All quiet on the Western Front

That’s because of the non stop activity after we had been to see the QE2. No time to update the blog but I had 2 sessions at Barasti watching Southampton Football Club continue its downward spiral.

I was desperate for them to win one of their games because I knew that a team photo would have been taken and shown on social media with the appendage #win . But it didn’t happen. Shame because I would have loved to have been part of a winning Saints Dubai grouping like this one.

But it didn’t happen!

Jane and I had some relaxing days in the sun and with the Watson/Smith cats

And on Christmas Day we were invited to Christmas lunch at Nick (Gretchen’s brother) and his wife Hilary’s home at Arabian Ranches. MJ and Bruce were there and Hilary’s parents Bob and Shirley Smith (Yes more Smiths) from NZ were also there. So there were 9 Kiwis and 3 Brits.

In fairness they were very nice to us! Bob was telling me that years ago he and Shirley left their cattle farm on North Island in the hands of their manager and brought their young children to Europe. They bought a Winebego and in their travels in the U.K. they met a Cunard Chief Engineer called John Hill, who had served on the old Queen Mary. Could he have known my Dad or had they sailed together? If they had that would have been an amazing coincidence.

I have looked up John Hill and find that someone of that name is a committee member of the RMS Queen Mary Association which meets regularly in Southampton. I have a chum John Bull who is also a member of that association so I should be able to find out more later this month.

Christmas lunch/dinner was fabulous. Nick had brought in caterers who he uses regularly. The turkey and ham were being browned on the barbecue. The beef was massive.

There were 10 adults and enough meat to feed 30. We had a wonderful meal with marvellous wines and the lady sommelier kept filling the glasses.

Christmas Day in the sunshine was not something we had experienced before, but we had a great day and the Watsons and the Kiwi Smiths looked after the English Smiths very well.

Christmas presents under the tree and handed out by a very young Santa followed the format we adopt back in the UK.

It was a great day. This was one of my presents! MJ and Bruce had just returned from a 3 week holiday in India.

Jane and I stayed at Le Meridien on Jumeira Beach. It was perfect and we spent most of our days there or at Mike and Gretchen’s house at the Springs, which overlooked a lake. It is a perfect place for them to live.

In the Mall of the Emirates there was plenty of evidence that some people were celebrating Christmas. A magnificent Christmas tree which we found.

That’s all for now. We are back on QE with Kim on the 24 May and our first Port is Palma, Mallorca. Luckily the senior Holts and Sam and Katie, Zoey and Hayden will be there to entertain us! We look forward to it.

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