Monday, June 29, 2009

And So It Begins...

You don't hear me moaning much about the heat here (Britain: Take Note!) but one thing which is a killer is..the humidity. And it's kicked in right about now. Today my sunglasses steamed up when i went outside - and it was lunchtime! From memory humidity went up to at least 80 last year - and didn't g down at night, at all. Hurrah! Hair as big as a mountain, you say? No problem!

Please Britain: Get a Grip

I howled like a banshee when I read this story on the Times. A weather warning for a heatwave??? I know I live in the desert but 32 degrees is hardly that hot. Toughen up!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Island Life: News Moves Slowly

Had worrying text from my dad last night - apparently a house on our road burnt to the ground on Friday morning. House completely gutted, and as well as the fire there was also a huge explosion. Cause undiagnosed as yet.
Obviously I logged straight onto the Jersey Evening Post website to hear all the news. Nothing. Then I checked the BBC Jersey news website, but nothing there either.

Perhaps you say, it was a very busy news day and the house explosion was pushed off the news agenda by another bigger story? Well, here's a selection of other stories on the news sites:

New signs at the airport
Museum COULD close
Holidaymaker gets kiss of life at hotel
Two mothers want hot meals at their kids' school
Rocks near a car park COULD fall off

Hardly the stuff of a front page scoop, non? Bless dear old Jersey. I'll keep checking the JEP website but I don't hold out much hope for it being updated any time soon...

Tennis Fever

I watched Tim Henman on Jonathan Ross last night. I'm the first to admit I always thought he was a bit of a drip, but I was pleasantly surprised. And not just by his personality (surprisingly witty) - I think as a nation we got used to a bit of 'Tim-bashing', so I'd also completely underestimated just how good a player he was. He reached the Wimbledon semis four times. And was in the world's top 5 players for 6 years.

Having seen the world's current crop of best players up close and personal (ah, the joys of a tennis client), seeing how hard they work and train, I've a new found respect for dear old Tim. He now spends his time commentating on Wimbledon. As he put it, I work 2 weeks of the year and do what I want for the other 50. You can't really argue with that!

The King is Dead....

I'm sure I'm the nine millionth person to blog about this - but it seemed a bit wrong to let Michael Jackson's death pass without any comment at all. In recent years he'd behaved so freakishly that I'd lost all respect for him - and the less said about the kiddy fiddling the better. Suffice to say - there was a LOT of evidence against him. If he'd have been an ordinary person living at the end of your street, would he have been acquitted?
So when I saw the BBC's montage of his stage performances, it was a pleasant trip down memory lane. He was a legend. Just a terrible shame how he destroyed himself in the last years of his life.
As an aside - I was fast asleep when the news broke. Who told me about it? My dad. Yes my dad's finger is more on the pulse of popular culture than mine.

My favourite MJ track: Wanna be starting something.

Spoilt for Choice

A problem with Dubai, if you can call it a problem, is that there's just so much choice when it comes to going out, and eating and drinking. So this weekend the gang decided to try something new. First off we went to Dubai's only blues bar. Blues isn't my cup of tea at all but it made a pleasant change to sit and hear live music. Shame about the cigarette smoke everywhere - it never ceases to amaze me that smoking in public places is still legal here.....
Next up we headed to a Japanese restaurant/bar. Where has this place been all my life?! If I didn't know I was in Dubai I'd have thought I was in Manhattan. Gorgeous, stylish place, with very attractive people...enough said. Where to next?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Brain Drain

One of the things I've always loved about working agency-side is that you get to work across so many sectors, immersing yourself in lots of different suits the butterfly nature of my brain (typical Gemini...).

Working on stacks of new business at the moment - summertime is picthing season in the Middle East, as everyone tries to get their budgets and campiagns boxed off before they fly off for a month's break in the really hot summer months. Anyway, the good thing about these pitches (10 in one month..oof) is that you get to understand a topic or market which you never really knew about hurts my brain, but in a good way...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Britain: Toughen Up!

It's summertime, it's Wimbledon, which can mean only one thing: Britain's obsession with the weather is at fever pitch. Usually it pees down each year - it's as if the weather gods can smell the lemon barley water and strawberries being opened, and then unleash rain, rain and more rain. To help keep the weather at bay, they've actually put a roof over centre court this year. a good idea, I mused.

So I was tickled to see that the first time that the roof was used this year was to....keep the sun off the court?! Yes, as temperatures rose to a 'staggering' 92 degrees, it all became too much. My favourite part of the Daily Mail's coverage was an ambulance man's response to those with heatstroke: 'They probably got up too early, didn't have enough breakfast, and then got over-excited in the hot sun.'

Over-excitement in the sun eh, whatever next.

92 degrees Fahrenheit = 33 degrees Celsius. It's 40 degrees Celsius on my balcony at 8 am i the morning. TOUGHEN UP BRITAIN!!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Eyes Down!

