Friday, June 16, 2006

GLUM FRIDAY - but pretty good Thursday, all things considered!

So tired by end of week (UAE=Wed) that Thursday feels exactly like a night of insomnia.
Friday suffocated by unrelieved queasiness attributed to strange tasting chops last night (x 2: Habibi afflicted too, and worse because I’m more jumpy about ‘off’ flavours, and only ate half of mine).
Day spent sitting with stomach lightly squozed between table and chair for illusion of comforting hug.
Habibi working a.m., then down to club in hopes – disappointed - of light relief; afternoon spent snoozing or drooping over ‘Driving Over Lemons’ about a man who moves to a smallholding in Spain!

Not done: marking, reports, ironing, washing up.
Done: reading, blogging, watching Spanish TV.
Prospects for tomorrow: SSDD.
General mood: bring on the violins, but only in the next room, with the door shut, and they’d better be in tune or else.

GOOD BITS
Wednesday evening phone call from long-time-no-see (working-in-Dubai syndrome) Simon Cory-Wright, minus a story-teller at Bookworm for Thursday morning and could I fill in for old times’ sake. Fun prospect!
Complete lie-in failure at 6.30 Thursday morning means several hours on the sofa with fascinating Heritage of Spanish Cooking, for me, the definitive Spanish cookbook.
Habibi unexpectedly availabile (I love that man!) to drive me down to Bookworm, Simon’s delicious children’s bookshop in the Park&Shop complex off Al Wasl Road.
Arrive to find Bookworm absolutely stuffed with tempting stock and crowded with parents and children.
An hour on cushions and beanbags reading stories and getting the children to join in: we get through We’re Going on a Bearhunt, Can’t You Sleep Little Bear?, Room on the Broom, one about a little girl who tries to make a plant grow by feeding it strawberry icecream and pizza, and an entertaining dinosaur pop-up book. No time though (or voice) for Q-Pootle-5, The Gruffalo, or The Wolf Is Coming!
Urge to offer repeat visit next weekend quashed by realisation that it will be last weekend before departure for SPAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNN!!!!!!
Lunch at ‘Paul’ in Mercato, for the first time since took Dad last November: smoked salmon and cream cheese crêpes blanketed in melted cheese, with a pot of the special house blend tea. I love that tea, and you can actually buy it to drink at home, but Thé Paul is part of the pleasure of going to Mercato and Emirates Mall!) so I never do. Such sense and restraint.
Mercato visit curtailed by awareness of death struggle between legs and brain over which will quit first.
Homeward bound for several hours of big ZZZZZZZZZZZZs.
Brew a cup of wake-me-up Turkish coffee. Perfect this time.
Some online research on Andalucian cave-houses.
Ten minutes’ hysterical laughter: combined effect of unvanquished fatigue, Turkish coffee and discovery that the Dutch word for cave dwelling is grotwoning, while the Danish is: hulebebyggelse. Aaaaaaaahhhh!!!
Every time I get a grip, I catch sight of bemused Habibi and crack up again. Hoooowwwwllll!
Visit friends to watch England versus Trinidad & Tobago. The match itself doesn’t qualify as a good bit: having have spent almost an hour in traffic and humidity on the Construction Highway, it’s irritating that the fans seem to be making more effort than the players. I count the second England goal and the Trinidad & Tobago goal as good bits, though. And I gather that it was humid, so I sympathise. When the hums are up, I don't move much either.
First quarter of Sweden versus Paraguay looks promising without really going anywhere; Habibi’s snores are competing with ‘Sverige! Sverige!’; my eyes are closing, and our hosts are sinking fast.
Rapid taxi ride home.
Bed! Flat, smooth, air-conditioned.

Shame about this morning’s 7.30 wake-up (Habibi 6.30……) and the rest.

Habibi’s given up and gone off to bed, but I feel better for writing yesterday down!
______________________________________________

Total plug for BOOKWORM, a triumph of vision, teamwork and tenacity.
It’s Simon Cory-Wright’s shop, but he and Ruth Kiernan have realised this dream between them.
Bookworm isn’t a large unit, and it’s right at the end of the Park&Shop complex, round the corner from the hairdresser’s and the video shop, so for a long time, hardly anyone knew it was there, but it’s a treasure store, and word has clearly got round!

Hands up: Habibi designed the interior, realising Ruth’s ideas – so of course it’s gorgeous!
The books represent a Who’s Who of the brightest and best children’s publishing houses from the long-established giants to the likes of Barefoot, Dorling-Kindersley and Usborne; and range from pre-school board books to teenage fiction by Lemony Snickett, Gillian Cross and Michelle Magorian, and excellent reference books. (Did I mention that I used to work in a children’s library?)
Their sidelines are imaginative, stimulating and well-made – puppets, hobby-science kits and the Klutz activity range. They were the first bookshop in Dubai to do story-telling sessions, and those have run every Thursday morning right from the start – back in the days when hardly anyone knew they were there, and we might get only two little ones! They do bookfairs at high schools, junior schools and nurseries. They introduced French and Arabic collections.
These are hard-working people!
The first year was touch-and-go.
The second slightly better but hard on the nerves.
And now – it makes the heart glad!

2 comments:

gautam said...

You got an great blog..!! Keep the good words coming..!!

Cheers!

Gautam

gautam said...

You got a great blog..!! Keep the good words coming..!!

(REPLACED THE 'AN' with 'A') YIKES ;-)
Cheers!

Gautam