Bye Bye Dubai!

So thats it, the bags are packed, the taxi is booked, the furniture is all sold and picked up. Tomorrow afternoon, we will be in our new house in Poland (without any furniture but hey ho). We are super super exited, super super ready, and I think Im done with the tears… only those on the same plane as us will know if thats true, lol.

Yesterday we drove to Abu Dhabi, and the camels were all lined up at the fence, to say goodbye! So for the first time in 8 years, we got out of the car and went and touristy took pictures of camels.

So, I leave you with this happy camel who looks like he’s whistling and say, See you in Poland!

-Linda

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The end of an era…..

The days are flying by, seems like only yesterday our big move was over a month away, now its a matter of days… How do you end an era? Because thats what it is. 8 years in the country where I met my husband, fell in love, got married, had 2 children, lived laughed and cried and breathed… for 8 years. How DO you wrap it up? Its not about things. I never cared about things, I moved country enough times to not care about the ‘stuff’. Its the people, the place the air (the very air we are going away from), the colours of the landscape, the school runs and Catboy and Geordie bird and the school run song and my mummy friends and the teachers and the SCHOOL! Our awesome school that has gone out of their way to be the best school they could possibly be for our celiac kid. The pizza lady who became Auntinka, Glutenfree UAE and the support group that I started and that supported ME also, our celiac buddies (as my husband so lovingly calls them), our HOME.

Just how DO you wrap it all up….? Im so exited, but am I ready…? Don’t think I ever will be…..

-Linda

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Pizza! There is a new contender in my kitchen!

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There is one food that is always mentioned more then any other food when we have meets and events, and yup, its pizza, it even beats bread hands down!

Restaurants who serve a safe gluten free pizza will have visitors from far far away, even a not very safe gluten free pizza will draw some attention (hopefully the establishment serving it is honest in telling their customers its not safe for Celiacs), but there is one place to eat pizza that absolutely beats all the others, and its home! First of all, I know what Im doing, so even if there WAS gluten in my home, chances are I wouldn’t contaminate anything, second of all, there IS no gluten in my home, so in order to contaminate it Id have to run over to the neighbour and rub my food on his kitchen table…..

In Europe you can buy frozen ready made pizzas fairly easy, here in Dubai, you will be lucky to find one when you need it.

I have tried most of the ready made bases available, and they are good, ok you know. But nothing to write home about. But the latest one I tried you can totally write home about! Its yet another one of Katinka’s gorgeous creations. Katinka is the owner and manager of GlutenFree-Supermarket, she is also Celiac and has an amazing knowledge about baking, often her creations are gluten / wheat/ corn / soy and dairy and egg free. How she manages to still make stuff taste amazing I will never know, but she does. She also NEVER takes shortcuts with products, ask her where any ingeredient comes from and she will be able to show you the package, its gluten free certification or a letter showing you its safe. I trust her 100%, there is noone else in Dubai I trust as much, apart from maybe myself 🙂 And skinny genie.

Anyway, back to the pizza!

The base is not the thinnest of bases, but its not thick either, you just pop your passata on top (I mix mine with some olive oil and salt and pepper), then add your chosen toppings and shredded mozzarella (Kraft is safe, no gluten), pop it in the oven and 10 minutes later (or a bit longer if you like it more well done) you will be enjoying delicious yummy pizza.

The base doesn’t go all grainy as it starts cooling down, nor does it ‘sweat’ and go all soggy. It actually keeps so well I was able to rescue one of the pizzas and send it to school for the kids lunch box the day after. They both finished their lunch 😉 Cant ask for much more then that…

Hope you all enjoy 🙂

-Linda

Direct link to pizza 😉 –click here

Gluten Free & Me…. and Poland!!??

Isn’t it strange the things we worry about in life? Like now, Im sat here stressing over my blog name, because its a gluten (free) blog, not a travel blog, and holy crap I’m moving to Poland. In one month. Then my sane voice in my head says, ‘chill woman, who cares, not like that many people read your blog anyway, and so what if it says gluten free, it also says ME’.

