All Slugs Day

slug fest day

“Mom, come quick!” Susan yelled inside the front door.  “You’ve got to see this.”

I ran outside and Susan pointed to base of the small tree in our front yard.

“Slugs!  I’ve seen snails and ant colonies before.  But I’ve never seen slugs in Bahrain.”

Only six days before the official, last day of school.  This week is an endless schedule of packing and good-bye parties.  Next weekend, the airport will be buzzing as the summer exodus reaches its climax.  And although our plane is reportedly transporting us to summer vacation, according to my calendar, July 28th is our only, unscheduled day.

This morning I woke up to a text message suggesting a boy-inspired, spontaneous day at the water park.  I declined.  Today is Friday, the first day of summer, the eve of the super moon, and a day of rest.

Today is slugfest.

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Now The Countdown to Christmas

Since the world is back on track, I thought I would share a low, medium and high option for a Bahrain Christmas Eve.

dublin bahrain christmas eve 2012 menu

Starting at the low end, Santa and his helpers will be hosting Christmas Eve dinner at a local club.  Knowing how many tribute singers come to Bahrain, I have a feeling this is not the REAL Santa Claus.  And, sorry men, I certain the helpers in the ad have been photo-shopped in.

The medium option is – believe it or not – Ric’s Country Kitchen in Juffair.  Before yesterday, I had not eaten at Ric’s since Mojo brought me there nearly a decade ago.  I appreciated the cow-kitschy, remodeled interior.  And my huevos rancheros with homemade salsa and beans were so good, I picked up their Christmas flyer.

ric country kitchen christmas 2012 menu

The menu, except the deep-fried turkey, looks like it came right out of my book.

My high-end choice is La Fontaine.

Christmas Eve 2012 at La ntaine

Fatima decided Christmas Eve means opera.  She has invited the Greek, but born in Bahrain, opera singer Danae Eleni and her pianist brother to perform.  Danae Eleni’s repertoire includes songs composed over seven centuries and in eleven different languages.  Like Placido Domingo’s sopranos, Danae Eleni has competed in several international competitions.  Add a glass of proseco under the new Capricorn moon and it sounds like a wonderful Christmas Eve setting.

Or, as in our case, you might have already been invited to an exclusive event with close friends.  The champagne and the snowman, ice cream cake have been ordered.  All Mark and I have left to do is to bake the chocolate mint cookies.  Mmmmm.

Creating A Storm During A Cyclone

StormProductions27 executives meet in Galle, Sri Lanka.

One of expatriate life’s purposes is to open our children’s eyes to the world.

After thirty plus hours of research and negotiation with the travel agents, I thought we had an excellent Sri Lankan itinerary.  Our seven days were a mix of beach resort, an elephant safari, a bit of Buddhist and Hindu culture, a little walking adventure, some calculated exposure on how other people live, and a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s colonial history.

Plus the unexpected, Cyclone Nilam.

After thirty plus hours of hotel room research, the children scripted their own Sri Lankan docudrama.  When the lights went out, the adults drank wine and reviewed our old fashioned, digital photos while Ace, Mark, and their friends produced then posted three movie trailers to YouTube.

Is StormProductions27 the next generation of James Camerons?  Take a look and vote.

Too Smart For Words

A new shop opened up in a local mall.  As soon as the sign went up, the authorities were called and the police raided the shop.

Years ago, Mojo worked on a project selling motor lube oil in Saudi Arabia.  His research brought him to the buncture shops, as the small car repair garages are called.

He couldn’t figure out what buncture meant and finally asked one of the managers.

The man looked at him like he was so naïve.  “When you get a nail in your tire, you get buncture.  You take it to the buncture shop for fixing.”

Oh – the Puncture Shop.  There is no P in Arabic so P comes out B.

The shop’s owner explained the sign was not what she ordered.

The male sign maker was certain he was smarter than the female shop owner.  He knew when she ordered “Born Fashion” it should really be spelled “Porn Fashion” in English.

Another Pomegranate Noir Story

June begins the summer exodus.  People fly to other continents to escape the summer heat.  The school year over, military and expatriate families bid farewell as they move onto their next work assignment.  May is the month for good-bye parties.

