Album Review | A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead

True Love Waits. As if Radiohead wanted to prove this phrase by making us wait 5 years for an album. A Moon Shaped Pool was worth the wait. Simple, yet not simplistic.

I heard it six times so far, and it just gets better with every listen. An immediate review definitely would not do the album justice. Radiohead gathered and collected bits and pieces of their lives, emotions, personal experiences, anxieties and the problems of the society that surrounds them and tossed them in a fire of constant motion made of Yorke’s pure shivering voice, Johnny Greenwood’s melodic arpeggios and orchestration, and the rhythm section’s mellow grooves.

A Moon Shaped Pool takes you on a hypnotic yet very bumpy journey that has actually started in 1995, when the band first performed True Love Waits. Throughout the years until the release of this album, the sonic explorers have been teasing us with bits and pieces of what is to come.

Burn the Witch is a political statement that the band has been working on for years and the phrase actually appeared on their Hail to the Thief album cover in 2003. The song which was accompanied by flyers sent to fans saying,’ We know where you live’  is like a wake-up call and a warning for the masses not to fall into the traps the omnipresent political system is setting up.

On Daydreaming, Thom get intimate singing ‘It’s too late, the damage done’ with an expanding claustrophobic piano melody that makes things personal, ending on weird and abstract orchestra strings striking anxiously.

In Decks Dark, Thom speaks of the dark cloud of humanity and changing his tone suddenly and asking ‘Have you have enough of me?’ which I am convinced with the deepness of the choir in the background is a question for his former life partner. The journey introduces acoustic guitar ambience on Desert Island Disk and an up-beat percussion break on Ful Stop, with Yorke accusing someone of really messing up everything followed by “the truth will mess you up”, although it’s a bit hard to think of Thom as threatening.

In the emotional ballad Glass Eyes, Thom escapes from reality to the unknown and portrays what it feels like to be anxious, alienated well.. glass-eyed.

Although Identikit has a bit of a funky beat to it, yet we get to experience another emotion and devastation that no one can avoid: broken hearts and crying for someone we once loved.

Thom being the activist he is (if you follow him on Twitter you will know what I’m talking about), had to give a portion of his album to raise awareness about our mother earth. On The Numbers he sings, ‘We are of the earth to her we do return’ and ‘Your system is a lie the river is running dry’. Another shout against a system that is exploiting natural resources to fuel an imaginary machine with green pieces of paper.

After all that emotional and mental weight the band has put on us through during the journey up till now, they try to assure us there’s still hope with ‘Present Tense’: “Don’t get heavy, keep it light and keep moving”. Thank you, Mr. Yorke! That pat on the back was very much needed.

The boys kept the best for last, as if trying to prolong the wait even longer and seal the album perfectly with a sad goodbye on True Love Waits.

In a melodic soundtrack to anxiety, love, loneliness, despair, helplessness, human ignorance, cruelty, love, heart-break, power, cheer, self-destruction and earth destruction, A Moon Shaped Pool leaves the listener weary and sweaty as if recovering from a panic attack.

Is A Moon Shaped Pool an album of hope or an album that shows how messed up humans are?

To me it lingers between both. Humans have the power to love, to hate, to destruct and to construct.

We are the decision makers.

‘The future is inside us’

5 Things to do in Norway in the Winter

Being someone who is very much interested in Astronomy, seeing the northern lights has always been a dream for me. And being someone who lives in Dubai, I wanted to go somewhere cold and extreme so I chose Norway!

Where I went

Tromso- Lyngseidet ( Also known as Lyngen Alps)



How I got there

I took a direct flight with Emirates Airlines to Oslo. Then from Oslo I took a 2 hour domestic flight to Tromso followed by a one hour and half hour bus ride to Lyngseidet.

What I wore

With temperatures that can get as low as -20 C you need to make sure you are wearing the right things and with the right layering system depending on the activities you are doing. Thanks to Sun and Sands Sports, I was properly equipped!


My daily outfit consisted of a base layer, an insulation layer and a shell layer.

Base layer regulates your body moisture and ensures your body is always in the right temperature. My base later consisted of 2XU long-sleeve and long pants thermals .

Insulation layer is supposed to trap the heat next to your body. My insulation later consisted of North Face fleece jacket and fleece pants, a Columbia windbreaker and a North Face goose down jacket.

