Sunday, 27 November 2016

And so the rains came!

The forecast was for rain, with Saturday due to be the worst, based on the mid-week forecast.

Friday saw a little, but more just a tease. Saturday morning, the skies didn't look like it was going to come to anything, then in the afternoon, the skies clouded over and it all begin. A really sharp downpour.

As you can see from the photo below outside the villa, there was a bit of standing water.

C'Ring road looked a bit damp, with a lot of standing water near Ramada Signal

And walking round the villa, you can see how much water had collected in the floor beds

And then came was a lovely day, a wee bit of cloud, but around 32c.....then it started, and it started quickly! The sky got very dark, very quickly, and then the thunder and lightning started. It just got heavier and heavier, the wind picked up and the rain was sheeting with the wind.
It didn't last too long, but the volume of water was incredible. The kids went out round the compound and the standing water was up over the kerb stones, so a good 6+ inches of standing water and the roads in the compound looked like canals!

Fortunately for us, we didn't have any leaks into the villa, but the maintenance guys were out in their slicker suits, with drain rods and plungers, checking all the drains, on the roof spaces, balconies etc.

Looks like there has been some really bad flooding in other parts of the city going by the videos on the various media sites.

[TripAdvisor Contribution] Sukar Pasha - Excellent food, but restaurant changes come with a 'but'

The in-laws were over for a holiday, and took them up to the restaurant as the weather was great.

Arrived to find that it had all changed since our last visit. The large outdoor seating area had been removed and replaced with a very small seating area. We were looking forward to sitting out enjoying the weather and the view, but sadly, what seats were there were taken, or not enough at a table for our party of 6. Raised our disappointment with the staff and they explained the outside was downsized when they opened the extra inside seating area.

So, inside it was! Sat down and the staff handed and explained the new tablet menu's. This took a bit of getting used to, and it became very confusing when everyone started adding choices of others (i.e. particularly the childrens). It would be so much better if they were all linked to a single 'order', to see the overall order. Another thing is the basket view could really do with a small image next to the order items, just to make sure what you were ordering was what you thought you decide on, especially when you jump back and forth through the menu.

The food however, was once again excellent. the barley soup, mixed grill and 'puffy' bread was my choice and all were delicious.
The others all enjoyed there food, and the youngest had the chops and cleared them all.

Staff were excellent. no issues at all. Just a shame about outside!

Review posted at:

Friday, 25 November 2016

Bird Defences - Stage 1

Lying in your bed early morning trying to have a decent sleep, and all you can hear is 'tap tap tap' and the calls of the birds on the windows. Really annoying.

Add to this and the excessive amount of poop that they leave on the glass and ledges and ground below.

It was time to engage mission Bird Defences - Stage 1...

The small ledges on the windows between the panes are only about 60mm deep, so it is not the big pigeons, but the smaller birds, so had to look at the smaller type spikes. I don't want the metal spikes here, as the glass has a reflective coating to help with the summer sun and it would easily get scratched.

Having searched locally and found nothing, I headed to the the usual, the internet. After looking at few different ones, I settled on Bird Defender Narrow Plastic.

These are manufactured by Jones & Sons in the UK and I got them via Ebay. under their seller name DefenderBirdSpikes

Having measured up how much I needed, I settled for 2x10m packs, and shipped them via Aramex Shop&Ship. The package weight was around 1.12Kg so was 112 QAR to ship.

[Update: Do NOT use double sided foam strips, they don't stick properly, see update here.]
As the spikes are relatively sheltered out of the elements, not that we get much rain anyway, I elected to use some double sided 20mm wide foam tape (from the local Carrefour) to attach to the metal window frames after first giving them a wash to remove the dust. I simply cut a small strip about 20mm x 5mm and stuck it to the end of each strip.

Attaching all the whole length section first, to fill in the gaps at the end, it was simply a case of bending the strips to snap them at a breakpoint line and snipping off the ends if necessary to fit the remaining gap.

