Your month ahead (August 2013)

Have an amazing August!

Aries

Swords Page

Page of Swords – using your mind – analysing the problem, using logic and reason; being truthful – acting honestly, exposing what is hidden; being just – acting ethically, righting a wrong; having fortitude – facing problems squarely, keeping a firm resolve

Taurus

18 Moon

The Moon – feeling fear – lacking courage, being overcome by anxieties, feeling a nameless apprehension; believing illusions – deceiving yourself, experiencing distortions, chasing after a fantasy; stimulating the imagination – opening to fantasy, having vivid dreams or visions, plumbing the unconscious; feeling bewildered – losing direction and purpose, being easily distracted, feeling disoriented

Gemini

20 Judgement

Judgement – making a judgement – having a day of reckoning, taking a stand, getting off the fence; feeling reborn – awakening to possibilities, making a fresh start, discovering joy; hearing a call – feeling drawn to a new direction, answering a need, recognising your true vocation; finding absolution – feeling cleansed and refreshed, atoning for past mistakes, feeling sins washed away

Cancer

Wands 3

3 of Wands – exploring the unknown – expanding horizons, leaving the secure behind; having foresight – getting a premonition, being visionary; demonstrating leadership – assuming a responsible position, showing others the way

Leo

cups_7

7 of Cups – indulging in wishful thinking – creating fantasies, building castles in the air, lacking focus and commitment; having many options – looking at a wide open field, getting to pick and choose, being offered many alternatives; falling into dissipation – letting everything go, being lazy, procrastinating, eating/drinking/partying to excess

Virgo

Wands 6

6 of Wands – triumphing – having your day in the sun, coming out on top, achieving success; receiving acclaim – earning applause, achieving recognition, getting a pat on the back; feeling pride – strutting your stuff, holding your head up high, having a high opinion of yourself

Libra

21_world-scaled500

The World – integrating – experiencing wholeness, combining, working in unison; accomplishing – realising your goals, seeing dreams come true, finding a beautiful solution; becoming involved – rendering a service, using a gift or talent, sharing what you have; feeling fulfilled – savouring the present, taking pleasure in life, enjoying peace of mind, counting your blessings

Scorpio

16 The Tower

The Tower – going through sudden change – experiencing upheaval, being in chaos; releasing – exploding, erupting in anger; falling down – suffering a blow to the ego, experiencing a crash; having a revelation – exposing what was hidden, seeing everything in a flash

Sagittarius

1 The Magician

The Magician – taking action – doing what needs to be done, producing magical results; acting consciously – acknowledging your motivations, examining the known situation; concentrating – feeling centred, being totally committed; experiencing power – having vitality, feeling vigorous, being creative

Capricorn

Swords 6

6 of Swords – feeling the blues – just keeping your head above water, working to get through the day, feeling somewhat depressed; recovering – dealing with the effects of a trauma, beginning to get your health back, heading toward a more positive place; travelling – changing location, taking a trip, going on a journey, entering into a new frame of mind

Aquarius

Wands 2

2 of Wands – having personal power – commanding attention and respect, holding the world in your hands, having authority; being bold – daring to do what you want, speaking your mind, seizing the day; showing originality – taking a different approach, doing what no one else has done, marching to a different drummer

Pisces

0 Fool

The Fool – beginning – entering a new phase, expanding horizons, beginning an adventure, heading into the unknown; being spontaneous – letting go of expectations, acting on impulse, surprising someone; having faith – staying open, feeling protected and loved, recapturing innocence; embracing folly – taking the ‘foolish’ path, being true to yourself, trusting your heart’s desire

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The final few

I woke up on Sunday and my left knee was a little sore. I couldn’t understand why because it was fine all week, and I even did three cardio sessions on my own without any problems. I told Randy before my session began that my knee was playing up again. He said to see how it felt during our session – and also to run/walk at a slight incline when I’m on the treadmill on my own.

I started with my usual 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer and then did the following circuit three times (with a rest between sets):

  • Seated row x 20
  • The ladder x 6 lengths (stepping in and out in one direction, jumping in and out in the other – but by the last set I was stepping in and out in both directions because of my sore knee)
  • Combined dumbbell lateral raise/front raise (3-lb weights) x 10
  • Sit-ups x 20 (holding a 10-lb weight for the second and third sets)
  • Plank x 45 seconds

I did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and did the next circuit three times (with a rest between circuits):

  • Tricep extensions x 15
  • Abdominal leg raises x 15
  • Push-ups x 10 (Randy made me lower myself until my chest was on the floor and then push myself up from that position – tough!)
  • Single-leg pelvic lifts x 10 on each side (these were painful)

I then did some stretching and I was done!

