Monday, February 15, 2010

What to see in Dubai

Well my Dubai Saga continues.

Here is something I forgot to mention our first day in Dubai both me and hubby was awake over 24 hours.
We have to be get out of our homes by 4 AM so that we reach the airport at 6AM due to a transport in Kerala "our home state" in India.

So we had an unusually long wait of 4 hrs for an otherwise on schedule flight.
We arrive at Dubai only to have lunch and head for Quad biking and tour of city by the night...It was not over yet ...we went to meet a cousin who is celebrating his birthday.It was about midnight and spent couple of hours with the family and by the time we got back to our beds we realised that we had been awake for 24 hours...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Turn your Blog into a book

I thought this was amazing...I am not sure how long this existed.
By click of a button your entire blog can be turned into a book.Amazing!
Apologies if you all were well informed of this much much earlier.
It was my discovery of the day!

Yes they charge you ( a lot at the moment)but I still thought it will give a different perspective to the art of blogging!

I was thinking when my daughter walk out of home for university it will be a great gift to give them ..something to keep with them on their growing up!

Click the link below if you want to try it!

Turn your blog into a book

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What to see in Dubai


We had a wonderful drive through the city and watched the fountain at Dubai Mall.

I have been to over 10 cities where I was impressed be it New York,Paris,Sydney,Tokyo,Singapore but nothing like the sheer size and glamour the way the mall is.

It is indeed the ultimate,cutting edge experience of shall I say window shopping.
They boast of over 1200 outlets and a Gold Souk.

It has an acquarium and underwater zoo.
And the Dubai Fountain was superduper.
We were indeed lucky to see the world's largest dancing fountain.

The video sums up the essence of Dubai of what we saw!

A few photos from my personal collection - Dubai by night

At the acquarium

Fountain in Dubai Mall

Friday, February 12, 2010

What to see in Dubai

We had a stopover in Dubai during our transit.

We were extremely lucky to be hosted by a friends family.

Our first activity for the day was Quad Biking. And what struck me is the distances and the speed at which you were driving well over 100kms per hour...scary but it really didnt see so fast on the perfect Dubai Roads.

Then our friend too us for a Dubai by night drive!
The city was lit up so beautifully!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gong Xi Fa Cai

We celebrated CNY(Chinese New Year) last week at the girls Mandarin School.

We got to watch Dragon Dance and they got Hong Bao in RMB!These are red packets filled with money given to young and children by the elderly and parents.

We had geat Chinese food prepared by the Parents.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Have you ever wondered where you fail in parenting?
Or why children can be so different.

Both T and R got a week of Readathon at school.

It was a sheet they had to record what they read as to how many pages/chapters/books and we "poor Parents" had to sponsor an amount per page/book etc.Atlaest they had a maximum mentioned of 10 pounds.

When the week began I told them read as much and I was willing to give upto 5 pounds each..

Well T didnt really care and I dont bother given a choice she will read 3 to 4 hours a day.But R is not yet into so called "Chapter Books".She reads if she has to and we are behind her back to get her to read on most days.

The sheet had 4 columns.Date you read the book/Title/No.of pages and Parent or Teachers Initials

Well it all began in the right spirit on a Monday morning.R had read a few pages from three books so I filled that up and signed each line.As the week progress there are atleast another dozen things to attend to so I didnt quite bother to check their sheet they are required to update.Alhough R constantly reminded me how she needs to get 10 pounds.

Friday morning I knew they will have to submit their readathon sheets so I took up R's sheet.

She had filled about 10 lines more with titles of several books she had probably browsed through and written a few page numbers she claimed to have read.

What shocked me is she had even copied my signature on every line.T on the other hand had read a few books written the title and left the sign/initial column blank.
When asked why did you do that R says" I can do your sign so I didnt wait for you"...

Tell me now did I miss out any strict parenting mantras or should I just say they are so different!

Although I gave R a strong warning saying she cannot repeat my sign and also erased every line and resigned...I am not convinced that she understood the gravity of the fact that she has done wrong! I will have to wait and watch and hope that it doesnt happen again!and pray nothing serious occurs!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Cost of having a car in UK

Sorry this is rather a dry topic...
But half of my last week went running around getting things done for the car.
I am not a vehicle person.

Given a choice I am happy not driving one...and my knowledge is zero how a car operates and I am not interested!

Well but here in UK I happened to be the driver and my luck is such that whenever something needs to be done, the better half is away on a business trip...

So even though I am completely ignorant I have to get things going.

We have used the car for a year so we had to get an MOT done.
Any one who owns /drives a car will tell you ...yes get an MOT done?
I wonder and quite sure that 90% of them dont know what that abbreviation stands for!

