Monday, January 29, 2007

A Medical Lesson:

I woke up a couple of days ago realising that I could not bend my neck backwards, not even to drink water from the bottom of my cup! So I decided to go to work and luckily I work with Doctors and physiotherapists, so I asked for advice.

Annular tear of the cervical spine disc is what they call it! I know it sounds horrible. Everything sounds horrible once you add the word disc and tear in one sentence. It is caused by doing constant impact sports which put pressure on the spine therefore allows the annular to rupture.

Normal vertebra is made of hard part in the outside called annulus fibrosus and more soft disc inside called nucleus pulposus. This internal part is filled with specific liquid and its role is to prevent the rubbing of two discs. Annular tear is internal disruption of the disc and this, sometimes, very small lesion allows the irritating liquid material, normally restricted to the center of the disc, to come into contact with surrounding tissue or nerves causing compression of neurons therefore pain.

So I guess all the jumping and monkeying around, all the Tae-bo and kickboxing did not help much.
Ah! but there is a solution you see: 3 months no rough play or contact sports to reduce the swelling and give a chance to the tear to heal which it would 100%, plus take anti-inflammatories. I can still cycle...once I can turn right. It helps to look both ways in order to cross the road, well that is what my mama told me. Haha, yes I am frustrated but what can I do. I will try and swim in a week or two maybe even cycle in the gym. But other than that, windsurfing, forget it! Running, forget it! But, it is not so bad. That is only for 3 months. I should consider myself lucky that it is not something permanent.

Picture taken from


Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Horror:

Our first encounter with our new neighbour was a horrific experience! We met yesterday afternoon in the corridor next to the lift. She is a great lady with a very pretty Saluki which is a desert dog that looks like a grey hound. These dogs are so friendly and very pretty. It turns out that this dog was called Sandy as well like me! So we were still talking when suddenly the lady steps into the elevator. The doors of the elevator start to close behind her. She starts pressing buttons to try and reopen the doors. I do the same on the other side but in vain. The doors are closed and the elevator starts to go down and fast! Well you see there was a problem, the dog was still in the corridor next to me and not in the lift with his master. The horror... and on a leash. The lady was still holding on to the leash!!!!The dog was actually getting dragged further and faster towards the doors of the elevator. His neck is going to break. I go for the leash and pull as hard as my body can pull. Michael goes for the dog and try to release his collar. But the dog would not have it! His fangs show up. He does not like strangers. The dog sees two strangers shouting and trying to go for his collar while his master disappears in a lift while he is being pulled towards the closed doors of the lift. Not his cup of tea! I looked at the dog and I can see there was nothing we could do but watch him die a horrific death in front of us! Oh, dear! Thankfully, thankfully, the leash broke! I don't know if it was me pulling with all my force or it was the lift that snapped the rope. It just snapped! Ouf! The dog was shaking like a leaf. We were shaking like a leaf. The woman came back up screaming expecting to see a dead dog. A happy ending to a story of horror. I know I actually realized how stupid I was but all my fingers are slashed and burned from the rope running through them, I won't use my hands for a while that is for sure. I also realized that it could have been worse. That we could have been entagled with him and we could have lost a limb. I should stop thinking!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Great News!

We have bought a one bedroom flat in Dubai! It has a breathtaking view of the creek from one side and from the Burj Dubai from the other. I cannot believe how exciting and worrying it is to make the first step on this ladder of Life that everyone talks about. The place will not be ready before 2008 but we are already planning ahead on a "spread sheet" and checking furniture shops.

Our flat will actually be between the Burj Dubai tower and the creek in the back.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Fact of the Month:

According to tradition, the first engineer to build a bridge across the Tiber in Ancient Rome was given the name Pontifex meaning the "bridge builder". Today, the Pope still carries the title Pontifex Maximus.

Photo of the Year! Definitely!

Actually, it is just a chair!!!! Amazing! This is the best yet!
It was provided by a good friend of mine Rodolph.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year!

We were invited to a Portuguese BBQ at Melissa and Rui's place. We had lots of fun and tasty food, hmm, especially the shrimps...seafood: my favourite!

Then at midnight, we rushed to the rooftop to watch Burj Al Arab's fireworks...Spectacular. Hope that you all had great holidays and we wish you all the best for the new year to come.
Love Sandie and Michael.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Christmas with the Family in the UK:

So after 6 days of bruising and falling in the snow, we went home to our family in the UK to recover. Luckily, we went through Gatwick airport because apparently Heathrow airport was closed for 3 days because of the frost and fog. But it was hard work. Even though our family lives 2 hours far from London it took us almost a full day to reach there. We actually missed our bus...twice. First because of the flight delay and then because he never actually stopped the second time. But we managed to catch him in Heathrow.

Christmas with the family is something we have not done in a long while! It was a great family reunion with the traditional stuffed turkey, the mince pies, the triffle, the cranberry sauce, the drinking and eating a la Anglaise. We even got Christmas stockings which I loved!!! My mother in-law is amazing, everything is so fresh and home made, even the bread and the jams were home made.

It was really a privilege to get invited for Christmas to their place this year. And my father-in law is an amazing soup chef! He cooks these soups which you can only find in fancy restaurants with Michelin stars.

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And to top it all up, I managed to trott on Abbey (the horse) quite well. I do not ride horses usually but I managed to do everything right this time except for leaning forward a bit too much. I would not mind cantering next time!

Merry Christmas to you all and thank you for a great week.


On Top of the World!

A holiday which smelled of hot chocolate, cheese fondue and French baguettes. A holiday with a panoramic view. The French Alps are truely breathtaking. We stayed in the valley of Les Deux Alpes which is a two hours' drive from Lyon and after Grenoble. The glacier is higher than 3400 meters and the temperature -13 degrees celsius with an occasional wind which varied up to 80 km per hour! It can be reached by a funiculaire which is an underground train shuttle like the ones you find in mines but more sophisticated. You can easily get high altitude sickness. We got dizzy a few times and our noses were bleeding once in a while.

There is a lot of snow and it is always sunny.

Ironically, the clouds just stay at the bottom of the valley.

The view from our hotel balcony.