Well Hello There.......

Ok so this is me- blogging! I do everything else so why not this! Welcome to my blog and hope you enjoy the shennanigans!

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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Time Lapse Again... sorry!

Oh I am terrible- too busy writing for other people and not having the time to write on here! What can I say?

Well life plods on- romance going great, been travelling, work is great! The 'rents are here at the mo so they having a lovely Dubai holiday too... life is good!

I don't seem to have anything to rant about! That's a sorry state of affairs! Will get my thinking cap on and be back shortly!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

It's Box Set time!!

With summer and Ramadan fast approaching Dubai's inhabitants, who aren't lucky enough to be evacuated for the hottest time of the year, tend to hibernate indoors with a box set or 20!

The TV options available here are totally rubbish which is why most people download, stream and buy DVD box sets- to stop themselves having to watch the "new" season of Desperate Housewives being shown by the TV channels here- which is usually 4 years behind the real world!

Also US TV seems to have gone into a hiatus for the summer too meaning the weekly shows on the net are finished too boohoo!

Here's the pick of my faves for you to watch to while away the summer heat until we get till September and hopefully the cooler temps!

1. Game of Thrones- this new series starring Sean Bean is amazing- like Lord of the Rings X rated version! Get the 5 books that the series is based on and that should keep you busy!
2. Torchwood- Dr Who spin off starring the sexy John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness- more adult though- new series starts on July 7th- if you're quick you can watch the last 3 before the new ones start!
3. True Blood- vamps vamps and all sorts of spooky things! 3 past seasons to watch and a current one on now...like an adult Twilight but so much more better! 11 books to go along with this series too!
4. Human Planet- amazing documentary series about us as humans and how we survive and live in all different territories and conditions- amazing photography and narrated by John Hurt. Part was filmed in Dubai too which is really interesting!
5. The Middle- this is a light weight really funny show starring the mum from Everyone Loves Raymond and the janitor from Scrubs as parents trying to do their best
6. Parks & Recreation- Office- style mockumentary- very dry, witty and funny! Brilliant characters! Based in the made up town of Pawnee and follows the lives of the Parks & Rec council department- starring Rob Lowe too!
7. Friends- an oldie but a goodie- did you know there is a repeat of a Friends episode on TV somewhere in the world permanently! Have a Friends marathon- go right back to the pilot epsiode and laugh your way through the next 10 seasons!
8. Modern Family- another family based US comedy but very clever and guaranteed laughs every episode.
9. My Name Is Earl- just watched all of these- I used to catch odd episodes but never got "into" it- if you watch in sequence right form the beginning this show is absolutely hilarious!
10. Gossip Girl.... shhhhhhhh..... my guilty pleasure- think it is supposed to be for teeangae girls but I love this show- set in New York, fab clothes, hot actors and actresses, intrigue and gossip.... watch it and enjoy but be careful who you talk to about it :)

That should be enough to keep you going- hope you enjoy my picks!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Mmmm........... Match.com PART 2!! FINAL

Well it's been a while dear readers but there is a reason!!

Some of you may remember this post here where I was musing whether dating sites actually work or not etc. etc. etc.

Well....I have to take it all back! They DO work! I have finally met the man of my dreams! All thanks to Match.com! Eek I know!!! The experiment worked!!! Who'd have thunk it??

Anyway, apparently a lady never tells so I am not going to go into details! Plus I know you will be reading this D :)

I will say that the site was a bit dodgy as per my previous blog post and you have to watch out for the scam artists and the arabian men who want to marry you without even meeting you- really yani my princess- but if you search hard enough and prune hard enough and wish and pray to the gods of love and use your common sense of course you might find a gem too!

I guess the main thing is- don't ever give up hope- you never know what is going to happen in life- and it will happen when it's supposed to happen! Just live your life to the full in the meantime!

Well I am going back to my Cloud 9 for now and will blog again soon :)

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Twitter tweet tweet

It took me ages to get to grips with Twitter! Yes, I know I am behind the times but will explain! I opened my account over 3 years ago and to tell you the truth there wasn't much going on round here then- Facebook was reigning supreme- and still is! It's only really since January this year that mere mortals are entering into the Twitterverse in Dubai with mixed results.

I just found Twitter a bit strange to start off with! I suppose it is because it is more anonymous than Facebook- plus you are not actually making "friends" with someone- just following reading their words of wisdom/ gobbly de gook!

Anyway I persevered and persevered and have got my head round how it works etc. now... now what I am trying to figure out is the best way to use it here in Dubai for me and my clients. I am trying to establish a dialogue and a rapport- but getting a response is hard. What actually makes people reply to your tweet, retweet or follow you- it seems to be a very mystical equation!

With my clients I am making sure I am tweeting relevant, succinct, interesting tweets and not just promoting the client but also sharing industry news and insights- daily. I reply to every @mention and message politely. I follow tweeters in the same industry and any other relevant regional tweets. Seems to be working and genuine followers are growing steadily- just not much rapport going on. Maybe I am expecting too much- is Twitter a conversation or is it just random strings of 140 characters blasted into cyber space by people just because they can. Are we addicted to writing our own headlines?

