Saturday, 27 November 2010

Adventure weekend

This weekend was our first off road adventure!
A little desert adventure, we discovered dune buggies and camels!!!!

we found underwater colonies at half moon bay

we had a ride around the bay in this boat

and then we had a picnic at the top of a sand dune with a beautiful view

and watched the sun set over the Arabian sea
Iam so excited at the possibilities opening up by our new four wheel drive, let the adventures begin. I want to see more of Arabias beauty.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

I love....Black and white photography

I really love these two photographs, the shadows the water, reflections, rocks and trees and the woman in the picture is my Mum.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Our Eid al-Adha

Eid gifts with home made gift tags

we even decorated the plants


Kuku and Bobo busy unwrapping their presents

Our Eid was lovely,with all the family gathered here at the big house. There was alot of food, mainly very large trays of meat and rice, breakfasts of liver and kidneys, halawa tahinia, jam, olives, pickles and arabic flatbread accompanied with milky mint tea. And of course cakes, sweetmeats, dates, biscuits, chocolates, sweets, mint tea, Arabic coffee in endless rounds spread over three days. We were all dressed up in new clothes and sitting around chatting while guests came and went and children ran around playing and eating far too many sweets!. We danced, laughed, and called loved ones far away.

Monday, 15 November 2010


Its Hajj season, Hajj for its participants is a beautiful opportunity through its obligatory rituals for Muslims to really focus on their relationship with God and on purifying their souls. Through totally submerging yourself in Hajj and its experience you have the opportunity to change your perspective, life and enhance your spirituality. 

For anyone interested in glimpsing how Hajj looks and feels I would recommend this book. Photographed over three Hajj seasons Reem Al-Faisal, a Saudi Photographer I really admire, has produced a book which shows the diversity and unity of this ancient ritual that has been performed since the time of the prophet Abraham. She captures the emotional and physical realities beautifully, and allows you to sense visually its experience.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


a pot of sunshine

 Eid is coming so I'm busy making sweet things. I made some lovely lemon curd to make into tarts (quickly before it gets eaten up with toast!!!!)


In my rush of self satisfaction at having made my own Lemon curd ( and honestly it more than likely wouldn't have happened if I could find it over here!!! ) I neglected to share the recipe I used. So I will immediately make amends. I actually have more than one, but this time I used the recipe from; Oranges and Lemons, Recipes from the Mediterranean by Sarah Woodward.
Makes 1 large jar or several smaller pots
2 large unwaxed lemons
200g (7oz) of white sugar
100g (31/2oz) of unsalted butter
4 large whole eggs, preferably free-range

Finely zest the lemons and then squeeze the juice and strain. Either use a double boiler or (my preferred approach) a glass bowl resting over a simmering pan of water on a medium heat, placed so that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the surface of the water.
Add the lemon zest, juice and sugar to the bowl and stir well to dissolve. Cut the butter into chunks and add to the pan a little at a time, stirring all the time, until the butter melts.
Beat the eggs well. Take the bowl off the water and add the beaten eggs to the lemon, sugar and butter mixture. Stir all together well and then replace the bowl above the simmering water. This is the tricky bit. You need to cook the curd for about 15 minutes, stirring all the time, but never letting it approach a boil or the mixture will curdle. If it looks like getting too hot, briefly remove the bowl from over the water (this is why I prefer this method to a double boiler). Resist the temptation to turn up the heat under thew water-the curd does take quite a long time to thicken but when it does it will do so quickly. And do keep stirring, using a wooden rather than a metallic spoon.
When the mixture is thick (and remember that it will thicken further as it chills) pour it into several little pots. Cover with grease-proof paper, seal with an elastic band and chill well before using.

I did manage to make a few little tarts for Eid  and I had some left for spreading on toast. Really delicious. Let me know how it goes and what you make with it.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Saudi ARAMCO exhibit

 We had a little trip at the weekend to the ARAMCO exhibit, we have never been before so we piled into my Dads car and went to take a look, I m afraid I didn't get many photos just of the outside. It was of course mainly about oil and its processes and uses and three of my four children are really too young to appreciate the facts but they enjoyed pressing buttons. However I was so impressed by Kuku my eldest she went around totally absorbed and even got her visual diary out to make some notes!!!

                                    I was very interested in the landscaping there, I miss gardens.


I am finding the ghoutra and shemagh (Arab headdress) fascinating. Initially in the vast sea of them they all appear the same. But actually there are so many variations and the fabric can be quite beautiful. Even the various ways of wearing them are nuanced and subject to fashion and generational changes. I am on the hunt for factories producing them here in the middle east if anyone can help?.