Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

Dubai: Days 7 and 8

We took it easy on Day 7 (New Year’s Eve). My mum, sister and I went to the salon at the Fairmont to get our hair done (a blow dry cost just over £14). I also had a mani/pedi (£26). It was probably one of the best pedicures I’ve ever had. I was the last to get my hair done, and my sister came up with some observations while waiting for me to finish.

We relaxed at home and had some dinner before getting ready for our New Year’s Eve party at Sho Cho. I ended up wearing a black dress – I don’t think I’d put on a dress since my brother’s wedding in August 2010! I just don’t wear them…

Anyway, some friends came over for a drink and quick tour of the new flat before we headed out.

It seemed to be one disaster after another:

  1. The celebratory bottle of champagne I opened erupted like Vesuvius all over the floor… What a waste!
  2. The driver(s) we had (don’t ask) took us in the wrong direction so we had to go right back to where we started and go in another direction. Four of us had no idea what direction we were going in anyway – thankfully the fifth was aware of it! There was a bottle of Grey Goose in the car so we opened it and started passing it around. After the third round, I couldn’t have any more – and left the other four to finish the bottle. Which they did without any trouble. 
  3. Just as we got to the road we needed to get to, all traffic was diverted away from it. The police had cordoned off the street and we had to go in a different direction. It would have taken us five minutes in the car but we decided we had no choice but to walk the rest of the way. So close and yet so far!
  4. The boys were OK in their shoes, and I was uncomfortable but managed to keep up in my heels, but my sister decided she’d rather walk barefoot down the street than struggle in her heels! It took us just over 20 minutes to walk to the party. 

We walked in at 11.30 and hit the bar. Some hit it harder than others, but those aren’t my stories to tell… 

We also had a clear view of the Burj Khalifa and the midnight fireworks – that was spectacular.


It was a fun evening – definitely memorable! We had a lot of laughs dissecting the night over lunch the next day! What’s shocking is that I think I must have been the most sober out of all of us – which is a first. 

For the last few years, my best friend from Lagos and I have started our own tradition of having a dim sum lunch on New Year’s Day. In the past we’ve always gone to Phoenix Palace in London, but this year, being in Dubai, we ended up at Royal China at DIFC. It’s always a good laugh and with each year our lunch group has become bigger, depending on who’s around. This year it was just family:


Happy 2012!

See more Dubai updates here.

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Week 17 update: 10 kilos by Christmas

I think I’m going to have to write off this week as well. At least when it comes to alcohol. 

My sister was in London – so that involved lots of eating out (or taking away).

One place we always go when she’s here is Arirang – a Korean restaurant in Poland Street. We’ve been going there for years and it’s one of our favourite places. When I asked her if she wanted to go on Tuesday or Wednesday, she replied ‘Why can’t we go twice?’ So we did. And we always order the same food, too. My favourite things are the vegetarian pah jeon (a spring onion pancake):


And the sizzling pork belly in spicy sake sauce (a fairly recent discovery):


It is just SO good.

As I said, we went twice in a row, but I drew the line at going again for lunch on Saturday!

On Thursday I had my office Christmas party at the Grange Hotel in Holborn – there was lots of red wine involved. I got home close to 1am, and had the day off on Friday. Considering I felt a bit ‘dehydrated’, I managed to get a lot done: I went to the gym, went to Raoul’s for lunch, had my hair done, and packed a suitcase.

On Friday night I’d organised drinks at The Warrington, my local pub, for some friends. I’d specified that I didn’t want any gifts, speeches or tears, but none of my requests were taken any notice of. Again, lots of red wine was involved, and then there was champagne and even some shots. I ended up at Beirut Express with the girls and one of their husbands. I can barely remember what I ate (shish taouk, I think?) but I definitely remembering having some arayes! 

Saturday was another productive day, in spite of a heavy night. I had lunch at Raoul’s (yes, again), started packing another suitcase, updated my CV, and went over to one of the girls’ places for dinner. I didn’t say very much at dinner – I was so tired from the night before – but it was just nice to be with them. One of the girls gave me a present – a framed photo of us taken in Paris a few weeks ago. 

I had my last yoga class on Sunday morning and then my sister and I decided to head to Phoenix Palace for lunch. I hadn’t been there since my parents left in November – and the food was so good. After lunch, I met one of the girls at Raoul’s for a coffee and then went home. My mum arrived from Dubai, my sister left for Lagos, and I went out for dinner with the boys.

I met the boys (two of them) at Nobu on Park Lane – because we were meeting at 7.30, I thought I’d be home by 11, go to the gym in the morning, then the dentist, then to the office. But the evening turned out to be, quite simply, carnage. The food was excellent as usual: tuna sashimi salad, artichoke salad with prawns, black cod, and the chocolate bento box for dessert. I’m going to pretend we didn’t order the ‘Fuji Apple Crumble’. And the alcohol. OMG. There was one bamboo sake flask after the other – I couldn’t remember how many we polished off but I’ve been told we had TEN). We drank until the restaurant closed and we were the last people sitting there. The boys were so lovely – they took me out for dinner and halfway through the evening the waiter brought over a Tiffany’s bag and the boys gave me my leaving present. It was so unexpected – I was speechless. It’s a gorgeous compact mirror for my handbag. At some point in the evening we decided it would be a good idea to spend a New Year’s holiday in Las Vegas. The three of us. In one room. We’re re-thinking that now though. 

After dinner, we ended up at Trader Vic’s, having another drink. It really was the last thing any of us needed. There were tears. Far too many tears. And not all mine. Getting home is a hazy memory – but it was a brilliant evening and I will miss those two very much… 

So that was my weekly alcohol update. Apart from drinking too much, I’ve been sleeping too little. I’ve been waking up between 4 and 4.30 all week, remembering things that I need to do. A part of me can’t wait to get on the plane because then my list will have been done!

The working out part was fine this week – I did one session with Gus and three on my own. I seem to have twisted or done something to my left knee though, but it’s getting better with time. As for weight loss, I think that’s a little ambitious, don’t you? I’d consider myself lucky if my weight was the same as the last time I weighed myself! 


Read more updates here.


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