Author: Um Abbas

Houses I Wouldn’t Mind to Live In

Since Kuwait is such a … disparate place when it comes to architecture, and my only hobby while being driven in a car is to look out of the window on the people’s housings, I’ve had this very unoriginal idea of putting together an entry featuring some things which caught my eye – for different reasons, some aesthetics-wise, some living-wise, some idea-wise. It’s a personal collection of caught-my-eye and I hope some people will enjoy looking at it as much as I do – or even dream for a bit, as much as I do.
I owe thanks to particular topic discussed on CyberSpace.cz for collecting so many great pictures from the depths of the internet, as well.

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Last October ’11 Morning

From a very, very brief walk after a breakfast out. (After some blood sucking from my second hand, not sure what place I can offer them tomorrow for the third round of tests.)




Pics are taken on my BlackBerry, so a little on the lousy side when it comes to the actual quality. But hey, I seem not to have my cam with me whenever I need it. When I do have it, nothing remarkable happens, or I don’t even manage to get it out of my bag.
Kuwait’s a teeny bit unfriendly regarding these big black intimidating DSLRs and big gun lenses.

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Raport

Days have been passing by one by one, no winter still, not even autumn eventually here in Kuwait. A little drop in outside temperature, all right, but what is 5 or so degrees, when it’s still over 30 most of the time.
It also starts to get sandy a bit, since the weather’s slowly changing and pressures come and go, so wind picks up all this dry dust and spreads it around.
Funnily enough, same as in Europe, ’tis seems to be the season for influenza’s and colds and running noses, although the outside still screams “Boiling hot, hot, hot!”. After my husband and daughter falling for one of these pesky viruses, I’ve tried to keep myself vitaminized and living on vegetables and fruits and proteins and not breathing the same air as they do, but in the end I’ve got infected as well. Three times boooo for the virus.
Unlike them, however, I am not allowed to take any remedies besides the typical honeylemontea, citruses and rest, so I am cranky and crabby and miserable these days, which everybody can feel and tries to steer clear of me. Good, more rest for me.
I’ve passed some doc’s tests which were important for me and hubby, but waiting for results of some even more important ones, while injecting myself (ok, to be precisely honest, the imagination of me jabbing myself in the thigh makes me wanna feign, so my hubby is injecting me, I can only guess he’s taking it as some kind of revenge for me nagging) on a daily basis with low molecular weight heparin. Yay me. What you wouldn’t do for your future, right?
Except the past weeks being quite typical for a person in the same state of mind and body as I am, we’re fine. (And cranky, remember.) Dori enjoys her school and cries every weekend why are we punishing her by not letting her to go to class (it’s weekend, hun) and Abubu having to take on a side job because of unexpected circumstances sucking us financially dry, we’re just all right, I’d say. I cook a little bit more (which makes me think I have directly taken part in ruining the family budget by forcing my husband to buy these fancy things such as dill, spinach, broccoli, tilapia fish and whatnot, who eats that, right?!), I hate the weather outside to the bits of my mind and wish a snow storm would come and change this flat yellow surface in something more fun, I get motion sick from anything, starting with being driven in a car and ending with playing any 3D games, we get worried about the state of teeth of our kitty, we shop, we visit my husband’s family, generally spoken, we live as any other family, worry as any other family, joy as any other family.
Mundane, boring perhaps, but ours.
Now, let’s get to cook that weird tilapia fish I fished in Rumaithiya market freezer.

