Connecting with Lightning @ Burj Dubai – world’s tallest building.

These are some spectacular photos taken of  the Burj Dubai, experiencing lightning. For nearly half an hour the phenomenon continued yesterday evening.  These view of the Burj here are breathtaking. The area around the Burj is called Downtown Dubai. The Dubai Mall with its fantastic indoor walk in Aquarium is also located in this mall. 

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An adventure trip to the Sharjah Arabian Wildlife center.

 

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snack break in the lawns of the desert park

What a fantastic day. I know alot of the Brit folks we meet in Dubai are almost always complaining about the weather in London. So as a ritual, this is around the time we get some healthy and much needed showers here in Dubai, as I hear,  a friend even experienced hail on Saturday. We have been cooped up in the house for sometime now. The spring holidays are being absolutely enjoyed. I have been resisting the temptation to ask the boys to do some handwriting so far !! copy-of-spring-holidays-sharjah-desert-park-049

 Well, in return for getting a dozen chores done on time, I treated the boys to the Desert Park in Sharjah.  Yeah, its nearly 70 – 80 Kms away from the Ranches, but I think it was well worth the effort. The Park is divided into four parts, the Botanical garden, the children’s farm, the arabian wildlife area and the sharjah museum. The museum was closed and invariably we did’nt have so much time to cover it either. The boys loved exploring the different scientific based gadets at the botanical garden, that was really very well done. There was just so much to see and experiment ! They really liked feeding the baby goats (foal).  The wildlife park just overwhelmed the boys, the cheetah, leopard, snakes, beatles, scorpions, bats and what not !  Children learn so much so effortlessly while watching first-hand, rather than drilling information into them.

foal

foal

It was so much fun discussing food chains and food webs in the wildlife park and fish aquariums. Nests of different birds found in the deserts and ofcourse the living conditions of different snakes.  

Amazing and beautiful
Amazing and beautiful
experimenting which resource provides more energy.
experimenting which resource provides more energy.
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Young inquisitive minds

On the return the weather took a drastic turn.  The soothing drizzle turned into a heavy shower.

 

I just had to park the car at a distance on the side of the over bridge and take some photos !    All said and done, I completly enjoyed the rains, although I was really very alert driving considering the number of ambulances and rescue vehicles we saw, drive past us !! Well the silver lining is that the car looks washed and sparkling clean !!

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 copied-spring-holidays-sharjah-desert-park-061Dinner at Raavi with samie was all but a completion to a perfectly fullfilling and lovely day.

Wicker Queen

One of the most common remarks, I am accustomed to getting by visiting friends and relatives is,  how my house has got highlights of wicker/cane made items dotted all around my home. It is true. 

I love wicker, the color, the feel, the texture and how it adds such a rustic look to any contemprary home.  If wicker gets you ticking, do let me know too.

I have at least 4 dozen baskets, all shapes, sizes, designs, woved with cloth and jute ..

My baskets are used in every possible way.

  • They are used to store cutlery in and large laddles and spatulas.
  • Table Napkins on the buffet table
  • Toiletries in the bathroom
  • Tissue rolls and handtowels in the washrooms
  • Stationery on the boys tables
  • Small and big toys in different sizes of baskets.
  • Soiled laundry in the upper bathrooms
  • Various uses of these baskets in my craft studio.  

We have had to find some of them, a new house in the “New Shed” ! Remember the new shed. dont ya’ll ?

this rack is just outside the craft studio. There are atleast 3dozen baskets still in the New shed.

this rack is just outside the craft studio. There are atleast 3dozen baskets still in the New shed.

This large basket houses scores of baby toys for when the little ones visit us. It is placed in the foyer.

This large basket houses scores of baby toys for when the little ones visit us. It is placed in the foyer.

This lovely basket is also standing in the foyer. It is ideal for storing all the sweaters in the winter. But otherwise it has blocks of toys in there.

