Photo1784February is always a short month , usually packed with atrocious weather and broken new year promises. However this February was especially quick. I’m not sure exactly why but being busy with work and outside projects brings a feeling of contentment or possibly just distraction. And all this is times of no drinking. Drinking here is a distraction. As you get older the hangovers get worse for most. For me it’s more the case that a hangover creates a vacuum in your head, an inability to formulate or think inventively to smooth the path through it all. Alongside being in Qatar this is truly problematic.

IMG_20140208_144906But I’ve been distracted. The big event was the British Council Away Day last week. I was on the organising committee with three others and together we organised a day at a desert museum, some team building, get to know you activities, sports and an information treasure hunt. We held it at Sheikh Faisal’s Museum in the middle of the country, a country so small it was still only 30 minutes from the office.

Sheikh Faisal is one of the richest men in the country and spends his money buying artifact, old and new, from around the world. These include old Korans and Bibles, cars older than 100 years, weapons and clothes. It’s a very random hodge-potch of things housed in his every expanding museum. It’s presently building an extension to house some more of his 600 cars!

12763_10152251115935170_68950059_nThe next night we finally headed out to the desert for a desert safari. A group of 9 dune-bashed, bbq’d swam in the ocean and played silly games before sleeping in large tents. The dunes are unique here. They sit next to the Persian Gulf right on the sea front. As the sun set over them, it was all very pretty.

The final contract with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has begun again. I’m happy with it. The group is much more motivated and capable than the last lot. I can actually aspire to recommending most of them to go work abroad. I hope I’m not speaking too soon but they are a nice, hard-working bunch. I’m also working with a luxury company and a private school training staff.

Outside of work, we’ve been busy watching rugby, running and exercising and eat some more sushi. The England v Ireland game was immense for it’s levels of commitment, positive play and tension. Two good team without any poor performances.

The lady I am helping with her academic research is making some real progress and will hopefully be accepted for a scholarship. The reading has merged into my thinking. Ideas over collective memory are becoming increasingly interesting and the state’s use of public memory in the building and maintenance of nationalism. I’ve incorporated it into my personal statement for university.

Japanese lessons continue unabated and now have a practical purpose. For the first time in over 11 years, I’m going back to Japan and Korea after over 8 years. I’ll be seeing Liz, Scotto, Mayu, Yumi, Dan, Nev and a few others.

Time is Marching on. (ba-da-dum)