Dubaian Secrets

Hello once again from Dubai.  I know I promised I would blog every day from here but for some unknown reason I have totally wound down and relaxed so much, I have not felt the need to blog.

Feeling rather guilty so am now sitting in the club lounge blogging.  Apologies but this post is probably going to be quite long as I would hate to leave anything out.

We arrived early on Friday morning.  (Refer my post from a few days ago).  Our room was not yet ready so we sat in the lounge for awhile.  My son and his girlfriend arrived not long after and we went to have some breakfast.  While eating, reception called to say they had a room available for us.

We went up to the room and it is enormous.  We also have a beautiful view from our window as we are right on the end of the floor.

After a quick shower, we decided to go to the Dubai Mall for some shopping.  Dubai Mall is the biggest shopping centre in the world and is situated at the foot of the tallest building of the world – The Burj Khalifa.  In case you hadn’t noticed – Dubai does nothing is small doses.

The only shops on my list were the Harley Shop, The Virgin store and Victoria’ Secret of course.  So as we walked in, we spotted Victoria’s Secret.

So Hubby and my son went for a walk while my future daughter in law and I went drooling in Victoria’s Secret.  We ended up in the the dressing room trying loads of saucy under things on and of course I walked out a little poorer.  Found the dressing room a little ostentatious – something you would find in a bordello rather than a shopping mall  (not that I know what a bordello looks like of course)

We then walked over to the other side of the mall to see the Harley Shop – yeah, was not too impressed.  We definitely have a better selection in South Africa.  So by then it was time to think about something to eat.  My son has been dying to try out the Cheesecake Factory so we found ourselves there for lunch.  Was not overly impressed with the food.  Found the menu selection to be far too big and so hard to choose something from.  Quite honestly they would be better off selecting 20 or 30 signature dishes and sticking with it, than the huge menu they currently have.  We were too full after our meal to actually have some cheesecake but I did have an awesome milkshake.

Yummy!  I also love the cherries which no one else seems to like.

We then headed back to the other side of the mall again near where we parked and I had my dose of looking and drooling over gadgets.  Didn’t find anything that new and exciting to buy though.  Looked at the new “I’m Watch” and considered buying one for Son no 3 back home but in the end didn’t think it would be that great a gift.  No one wears watches anymore and I think looking at your messages and emails on a watch is just naff.  Hey, maybe it will be the greatest thing in the future, I’m just not into in at the moment.

We then headed to the bookstore (biggest one I’ve ever seen) so see if they had a new book Son no 4 wanted – they had received it but it was not on their inventory yet and as it was a Friday, there was no one to add it and they would call us in the next few days when they had added it.

We then left the mall and went to see my sons apartment over in Sports City.  Apartment was lovely.  They have 2 gorgeous cats who decided to friend us quiet easily (we are privileged).  The ginger cat is Bonsai and the other is Gypsy.   I have a few more cute pics of the cats and I know how everyone just loves pussy pics so I thought I would keep these for later and show them as a separate post.

By this time Hubby and I were getting a little tired, so my son took us for a quick trip around Sports City and then dropped us at the hotel.  We opted for room service and an early night – in bed asleep by 8.

I woke with a fright at around 8am on Saturday – wow – 12 hours sleep.  Can’t remember when last I slept for 12 hours.  It must be years and years.  About 5 minutes later my son messaged to say they were on their way to join us for breakfast.

After breakfast we decided to spend some time at the pool.  It was awesome out at the pool.

It was great just doing nothing and not having to worry about work or kids or anything else.  My future daughter in law and I spent hours making bitchy comments about others at the pool (yes we are typical women!).   The pool also overlooks the Dubai Marina and there was huge yacht parked in front of us – it was just gorgeous – wonder what it will take to be invited aboard that!

The one thing I wanted to do on this trip was to go skydiving – in tandem as I have not done this before (Another personal challenge of mine).  Unfortunately we did not pre-book so we were not able to make it happen on this trip.  Skydive Dubai is right next to the hotel so we also sat at the pool watching loads of parachutes in the sky.  There are about 10 in the sky in this pic – not sure if you can see any of them though as the pic was taken with my phone.