Have had some fun and games as well- the wonderful telecom provider here DU got a bit of a manners whallop from me! I could not sign in to their website- pretty basic need for a telecom provider yes? So, I tweeted them-here's what followed:

@ what's up with the self care login page on your website- can't load the page...help would love to pay my bill!

@ Can you load other pages? Meaning, is it only this page?

@ yes I can- it just does not load the login page on Firefox or IE.....please help!

@ Please try it again now, it should be working fine now.

@ Wow yes it is- thanks for fixing- was it just me or a problem with the site?
Next day:

@ We had an issue with the site earlier yesterday but it's resolved :)

@ shouldn't you say thank you for me pointing it out hahahhahah! Thanks for fixing!
@ Definitely thank you :)

This tweetline happened over a 24 hour period- so basically- website was not working- I alerted them to the issue they were unaware of- they fixed it- where was my thank you for pointing out the major problem?? Got it out of them in the end. Maybe I am being pedantic but you can surely see that if you on Twitter as a company you have to interact and be polite too!

I do love the breaking news aspect of Twitter and without going into it, the use of Twitter in the recent uprisings in the Middle East & Africa- the power of it- is amazing. Commercially though does it work? That is yet to be seen in Dubai. Right now I am experimenting with Twitter- that is the beauty of it you can experiment. The immediacy of it is ground breaking but can the region cope?

My Top Ten Twitter Tips for Businesses

1. If you have an account keep it active- if not delete it! Nothing worse than a Twitter account that's not been updated since 2009- makes you company look really bad!

2. Make sure you have access to the account even if your marketing/ PR agency are running it- if you change agency etc. you don't want to lose control over your account.

3. If you are having your posts on Facebook appear automatically on Twitter too- that's great! But you should post just for Twitter too. They are both totally different animals and need to be treated as such. Do special Twitter only posts! Your company should have a Facebook Voice and a Twitter Voice.

4. Check your @mentions and messages daily/ every time you log in. Twitter is a conversation- one client's Twitter account I took over was doing really well- over a 1,000 followers- but they didn't know about the @mentions and messages- so had never replied to any of them- lots of lost business and makes you look ignorant as a company.

5. Don't just follow 1,000s of people as soon as you get going! Be picky- you don't want to look desperate. try and keep a nice ration between followers and following. Nothing looks worse than you having 1 follower but you are following 2355 people! Balance it out and increase who you follow over time. It should be organic!

6. Check who is following you on a daily basis and follow them back if they are relevant to your business. If they are spam bots etc. report them- do everyone a favour. Don't leave them in your followers purely to boost numbers- people can spot them a mile off.

7. Retweet relevant tweets of people/ businesses you ideally want to follow you back- they will hopefully notice that you have retweeted them- check you out and hopefully follow!

8. Time your tweets- don't blast out twenty tweets one after another- you will only annoy people! Filling up their feed. Spread them out few in the morning, few in the evening... if you use a client like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck you can have them timed and sent out when you want.

9. Experiment- see what gets the most reaction- you being funny, talking about sales and promos, retweeting news, giving expert opinion- you will get a flavour for what works best for you- keep it loose though!

10. If someone helps you out- say thanks! Du- take note :)

My Top Ten Favourite Tweeters- mixture of spoof accounts, celebs and news- perfect combo!

1. Elizabeth Windsor @Queen_UK By the Grace of God, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, wife to the DoE, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother (fictional)

2, God @TheTweetOfGod
I am the Lord thy God, Cre8r of the Twitterverse. Thou shalt not follow any gods before Me, nor RT Me in vain. Honor and keep it holy. 

4. Darth Vader @darthvader
Empire, CO

5. Al-Qaeda @alqaeda (spoof of course!!!)

6. Tim Roth @TimRothLieToMe

Sunday, 20 March 2011

The End is Nigh??

I really am watching too much Al Jazeera and if I turned it off it would probably be better! I feel awful blogging about trivial shit when there is so much going on in the world- but I am not a political animal and life must go on anyway...here's my nod to everything so I can write a guilt free blog about shoes or something!

Japan- unbeliavable devastation- sending my prayers to you.
Bahrain- please stop now- cried when saw Pearl Roundabout being demolished
Egypt- so glad you are becoming stable again
Libya- you poor people having had to live under such a tyrant- let's hope everything works out

And everywhere else wher there's been uprising- please, please keep it peaceful!

Oh and there's a nother H1N1 break out...what is this plagues, floods, quakes, famine, wars? Maybe the whole 2012 prediction thing is right?

I am just going to carry on living my life cos there is nothing else you can do!

Peace Out for now!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Deal Or No Deal Dubai???

Now I know we all love a good bargain but what the heck is going on in Dubai at the moment? Deal websites are like mushrooms at the moment- surely the Emirate is not big enough to sustain all of these offer sites? Am personally looking forwward to the battle of the deal web sites... place your bets ladies and gents!

This all reminds me of when the classified websites launched here- there was Dubai Donkey, Souq.com, Ebay.ae (cheeky!!!) and Dubizzle. I think we all know how that story ended- Dubizzle rules supreme now!

