Friday, December 25, 2015

December 2015 - Jordan

Hi All

Had a busy December. Abi was in a Mid Summer Nights Dream, she played Mustard Seed - a fairy. She did a great job, really clear and good stage presence. I have a feeling she will want to tread the boards again! She also joined the school choir so took part in quite a few Christmas singing performances at various locations around Amman. Jacob has continued with his basketball and should play even better now having received new basketball boots for Christmas and also a book on how to play better! Jacob and I went and saw the Harlem Wizards play basketball. I have included a photo of him and me with a photo of the King in the background!

I have been volunteering at Jacob and Abi's school for the past term and was interviewed for the SENCO job. I got it and will start full time in January. Special Needs has alway been an area I have wanted to work in so I am very excited.

Christmas has been relaxing. Lovely and sunny here and we managed to have a drink on the roof terrace. We are off to celebrate New Year in sunny Cyprus. Going to Nicosia for a few days and then a couple of days with friends. Can't wait.

Happy Christmas and have a fun filled 2016 - we plan to!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Grandma Melrose Visits Jordan

Marion came to visit for 10 days. We did loads of trips out and about but the best thing was our trip to Petra. I took photos of everything. The most relaxing thing was our spa day at the Dead Sea. Marion went in, I was towel holder and photographer! While Marion was here Allen and I went to the Poppy Ball. Allen had been very busy helping with the organising of the Ball so it was great to see it all come together. We had a brilliant night and got to stay at the hotel so had a long lay in the next morning! We then took Marion to Jerash for her last day out. It was a gorgeous day. We didn't get to see everything with Marion but luckily she is already planning her next trip out.

Jacob's 13th Birthday

Hi All

Well we now have a teenager in the house (although with Abi it has felt we have had a teenager for years!). Grandma was here to help us celebrate but she didn't manage to get up for the early morning present opening. Jacob appeared in bed with us at about 5.45am so we did open most of his presents before school.

When he got back from school we opened the rest and also had cake. He chose to go to PJ Changs for dinner, a posh Chinese restaurant. It was really good. The other thing he chose was to take a friend to see Spectre at the cinema. So at the weekend we took his friend Arnold plus us, Grandma and a friend for Abi. The girls were going to see I am Malaya however there was only one showing and we'd missed it! So the boys went into Spectre and we went home and watched a DVD. Arnold stayed over and Jacob has a fun birthday week.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween weekend

We have had a busy last weekend of October. On Friday we got the chance to have a go at driving an Arctic Cat. It's an All Terrain Vehicle, not a quad bike but similar. There were 6 for us, 3 adults and 3 kids. It was great fun and we got to see an area North of Amman that I had not been to yet. After an hour and a half we went to the owners house for a BBQ. It was based on a Mediterranean Villa and was gorgeous with a swimming pool, outside seating areas and extra villas for extended family all within a gated area. Apparently they are one of the wealthiest families in Amman. I am hoping to get the grandchildren interested in Girl Scouts! We also did trunk and treat with the girl scouts. Our trunk was in a British theme! Very easy and a great way to do Halloween in an hour. We spent about 2 hours making our treats, Abi loved it all. The other photo is one from the Dead Sea, we had a 2 night stay a couple of weeks ago. It was very busy as it was a holiday weekend. Had a relaxing time in the spa.

Allen flew to London today and returns on Thursday with his Mum. Looking forward to showing Marion the sites and we will also get to see Petra for the first time, can't wait.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Ruth's visit

Ruth came to stay for a week so we went out and about locally. She was going further afield with her tour group but doing nothing local to Amman.

So we went to the Panorama above the Dead Sea, there's a museum up there and a restaurant. The views were amazing:

After this we went to a hot springs, a mixed visit - the 'cafe' was basic, the toilets were hole in the ground, poo everywhere and they stank, we then went to the ladies only waterfall - it reminded me of a penguin's pool at a zoo with a little trickle for the waterfall. So not a good start. We then went to the family waterfall that was 60 degrees so there was no way we could go in! Last but not least was the general area. Here the security person told us what order to do things in, the steam cave, the water fall then the bottom pool. It was great fun and we went around twice and then had a bit of a sun bathe.
We also went to Ajloun Castle and had a picnic in the forest. The castle was very impressive, we had a cup of mint tea as we went in and then had a good hour wandering around.
We also visited the Roman Amphitheatre, downtown Amman. It is huge, my thighs were very sore the next day!
Ruth and I visited the Citadel, or as the taxi man said it's actually called Amman castle. It's the Roman remains that are also downtown. It is a vast area but it was a bit hot when we were there!
We then did a Wadi walk with Ruth. This time we went with some seasoned Wadi walkers and they took us to Wadi split. This one had water in it and a couple of waterfalls, very impressive. It was a two hour hike, all of us enjoyed it but it was hard work and I have never sweated so much in my life!
We ate out quite a bit with the most interesting drink being a lettuce smoothie, it was like drinking a cold lettuce soup - disgusting but I was determined to finish it - I did!
Finally Ruth and I went to a 80's night, it was excellent. Loads of neon and brilliant music, we danced loads.