I woke up on Monday with sore hamstrings, sore triceps, sore shoulders, and a sore left knee. Randy had told me when I was on the treadmill to use a slight incline as that might help the pain in my knees. I went to the gym and did 5 km on the treadmill (46:08; incline 0.5). I didn’t run at all, I started walking at 6.3 kph and then gradually increased it so that at the end I was walking (fast) at 6.9 kph.

I didn’t have a session with Randy on Wednesday but went to the gym on my own. I did 3 km in 25:24 (alternating walking and running). My knee seemed fine while I was on the treadmill, but it’s only after I’ve worked out that it starts to ache a bit.

I didn’t go back to the gym for the rest of the week – I had a heavy weekend and I my knee didn’t feel great. I think wearing heels two nights in a row isn’t very good for me!

Low point of the week? My sore left knee. Also, eating (and drinking) really badly over the weekend – loads of wine and champagne on Friday and Saturday nights, McDonald’s for dinner on Saturday night!

High point of the week? Going to the gym on my own twice – I need to start getting back into my old routine.

Weight loss? I actually made it down to 69.5 kg on Friday (but didn’t really feel it) but was back up to 70 kg again on Saturday!

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Read more updates here.

Your week ahead (28 July – 3 August)

Have a great week!

Aries

Pentacles 5

5 of Pentacles – experiencing hard times – running into material troubles, feeling insecure, struggling to make ends meet; suffering ill health – feeling run down and tired, getting medical attention, neglecting your body and its needs; being rejected – having the door slammed in your face, feeling excluded, lacking support

Taurus

12_hanged_man-scaled5001

The Hanged Man – letting go – accepting what is, ending the struggle, giving up control; reversing – turning the world around, seeing from a new angle, overturning old priorities; suspending action – giving up urgency, living in the moment, pausing to reflect; sacrificing – putting self-interest aside, putting others first, giving up for a higher cause

Gemini

Wands 2

2 of Wands – having personal power – commanding attention and respect, holding the world in your hands, having authority; being bold – daring to do what you want, speaking your mind, seizing the day; showing originality – taking a different approach, doing what no one else has done, marching to a different drummer

Cancer

8_strength-scaled500

Strength – showing strength – having stamina, being a rock; being patient – refusing to get angry, taking time, maintaining composure; being compassionate – understanding what others are feeling, giving others lots of space, being kind; achieving soft control – guiding indirectly, being able to influence, demonstrating the strength of love

Leo

Pentacles 6

6 of Pentacles – be generous – you are either about to be the beneficiary or giver of something with value; share what you have – there is always someone who needs it; generosity does not have to have monetary value – it could be a listening ear, spiritual support, etc.; don’t be too proud to accept what is offered, if you are the intended recipient

Virgo

Pentacles 9

9 of Pentacles – being disciplined – exercising self-control, sticking to a programme, reining in impulses; relying on yourself – handling the situation alone, doing it all by yourself, wanting to be alone; pursuing refinement – achieving a comfortable lifestyle, being tactful and diplomatic, remembering to be gracious

Libra

16_the_tower

The Tower – going through sudden change – experiencing upheaval, being in chaos; releasing – exploding, erupting in anger; falling down – suffering a blow to the ego, experiencing a crash; having a revelation – exposing what was hidden, seeing everything in a flash

Scorpio

cups_7

7 of Cups – indulging in wishful thinking – creating fantasies, building castles in the air, lacking focus and commitment; having many options – looking at a wide open field, getting to pick and choose, being offered many alternatives; falling into dissipation – letting everything go, being lazy, procrastinating, eating/drinking/partying to excess

Sagittarius

Wands Page

Page of Wands – being creative – taking a novel approach, finding a new area of self-expression; being enthusiastic – getting excited, being passionate; being confident – stretching your envelope, moving beyond doubts; being courageous – taking assertive action, overcoming a fear

Capricorn

Swords King

King of Swords – being intellectual – ably carrying out research, using thought creatively; being analytical – applying reason and logic, understanding a problem quickly; being articulate – being a lucid writer and speaker, being a stimulating conversationalist; being just – being impartial and objective, being concerned with truth and fairness; being ethical – encouraging high standards, living by your highest principles

Aquarius

Pentacles 10

10 of Pentacles – enjoying affluence – feeling financially secure, having a good run of fortune, being free from money problems; seeking permanence – looking for a solution that will last, having an orderly family life, being concerned with the long term; following convention – being conservative, taking part in traditions, proceeding according to the rules

Pisces

Wands 8

8 of Wands – taking quick action – making your move, putting plans into action, rushing into a new area; coming to a conclusion – closing out an activity, completing unfinished business, having all elements come together; receiving news – getting an important message, finding the missing puzzle piece, having a meaningful conversation

For your monthly readings, click here.