So who is going to win the battle of the deals? Let's have a look at the contenders...

Gonabit- very active and possible leader
Cobone- very active but seems to have higher offer uptake
Groupon- mmmm.... either this is a soft launch or they are not as good as everyone has been predicting- weak offers
Deal Gobbler- a wanna be Cobone/ Gonabit
1 Deal Days Living Social- not launched yet
Wanamax- they gone bust aleady I think- well their website has disappeared!
Ad7vantage.com- offers through 7Days- very expensive to take part as a client!
2for1uae- another Gonabit
Lowcost Dubai-more of a touristy one and doesn't look as zooty as the other sites.

My money is on Cobone or Gonabit winning and if you pushed me- I would say Cobone will win out in the end- purely based on their more impressive uptake of offer numbers. They are both neck and neck on Facebook likes so it is hard to distinguish!

And how about this for a funny coincidence- I sent a mail yesterday to one of the new ones to ask them very politely to refrain from spamming the Facebook pages I manage- and also a little tip/ heads up that Facebook will ban them if they continue! Well I just got a phone call from them, as I am typing this, asking if I would manage their social media for them hahahah!! So, do I now enter into the fray of what I am dissing and put my money where my mouth is and show them how to do it? Or do I run for the hills!

The business model is excellent for the deal sites- they take 20- 50% off the cost of the offer! They say everything else is free- so the cost depends on how much you sell. I had one client who wanted to offer a 2000 dhs gift voucher for 1000 dhs..the site said they would take 50% off that cost....so basically if they sold 100 the deal site would get 50,000 dhs....that's a very expensive marketing campaign!!! Not including the loss of revenue on offering the deal! I reckon the best thing is a small cost deal that is for something quite niche and for a small size company who can't usually afford to advertise on this scale- you are getting massive low cost exposure through their website, social media and data bases- but not necessarily loads of vouchers being bought!

If you're a salon/ spa/ hair dressers it is a great way to get new clientele- assuming of course you really look after these new bargain hunting clients. It does have the potential to become a PR disaster- there are already reports of people not being able to use the vouchers as the salons are too booked up until after the voucher expiry. Can a small salon actually cope with an influx of 300 plus new people over a short period? Can they give them the great service required to make them a return customer? Will existing customers get fed up of voucher wielding clients in their favourite salon and go elsewhere??

Also where is the loyalty to the deal sites? I flit between the big 3 but have only actually bought 3 deals- one of which I am getting a refund on as the deal was totally misrepresented! The other two- one was half price concert ticket for a concert I was going to anyway and the other a half price brunch cos cheap booze- well I am there! I have not been tempted by the cheap mani pedis and hair cuts- just not comfortable with them. Maybe I am just not a deal person- or maybe I am but am very selective! One friend of mine buys nearly every day and has stacks of vouchers! Maybe it's possible to become a deal-addicted....oooh I really, really may need my under arm hair removing with lasers in the future- quick buy the voucher!! Apparently 20% of vouchers never get used anyway!

What would I buy regularly? Travel deals actually- reduced hotel rates for sure, the odd beauty deal if I knew the salon, meal discounts for somewhere I would normally go... I don't think I am their target customer- I have never bought The Entertainer Book either- I always get shock horror gasp when I say that! What's the point- would never use all/ any of the vouchers!! It's only me!

Add to all these websites- coupon books, loyalty cards, regular sales- man, we shouldn't need to pay full price for anything ever again in Dubai! How are you supposed to manage all of this!! One lady I heard of has everything in a selection of marked envelopes for ease of use- argggghhhh!! I can't cope! What are the enevlopes labelled as? Spa- massage, Spa- mani pedis, Food- cheap pizzas???? The list could go on!

One last top tip I will share with you- do not surf these sites whilst under the influence! I have one friend in London who had a Chardonnay induced Group On splurge and is now having to have liposuction, fake eyelashes, hair extensions and a chemical peel all in the next month!!!

Here's an interesting article about the start of it all in The National from Dec 2010 You have to feel sorry for the Wanamax now- after all his spouting in this and the website is now gone!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Car Insurance Rant!!

Just going to have a little rant about my car insurance here in Dubai now- sorry- it drives me mad!!

So got a good deal last year through my bank and have had no probs- need to renew by March 8th- the dude from the insurance company has been ringing me to renew since January 1st- that put me in a New Year's hangover panic I can tell you until I checked the date!! So I told him to email me through the renewal cost. I didn't really pay much attention to it as had checked my docs and it didn't need renewing till March.

The proceeded 2 calls a day following up!! Every day! Which I ignored for a while.... then I called back and said dude- why are you calling me twice a day in Jan when renewal is not till March- doh!!

Anyway, so we're sort of near renewal time now and I decided to just have a little shop around and am glad I did- I can save 400 AED (That's £70 ish) and get better coverage! So decided to ask the dude why- here is the fabulous email chain...enjoy!!!