This lovely basket is also standing in the foyer. It is ideal for storing all the sweaters in the winter. But otherwise it has blocks of toys in there.

placed in the lounge room, this helps give a casual look to the otherwise formal woodish setup.

placed in the lounge room, this helps give a casual look to the otherwise formal woodish setup.

Earth Hour ~ Making a tiny difference.

Lighting for a good cause.

Lighting for a good cause.

Today, like in many countries we too participated in the Earth Hour. From 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM the electricity in my home was switched off except for the fridge for obvious reasons.  I made the boys realize what a great contribution we are making trying to conserve a little of  this precious source. It felt really good.  The Walk at JBR infront of Hilton was one of the few places where we could join, in lighting a candle at the beach. While we were on our way out, we noticed the number of houses with all lights switched on and it really felt bad however, while passing thru Barsha we noticed almost all the villas had all of their fence lights (which are quite a few ) switched on, which was not the icing on the cake yet, just a yard ahead we noticed the DEWA Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s Substation had all of their “FLOOD LIGHTS ON” in addition to their regular lights !!! Now that was saddening.  We parked close to the Meridien and ho boy,  was I nostalgic !!! It was a terribly long walk to Hilton but the walk was well worth it, I completly loved “The JBR Walk”   There was a very long stream of cars moving at turtle’s pace. 

Finally we reached the designated area. There was a large crowd already marvelling at the lighted candles in (almost) stark darkness. We too got a couple of lights and placed it appropriately .. huge crowd turned out here this evening.  DEWA had provided TShirts, battery operated candles and  bottles of mineral water too. All free of cost. 

 The rain pour had gotten heavier by now but the kids and  I completly enjoyed getting wet.  Ofcourse a meal at Hardees did us good.

 My husband rightly noted that,  the idea and thought behind the Earth Hour is really very good, but in principle, people would only just want to spend that one hour out of their homes in cars or drives or out shopping, which obviously means, that we are consuming another source of energy, while trying to save one. 

Again I feel DEWA (Dubai  Electricity and Water Authority) should be commended for putting up such a wonderful effort and arrangement BUT “Practise was you preach” was missing. Why did’nt they switch off only their flood lights for that one hour ? Saving the energy wasted from   5 – 6 flood lights with atleast 500 – 1000 voltage. Now that would have really made a difference, even if it was only a tiny difference.  It could have been done provided someone realized it.

 I think I should write to 7Days ~ the newspaper that does not particularly like to print my letters. But its worth a try.  What say ??

Smart boys ~ Growing up : growing wiser

In the past few months we had noticed the boys were begining to get very edgy and possessive. I presumed it had to do with growing up and being boys, but sam decided to give them a small talk and lay out a few rules before someone really got hurt. So one of those rules was :  Once we gave our brothers or friends, a gift, we dont ask it back. It shows dishonour and disrespect. The boys have held back on this rule for weeks now, which I am pleased to say has been very sucessful …………. Until ………… until two days back,  While folding the laundry in my bedroom,  I could clearly hear a very formal conversation between the three of them. (strange how they can speak so loud to each other and expect Mom wont hear it !! )

A little about my Actors :

Bilal : 9 yrs                Sawaab : 7yrs                 Eman : 6 yrs

Sawaab ” Eman,  That station ( presumeably the new traffic station I got them  — TO SHARE ) doesn’t only belong to you. Mama got it for everyone,”

Eman being very defence, ” oh ya ? Well Bilal said I could have it if I gave him my Action Man”

A moments pause, while Bilal decides how he justifies his stand, ” Look sawaab, Eman is small and he can play with it, what do we need it for anyways ? 

At this point let me advise you that the difference between Sawaab and Eman is just 11 months. Although sawaab is a more sporty kinda kid, he also has very similar toy tastes as Eman.

Eman trying to find a way to his advantage., ” Sawaab remember Abba said that we should not ask back a gift once we gave it ? ”

Sawaab found a brilliant clause in this, ” Yeah Eman, but that was about gifting it, but Bilal has not gifted it to you, he has traded it to you. In trading we can take back.  Besides, it belonged to all of us then how could Bilal give it to you ?”

