Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Flashback: Zoo Keeper for the Day

You might wonder why I'm telling you a story about something that happened a long time ago, but my good friend Caplin in Texas was asking me about my day as a zoo keeper, so I sent him a write up and thought: why not share it with you? My blog didn't exist when it took place (I know - can you imagine life without Britney of Arabia?!) so I didn't record the momentous event. To my close friends - you remember this day well - sorry to bore you with it again. But it is a good story!

Chester Zoo in the North of England has come up with an interesting way to generate some extra revenue: every Tuesday they allow members of the public to become zoo keepers for the day.

You can’t just turn up (oh no!) you have to pre-book (and pay a princely sum of course - 250 quid now!) – and let me tell you – depending on which animals you want to look after, there can be a long waiting list. FYI fact fans: monkeys have a wait of over a year – no idea why as I can’t stand the blighters....and lions come a close second. But none of those were of any interest to me..what I wanted to look after were: capybaras (of course!)!

The way it works is that you don’t just look after capys, you are allocated a whole section of the zoo, and capys are in the same part as rhinos, zebras, all sorts of antelope, meerkats. The capys actually live in the same enclosure as tapirs.

So what’s it like being a zoo keeper for a day? Well, you have to get up very early in the morning – bearing in mind that Chester Zoo is an hour’s drive from my hometown of Manchester….it was still dark when I left the house, and dark when I arrived at the zoo. When you arrive you meet the other lucky individuals who have signed up for the day – although why anyone would CHOOSE to look after bats is beyond me…..

Before I could get to the capys I spent the morning looking after zebra and rhino. Being a zoo keeper means shoveling a lot of crxp, let me tell you, but there’s something strangely satisfying about the simplicity of the job. The other keepers were fascinated by why I would pay good money and take a day’s holiday to do their job – but it was refreshing to zone out, and know that animals are pretty straightforward creatures. Unlike clients or colleagues they don’t argue or debate with you, they’re happy with a clean bed and some lunch.

If something goes wrong or the animals are sick, then the professionals know their stuff, and they’re highly skilled. But for the most part, they’re cleaning up after the animals, and of course feeding them. And because it’s such a popular job, even the most menial job demands a degree…..I left the day with a new found respect for zoo keepers.

Anyway, after lunch (in the special zoo keeper’s canteen: the excitement) it was off to the capy enclosure! Because they’re in with a couple of (very large) tapirs, there was a lot of food to prepare. Apples, carrots, cabbage, and some sort of pellet things which didn’t look appetizing at all to me but hey what do I know. Apparently they contain lots of useful medicine and nutrients.

As I’d briefed by mentor zoo keeper that capys are my all time number one favourite animal, she let me spend a lot of time with them – and it didn’t disappoint. Apart from a bit of a charge at the start (tapirs get very excited when they’re hungry) everyone was very polite and took their turn eating.

As a special treat I was allowed to feed the capys sliced bread – apparently it’s not part of their usual diet and a treat only. (Caplin, do you eat bread? I’ve heard about the yoghurt and the popsicles, but don’t recall bread!) They bring it out for the guest zoo keepers as it means they can pet the capys and get really close to them.

It was an amazing experience, and as you can probably see from my photos, I was VERY excited. I could have stayed with them all day. They did show me their enormous teeth a few times but I’m assured this was just as they got the measure of me – once they saw the sliced bread they were all over me, and happy to be stroked and petted. And I can report that capys DO feel a bit like a coconut! I can’t recommend the experience enough and can’t wait to pet another capy. One day…..

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fail to Plan....

Yes, I know it's still September, but fail to plan, plan to fail as we PR people like to say. Which means that Christmas Day is booked. Which means that 15 of my dearest friends and family will all be celebrating together this festive period. Excitement doesn't even cover it. And there's still Thanksgiving to enjoy first! I do love these multi-cultural holidays where I get to eat my way through other people's houses. Yum.


I've been a bit quiet in the last few days, forgive me. I've been ill - I won't subject you to the details but let's just say: it's not easy to blog with your head down the toilet. As a result of this mayhem I've been averaging 2 hours sleep a night. NOT a treat.

I did wonder if it was Beirut-induced (and then I'll KNOW I really have lost my hardcore) but people in the office have been dropping like flies too. Nice! Normal service will be resumed shortly.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Who Knew !?