It didn't take long at all, and think I had fitted around 17m in about 1 to 1.5 hours, including all washing of the frames and sticking the foam strips to the spikes.

As they are clear plastic, once they are attached, you don't really notice them unless you are looking for them, and after a while you forget they are there. You don't really notice them from the inside looking out either.

Side of the villa

Master Bedroom Balcony 
Main Balcony

Living Room Front Window

Looking out from inside

You can see more on the different types of spikes they do and get more on the technical specifications like sizing info on their website.

I certainly noticed this morning, the first morning after fitting, the lack of bird noise, particularly from the master bedroom balcony, as they are always there first thing.

Next up is Stage 2 - to deal with the pigeons on the ridge lines and overhangs, but think will go for the larger metal spikes, but still to be decided....there is a local company here for them, but tempted to do it myself, as they are dragging their heals, but not sure how the shipping costs would come out. Maybe have to make some more enquiries and to a cost estimate, but also need to factor in 'risk of falling'!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

First season rain on the way?

Looking at the forecast the first of the heavy seasonal rain could be hitting the area this weekend. Let's hope there is not the same flooding as last winter!

The snapshot below is for Saturday and shows peak rain fall at > 20mm/hour.

You can see the animated projections on WindyTV at the following link;,2016-11-26-09,25.240,51.487,8

I don't know about you, but I'm certainly looking forward to some thunder and lightning displays and a bit of a downpour!

Friday, 18 November 2016

1st Desert Camping!

With the weather cooling down, it was time to do our first overnight camping. We were heading out with the next door neighbours as our guide.....

Packing the car with ice-boxes for food and drinks, sun lounger cushions as mattresses, bog roll, wet wipes and heaps of water. Sleeping bags and a Weber Go Anywhere BBQ.

We headed out from Doha, west towards Zekreet and then came off the main road and just headed into the desert and kept going until we found the coast. Camp was set up before it got dark, then it was time to relax and fire up the BBQs.

The kids and the mums went in for a dip, but it was really shallow and the water was freezing. Colder than you would expect for the area and being an enclosed sea area.

Post BBQ was camp fire time, having collected drift wood off the shore, this things was well toasty! Kids enjoyed their marshmallows.

After numerous hours, I just crashed into the tent I was sharing with the youngest and Nadia. I was woken to the sound of the sea in the morning and thought it was raining as Nadia was complaining of being dripped on. It was condensation on the roof of the tent coming in the seam and dripping down onto her, no rain!

Everyone had a great time, especially the neighbours dogs!

Time to get up, pack up camp and head back. Exhausted, but great fun. Definitely do that again.

Video below posted on YouTube

[TripAdvisor Contribution] Spice Market - Pleasant evening although food felt rushed.

Out with the wife and another couple, met at the bar area in Spice Market around 7pm, the place was pretty busy. had a few drinks then headed to the table.

It was freezing, no idea where the draft was coming from, and a few others who arrived at tables nearby asked to be moved as it was cold. Think the AirCon had been set for full summer mode!

The four of us ordered the "5 Courses 10 Flavours" set meal. Didn't know what to expect, so it was case of time will tell. For 4 persons you also got a choice of 2 bottles of wine from a set list. Price per person was 280 QAR.

As I am more of a meat eater than fish or veg, this was either going to be a nightmare or heaven, as it turns out it was neither. Just got stuck into whatever came and it turned out alright, prawns, tuna steak, grilled chicken, and can't remember what else!

The only other comment to make other than the AirCon was the speed at which each course arrived, it felt very rushed as if they were wanting you in/out as quick as possible. This was raised with the staff, not that it would make any difference on this visit as we only had the pudding to go.

After the meal, we went back to the bar area, as it was a bit quieter now and should hopefully be warmer. Another few drinks to finish the night.

Pleasant evening with good company, but not sure I would take that menu choice again. At least I have tried it!

Review posted at: