrain is H's home. This is the only 'real' home she knows, since she was only twenty months old when we moved here. So I remind myself that she is happy and more than satisfied with what she has and that is the MOST important thing (maybe that's because she doesn't know any better - oblivion does play a role in creating happiness and keeping one happy).

So when I went off to the beach with A for a walk this morning (a private one that we pay an exorbitant amount of money to enjoy because there is no decent 'public' beach... ok, not going there...that's not important...especially as the point that this ungrateful wretch is trying to make is that one should count one's blessings) I thought about how lovely it was to be in Bahrain at this time of year, enjoying the superb weather (December to March is perfect - currently a gorgeous 22oC outside) time with family and the company of friends...all in all, life's not so bad.

And, if  I pretend or maybe squint (as V pointed out:)), I can imagine I am in Melbourne... Maybe... is that the St Kilda Esplanade I see?

Thanks for the inspiration V.