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Razor Unsharp Air

September is almost over and October approaching, together with (hopefully) milder weather for few weeks – or maybe even a month or two. I can’t wait to open the windows in the morning and actually feel the cold air coming, never mind the freezing flat, because that’s what I really need right now – opened window with a light breeze coming in. Don’t get me wrong, I love the humid, heavy smell of sea which is quite omnipresent these days, but it would be so much better if it was Newcastle-like, with this cold razor sharp edge to it, which refreshes the heck out of you. God, how I miss those freezing mornings when going shopping, really. In Kuwait the air comes with an oven hot “thud” while it makes you sit on chair and go – “Daaaamn, why did I open the window again?” So, I’m putting my hopes on December and January, please, be it at least 5 degrees! I don’t care, I’m gonna dress in twenty sweaters and a blanket, just make the air fresh, please.
Dori started to attend British Gulf Academy as a reception classmate, and so far she likes it, although she seems to spend half time at home sick. Makes me tick when she brings home some headaches, running noses, hurting tonsils and deep cough, just because another parent of another child couln’t be bothered to keep his / her kid at home till healthy and sends that bag of germs to school to make all the other 29 kids suffer along and eventually (such as in case of Dori who’s since her ear problems quite oversensitive on anybody sick in her vicinity) get sick as well. And that can go on for weeks, becasue it’s usually not only one parent, who doesn’t care about the other kids. Hands down, I understand the need to send the child to school continuously – I have it too – to educate the small and clever brain and get the most out of the lessons, but really, it’s better to keep the kid a week at home and let the others attend without problems; the teacher will supply the ill kid as soon as he or she comes back with a handful of homework to catch up, so no worry. Let the others have fun too! Like this Dori seems to be on the receiving end of all kinds of viruses (the joy, when hubby came home announcing all her class suffers from ear infection, obviously transferable) and being the kid with that handful of homework. I let her stay at home up to the point we’re sure she’s perfectly fine, and two days later she comes back sick again, because… well, above.
I remember from my years on grammar school, our biology teacher used to say, “If you’re sick, stay at home, because I won’t let you attend my classes anyways, come back when you’re ready.” She was right, and she knew why. I wish more people had that sense in them.

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Training the Forgotten

Recently I’ve decided to look upon my drawing past again, with the sad fact I probably can’t and ever won’t recover the tens or maybe even hundreds of sketches from high school, college and before. I didn’t take much things with me to England, let alone to Kuwait, but a bunch of soft graphite pencils traveled with me and are haunting the drawer in my table now, so why not to make a use of them.
The problem with drawing skills is that it is indeed not comparable to riding a bicycle and you’re completely capable to forget it all, without any ongoing practice. So did I.
And since I’m stubborn and dedicated as far as I want something, I’ve started from scratch, practicing and drawing and sketching and being completely mad at myself, not noting the great deal of disappointment that I can’t even remotely draw as I used to – and weeks and months of drawing are ahead of me, IF I want to get at least on par with past, or maybe even better.
I’ve got some exercise books which don’t take any beginner lightly and smack you right at start with dozens of drill and copying so you can get it back in hand again. They’re merciless to your mistakes, but in the end, if one wants to draw, he shouldn’t expect much soft approach on the side of other artists, right..?


Here’s my first sketch – purely exercise to get the movement back into hand and of awful quality, but hey, I’m trying! For anyone interested, I’m using two books – The Natural Way to Draw: A Working Plan for Art Study & Charles Bargue with the collaboration of Jean-Léon Gérôme: Drawing Course.

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How’s Your Ramadan Going?

With the month of fasting being in the middle, most of you who fast surely know their thing already and can get along pretty well – even I got used to the Kuwaiti tempo rather quickly again and managed to even add 30 – 60 minutes of cardio exercise into the daily routine without collapsing out of exhaustion, thirst or hunger – lets hope I can keep it even after Ramadan passes and my body won’t go all nuts from the change of regime once again.
I’ve found out, that I’ve got “Kuwaitized” a little – can’t talk for the behaviour (that’s a question you’ve got to aim at my husband, he’d know better) – but I remember clearly that when we moved to Kuwait last year, I’ve been offered at one of the dinners a special local sweets: Rahash (رهش كويتي). It’s basically a sesame seeds paste with sugar and God knows what else, it’s incredibly sweet and of course it tastes completely awful to an European tongue (unused to an Arab cuisine). I’ve tried it that evening and I’ve hated the guts of it. It doesn’t look particularly tasty neither to be completely honest; something between sand mud and a wet brick. But…


A year after and I can’t get enough. I’ve smuggled a small box of rahash into my room and every evening I eat it with bread (yes, that’s the best) as my suhoor, together with Pu-erh tea, because my Ramadan cholesterol level is probably around the high risk level – as for many other Muslims.
And here I thought I won’t cope. Hah. As if. Next year I’m gonna catch myself wearing a centimeter thick layer of make-up, I bet you.

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