I can tell, via a nifty piece of kit, how many people read my blog, and it's been comforting to see that number grow from just my mum and friends. Whilst researching the digital sphere for a client and testing out a number of different analytic tools, I realised that my blog has been garnering more attention than I thought - I was quoted in Gulf News earlier this year! It's the biggest English language daily here. I'm not sure how fascinating my musings on the Easter break are, or the mention of the over-sized sunhat, but I'm loving the mention! The link is here and the quote below...

Encroaching beauty
Gulf News Deputy Web Editor Florence Pia G. Yu plunges headlong into the blogosphere to find out what bloggers from the Middle East and beyond have on their minds.

Apart from that, many people blogged about their Easter Sunday experience - mostly about their time off work. wrote she had no complaints. "Despite living in a Muslim country, we, unusually, have been given Easter Sunday off. Meaning a three-day weekend - what a treat!"
The blogger wrote she "snagged a room at the gorgeous Shangri-La in Abu Dhabi. Think white beach, infinity pool, and ultimate luxury. Celebrity gossip magazines are ready, as is enormous beach hat. Bliss!"

Only in Dubai

A strange man knocked on my door late last night. Rein in your enthusiasm, it's not THAT kind of story. Apparently some smoke alarms have been going off randomly in the building and he was checking all of them. He was kind enough not to comment on my pj's or the faint smell of tan in a can as he came in. Always interested in these handyman jobs (not interested enough to actually do them myself, of course) I stayed around to see what he was actually doing.

He duly climbed up his little ladder and unscrewed the alarm. After staring intently at it for a few moments he unleashed his killer electrical skills, honed after years of training........and BLEW ON IT. Yes, that was the extent of his knowledge. I watched to see if there was anything else he had up his sleeve, but nope, that was it. He pronounced the alarm 'ok', packed up his ladder and left. I have to say, I'm not completely confident in his verdict - but who am I to argue?!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Beirut: Part 2

So, onto the fun. Or mayhem, whichever you want to call it. Beirut is full of bars and clubs and its reputation certainly precedes it. On announcing our trip in the office people were literally beating a path to my door to impart tales of where we must go, best places to eat, drink and be merry. Thanks to Salam who I think spent a good 30 minutes giving me advice - with maps/drawings and dress codes all listed out! And so much hospitality: you must meet up with my friends/brother/family and they will take you out - thanks to everyone for being so, so sweet.

One very refreshing part of Beirut, quite literally, is that you can walk around, not only are there (shock horror) pavements, but it's also a good deal cooler than Dubai right now - drops to about 22 at night. Combine this with the fact that there are whole streets full of bars (think the Northern Quarter in Manchester or Greenwich in NYC) and it all adds up to a very cool night out.

The first night we started off by hitting Gemayze street - bar after bar after bar. I mentioned the blonde thing being a bit of a novelty, yes? Ok, so no sooner are we out of the cab than it starts, flash bulbs, car horns, people stopping us to talk......hilarious. And it continues inside the bars - but it's not sleazy, even groups of girls are chatting away to us. Everyone is just super friendly, which takes a bit of getting used to when you're a cynical Brit! It's a real mixture of people, of course Lebanese, but groups from Dubai, the States, all over.

And once you're tired of a bar - well you just rock up to the next one. Things don't get going til pretty late in Beirut - much like Dubai. We didn't leave the bars for the club until 3 am. Yes, 3 am...And the club we headed to is a little different to those in Dubai - basically because you can't see it from above the ground. It's an underground bunker - a real one, left over from the war, that's been converted into a club. Call me old fashioned, but since when has it been de rigeur to have club so dark that you can't see your hand in front of your face? Maybe it's my age. The other main difference is that at about 5 am, the roof comes off, and you dance underneath the stars. Fabulous.

Anyway, thanks to the Dubai wedding gang for very kindly hosting us at their, so, much fun was had. And when leaving – there’s a variety of people competing for your attention to offer you a taxi ride home. We decided on a guy called Joe – well, you have to, don’t you – and decided that by taking our photos with them we at least had evidence if he did turn out to be a murderer. Seemed logical at the time! By 6 am we were a little on the hungry side having skipped dinner for a disco nap, so we then began a tour of Beirut on the hunt for manakish. I’ve definitely mentioned these here before – we have them every Thursday morning in the office – for those non Middle East dwellers they are gorgeous flat breads filled with cheese and then anything else you like – I went for olives. A bit like the UK equivalent of heading to the chippy or the kebab house after a night out!