Hi Insurance Dude,

I have been shopping around for this and realised that the prices are more expensive than I paid with you last year- can you explain why the charges are higher this year for renewal especially as I have never made a claim.

Also have checked with other providers and their quotes are cheaper too for the exact same if not more coverage.

Warm regards,



HI Manodrama,

Maybe the insurance company that you asked for quotation gives you cheap premium like ABC Insurance company. In the market ABC Insurance is the one who gives the cheapest quotation for cars, we are dealing with them before but we lose so many clients because of them. They give so less premium and yet when the customer go to the point of having accidents the benefits are so less.

Trust me ma'am the Insurance Company I gave you is best Local insurance company now here in Dubai.

Don't look on the premium ma'am, see the benefits. Take it as an advice ma'am.

All the best,

Insurance Dude

Dear Insurance Dude,

I have got a much cheaper quote from AXA Insurance with better coverage- I think they are just as reputable aren't they? Never even heard of XYZ insurance.

I have attached it for your reference and this is even insuring the car at a higher value.

So tell me why should I go with XYZ and not AXA?



Hi Manodrama

That's a good premium you are having right now ma'am, but I can give you lower than that with RSA ma'am if you like. XYZ is high because they are not applying the nationality and if you have convertible license. But in AXA and RSA they are accepting.

What is your nationality maam?


Insurance Dude


I have not replied yet- all of a sudden he can get cheaper with reputable companies!

If he calls me ma'am one more time the patronising little git I will scream!! He has all my details from last year- so he knows what nationality I am and that I have a transferable licence- that’s it I’m out!

Needless to say I am just on the AXA website now doing all this online and not being harassed or patronised or having to deal with numpties!!!

The names of the insurance companies except for AXA and RSA have been changed to protect their identities hahahah!

It’s at times like these I really want a husband grrrrrr- they don’t give men out here the same run around that’s for sure!

Peace Out!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Should You Ever Go Backwards?

Me don't want to be in boring domestic bliss!!
Sorry for the silence folks- been mega busy- but here I am!! Got a few topics whizzing around in my head but this one popped out first!

I am a great believer in going boldly forward or going forward boldy- whichever way round is the correct non- Star Trek version. What I mean is- live life with no regrets, don't look back and get maudlin, learn your lessons and move ever onwards with a big happy smile :)

So over the past 6 months have had ever single significant ex boyfriend and one ex fiancee get in touch and re-declare undying love for me- yes freaky I know! Was the universe trying to tell me something? Were they all going through a mid life crisis at the same time? Had they all just split up with someone and done that bloke thing- you know- ooh let me get in touch with the one that got away! Or was it for me to be able to do an Eminem and clear out my closet! Well, needless to say nothing came of any of it- I was nice and polite to all- forgave them their imagined sins and said if that's really the way you feel about me do something about it- show me your undying passion- needless to again none did- exes are an ex for a reason! So I thought it was over bye bye boys!

But the surprise- a suprise blast from the past- who has popped up in the last- was going to say 3 weeks but have just checked the date of the first message- January 1st- so now am worried it's a new year's resolution thing!! Eeek! Anyway before I spotted that was going to say this one could possibly be different! We had our first and only date 7 years ago- at which he declared I am not looking for a relationship- to which I declared well why the heck are you registered on a dating site then???? Grrrr! Anyway that aside we did actually become really good friends after that- culminating in maybe 2 years after that a snog and fumble up north as I call it- after which he promptly disappeared- I now know he started to have feelings for me as I was for him- got scared- ran off and hid- so I met someone who I dated for 2 years- he got married in the meantime!! Complicated- welcome to dating in the 00s! We did have contact by text/ phone a couple of times over the intervening 5 years but that was that- until Jan 1st this year!

So I didn't know he had got divorced again- anyway we met as friends and have met quite a lot as friends since the new year- he's always been a bit flirty- but I am thick can never tell if someone fancies me! Anyway I am really rambling again- long story short- if I want it it's there for the taking- but here's the kicker- I AM SCARED!

After all this time being single and thinking I want a boyfriend/ marriage etc. and now I could have something serious it is scaring the pants off me! I am having blokey thoughts like is this as good as it gets blah blah blah!! Confused? You betcha!! Not that my life is fandabbydosy I am worried it will all change- I guess giving up my card carrying single status is harder than I thought it would be. I don't know why I am feeling like this because it's never worried me in the past! Maybe it's an age thing!

So to return to my original question- do I break my rule and go backwards or do I run for the hills???

Will let you know what happens :)

Update 25th Feb- well nothing has happened this week cos he's ill! Doh!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Amy Winehouse- Dubai said no no no!!

Ok so I love her music, know she has had her troubles but had been hearing good things about her concerts recently- about how she has got her act together and recent tours and concerts going really well- so had been sticking up for old Amy when the nay sayers were trying to put her down! Big mistake!

Last night's concert was a debacle of monster proportions and I just don't get it! There were approx 8,000 people at the gig- 8,000 people who have paid good money to see Amy perform- who all started to boo halfway through song one!

