2015- what will it bring?

Beautiful way to start the year:)

Beautiful way to start the year:)

10 months ago today I repatriated to the UK. It still doesn’t feel real and I don’t think a day goes by without thinking about Saudi in one way or another!

So now it’s time to definitely look forward more and less to the past. Here’s to new ventures and enjoying the freedom of retirement!

I hope you all have a 2015 filled with peace, joy and health.:)

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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!

Saudi Desert Trip.

Friday dawned with a perfect temperature for a desert trip. The area we are enjoying exploring is about 1 and a half hours drive away and although it’s a familiar route it’s always interesting to be on the lookout for birds of prey soaring over the desert or nearer to town see how various building projects have progressed since last time. Being the holy day in Saudi most people have the day off so there’s very little actually being done and until after the big prayer at noon not a lot of movement of people on the roads. This trip we turned off at a rocky outcrop which was covered with script. There were also a few petroglyphs and the writing looked Arabic but I haven’t had that confirmed by an Arabic speaker yet.

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From there we tried to navigate to a way point one of my husband’s associates at work had given him. It was supposed to be a really beautiful rockscape. However, we are not very good at staying focused and continually have to check out things on the way. Today we never actually got to the waypoint- we came very close, but the area was definitely worth another trip as the landscape was breathtaking.

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We found another spectacular arch.

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But for the first time in many trips we got a little stuck in soft sand:(

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I was still amazed at how green everything is in many places and found a spiky yellow seed pod that I’ve never noticed before.

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I can’t believe we were close to where we’ve been a few times before as everything looked so different and more impressive.
Of course I had to set up a couple of geocaches- one at the big arch and the other at the lovely spot we had lunch at.

20131022-123614.jpgWe are truly blessed to have this opportunity to experience such an amazing place.