Archives for category: Relationships

Six months have passed since we signed up to living our lives together. It all happened very quickly: a wedding planned from decision to marry to wedding day within 7 weeks. Crazy? Perhaps. Did we pull it off? With some compromises we did it our way and had a brilliant time.


Wedding Day, 2012

Following a wonderful wedding marriage weekend we returned to our separate flats and work on Monday.

I left my job [that I had to quit on my first day to move to Qatar] just before Christmas, and spent my first Christmas with Hubby’s family. And my first with a husband (it still hadn’t clicked that I was in fact married). New Years came and went.

I packed up my life into taking, storing, and ditching/donating piles, and briefly moved in with Hubby and flatmates.

It wasn’t to last long before I disappeared alone to Vegas to surprise a wonderful lay-dee (aka lubbkin) who I hadn’t seen since I left New Zealand’s fair shores. Being the accomplished gambler that I am I doubled my money ($5 into $10), was told I did Vegas wrong, but still came out a winner!

Vegas, Baby

Viva Las Vegas

I returned to the UK, spent a couple of days together with Hubby in the London snow, and then I disappeared again.

Snow Day

London Snow Day

This time I was loaded onto a plane with large suitcases, and with a tearful wave, said goodbye.

I admit, it was a strange introduction to married life, having only spent a few days together before I left. I’m not saying it was easy, nor would I recommend it to anyone else. Some of the most stressful things in life are moving house (and, uh, continents?), relationships, and work – and we were experiencing massive changes in all three at once.

Hubby of course joined me a month later, and we’ve been adjusting to the change from a few nights a week together to EVERY SINGLE DAY. He needs his man time (i.e. Martinis and X-box) and I potter around and do whatever (i.e. nap), leaving him to it.

We’ve travelled to New Zealand, seeing friends and family and have oh-so-much more travel planned in our minds.

Dinners out, new experiences, new friendships. Arguments, discussions, and business cases. Balancing who does what (a much shorter discussion when in a serviced apartment) and who drives when.

And before we knew it, six months of marriage had passed.

It hasn’t always been perfect, but we’re living a pretty privileged life, and so far it’s pretty damn good.

Thank you Hubby, for your tolerance, acceptance, and cooking. For your humour, caring, and cuddles. Here’s to the next six months and beyond!


My birthday lamp from Hubby purchased from the souq:


I love lamp!

Hubby did good!

fear /fi(ə)r/

Noun An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
Verb Be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening: “farmers fear that they will lose business”.
noun. dread – fright – apprehension – funk – awe – alarm
verb. be afraid – dread – apprehend – funk – be afraid of

OK, the word ‘fear’ is a bit dramatic. Worried, concerned, or even scared might cover it. Anxious is a bit closer.

I’m taking Hubby home, to my home, to New Zealand for the first time. We’ve had very different upbringings – him, a reasonably privileged private school boy. Me, a semi-rural girl with an RD postal address.

He’s about to enter my world. To see where I grew up, the family home, and what he terms the ‘yacht club’. Hubby is being thrown in the deep end straight into my friend’s stag do with guys he’s never met before on our first day in NZ. Sink or swim! (Or drown with jet lag).

While he’s met my parents and brother, he has yet to be approved by my wider family, especially Nana. No drinking from the bottle now!

On the flipside, he will see the beauty of my world. The lush greenery (providing it rains before we get there!), the beaches, the winding roads. He’ll get to meet some of my favourite and treasured people. I’ll get to play tour guide and show him my favourite places. And I may even get to push him off a bridge.

Despite what he thinks once we’re there, we’re married, my world is now he. And he’s stuck with it!

Where’s the fear in that?

An initial meeting with a stranger, a chat, commonalities, a loose bond, an acquaintance, and eventually a friend.

As an adult these steps are difficult. We are no longer forced into social contact with strangers through school or university, and we do not want to rely on work colleagues for socialising. How does a grown up make friends?

In the past it has been through courses or hobbies [the Internet counts, right?], or friends of friends, all recent arrivals in a strange land. Now I am in an even stranger land, with different cultures and languages. Alcohol is not readily available to break the ice, and socialising is often done through private dinner parties.

As a woman at a bar you are likely to be hit on by men wanting more than a chat, and it’s genuinely difficult to form platonic relationships when the male to female ratio is so skewed. This also means it’s difficult to make female friends, as there are so few in comparison. A large proportion of women are mothers, meaning they socialise in a different circle.

Many people are only in Doha for a short period of time, 6 months to 1 year, and it would be easy to slip into that mindset “I’m only here for a year, why should I bother?”. You have to force yourself.

We’re on the lookout for interesting courses and hobbies, clubs and exercise options. Things we can do together. Activities we can do separately.

Because, as much as we love spending time with each other, Hubby and I cannot spend a year isolating ourselves.

Do you have suggestions of fun things we can try? How do you make new friends now you’re a ‘grown up’?

A while back we stumbled across the video “Should I bring him soup?”. This quickly became a phrase used between a few of us to reflect either when someone was being crazy about a boy/girl, but moreso when one of us was genuinely ill.

This weekend I was meant to spend at a work conference in Dubai, but, while my visa and passport had been returned, my exit permit was not approved in time (you need an exit permit to enable you to leave Qatar, in addition to your passport & visa).

It turns out it was a lucky chain of events as I’ve trapped myself in my hotel room these past few days with the New Country Lurgy. My chesty cough, hot/cold fever, and general weakness left me feeling sick enough to relocate to Bed Island.

Lying here, all that time, I pondered – with my Do Not Disturb sign on, and the door locked, how long would it take someone to find me?

Oh, fine, I’m being morbid, but seriously, if anything had happened how long would it take for people to check on me? Everyone from work is away, so only hubby might notice when I suddenly go silent.

I currently have no hubby present, no back up boyfriend, and know but a few people here. I don’t currently have a network, no one to really turn to if in trouble on a personal front.

My point:

Everyone needs someone who will bring them soup.

“When you know you know”

I hated that saying, I didn’t understand it, and married couples couldn’t quite explain it except to say “when you know you know – you’ll know when you feel it”. Discussions were always circular and frustrating.

Friends nodded in agreement with the frustration, and we fumbled through relationships. And then it happened to my oldest friend (an extremely sweet love story, but not mine to tell), and she nodded in agreement – “it is true – when you know you know!”.

Relationships aren’t easy. Firstly, you have to meet someone and venture through the interesting dating experience. Then you have to have time, and want to spend that time with that other person. Sometimes things are really hard, harder than they should be. Sometimes people make mistakes, and sometimes things just don’t work out. And you walk away, feeling slightly damaged before bouncing back, whether or not you were the breaker or the breakee.

And then you meet someone, and things aren’t so hard anymore. Things seem to fall in place and you’re scared because things feel too easy. You’re not used to this – why are there no struggles? Everything is simpler. How long will it last?

It slowly sinks in – this is how it’s meant to be. Yes, of course there are disagreements, but you would never do anything to intentionally hurt the other. The arguments are talked through and resolved, you spend the right amount of time together and apart. You start to see a future.

And that’s how it happened. It shouldn’t be hard early on. Yes, be willing to discuss, argue, and fight for the other person. Learn from past experiences. Know when to walk away. But most importantly, know when you have something worth holding onto and never letting go.