Amy looked ok physically- nice dress, filled out a bit so she look less haggard and gaunt- but the postives stop there! She looked and acted frightened to death- her eyes were so wierd-no focus and skipping about like she had no clue where she was, she kept rubbing her arms, hugging herself, picking her finger nails in the middle of songs and drinking something out of a tea cup and gargling with it!

I seriously thought there was something wrong with the sound- you could not hear her- until she walked off during a song and her poor backing group took over and you could hear their vocals fine! She was whispering into the mike, miming and forgetting lyrics as well as walking off stage in a kind of huff about 4 times- the first time she was gone for 20 mins and we didn't know if she was coming back! So the backing band and vocalists got rapturous applause every song they did- Amy got booed at the end of every song. I know we are a hard audience in Dubai but I have never ever seen or heard that before out here- people were leaving in droves after 10 minutes!

She did do all her well known songs but they were like pale imitations of themselves- people tried to get into it but it just wasn't happening.

Just found the above on youtube- by the way this was about 5 songs in and people weren't shining green lights in her eyes- this was filmed off the big screen and it's lasers.

Worst concert ever and a lot of disappointed fans in Dubai today!

I feel sorry for her- she needs serious help and she should not be performing in front of such large audiences who have paid their hard earned money to go and see her perform!

Links to other commentary:

The Mirror

Update: it's happened again Amy Winehouse 'too drunk to sing' in Belgrade concert... someone needs to look after the poor girl and people need to stop paying to see her!

BBC report

Monday, 7 February 2011

Day 21

My Miracle- Champix
Well, I have been resisting blogging about this- did not want to tempt fate- but I think....I really think I have GIVEN UP SMOKING!!! Yes, a miracle has indeed occurred...thanks to Champix/ Chantix as it's called in the US of A! For those of you who don't know Champix is a tablet you take that takes away the pleasure of smoking! It's supposed to be a prescription only drug but you can buy it over the counter here in Dubai- it's pricey- 198 AED for the starter pack of 2 weeks and 444 AED for the month packs....but so worth it!

I never thought it would work- I have tried nicotine gum before and cold turkey but never went more than 3 days without caving! I have smoked for 15 years and was up to 3 packs a day- yes I know terrible, terrible! (OK have just noticed too many exclamation marks- will stop it already with them.)

So today is Day 21.... without a cigarette- was lucky to be able to go 21 minutes without a fag before. Today is a special day for me and probably why I have been counting the days- as it apparently takes 21 days to make or break a habit- and da der here I am.

I haven't really had cravings for nicotine as such- I have just had routines in my life where I would stop and have a fag- on the phone, driving, after a meal, break from work, with a glass of wine, first thing in morning, last thing at night- all a total ritual really. I was once told that I used cigarettes as a punctuation mark in my daily life- I guess that was right!

So I have been focussing on getting new habits- or distractions from the old one anyway- lollipops have helped, licorice sticks, baby carrots, grapes, drinking loads of cups of tea and lots of water... sweeping the floor a lot (it's been dusty here), doing too much washing, painting my nails, watching way to much TV- but thank you Lie To Me and Tim Roth- you were a great distraction- anything to take my mind off- you only need to distract yourself for 5 mins and the wanting goes away.

I think I have almost forgotten I was a smoker now....which is a hard thing to say after them being my prop and side kick for the last 15 years!

People ask me do I feel any different? Well, I am not bounding around with the joys of Spring yet- the fatigue should wear off soon but I can smell and taste things more, my singing voice is much clearer, I get dizzy a bit when I stand up as apparently my brain is not used to so much oxygen in my blood! I have amazing dreams- that's a common side effect from the Champix- I was worried as I thought they meant nightmares but they aren't they are just really involved dreams. I have put on weight but that is my own lazy ass fault- the exercise started today- can't focus on changing everything at once so was not beating myself up too much about it- was focussing all my energy on not smoking- so fags kicked- tick next is weight!

I really don't want to become one of those sanctimonious reformed smokers- they used to drive me mad and before the more someone nagged me the more I wanted a cigarette... but I do want to give hope that it is possible! I followed all the instructions properly with Champix- you start the tablets and continue to smoke and you select a date between day 8 and day 14 for giving up and work towards that. I started cutting down almost immediately I started taking the tablets- from 3 packs to 1 pack in 3 days and had picked Day 10 to give up totally- actually did it on Day 8 though. I have to take for 3 months in total which is fine.

I had been reading that the tablets have been alleged to possibly cause depression and suicidal thoughts in some rare cases- so I warned all my friends and family to keep an eye on me and what I was saying just in case- but I reckon if you know there's a possible side effect you can deal with it... like if all of a sudden I was eyeing the knives in the kitchen drawer I would be like arrrggghhh it's the tablets there's nothing wrong with your life- if you get what I mean! Had a close call with my Mum though as she sent me a text asking how things were- I replied it's a bit gloomy- she freaked thinking I was depressed- I just meant the weather- it was bit a dark outside cos there had been a storm here- whoops sorry Mum- hahahah!

So thanks for all the support from those of you who know me- and if this spurs anyone on to quit- believe me if I can do it- you can do it!

