Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Photo of the Month:

Who are you calling a loser?

Fact of the Month: (From my Maman Cherie:)

Over a lifetime, an elephant will walk nearly half a million km, i.e. 480.000 km. That is the equivalent of strolling around the earth.....12 times!!!

My Cannelloni:

I started cooking this finger licking cannelloni with cheese and creamy spinach which melts in your mouth.
Michael licks his whole plate right through the end.
Yet until now, he is still not convinced that he could even like a vegeterian meal so much. We think it is a big dilemna. But because he is a sweet angel I might squeeze in a bit of bacon next time.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Desert BBQ a la Mexicaine:

Nothing beats a BBQ in November. It was lovely. The food was mouth watering, I just love guacomole. All of my colleagues at work were there.

We not only had a fire but three and still I forgot the marshmallows!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Burj Dubai:

And the construction continues on the Burj Dubai skyscraper in Dubai. It is set to be the world's tallest tower on completion in 2008. Burj Dubai has now clocked up 81 floors which makes it the tallest tower in Europe. And it is still going up and up and up...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Grooving at the Jam Jar:

There is a great place on this planet which makes me daydream. It has been on my mind ever since I did my first painting. It is called the Jam Jar. It has a jazzy entourage with rainbow colour buckets. All you have to do is get messy and have fun. And this is what I did.

I call it the Perfect Sunset. You can even see the little boats at the bottom.
I am already thinking of my next one.

Monday, November 06, 2006


We spent our weekend in the Mussandam which is the Northern enclave of the Sultanate of Oman tucked away at the tip of the United Arab Emirates and the Arabian Gulf. It also happens to be one of the best diving places in the world, also known for its majestic mountains.

People are genuinely friendly. The place is full of fishermen villages, some which can only be reached by boat and others without any electricity. Time actually stops.

We camped on one of the mountains under a full moon without a tent for a change.
We hired a fishing boat to visit the islands and to snorkel.

At one point, Michael found himself surrounded by a school of vicious barracudas of one meter long each! Fortunately for him, they were not interested in him. The ocean is full of fish and corals of all sizes and colours.
Unfortunately, we did not spot any dolphins, I guess it was not meant to be, at least not this time.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Driving in Dubai:

I am not sure what is really happening these days but drivers are so aggressive, selfish and arrogant. It gets worse by the day. A lot of innocent people are dying on these roads of hell and no one is doing anything about it. I try to look at the view. I cannot read because it makes me dizzy. i try to think about something else but in vain, it is too stressful and I am not even the one driving! I get so nervous that I get nauseous and I feel my heart is skipping a beat and it might pop out of my chest any minute. You think I am exaggerating, sorry no I am not. It is quite bad. They drive bumper to bumper at an imaginary speed. They are murderous. I have promised myself never to drive in this country therefore I do not own a car. I do cycle though but only on pavements and sidewalks.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

"From the deep":

"Bathers off Jebel Ali have reported a series of agonising attacks that have left marine experts scratching their heads." By the way, this the same beach Michael and I go to every week end. " So far, four 7DAYS readers have reported attacks by the mystery creature, leaving two or three puncture wounds. All victims suffered profuse bleeding and severe pain lasting up to eight hours. The bathers speculated it might have been a stingray, but marine experts say that’s probably a red herring. In fact, experts say, the attacks show none of the trademarks of local species, and they believe that offshore developments may have brought unfamiliar creatures into our waters.

If you go down to the beach today, you could be in for a big surprise – a mysterious aquatic pest with a terrible way of defending itself. On Monday, the 7DAYS letters page reported the first attack by a beast that leaves its agonised victims gushing blood from multiple wounds. Ute dipped a foot into 60cm of water on the beach on the first day of Eid and was left in agony for eight hours.

Jonathan Ali Khan of Ocean World Productions, currently filming the second series of ‘Cycle of Life’ for regional television, says any number of fishes could be the culprit. “Everyone is going to think it’s a stingray but I wouldn’t think it would be one if there are two or three wounds,” he says. “A sea-snake bite would be far worse and their mouths are too small to bite an ankle.” He suggests a flounder or Moses sole could be the villain - both of which are likely to lurk under the sand off Jebel Ali. However, he feels the most likely culprit could be a reef fish.

“The only thing that could really do this is a fish with spines and a venom gland,” he says. “I would suggest something from the Stonefish or Scorpionfish families, probably a juvenile because an adult’s sting would be worse.” Neither fish would normally be on a sandy seabed near the beach but offshore development could be bringing reef fish closer in.

What is the Jebel Ali Ankle Nipper?

Poisonous; The nipper causes agonising pain that lasts for eight hours.
Anticoagulant;The nipper causes profuse bleeding.
Multiple puncture wounds; Victims report two or three cuts in their ankles.
Violent; Victims say the nipper reacts aggressively and tugs at their feet.

Prime Suspects

Stingray; The defence
A typical stingrays only has one spine.
The prosecution. They could strike twice or it could be a species with two barbs.

Sea-snake; The defence
Too venomous and mouths too small.
The prosecution. Very common to the area.

Moses Sole or another flatfish; The defence
Not venomous.
The prosecution. They have two long spines and mucus that could cause pain.

A Stonefish, Scorpionfish or Lionfish; The defence
Not normally near the beach.
The prosecution. Venomous with painful reactions.

The verdict:
Tiny sting rays!
"The dark spotted Stingray is commonly found on the beaches in the Jebel Ali area and is much smaller than many other species, generally with a body size of less than 30 cm.”
Report taken from 7 days local newspaper.