It started with my friend author Melissa van Maasdyk.  She and her husband Glenn are off to Canada for a new life adventure.

Uncertain what exactly they will be doing, at their good-bye dinner we toasted to “future travels,” “a new beginning in Canada, Uruguay or Panama” and “until we meet again.”  To the very end, Melissa lingered with me and her friend Reem, standing in the parking lot, saying good-bye until Glenn gently reminded her they had to catch their plane.

Another blow was the sad news that after successfully launching the Bahrain Writer’s Circle and editing My Beautiful Bahrain, Robin Barratt’s wife got a new job outside of Bahrain.  Soon he will leave to start fresh somewhere else.

His Navy father’s three year stint complete, our baseball team’s star pitcher’s family is moving to some new secret location.

One of the baseball coaches, a teacher and our martial arts trainer, is taking his family back to Washington state to teach at a new school there.

By June 9th my yoga training will be complete.  My teacher, her philosophic husband and a fellow yogini are headed back to their respective countries.

As Bahrain’s future remains uncertain, two ladies from my sculpting class are headed back to Europe.  Several fathers of the children’s school mates and one of sculpture class buddies have been transferred to Dubai where the grass is definitely greener.

And after eight years in the Junior school, Ace and Mark are graduating and following their sister to the Senior school.  No more chauffeuring for me, they will take a bus to school.

Another tearful, hopeful time.

My Beautiful Bahrain Book Launch

My Beautiful Bahrain compiled and edited by Robin Barratt

My Beautiful Bahrain will be officially launched this Saturday May 5th.

40 international writers submitted their poems, memoirs and stories about living in Bahrain.

Yours truly submitted a short story called Ali and the Hummer.

It’s a story about a man literally chasing the girl of his dreams, a leather clad woman who drives a pink Hummer.

Written a couple years ago, you might call it history as the chase takes place around a now-dismantled Bahraini landmark that was prominently featured in international headlines.

You might call it fact as I personally witnessed all the elements.

You might call it a complete fabrication, a figment of an over-active imagination, because at the end…

Well, I can’t tell you the end.  That would spoil the story.

This Saturday evening May 5th at 8pm there will be at least 40 people gathered at Jashanmal’s in the Seef Mall Atrium to celebrate this book.

I invite my spouse, children, my fellow yoginis and sculptors, any visiting family members, my compound neighbors, the gardener, anyone named Ali and all of my loving and supportive friends with money to join us for a glass of mint lemonade to celebrate this event.

BTW mention my name and you’ll get a 10% discount.  What more can you ask for?

Winfred Marcel Peppinck

What the Eye Cannot See by Winfred Marcel Peppinck

Any child given the name Winfred Marcel Peppinck is destined to become either a diplomat, a novelist, or an adviser to a King.

Or like my friend Fred – as I call him – you can be all three.

Ringing in the New Year together, Fred and I chatted about what we were going to accomplish in 2012.  He had finished his book and was figuring out how to get it published.  I was to finish my book and figure out how to get it published.  Fred has done it.  I have not.

Which is why it is Winfred Peppinck who will be talking about his latest book, WHAT THE EYE CANNOT SEE, and not me.

WHAT THE EYE CANNOT SEE is an Aesop’s Fable for grown-ups with great characters and all too real circumstances.  Fate may conspire to bring people together, but what happens when it grows bored with the game?

Reviewer  Debbie Al Asfoor (how does she get these books before I do?)

“Loved this book. Couldn’t put it down. Racy and exciting. An unexpected twist in the story. Thought provoking and the one ultimate crime in a partnership that the majority of us dread … infidelity! All very real and certainly gives food for thought!”

If you are interested meeting this Dutch author who grew up in Perth, then come along to WORDS on Budaiya Highway this Tuesday, May 1 at 7pm.  Fred will talk about this book, his other novels including The Diplomatic Dog of Barbados and e-publishing.

WORDS is on Budaiya Highway in the Palm Square Shopping Center.  It will be on the right hand side if you are coming from the Burgerland Roundabout towards Al Osra.

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