I just found out that it stands for Ministry of Transportation test- a licencing authority that checks if you vehicle is eligible and fit to drive on UK Roads!

I got mine done after a it woke up the accountant in me...How much does it cost to keep a car in UK...

So here is my rough and ready calculation...

Trust this will help someone some time!

Car - Depreciation £1,200.00 ( well this is 20% depreciation - I am assuming you will at the worst case use the car for five years!)

Insurance £1,000.00 (This has lots of stories around it...bottom line is it costs about one grand per you stay longer and is accident free and claim free it is said to reduce!)

Car Tax £115.00

MOT £54.00

MOT - Related £400.00(MOT - they will fail you if lots of things are not met!...and thats how I think these centres make their living!)

Petrol £1,200.00(Thats what I think we spend on an average for about 10000 miles)

Thats a total of 3969 pounds a year!

Per month £330
Per Day £11
Cost Per mile £0.4 (Thats Rs.30 per mile in your car!)

I hope this is useful to some one some day!

Monday, February 08, 2010


Well I am not sure about you all....this is something I heard of two years ago when my daughter had a homework project - A diorama on as usual I reasearched asignificant amount and completed the project.

What is Diorama?

Diorama is a three-dimensional full-size or miniature model, sometimes enclosed in a glass showcase or normally in a shoe box...

Why am I writing about it?

I spent 2 hours helping Thirty 9-10 year olds in my daughters school to make a Diorama of their choice.

Here is an image I stole from the internet!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Ties to myself!

I was tagged by Jyoti almost a month ago...I finally got to do it...Sorry I have not tagged anyone as I have very few blogger friends!

1. What is your current obsession?
Teaching my daughter for 11+ exams!
2. What are you wearing today?
Black trousers and a white top!
3. What’s for dinner?
Rice ,Egg, Bindi and Pork and Sambhar
4. What’s the last thing you bought?
5. What are you listening to right now?
Capital FM
6. What do you think about the person who tagged you?
a keen blog reader
7. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
Singapore – a four bedroom with study please!
8.One thing you wanna change about yourself ?
Giving up my job!
9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
10. Which language do you want to learn?
11. What’s your favourite quote?
Experience is what you get ,when you didn’t get what you wanted!
12 .would u cook for me?
yes…unless you don’t eat Indian food!
13. What is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you?
Ignore and safely stay away
14. What are you afraid of the most?
a secure future
15. Who do you want to meet right now?
my mentor
16. What is your favourite colour?
17. Give us 3 styling tips that work for you.
Be yourself!
18. What is your dream job?
Options Trader
19. What’s your favorite magazine?
Readers Digest
20. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
Art material for my children
21.what food do u like?
All kinds
22. Who according to you is the most over-rated writer?
I think all of them who win awards!
23. What brings a smile on your face instantly?
some rare incidents with hubby!
24. A word that you say a lot?
25.What kind of haircut do you prefer?
Beautiful and Straight
26. What are you going to do after this?
Sleep and dream
27. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
Eat or Pray
28. What makes you go wild?
When I am used and taken for granted!
29. What are your favourite movies?
Hardly see any..kuch kuch hota hai!
30. What inspires you?
Lives…living examples!
31. What do your friends call you most commonly?
32. Would you prefer coffee or tea?
33. Which other blogs do you love visiting?
only friends
34. Favorite Dessert/Sweet?
Anything sweet!
35. How many tabs are turned on in ur browser right now?
about seven
36. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
need to put Mehndi soon!
37. Favorite Season?
38.One wish that you really want to see it come true?
Making a million dollars sitting in my home
39. What breaks your heart?
when people take me for granted and when they say half truths!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Kodai - My Ties

I am trying to recall what I did from June 1983 to March 1987 in PCK ...( Presentation Convent Kodaikanal)

I recall the weekdays Timetable quite well...
Will try to see if I can pull out how we spent weekends from my rusty brain.


Wake up time .I think by 6:50 we had to complete our morning ablutions and report for breakfast in a line outside the doors of Dining Room in full school uniform including blazers /jumpers!

7:15 : Breakfast.
We start with a morning grace.
We are served two buttered toasts and one plain slice of bread.There was always a form of egg very often scrambled.A fruit - most days a dark colored banana which I still detest...then coffee/tea/milk...

We are out from the dining room for STUDY-

Study was about 45 minutes and we are to report for assembly inside or ouside Wellington Hall depending on the weather.

If you didnt know what study time was we had to sit quietly at our desk and chair and do homework or study the days lesson or read.We were not allowed to read story books unless we hid them in a text book and no talking to your neighbors!

