Friday, December 31, 2010

Another portal

Once again, we are crossing another gateway.

We are leaving the year 2010, and the first decade of the new millennium, behind.
A new year beckons us, and at the entrance,
Janus is standing guard.

He is facing the past, and he is facing the future.

To understand the future better, we look to the past too,
and also, in memory, to remember what we have lost or left behind.

But may we look back, not too often, causing us to stumble.

May the year 2011 hold many new experiences,
and may you be able to face them all with enthusiasm.


Changing the world into miniature...
One thing at a time.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The face that launched a Night in Venice....

Sometimes, inspiration comes in small packages!
Last year, I received a charming little Venetian Mask as a present,
and an idea started to grow...

Wouldn't it be nice to have a Party in Venice?

Perhaps not the real Venice...
but our own version...

Planning started...
and invitations went out.

Now normally, 'feeding and watering' ideas too much, they start to take over,
and this one really started to grow out of the pot.. and eventually, right out of my budget!
There was just no way that I could build the Rialto bridge!
(Or any of the other bridges for that matter.)

Not to mention beg, borrow or steal a few gondolas...

But we were determined to have at least something resembling a bridge...

and a few gondolas...

To the left of the vase, red Arabic couches are visible.
They form part of an outdoor theater.

Many of the decorations, which were bought for previous parties,
are re-used, but in a different way...

At the end of the pool you can see my inexpensive imitation Venetian bridge.
Really gaudy, but I needed the 'Canal' to visually end there.

Night has, thank goodness, a way of casting its spell over all.
And darkness can hide a great many flaws...

It can also turn the mediocre into magical!

Ordinary glasses reflecting light...


Glitter and glow...

Cups ready for tea, cuppuccino and espresso...

Now all we need are the guests!

Even the bridge, visible at the far end of the pool,
is not too frightening at night time...

And the three old and battered canoes, not quite gondolas,
but at least adding to the atmosphere...

Two of our pretty, young guests pretending to be gondoliers!

Did I hear murmurs of who Seiji Ozawa is?
He is a very entertaining, brilliant and adorable Japanese Conductor.
Below, our guests are watching him conduct the Berliner Philharmonicer perform Gerswin.
(Very Jazzy Music) 
(Gerswin composed 'An American in Paris')

The recording was done in the Waldbuhne (Germany) Theater.
Every New Year, they have an open air concert.
I can really recommend any of their high quality recordings,
and Seiji Ozawa is bound to entertain even those least interested in 'not-so-modern' music.

  After dessert, coffee, and several long discussions following the performance,
all that was left was to sign the guest book
and wave goodbye...

Yes, all things come to an end... and the more enjoyable things end even  quicker.

Which is in fact a good thing,
because after too much partying, this is what you start seeing:

Or perhaps I should just mount my camera on the tri-pod!

I needed a good nights sleep.
Especially after all the hard work!

BTW.  Did you misplace your invitation?
We really missed you!
Well, never mind, I'll invite you again next year!

Now where can we go next...
Any suggestions?

Oh, and last but not least
A very happy 2011 to you and your loved ones!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'm dreaming...

Can you believe...
It is that time of the year again...

Would you like to listen to Nat King Cole: 'Chestnuts Roasting on an open fire'?

Do you prefer Frank Sinatra's 'Have yourself a merry little Christmas'?
(Just click on play...)

Only a few days left...

Have you done all your shopping...
Or are you planning to join the last minute rush, late Christmas Eve, for a few more gifts?

Are you ready to welcome your guests at your house?

Can you smell the
Eggnog, pine and cinnamon?
Is there a warm fire going?
With Christmas cards all lined up...

Candy cane waiting for the children, ...
And of course for grown-ups too!

Outside, snowflakes are glistening...
and snow bells are ringing

And Carolers sing cheerfully about mistletoe and holly,
and Santa on his sleigh...

So, wherever you are...
May you find, under your tree,
Peace and Happiness...
Enough to last you this coming year.

And I wish you and yours
A Merry Little Christmas too

And perhaps I'll see you in the New Year?
...It's a small world after all!

