Gecko

I’m not much of a gardener but I do like to try to grow a few things in our patch of garden. It’s been very rewarding recently to go out and pick a few salad leaves, herbs and tomatoes to add to the salad for our dinner, and know exactly how they’ve been grown and enjoy the lovely, fresh taste. A small area of the veg patch had got past it’s best and after some procrastinating it was time to take action. My husband kindly cleared the old tomato plants and I dug over the area, adding some of my homemade compost. After rummaging through my bag of seeds I thought I’d try some beet root. As I said, I’m not much of a gardener so apologies to any knowledgable gardeners reading this who might baulk at the idea of planting beet root in July in Saudi! Ignorance is bliss, as they say, and I will happily leave the results in ‘the lap of the gods’ or as they say locally- Inshallah.
When I went to get some shop bought potting compost to sprinkle over the seeds I was surprised to be met with this sight-

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2 tiny gecko eggs:)
I don’t mind these small lizards at all. In fact I think they’re quite sweet and am happy to have them live around our doorway as I’m sure they do their best to keep the mosquito population down. My husband likes them too, but has told me a few tales of Saudis at work killing them because they’re dangerous. Intrigued, I looked it up and found that it’s all tied in with Mohammed’s teachings. In Islam, the house gecko is regarded as a pest and like other pests a carrier of disease. Which, I suppose, equates to how mice, cockroaches, ants etc. are regarded in my culture. Here is the link for the info I found-
http://en.islamtoday.net/quesshow-152-607.htm
Have I changed my opinion of geckos? Although,yes, I can understand that geckos are possibly germ- carriers, I still think they’re cute and don’t really think that they should be killed so senselessly- but then I haven’t been brought up in the Islamic faith.

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Brussels sprouts in June!

What is it about brussel sprouts that they always seem to get such a reaction when mentioned? They definitely are a vegetable that you either love or hate. I fall into the love camp and have been that way since I can remember- in fact I am so weird that for along time they were my favourite vegetable!
Living in Saudi has meant that many winters and therefore Christmas meals have come and gone without a single brussel sprout to be seen in the supermarket. Occasionally there is talk of some being available in Riyadh and then if you are fortunate to know of someone visiting there you might be lucky enough to have some brought back for you.
Imagine our surprise when shopping on Thursday to see these in the veg section!

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We have no idea where they have come from as they are just labelled ‘imported’ and for a change as imported goods they aren’t horrendously priced- 8 sr. Which is about £1.30- not cheap I know but compared to paying £5 for a small tub of blueberries or £5 for a head of celery, not bad.
Were they worth it- definitely. I blanched them earlier. Counted out 5 each for my husband and I to have for dinner and froze the rest for another time. They were sooooo good:)
Okay so we live in a desert etc. so having to have lots of fruit and veg imported should be expected, but this is a little known fact. Flowers are grown in this this area using hydro culture and are exported to Amsterdam in the Netherlands to sell in the flower market there!!
As well as our imported brussel sprouts and blueberries we also bought this bunch of beautiful Saudi grown lilies!

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Something to ponder next time you’re buying flowers- they might have been grown on a farm in Saudi Arabia!