Monday, 30 May 2016

1 small step for man........

I had been saying for a few weeks/months now that I really must start to do a bit more exercise.

Walking the dogs and swimming just don't quite feel like they are enough. Since moving out to Qatar, I haven't been playing any football or doing any running, so thought it was time again to dig out the trainers!

Well, this morning, I woke up laughing.....proper laughing in my sleep. In my dream there was some works party and someone had been a bit boozy and took a header off the wall they were sitting on and ended up in a pool or something like that.....yes very odd dreams.

Anyway, it was 5am on the dot, so thought "right it is now or never", dragged myself out of bed, threw on a lightweight footy top and shorts, pulled my running shoes out the cupboard (yes I actually took them with me from UK!) and headed downstairs.

Let the dog out her room, tried to get her outside, but she bolted away from me upstairs. I headed out into the garden, checked the temperature, it was a pleasant 32'C not bad for 5.10am, opened the villa gate and started.

It was going to be a easy once round the compound just to start loosening off the legs, stretching the lungs a bit and see what gets cleared out!

The road round the inside the perimeter is approx 0.52 miles, so should be more than capable of getting round that without stopping!

Problem is, when I have been running before, I have been on the treadmill, and you know what pace you are doing, and given that it was over 15 months ago, the muscle memory of what a comfortable pace is is long gone!

Gets to the first corner and thinking ok, this feels alright, 2nd corner, yep, shoes feel good, legs don't feel like they are suffering too much, lungs are definitely having to start working a bit now, body temperature is coming up. By corner 3, ok, it's warm, lungs working properly now, pace has dropped, pick it up a gear!

Corner 4 looks a long way, but in reality be there in no time, stop thinking about it! Round the corner 4 I can see the finishing point and picks up the pace again............and back to the gate. Ok, I'm maybe not breathing out my arse, but felt like I had actually done something!


After getting home, I went for a shower and after this going into the hall to be presented with the most foul smell ever, yes, the dog had decided to leave a present! No guessing what I had to clean next....

While cleaning up that, I also noticed the dog had left a yellow pee stain on the shaggy rug, Not my day!

After getting dressed I dragged the rug out onto the balcony, dug out the vanish oxy, and also some soap and got down to giving it a hand wash with the garden hose (which by now the temperature of the water within was barely touchable) and foamed up and scrubbed the fibres with my hand to get rug of any stains and thoroughly washed down and rinsed with the hose. Finally setting it to dry in the sun.

What a way to start the day!

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Dental Emergency!

I'm not a fan of going to the dentist........I don't think there are many who are, except maybe those who work at them, or are the actual dentist!

Who else is not a fan of them is my youngest.

As you would imagine, we have a regular dentist back in Aberdeen, but that's not much use to us over here in Qatar. We had an appointment booked with them for next time we pay the city a visit, but unfortunately nature got the better of the bairn this time.

One night she complained of a sore tooth and taking a look inside her mouth could see that part of her tooth was missing. A large part of it. We had known of an underlying problem of 'Soft Teeth' and we were just trying to get through to her adult teeth coming in and hoping we would not need anything doing before then.

On a previous visit to the Aberdeen dentist, we had sealant applied with the aim of adding some further protection and longevity, but didn't quite make it through to her adult teeth.

She recognised that we needed to do something and agreed that we must get it at least looked at. We spoke to a couple of friends who had recommended a dentist in Doha, and given it was was early evening, decided we would take her in the morning after dropping her sister at school on the off chance someone could take a look or at least get an appointment booked soonest.

We couldn't get parked nearby and ended up walking from City Centre mall to the dentist, which felt like miles in the high 30C's.

The dentist was located on the 10th floor of Salem Tower, and the views out over West Bay were amazing.

Salam Tower

Walking into the reception of The British International Dental Centre, we were welcomed with very friendly staff. We explained the situation, and were told one of the dentists would be able to take a look in 30 minutes. We took a seat in the waiting room, completed the registration details for the patient and admired the views out over the bay.

We were called through to the dentist room and after massive amounts of persuasion and tears, managed to get the bairn to open her mouth and let the dentist have a look. The dentist was very patient, calm and friendly. After taking an x-ray and identify that an extraction may be the best option, we were given a prescription for some antibiotics and then made a provisional appointment for a few days time.

We collected the prescription from the pharmacy in the City Centre mall which was easy enough......unfortunately getting her to take them was a different matter, which I won't go into!

We received a message saying that a slot was available with the Pediatric Dentist in a couple of days so we readied for battle. Picking her up from school early and handing her a toothbrush to give her gnashers a clean, she instantly knew where we were going and wouldn't talk to us.

Traffic wasn't too bad, so we went into the Costa on the Corniche, think it would ease the tension and help relax her some, before walking across the road to the dentist, even managed to get some happy photos!