We then went for lunch with Hubby’s brother and family.  It is always nice to see family and catch up on life.  They have lived in Dubai for around 21 years now.  Their daughter has grown up into a beautiful young lady and has just started college in Dubai.

We then received a call from the bookstore to say the book was now on their inventory and they had kept one aside for us – Son no 4 will be pleased.  So we went back to the Dubai Mall to buy the book.  Spent another hour or 2 there browsing and having coffee.

By then Hubby and I had had enough for the day and we headed back to the hotel.  Room service again and Hubby had an early night while I read and communicated with the big outside world.

Again had an amazing nights sleep.  Woke up at around 7am.  We went for breakfast in the club lounge as we did not have guests with.  Just as we finished breakfast, my son called to say he had arrived in reception.  We went upstairs and I donned my going out face and we went to the Mall of the Emirates.  One of my favorite shopping centres in Dubai.

Browsed the Virgin store and a few others.  Decided to go to the Cheesecake Factory to actually have some cheesecake this time.  It was okay – not the best I’ve had.  After some more shopping, we went for a quick lunch at Chilli’s and then back to the room for an afternoon nap (It’s bad when you get old and have to have an afternoon nap as you are planning a night out!).

Tonight we are having Chinese at the fast food court at the Ibn Battuta mall and then going to see a film.

Not sure yet what we are doing tomorrow.

Hope I didn’t bore you all to death.  More to come tomorrow.

Lanthie Ransom

Hello from Dubai

Good morning from Dubai.  Arrived at 5am this morning and was greeted by 32 degrees C and a light morning breeze.  Hubby and I are in Dubai to visit our son who we haven’t seen for awhile.
We left Johannesburg last night at 7.15.  I was quite happy to sit back and sleep but hubby convinced me to have the obligatory meal.  I’m not fond of airplane food but thought what the hell.  The flight attendant eventually came around.  We had a choice of chicken or beef (no surprises there).  She asked what I wanted and I said surprise me!  She didn’t quite understand what I was saying and had to repeat myself 3 times.  She still didn’t get it (speaks 8 languages except humorous) so I opted for the beef – only to be told the beef is finished!  So not quite sure why she asked what I wanted in the first place.
Watched a girlie movie and went to sleep.  Was woken for breakfast – I can usually tolerate a dead croissant and a cup of tea.  
Being in Dubai is like being home again.  We lived here a few years ago so it is all too familiar.  And things just work here.  And I don’t need to worry about my phone being stolen (haha).
Anyway, we arrived at the hotel at about 6am.  Our room is not ready yet so I am currently sitting in the club lounge waiting for my son and his girlfriend to arrive and join us for breakfast.  Pics below are from the balcony – amazing view.
I will be blogging daily while here and letting you know what I get up to over the next few days.
Ciao for now,

Tantalizing Tuesday (Pierre Spies)

I thought I would showcase another South African Rugby player today.    This is Pierre Spies.  He is 194cm tall and weighs 111kg’s. Wow this is a big guy!  Apparently he is known as one of the best ball carriers in the game – he can step, run around or over a defender – I can see why.  I wouldn’t mind finding myself in a dark alley with him.

Pierre Spies

Lanthie Ransom

To Catch A Thief

Hiya All!

I see Dale has been keeping you amused while I’ve been otherwise occupied.  My life has just been hectic lately and I have had little time for blogging.  Which of course has left me feeling a little down.  I need to blog as it is my ME time.

Anyway – I went to a Bridal Tea on Friday afternoon and took loads of pics on my phone. I was going to tell you all about it.  Unfortunately my phone was stolen yesterday afternoon before I had the opportunity.

I went shopping with my Daughter-In-law to Sandton City on Saturday afternoon.  Sandton City is an upmarket shopping centre in the middle of Sandton near where I live .  We were window shopping really.  Anyway, I went into a small make-up store to buy some eye-liner.  It was a quiet store with the odd woman popping in for some eye-shadow or some form of face gunk.  I was at the counter paying and put my phone in the front pocket of my bag to free up a hand,

Someone bumped into me and I didn’t think anything of it at the time and about 30 seconds later something made me look for my phone.  Which of course was nowhere to be found.

