Month: February 2009

I’m in the ‘shed’

What a nice warm feeling to be home. But I arrive home with somewhat different ideas to those I left with. Experience while you are in a another place provides that state of mind. This trip even more so than others. I was greeted by two gorgeous granddaughters one, almost three, and one eighteen. We spent the afternoon together and it was an absolute delight.

Home.

The bags are packed… I've put the bling back on. I anticipate a good trip home…. and I have a few hours before I need to leave the hotel so I'm about to spend an hour by the pool to relax. There are a few problems having a large family… PRESENTS and remembering everyone…… I need to buy around 20.+ Oh, I don't buy each person a gift every time I travel… just once or twice a year and somehow T/shirts just don't come up to scratch.  "my Mother traveled to Thailand and all she bought back was this lousy T/shirt"I don't buy stuff for my quilt group anymore either, no one else does when they go to work!!!! So yesterday was the gift buying day. Pandora bracelets for $15, I have a real one and can't tell the difference. Just about $1000. Silver bracelets for the girls and baby Savannah. Leather covers for the iphone at 1/8th price.  Beautiful fabrics, cards all for a fraction of the price elsewhere….I think I have it stitched. …

Down memory lane.

34 years ago when I was as young Mum, Keith and I made our first trip to Thailand. We were naive, nervous and just young people on a mission. we came to adopt our Son Joshua. We arrived at 2.00 am. It was in the middle of July, it was 5 deg at home and 32 deg when we landed. We were met by soldiers with guns and stern looks. I was absolutely terrified. We drove to the city in a shuttle bus with 3 inebriated Aussie males who embarrassed the heck out of us with their crude comments to two Thai ladies seated near them.The traffic sped past at alarming speed, the lights were bright and the horns blew constantly. I'll never forget the smell either. Our accommodation was arranged by the adoption agency…..a pokey little hotel called the Maya Guest House. (after a week, I realized there was a brothel upstairs…. I was fascinated) I wondered why there was a constant stream of men in the dining area… I thought they were students …

Sea Shepherd.

For my friends in Australia, you may have seen the drama unfold on Television as the sea shepherd docked in Hobart. For those of you who live overseas, Australian security forces boarded the ship when it docked and seized the film and all documents used by the team….. it is reported they will give them to the Japanese Govt!!!! Smacks of political bribery. I wrote a letter to Mr Rudd, but seems he doesn't answer to "ordinary people" All I can say is that I don't have much respect for our Govt. Has Mr Rudd has sold out to the Japanese? At least my boy is home safe….!!!!

What an experience.

The past few weeks have been an experience of a life time. I began with no preconceived ideas…. and I leave with new friends, new ideas and a wealth of knowledge. Quilting in Dubai is in it's infancy but with the expert help of Shanker and Mala Ramakrishnan, they have made a difference in this part of the world. People who "tell your people" are taking notice of the talents in the UAE. It's an honor to be part of the process, just as it was in Mexico city. I'm a quilter, A Teacher and I take the responsibly of being so very seriously.  I hope to stimulate the creative ideas of my students, I think I was able to achieve that in this case. I don't look at teaching quilting as a financial bonus, in fact…. weeks on the road, the money disappears at an alarming rate…!!!! Of course, along the way there were many adventures. Camel races, visit to the fiords of Musandarm, I sampled wonderful food, met new friends, bought priceless antique …

A few friends…… with Libby and I. I'm in Bangkok, I can't believe that I slept for 14 hours straight and I'm still a little tired. It's 11.00 am and I'm about to go visit a quilting group in the city…..I've so much to catch up on the blog…. Now I have the time…..so after the day's work, I'll get to it.

Dubai

I left Ras Al Khaimah yesterday afternoon. We drove through red sandy desert punctuated by small shrub trees. Many people still have tents set up as recreation homes, some maybe even permanent. Camels wander freely, goats are corralled and there is the occasional small town with flat roofed houses made of sand and cement.It's 100 kms to Dubai and for most of that time there was a steady stream of trucks going in the same direction.No, not like home, bumper to bumper trucks, 1000's. Building sites of gigantic proportion have sprung up in the red sandy desert. As we got closer to Dubai, the "A" frame power poles appeared, until there were so many it looked like lace on the horizon.Towns with huge complexes of living accommodation to rival the best of houses are built, some standing without residents until the  economic crises passes….! The trucks were a continuous line, moving in unison like a caterpillar on wheels. Dubai is clean, modern and the best that money can buy. The streets are lined with petunias …

Musandarm – Oman

Whoops I spelt it incorrectly "Musandarm" I wanted to write more about some of the experiences I've had, but somehow the time is passing rather quickly. Yesterdays trip was wonderful as you can probably tell by my photos. Most of you who are reading this blog are quilters… and if you know my work you will understand the reason why I took some of those photos.The reflections would make wonderful quilts…. I want to make one just with reflections… I've been taking photos of reflections in water for years….After yesterday I think I have enough. Our dhow was painted bright mid blue. The deck was a patchwork of carpets and the cushions around the edge of the deck were blue tapestry. Against the water she looked outstanding.Days of sandstorms resulted in unusual formations in the sky and at times it looked as if we were in fog…. but it was actually sand in the sky. We traveled for about an hour before we came to the border of Oman and UAE. Strict customs and immigration …

A day of spectacular beauty.

Today, I viewed scenery I'd never experienced before.I sat on the deck of a dhow, listened to classical music on my ipod, relished the sun and took in spectacular scenery for 10 hours…!!! i will add a slide show tomorrow.  The Musandam Peninsula is the northernmost part of Oman jutting out into the Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Persian Gulf. The province, or governorate of Musandam as it is officially known, is separated from the rest of Oman by various of the United Arab Emirates – Ras al Khaimah and Fujairah. Musandam more or less begins where the mountains rise from the plains of Ras al Khaimah. The mountains have isolated communities for centuries. Coastal villages can be reached only by boat rather than by road. Pockets of flat land support meagre agriculture.