Arriving at the dentist, we check-in and proceeded to the waiting room. I was now starting to get worried at how this might end.....how much patience would the dentist have, what if they wanted to drill and repair rather than extract etc. Arghh!

We were called through, and learning from experience, it is better than mum is not there. So I took her in and to be honest she was amazing! The dentist was brilliant at keeping her relaxed and explained everything. Having the TV on the roof with Tom and Jerry playing also was a big win.

After he managed to get her to open and let him have a look, he agreed that extraction was the best choice. After spending some time explaining to her the process, he waited until she said she was ready to do this.

This was to be done under local, and the way he dealt with explaining the numbing and hiding the needle was brilliant. Applying the surface anesthetic, and then waiting for that to kick in before heading in with the big guns.

The smallest of tears only really started when the dentist managed to smuggle the pliers into her mouth and start to pull firmly, but stopping and keeping her calm before continuing worked wonders. Committed now, so in he went and out it came!

All done, we headed out and taking the dentist advice headed for the ice-cream shop in the Mall. The strange thing was all she wanted was hugs from daddy, mummy was the bad person for some reason! The strange mind of kids.....

Next was just priceless. with her numb mouth, she wasn't making any sense when trying to talk and ice cream was just drooling everywhere. Think she found this the most upsetting part!

The only other thing that she commented on (kept mentioning it) and was really angry about was the fact that the dentist did not tell her about the 'tweezers' as she called them, but she didn't accept that he didn't want to scare her...

It was one of those times when I wish I had recorded her trying to speak. I was trying to hold back the laughter which just made her even more frustrated. Her sister did an excellent job of translating however! 

So well done to Dr. Nafeh Nabil Fansa, for the way he dealt with her and to the wee soldier for going through what she did!

Back in a month for a follow up x-ray just to check the spacing for her adult tooth, which isn't far away going by the original x-ray.

Glad that was over!

[TripAdvisor Contribution] Aqua Park Qatar - 1st visit to this park (Saturday Visit)

My daughter was desperate to for a day at the water park and seeing as it was her 9th birthday she wanted to go, not for her party, but just with her parents and grandparents.

We left the compound on C'ring and simply headed straight out Salwa Road and was there in about 30 minutes. Arrived in the car park about 5 minutes before opening time (10am) and there were only about half a dozen cars there.

Purchasing tickets at the gate, making use of the HSBC Entertainer App tickets and also the BOGOF vouchers in the Entertainer Book reduced the cost of entry to half what it would normally have been.

Walked through the gate and it was empty, walking round the park and selecting some seating near the edge of the wave pool.

The place never really got busy, yes people steadily arrived as the day went on, but it never really got busy all the way up until we left just before 2 pm.

The food at the kiosks was relatively well priced considering the captive audience. the park was clean and tidy. The wind did start to pick up a bit after lunch and this did start to see more litter being blown around from people not looking after their own waste.

The only real negative is the sun loungers are fixed at an angle, and really hard with no cushions, so take an extra thick towel to put down on them.

Another interesting thing to note was that the park appears to be under the flight path for the Air Force base and there was regular different aircraft taking off, which became a bit of a plane spotting thing for my dad! From B52s, Refuellers, AWACS, and several others that I don't know what they were!

The park is small by those who have Disney water parks as their benchmark, but when it is quiet as it was, it is no issue. Various areas catering for different ages of children and the fact they can just go and enjoy themselves and be out and about instead of on an tablet/mobile etc. is justification enough!

For info: Saturday is Family day and Tuesday is Ladies day (and male children upto 1.2m in height)

Dress code is meant to be 'Modest', but there were some westerners there with Bikinis on, so not sure exactly what the restrictions are, best to check out their website and be just be considerate towards locals and take a back-up just in case.

Review posted at: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294009-d3461786-r369190706-Aqua_Park_Qatar-Doha.html#

[TripAdvisor Contribution] Il Teatro - Friday Brunch and Birthday

Friday brunch time again, another great selection of food and the staff once again friendly and helpful.

(Grand)Parents were over for a 10 day break from the snowy east coast of scotland and they had not been to brunch here before. The youngest daughter was also celebrating her 9th birthday and they presented her with a lovely plate full of sugar desserts which I think just finished her off nicely!

The brunch wines and bubbles are perfect and so are the cocktails, well, the wife appeared to be managing to put them somewhere at least :-)

The daughter was also well taken by the noodle counter and the chef wearing the GoPro camera on his head and streaming her noodles being made to a small screen at the front of the counter.

I am a big fan of the crispy duck......nom nom nom.....and always look forward to starting with a few of these.

'til the next time!

Review posted at: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294009-d3542754-r369186523-Il_Teatro-Doha.html#