… BUT first, what a year 2020 has been thus far. Who would have ever thought it could come to this. Hugs and air kisses replaced by self isolation and masks that have become part of our daily lives. A pandemic that has changed our world as we know it. My heart goes out to all that have lost loved ones.
Much like everyone else, I’m just trying to stay safe, hold it together and get used to this “new normal”. Enter, some good old mindless distraction. And on that note, I thought I’d take you on a walk down memory lane during happier times, and fill you in on some totally random stuff that’s been going on in this Diva’s world since we last spoke, just for a little time out. So in the fast talking spirit of those lovable Gilmore Girls, here’s what you’ve missed on Diva Does …
2018 – There was an epic destination wedding in Petra (yes, the Indiana Jones Petra) which was quite literally, spellbinding. The fact that we were there, even though we had never actually met the bride or groom (like ever) and only introduced ourselves during the weekend festivities where we made to feel totally welcome, is testament to the generosity of one amazing human who comes with a much bigger story for another day (and before you ask … yes, we did have an actual invite and didn’t “accidentally” “on purpose” crash it, thank you) • Then there was a trip with my KL girls to Sri Lanka in search of gems & crabs. Alas, there was more “crabbing on” than shining like a diamond, because I obviously still have no clue just how much gems actually cost • That was followed by a trip to Finland with my Dubai girl squad in search of God’s light show. Sadly, God didn’t feel like playing, but there was still a ton of adventure, husky love and a surprising Helsinki to make up for it.
Poss & I then spent Christmas in Prague exploring the famous yuletide markets – so very pretty, albeit a little American Horror Story due to the sheer amount of people (ah … the days before social distancing), BUT with one of the coolest speakeasies we’ve been to so far • Railed it all the way to London – highly recommend it, especially if you do Nuremberg and Paris en route. Nuremberg’s old town is so gorgeously surreal – like stepping into a 1000 yr old medieval village suspended in time. As it was boxing day and almost everything was shut, it felt like we had the whole town to ourselves to wander in and fill up on wiener schnitzels & steins at Heilig-Geist-Spital. And as for Paris … well, to quote the incomparable Ms Hepburn … “Paris is always a good idea”.
Spent New Years in London with my BFF Bedbug – it had been ages since we we were together for that • While in London, somehow got “hoodwinked” into accepting a part time job working from home (it would be easy and give you something to do they said) hmmm …. it now pretty much occupies almost every waking minute of my days (yep, we can totally use the job as a scapegoat for my sudden hiatus – besides the ongoing suspended shock of coming out of early retirement, you can totally forget how to ride a bike btw. My first email took me more than 30 mins to draft OMG!). While I’m grateful in these tough times, I’m often reminded why I left advertising in the first place – yes, I’m talking to you Mr/s Client .. ok take a breath …
2019 – Went to Oz as we try to do every year to chillax with the fam bam & catch-up with my old boarding school & uni mates (I just love that we’re all still in touch). Can’t wait to get back down under again – I miss all of them heaps!
And then in yet another epic destination wedding, Toots got married in a castle in Edinburgh which was simply beautiful and an honour to be part of (think getting hitched was as much a fab surprise for her as it was for the rest of us. And yes, we totally stayed overnight in the castle – because it’s the closest I’ll ever get to actually living in a castle). We also willingly obliged to take a few of the Groom’s French guests on my thoroughly mapped out pre-wedding Edinburgh speakeasy crawl that started at 5pm, complete with strict guidelines – “no detours, only 2 drinks per spot and try to keep up”.
After a fab night of exploring dark alleys and knocking on concealed doors, it apparently ended up in Maccers for them (sacré bleu
), because Poss & I had no choice but to eventually ditch them on account of … “we have a wedding to be up for in 6 hours – don’t you?”
(bunch of lightweights who kept on whining about wanting to eat .. err hello .. I think the foodie tour is thataway) – to this day I never hear the end of ditching them without feeding them! Emily in Paris
has nothing on me. Didn’t help that when we got back to the hotel, Poss & I sent them pictures of our room service meal lol. Don’t worry, we all still became good mates 🙂
Then it was back to Dubai for my birthday, which unfortunately ended up in a wee little incident after one of my very “low key” birthday celebrations (not the house party pictured below). In a drama worthy of a KUWTK episode, it kinda involved me in hysterics, being rushed to the emergency room in an Uber, bleeding profusely from having split the back of my head open, requiring 8 stitches and me sporting a fashionable new head accessory in the form of a blue bandage turban for close to 2 weeks. The attending doctor, amidst trying to ascertain if I had a concussion, kept on asking me how old I was on account of my bawling like a baby. In my defense, I was in total shock, I’d never seen so much “real” blood – it was like a scene out of Halloween … and then the scissors came out, as did the sound of a banshee as I saw my hair fall to the ground so they could stitch me up • But at the end of it all, it takes a lot to keep this Diva down (hysterics aside), so a few weeks on, head patched up good as new and given the all clear to fly, we took a fab road trip through the Cotswolds with my in-laws (didn’t matter that it rained the whole time – I still made them stop for my “ghost town” postcard pictures, umbrella and all! You really have to go – it’s stunning, especially when singing in the rain)
2020 – Spent New Years in Malaysia with our KL squad • Celebrated Toots’ 40th in Italy (amore!amore!amore! and yes, lots of pre-mapped out speakeasies again – this speakeasy thing is starting to become an obsession, but some are really just too cool for school • Got back to Dubai just as they announced Italy was an epicenter (wtf? we checked before we went and there were only 3 cases) • Repatriated back home unexpectedly (not because of Italy) – husband, eldest son and 2 failed foster cats in tow during a global pandemic AND Ramadan, in what felt like a covert operation in the cover of night worthy of James Bond, but nowhere near as sexy (quite honestly, it was so touch and go, we were lucky to have gotten out when we did, as we very possible could still now be stranded in Dubai otherwise)
I was advised to the tell the cabin crew that I had live animals in cargo so they could alert the captain to regulate the cargo temperature and everything else (think gremlins), to which they responded right before takeoff, “hopefully” they’ll be ok – say what??? Hello panic attack and xanax … let’s just say I’ll never fly that airline again • Spent 14 days in government quarantine – something I would never do again given a choice, especially if we’re paying. The only “fresh” air we enjoyed was the slight gust of wind we inhaled when opening and closing the room door for our food, which was pretty bad tbh (now thinking indigestion might not be a bad thing to help shed all this MCO weight). That Poss and I didn’t go all Amityville on each other is a miracle in itself • Was thankfully released from quarantine the day before Eid and fully fumigated upon departure, just for good measure (I now know what a cockroach feels like) • After our prolonged Dubai stint, thought maybe it was time for us to finally move into my recently vacated rented house (then my father had a few worrying episodes so that was that) • Ended up “tweaking” the family home to give us all a little more breathing space and prevent total chaos • Just celebrated my 49th – omaigad does that mean 50 is next???
Bought myself a new car to celebrate my impending mid life crisis (it has been 12 years since I purchased my first car, which the boys have now hijacked, so I’m thinking it’s well justified). Like a doctor, he has a few letters after his name, I just call him Wick, first name John. Poss found a new job in KL during our transition, which was the luckiest & biggest Godsend ever, save for Dubai. So now we’re all back home and truly living together for the first time since we’ve been married – Poss, the boys, Malaysian resident king cat, Dubai rescue cats, my parents, the monkeys, the civet cats, the snakes and whatever else lives in this blooming village. And after 6 years away, this Diva could not be more thankful.
OK – I really could do without the monkeys, and let’s not even talk snakes 😦 Wear a mask & stay safe all!