Mother’s reaction : Stunned ! I leave my folding for a moment to think about what this little 7 year old just said !! This generation does not cease to amaze me !    Their intelligence and their spontaneity ! They have confidence and they know how to get the better half of the deal. 

The case never landed in my court for obvious reasons, Mom would cut off the whole deal and ask them all to share the toy.

But the clause to Abba’s rule was decided today. We dont take back a gift once given, BUT we CAN  if we are “TRADING TOYS ”

Naughty and nice

Naughty and nice

 

One or all of my boys are going to study Law or write the law !!!

They have just learnt the way to get out of a sticky situation by applying some witty clauses here !

This photo was taken at the Global village in December 2008 before the India trip. Sam bought them these guns, much to my disagreement. But then we do have a democracy rule in “such matters” and how could I win in a  1:4 ratio ?  Let them enjoy their treats.

MAKEOVER CHILDREN’S ROOM ~ TOYLAND

Hurricane hit samama mansion first floor !

Hurricane hit samama mansion first floor !

Ofcourse the boys room is not very large but can easily accomodate the bunk beds and the car bed which has an additional bed underneath which can easily be slid open for sleepovers.  This is the state of the room every 15th day and then again, we go back to ” Mom hiting the ceiling and with screams that can be heard long past the ranches, the boys are forced into the clean up session.  Am I a MEAN mom ?? ABSOLUTELY !  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rambo practise room

Rambo practise room

 

The car bed is Bilal’s. and quite easily and conveniently the toys slid pass into those on the floor or around his bed !! Ofcourse no one is to be blamed .. ” I did’nt do it ”  my kids play fair. They dont like their siblings bearing the wrath from their mother, so no name blaming just “I dont know who did it !!!! Well it stays that way or I just call the firefighters to save the boys from me.    

 

 

 

 

Pile of toys

Pile of toys

 

There are two Ikea racks placed on either side of the room and in parallel, there are two beds as well. These racks house the stacks and stacks of baskets, bins, buckets and trays of goody, delicious toys. Have you seen a room this flooded with Toys ??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The same wall

The same wall

This is the same wall as Bilals bed is on. On the left side are built in wardrobes and those cartons stacked there are my goody boxes, naturally all my surplus craft supplies ! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The otherside of the room

The otherside of the room

 

Any corner worth saving is always occupied instantly with toys that appear magically ! This hear is a play station / car track which lodged itself magically one fine day here !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND NOW FOR THE MAKE OVER OR RATHER TRANSFORMATION OF TOY LAND INTO A WALKABLE SPACE !!!!!!!

SOME FACTS ABOUT THE MAKEOVER :

It took nearly 3 weeks of intensive cleaning up during which the boys were completly fed up of “Go and clean up your room” line.

We dumped almost 6 TV CARTONS of toys for Charity ! which I am so relieved off .. Phew ! 

We have still got 3 cartons of toys in the shed which I will give them every month if they decide to get rid of more toys.

There are nearly 11 brand new remote control cars, given at several birthdays to them by my dad and sister which are also sitting in the shed.   

This story was not for the faint of the heart. My Boys are real fighters !

UNBELIEVABLE !
UNBELIEVABLE !

 

 

can you believe this ?? This is the same wall which has Bilal’s car bed !! Well, its not great but its a great start, especially since the boys have achieved all this mainly on their own efforts, ofcourse I was sitting a sipping my coffee at one of the only empty corners of the room, with a fly swatter in my hands ! Well, it worked, did’nt it ??!   

 

SPACE  ~~ WE HAVE SPACE TO WALK IN OUR ROOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sawaab and eman's bed

Sawaab and eman's bed

 

Ofcourse the beds need to be made and organized, just did’nt want you’ll to think that we are spic and span all the time, now would we ?? Isnt it lovely .. i am really  pleased with the hard work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regaining space

Regaining space

 

There is more space next to the beds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bilal's wall

Bilal's wall

 

He is an 8 1/2 year old who has his heart set on action figures, race cars, gun machines and building blocks. What do you think he’ll be when he grows up ?

