Perfect for some craft storage

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Perfect for some craft storage

I bought this a few years ago in Ikea in Edinburgh. Having left all my handy storage boxes in Saudi- for which some other crafters were more than grateful- I now have to start again. Luckily, this was stashed away in a cupboard. But it looks a bit ordinary. A paint job required I think!

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Cross country to the canyon.

Using a Bedouin desert track we travelled from the Sharma road to the Duba road. I have no idea how long it would take driving non-stop but with all our stops it took us all day. It’s been a year since we travelled this route and whether it was because the weather was a bit overcast but it was like seeing some of the scenery for the first time, so I ended up taking lots of photos. Our first stop was at a huge cavern where I have placed a Geocache. The last people to search for it had been unable to find it so I wanted to check if it was still there. As soon as I got there I saw the problem- a Bedouin had decided to store some sacks of feed in the same place! Luckily, I could just reach the Geocache and rescue it. It is now in another hidey hole, close by.

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Coffee time.
From there we continued to an amazing rock art site. I believe these figures are representations of deities, but from which era I have no idea. I have found a lot of rock art in the area, but the workmanship of these is exquisite. I just wish I could find out more about them and the people who carved them.

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3 deities or the 3 spacemen as we affectionately call them!
Next we stopped at a large rock pinnacle attached to a huge rock massive. The view from the ‘saddle’ between the two was beautiful.

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We decided it was lunchtime so headed to another rock art site to have our picnic.

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We were just packing up when we had a very strange experience. A vehicle with 2 young Saudis came driving up to us. However, they didn’t get out to chat etc. but the passenger started taking photos and or video of us on his phone! As we started to drive away they pursued us with the passenger still standing up out of his doorway, taking photos!

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We now know how animals in safari situations feel!
‘Our friends’ headed off after a while and we continued our trip to the canyon, passing some amazing rock formations on the way.

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We named this one balloon rock, as one of our group flies a hot air balloon and reckoned it looked just like one.

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A striped tailed lizard.

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Desert apples.
And finally to the canyon!

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Another truly enjoyable trip which will be reminisced about when we leave Saudi in a few months.

Return to the desert.

At last the weather has cooled down and we had no weekend commitments so it was time for a long overdue desert trip.
We headed to an area that we have explored quite a lot but its amazing how driving round a different rock or heading down a wadi the opposite way can result in some interesting finds or beautiful scenery.
As soon as we headed off the Tarmac road we noticed a bird of prey soaring above us. One of our friends has a powerful zoom lens so he took this shot.

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We later identified it as an imperial eagle.
Soon after we found a secluded shady spot for coffee where we were entertained with the calls and aerobatics of at least 3 sooty falcons. Again I have to thank my friend for this photo.
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One of my passions is finding some rock art. I wasn’t disappointed with a couple of good sites.

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And of course there’s the camels! We still can’t resist a photo stop when we see a herd.

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We were amazed to see how green some areas still were after the long hot summer. It certainly make you think that under the wadi there is still some moisture to be reached by the well adapted plants. We found this amazing plant growing up the rock face inthe spring and were interested to find that it was still as green now as then.

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And of course I found somewhere to set up a Geocache- in fact I hid 2!

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Roll on next weekend when we hope to get out again.

Finally ….a sock!

Monday is craft morning here on the compound and as I was on holiday I could go and meet up with some of the other crafters on the compound. Dilemma though- what token craft project to take to look like I was serious and not just there to drink coffee and chat! Searching around in a couple of cupboards I found the sock I had started nearly 2 years ago -or was it even longer! – As a preent for my sister-in-law. A couple of hours later, after a coffee and a lot of chat I returned home without even knitting a stitch!
Later in the afternoon I decided it was time to ‘put this sock to bed’ and got those needles ‘click- clacking’! Eh voila after a couple of hours I was finished!

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… And now for the other one…..hopefully it won’t take 2 years to complete and my sister-in-law may get her socks before next winter:)

Macro!

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Macro photography has been an absolute disaster as far as I’ve been concerned. Every time I’ve thought I’d cracked it I have had to look at all my friends beautiful ‘captures’ when all I’ve been able to succeed in doing is create , yet another set of blurry images! I’m pleased to say that yesterday’s attempts were a great improvement:) the only worrying thing is it was more ‘luck than judgement’ and I just hope that next time I will be able to reproduce a few more successful macro images……….

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Gunfire!

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’!

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.

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