Petra Etcetra

Now that I'm on a roll...

Have I mentioned how much we enjoyed our visit to Jordan over Christmas? As impressive as Amman and Jerash are, as much as we loved Ahhhhhhhhqaba, as amazing as it was to stand on Mt. Nebo and look out on the promised land (well, it was hazy that day), the highlight of the trip for both Glenn and me was definitely Petra. We were told before we left Doha to spend at least two days exploring the site, and I wish we had taken that advice (those who know me will be nodding right now). The day we spent at Petra was both exhilarating and exhausting, and we saw only a fraction of the area.

Even if you've never been to Petra, you've probably seen it in the movies--Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Mummy Returns. Nothing--nothing--does it justice, though.

There are only two ways into the ancient city (a geographical fact that kept it a bit of an open secret for many years): the one that most people take is through the siq, a winding trail through a …

The Backlog Blog, or, A History Lesson

It's been a little while, I know. Don't know if you missed us. We sure are missing all of you! I hope this backlog blog, or b'log blog, finds you well and keeping all your new year's resolutions. Okay, New Year's is a long time ago. I mean, it's already Easter. New Year's is ancient history. Well, hold on there. Not as ancient as some of the history we caught a glimpse of during our trip to Jordan over Christmas. And that's where I'm going to start this blog, even though, since then, we've also been to India, and I have a trip coming up to Tbilisi, Georgia in a couple of weeks. Not sure whether I'll ever catch up to our adventures, because that trip to Jordan is worthy of at least 2 blogs, maybe 3. At this rate, we'll be back home in Canada before I even get to telling you about the Dead Sea (definitely the low point of the trip, pun intended).

So, Jordan, wow! It really was the trip of a lifetime. Our only complaint is that a week wasn…

Christmas Letter from Doha 2018

Greetings, friends! Although not much has happened to us this year, Glenn and I thought we would try our hand at a holiday newsletter. Please bear with us—there’s not much to report.
2018 began like any other year. The day to day in Red Deer--work for Nancy at RDC, work for Glenn at Peavey Mart. Getting over the holiday fuss. Planning a 3-week trip to Spain at the end of January. You know—the usual stuff.
Nancy’s interview on January 3 with a college in Qatar, a country in the Persian Gulf, was the first hint that our lives were going to become a little more interesting in 2018. The conditional job offer a week later ramped up the urgency of decision-making, and the upcoming trip to Spain began to take on a different meaning. Turned out that, if Nancy was going to accept the offer in Qatar and live there legally with Glenn, she was going to have to make an honest man out of him.  We also realized that we would have to do that before leaving for Spain on January 26.
So, amid acquiring…

What happens in Bangalore....

What happens in Bangalore...

...stays in Bangalore, it seems! It’s been almost a month since I flew off to India for a weekend to attend the Bangalore Literature Festival. And much water has flowed under the bridge (both before and after—both literally and figuratively) without being captured in this blog and sent out to its forgiving and patient readers (that’s you, if you’re still paying attention). I’ve prepared for writing this blog by putting on my salwar kameez and settling in with a cup of coffee that has a wee bit of “flavouring.” Well deserved rest after getting up at 4 AM for dragon boating and then jumping on my bike for a 27 k ride with Glenn. Just another beautiful November day in Doha. Temperatures in the low to mid-20s, and, fingers crossed, no rain in sight.

So let me start with the literal deluge that took Qatar (and Glenn and me) by surprise in mid and late October this year. On one weekend day (I believe it was October 18) Qatar received a year’s worth of rain! Gle…

Home (def. the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household)

Home, indeed! I returned to Doha from Canada just over a month ago, and I've been asking myself that question ever since. Was I visiting home when I went back to Canada? Was I coming "home" when I came back to Doha? When I was living out of a suitcase in Red Deer and Cochrane, was I home? Or did I get “home” when I came back to our villa in Al Jazeera 1 Compound (see picture of our block) and put my clothes away in the drawer and the closet?

Well, to go back to the definition, I came back without Glenn, who took his mom (hi, Norma!) “home” to Newfoundland for a visit and “wee toar of the rock”). And my kids are back in Canada. But only one of my grandchildren is living there; the other is in Denmark! So, when I came back, I was not with my family—not even close. And don't they say, home is where the heart is?

So, was I home or away while I was in Canada? (Snowbirds like my friend Anne Price face a similar dilemma, although their migratory patterns (signalled in the ter…

The Where Do I Start Blog

With the tour of the Mosque in Education City? The Sunday Brunch at W Hotel? Our first visit to Souq Waqif? The ongoing saga of Glenn Against the Dust (coming to a theatre near you soon!)? How about our upcoming trip to Canada for a visit? Okay, let's start there and work backward.

A week from today, Glenn and I are heading back to Canada for a short visit. Shorter for me (August 11-30) and a bit longer for Glenn (August 11-September 30) as he is taking his mom to Newfoundland in September (hi, Norma, we'll be there soon!). We are so looking forward to spending time with friends and family and getting out and walking and biking on the trails. A special thank you to Terry and Darrel, who are picking us up at the airport when we arrive and hosting us for a day (or maybe two?) while we recover from the jet lag. Another shout out to Carlen, who is allowing us to stay at her house while she's in Ottawa. Thank you guys, and thanks to others, like Trish and Sheila, who also offe…