Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

The first half of the week was unpleasant, for reasons I won’t go into – and I was irritable and unmotivated. Aside from work and sessions at the gym, it was quite uneventful.

I woke up on Sunday not having slept well at all, Rama cancelled our session and I had to go to brunch at someone’s house. My cousin and I got there just before noon. All the girls who were at dinner at Toscana the week before were there, plus a couple more. Conversation revolved around schools (again), Bollywood movies (again), what the kids are going to wear for their Diwali show, and a couple of other things.

I left brunch at 2pm and went over to another friend’s place for a short while – she had been at brunch too and I went to say hi to her mum who was visiting Dubai. I felt brain-dead after brunch and making conversation was an effort. I left after 20 minutes.

While I was at brunch my mum decided to go to the Mall of the Emirates so I joined her on my way home. She was looking at coffee tables – and I didn’t like any of the ones she showed me. We went home and I sat down to do some work.

I didn’t sleep well on Sunday night either. I did manage to get some work done on Monday afternoon though, so that was good.

I slept about 4 hours on Monday night/Tuesday morning – I kept waking up and at about 6.30, I was up. I stayed in bed, hoping to go back to sleep for a while but it didn’t happen. I had too many thoughts rushing through my head. I was supposed to meet a friend for coffee that morning but she couldn’t make it in the end. That afternoon I sat down to do some work only to find that the files I’d worked on the day before were corrupted and I had to do the same work all over again. I wouldn’t even be able to charge for it. What a bloody waste of time.

I had a session with Rama on Wednesday morning. I sat down to do some work after that but at 4pm I decided to walk to Tim Horton’s for a coffee. I just needed to get out of the flat for a bit.

That night my mum, cousin and I went to the Dubai Mall for dinner and to a movie as it was my parents’ 42nd anniversary and my dad wasn’t in town. We had dinner at PF Chang and then went to see ‘Arbitrage’ (I was disappointed by the abrupt end).

Things started to pick up on Thursday. That evening I went to Wine Club. As usual there were six wines to taste – one sparkling, two white and three red. There was also a lot more food than last time (thank goodness – I dread to think what state I’d have been in if there hadn’t been enough food to go around). There was a lot of mingling at the bar afterwards and it turned out to be quite a heavy late night.

I was a little hungover on Friday but went to meet a friend for lunch. We went to Al Dawaar, the revolving restaurant on top of the Hyatt Regency. It’s a lovely restaurant – there was a variety of food but I went for the hummus, baba ganoush, grilled chicken. And a Bloody Mary, of course.

I was supposed to be out for dinner that evening too, but those plans fell through and I ended up staying home.

Saturday was a very chilled day. I spent the afternoon by the pool, reading my book.

That evening I went to a writers’ group at The Pavilion Downtown. When I decided to move to Dubai I thought I’d have more time to focus on my writing but apart from attending a different writers’ group a few months ago (and just once at that), I’d done f***-all about it. As the time drew nearer I was very tempted to back out but forced myself to go. I’m so glad I did.

I got there on time (no thanks to the idiotic cab driver) and there were just four of us to begin with. The organiser told us there would be two writing exercises, each one lasting 30 minutes, and we were to focus on dialogue. He gave us a line of dialogue, an object and a character and we had to start writing.

In the first exercise, the line of dialogue was ‘I don’t think that’s how it works’, the object was a bicycle and the character was a teenage girl. It took me ages to get started and I didn’t really connect with the first exercise at all.

The line of dialogue in the second exercise was ‘Tomorrow is another day’, the object was a red ball, and one of the characters had to be a grumpy old man. This was much easier for me. In fact, I’m thinking of turning this one into a proper short story.

Several people came in after we’d started the first exercise, including a guy who actually said he wasn’t really into writing so would just read his book while we carried on. I thought that was odd.

What I liked about the group was that we didn’t have to read out our work afterwards. We could ask questions about any issues we may have faced but we didn’t have to critique anyone else’s work.

After the second exercise was finished people hung around chatting to each other. It was a friendly group – 11 of us in the end – and I would definitely go back. They meet every two weeks. The next meeting clashes with a book group I was going to attend but I might cancel that – I think I need to focus on this now.

I also really liked The Pavilion – I can see myself spending more time there and it’s not far from home.

I got home at about 9pm, had dinner, watched a couple of episodes of ‘Revenge’ and read for a while.

I love my life.

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