Monday, March 18, 2019


What an amazing month March turned out to be, we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary for an entire week, starting of at Le Meridien Al Aqah and finishing at Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa, with a trip to Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Emirates Golf Club inbetween!! The weather has finally broken and we are experiencing a rise in temperatures, it's no secret I prefer the hotter months over the cooler ones. It's Easter this month, so I hope the Easter Bunny is really kind to you all. Have a fabulous month wherever are you are.


Today is the last day at my look at Gypsy Weddings, but I don't for one minute think it will be the last time I discuss it with friends.

One thing I don't understand and is something that I really can't answer, is where do they get the money from to fund these weddings? The Daily Mail reported over the weekend that a wedding can cost in the region of 150,000 stirling, I read through their itemised list and have to say that I would think 50,000 stirling would be closer the mark. The main expense is obviously the dress and the hooker outfits for the bridesmaids. Transport to the Church, but not the wedding celebrations afterwards as they seem to be hosted at the local British Legion club, with finger food and cheap disco lights.

We hear very little from the male Gypsy population in this documentary and I really do hope that Channel 4 follow it up with a closer look at Gypsy life from a male angle. The only men we got to see, and they weren't really men, they were boys who were being prepared like lambs to the slaughter to wed their wives. Spotty faced and anxious the biggest thing on their list was finding a nice little caravan for the Mrs, filled with plenty of vodka, domestos and feather dusters. I guess they all silently pray they will not Father 6 girls as well!

It did make me think, that I got married in a big frock, I adore bling, have just bought Lady Gaga's album, have copious amounts of vodka in the house, and have a weird fascination for cleaning products ....

Hope you have enjoyed my view on Gypsy life as much as I have enjoyed watching the show.

Gypsy Armani

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding opened an array of feelings and emotions in my mind. To watch a group of teenagers dressed as tarts, waiting to be courted from a distance whilst dancing like Jordan on crack really does baffle me. It's entertaining and shameful at the same time. The men appear from a distance to be in awe of the female, she is like a Madonna to them, she in turn adorns herself as someone to be desired by the male. Worryingly this starts at a very young age and episode two showed us a behind the scenes party for two six year olds who had taken their Holy Communion. The poor children, armed with bruises from carrying their 5 stone dresses around all day, stripped down and turned into mini Lady Gaga's to party the night away. Provocative dancing, tons of flesh on show and enough make up to sink the Chanel counter in Debenhams. One poor freckled little thing had even been dragged off and had a fake tan for the occasion.

As for the Brides, well they only have a few big days in their lives. Once they are married it's off to Butlins to live for the rest of their lives. The only big occasions afforded to them in the future is becoming a Mother, hopefully to a daughter who they can raise to be firstly humiliated at Holy Communion into wearing a dress that one can only be described as a wedding cake made out of satin, and then later a completely over the top wedding for their young teenage daughter who is wedded off to the bed of a man so she can have a piss up and clean all the copper on show for the rest of her life.

We all have our cultures and beliefs, we all celebrate them in different ways. I think the Gypsy way of life does have alot of positives though. They are a very small knit community who support each other immensely and yet have come across over the years as being good for nothings who have lived off the land and not contributed to the Economy. I am pretty that was the way 50 years ago but things have changed and Travellers now are becoming more static, when they can that is. Part two shared with us the plight of a community who had been evicted from their land and had nowhere to go. What I found sad about that was if they had just arrived on a plane, claiming Political Asylum they would have been housed, educated and given a few quid to help them along their way.

To be continued ....

I was born in the wagon of a travellin' show
My mama used to dance for the money they'd throw
Papa would do whatever he could
Preach a little gospel, sell a couple bottles of
Doctor Good

I can't tell you how excited I was to see My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding appear on the downloads a couple of weeks ago. I had watched the Pilot for this series some 6 months ago and had no idea that they had continued filming. The first episode (the pilot), like the last two takes a close look at the life of Travellers in the UK, particularly as they lead up to the most important day of a Gypsy woman's life, her Wedding Day.

Well I have to admit that I absolutely love the show and can't wait to watch it each week, last week I had to watch it twice because I was still trying to figure out if the Mother of the Bride was actually a bloke or a distant relative of Lady Gaga! either way it is one of those shows that leaves you quite literally gobsmacked.