Changing the world into miniature...
One thing at a time!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Time for a MINI-break!

Halikum Salaam!

Welcome, welcome!

To make it easier for you to get around, we have put up plenty of signs.

We hope you find it helpful

Mahmoud here has been waiting at the BUS Camel STOP for three days

UPDATE: The service is unfortunately not very reliable!
After waiting for five days, Mahmoud had to give up...

We have also included this photograph of SOME of the people that will make your stay more comfortable ...
and of course to enable you to recognize them.

From left to right, your tour guide, her mother (protector of virtue) , the tour organizer,
your translator and her mother.

You will be requested to wear the abaya, but you are not obliged to wear the hijab.
You are discouraged to wear a 'fake tan' like Ms Hilton here...
for obvious reasons.

Of course, what you wear under your abaya, is none of our business.....

We have developed 2 very different Holiday Packages to cater for your pocket.
And with the current value of the Saudi Riyal, you'll get excellent value for your money!


Accommodation: A luxuriously appointed Bedouin tent where you'll be the guest of a local Bedouin Family. 

Transport: Camilla will be at your disposal.
Please do not attempt to bribe her with carrots as she develops severe indigestion,
which Abdullah (seated) is sure to remind you of.

Transportation to and from the airport, as well as any city excursions will be a roomy and very old trustworthy pick-up, ready to take you ANYWHERE!
There will also be plenty  some room for your  bags, shopping parcels and packages. 

Facilities may include the usual, boring old bathrooms,
but we suggest that you should be more adventurous and try out some alternatives as well...

No, That is NOT the bathtub!

All meals are included and will consist of a variety such as dates and... well ...
whatever we can find.

Additional entertainment:

The desert sunsets ...

and sunrises...

... are absolutely spectacular!

Shopping at the local souk...

For the thrill/extreme entertainment seeker:

It could be excessively diverting to actually be SOLD at the slave souk...
Who knows what the results may be!

The all inclusive price of SR 25 per day, including the petrol/fuel.
(Saudi Riyal)

PS.If you are considering selling yourself at the market, you should pay up front please.

This is a win win situation for both of us as, at the current price of 40 halalas per liter of fuel, WE should be making a neat little profit!

This brings us to the last option


You'll be picked up at the airport,
sit back and enjoy the sights...

Accommodation: Comfortable rooms

Someone to run your errands...
and the bath water...

Eat as much as you like of our calorie-free food!

We encourage you to do NOTHING...
but RELAX, READ, whatever your heart desires.

This is a holiday for the senses, re-awaken them!

Do Yoga in the garden...

Take a stroll...
 Admire the wild life

Join us for a light lunch...

Spend the afternoon at the beach...


Or just watch the world  drift by...

Explore the beautiful Red Sea...

Swim with the fish...

Enjoy High Tea with some famous people...

 Later, a quiet Al fresco dinner...

Or dress-up for something more formal...

Price: All inclusive price of SR12000.00 per day.

We know this is a bit pricey, but the good news is that you only pay 1/12 of the price!!
That's right!

Since this is a 1/12 world!

Now, please book your preferred choice...

We are awaiting your arrival.


Thank you to our gracious host, Colleen, over at D DNA!
I have had a wonderful vacation so far and I am happy to receive you all.
Haven't you also had some great 'stopovers' so far?

PS. Even though I am poking a little 'politically-not-correct' fun at my host country:
I have spend many happy years here (more than a decade)!!!
This is definitely a society where families are valued and children are loved. 
It is a great place to bring up children. 
I have the highest regard for their dedication towards their religion
and the utmost respect for the changes they are making. 
Nowadays, you are lucky to see real Bedouin tents
or families still roaming the desert for  grazing for their animals.  
Pick-up trucks with a camel though are seen... often!  
The Red Sea is simply amazing! 

There is a button souk, a tent souk, a toy souk, a gold souk, etc etc. 
There is definitely NO slave souk!

Oh, and what you wear UNDER your abaya is really your business...
 But it should also REMAIN your business

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