First Wadi Walk and the Automobile Museum

Hi, we did our first Wadi walk a few weeks ago. We had got lots of advice where to go, most of the walks are down by the Dead Sea, so about a 50 min drive. Apparently there are about 40 to do but it is difficult to find them as it seemed like all of the entrances were drains! We found a decent one on the 3rd attempt. It was very hot so we only lasted an hour, it was great fun and we will try and find the other 39!

The next day we went and explored the Automobile museum, Allen loved it. Jacob was impressed. Abi and I were in and around quite quickly!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Hi, we ventured to Jerash - North of Amman. Having read the guide book that we should either go at 10am or after 4pm we went for the latter. However it was still in the 40's so we did not explore it fully! It is a huge area of Roman and Greek structures, very impressive and loads more than we thought would be there. So I am looking forward to when Marion visits in November so I can go and see Jerash properly without 3 people moaning that it is too hot!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Busy in Amman

Hi all

Been a busy social week for us. We kicked off with a BBQ at the Ambassador's house on Sunday night. A strange day as the kids were invited but it was a school night. He lives in a house that looks a bit like a prison but we were in the gardens and they were beautiful. Food and drinks were good and the table we were at was fun too. Got to meet the rest of the military people out here. A couple of ladies that I had seen in the gym were there but they still ignored me! Didn't take any photos, sorry.

Last night was the Queen's longest reigning day so we were invited to the Brit Club where the Welsh Guards were marching and playing. It was excellent with some good curry accompaniments too. Did get a photo of this:

It was still a bit dusty so you can't see the proper background of Amman behind the band. Abi had gone to a go-karting party straight from school. She said it was excellent fun. She also tried out for a part in Mid-Summer Nights Dream and she got in, she's not sure which part but she thinks she's a fairy. 100 tried and 20 were picked so she is very pleased with herself. Abi has hit the ground running at their new school. Jacob is definitely being more laid back, he has made some friends, all other nations so far.
So tonight we are off to a Battle of Britain evening. Have got the cleaner to babysit and she is also cooking dinner for them so looking forward to a proper night out! This weekend we are hoping to go to Jerash, Jacob and Abi are in that house team at school so we thought it would be good to go and see what is there.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

First Day at ICS Amman

So here's their first day photo. Will post again once they get home. Abi was so excited and was ready really early. Jacob was very laid back, his only concern was would they get homework today! Bus arrived at 7am and off they went. I think I was more worried than either of them and I am constantly checking my phone. I am off to the gym, then a swim and sun bathe. Am also going to have a drive around to try and get my bearings around Amman.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Visiting School

We went for a visit of Jacob and Abi's school - the International Community School of Amman, today. This is the view at the front of the school:

Abi's going into year 7, there is definitely one British girl she knows in her class so that's good. Her form tutor is the music teacher who seems very nice. Jacob's tutor is the ICT teacher so he seemed quite pleased. School looks good, will wait and see what the kids think in a week! They are both doing French and Spanish, Abi was going to do Arabic but the head of languages really talked her out of it. Thinking we might just get a tutor to come to the house for all of us. So school starts Tuesday, they are straight on the bus. I get to go to a coffee morning on Wednesday so hoping to meet some new mums then. I am taking another British Mum with me, well she's French but married to a Brit.
We had a few people over for drinks on Friday, lovely up on the roof terrace. There seems to be a boys night each week so I think I need to organise a weekly girls night too. We tried the Brit Club, it was nice to have a decent glass of wine!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

1st few weeks in Jordan

Thought I'd put on a few more photos of our first couple of weeks. So here are some of the Dead Sea and us out and about in Amman. We have tried a few restaurants, 2 quite local and one down town. We have enjoyed all of them. Alcohol is definitely more expensive than food but you can get it in most places. We are only drinking at weekends, trying to lose the 6 lbs I put on during our final month in Belgium - oh and we have joined a gym and pool at the Meridien Hotel, it's very good. Still enjoying the sunshine.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

1st Birthday in Jordan

Well we have celebrated our first birthday in Jordan, it happened to be mine - we will have to work hard on bettering

this one! I started the day with an early morning coffee in bed as Allen was off to work at 7.30am. The kids then made me pancakes and we had a very relaxed morning with Abi making cakes. We had to unpack the last few boxes as the company came to pick them up on my birthday! So I had a relax on our roof terrace until Allen came back around lunch time. He had got his work car so we opened my presents, had lunch and then had cake - all on the roof terrace.

So we were all thoroughly spoilt for the weekend. On our return we had been invited around for drinks at someone who works in the Embassy here. I now have a list of restaurants and bars to try out. We ordered a curry from one of their recommendations tonight and it was delicious - eaten up on the roof terrace.

This coming week I will hopefully be able to start driving although we now have a taxi number to use, taxi's have refused to take us anywhere so far - apparently they are not keen on picking up white women. Luckily we can walk to most things so not really a problem. I do want to take the kids to the water park, will see if I manage this week.

Definitely have space for people to visit so book those flights.