Spring is here – for today at least…..

And Melbourne sparkles.

Neighbours appear with the sun,

Children ride their bikes,

Lawnmowers come out of the shed,

Bicycles appear – not just the lycra clad; no weather a problem riders, but the mom and pop kind of cyclists, with kids in tow.

All a little wobbly as they navigate the muddy bits and find their summer muscles.

 

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Perhaps, precisely because weather is such a topic of conversation and variation,

Days like today are so so special.

Anyone who has lived here for more than a month knows that there is no telling…..

So the sun is out,

It is a Sunday – skip the ironing, the chores, the cooking –

Go out and smell the roses,

Explore the park,

Smile at the stranger –

It is good to be alive…..

 

Sheik Zayed Mosque

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21/09/2016 (Abu Dhabi)

This is quite one of the most remarkable buildings I have seen : European cathedrals point to a past sense of commitment, labour and worship: for me at least, this was about Now ; firstly a place of worship, (perhaps Solomon’s temple had this lavish feel to honour Yahweh) and then a place for visitors to marvel. We are invited in with no agenda, no charges, no conversions, free conversations, no topic is taboo – ‘they’ were remarkably amenable to discussing religion, politics, New and Old testaments. The only expectation was that you treated their place of worship with respect and to that end they are quite assertive.

Marble from Macedonia on the outside, Italy inside, pillars of ‘date palms’; semi precious inlays in detail to take your breath away : my amateur photos and words cannot begin to describe this place of worship – a special visit and humbling in a way

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Don’t ask :(

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We learn fairly early in life that sometimes it’s not a good idea to ask a question
Now is one of those sometimes 😳 ie don’t ask ….
Instead of being submerged in the African bush with its smells and sounds and fast asleep
I am in the UAE – making the most of an expensive monumental “stuff up” to use the Australian expression – (no one to blame except the author) by touring Dubai and Abu Dhabi and trying not to think too much about what just happened.
And there have been some positives : from the hotel staff who despite me not booking a room offered me the use of the pool and showers; charged my phone; scanned my new tickets;
Gave me water and organised a private tour with ‘a friend’ which took in many sights and left me back at the hotel at midnight – where once again they allowed me to shower
So now that I have recovered from the shock ( well kind of) of the costs involved and the people I’ve messed around – I need to ‘fess up
It serves no one to beat myself up; I’m lucky I can cover the cost and I haven’t missed my tour date
And after being awake for almost 48 hours I shall try and sleep before my flight
Dubai/Abu Dhabi news another time