Finally the outer layer should protect you from rain and snow. I chose a Timberland waterproof insulation jacket with a faux fur hood ( picked from the men’s section!) and Columbia waterproof insulated ski pants.

Other essentials include liner, fleece and heavy gloves, liner and thick socks, Buff, beanie, and of course hiking boots (Columbia)!

Where I stayed

Tromso: Clarion Hotel The Edge

Lyngen: Magic Mountain Lodge

Let me take a moment to tell you about how lucky I was to come across this lodge which led me to Lyngen in the first place. The lodge is run by Patrick and his wife Henrika who made us feel so at home to the extent where we ended up staying there 4 nights! They were very helpful in booking us the activities, helping me set my camera to catch the auroras ( as I’m a very lousy photographer) and feeding us yummy home-cooked food. And when I forgot my passport and all my money on the bus which went on the ferry to a completely different city, none other than Henrika helped me get it back by calling the right people.

Magic Mountain Lodge

Magic Mountain Lodge

Oslo: Oslo Goldsmeden

What I did

Hunt for Auroras

I used the app Norway lights which tells you the aurora activity by the hour. We were lucky enough to catch the auroras 3 nights out of 4. And no matter how many words I use to describe it or how many pictures I post, I am not giving justice to the real experience. It was simply the most surreal thing I have ever experienced. Make sure to take a good tripod and a DSLR to take good pictures !

Aurora Borealis

Aurora Borealis

Aurora Borealis

Aurora Borealis

Dog sledding 

Patrick booked us an evening dog sledding session with their awesome friend Tommy. He has 24 beautiful friendly Huskies that I totally fell in love with. It was my first dog sledding experience and although i freaked out in the beginning since I had to lead the dogs through the forest in the night in the presence of a moose, the minute the northern lights lit up the sky during the ride I forgot everything. It was heavenly. And what made the night even more perfect was one Tommy offered to light us a fire by the beach and the sky lit up for us.
Dog Sledding
Dog Sledding
Dog Sledding

Ice climbing 

Being a climber, ice climbing is something I always wanted to try so I was psyched when we found out  there’s a nearby frozen waterfall! Again, Patrick’s friend who is a guide took us there and geared us up to start the climb. It’s a complete different experience than climbing since you have to have all the strength in your arms and wrists especially that the axes are heavy. I was so scared they will fall on someone’s head! It was such a pleasant experience regardless of the fact that I axed my face and bled throughout 😀
Ice Climbing Norway
Ice Climbing Norway
Ice Climbing Norway
Ice Climbing Norway


Norway is basically a country made of mountains and fjords so no matter where you go, you are going to find hiking trails and places to explore. We went on a 5 hour hike on one of the brightest days which finally led to an epic view of the 2:30 pm sunset. Make sure to wear gaiters as the snow can be really high and have a headlight because the darkness will arrive before you that’s for sure!
Hiking Norway
Hiking Norway
Hiking Norway
Hiking Norway

 Cross country skiing 

The last time I skied was 6 years ago but cross-country skiing is very different than regular skiing. Even the skis are different! You have to follow a trail throughout the mountains. It’s a fun workout to explore the area! Expect lots of butt falls !
Cross Country Skiing Norway
Cross Country Skiing Norway
Cross Country Skiing Norway
Cross Country Skiing Norway
This Norway trip was by far one of the best trips I have ever experienced. Follow me on Instagram @monkyseemonkydo for more of my adventures!

Review | UE ROLL Speaker

By Ghida Arnaout Tuesday, December 22, 2015 0 , , , , Permalink


Being an outdoorsy person and a music fanatic, my music has to go with me everywhere. The beach, the mountains, the desert.. you name it. But to be honest I have never taken my music with me in the sea or actually inside the shower until now when I got introduced to the awesome UE ROLL waterproof bluetooth speaker! This means paddle boarding to my favourite tunes from now on!



Why is it awesome?

  • It’s waterproof
  • It looks unique and different.
  • Did I say it’s waterproof? You can actually throw it in the water!
  • It has a decent battery life of up to 9 hours.
  • It has a cord that allows you to hang it anywhere you want
  • The speaker has a 20 meters wireless range

The Drawbacks?

  • The sound is not that good with songs that have bass. But then again it’s not a speaker used to throw a party.
  • It doesn’t have a stop/pause button
  • It doesn’t float BUT you can purchase a floater for it 😀

Where can I get it from?

  • The UE ROLL is sold exclusively at Virgin Megastores for the price of 499 Aed.