Easing My Conscience, (Again), & Piccadilly Station Has Nothing On Our House Today……..???

Yesterday was full of training surprises and today is full of surprises of other types!

I definitely know about last night’s training – tired legs, but gee I feel good! That said crouching down to retrieve errant baking trays involving taking heavy trays out from under the cooker was a bit uncomfy!

Yeap, I have been baking again! The look on a good friend’s face at the cake sale when I said I had not had time to make any gluten free chocolate chip cookies reduced me to a heap of gibbering guilt and so two dozen of the afore mentioned cookies have passed through the cooker this morning and will soon be en route to her place.

Now the only problem that there is with baking gluten free ‘stuff’ is that I can eat it. Yes, that is an issue. Normally when I am baking for the family it is a joy as it is loaded with the ‘G’ stuff and so despite cooking with it I cannot eat it. This results in a certain type of smug satisfaction and a superb view from the moral high ground as sampling the goods is simply not an option and instead I have to rely on the assembled crew who are usually more than happy to sample the baking to give ‘constructive’ feedback – usually more than one sample of each item is needed to make a truly objective opinion.

However, gluten free baking is another matter and the temptation is strongly present. Best I get a wriggle on and get the cookies round to my GF buddy as a matter of urgency!

Well, to the chaos of today. Well the obvious point is that the kids are at home. Don’t get me wrong – I love it, (well apart from the inevitable skirmishes with the adolescent ‘Mini Me’), but the noise and the chaos is immense. If I have to turn off another TV with nobody watching it within the next 10 minutes there will be trouble and lots of it……


I won’t bore you here with details of today’s lively conversations with the elder of our offspring other than to say that if either of us survive until either himself comes home to mediate or the daughter heads off to her afternoon haircut appointment it will be a minor miracle! But yes, I do love her, I do adore her, I love her being home and I could also willingly trade her in for a camel at this moment in time…….

camel1All those people with young daughters who read this blog, hold fire on the laughing – your time will come……….??

So, the house is a disaster zone and I have to say that I am about to put the white flag out on the housework front. The kitchen is clean and tidy and will stay that way, the rest will just have to suffer the fate of lego, loom bands, Star Wars ‘stuff’, paper aeroplanes and of course – telescopes!


As I write from my hideaway in the kitchen with Sara Cox on the radio for company I can hear sellotape being pulled off a roll in vast quantities. I am not sure which child is doing their best to rid the world of the sticky stuff but I suspect it is the testosterone filled one. What he is doing with it is unknown to me in the kitchen, but I would not be surprised if he has rugby tackled his sister and is currently taping her to a wall to keep her out of his way……


So, what else has happened today to make its contribution to the chaos? Well, for a start the front doorbell seems to have been well used so far – including once by the smallest man in the house who came back from a brief sortie out and decided to ring the bell to come in – still a tad confused about that one……

Anyway, various people seem to have rung the doorbell this morning. One of them was the wonderful, lovely Venkat who had taken the car for its annual road check and have a puncture fixed.

I seem to think that I have mentioned the lovely Venkat in a post sometime in the past – he is an absolute dude! His english is great, but he has a heavy Indian accent which can make life a little interesting to say the least – along with interesting spelling. Last year there was a problem with the car’s inspection and he texted me to say that there was a problem with the ‘shakeupsters’, that one took quite a lot of head scratching to get through – but eventually we worked it out and there was a problem with the shock absorbers…….

Anyway, this morning he took the car and as he was out and about in town I sent him a text message to ask him to buy helium for the balloons for the Spinathon. No problem, I was assured he would get helium.


A little while later I got a call from Venkat at the party shop, (don’t get any dodgy ideas about ‘the party shop’, this is Riyadh after all), to discuss the helium. I thought that we had established that no I didn’t need the balloons only the helium when he handed over the phone to the shop owner. Again, we established that we did not need the balloons, just the helium except this time he said the cylinders are 1.5m high and did I really want that much?

