2014- ScottishYear of Homecoming.

Well today my husband hit me with the news that his job is being Saudi-ised and we will probably leave here on 1st March! We had been expecting redundancy but not that we would only have a month to pack up etc.and leave this country that has been our home for 28 years! I’m still a bit stunned but compared to some people I have know out here I have lots of time to sort myself out. I’m just hoping when I wake up inthe morning I will feel focused and ready to tackle all the ‘stuff’ I have accumulated in all those years- yes, I’m a bit of a hoarder and now I’m regretting my- it might be useful some day, way of thinking. So time to call it a day and tomorrow will be the first day on the path to my new life in Scotland and all the experiences that will bring.

First signs of winter.

Living in the north of Saudi and 2000 feet above sea level we experience a few cold months usually from November through til March. This year, the temperature has stayed unseasonably high but now there is a definite chill in the air and signs of the approaching winter months are all around.

The leaves on the pomegranate tree have changed colour.

The leaves on the pomegranate tree have changed colour.

The mandarine oranges are ripening.

The mandarine oranges are ripening.

And in the downtown shops the traditional Arab coats, called Farwa, are on sale.
This year's range include some bright colours.

This year’s range include some bright colours.

I went with the intention of buying 1 to take home and ended up buying 2!
My bright Syrian farwa.

My bright Syrian farwa.

And the back view.image
And also from Syria a more conservative farwa.image
I doubt that I will ever wear them out and about in UK unless it’s to a fancy dress party but for summer evenings in the garden they will be great to keep any slight chills at bay:)
So how cold does it get in Tabuk? Today it was a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 19, but later in the week they’re forecasting 0 degrees! Time to put the sandals away for a few months I think!

Thinking of home.

The town taken from the beach.

The town taken from the beach.

‘Home is where the heart is’ is an often said phrase. For me home is where my husband is as that is definitely where I am happiest. So at the moment it’s here in Saudi! I can never actually remember ever feeling homesick for what is my real home- Scotland. I love being there and am looking forward to eventually returning there to live but at the moment living overseas is still enjoyable.
Yesterday, however, I was made aware of a new music video by the UK group ‘Scouting for Girls’, which had been filmed entirely on my ‘home’ beach. What a surprise, as my town in Scotland is not exactly high on the list of any film producers as far as I’ve ever been aware! It was a weird feeling to see somewhere that I have known all my life as the backdrop to a well known group’s music. But did it make me homesick? No. But it did make me very happy to think I will be able to walk on that beach in just 3 weeks when I go home on holiday.
Sadly, after trying for an hour to attach the video I have failed miserably. But here is the link if you want to take a look- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLgjs96kOhQ&sns=em
And here are a few pix I took last time I was there in February.


Social week.

Usually, I don’t have much contact with the local people but this last week has been an exception. It started last Thursday with the company ‘away day’ at a horse riding centre on the outskirts of Tabuk. Many of the Saudis Paul works with turned up with their families and we spent a very pleasant few hours chatting, looking around, watching the children play, drinking Gahwa and enjoying a lovely buffet of food. I met Hasan’s wife and before we left he told me his wife wanted to invite us to their house.
On Sunday evening we attended a company presentation evening for people achieving awards and some others for long service certificates. Paul was receiving his 30 year certificate and also a Spencer Tart framed print of a Saudi Door. It was a very pleasant evening and again there were some Saudis present to have a few conversations with.
Our invitation to Hasan’s house was for Monday evening. It turned out a truly memorable time. In 26 years of living in Saudi I have never been to a Saudi family home and I was both excited and a bit nervous.