Not going to bore you all with what the other voice replies. Instead I will just take a deep breath and try to calm myself.

My life, is gluten free. Gluten free is with me, everywhere I go. Its my friend, my enemy, the one thing in my life that is always there, no matter which direction I turn. So yeah. Gluten free….. and me…. and soon… Poland!

Strangely one of the things Im most exited about is having a letter box, at my door! Here in Dubai everyone has a PO box. I miss letter boxes, and I didn’t even realise how much until I got super exited about having one again. Lets just hope I get things other then bills eh?

1 month to go.

-Linda

Major decisions about our future.

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Seems to me some Celiacs are A OK as soon as they go on that gluten free diet, others struggle and suffer, no matter how well they stick to the diet. I have met hundreds of celiacs by now through my work with Gluten Free UAE, and it seems to be that its not how long you were sick for before diagnosis, but how SICK you got before diagnosis that makes a difference. Those who were very very sick, are often the ones that struggle after (no research on this that I know of, just how I perceive it from the Celiacs I have met). My own little Celiac is one of those that got extremely sick before diagnosis, and she is also one of those who have struggled post diagnosis. Yes, she is better, yes, she is doing great in many ways, but she also gets sick alot, not sure if she gets sick more often then your average 4 year old, but she certainly gets sick ‘properly’. She has had a ton of hospital stays. At the age of 4 she has had so many pneumonias we are starting to lose count and only count the severe ones! Although she is doing great in growing and developing, each pneumonia sets her back, and we cant afford to many set backs, she has to much catching up to do! Her energy levels are often very low, as they would for anyone fighting illness. At times I have to carry her in to school from the car park, as she just doesn’t have the energy to walk. As any other tired 4 year old, the tiredness makes her cranky. She is on preventative steroids and we keep her indoors as much as we can to protect her from the dust. Her oxygen levels are often low and the main reason for repeated hospital stays. Her immune system seems to be working on overdrive and she often has unexplained temperatures, sometimes twice a week!

We left on our Europe trip with extra liquid steroids and antibiotics from the doctor, the oxygen levels were low, but not low enough to be admitted, but I fully expected to have to start her on the antibiotics a couple of days later. BOY was I in for a shock.

First day in Poland we walked to the shop, because in Europe, people walk places! I brought the push chair because of course I didn’t expect her to be able to do the full walk with her wheeze. Well, she walked all the way to the shop… and then she walked all the way back! I lifted her up to give her a hug and listen to her breathing, and there was NO WHEEZE WHATSOEVER!

Our little girl spent the next 1 month and 1 day without a single wheeze, she walked, she ran, she jumped, and not once did I hear the familiar words ‘mummy, Im tired now, I need to rest’. Not once did I have to carry her when her energy simply ran out. She was a different child. Even her gluten reactions were minor, we had a couple of cross contamination incidents and 1 ice cream incident, and she got over them so easily, so much faster then usual, and after the ice cream I fully expected an ear infection or something else to come – thats what usually happens – but no, she was recovered fully in 2 days!

We returned to Dubai, and I was hoping the wheeze would stay away, but the heavy breathing and a slight wheeze was back in 4 days, a couple of days later the first unexplained temperature. Clearly our Celiac does not do well here.

So I guess the title of this post is unfitting, because our decision wasn’t major at all, it was a total no brainer. We are going to go and live in Europe for a bit, hopefully the air quality there will help her, and this girl really needs all the help she can get!

I am gutted. I love Dubai, I have loved it since the first time I set my foot here in January 2006. My children were born here, I have my home, my friends, my heart here. But health has to win. Hopefully in a couple of years things will be different, maybe we will even be able to return. Who knows.

I believe you chose your reactions to everything in life, and I chose not to remain gutted. Instead I am embracing this move fully, I am exited, the kids are exited, a new adventure.

And it sure will make for a pretty interesting blog wont it 😉

-Linda