There has been a lot of interest, nay, hysteria in my new-found favourite Dubai night out..yes you heard right: bingo!
Back in days of yore (when PR was PR) we did some work for Gala Bingo, and as part of our induction, visited a bingo hall in sunny Salford. This was before the days of the smoking ban. As you walked into the hall the fog of nicotine hung over the hunched figures, hands hovering over numerous cards in fierce concentration. It wasn't the most salubrious place, and that's an understatement.
Fast forward a number of years to Dubai 2009. And, in a Madonna style, bingo has re-invented itself (without African orphans or inappropriate outfits, I hasten to add.) Yes, every week, hordes descend on a very upmarket golf club out in the desert, for a night of numbers and sheer excitement.
Gambling is illegal in Dubai, so we don't pay to take part, and you don't win cash - instead a selection of dinners, drinks and stays at the golf club. To be honest you'd think we were playing for EuroMillions with the reactions to even winning a line.
Before I become the subject of a lot of derisive comments, let me state for the record, it's full of people my age or younger, there's a great happy hour, and it's fast becoming the place to be on a Sunday night! Who knew?!


Summer is officially here. Even the beach at the weekend was verging on too hot. For some odd reason there was no breeze at all. Even in the shade it was scorchio. By my reckoning, at least 47 plus. It's 40 degrees at 8 am in the morning! Couldn't work out why it seemed so much hotter than last year until I realised that I avoided the beach until August last year! Still, we're struggling the rain any day.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Angels and Demons

If you haven't seen Dan Brown's Angels and Demons, I won't ruin the plot for you. Suffice to say it's an enjoyable, if rather far-fetched romp. Tom Hanks has never really been my cup of tea - doesn't seem to be ageing well, and are those hair plugs I see? He has a very strange pointy widow's peak thing going on.
Ewan McGregor with an Irish accent? Not sure about that one.
In typical Dubai fashion a couple to our left insisted on talking all the way through the film. I mean, why bother going to the cinema if you want to chat? It's one of the major reasons I've never been that interested in the flicks - you can't talk and you can't drink! Thank heavens ofr the weekly office dvd man...

Like, Don't Like

One of the highlights of any beach club visit is ferretting one's way through a giant stack of celebrity magazines. Thanks to the Manchester laydees I have the most recent copies of Heat, Ok et al, so am now bang up to date on all things A-Z list. Our musings on the beach this week:

Celebs We Like:
Charlotte Church - in no rush to lose baby weight, seems v normal. Not sure what she's doing with that loser Gavin.

Drew Barrymore - just the right side of bonkers. Not happy about her dating Adrian Grenier but am prepared to go with it.

Goldie Hawn - seems lovely. Has unconventional relationship but it seems to work for her.

Cameron Diaz - gorgeous, fabulous, single. Enough said.

Celebs We Don't Like:

Gavin Henson - see above.

Jessica Biel - what does she do?? Apart from stealing my boyfriend! (Justin, if you're reading this, I'm prepared to take you back, all is forgiven.)

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson - is this woman for real?

Big Brother - even if I lived in the UK, I wouldn't be watching. Felt so liberated when I stopped tuning in two years ago. Couldn't pick one of the recent housemates out in a line-up if my life depended on it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Another year....?

On the eve of my (ahem) 25th birthday, it's a time for reflection about the year past, and what lies ahead. Tosh - I'm not feeling remotely morbid about my impending ageing at all!
It's been one amazing year. Last birthday I didn't know a soul here having just landed and spent my day muntering around having lunch and spa-ing. (I cottoned on pretty early that this was going to be a favourite past time here.) Fast forward a year and I have a great job, lovely home, and exciting travel plans. But most importantly, I'm lucky enough to be blessed with a group of gorgeous friends who make me laugh til I cry pretty much every day.
The only blot on the landscape? The equally gorgeous friends and family who I left in the UK.
You all know who you are. Thanks to everyone for making the last twelve months such an amazing experience. I'll be celebrating with you all, in many different ways, in the next few months. Nothing like dragging out a celebration I say. Maggie Doyle had at least 12 celebrations for her fortieth. Not that I'm turning 40, mind. Honest!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Snow Joke

One of my top favourite things about living in Dubai: year round sunshine, no rain. I have yet to wake up disheartened by the sun shining every day, despite what some people tried to predict when I left the UK. I try not to rub it in when speaking to UK chums, who despite apparently having enjoyed about a week of nice weather are now enduring rain, again. But this news couldn't stop me from feeling just a little smug. SNOW? IN JUNE?? Whatever next???

QE Who?

As I mentioned, we were on the Palm last night. As the taxi left we drove past huge hoardings advertising the Trump Tower. This was unveiled with much hoop-la - huge A list party in New York, and lots of publicity. It's on hold now - like so many projects here.

Read today that the QE2, despite having arrived here with much fanfare last year, hasn't had any work started on it yet (they're planning on making it into a luxury hotel - because there aren't enough of those here!). Another victim of the (non-existent according to Dubai officials) global recession?


I know, I know, I've been quiet lately. No excuse other than super busy as usual. Last night rounded off a delightful weekend with sundowners on the Palm. The Palm is an odd place. It's far from finished, but there's a whole host of apartment blocks on the trunk (first bit you drive onto.) And each block has a restaurant/bar downstairs - serving alcohol. Normally the bars are in hotels- so not sure how this works - typical example of Dubai pretty much making it up as they go along!

After drinks and scampi in a basket (class) in a sports bar we headed to a beach bar where we relaxed on sunloungers at the waters edge, and well, lounged. Really can't get enough of Dubai weekends.....