Besides being really pissed about it, there is not much one can do about it.  I reported it to the centre security and we went to the security control room to fill in a report.  There was another woman there who also had her phone stolen – except they had actually cut her bag open.  She was a foreigner from Kenya and her passport was in her purse which they also took.

I then went to my mobile operator and had my SIM blocked and got a replacement SIM.   Um’ed and ah’ed about what to do about another phone – my phone was only about 2 months old.  Anyway, I ended up buying another phone which cost me a small fortune.

Luckily I had backed up my phone 2 days earlier when updating it to IOS7 and was up and running again as if nothing had happened.

I suppose it is one of realities of living in Johannesburg.

Lanthie Ransom

I’ve been married a frigging long time

It was my 26th Wedding Anniversary yesterday.  So before I go any further, let me just wish dear Hubby a Happy Anniversary publicly (I wished him in private already wink wink )

I went to the card store a few days ago and asked the lady for a “I’ve been married a frigging long time” card.  She thought I was very funny.

I got a gift voucher for a “Tantric Massage” with a therapist who is not based to far from where we live.  I did blog about this a few weeks ago and must admit I am slightly curious.  Feeling a little cowardly about it at the moment but I am sure I will pluck up the courage to see what it is all about.  Hopefully it will be a blogging moment.

Last year Hubby gave me 25 flower bouquets – one delivered on a Friday every 2 weeks.  Hubby is not very romantic and I was blown away by the gift.  I received my last bouquet on Friday and will miss getting them this year.  I thought I would share them with you.  Each one beautiful and original.

They are beautiful!

Lanthie Ransom

Nobody’s still in charge.

 Hi, I’m back. I think I got away with that last post. Don’t think Lanthie noticed anything.
Just in case she’s unhappy with being hijacked, I’ve written something especially for Life Cherries.
I know Lanthie writes posts about sex and relationships and stuff, so I thought I’d try my hand at some dating advice.
See what you think:

Rules Of Engagement. 

I know you are used to Lanthie posting tastefully posed photos of young ladies and gentlemen in varying stages of undress, but what is it exactly that makes looking at them a pleasing experience? 
Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as likely to get my attention grabbed by a picture of an attractive woman whose clothes seem to have suffered an unexpected gravity incident as the next man, but what exactly is attractive? 
Obviously everyone’s tastes are different, but there must be some sort of template that triggers a reaction in the appropriate region of the brain, telling various other parts of our anatomy that we’re attracted to someone.
Well I can’t speak for all men, (or women) but I think that we could probably come up with a simple guide to explain the main points. 
I’ll begin with the one thing that women (and men) would probably like to think is the first consideration, but secretly don’t think so, even though it actually is potentially the most important.
1) Personality – No matter who your idealised woman (or man) is, I can pretty much guarantee that if you find on the morning-after-the-night-before that she (or he, you get the idea) has the social graces of a reality show reject and the IQ of a watermelon, all the supermodel looks and horizontal gymnastics in the world aren’t going to stay attractive for long. 
If the pinnacle of her conversational skill is discussing who is cheating on whom in the latest instalment of Desperate Real Beauticians Of Housewives In Paradise Revisited and the most commonly used word of her double-digit vocabulary is “innit”, she’s not going to be much use to show off at dinner parties either.
So, once you’ve found yourself deep in conversation with an interesting, witty and charming woman, consider what it was that made you check her out in the first place. 
2) Figure – There’s no getting away from it, if we’re attracted to a complete stranger from across the proverbial crowded room, it’s not likely to be because of their expertise in theoretical physics or views on quantitative easing, it’s because of how they look. 
And unless you’re in close fairly close proximity, all you really have to go on is hair colour and body shape. 
Now I’m a firm believer in proportion. 
It’s all very well having tits like overinflated beach balls, but if you’re six foot tall, have a 13″ waist and weigh five stone, I’m afraid you have an extremely odd notion of what constitutes attractive. 
The focus on image, “beauty”, cosmetic surgery and the need to conform to ridiculous standards set by the fashion industry has conspired to rob an entire male generation of normally shaped women. 
If we’d wanted something that looked like a stick insect with balloons up its sweater we’d have invented genetic engineering sooner. 
3) Voice – If you think you’ve found a new soul mate to live out the rest of your days with, make sure you’re not basing this life changing decision on a night of half-shouted, slightly tipsy flirting over the club sound system.
Because after professing undying love to the pounding beats of the latest techno anthem, waking up the next day to find her voice sounds like a magpie with toothache being dragged down a blackboard will relieve you of your heart-shaped, rose tinted shades in a flash. 
4) Tanning – Orange is not an acceptable colour for a human being.
5) Sense of humour – The reason the acronym GSOH even exists is due to its appearance in countless lonely hearts columns, which just goes to show how important it is to us for other people to think we’re up for a bit of a laugh and a joke every now and then. 
However, laughing like a drain at even the most remotely amusing remark, insisting on doing “the priest and the cucumber joke” in front of elderly relatives at Christmas, habitually wearing “I’m With Stupid→” t-shirts when going out together, and describing yourself as “whacky” or “zany” are not signs that you have a well developed sense of humour. 
It means you are a dick. 
I reckon that if you used these guidelines to pick a prospective mate (and made sure you also applied them to yourself of course) you’d have a pretty fair chance of getting lucky. 
But that’s just me. 
If you’re a socially inept dullard who gets turned on by fluorescent orange, silicon pumped skeletons that sound like Joan Rivers gargling razor blades and think the height of wit is a whoopee cushion, then I’m sure there’s someone out there for you too.

