Week 20 – Mary Poppins!

How do I put into words the amazingness of Mary Poppins at the Dubai Opera, in a way that would describe how I felt watching this show???

Wait. Let me backtrack a few hours.

Prior to heading off to the Dubai Opera for the first time this past weekend, we, the girls and I, decided to head off to Fai at The Palace Hotel for a few pre-show cocktails and nibbles as an added bonus something new for the week. What a stunning place this is!

Set out on the water of the Dubai Fountains, hidden away in the grounds of The Palace Hotel is Fai; an Asian-inspired cocktail lounge with beautiful sunset and fountain views over the water, and looking onto the opera house.

We had a Groupon voucher for cocktails and the bar was very organised, offering us a pre-printed list of the cocktails which included a short nibbles menu too; so we got to ordering as we sat down. Very tasty food, very strong and tasty cocktails and a great ambience overlooking the fountains while enjoying the sunset.

We then headed off to the opera house to embark on a theatre extravaganza as we delved into the world of chimney sweeps, rambunctious children, flying nannies and a word to describe everything: supercalifragilisticexpialidocius!

We were in the ‘cheap’ seats, in a box that looks onto the stage at an angle, but personally, I feel that these seats were the best in the house! We could see every emotion or slight flicker of an eye on the faces of the actors. We had a great view of the full stage, even if it was at a slight angle, and then, at the end… actually, no, I won’t ruin it for you!

All of us had the biggest grins on our faces throughout the show – to a point that we all complained that our faces were sore from smiling at the end of the show 🙂 The acting is superb, the props are absolutely amazing, and the show, well, it’s just brilliantly done as the live orchestra takes us through the story of Mary Poppins and the children.

The show is running in Dubai until 25 May – if you have not seen it yet, do so! And if you’re not in Dubai, go and watch it when it comes to your city! You will not regret it 🙂

Week 19 – Wings for Life!

On Sunday 7 May, I, along with 155,000-odd people took part in the Wings for Life charity run (for spinal cord research) which is held in approximately 100 different locations around the world.

It’s a simple concept. At exactly the same time all over the world, runners gather at the start line, be it day or night, rain or shine (and in our case extreme heat) at the start time. The whistle blows and everyone all over the world starts to run. There is no finish line though… 30 minutes after the start time, a ‘catcher car’ is set off at 15km/hour in each location and it has to catch the runners. Every 30 minutes it increases speed gradually; 16km/hour, 17km/hour, 18km/hour, and then it sits at 20km/hour for 2 hours. And the people are still running out ahead of it. Well, most of them anyway.

Under the UAE flag at the start line in Dubai

When the car eventually catches you, at whatever distance you have managed to reach, you have to stop running and you are recorded at that distance. Some people make only a few km’s – in Dubai specifically there were many people pulling out before the car even set off or managed to catch them, due to the heat.

Catcher Car

But soooo many runners are able to push the limits of running and keep going for hours as the car tries to catch them, and the last person standing – worldwide – is declared the overall winner. Of course, there are winners in each destination, but to be the last person standing is a massive accomplishment… and in this year’s case, the overall winner was not standing. Instead, he was in a wheelchair, and he pushed himself 92km’s before the car caught up with him!

And to top it off, he was in DUBAI! Where the temperature was approximately 41 °C at the start at 3pm!!!! An incredible accomplishment in so many ways!

I managed to round up 4 people, plus myself, from my work to get out there in the crazy heat and run for those who can’t, and I’m proud to say that we had 2 runners who did exceptionally! They made 16km’s and 11.5km’s…. I followed not too far behind at 8km’s, and then we had a 7km finisher and one runner, unfortunately, had to pull out at 5km’s, before the car even caught him. But an incredible run by everyone considering the extreme weather we endured for the run.

Me, at 6km’s… didn’t think I’d make 7km’s so took a photo at 6 🙂

I hope I am able to take part in this event next year (although it would be great to do it in slightly better weather!), and I urge everyone reading this to get involved too! It is a wonderful event for a great cause, and it is so inspiring to be part of this!

Run, walk or crawl – but do it for those who can’t!