For your weekly readings, click here.

For a personal tarot reading, please contact me.

Dubai 2013: Week 26

I woke up on Sunday feeling ill again. I felt a little feverish and I’d been up half the night coughing. I apologised to Randy and told him I wouldn’t be able to have my session with him.

I felt OK to go to Sumo Sushi for lunch – it was just my dad, my uncle, my nephew and me. I came home after lunch and got into my pajamas. I thought about having a nap because I was struggling to stay awake, but then I thought I might not be able to sleep in the night. I stayed awake but had an early night in the end.

I woke up on Monday, still coughing. I went to my Arabic class. We covered:

  • Telling time – revison
  • Verbs – to do/make, to write, to read, to finish, to return, to start
  • Random vocabulary – restaurant, homework
  • Sun and moon letters
  • Nunation – double strokes (I still need to get my head around this)

That afternoon I met up with a friend at the Westin Hotel in Marina. We’d booked a couple of massages and I didn’t want to cancel our appointments. I thought it might make me feel better. And it did for a little while. The massage was good, but I think Spa Zen at the Radisson Royal is better. After our massages we went to Oeno, the wine bar at the hotel, for a drink. It was almost 6pm and the place was quite empty. We had some wine and then headed home.

I went to see the doctor on Tuesday. She took my blood pressure (slightly high), temperature (normal), and listened to my breathing. She came to the conclusion that I had mild bronchitis and put me on a 3-day course of antibiotics. She also thought I might have allergies (I don’t know where she got this from) and told me to take Zyrtek at night. And she also prescribed a different cough syrup. I didn’t agree with her diagnoses of bronchitis or allergies, but she’s the doctor, I suppose.

I had my last Arabic class of the term on Wednesday. We covered:

  • Revision of most things we had learned and any questions we had
  • Random vocabulary – birthday, Christmas

We also had to give a short presentation using all the vocabulary we had learned: my name is ______. I am from ______. I’ve been in Dubai for ______. I am a ______ and I work in ______. I am married/not married. I live in Dubai with my husband/children/parents.

You get the idea.

After my class I met a friend for lunch at the Dubai Mall. We went to Cafe Bateel, next to the Waterfall. I’d never been there before. I had the pasta with smoked salmon but thought the food was better at Vapiano.

That evening I went to run some errands with my dad. We ended up at the Jumeirah Centre and I was starting to feel peckish. We saw a new(ish) place called Russo’s where they sell pizza by the slice and decided to try it. I thought it was OK – I didn’t like the way they put the toppings on but it hit the spot. The slice we ordered was big enough for both of us to share too.

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I met up with NP for lunch on Thursday. We went to our usual Jones the Grocer and we both ordered the Wagyu burger. We both wanted the truffle-infused brie but the waiter said he’d have to check whether they had any. And then he just stood there, waiting for us to change our minds. ‘OK, go check and let us know,’ we said (not in unison). He came back a few minutes later to say that they were out of truffle-infused brie. Could we have the truffle mayo instead then? ‘So now you want the truffle mayo?’ Good grief – what was his problem? Maybe he was trying to tell us (and by that I mean me) that we could do without truffle mayo. Our burgers arrived with truffle mayo and they were so good.

2013-07-04 12.50.40

That night I met up with a friend for Dupper at the Fairmont. It’s supposed to be like brunch – unlimited food and drinks from 8-11pm (‘dupper’ is a portmanteau of ‘dinner’ and supper’ but I think it sounds rather dumb). We got there at 7.30pm and were treated to a mixology class by the head bartender. The first drink was gin-based and the second was rum-based, neither of which I would drink over an extended period of time. So I switched to white wine. They had a good selection of food – a huge sushi section, an Asian section (Chinese and Thai), an Indian section and of course an Arabic section. They also had a separate dessert area where they were making fresh crepes. By the bar area they had a separate chilled room full of cheese. I ate mostly sushi and dim sum. For dessert I had a variety of cheeses and then unnecessarily had a Nutella crepe. I was so full after that! The service was excellent. Once Dupper was over we went to the bar and had a drink or two. It wasn’t a late night – I was home by midnight.