Next thing I asked if there were any smaller helium canisters at which point I was handed to somebody else in the shop. Once again we established that we did not need the balloons, just the helium, not the big size and did they have any smaller ones?

Next we established that yes they did have smaller ones but they only fill 12 balloons but were still half the price of the big one, (something doesn’t add up there to me…).

At this point I was handed back to Venkat and again we established that we did not need balloons, just the helium, not the big size and now not the smaller size and that he should come back without helium. ‘But ma’am, no need for helium now?……’

It was like that game that kids play, you know the one where they say, ‘today I went to market and bought an apple’, the next child then says ‘today I went to market and bought an apple and and an orange’ and so on, except for in today’s case it related to helium and balloons…

Anyway, the dude that is Venkat promptly came back complete with car but without helium and a rather confused conversation about steering wheel pumps ensued followed by one relating to car tyres. I promised to pass the information onto ‘Boss’ – yeah, right, ‘Boss’ – in Bosses dreams!


As he was about to leave Venkat looked at me and grinned and said ‘Ma’am slim, was fat now thin’…….now from anybody else I may have considered being offended by that but as it came from Venkat I will take it as a compliment.

Another doorbell ring was courtesy of the gardeners. These guys, (as you know from the spotty knickers issue of a couple of weeks ago), appear regularly to take care of the public places of the gardens – i.e. the front gardens. However, the back garden is our responsibility.  We do not have much soil and no grass so it is pretty straight forward – apart from the hedge. That damned hedge which must be the healthiest hedge in the world and grows far too quickly.

I just have not had chance to ‘deal’ with the hedge of late and it was about to launch a bid for world domination. So one of the gardeners asked me last week if we wanted it cutting – I gleefully accepted and last night he and a couple of his buddies appeared and dealt with the issue.


I was out being sprinted around the compound at that point by Mrs G and so the gardener called around this morning for his dosh.

Now once again I should emphasis that these guys are great but oh so regularly I haven’t got a clue what they are talking about. This guy is Bangladeshi, I think, and while I suspect that he speaks very good english he has such a heavy accent that after the first syllable I am lost.

Anyway, he was very happy with his money and promptly went about asking if we wanted a regular gardener, (I think). It was either that or he was trying to sell me shares in a time share in Dhaka – I am not sure which.

Anyway, once I declined his kind offer for either a time share or a regular gardening service, he did what so many of these guys do and something that completely fascinates me.


The guys from Bangladesh, (and also to a certain extent some of the other countries where the guys on the compound come from), have a brilliant head wiggle that they do. It seems to be the norm for them, but provides much fascination for easily entertained Westerners like me.

This head wiggle is hard to explain, but it is like a horizontal head shift across towards one shoulder and then across towards the other. It fascinates me as there head stays completely straight up and the movement is a completely horizontal movement from one side to the other.


I have spent quite some considerable time while baking, washing up, ironing etc etc trying to replicate this movement but have failed completely. I have even Googled it so that I can give a better description but there is nothing that replicates it. It really is like some sort of crazy dance move, that, I hasten to add, is way beyond the abilities of us Westerners.

In my Googling I did find out however that the head wiggle is a form of agreement, so when the gardener, (whose name I have yet to find out), did the head wiggle this morning he was saying ‘fair enough – no gardening!’

I will continue my research into the head wiggle and will update you as and when more information becomes available.

Now it is at this point that I have to say that the majority of this post was written this morning, when I thought a relatively normal day was laid out before me – ending with a run this evening.

Wrong! A situation so disastrous befell the family this evening that I cannot even begin to describe it until I have come to terms with tonight’s events. I was not going to discuss them on the blog for fear of upsetting himself, but he has just asked when tonight’s faux pas that is the size of the central camel poo depository for the whole of Riyadh is going to feature on the blog so I guess that is the green light to unburden myself.

However, as I am still traumatised and more than a little twitched I will keep you all in suspense until tomorrow evening……


Needless to say I did not get out for my run…..

Anyway, I am going to bed in an attempt to regain some control over my life and events.

I will return, hopefully, tomorrow……

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