Even the manakish take-away became a huge social event, with the entire place stopping to check out the crazy English blondes…..and refusing to let us pay for them. Bless.

So, onto night two. After the prerequisite disco nap, we donned our finest and headed out. No Skybar or White as the world’s biggest thunderstorm chose that moment to erupt – not that it stopped us, of course. After a quick drink in the Buddha bar (enormous, 3 floors of gorgeous people partying) we headed to Monot – another street load of bars and clubs. Despite our taxi driver speaking no English or French we discovered that the international language of party will get you want to be: just say DISCO and boom! You’re at a club. Very different to the previous night, this was very much a local place, with lots of Arabic music – and even a signer and keyboard! Not speaking a word of Arabic meant we weren’t really sure of what was going on, but judging by the way the crowd went wild, we think he was singing pop songs. The ‘Heigh Ho Silver Lining’ of Beirut, if you will.

Again, we were the only blonde girls to be seen in the place which led to the inevitable attention. Thanks to the bar staff, the Beirut Richard Branson, and countless others for the free flowing drinks and seats in the VIP section. Come 3 o’clock and it’s clearly way too early to be heading home, so we left and headed to Casino.. Not an actual Casino, a club. I’ve since been told by Lebanese friends that this is a ‘Beirut Mafia’ hang-out. Whoops! It certainly explains a lot!

Time to go home and of course no night out is complete without a complete photoshoot with the local militia. Yes, we hung out with the army boys who are so kindly stationed outside local hostelries to ensure your safe return home. Suffice to say it’s a story that I think they’ll be dining out on for years. Bless them. So sweet. 22 is WAY too young to be in the army. The next day was a bit of a blur and we only managed dinner and drinks in the evening. Getting on a plane with a hangover was not high on my list of priorities.

So there you go. No wonder I’m exhausted now. Non-stop. You are of course reading a slightly sanitized version of events: what goes on in Beirut, stays in Beirut. Mum: I did behave myself, honest. Those that know me, KNOW.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Beirut Bedlam

Yes, we survived Beirut. Or should that be: Beirut survived us? It's safe to say that we fully embraced everything the city has to offer. We gave and gave until it hurt. Where to start?

Firstly, the serious stuff. Beirut is GORGEOUS. It looks like Cannes when you come into land, rolling green hills with hotels and apartments built into them. And the European feel continues when you head into the city. It's just like Paris. And everyone speaks French, which adds to the effect. Yes, I spent the whole weekend speaking French - amazing how it comes flooding back to you after a few (ahem) g and t's.

Our hotel was in a seriously cute residential/shopping area (near the ABC mall, fellow Beirut travellers) which meant that literally ten steps from the door were all sorts of gorgeous restaurants, bars, shoe shops. Bliss. And the actual mall was a far cry from the sterile and anodyne malls in Dubai, this was partially open air, with lots of foliage and breezes. Oh and because Lebanon isn't a Muslim country, you can have a glass of wine (ok, a bottle) with your lunch, without having to be in a hotel. So lots of relaxed cafe culture vibes in full effect. Yes, people of England, this might sound tame to you, but after a year and a half in Dubai, this is great news!

Sightseeing: there's a lot to see in Beirut and the surrounding areas. the actual city is so gorgeous. The downtown area has been restored after the war, and looks just like a Parisienne arondissement. There's even Roman ruins to take a look at. Spent many a hungover hour checking it all out, with frequent food/wine breaks, natch.

Thanks to our NBF Joe Le taxi (a taxi driver who was really called Joe: genius) we had our own personal driver for the trip, who scooted us round the whole city (nothing like spending hours in a car with a wicked hangover). He even took us out into the hills to Jeita where we spent a hilarious, if painful few hours exploring caves and countryside via cable car, boat and train (no really). It was a little like the Krypton Factor crossed with Survivor. Or maybe that was just the previous night's antics catching up with me.

So, that's the serious culture/sightseeing part wrapped up. What about the rest? They call Beirut the Ibiza of the Middle East....and if by that you mean you can have the most insane nights out ever, where anything goes, then yes, it deserves the title. I'll keep it short as quite frankly, there's so much to tell when you've been out til 6 am each night, and also, I suspect some of the stories are only truly hilarious if you were actually there.

