Tuesday, October 07, 2008

You're In The Army Now

So 2008 began with a cold and windy snap, but no rain to talk of. Weekends were easy with walks along the beach kicking a ball around and generally trying to work off the excess’ of Christmas.

As far as events on the Social Calendar, we went to the Anzac Ball and the Thin Red Line, company is everything and we had a ‘ball’ at both, but my favorite had to be the ‘Line’. Given that this is a military night out, it is not something that you can just buy tickets to, but fortunately for us we were invited by our friends Olivia and Chris.

Security was tight with soldiers at checkpoints all around the Hotel, but everyone was dressed to the nines for the event and it is somewhat unusual to feel under-dressed when in Black Tie. After the initial gathering and greetings were exchanged we were ‘piped’ to dinner in the hotel’s ballroom. There followed a lovely meal, with great conversation and to top it off we were entertained with the Omani military drummers who could teach the Blue Man Group a few tricks. An absolutely stunning display and a fantastic end to the evening.

At Easter our friends, the Ridley’s, came to visit for the first time. Jacob was beside himself to see Patrick and Liam again and within minutes it seemed that they had never been apart. Unfortunately, being an accountant and Easter being the end of the UK financial year, John could only afford to take a week off, but we fitted in the obligatory trip to the desert. This time I chose to stay with Oscar whilst Becky went on the camel ride as my body had latent memories of the last trip.

The boys tried their hands at snow boarding down the dunes and I had a mild heart failure from having to climb up the dunes so many times.

During the dune driving our guide, Ahmed, took a spell at the wheel of my Jeep, Jo was the first passenger and I’m not sure whether she stopped screaming the whole time. John took his place in the second round and Becky flatly refused (I think she may have threatened Ahmed with physical violence at one point) Finally, it was my turn and I was somewhat alarmed that we headed off in ac completely different direction, I should have remembered that it was Ahmed’s main aim in life to ensure he scared the bejesus out of you, Becky knew better than to watch!

The rest of the time was spent around the pool, with trips to the shops (John’s wallet taking a bashing due to the low cost of gold and precious stones in Oman) and trips to Magic Planet and the bowling alley for the boys.

The time to return home came around all to swiftly, but it was lovely to see them and hopefully it won’t be their only visit.

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