Can you imagine your 8-12 year old doing that just now?!

After assesmbly we have classes till 12:15 - Lunch Time

We had rice almost all days.I specifically remember Rasam on Wednesdays and we had a desert or a fruit everyday.

Then we report back to our classrooms by 1:00 and had school till 3:30 -which was Tea Time.

We had compulsory Games from 4 to 5.I was never the sporty kind and was so lean that I could never serve over the net in throw ball...How bad is tat?

After Games we had to report for Study from 5:30 to 6:30 in our night uniform followed by dinner at 6:30PM.Dinner was again bread most days.

We had free time till 8 and lights off at 8:45 everyday....

That was a typical Monday to Friday for 4 years I spent there.

Point to Note:
No phone calls not even to your mom...No mobiles of course ..they didn't ipods mp3/mp4 players...though some children did have walkmans with all.....

Friday, February 05, 2010

My Ties to Singapore

I have several reasons why I have this city very dear to my heart!

- It was the first city outside of Bangalore I got to travel with my better the way it was not a honeymoon...we had T with us who was 6 months old.

- I was so impressed that I decided if we ever get an opportunity this is the city I would like to live , work and play as their Government puts it

_ I was lucky and my prayers were answered and we moved to Singapore in 2004...and spent a little over two years.

- Words cannot describe what I learned and how my outlook to eveything changed in those two years.

- since I had no clue that this was going to be only two years when we moved ...I feel there were lot more things I could have done...may be....but I did enjoy myself!

- my children loved it to from the place we stayed and the activities they could do.

- Since its only a 4 hour flight back home it never seemed too far away.

-Over the years we have some very good friends to go back to every now and then.

_ Even today I talk to friends living in Singapore atleat once every week.

- I read Business Times almost every day.

- Its my dream to retire here one day...I know its not the most exotice seaside or the magnificent mountains..its the convenience and orderliness that attracts me to the city.....

- In short everything works the way it ought to.I love that!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Can you guess this city?

This is in the Main Shopping Street in one of my favourite cities and wish I could retire there one day!

Any guesses?

Thats my daughter T on the left!

There is definitely a few clues thats almost a give away! Keep guessing!Will answer tomorrow and tell why I am TIED to this city!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Ties to Nature...

Sometimes you can't stop admiring the beauty of a sunset!

Sunset - in the Desert!

This is in Dubai - the evening we went Quad biking!

Like Kodai - I will write one day about my Dubai Ties too....

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Ties to UK

Average Household Wealth

This is something that ties me to UK...where I currently live!

I read some interesting statistics in a local newspaper and was eager to share.

Its the chart "How Britain's Wealth Divides"

Its the table that caught my eye!

Some amazing facts
Indians by ethnic origin is the second only to White by 17k in terms of average house hold wealth...
Well this is average so there could be very poor and very wealthy billionnaires...but it still caught my eye.....You will see when you read the other ethnic origins are less than 50% what "Whites and Indians" average household wealth is...

Another fact!

90% of full time employees earn less than 47k a year.....which translates to less than 34k after NI(National Insurance) and Income Tax...

That is approximately 2800 pounds a month which is about Rs.2.2 lakhs a month...that may sound a lot but not if you compare it with the expenses here.

At least a 1000 pounds of that will go in housing and related utilities no matter how small your acco is going to be....then average person's commute cost will be 150 you are left with 1650 pounds for everything else....that is still 1.2 lakhs a do everything else ...depending on the your size of the family...

This is just a calculation based on what I read.....I just found the information useful...and thought some of you may too....

Yeh...didnt forget about Kodai.....that is coming in detail soon!

Monday, February 01, 2010


I’ve taken the challenge to write a blog post every day for the month of February for National Blog Posting Month.

I had done this one month about 8 months ago.It indeed proved to be challenging and interesting..

This month its about TIES.

I decided to choose for the first day my TIES to cities.


This is a town that I hold deep ties to.The reason this is where I grew from a child to a teenager in search of real me!....This was few decades ago as you can guess but I still hold fond memories of the town.

I do not remember all of my life spent there but I do have some vivid memories.
After I completed my School in 1987 I had a chance to go back there twice once during my graduation about 4 years later and once with my husband...about 15 years later.....although there are some vivid spots and activities I clearly remember there are several things I cant match up even in my thought...I have to content myself saying I was too small to comprehend and never thought I will remember them two decades later....

This is a very small town those days...It was apparently established by the British in 1845 as a Summer holiday Retreat. I will continue to write about our life in the boarding the best of my memory from my perspective.....