Life goes on, most things unchanged. A friend in Abu Dhabi just found out her father (in England) is very ill and another friend had similar news about her mother (in the Netherlands). At times like these it's hard to be so far from home.
Lately, the riding is going better than the writing. Seems I can write a blog or I can write fiction, but I cannot write both. After a long dry spell, the muse has returned, so I am back at my attempt at a novel. We'll see.
Certainly some of the people I've come to know here, Emiratis and Arabs in particular, are inspiring me in a positive way. Can't say any more than that at the moment...
My dear maid, whom I had great affection for, is not working for us anymore. She used to come once a week - for a while her husband came too - and my villa sparkled under their care. I was sad to say goodbye to them, but happy for the reason: they are buying a house in their home country of Sri Lanka. It costs about 50,000 dirhams, equal to $13,500 US.
Would I visit, they asked. I said I would love to, and I meant it. They said their home would always be ready for me, and I know they meant it, too.
Although I had a good experience with my maid, a number of friends have gone through 3 or 4 maids before they found someone whom they trusted and who cleaned well. Since my children are asking for cash at every turn lately, well, you can imagine what we've decided to do.