A machineist ? Nah !

A technician ? Nah ! 

A scientist ?  Nah !

Silly you, almost every child these days like almost all of those toys. Its natural. He’ll be what he intends to be. A good human being with alot of talent and a solid gold heart, inshallah. 

 

A child's fantasy land

A child's fantasy land

 

No amount of toys can replace a childs imagination.  He still lives in a large and beautiful fantasy world .. ok so thats not Bilal’s world. Bilal’s world is about rescuing a fairy princess from bad military goons with a machine gun and medival sword. Actually I relive my childhood thru my boys toys. These pink castles are actually mine. they are so special to me. I am a dreamer just like Bilal those pink homes represent fond memories from my childhood where we could’nt afford those.

New researches and new theories

  • Giving teenage boys fish at least once a week boosts their intelligence, a study suggests.

Experts found 15-year-olds who ate fish regularly scored better on IQ tests when they reached 18 than those who rarely ate it. The more fish they ate, the better they did, the child health journal Acta Paediatricareports. The link held true even when the level of the boys’ education and their parents social status was taken into account.

‘A number of studies have already shown that fish can help neurodevelopment in infants, reduce the risk of impaired cognitive function from middle age onwards and benefit babies born to women who ate fish during pregnancy.

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  • The key to exam success could be as simple – and as cheap – as a glass of water.

Children who have a drink of water before sitting tests fare up to a third better, researchers have found.

The reason why isn’t clear, but it could be that information flows more smoothly between brain cells when they are well hydrated.

‘Children who had a drink of water performed significantly better on a number of tasks. Our findings suggest that consuming water benefits cognitive performance in children.’

It is possible that water improves the flow of information between brain cells, added Dr Edmonds.

Other possibilities include the water drinkers not being distracted by feeling thirsty.

Previous studies have shown that drinking water boosts the brainpower of adults.

 

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Child cold remedies ‘don’t work and may cause harm’

by fiona Macrae

Medicines for the under-six

Most cough and cold mixtures do not work in children and may even cause side- effects such as allergic reactions and hallucinations, the medicines watchdog has warned.

A review of popular remedies, including Lemsip powders, Day Nurse and Sudafed, by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency found ‘no robust evidence that these medicines work’ in under-12s.

More than 60 popular medicines will now be marked with warnings that they must not be given to children under six and are not recommended for those aged between six and 12.

Cough and cold remedies have been linked to the deaths of at least five British children under two and around 100 serious cases of suspected side-effects.

The alert centres on 15 ingredients found in the medicines, many of which have been used by drug companies for years.

The MHRA said it was particularly concerned about children under six being given the drugs because they weighed less than older children, were more prone to infection and were less able to tell their parents about a medicine’s effectiveness.

 

Dr June Raine, MHRA’s director of vigilance and risk management of medicines, said: ‘Over-the-counter medicines used to treat coughs and colds have been used for many years.

‘However, they came into use when clinical trials were not required to demonstrate that they worked in children.

‘It is not right to assume safety and efficacy based on children being “small adults”. Children should have access to medicines that are acceptably safe and designed for their use.’

Although coughs and colds could be distressing, most young children get better by themselves within a few days, she added. Suitable treatments include paracetamol to keep a child’s temperature down and honey and lemon to ease a cough.

Martin Shalley, a consultant in emergency medicine at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, said: ‘The names of these medicines are often confusing and often sound very innocuous; the dangers are only in the small print, and on top of that, there is no evidence any of these products do any good.’

The MHRA has also compiled a list of medicines that do work and are safe to use on children under six.

It includes Beechams Veno’s Honey and Lemon, Benylin Tickly Coughs, and CalCough TicklyCare Glycerin Lemon & Honey with Glucose.

The remaining remedies will not be pulled from the shelves, however, because they are still suitable for adults. Instead, they will be sold from behind the pharmacy counter only.

The changes in labelling will be phased in from later this year and should be completed by next March.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain said it considered it ‘good practice’ to restrict some remedies for young children.