Some highlights will follow soon....I'll preface them by saying, if you're blonde, female and western in Beirut, you're definitely a novelty. And you attract a LOT of attention. You can't walk 2 paces down the street without every car honking and trying to pull over and pick you up. Which really isn't as predatory as it sounds....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Legally Blonde

As every girl will tell you, there are three very important people who you must have on your speed dial list: Hairdresser, dentist and gynae. Well, I appreciate that not everyone is as obsessed with teeth as I am, but I'm sure ladies can empathise with the first two. The last time I shared this info with my dentist (hello Tarek!) he wasn't all that impressed with being lumped in with a hairdresser, but hey, it's true.

And nowhere is it more crucial to get a good hairdresser than Dubai, especially if you're blonde. And (sweeping generalisation alert, which is, to be fair, based on some hideous past experiences: see earlier blog posts) it helps if you can find someone who is used to dealing with European hair. Which means finding a European hairdresser.

I'm blessed that I have such a genius hairdresser: I give you Martin, from Scotland, who works wonders and knows that dumping a pile of bleach on your head and giving you a blow-dry so extreme it can be seen from the moon, is not a good look.

The only downside: he can talk for England. Or Scotland. And when I say talk, I mean TALK. It's completely normal for a colour and cut to take 3 hours. Yes, 3 hours! And if you don't believe me, ask Andrea, Deborah, Ellen, Kate...the list goes on.

But last night a miracle happened - I was in and out in just over an hour! There was the usual chat: the best thing that ever happened to you was losing the ex: you look amazing/what a great tan you have/I've never noticed how great your legs are/have you lost weight/let's make you blonde blonde blonde - which despite being the same every time is always nice to hear....and the results...well you'll have to wait and see, but yes, it's VERY blonde. And blunt. Cathy: I took inspiration from you....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Women: The Short Straw

Congratulations to my gorgeous friend Emma, who has pushed the equivalent of a 9 pound 9 ounce bowling ball through the eye of a mean feat. Bird, I'm completely in awe of you, and in a macabre way am looking forward to all the gory details.

This is when living abroad sucks. Yes, I may handle babies with all the finesse of a bomb disposal expert, but I'd still love to be able to give Fox a big cuddle. In my opinion, children are best when they're freshly baked babies, small and cute like snuffly puppies. And they can't move about so much! Emma, James and Rock: such fabulous news. Can't wait to meet your new arrival. And in the meantime, do the necessary with FB photos. Big love going out to you.

Beirut, Baby!

So, I'm planning a quick jaunt over to Beirut. I'll be honest, before I moved to the Middle East it wouldn't have been on my list of possible destinations. Any news of Beirut was mainly focused on their troubles. But since moving here that's changed - Beirut is the party capital of the ME, don't you know.

There's a huge Lebanese population in Dubai, and in my agency, so I have a plethora of top tips/places to go/people to meet up with. My main dilemma: outfits. Lebanese girls (and boys, to be fair) take their appearance very seriously. It's standard procedure to come to work in outfits that frankly, I would consider risque even for a big night out. Think scouse, but without the fake tan: cropped tops, strapless tops, one-shoulder tops, skin-tight low-cut jeans, and of course, sunglasses indoors. I'm really going to have to up the ante in the wardrobe department!

As the rule states: What happens in Beirut, stays in Beirut, but you'll get an (edited) update on my return....

Monday Night Hysteria

You know when you're laughing so much that you just can't the point where you nearly fall off your bar stool, where you can't breathe.....that was us last night.

I genuinely can't remember what was quite so funny, but as I am A HOOT I'm sure it was hilarious. Thanks to the Gang...I'm still laughing now.

Apologies to anyone who was in Nezesaussi, or within a 5 mile radius - raucous is an understatement. Sometimes it just needs to be done. That last glass of wine always seems like a good idea at the time doesn't it...not so great when you're wide awake at 6 am.

Anyway. From now on, no booze til Beirut....what with porn dinner parties (thanks, Rima!) and impromptu bar crawling, my liver is begging for mercy this week.

Reason Enough to Move to the States

I just LOVE this story. What's not to love?!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Product Placement

I'm not sure why this is news...hasn't it been going on for years? Back in my House of Pain days my toilet tissue client (oh, the glamour) had the bright idea of wanting their product to be stocked on the shelves of the convenience store in EastEnders. Always one to embrace looking for tortoiseshell paint, I tackled the challenge with relish, contacting product placement agencies to unearth costs and protocol.

