As I write this many of you back in the UK will be starting to think about returning to work tomorrow after (hopefully) a good break over Christmas and New Year. Having done this myself today, I wish you all the best for the coming year.
We had a lovely time back in the UK, catching up with as many family and friends as possible, although that wasn't a huge number due to limited time and busy diaries. In particular we were very well looked after by Jo's Mum, who ran around after us as we created chaos from the moment we arrived. We also had a good day at my parents between Christmas and New Year. Thanks to everyone who played host to us.
We were a little unsure how we would all feel about the prospect of coming home after our first trip back to the UK since moving here. As it turned out, whilst it was sad to be saying goodbye again, we were all happy to arrive home on Thursday evening. We were particularly happy due to the fact that we managed to get all our Christmas presents and sundry other items (toaster, sundry pairs of shoes, new suits, etc, etc) that we had had delivered to Ainsdale back safely - we left with three suitcases, and returned with five bursting at the seams!
I can't say I'm sorry to be away from the horrid weather the UK is experiencing at the moment. Spending yesterday at the beach, and getting a little sunburnt in the process, was a reminder of how lucky we are to be here. The weather is perfect for outdoor activities at the moment, and it is starting to become a distant memory about how hot it can get. We need to make the most of it, as it won't be long before the temperature starts going the other way. We are planning various activities at the moment before our program of visitors starts in February.
|At the beach|
I'd like to thank you all for reading my blog in 2013, and especially those of you who commented on my entry in the expats blog competition. Despite Jo's best efforts to drum up support I fell short of the number of comments to make the top three UAE blogs, but I was touched by the number of comments I did get, and the nice things that many of you said. It is nice to know that the effort I put in is appreciated.
I'll be continuing to blog in 2014, but now that we have settled into our new life, the subject matter will inevitably broaden a little. I still intend to keep everyone updated on what we are getting up to, and to share reflections on life in the UAE, but I also hope to start to cover some other areas which interest me, particularly aspects of "lifelogging" or "the quantified self", which appeals to my (boring?) love of statistics. More about that next time.
I may also start to add a food element to the blog. One of the winning entries in the blog competition was one that focuses on restaurant reviews, and that generated more than 100 comments (versus my 34). In addition to that I received an email a couple of days ago from someone who had seen my blog asking if I would like to apply to be a "mystery diner" for a restaurant review website covering Abu Dhabi. I've not applied yet, but the chance of some free meals is a tempting.
Until next time, thanks as always for reading, and best wishes for 2014 wherever you are.