There is a really great article of what the effects of giving up smoking are here http://hubpages.com/ I found this page really interesting and packed full of useful info.

And if you want to visit the Chantix official website go here

Well it's nearly Day 22 so now so time for bed and thanks for reading! Putting it out on here makes me feel likes it's true- I AM A NON SMOKER!!! YAY!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Mmmm........... Match.com

So I have been single for some time- am fine with it- but would just really like to have a boyfriend- someone to spend time with and share things with. It's soooo hard in Dubai- especially as it is inhabited by fembots and glamazons- not that I am ugly- well I hope not- but there are a heck of a lot of 20 something, stick thin, 5 foot 8, short- dress- wearing, super tanned, blonde, cookie- cutter fembots here! I ain't 20 something, am not stick thin, have a brain hahahha....etc. etc. you get the score!

When I first moved here way back when I joined Match.com and there was a lot of choice on there at that time and I went on a few dates.....scammers hadn't been invented then......in the end I long term dated one guy- and he did propose- I said no- and am still close friends today with another- so all in all it was ok- then the site got blocked and that was the end of that!

Fast forward 9 years- have had a wee bit of a drought so I thought "Hey let's see if Match.com is still blocked?"- and lo and behold it wasn't. So I signed up for the free element of it- which is ok but you can't contact anyone or read any emails you get- so after a couple of weeks I got an email from them offering 25% discount so have decided to fully join. OK, so did that, paid the dosh and then thought oh gosh wait a minute should have checked out some reviews first- too late- money was spent! Apparently the site is full of a lot of romance scammers and the like- oh dear! Well at least forewarned is forearmed I suppose- plus it gives me something to write about on here!

So far have had a few very obviously scammer emails and also from members whose profiles are removed by Match before I can even check them out- so they must be scammers. Anyway one dude seems genuine- so I emailed back- I am not 100% sure yet whether he is a scammer or not yet...here are the red flags to watch out for that can also be found on the website Romance Scams here but to sum up:

1. Want to leave the original website and get on Yahoo chat as soon as possible
2. Say they are soldiers from US stationed in Iraq/ Afghanistan read more about the soldier romance scam here. It's an article in today's Daily Mail- apparently the African fraudsters make £80 million pounds a year from it!
3. Ask you for money- any money for any reason
4. Say they love you v v v quickly!
5. Say they want to visit you- if they are in another country
6. Really bad grammar and english
7. No knowledge of where they say they live
8. Start talking about God helping them to find you
9. Have a sick child/ mum/ sister etc!
10. Totally forget what you told them in the last chat you had- that's because they are on to so many people or it's somebody new from the gang now talking to you!

By the way men get scammed as well as the ladies! And the profile photos you see are on the dating sites are stolen off the net- those poor people whose pics they use- must be a nightmare!

So this guy now...let's call him Marco........let's see how he fares-

1. He's American based in Afghanistan as a body guard- eek red flag!
2. He wanted to go on Yahoo chat- I said no- red flag!
3. Not mentioned money yet!
4. No love yet- but this is only chat one so let's wait and see!
5. Said he spends his time off in Dubai- eeek- so let's see if I get asked for ticket money!
6. English ok- some typos but nothing too chronic yet
7. He has local knowledge- I asked about weather, and the weekend there and whether they can get booze- he answered all correctly- but he could have been googling.
8. No God as of yet!
9. No sickness mentioned!
10. Chat one- so no comment!

Red Flags- 3 out of 10- will let you know more! Am not getting a good feeling about this now actually!

Another fabulous website about scammers is www.419eater.com this is a community of people who particpate in baiting the scammers- revenge is theirs! I am not suggesting for a minute that you do this- but the site makes a good read!! I think the funniest thing on there is the pictures they have got the scammers to take with silly slogans on cards- maybe I am just warped hahahhah!

Pic from Daily Mail @sam Furlong SWNS.com
I know I may be laughing a lot at this phenomenon- but I actually it's not really funny- real people who are not as internet savvy as some of us- get their hearts broken and lose their life savings- so if I can help spread the word and raise a smile at the same time- job's a good un!

My advice- if you are unsure about anything at all- any email or anything you are not sure about- bank emails, prize emails, texts, long lost friends needing money, lost kid appeals, chain letters, weather warnings- anything at all- google it- it's all there on the web for you! Check out www.snopes.com for the best scam and urban legend database....keep safe and savvy out there!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Rescue Me!

I have this thing- I watch TV shows and fall into crush with certain male characters. When I started to think about it I realised the thing in common with all these crushes was I reckoned all the guys would be able to rescue me! Now those who know me in real life know I am mega strong and probably would not dream I want to be rescued by a man- well I guess deep down I do!

Maybe it’s a primeval urge- you man, me woman- come bash me over the head and drag me off to your cave! Who knows- maybe I need therapy hahahah! Anyway so it appears I do have a type and whether he’s a hero or an anti hero (as in Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights- see I remember my sixth form English Lit lessons) he’s one strong, intelligent dude that’s for sure!

My top 8 fictional character men I want to be rescued by... the only order is chronological- i.e. when I first realised I wanted them!

