Run day Monday: MSQ 10km beach loop

MSQ, Shatti, Al Khuwair: 10km loop

Map route courtesy of

Map courtesy of Route 564360.

This is a great route I started over the summer before my knees started playing up again. I’m currently doing little-and-often and hoping to build back both the stamina and pace I’ve lost over the past year.

Starting at a handy parking spot on the service road for Madinat Sultan Qaboos st, head over the highway into the shade lanes of MSQ where the first three kilometres take in the quiet back streets and rolling hills leading down to the busy Sultan Qaboos highway. More

How to write a great personal statement

This month’s ‘How to…’ on completing a great application for your next job in TEFL.


Part 1 – the Personal Statement

It’s easy to find a lot of information on employers and interview techniques for most ELT jobs, from disgruntled rants on Dave’s ESL cafe to informative reviews on Glassdoor. However, information in one of the market’s best-known employers seems thin on the ground.

The good news about their application process is that it’s uniform and transparent and aims to be as objective as such a procedure of selection can be, so there is a process you can follow.

I’ve experienced three BC interviews and a number of applications so far in my ELT career, two of which have been successful. Each time I’ve refined my process using help from others and what minimal internet resources I’ve found. Here’s my guide to making the best impression you can.

Photo credit: via Flickr

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Three Things Thursday; ancient things of Oman

Q: What do you do if you’re a fast-developing oil economy with outrageously beautiful natural resources caught in a slowdown ?

A: Turn to tourism and hope you can successfully diversify in time to stop it all going down the pan.

Winter Is Coming. And in Oman this is time for great celebration. We can finally venture out of the house during daylight hours without the fear of being burned up like vampires. The Eid holiday at the start of September gave me an opportunity to take advantage of this and head through the Hajjar mountains and into the Interior for a couple of days. In my inimitable “explore-by-random-accident-rather-than-any-conspicuous-planning”style, what I encountered was glorious and wholly unexpected. Wonderful for me, problematic for the country unless it seeks to dramatically expand its capacity and infrastructure for tourism.

With few road signs and little in the way of a comprehensive guide to reaching and enjoying the best of Oman, I cobbled together a great couple of days’ of exploring. In the spirit of sharing, here are three…

… wonderful ancient sights in Oman. More

Oman green update

It’s been six months! I can hardly believe it, but it’s a year since I left Korea, six months since I arrived in my latest home, and about two months since the heat began to ease off enough to allow for exploration. And the first thing I needed to explore, quite desperately, was a recycling centre.

Yes, since my last post about keeping carbon-footprint conscious in Oman, progress has been slow, but significant. Happily, this is not only true for me personally but also in wider society, where energy conservation is being nurtured. As the oil price slump continues and Oman seeks to diversify, belts are being tightened, expats are flooding home, and the answer to a number of problems is decidedly Green. More

Travels and changes

How much can change in six years? Well, it turns out pretty much everything. Hair colour (used to be kind of brown-and-blonde, now obnoxious red over far too much grey), goals (didn’t really have anything specific in mind other than ‘travel’ and ‘have adventures’, now aiming for early retirement somewhere warm with a farm and a goat), hobbies (used to be dancing at every opportunity, now brewing tropical ciders in my broom cupboard and tropical compost in my garden) and a host of other superficial and more profound things.

A younger me in pursuit of adventures. Shortly pre-CELTA


Run day Monday: Worldwide WordPress 5k (wwwp5k)

The start of the WordPress community’s Worldwide 5km community blog n’ run coincided precisely with this month’s runday Monday, so rather than a new route, I did an old route at a new time of day and hit the road early.

MSQ 6kmMap courtesy of Route 539820.

Well – early-ish. I intended to set out by 8am but eventually got out there at 9.30am. The temperature already read 31°c and humidity was at around 75%.It was pretty hot, but nowhere near as bad as the height of summer. More

How to travel through the Balkans by bus


Let’s go!

Last month I wrote a dedicated guide to Albania on the same topic, because bus travel in Albania deserves a post all of its own. This month is a quick guide to the rest of my bus route through the Balkans. More

Three Things Thursday; Nguyen tombs of Hue

I’m reading northern blogs hinting at the signs of the end of the summer and the first signs of autumn with hopeful anticipation. Temperatures have teasingly dropped a little here at the south east corner of the Arabian peninsula, but the ferocious summer shows few signs of letting up just yet. So while I wait for a glorious winter to roll on in and allow me to showcase the best of Oman, I’m reaching back to the archives again for this month’s Three Things in order to share Three Nguyen Tombs…

…you can reach under your own steam in Hue, Vietnam. More

Stop all the the Locks!


Love locks at Namsan

When did fences become a magnet for juvenile declarations of love? Is there a moment in recent history when a film depicted someone visiting a hardware store in search of the perfect vehicle for their declaration of undying devotion, coming across a padlock, and thinking, “At last! I’ve found the messenger I’ve been searching for! Now, where’s my damn engraving pen?”

Well apparently yes, there is. More

Run day Monday: MQ (Madinat Sultan Qaboos) 5.5km

Neighbourhood run around MSQ: 5.5km

MSQ 6km

Map courtesy of Route 539820.

It’s hot, it’s humid, and the beach is just too darn short. Time to eat dust and work out a gritty run around the neighbourhood. More

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