Nobody’s In Charge.

Hello Cherry pickers, it’s Dale, from Diary of an Internet Nobody here.
I’ve noticed that Lanthie has gone gallivanting off to a party this evening, so I thought I’d sneak in and take over the controls for a bit.
If you don’t tell her, I won’t, ok?

I’m going to start off my stealth take over with a piece that I wrote a few days ago as the result of a conversation I had on Facebook with a blogger friend.
We had been chatting about school days in general (Adam is a teacher) and the subject of bullying came up.
I told him that I’d had a pretty unpleasant experience with bullies at school, and that as a consequence I was immune to that type of malicious intimidation. Adam said why not write about it, as it may serve as some type of encouragement to any kids going through something similar at the moment.

Later on I shall give you something a little more light hearted, but for now here’s the first of the two posts I hope to sneak in before Lanthie comes back and catches me at it, so to speak.


After all my talk in recent blogs about simultaneous posting, inspiration particles and coincidental subject matter convergence, I’m now going to write something directly influenced by two other bloggers.
Adam at A World Of Pain wrote a great post about geeks in school last week and Marcia at Menapausal Mother posted a very touching piece called A letter to my younger self, giving advice to herself as a teenager from the perspective of the present.

Having commented on both posts, I got to thinking about my own school days.
Would I have warned myself of what was to come if I could have done so?
My mum had died only a couple of years earlier, would I have given myself prior knowledge of that awful event?

I hope not, and I’m glad now that I didn’t.
And following on from Marcia’s blog, I guess this post is to explain why not.

I went to school in Crowborough, East Sussex, in the South East of England, at what was at the time (1977-83) the largest single-site comprehensive school in Europe.
The first two years or so were fairly uneventful as school goes: Finding new friends for your parents to disapprove of, learning who to steer clear of in the playground, seeing how far you could push your teachers before they exploded, all the usual stuff.  Oh, and lessons of course.
It wasn’t until the third year that things began to go awry.

There were a lot of skinheads at our school, and I was weedy metal and prog rock fan whose parents wouldn’t let me grow my hair.I may as well have had a target painted on the back of my slightly oversized blazer.

