Archive for February, 2014

Countdown

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Tea pot, truck art style

Well, there’s not much to report this week. I’m in the countdown for re-taking my Spanish test, so I have tried to stay home and study as much as possible. I had sessions with my tutor Wednesday night and Saturday morning.

I went to an interesting brown bag lunch this week at the Embassy where a couple had a slideshow about their travels to Burma. John and I had looked at going there for our next R&R, but the weather will just be too hot. It looks like a beautiful place with lots of temples.

We also had ┬ámeeting for mid-level officers at the DCM’s house on Thursday after work. It was fun to see some of our friends and colleagues and visit with them.

Friday after work I went to the IT happy hour for a while, then came home for dinner with John.

Saturday I skipped my photography class so I could concentrate on studying. It was sort of an overcast day anyway, so it was nice to just stay home. Last night we ordered pizza and watched the newest Woody Allen movie, “Blue Jasmine.” I thought Cate Blanchett’s acting was incredible.

Today I’ve stayed in and studied while doing laundry – then made a quick trip to the grocery store.

We had some bad news about the Embassy cats this week. One little kitten died of distemper, so now we are on a campaign to get them all vaccinated against it – we had just been getting them rabies shots when they get sterilized. Luckily we have an energetic Marine who has been taking them to the vet, bless her heart. And a couple have had different kinds of respiratory infections. As it stands now, we have one with a serious infection in her lungs at the vet – I hope she pulls through.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Valentine's Day Gladiolas

I found these lovely red glads waiting for me when I got home Friday afternoon – what a great husband I have! They are really beautiful.

This was a pretty good week, all in all. It’s been a little slower at work with less visa demand. It’s nice to have a bit of a break and not be at full tilt every day. We celebrated President’s Day at the Embassy on Thursday night with the big annual event. John was in charge of it last year; this year, other people took the reins, but John has been sort of a mentor to them throughout the process. By all accounts, it was a big success. John was in charge of one of the parking lots (parking and traffic are always the big logistical problem). I rode back and forth with guests on a shuttle bus all evening (a cleared American has to be an escort).

Our longtime Consul General and good friend Dan departed post this week. We had a pizza lunch on Monday to say farewell to him and to welcome our new CG Kristin. Dan and I have worked very well together the last 18 months, so I was sorry to see him go – but I’m sure Kristin will do a great job as well. Change is part of the game in this job!

LJ celebrated her 89th birthday this week! Happy birthday, mom! She sure doesn’t look or act her age!

We had several social outings this week. Last Sunday was a nice brunch at Bridget’s house, although John wasn’t feeling well enough to go so I had to go solo. Saturday night, we went to a very nice dinner party at Adi and Cecelia’s house. They are lovely hosts, and Adi treated us to a mini-concert on his piano – wow, is he talented. It was really wonderful to hear him play. Then Sunday afternoon, we went to a rooftop BBQ at Howie and Petit’s – they have a lovely view of Margalla Hills. Good food and fun talking to Carolyn and Konstantin, among others.

Saturday afternoon I went to my photography class. We went outside and took still life pictures, then came back inside to critique them. Our objects were mostly fun and colorful pieces, done “truck art” style.

Fan, truck art style

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We watched a couple of movies this week. “Captain Phillips” was excellent, and last night we started “Wolf of Wall Street” – to be continued tonight.

Today is a holiday for us – John went to Joseph and Sunera’s for board games, but I’m staying home to study Spanish. Not too much longer till I test again.

Here’s a nice photo of John from last night.

Jackcito

Rainy week

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

We had rain off and on this week, which brought out the chill in the air. The days alternated between rainy and just cloudy, but then yesterday the sun came out and it was beautiful!

Barbara and I braved the chilly weather Thursday and met some ladies from the German Embassy at the French Club for lunch – we had a lot of fun.

We had a lot of socializing this weekend: Friday night happy hour outside with the management folks, Joe C.’s birthday part later in the evening, and I went to a consular party last night at Barb’s house that was a lot of fun.

Yesterday I went to the first of a series of photography classes at a local gallery. I took a class in Tel Aviv but have managed to forget a lot of it, so I thought another class would be fun. The instructor is a very good Pakistani photographer, Azhar Hafeez – I’m looking forward to getting out and taking more pictures. Here’s a link to his web page – you can see some beautiful photographs.

All in all, it was a pretty quiet week!

 

Flashback

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

We had a nice flashback on Friday night when we went to Howie and Petit’s to drink some Israeli wine, along with our friend Mike L. We were all in Tel Aviv together, and we all share a love for Israeli wine. Howie had a nice bottle from Flam and another from Chateaux Golan that we enjoyed together. It brought back nice memories of sitting on our balcony in Tel Aviv. So nice of them to share with us!

We had another nice sunny week here in Islamabad, very conducive to relaxing lunches outdoors. We had French Friday lunch at the French Club, as well.

We bought a nice new treadmill recently, so this week Howie and Mike L. helped me move our old one over to Mike F.’s house. It has served us well over the last 10 years or so. So lucky to have good friends to pitch in with a truck and help moving things up stairs!

I continue to work on Spanish. My tutor Susana came over Wednesday night and again yesterday morning. I alternate between feeling terrified and confident. We’re getting more excited about our move to Guadalajara – we filled out our housing survey this week, so we spent some time poring over housing photos. We have our fingers crossed that we will get something with some outdoor space.