HomeTech 101 – backing up

So. The time has come. My Apple Time capsule, beloved since 1903*, latest version released in 2016 and discontinued by Apple since 2018 when they disbanded the whole router and storage team. See Wikipedia for more details on this sad moment.

Should I go with the MyCloud from Western Digital? Seems to sync perfectly with Time Machine and provide enough flexibility for our needs at home of sharing video and photo files around the home wifi network – any access outside the home can be handled as needed through a web interface or mobile app which I have read a little on but will play with once purchased.

Any flags on purchasing a WD we should know before I hit the orange button on Amazon? Thanks in advance to both our subscribers…

*Slight exaggeration but please bring it back!

Featured Photo by Bonnie Moreland on StockSnap with thanks!

New Perspectives On Mobility

I sit here in a co-working space in London and am surrounding with a dynamic energy I want to bottle and breathe in, similarly to my Vicks Vaporub obsession when clogged and snotty, when labouring over a creative venture or uninspired study session.

And I love London. I am not at liberty to live and work here right now but it will always be an option and never been a daunting place for me or my now wife who loves the manners and etiquette and diplomacy she associates with this world capital.

Sitting amidst the throb of Bankside of a lunchtime, the smash and grab M&S Simply Food or Pret lunch bomb laced with avocado and new forms of protein less likely to offend a delicate humanoid in a newly conscious and woke get-up, and I notice how, apart from the static traffic queues, everyone is a pedestrian. The odd cyclist but mainly a walker. Ooo a Brompton just flew past! Why the dirth of scooters, electric or otherwise? They have really picked up in Dubai and are challenging the rental bikes on the streets for kerbspace nowadays, Marina-side at least.

But then I guess its simply too hot to contemplate movement powered from within back in the sandpit. It is hard enough to get out of the AC SUV cubicle, never mind switching to a more exposed, tactile, engaged form of mobility.

What do you think? to scoot or not to scoot? Are the London roads simply not wide enough for additional modes of zipping about?

Learning Arabic in Dubai?

Two months ago, I decided to end 3 years of procrastination, and took it upon myself to start learning my fifth language: Arabic. My greatest challenge was to select a learning path. After days of googling, emailing and reading blogs, I finally decided: 1) to go to the  Eton Institute in TECOM’s Knowledge Village, 2) to undertake the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, CEFR, path. With this in mind, I used three main criteria for selecting the school, as follows:

  1. Classroom Settings, Distance Learning & MOOC
  2. FuSHa, Certification & CEFR
  3. Investment & Commitment

Continue reading “Learning Arabic in Dubai?”

First steps #خطوات in Arabic #العربية

contemporary designed staircase
“Contemporary staircase in a metro station in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.”

This weekend has been an intensive study session just before my Starter Arabic exam on Sunday. I have taken it upon myself to learn by heart the basic vocabulary we are expected to know to pass the Eton Institute-administered certification, with the long view to build my skills up through the internationally recognised CEFR levels A, B and ultimately C.

With increasing government regulations and requirements to boost Arabic and Emirati input across the board, my decision to study a fifth language – not including “Yorkshire” as the husband puts it – is hardly premature. The initiative launched by the Dubai Department of Economic Development came as an opportunity to learn the language of the city I have called home and lived for the past four years. Ahem

Learning Arabic has opened my eyes to another side of Dubai, something I already knew from learning other languages but you can pick up some finer details in a culture. Apart from walking around shopping malls slowly reading signs and sounding slightly “Special” in the process, there are some nuances to phrases unbeknown to most of us who can’t speak a language which surrounds our daily lives here in the United Arab Emirates.

There are plenty of collateral benefits that come with studying Arabic, one of them being getting excited each time I recognize a word. My favourite thing to date has been the thrill of stalking my colleagues and forcing them to watch me write their name, then holding up the piece of paper as if I am meeting them at the airport and showing it off as if I am six years old.

Regardless, I have been studiously attending my two-hour classes twice a week for the past two months. Deadlines are a curious thing; here I am just two days before the test with seemingly completely empty mind. MinyHubby has limitless faith in me to pass with flying colours but I want to give it everything I have got, which includes making sure I can read and write the vocabulary set in Arabic, even though this particular test does not require it. I am learning for the future.

Update: this post was written on Friday, July 29th. Since then I passed my class with a perfect score. I am currently looking forward to building my Arabic skills by taking them to the next level.