Thursday, 4 December 2014

Life Lately: markets, sandance and cooler temperatures

It has taken me about four weeks to actually finish this post and some content is now a little outdated but I am rolling with it anyway. The most exciting news of the week is that winter is in the air. The temperature has dropped noticeably in the past few days and the mornings are "chilly" warranting a jumper to walk the dog....I know right....a jumper in December! Oh life is so hard. The infamous Dubai winter everyone has been banging on about is here and it's refreshing; the mornings and nights a cool and the day is a pleasant 28 degrees and more importantly there is no sweatiness to report!
Our four legged friend seems to be enjoying the cool climate too. 

In other news the Ripe market launched last, well actually over a month ago, in it's new location in Zabeel Park and months of planning for the whole Ripe team finally came together. As my first market season I'm not going to lie, the first few weeks were a little stressful. Navigating a new country and a new working environment, getting to grips with how and where and what to organise for the market from a marketing perspective has been a challenge. But a good challenge and the sense of achievement that I felt last week as people flooded through the gates and Instagram became awash with photos of people enjoying the market and using our #ripemarket hashtag made everything worthwhile. 

Now I am not afraid of hard work nor am I stranger to being on my feet thanks to my time in retail but being at the market at 5am and pounding the walkways at Zabeel park until 3, not to mention setup and breakdown is not for the feint hearted. After the first market my body felt like it had been hit by a bus by the end of the day. Tad dramatic maybe but I was exhausted. However it was Sandance on the same day and we had been given VIP tickets to go to Sandance with one of our amazing friends and I was not about to pass up that opportunity. So after a shower and a superman change we were in a taxi battling the traffic to Atlantis on The Palm. 

Sandance is a mini music festival on the beach at Atlantis and boasts amazing acts and amazing views. The views from The Palm looking back to Dubai are stunning and it was my first time on The Palm so I was a little mesmerised. That may have also been the tiredness and the overdose of sun from market day but who can tell. 

The line up was pretty good with De La Soul, Empire of the Sun, Smoking Groove, Clean Bandit and Rudimental. We were there at 6pm for De La Soul and I made it to about 11pm just long enough to see all of the above and catch the first few songs of Rudimental before my feet have way and the idea of standing on a beach with lots of excitable expats became more than I could handle. 

In other news a second Ripe Market has launched, this time in Abu Dhabi and the people of the capital came out in force to support us. The food vendors sold out pretty quick, the veggies were snapped up by mid morning and the crafties had an awesome day meet a ton of new customers. I realise I talk a lot about Ripe recently but it has kinda taken over my life, in a good way. We are so busy but it's the first time that I have enjoyed a busy job. It's hard work and I don't think people appreciate the time, effort and manpower that goes into setting up the market but in a way that's a good thing because the Ripe team must make it look so effortless. 

Christmas is fast approaching and the fact that it is already the beginning of December terrifies me a little bit. The supermarkets here have all sorts of wonderfully tacky Christmas decorations which surprised me a little bit. For some reason though when you spend your weekends alfresco eating, enjoying the market in the park and sunbathing it's difficult to get into the spirit of Christmas. 

It's still touch and go whether we will make it home for Christmas this year.  Flights are booked, the dog has temporary accommodation and I am thinking about Christmas gifts, but whether we make it to London on our Christmas Eve flight is still up in the air excuse the pun.

So much more has been happening....Pharrell, reunions and frequenting new places, but I will save that for another post. 

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