When we first moved to Dubai three years ago, we just brought over our suitcases and a few other essentials, and left most of our furniture and bits and pieces in storage in Australia. Like most expats living over here, we are renting a unit in a high-rise apartment block, and at first it felt very cold and impersonal. A few frantic days of shopping meant that we had all the necessary furniture, but without all the personal items and extras, it didn't really feel like home.
My husband's job involves a lot of travel and sometimes I tag along too. Everywhere we go I seem to pick up a few items, some bought and some found, which are adding much needed colour and personality to our apartment and come with lots of happy memories. Here are a few of my treasures...
Colourful fabrics bought in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - the place I met my husband almost 40 years ago! We went back for a visit last year and checked out all our old haunts. I hang a few favourite fabrics from a ladder in our entrance hall, and have made others into cushions, and the colours go perfectly with artworks from Clare's older children.
Beautiful handmade dolls from a walking trip we took to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. I just couldn't stop buying these from the little track-side stalls as each one had its own personality!
A book from my childhood, "Babies of the Woods" by Maria Tyrrell with sweet illustrations by Eileen A Soper. I particularly love these gorgeous birds and display the book open on a side table with a few different bird ornaments.
I seem to be amassing a collection of painted eggs which are arranged by colour throughout my unit (maybe the girls' get their colour obsessions from me?!) Blue has always been my favourite.
Probably the most obscure of my "treasures" - a very old copy of "a series of tables for ready reference for the timber and allied trade" that I discovered at a junk shop in the UK for a couple of pence. I don't really have a clue what it was for, but just love all the scribbled calculations in the back flyleaf.
I have always loved walking along beaches searching for shells and sea glass, and have a few displays around my apartment of my beach combing finds one the last few years, mainly from the shores of Oman.
What are your favourite treasures?