January has shown us a real mixed bag of weather here in Kuwait; we have learnt that it does indeed get cold, that the desert experiences thick mist, heavy rain and in some parts – hail apparently! Its so weird some days to look out and see none of the high rise buildings across the street, because the mist was so thick! We did however finish off the month with warm sunny weather that wouldn’t be out of place for a British Summer! 19 degrees Celsius in January is unheard of for a family from Northern England, so to have such lush temperatures (and “T-shirt weather”) these past couple of weeks, has been quite the treat for us (and certainly a bonus of living in the Middle East).
January has been different to the norm, not just because this year we are living here (and can walk barefoot along the beach in the sunshine), but also because it was made extra special by a visit for 10 days from Grandma Smith and her friend. We walked their socks off (no car yet for us here), and showed them the highlights of all that Kuwait has to offer. We took them to markets, museums, landmarks, mosques and delicious places to eat. It really was a great start to both a new year and to the month of January.
I am loving paddling and sunshine in January/Feb and watching the kids play on the beach in shorts and tees! I am loving discovering custard and making a lush apple crumble and custard to share with new friends (taste of home). I am loving having people over and getting to know them better, as well as visiting them in their homes. And, I am loving showing visitors around Kuwait (roll on March when my parents come!)
I was excited to sort our VPN out and have been able to watch call the midwife, as well as some Junior bake off with the kids and the next series of The Apprentice – good old British TV!
I watched the entire series of Wednesday over a few days to vet it for the kids (because everyone’s talking about it!), but decided together that at 10 years old, its probably a little dark! I found it a little freaky at first, but then thought it was pretty good on the whole and it reminded me a bit of Pretty Little Liars!
I am currently reading The Water Babies with Alice in Home school – who remembers this classic? We are about half way through and are looking forward to watching the film when we are done (if I can find it). It is funny to read as an adult, and also gives you a completely different perspective (as with most things).
Personally, I have read The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. It is a really good one to ponder on life; where we are, hope to be, might have been and what it’s all about. It follows a girl who loses all reason to be here and peoples behaviours signal to her that she’s a waste – it’s really quite and definitely easy to see how someone who is low or depressed could interpret the things people say or do as a signal they need to disappear.
Anyway, she decided to end her life, and between life and death she finds herself in a library where she can experience other alternatives and choices for her life, before she completely decides if it is the end, or if she wants to fit into one of those lives and keep living for other things. It really gives you so much to think about and repeats the important message that “the only way to learn is to live”.
I really loved these quotes from it, and would recommend this book, yes:
- Its easy to imagine there are easier paths…We spend so much time wishing our lives were different, comparing ourselves to other people and to other versions of ourselves, when really most lives contain degrees of good and degrees of bad.
- Sadness is intrinsically part of the fabric of happiness. You can’t have one without the other. There is no life where you can be in a state of happiness forever and imagining there is, just breeds more unhappiness in the life you’re in.
This month I have been listening to the song Dreamers by Jung Kook so much – you may have heard it over the World Cup 2022, but it is SOO feel good and motivational. I am thinking it might be our family song for this year.
I have also been listening a lot to Wellerman, REM and catching up on the Raising Wildlings podcast, that I haven’t heard for a while (still love it).
In January I bought a couple of black small stools for the apartment from IKEA – one is for Oscar, the other was for a new plant we adopted from a friend who moved back to the UK! I also bought some cute bits for Oscar in the Zara sale – seems like the days are gone that I shop for me in the sales! I actually need to go shopping, as Ive seen some cool orange trousers I want for 3KD in H&M.
In January we visited the Kuwait towers and grand mosque – both must sees for a visit to Kuwait. And I loved both.
We also visited a couple of new parks here in Kuwait that we really loved. The first was on grandma’s visit – Al Shaheed park – which was beautiful and so peaceful to wander around. It had sculptures, water, fountains, an oasis of palm trees with a pool of water, as well as beautifully manicured grounds and plants. It reminded us of some kind of stately home gardens, but the bonus is that this was FREE! It’s unique with the skyscrapers all around you while you wander in the greenery. I loved the urban vibes around us.
The other park we visited was just last week – Yarmouk. Its hidden away, in a random location, but offers a lovely play area with amazing facilities and wooden/natural play equipment, as well as more greenery and woodland – it was so peaceful and lovely, and would be ideal for forest school (ha!).
February is already racing on. And it it is sure to be fun and busy… as well as different to February’s at home! We have a sports day (get it in there before the heat hits), a day off for the Prophets ascension, Kuwait National Day (apparently a country wide party), and then a nice almost 2 weeks off toward the end of the month. We are still deciding if we are going to go travelling for that, or just embrace the beaches, museums etc here in Kuwait! It will then be Oscars 2nd Birthday, a visit from my parents and the month of Ramadan! SO many new things to experience, see and do!
This month I am Grateful for
*Paddles in the sea and sunshine on my skin
*Time spent with Grandma
*Finding things that remind us of home
*Time to read and the things we can learn
*Green spaces in the desert
*Meals shared with friends