The figures were mind-boggling - Peugeot paid millions to have their new estate car featured in the final chase sequence of Notting Hill......and the sum to have good old bog roll on the shelf behind Ian Beale etc.....20k GBP....PER MONTH!!!!

And that was 10 years ago! Don't get me wrong, I can see the benefits of brands sneaking their subliminal way into our consciousness via this route, but unless done cleverly and appropriately, you could well end up throwing good money after bad. Interesting, anyway.

Beach, beach, beach

Another weekend, another trip to beach club, cold drinks brought to the sun lounger, a mountain of celebrity magazines to get through, and great company. The day I am bored of this must really be the day to leave Dubai.

It's always the holiday Facebook updates that see people whipped into a frenzy: so and so is counting down to their holiday/packing for their holiday/on holiday having an amazing time/uploading 9 million photos from their holiday/gutted to be back from holiday/already wanting another holiday. I get to 'go on holiday' every weekend. And some evenings too during can't beat an hour by the pool at 5 pm....


The lovely Ms Harris popped over to Dubai this weekend from Oman. Well, I say 'popped over' but it's actually a 4.5 hour drive....anyway, always a pleasure to catch up. This was one of our more restrained weekends actually, what with it being Ramadan and all. No clubbing, no podium dancing, bin bogling, or dj booth storming. Still, there's always next month.....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Metro Fever!

It's official! The metro has opened! I make NO APOLOGY WHATSOEVER about the excited, nay, hysterical nature of this blog post. It's a monumental event, people!

So, as you'll probably know unless you've been living under a rock for the last 24 hours, last night was the launch of the Dubai metro. It set off on its inaugural journey at 9.09 pm on 09.09.09 - see what they did there?!
I was actually at an iftar with friends, and in between stuffing my face, chatting, drinking tea and playing cards (which for the record, I am terrible at - was I always that bad at card games? I digress...) we watched the live tv feed. Terrible in terms of professionalism, but a fascinating spectacle. Sheikh Mo was, of course, the star guest, and the pandemonium which follows him wherever he goes is so bizarre to watch.

The worst bits: terrible camera angles, translators, hour long speeches, a video which appeared to have been shot in the lighting on the track so that you couldn't actually see the train leaving the station...

The best bits: Sheikh Mo having to buy a ticket to get on (no fare dodging mate!) and getting his glasses out of his dish dash, his lovely navy blue dish dash, his ticket being presented to him on a silver platter, views of the Dubai skyline from an overhead chopper, the stations - which look a-mazing.

Generally just the huge hoop-la and fuss was great to watch. Can't imagine HRH rocking up to Manchester and causing the same fuss when a new bitof Metrolink opens....

Today it's open to the public and we're now hotly debating when when when we can get on it. Full report to follow, natch.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


You can buy most things in Dubai (if you're prepared to swallow the overly inflated prices) but there's still a few things which aren't that easy to get...tan in a can, for one, and some make-up brands, which, whilst not life or death, certainly make a girl's life easier. So it's always exciting when someone makes a trip back to the UK, when you can persuade them to bring back treats for you, or, even better, you can get all your treats delivered directly to their door so that they can avoid the shops...

Liberty, (and Liberty's mum) thanks for taking care of the perfume/tan in a can/make up and escorting it back for me. I promise it won't use up much of your 30kg Emirates luggage allowance!

Ah, Iftar

My first Iftar of Ramadan last night, at the gorgeous and very conveniently located Qamardeen Hotel (of wine and cheese night fame). They have a divine Italian restaurant in the basement which is where they host their Iftar.

For those outside the Middle East, Iftar is when you get to break your fast during Ramadan, and it takes place at sunset. It's hard to tell exactly when this is (6.32 pm tonight, I'm going for another one!) so the restaurant plays the call to prayer at the appropriate time and that's your signal to start troughing. We did sit for a short while after this, not wanting to be the typical 'Brits at a Buffet' so we weren't the first up, but we did nearly break our necks once we were up, doing a couple of full sweeps of the food!