I spent the rest of the weekend at home. My brother had introduced me to ‘House of Cards’ and I ended up watching the entire season 1 over the weekend!

I love my life.

For more updates, click here.

Dubai 2013: Week 25

I woke up feeling like rubbish on Sunday. I’d felt it coming on the day before but hoped it was just one of those 24-hour bugs. I spent most of the day in bed.

I spent most of Monday in bed too and missed my Arabic class. I felt tired, feverish, and had a slight cough.

On Tuesday I decided that enough was enough and thought I’d try a ‘mind over matter’ approach – if I pretended I was OK, I’d be OK. I had my piano lesson, went for a Dermalogica facial at Spaces Salon in Oasis Centre and in the evening went to see World War Z with my dad. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would but found it quite scary! I got into bed that night feeling much better and thought that my new approach had worked.

I woke up on Wednesday feeling a bit under the weather again. I went to my Arabic class anyway as I didn’t want to fall behind. And I’m so glad I went because we covered:

  • Six more letters
  • Numbers from 1000 upwards
  • How to say you’re at someone’s place (similar to chez in French) or invite someone over
  • New verbs – to be able to/can, to speak, to come, to like/love, to read, to understand, to visit, to drive, to work, to eat
  • Random vocabulary – lunch, dinner, sometimes, always, never, usually
  • Telling the time – I thought this was pointless as nobody in Dubai is ever on time anyway. Telling the time is complicated in Arabic – similar to French and Spanish, when referring to minutes from 1 to 20 you say the hour and the minutes, e.g. 3:10 would be 3 hours and 10. If you were referring to 3:50, however, you would say 4 hours minus 10. As in French and Spanish, you have a word for quarter past/to (similar to quart in French) and half past (like demi in French). You also have a word for 20 minutes past/to (this doesn’t exist in French and Spanish). To make things even more complicated, if you wanted to say 3:25 the literal translation would be 3 hours and a half minus 5. No wonder nobody can tell the time here, it’s so complicated. I’ve decided all my meetings/appointments will be on the hour, just to make it easier!

That evening I had my fourth and last creative writing class. We talked about stepping out of our comfort zone by: switching the point of view (from first person to third person or vice versa), changing our genre, writing about something controversial (religion or incest, etc.), switch story settings, face a fear and write about it.

We also talked about dreams and how the subconscious mind can be a powerful resource when writing fiction. I was asked if I had any recurring dreams and I couldn’t remember a single dream I’ve had since I moved to Dubai. I used to dream a lot in London, but here I just don’t dream. Or I don’t remember my dreams.

We then had to write a letter to our younger selves. I hate doing exercises like this – I never know what to write.

We finished off by talking about planning a novel:

  • Your story chooses you – and you won’t know why until you’ve finished it
  • The narrative – the story, the plot, what happens – these are the spine on which the body of your novel depends
  • Think about the arc of your story
  • Every story is a microcosm of the story of life – a cycle of birth, growth, death, rebirth, and so on

Things to think about:

  • Make readers come back to you
  • Build an alternative universe
  • Be the best – keep practising
  • Amuse and entertain – do not preach
  • Don’t avoid dialogue (dammit, that’s what I’d been planning to do)
  • Be prepared to throw away a lot
  • If it’s boring, leave it out!

And that was the end of my 4-week writing course. I’d done it hoping it would motivate me to do some writing but I have to admit I haven’t written anything since then.

On Thursday I felt much better. I had a piano lesson and then decided it was time for some pampering at the Amro Salon at the Shangri-La. I treated myself to a manicure, pedicure and blowdry. That evening I had a friend in town for the night so we decided to meet at Zuma for some drinks – we had quite a few and then went to La Petite Maison where we had another drink (and a shot of Cafe Patron) and then went to Roberto’s where we were joined by a couple of his friends. It was a really fun evening.

I was home most of Friday in the day. That evening I met up with a couple of friends at Vantage at the Sheraton. Luckily we were seated indoors this time. It was a chilled evening and I was home by midnight.

I caught up on some work on Saturday and that evening went to see White House Down with my dad. Very similar to Olympus Has Fallen but I enjoyed it nonetheless!

I love my life.

For more updates, click here.