My nemesis was an acne pocked, shaven headed, hard little bastard called Paul, who was the head of a pack of delinquent skinheads that roamed the playground and corridors, pushing around those smaller and weaker than themselves in the age old manner of bullies everywhere.
Somehow I had come onto his radar and he appeared to have made it his mission to make my life hell.
I still very clearly remember the evening of the school “club” (weekly disco and surreptitious smoking session) that began possibly the worst couple of years of my childhood.
Lured to a darkened area of playground behind the newly erected sports hall on some spurious pretext, I was suddenly surrounded by a dozen or so wild eyed glue fiends (a pretty serious epidemic of glue and solvent abuse was in progress at the time) and from their midst strolled their top knuckle-dragger, Paul.
I honestly can’t recall what it was that I’d supposedly done to incur his wrath so intensely, but he already seemed enraged at my very existence.
He was however prepared to be reasonable, explaining that if I beat him in a fair fight he’d say no more about it. (I’m paraphrasing here, his grammar wasn’t that good)

What followed was without a doubt a massacre. I had no idea how to fight and still don’t. I tried to duck my head and met a fist coming upwards, breaking my nose with a crunch I can still hear now in my head. A black eye was the result of a straight jab, and the bruises on my ribs demonstrated my inability to block body blows.
The whole time I was being pummeled, the circling pack would push me back and forth, never allowing me to get my bearings and preventing my escape in the process.

Eventually they got bored, or Paul got too tired to keep hitting me and I was left to bleed onto my new black and white checked shirt and to go and beg for sympathy cigarettes whilst still suitably covered in gore.
As it turned out, I was pulling slivers of cartilage from my septum for several years to come.

And so it began.

Almost constantly from that point on, I was chased from one class to the next by groups of these animals, who seemed to work in shifts to keep me permanently harassed.
I had to sprint home at the end of the day sometimes, to avoid the sentries on the various exits from the school grounds.
It started becoming unbearable to go to PE or games, because of public ambush that inevitably awaited me in the changing rooms.The cycle of bunking off, getting behind in class, intercepting letters home to blissfully unaware parents (who’d swallowed all the “walked into a door” type excuses) only worsened.

I developed a convoluted exit strategy to get safely off the school grounds at home time, crossing the playing fields, avoiding the waiting thugs, until this deception too was discovered and I was caught and given another pounding.
Except this time I managed to land a good satisfying punch full in the face of my tormentor, and this was enough to allow my escape.

Soon after this minor victory I was released from my torment by, of all people, a sports master who caught two of the ringleaders red handed, about to give me another kicking in the changing rooms and quite literally banged their
ve heard experiences like this described as “character building”, usually by those that haven’t experienced them, and it always pisses me off. But that’s only because of their unthinking ignorance, not the sentiments expressed.
You see, I do actually believe that my treatment by those cowardly little monsters played a part in me becoming the person I am today.

I am not in the least bit violent, I’ve never had a fight since leaving school.

I refuse to bow to any bullying or intimidation, bullies are all insecure cowards who only pick on people they think will crumble under aggressive posturing. Stand up to them and they always back down (in a one to one situation obviously, that’s why bullies frequently travel in gangs)

I have always been fiercely independent, a fact I attribute to losing my mum and having to pitch in at a young age.

Above all, I always try to have a sense of humour about life.

I’m pretty pleased with how I turned out, even if I do say so myself.
But I think that if I’d had prior warning about these and other personal tragedies, I might have reacted differently, taken a different path, and who’s to say whether that would have resulted in a better me?

No, I think in the case of hindsight, ignorance is bliss.

So in the interests of completeness, this is the comment I left on Marcia’s “Letter to my Younger Self” post.  It too is styled as a letter to my younger incarnation:

Hey Dale, 
Not sure where you’ve got up to, but I expect you’re hoping for some useful tips and hints about what to do in a whole load of sticky situations that may pop up to ruin your life (and there will be quite a few).
The thing is, I’m petty content with who I am, and I can only assume that who I am has been shaped by all the events you are soon to experience. 
So telling you in advance how to avoid all the bad decisions, disastrous mistakes and idiotic bad calls that you WILL make can only serve to reshape you into someone I’m not familiar with. 
Therefore I’m going to allow you to suffer all the indignities and pain of my past (your future) for the simple reason that I don’t want my present self to change one iota. 

To sum up: tough shit buddy, some of your life will be crap. 
But I wouldn’t have it any other way, and when you get here you’ll thank me, because life may be what you make it, but you are what life makes you.
And I for one like me just the way I am. 

Buckle up, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride…

Yours unhelpfully,