Culture is a fascinating thing and being expats we get to share lots of different cultures and celebrations. I think this is the first time that the Gypsy Community in the UK have let us share their celebrations, and take a look inside their lives. Truly fascinating.

The first thing that hits me is that like some other cultures the Female does not appear to be respected as much as the Male. They are not allowed to ask a man out, neither are they allowed to work (after marriage), and they can'tdrink alcohol until they are married. Being a bit old fashioned myself I can understand the asking a man out bit, but not the working anddrinking alcohol bit. And on top of all that they must be Virgin Brides, and people wonder why they marry so young! I would have been down the aisle at 16 if that had been the rules in our house too!

Not since watching the fabulous documentary about the Amish Teenagers who went to the Uk to spend their Summer or the fabulous Karl Pilkington's, An Idiot Abroad have I been so hooked on a TV programme. However, whilst I was more than aware of the Amish and know quite a few idiots, the Gypsy Community is one that I really haven't heard much about.

We must all remember the box office hit of 2000, Snatch. A fabulous movie directed by Guy Ritchie who at the time was married to Madonna (I am sure she is a bit Gypsy), hit our screens and I can honestly say that the character of Mickey O'Rourke played by the georgous Brad Pitt, had every girl in the land wanting to be a Traveller! for me it was the first time I had seen anything about Traveller's and their lifestyle.

to be continued tomorrow

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Another hot topic which is on the lips of every good Mother in the UAE is of course Education. That old chestnut, that can on occasion break friendships and I am pretty sure ruins a good coffee morning too!! Now whilst I totally agree with Education I don't feel that I place too much pressure on Mitten to succeed. In my eyes she is a success already, and always will be. I didn't cry when I was told she had failed an entrance exam when she was 4, because she couldn't read, course she couldn't, she was only 4 years old.

I remember being told when she was about 3, by another Mother that her son would do better in life than Mitten because he went to a better school. I hope I bump into her when our children are in their 20's, will be interesting to see how they have both turned out. I think my daughter, with a Mother who is realistic about her potential will have a daughter who has respect for herself and achieves what she desires through self motivation.

Education along with Maids is a hot topic in the UAE, for me however I am just grateful I have a beautiful daughter, who attends a super school, she is a happy well balanced kid who enjoys her school days very much. Long may she have that memory I say.

Just remember it doesn't matter what your kids achieve in life, a Mother's love is unconditional, and I for one will love Mitten just as much if she fails an educational task as I do when she achieves one. What is important is that we have our children and they are fit and healthy and enjoying their lives.

Think about it ...

We have visited the Dubai Outlet Mall twice this year already and I can see me being a regular visitor in the future. When it first opened I wasn't overly impressed with the stock and felt that alot of it was more than one season out of date. The last two visits have been more than financially worth our while though.

The Mall is located out on the Al Ain Road, it is about a 25 minute run from new Dubai, way closer if you are at the Arabian Ranches or Mirdif. There is plenty of parking and access is really easy. What I particularly like is the fact that restaurants and food court aren't mobbed and that you can walk round the Mall at leisure.

You will see every brand that you see in all the Malls here, and some new ones too, there are over 200 outlets. We were lucky today in The White Company and got a single quilt cover which was reduced from 385 dhs, to 115 dhs, an a pair of pillow cases that were 572 dhs for 56 dhs! (we have very big strange pillows on our bed). There were pillow cases starting at 10 dhs, 90% discount on their original price.

Don't expect to go up there and find an amazing choice, you won't. Shoes and clothes are in limited sizes but it definately is worth a trip out there a couple of times a year, especially if you like designer brands.

If you shop during the week, Sunday to Wednesday, take your receipt (100 dhs) to the customer services desk where you can claim a free coffee! (not sure whether this is valid during DSF)

Happy shopping!

It's the 29th of January and the other man in my life is his celebrating his 40th Birthday, yes you guessed it Juan. Happy Birthday Juan, I hope you have a fabulous day and that the big 40 is not a massive shock to the system!!!

Keep cutting!

Love as ever, GA xx

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