Now the land in Croatia has been sold, the knock on ripple effects (excuse the double pun) of the Tsunami are finally over. The decision to build a house on Vis in Croatia was taken shortly after arriving and finding the planning dept was closed…. a few weeks after arriving in Egypt… and finding the planning dept was closed, a few weeks after finding the planning dept in Arugam Bay had suddenlty relocated 1 mile inland and was also… closed. We decided not to take a risk in Egypt and well, when we arrived in Vis… we did…and it backfired on us.

But now a nice guy called Martin has bought the land on Vis for his ‘mom’ and we move on.

The decisions we now make in our lives are now thought through carefully and because we want to, not made ‘on the run’.

We feel we have made some very sound decisions recently and… if buying 7 tonnes of olives… means I have to eat olive salad covered in lashing of olive oil for the next ten years, I 100% admit, ‘Rodney you plonker’ it seemed like a bloody good idea at the time.

Yes… we can say “we are in the oil business” we started a week ago. We have a stall outside a friends house and we buy olives by the ‘Sa’ ( Siwan measurement for olives around 2 kilo’s). It’s all done the way it’s always been done for 1000’s of years and once we have filled a barrel with 70 kilos we fill it with salty water that has the highly technical check of seeing if an egg floats in it, showing there is enough salt.

We then sell in the high season in the summer… inshala.

I know… I know.

www.somewheredifferent.com is going well. We’re booked from Dec 15th till the end of Jan and have not really got going on the advertising yet. The brochure is on the way and… well we’re busy.

Sasha has had time to think about what she want’s to do, education wise, and where she is going with it all. You can’t take Arabic GCSE courses in England, as there are no Arabic teachers… Sasha has emailed some Professor types at a few Universities in the UK and has seen that learning Arabic and the Siwan language (which is totally different from Arabic) gives her an edge and a real chance in life in terms of getting a good job and allowing a bank to let her get horrendously in dept. … sorry, enable her to buy a flat and her independence etc. Sasha can now read Arabic fluently, she no idea what most of the words mean… but well… it’s a start;). Sasha can have a simple conversation in Arabic and is learning fast. She has decided to go to secondry school for two days a week here in Siwa and is having Aribic and maths lessons 3 times a week, using the rest of the week to prepare for her Aribic, English, Maths, History and Geography GCSE’s.

Claudia is enjoying home schooling and is keen to do two days a week in one of the embroidery work shops set up by the ‘Italian project’ where several Siwan girls are learing to do embroidery. She is reading a lot and doing many ‘projects’.

Angus can’t be arsed and has said… “ Dad, I’ll just go to school five days a week, it will be a lot easer.”

Angus and Claudia start Arabic lessons and maths lessons soon and will go to school in Romania when we arrive there in May to start learning the language.

I guess you might have worked it out by now. We not coming back to the UK after going to Romania, we’re coming back here to Siwa for at least another two years. Siwa is now our home and we got a business to run.

Olives man… it’s the future!

We have Simon Jacobs and Abbo turning up in February for a week on the lash and … oh yeah… sorry, a week of allowing their kids to experience the Siwan culture. We are planning to build our forth house in Romania, please… save the planning permission questions… this summer and your all welcome… well maybe not all 133 of you on this email list at the same time.

Romania is my favourate location, anywhere and I’m realy looking forward to it.