1. Mulder (David Duchovny, X Files)- possibly where all this started! He’s smoking hot looking, intelligent, strong yet fragile, tall, smoking hot... oh wait I said that already. And his lips- he has the most lovely looking soft lips! I spent my formative years yearning to be your Scully! How many years did I watch waiting for you to kiss her!! Shame that damn bee got in the way! I wanted to believe so badly- believe me!

2. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman, X Men)- this is an old crush of mine and the only time I fancy Hugh Jackman- he’s just too camp and pretty in real life!! So what is it about Wolverine that gets me every time- is it the grizzly facial hair? The finger knives?  The smouldering eyes? Whatever he’s in my top eight! Another “ pick me up and carry me off to your cave” favourite! Always good for a weekend hangover box set fest- all the Xmen films- always perk me up!

3. Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland, 24)- Oh Jack- what can I say that hasn’t been said before? You are the man of men! Alpha male does not even begin to cover it! You had me from hour one and when you kissed Audrey’s knee I nearly fainted! I loved you from the tip of your toes to the strap of your man bag. You would be able to rescue me and I would promise not to keep dithering off like that dippy Kim! Once rescued I would stay rescued! Now upload the schematics to my PDA, dammit!

4. Sawyer (Josh Holloway, Lost)- Guess I like a bad boy- but was he bad boy really? I got so lost in Lost I can’t remember! This is one that does transfer to “real life”- fancied him in the Davidoff commercial too hahahah! Not usually into blondes but make an exception for him- plus I really want him to call me Freckles, pick me up and carry me off to his bivouac! I also want to play with his hair!

5. McSteamy/ Mark Sloane (Eric Dane, Greys Anatomy)- while most other girls were dreaming about McDreamy- I just couldn’t see it- I wanted the tall drink of water that was McSteamy! Why? He’s stronger a bit more mysterious, less wimpy- more of a real man in my eyes I guess!  His face is what gets me- it’s lush! I want Dr Mark to smile that hot smile at me! 

6. Captain Jack Harkness- NOT Sparrow! (John Barrowman, Torchwood)- I can’t believe this little sci-fi gem passed me by for so long- found and watched all last year and oh man did I crush Captain Jack. Sometimes living in Dubai we are out the loop TV wise and stumble across things not knowing what the background is- so basically I had a full on crush developed before I found out JB is gay in real life- so illusion shattered! Still think he’s hot though but I know we can never be together! Not cos he’s gay but because he is possibly the Face of Bo! (geek Dr Who reference- sorry!)

7. Eric Northman- (Alexander Skarsgård, True Blood)- yes I know he’s a vampire- I don’t care- I would, I would! This one is a cross over from crushing of the Eric character in the books to adoration of the screen character! I never liked Bill in the books either! He’s tall, brooding, so strong, hot bodied, funny- oh man getting all hot and bothered just thinking about it! Ok so him rescuing me might make me have to join the legions of the undead but who cares! 

8. Dr Cal Lightman/ Tim Roth- a new surprise entry! Have just watched all of Lie To Me- except the last episode of Season 3- I don’t want it to be over yet!  So I keep dreaming about him and he rescues me every time! Guess I want him to do the head tilt and funny hand thing at me- see to the centre of my soul, fall madly in love and let me cook him baked beans on toast for the rest of our happy lives! Yes, luv!

Oh god just realised maybe it’s a long coat thing??? 

Time to do a comparison to try and draw some conclusions?

The Man Chart- click on it for larger version!
So I guess in summary I am looking for a 42.5 year old, American, brown/ blondy haired, clean shaven, short haired, over 6 foot guy in some sort of long swishy coat, must look good in a white vest and with a degree and who knows how to handle a gun!
Now where in Dubai am I going to find him? 

Answers on a post card please- or in the comments section below at least!
(Am worried now- is it just me that has these mega, never gonna happen crushes on fictional characters??? I do hope not!)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Hala Febria!

Have been wondering what to muse about for the last couple of days.... do I mention The Benihana Kuwait Social Media PR Fiasco? Not sure- don't want to get sued! Click here though for the full story.

It was amazing watching it break all over bloggerdom and tweetdom yesterday morning and now seeing it in the broad sheets and on the radio...still can't get over the GMs comment in the middle of his I am going to sue you rant- BTW are you Lebanese? I know this is a serious issue but that bit makes me laugh so much!!

I really want to credit the photo above but cannot find the link to the person on Facebook anymore- so sorry- but thanks for the laughs! Let me know if you know who you are...and I will credit you! I really hope that Mark from 248am.com comes out of this ok!

So I think the power of Twitter has finally arrived in the region- it was flailing around for a while but now has the power to bring a whole country into revolution and issue an SMS (that's a Social Media Slap) to companies sueing bloggers! So get ready for the Twitter take off UAE!

Oh and I bet you want to know why I've called this post Hala Febria- it means Welcome February and is the name of the DSF like shopping festival in Kuwait- during February (believe it or not!) and it's the first day of the new month and been watching the Kuwait blog and twitter scene with interest... so now you know why!

