Monday, November 24, 2008
Last Thursday, the Dubai Atlantis Resort officially opened its doors with a $20 million grand party full of A-list celebrities, including Charlize Theron, Robert de Niro, Lindsay Lohan, Shirley Bassey, Janet Jackson and Michael Jordan.
Then, after Kylie performed on stage, the sky lit up with the world’s largest fireworks display, reportedly seven times greater than the Beijing Olympic’s opening ceremony, and extravagant enough to be seen from outer space.
A couple of people have sent messages to ask if we saw them. Well….
Mark went to the beach to watch the display, but didn’t realise that that he was in completely the wrong place, so he only saw one frond of the palm and said the fireworks looked “a bit crap”. Plus, by the time the fireworks came on (half past midnight) he had drunk so much that he probably wouldn’t have noticed them anyway if his friends hadn’t pointed him in the right direction.
Rachel did one better. She got the timing of the firework display so completely wrong that by the time she came out of the bar at 1am to watch them they were all over.
Still, we hear they were pretty impressive and the babysitter got to watch them on the TV.
Monday, November 17, 2008
As a result, Rachel has put a lot of effort into preventing the children turning into mini scaredy-pants.
So, they have always been encouraged to pick up spiders and to view insects as nice, friendly, if slightly unattractive planet-sharers.
RACHEL: "Okay, but don't tell granny."
RACHEL: "Sorry, I mean, Why? Why don't you want to go to heaven?"
JODY: "Because it will be full of ants."
This wasn't long after the death of Jody's favourite fish. Following Freddy's demise, Jody had been very quiet all day. Rachel put it down to grief, perhaps exacerbated by the fact that human-Freddy - dead fish-Freddy's namesake - had been present at the time of death.
But at bed time Jody revealed the real reason for her pensiveness:
JODY: "Mummy, when I die, will you flush me down the toilet?"
RACHEL: "No. Definitely not."
JODY: "Why did you flush Freddy down the toilet?"
RACHEL: "Freddy is smaller and he likes water."
JODY: "So if I was smaller....?"
RACHEL: "No. No. I won't flush you down the toilet, no matter how small you get, or how much you like water."
JODY: "So, is fish heaven down the toilet?"
RACHEL: "Um, not exactly."
JODY: "You don't know, do you?"
RACHEL: "Er, no, not really."
JODY: "Granny will know. I'll ask granny in the morning. Thanks, mummy. Na night"
Anyway, back to the present day and spiders...
As a result of her ongoing hug-a-spider campaign, Rachel was a tad concerned by the letter that came home from the kids' school yesterday. Here are a few favourite extracts:
"Like any garden, play area or park in Dubai, we do occasionally find Redback spiders within the school grounds."
"Redback spiders are particularly prevalent at this time of year ..."
"It is not our intention to frighten the children... Spiders and scorpions are a part of life in Dubai, as much as camels and ‘unconventional’ driving."
"I seek to reassure you that the staff and in particular, our nurses are fully trained as to the action to take should an insect bite take place."
RACHEL: "Hey, they're not all bad. These redback spiders eat ants."
MARK: "Yeah, but I haven't seen any ants in the house for a while."
RACHEL: "Says here that they have even been known to eat crickets." ... evil chuckle ... "Hey, Mark, if the ants have gone, and we haven't heard the cricket this evening...."
Saturday, November 15, 2008
He was the perfect guest - sleeping until after lunch and then spending the afternoon eating McDonalds and playing on the dodgem cars with Rachel and the kids.
Here's hoping Jonny's jumbo flies this way again soon.
Friday, November 14, 2008
All in all, I think that Katy, Rick and Harriet had a jolly old time in the world's only self-designated 7 star villa.