Start of another blogging year for Middle East Moments

Wow has it really been three months. Three months since I last wrote a blog entry. Not only have I missed writing, but somewhat more surprising was the number of people (both known to me and not) who have commented on how much they have missed reading my blog.

It certainly wasn’t my intention to take a three month break from blogging. In fact I have several blog entries that are almost ready for posting from late last year on my life in Jordan. So why didn’t I post them? Well several things conspired against me and impacted on my ability to blog. Firstly my phone died…..no big drama as replacing the phone wasn’t a big problem. Replacing the phone with the brand and model that I wanted was a problem. After years of being an Iphone girl I wasn’t able to get a new Iphone in Wadi Musa and had to settle for a Samsung Galaxy. Whilst it’s not a bad phone it’s not an Iphone……enough said.

Then more dramatically my beloved Canon DSLR died never to go again. Taking photos has become a hobby of mine since calling Jordan home. Cooking used to be my creative outlet of choice, but for a few reasons it no longer provides me with a sense of release and enjoyment that I used to experience (have a read of this post for more insight). Having my creative outlet, my hobby, my activity that I did for me and my enjoyment that didn’t rely on anyone else, suddenly taken away from me left a huge hole. Writing and taking photos for the blog go hand in hand for me. I’m a visual person and love being able to provide a visual reference for what I’m writing about. The photos in turn inspire my writing, the words that go with the pictures, the telling of the story, the recreating of the event.Β I still had the camera on my new phone to capture some images, but found it extremely limiting and not nearly as enjoyable to use, but managed to bring a few blog posts to you after the camera died.

Then things happen in threes or so they say…….my computer started dying a slow and painful death. I operate three internal hard drives (one for programs, one for me and one for Atef). Of course the hard drive that decided that it was going to part ways with the technology world was mine and along with it the 70GB of photos that were stored on it. Having had a hard drive crash before on me and being faced with the prospect of nearly losing everything I used to (note the past tense) run regular backups to an external hard drive. As it would just so happen my external hard drive reached it’s capacity back in March last year and I hadn’t done a back up since then as I hadn’t got around to purchasing a new external hard drive (my bad!!!!)

The death of my internal hard drive wasn’t instantaneous, but rather a slow process over several weeks. I was able to during this time recover about 65GB worth of photos, but only by copying lots of 3-5 photos at a time over to a new external hard drive. I had to do this as anytime I tried to open, copy or move a file that was corrupt the computer would freeze and I would have to start over again. Add to this was that the copying was at a glacial paste with each file taking upwards of a minute to copy. Needless to say my focus and time during those several weeks was spent on recovering my photo library and not on blogging. Lesson learnt and back on track with regular backups! For those who don’t backup all I can say is please do! Spending hour after hour copying individual photos, or at best a lot of 5, across to an external hard drive from a hard drive that is in the final throws of death is extremely tedious.

Then there was the more planned activities which got in the road of my blog. Had I in fact been able to spend time blogging late last year I would have explained to you that I was going to take a 6 weeks leave from blog writing as I was returning to Australia with Alia for a 6 week holiday from the middle of December to late January.

We had a lovely time and it was great for Alia to be able to spend time with her cousins, Aunties and Uncles and her Australian grandparents (and of course it was great for me too!) An unexpected and most wonderful surprise when I was home was my family giving me for Christmas the means to buy a new DSLR! I have a brand new Canon 7D in my possession and loving having the means to take photos again with such a great camera.

We are now back in Jordan and slowly resettling back into the Jordanian way of life. It’s always requires a bit of an adjustment period for me to settle back in after spending time in Australia. I have to stop comparing life here with life in Australia as the two just don’t and won’t ever match up and all it achieves is making me frustrated. It isn’t easy not to compare or refer to life in Australia as “normal” implying that life here is not instead of just accepting that it’s different. I have to turn my energy and focus on the things here that I do enjoy and that are the positives about living here. I will write more about this in another blog post as I think that it would be helpful to share this experience especially with those who are looking at taking the plunge of moving to another country. Β It’s something I would also love to hear about from other expats or people who have experienced a similar situation so I will devote a blog post to this topic in the coming weeks.

But for now I will leave you with a photo of one of things that I enjoy the most about living in Jordan. This is the sunset that I was greeted to on my arrival back in Wadi Musa. Spectacular and a view that I’m treated to every night from my window. Hard not to smile when you look out the window and see this! Click on the picture for larger size.

sunset 22012014 small size_compressed_compressed

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15 responses to “Start of another blogging year for Middle East Moments

  1. Yes truly welcome back! Felt like emailing you on a number of occasions just to see you and family were OK! I too have been frustrated by a number of breakdowns so well understand the ire at the extra costs and ‘wasted’ time. Wonderful that you had the time in Australia – very good for Alia also. Well, you are back after three months and I am just about to go off for February – Olympics and a lot of local matters to complete!! One can only be in the one place at a particular time!!

    • Thanks Eha. Sounds like your February is going to be very busy. So what’s your involvement in the Winter Olympics – you’ve got me curious. And if you find a way to be in more than one place at a time you have to share the secret! πŸ™‚

  2. Welcome back πŸ™‚
    I have not backed up my pictures in 3 months and now I am reaching for my external hard disk first thing tomorrow morning!
    We are moving to the UAE in June, my husband left yesterday and we will follow when the school ends. He is already comparing everything to the way it is “supposed to be” in Jordan. I had to smile because his reactions reminded me of your posts.

    • Thanks Sawsan. Hopefully your pictures are safely backed up now. To add to my woes of my computer dying I was doing a consolidation of my two external hard drives last week and my older completely full hard drive has failed. So all I can recommend doing is make a back up of your back up. I’ve lost around 80,000 photos and 40GB worth of music as when my computer died this external hard drive was the only place that my itunes library was back up to along with all my earlier photos from the last 10 years. I’m holding out hope that the data can be recovered when I send the hard drive with a friend back to Australia in May which is a long time to have to wait and hope!
      Wow so a big change ahead for you. I hope that you are able to settle into the UAE with minimal challenges and that it feels like “home” in no time. I would love to try and organise to meet up with you before you go.

  3. Andrea! I’ve missed you beautiful! I was wondering what happened… I did send you an email about not being able to travel over east during your visit with Alia (I’m not sure if you received it or not?) but I’m glad you’re back in Jordan, safe and sound after your family Christmas. Sorry to hear about all of the computer and camera troubles. Argh… you’ve prompted me to back up my work! Sounds like a nightmare! So happy that you’ve got your shiny new 7D now… you’re going to have lots of fun with it. Anyway, sending you hugs and looking forward to reading about your new adventures. Love to you, Alia and Atef xx

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