So, what has happened since last time? Probably quite a bit of "more of the same", but I will try to elaborate anyway.
The kids have had a few more skiing lessons at Ski Dubai. Charlotte and Olsey are now going from the top of the 1km indoor slope which is great! We are going to just go along and practise a few times now before we go away in Dec - yes, at long last we have booked a skiing holiday! We are off to France for a week over New Year, accompanies by our friends Nick, Mel, Toby and Antonia. We can't wait!
Rach has taken up several sports - Paddleboarding (essentially like surfing without waves, so you use a paddle instead), weekly tennis lessons, yoga and cycling. She is really enjoying getting stuck into them all.
Charlotte is still into her netball and gymnastics and is now playing the flute. Her new flute arrives today, so she is very excited!
Olsey is playing football, gymnastics and rugby. He first away match is this weekend in Abu Dhabi, so we are going to stay there for the weekend and explore. I think it is just the same as Dubai, but it's worth a look around anyway.
Lulu is a gymnast (can't you tell from her shape?!) as well as a keen swimmer/model
As for me, the cycling is still going strong. I have gradually built up my rides from 35km (about 22 miles) to 85km (53 miles) last weekend. To be fair, it did nearly kill me, and I had major lactic acid build up in my thighs which took hours to dissipate, but it was a lot of fun and I am really please with my progress. Unfortunately the bike had to be upgraded to cope with such long rides, but never mind....
After the family got back from their extended stay in the UK, courtesy of my friends and family (thank you to those who hosted!) we headed off to Sri Lanka. For those that don't know, Sri Lanka is a former UK colonial country (where isn't?!) which sites in a teardrop shape just to the east coast of India. It has a very Indian feel to it when you are there, with many very poor areas, packed cities, extremely poor roads and lots of curry. You can guess which bit was my favourite.
On arrival our luggage was found to be in a very different location - all four bags. So we spent 2 days in the same pants while we waited for it - not good, I can tell you.
I will let the piccies do the talking with this one, here's a selection from our trip:
Sigiriya rock in the background at our first hotel. The rock is a former fortress for a king 1,000 years ago, which now had ruins and you can (and we did) walk to the top:
View from the top of the rock:
Olsey 'chilling' at the pool in the first hotel:
Charlie at the same place!
A bullet cart ride which took us down to the lake for a boat ride:
Tuk Tuk's to get back - they are everywhere in Sri Lanka!
Off on a Jeep safari through the Minneriya National Park to look for wildlife:
We found some! (actually we found hundreds!)
End of the road at the National Park:
The obligatory elephant ride. It actually felt a bit cruel, wouldn't do it again.
Assume the position children! Quite often they ended up sleeping in the same bed due to an unforeseen booking error on the part of our 'old' travel agent....
Ok back to the rest of it. We have been doing a bit more offroading in the desert. This time the whole family went with 2 friends out to Big Red, an enormous large (big) slightly reddish (red) sand dune just an hour from home. We played in the dunes for a few hours, only got stuck once (the Toyota Landcruiser, not the Land Rover) and had a jolly good time scary the wives!
Meeting up at 6.30am:
Is it cruel to include a picture of Marcus stuck in the sand?? Poor driving I say...
"Yeah, we climbed some sand!"
"I am going to sleep well tonight!"
"Where's Marcus, is he stuck again?"
Jonathan taking it easy, with a car full of Goodies!
Rest time before heading home:
To keep things interesting, here are a few random shots of stuff happening:
"I'm a princess!"
At the nailbar with Mummy
About to watch a 3-D movie of some sort while Daddy works...
Waiting for our flight back to the UK:
I just learnt to cycle! (excuse the gratuitous picture of lycra):
First day at Big School photo:
The three Musketeers!
Happy 7th Birthday Bud's:
Messing in our garden:
Look who got a Kinnect for his birthday:
Happy 10th Wedding Anniversary to us!
Weird random shot of a Dubai custom truck which made us laugh:
Arty farty shot:
Right, well that's probably your lot for now. Back soon (sooner than last time, I promise Lisa!) with more news as it happens, we hope you are all well, and please let us know what you guys have been up to!