Sunday, February 1, 2009

Today Better Homes, Tomorrow Time Magazine

Mark and Rachel were asked if they wanted to appear in Better Homes magazine, talking about why they liked living in Arabian Ranches.

Mark - it is worth mentioning at this point - is a big fan of appearing in magazines. He has already wangled himself a regular column in Dubai's Campaign magazine, where he discusses advertising trends in exchange for them putting a picture of him next to the by-line.

In fact, a quick glance through the local marketing press is a bit like playing 'Where's Wally?' with Mark appearing in all sorts of unlikely places as a result of him regularly plying his agency's PR company with snapshots.

Unsurprisingly, Mark's media-hungry alter-ego jumped at the chance of a front cover appearance.

Rachel was less eager. After decades spent cringing at photographs, Rachel has realised that one of two things must be true:

1) she is fearsomely unphotogenic
or 2) she is far less attractive that she thinks she is

However, nothing stands between Mark and his public, so the big day arrived, and Mark bounded into view(finder).

'Where do you want me?'

'Actually,' says the photographer. 'Research has shown that people much prefer women and children on the cover.'

So, Mark has to stand by while a grumpy Rachel, grumpier Dylan, and an unsurprisingly (given the worrying amount of genes inherited from her father) keen Jody sat through the photoshoot, while Rachel grumbled that they were called 'shoots' for a reason.

Just when everyone thought the worst was over, and the photographer was packing up to leave, Mark piped up,

'The garden looks really nice at night when it's all lit up. Why don't you pop back later?'

'Yay!' shouted Jody.

'I'm finished,' said Dylan firmly.

'Aaarrrrghghghgh,' said Rachel.

'Ok, why not?' said the photographer, who even let Mark be in the garden picture because it would be appearing inside the magazine rather than on the cover.

Dylan & Rachel were eventually tempted to participate with promises of chocolate. But they insisted that Mark was the one who had to sit for hours with his legs dangling in the cold pool.

The pictures didn't turn out too badly, and Rachel was particularly pleased to find Mark's garden shot next to an enormous puckered-up camel.

Even better is the interview inside. Katy has already sent a 'rotflmao' email, commenting on the irony of lazy-Rachel's alleged quote: 'and you can run, walk or roller skate all around the place.'

Back By Popular Demand...

Well, that's not strictly true, but we did get two emails saying it had been a while since the last blog entry.

The problem is, life has got busy. The lilo has been deflated and the sun loungers are gathering dust (well sand).

Mark is as busy as ever, setting the media world on fire and quality-testing the local beer. Jody has started a few 'activities', including the school choir - the irony of which will not be lost on anyone that has heard her sing. Rachel has accidentally stumbled upon a job writing beauty features for Arabic magazines - the irony of which...

Also, we have been working as a family to overcome Dylan's sad addiction to computer games.

So, what has happened since the last entry? Well, Christmas was as wonderful as Christmas is supposed to be.

We took the kids on a guided tour of Dubai's Christmas decorations. Unsurprisingly, Dylan's favourite was a display that featured killer Christmas trees.

It just felt a bit wrong being warm in December. So, when term ended, we left the sun behind for a freezing English Christmas. In a cunning attempt to wean Dylan from the Wii, we bought him and Jody some 'real' Mariokart action figures. So now battery-operated Yoshi is allowed to sit on the sofa and watch as Dylan plays virtual Wii Mariokarts.

Jody and Mark travelled to Ireland on the second leg of the 2008/9 family-tour, so Jody could show off her new 'High School Musical' outfit to someone who had actually seen the film - her cousin Naoise.

We read in the papers that Dubai had banned all New Year's celebrations out of respect for the suffering of the people in Gaza.

Well, we did Sheik Mohammed proud. After a day trip to London, Rachel and Mark fell asleep in front of granny's fire - accidentally missing their own New Year extravaganza.

Just another evening in the life of the rock 'n roll Hamilton family...