So I will give you a bit of a written update, but pictures and videos won't be available as we are in our new house but don't have the internet yet!
We found a great 4 bed place in Jumeirah 1, street 16c if you can find it on google maps - just near Jumeirah Public Beach and Dubai Marine Resourt. It's a great house, a few years old, and nothing fancy, but loads of space, a nice private garden, double garage (that is even big enough for our truck!), heated and chilled pool, gym, squash court, table tennis, and maids room.
So far we have been busy getting curtains made, ordering new wardrobes from Ikea, unpacking (still have about 12 boxes full of "stuff") and gradually settling in. It's a great place and exactly what we were looking for, so it was worth the pain of viewing around 16 places to find the ideal one.
The kids have settled into it really well, with the girls sharing a room upstairs (as 3 bedrooms are upstairs and 1 down, which we will keep as a guest room). The girls have their own ensuite, which is permantantly messy just like their bedroom, while Oliver has his own room and own bathroom off the landing, both of which are normally immaculate. Which children take after which parent? I will leave you to debate that one. We have an ensuite too with a dressing area, but the bath is being used as a clothes horse most of the time by both Rach and I. It's ever such a lot of effort to hang stuff up you know. The wierd thing about houses over here - in the winter the cold water is cold and the hot water is hot, but in the summer it's the reverse. The cold water tank is on the roof, so the water gets really got, and you turn off the water heater so that the hot water tank (in the ceiling of each room) stays relatively cold - bizarre!
Outside the garden has been joined by a shiny new BBQ. This purchase got through the authorisation process with a sound financial agruement based on the cost per use - given that the weather is nice I reckoned on at least 5 uses a week, spread over 3 years, so that works out at.... oh what the hell, it's shiny - buy it!
We still don't have a 2nd car, so I have been getting a cab to and from work. It's a ten minute journey and costs around 16 dirhams - about £2.70 each way. So it will be cheaper to do this than actually buy a second car. You can call the cab via an automated system on your mobile phone (call 04 208 0808, press 2, press 1 and a couple of minutes later a cab turns up at your door!), so it's nice and easy. But can you see me doing this long term? Neither can I. The cab drivers don't speak (English), sometimes they smell, the cab also smells, they play strange music, there are lots of aukward silences - need I go on? So I am looking for a 2nd car. Currently thinking is a Jeep Wrangler ala my sister in law in Phoenix or another similar 4x4 for off road fun.
Weather-wise, it's normally about 40 degrees here at the moment. The humidity has risen dramatically, to the point that your glasses steam up when you get out of a cold car or cold house into the air. It's certainly not unbearable at the moment (still eating outside on occasion) but it will heat up a little more in the next few weeks....
Right enough for now, I will write more when we have some gossip and when we have internet!!