Over the past week we have spent a lot of time, when the grandchildren have gone, clearing out, cleaning, and sorting out the cupboards in the kitchen and utility.
I use the 'Royal We' as Marlane did a few cupboards before I started to help her, and that was really because it's getting difficult for her to kneel a lot.
So much has been achieved that I could write a book about it but the consequence is, of course, that you find a lot of stuff you'd forgotten about that got tucked away into the back of cupboards.
these two mugs contain amazing memories for me, with the Oman one, and for the whole family with the Saudi Arabi mug.
Oman, the island of Masirah, was my very first overseas posting with the Royal Air Force, 1968-1969. It would appear, at first sight, to be nothing more than a rocky, sandy, desert island. When you get to know the place you realise the wildlife is just incredible. Both in and out of the water it is an amazing place. Massive fish of all sorts, manta ray, groupers, 'Spanish' or 'King' mackerel, shark, barracuda, very large turtles, loggerhead, olive ridley, green, hawksbill and leather, even humpback wales traversing past in the Masirah Channel. On land was just as diverse with lizards, a small herd of gazelles, hundreds of species of birds, including Hoopoes, Egyptian Vultures, Sooty Gulls and so many more.
Saudi Arabia holds some special memories. We lived there for eight years, in both Jiddah and Riyadh. Both of our girls were born there, Johanna in Jiddah, Julia in Riyadh, and Daniel went to school there until he was 11 and got a place at Thomas Rich's Grammar School in Gloucester, which is mostly what prompted our return to the UK.
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