Well I can’t think that it’s the last day of 2012 and my 3 week holiday is fast coming to an end! Reading all the good wishes on Facebook I just wish it was so easy to make the world a more caring, peaceful place for us all to live. Meanwhile on the tv is a report about child labour and the part it plays in the manufacture of so many of our products- chocolate and cotton to name 2. Yes I will try to be more discriminating about the ethics of the products I buy in 2013 – a minute effort in a gigantic problem but something I have felt strongly about since student days.
Anyway, being in Saudi and not an official holiday here Hogmanay is a quiet affair and to be honest I don’t really mind. It’s now 11pm here but midnight in Dubai so there’s an amazing firework display happening there around the world’s tallest building (sky news reporting).


Not long after dark tonight there were quite a few extended bursts of automatic gunfire! It sounded quite near so I’m hoping it was from some wedding celebration in one of the nearby social buildings. We’re terribly complacent about it I suppose but although this practice has recently been made illegal it still carries on and of course there are still accidents from stray bullets reported in the English newspaper ‘Arab News’. Not too long ago some bullets landed in one of the gardens and on the street nearby. Luckily no one was hit but that’s the problem it doesn’t seem to enter the shooters mind that ‘what goes up must come down’!

Hospital visit and OU assignment.

The day started with a visit to the local hospital to have a barium swallow and follow through. For some time now my vit D levels have been low and even after being on supplements for a while they haven’t risen enough so the BAE doc decided some investigation was necessary. A week ago I had a blood test for coeliac disease but the results haven’t come back yet as it’s necessary to sent them to Germany. Paul had gone to the hospital on Saturday to pre-book an appointment as suggested by the medics. I got there just before 9 and didn’t have long to wait until I was taken. Most of the staff in the x-ray dept are Philippino, in fact most in the hospital staff are, and a very pleasant female nurse looked after me throughout the whole procedure. After drinking the delightful white chalky mixture some x-rays were taken then I was told to put my abaya on over my hospital gown (I did have a skirt on too!) and go for a walk around for 15 mins before getting some more x-rays taken. We walked around outside as it was a lovely fresh sunny morning and then on the way back we met Jules Hayes who was waiting to see the dentist. Returning to the x-ray dept which was now quite crowded I only had a few mins to wait before my nurse took me back in to have another set of x-rays taken by the doctor. Unfortunately this wasn’t the end as I was then told to go away and return at 11.45 for another set of x-rays! I still wasn’t to eat anything but could at least have a coffee:) during all the waiting around I had had time to think over my OU essay and had a sudden realisation that perhaps I needed to tweak a bit of my intro. On arriving home I got straight onto it, got Paul to proof read the final draft and submit it before having to return to the hospital for the final set of x-rays. Sadly, the printer at the x-ray dept. had gone faulty so I couldn’t get my report to take away but was told that everything was ok. Paul dropped me at the med centre where I asked if thy would pick up my report tomorrow as they tend to go to the hospital every morning and whilst there asked about my blood result. Only one part of it was back and it was negative for coeliac disease:) so the mystery continues why I’m not absorbing Vit D. Most of the rest of the day was spent relaxing and reading the Alexander McCall Smith book ‘the importance of being seven’ which Rita lent me a couple of weeks ago and have just been too busy to start reading. I really enjoy Mc S’s writing and am already halfway through the book!
Since about 2 hours after drinking the barium I’ve had pain like severe cramp in my right side which I hope is a side effect of the procedure and will ease of during the night.
Now, with these 2 events out of the way I feel I can really enjoy some me time and start enjoying some Christmas cooking, decorating, card-writing etc.