Dubai 2013: Week 24

I didn’t have a session with Randy on Sunday as the schedule for my Arabic classes for the week had changed. There would be three classes instead of two – on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Sunday we covered:

  • What our jobs are (engineer, lawyer, teacher, psychologist, freelancer, etc.), where we work (private company, Government, at home) and the verb to work
  • Two more letters

That evening I went to Spa Zen at the Radisson Royal for a massage. I’d used an Entertainer voucher in May and had a free massage to enjoy. I slept well that night!

On Monday I had yoga and decided to go to the gym for a quick workout as well. I was home working the rest of the day.

I had another Arabic class on Tuesday. We covered:

  • Nationalities
  • One more letter
  • More verbs – to travel, to write, to like
  • More vocabulary – here, there, cold water, glass, sure, not sure, of course
  • Practising conversation – Do you like studying Arabic? Where do you study Arabic? Where do you go on Friday? Where do you work? and appropriate responses!

I had a piano lesson soon after my Arabic class so one of my friends and I went to Costa for a coffee and a quick bite to eat. My piano lesson was good – I’m really enjoying it and I’ve even managed to practise regularly recently. I started learning ‘Stay’ by Rihanna.

I had my third Arabic class on Wednesday. We covered:

  • Age – how old are your children, etc.
  • The past tense (briefly) because it’s not for our level (kunt = I was)
  • Numbers from 100 upwards
  • More verbs – to see/look, to come
  • How to conjugate two verbs in a row – if you were to say ‘I like to drink coffee’ my instinct would be to conjugate ‘I like’ but to leave ‘to drink’ as the imperative. Well, that’s wrong. You conjugate both verbs so the literal translation is ‘I like I drink coffee’
  • Four new letters

That evening I went to my creative writing class at The Pavilion Downtown. It had been cloudy all day but on my way to my class I realised how low the clouds were.

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There was a cloud right in the middle of the Burj Khalifa!

My writing session that day was about dialogue (which I’m rubbish at). Dialogue sets the scene, defines characters, breaks up prose. One of Elmore Leonard’s tips is to avoid describing people and places as much of it will come through in the dialogue. Dialogue also creates pace and is the best device for the delivery of information. It pushes the story forward. Silence also says a lot in a story. Some tips we were given about dialogue were:

  • Let it flow
  • Pour it out – make it sparkle later but just get it down on paper first
  • When writing dialogue, write as fast as you can – don’t worry about who said what, just write it all down

We then had to write a dialogue between two people, imagining a third person was eavesdropping. I wrote about an 8-year-old girl whose parents had organised a surprise birthday party for her and were trying to figure out where to tell her they were going.

We then talked about setting and how a place can be one of the characters (e.g. New York in ‘Sex and the City’). Time is also important – a contemporary novel is fairly straightforward but when writing a historical or futuristic novel you need to research: food, fashion, what’s on the radio, conversations at the pub, and so on. We then had to choose a setting and write a short paragraph. I wrote this:

Oxford Street at Christmas always reminded her of the video game Frogger which she used to play as a child. Shoppers, cars, cyclists, buses – nobody cared who they bumped into or ran over as long as they got what they wanted where they wanted. It was the complete opposite of Christmas. She thought of the frog crossing the three lanes of traffic, jumping from one floating log on the river to another, and then finally arriving safe on the other side of the river bank.

She always felt relieved when she walked past McDonald’s towards the relative quiet of Hanover Square. She could breathe again – the crisp air entering her lungs. It was just a brief respite though as soon she would leave the square and end up on Regent Street which she would also have to cross. Admittedly it wasn’t as bad as Oxford Street but by the time she got to her yoga class she was ready to snap off someone’s head.

On Thursday I went to my niece’s 5th birthday party at Chunky Monkey on Sheikh Zayed Road. My dad and I didn’t go for the whole thing though – we got there just in time to cut the cake (and have some pizza and samosas). There were about 20 kids running around and one of the staff shouting into a microphone. Had I gone for the whole party I’d have left with a headache. My 13-year-old nephew came up to me and asked: When are you going to get married?

WTF? Was I really going to have this conversation with a 13-year-old? ‘Why are you asking me that?’ I thought one of his grandparents might have put him up to it.

‘I want to play the guitar at your wedding.’

Aww – that was sweet.

‘How many lessons have you had?’ I asked.

‘One.’

Oh – well, he has plenty of time to sort himself out!