What else is going on? Bit dusty in Dubai- everywhere had a layer of dust on it inside and out- I wish it would just rain already! Dubai needs a cleanse! We do like a bit of weather here as even though you would never believe it- clear blue skies do get a bit tiresome after a while!

So that's it from me- off to do more Twitter/ facebook investigating, researching and stalking! I will get Tim Roth to reply to me!

BTW I am British :)

Thursday, 27 January 2011


Beautiful Lebanon
Well I think I am going to be a bit politcal today- what is going on round here? Lebanon, Yemen, Tunisia, Cairo- it's all kicking off! I don't often get political- get into too many arguments- living here has changed my views and I can't even have a conversation with people in UK about Israel/ Palestine/ Muslims- my views and understanding is so different than someone who has never left the UK.

I have never been political in the past- have never voted, have never had an interest- I know it's terrible I was apathetic! Moving out here though has made me see the difference in reporting in the media- you can see the slants and biases- it is quite amazing actually! Unless you lived in the Middle East or searched around for other news sources you would be in blissful ignorance for the whole of your life!

I do hope the countries going through this struggle and change now do succeed in making improvements- corruption is such a terrible thing- countries that should be rich, civilised with great infrastructures are being held back. It's hard to believe this sort of thing goes on still in this day and age.

Take Lebanon for example- a place close to my heart- Lebanon is an amazing, beautiful country with wonderful people- they should be raking in the tourist dollars and reaping the benefits- but the instability ruins this....and it is such a shame! I have been many times- and I will admit I was scared the first time and had put off visiting the country for a long time- but I am wuss- hangover from being somewhere just after a war- anyway been lots now and I love it- but on a recent visit could I get my mother to come over with me and see Beirut?- no way! The pity of it all is that she would have had the best time and been somewhere that not a lot of UK people have been.

I know, I know- I am not a political commentator- but I just wish the world was a simpler place- I am sure 99% of the people in these countries want the same as me- peace, prosperity, a fair system, religious tolerance- is that really too much to ask for in 2011!

Normal service and wittering about TV shows et al will resume shortly but this has been on my mind a lot today! Hope you don't mind!

Give peace a chance.........

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Big Fat Gypsy Weddings

Yes that is the same carriage Jordan got married in!
Well I do love a good documentary and this latest Channel 4 offering seems to have it all- giant wedding dresses, monster trucks, stretch hummers for first communions and spray tans for 6 year olds! You can watch it on that level and laugh and be amazed- but beneath the 21 layers of petticoats and kids dancing like they really shouldn't be- there is much more substance to the programme which may be missed by many.

I think living in the Middle East for so long has made me way more tolerant and also fascinated by other cultures and religions- my last TV-documentary- spawned- interest was about The Amish through The World's Squarest Teenagers (awful title by the way- did not do the series justice but I bet it grabbed people's attention.) That show was so thought provoking about the modern way of life and religion- it made me cry many a time! Click here for info

Anyway back to the travellers/ gypsies. They are a community striving to keep hold of their ways and traditions in a world that seems hell bent on not letting them live their way of life. Maybe I am being really naive and need to do a lot more research- but if they are trying to live their lives, follow the rules of their society and keep themselves to themselves- why not just let them get on with it? This week watching the campsites getting bulldozed was really sad- their "natural habitat", so to speak, has been taken by giant Asda's and Tescos etc. so there is nowhere for them to go. There are so much more worse segments of society in the UK causing all sorts of trouble- focus on them!

Am off to do a lot more research on them now! Do watch the documentary if you get chance- it is a complete spectacle but with lessons to be learnt in there too!

Big Fat Gypsy Weddings

(P.S. Purely on a really plastic superficial level- man, I really want to get married in a dress with fairy lights and moving butterflies hahahahhahah! Maybe there really is a secret Barbie princess hiding inside every woman hahahha!)

Time Warp

So I have obviously been through a bit of a time warp between setting this up and actually adding any content! But am here now!

I though blogging was actually going out of fashion- but think I am wrong and with my latest attempt to get my head round, what I call, Twitter.... has led me on to all sorts of other things!

So I am going to blog- and people will read! Don't know what my focus will be yet- is it the usual topics- life in Dubai, ranting about life in Dubai, the dearth of the dating scene in Dubai- or do I come up with something new-ish- PR and Marketing (in Dubai of course), my favourite TV shows and wish I had a job I could get paid to watch TV and critique- who knows!

In the meantime just to cover the above topics:
Life in Dubai- good but a bit boring at the moment! Need to spice it up! Too busy focusing on not smoking though!
Ranting- grrrr my car needs a service- rip off time here we come! Need my dad/ brother/ man with me to make sure am not fooled!! Never going to happen!
Dating- don't even go there! Seriously- anyway this year's NYE resolution of no more "shit" men is working hahhahah!
PR- I am full up with my client base now- woohoo! Better get some work done now actually- those press releases will not write themselves!
TV- Lie To Me- amazing show- Tim Roth I "crush" you! (That means I like him- have a crush on- mind you he is only little so I could possibly crush him literally too!)

So byesy bye for now!