That night I went to wine club which was held at the Sheraton next to the Mall of the Emirates. I went with a couple of friends and met some other regulars there. It was a fun evening, the food was good and the wines weren’t bad either. We had:

  • Banrock Station 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (Australia): this displays lifted tropical and herbaceous aromas. On the palate, fresh and soft gooseberry flavours finish with a grassy lift
  • Chateau L’Aumerade 2011 Cru Classe Cotes de Provence (France): pale yellow with green hues. An intense nose with fresh citrus notes which warm up to reveal tropical fruits on the glass. Medium bodied on the palate with a pleasant finish. Pair with scallops, prawns and white fish. Made from Rolle grapes
  • Dr Loosen 2011 ‘Dr L’ Riesling (Germany): on the nose fragrance of pears, green apples, flowers and slate minerality. A good swirl in the glass brings out the typical lime and lime zest characteristic of this grape varietal. On the palate it’s slightly sweet which tempers the above average acidity. Good summer wine or aperitif
  • Argento 2011 Shiraz (Argentina): Dark purple in colour with violet tones. On the nose look for blackberry, black pepper spice and a hint of vanilla. Long persistent finish with soft tannins. Aged in American oak for 4 months
  • Te Mata Estate 2009 Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon (New Zealand): this traditional blend of Bordeaux varities is a consistently rewarding, complex wine showing ripe blackcurrant, plum and chocolate flavours with a supple and sustained palate
  • Montes Alpha 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile): extra dry, dark rich colour with slow legs in the glass. On the nose it is an elegant, complex and intense wine with violets and red fruit, blackberry, chocolate, black pepper and cigar box aromas while its affinity with oak lends vanilla and coffee notes, producing a wine in perfect balance of real finesse and class, a real outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon

After wine club several of us went to Vantage, the wine bar at the hotel. Unfortunately the only seating they had available was outside and it was hot. My blowdried hair soon started to resemble Chaka Khan’s. We had more wine and then a few of us went on to Centre Circle Bar at the Ramada Chelsea. We were there till they closed.

Getting home was interesting. At some point in the evening we were joined by an English woman who was new to Dubai – she’d been here 8 days. She’d been at wine club (although I didn’t meet her there) and she joined our group while we were still at Vantage. It was only when it was time to leave the Ramada that we realised how wasted she really was. She refused to go home. She wanted to go out dancing. I explained to her that it was after 3am and nothing would be open at that time. She insisted that she didn’t want to go home. When she realised that we were all leaving, she got into the cab with us. I asked her where she was staying. Her response? ‘I don’t know.’ Jesus. I asked her if she was staying at a hotel – she said she was but she couldn’t remember which one it was. There are hundreds of hotels in Dubai – this was going to take a while. ‘It’s on Sheikh Zayed Road,’ she finally said. Was she aware that Sheikh Zayed Road actually went all the way to Abu Dhabi? I thought I’d try my luck and started listing each hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road starting at the Trade Centre Roundabout and working my way down. ‘Is it the H Hotel?’ ‘Noooo.’ ‘Is it the Fairmont?’ ‘Noooo.’ Is it the Radisson Royal?’ ‘Yes!’ Oh, thank God. ‘Do you know your room number?’ She seemed to remember a room number – I hoped it was hers. When we got to the Radisson, she almost fell out of the cab. In hindsight I should have taken her up to her room, but it was 3:45 at this point and I really needed to get home.

I was home all day on Friday with a stinking headache. I’d have loved to stay home that night but I had a cousin in town from Bombay and I told her we’d meet for a drink at Okku that evening. We had a couple of lychee martinis and my other cousin who lives in Dubai joined us as well. We parted ways at 9pm as my cousin from Bombay had dinner plans and my Dubai cousin and I were going to Ruth’s Chris for steaks with a friend. The steaks there are just so good – and we had some lovely red wine to go with it.

On Saturday I went to Wafi Gourmet with my Dubai cousin, my Bombay cousin and her husband. I wasn’t feeling great – my throat felt a bit scratchy and I felt a little feverish too. I went straight home after lunch and took it easy.

That evening my dad had invited one of his banker friends and his girlfriend out for dinner. We went to Tong Thai at the JW Marriott Marquis. It’s a lovely restaurant, and very big.

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The staff were very attentive. The food was great, quite spicy, and the portions are large. My dad and I shared a tom yum soup but four people could have shared that as a starter. We also had two salads as our starters and ordered one chicken dish and one pad thai for our main course. Halfway through dinner I suddenly felt exhausted. I couldn’t wait to get home, take some Panadol and get into my pajamas. I knew I was getting sick.

I love my life.