After a first course of about 20 different salads and a main course of at least 5 different dishes (the best: fish in a cream and raisin sauce: sounds wrong but tasted oh so right) you'd really think that dessert would not be an option. I mean, I don't even have a Sweet tooth! Give me cheese over chocolate any day. So I'm not really sure why I saw fit to scoff not one, not two but three desserts (if you're interested: creme brulee, chocolate brownie and triple layered chocolate mousse).
I had managed to squeeze in 50 lengths of the pool before heading out, but the guilt did weigh heavily on me. Not enough to stop me polishing off three glasses of wine afterwards in a nearby bar. Whoops! And It's another Iftar tonight....well, it really would be rude not to embrace the culture/food of my adopted home!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Near Death Experience

Today, I cheated death on Dubai's roads. No, really. The driving is insane here: fact, and many's the time my heart has been in my mouth due to some freak's relentless tailgating, flashing, or just general reckless moves. But today was different.

So, we're heading out to a meeting with one of the office drivers, and whizzing along SZR, when for some reason the car in front of us starts braking suddenly. No big deal, cars do it all the time here. But it did it again, and again, to the point where the the windscreen was getting just a little too close to my head for comfort. Then it fell back, and came up behind us, flashing and beeping. Then when we tried to speed up and get away from what was clearly an escaped lunatic, it pulled alongside us - and terrifyingly - started to push our car into the central reservation.

I'm not exaggerating- it was pretty horrific. At this point I'm not happy - neither are my two colleagues ( a girl and a guy), not to mention our driver. We decide to pull across the highway (all six lanes) to the slow lane - mainly to get out of this guy's way. (And it always is a guy, isn't it??). But there was no escape, he carried on trying to ram us with his car. It's now like something out out of Grand Theft Auto, only minus the fun and plus a lot of screaming and shouting - all members of the car included. Eventually, we are completely run off the road by the other driver. yes, run off the road. lest we forget, this is a six lane highway, WITH NO HARD SHOULDER, where cars screech along at an average speed of, oh 100 MILES AN HOUR.

Call me old fashioned, but when cars pull over/get run off the road, no good can come off this (remember Kenneth Noye, people of the UK?) We all tried to persuade our driver to stay in the car, but he was having none of it. The other guy gets out of his car too, and they have what can only be described as a huge argument which deteriorates into an actual fight. AT THE SIDE OF A SIX LANE HIGHWAY. WITH NO HARD SHOULDER. I'm sorry to shout, but you're getting the picture? Oh, and it's all in arabic so we have no clue what is going on.

What to do? We roll the windows down and join in the shouting. I attempt to get out of the car but think better of it when a 4x4 screeches past my nose with a few millimetres to spare. Mark the fireman's words are ringing in my ears at this point: more accidents are caused on the roads by people stopping their cars than anything else. Gulp.

After what feels like an eternity but is actually about 3 minutes, we persuade our driver to get back into the car - the other guy is still well into the argument. He's a local. Which means that if the police were called, and he wanted to make an issue of the incident - depsite it being HIM who is deranged, it would most likely bedeemed out fault. Nice.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, we made it away, in a cloud of dust. Seriously shaken by the whole thing. Dubai drivers: stop being such complete and utter deranged freaks!

Monday, September 07, 2009

This Modern World We Live In....

So here’s a thing that’s only happened to me since moving to Dubai. At least once a week, I get completely random friend requests on Facebook. Always from Arab guys. On the odd occasion they come through a mutual friend: which means that some people really do go trawling through other people’s friends…but a lot of the time they are completely random – how do they even find me?

This is my latest request:

I am Hamad from uae

My age is 32 years

Where r u from and where u r live ?

I see ur pic its very nice and u r so cute I like to be good friend with u if u dont mind .. try me :)Have a great day

I mean, the man makes a couple of good points ;), but seriously, call me old-fashioned, does he really expect a response? And who the hell thinks it’s acceptable to contact someone completely randomly like that? I can only surmise, that, as in the case of Mr Abu Dhabi (whose opening line was the classic: I have 57 cars) that this route has worked in the past. Women of Dubai: get a grip!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Great British Weather

Living in a place with such fabulous weather means that my brain has completely adjusted to perpetual summertime. This meant that last year November crept up on me - in my brain it was still June - as without the dark nights, dark mornings, sleet/snow/hail that makes up a typical Manchester winter, it completely escaped my attention that winter was upon the UK. So it's no surprise that when Sian informed me that she'd had the central heating on this weekend, I nearly fell off my chair. I mean, it is September, but didn't the UK often bask in an Indian summer? Or am I so overwhelmed by heat, sunshine and blue skies (sorry!) that my brain has cancelled out all bad-weather-memories?! Uk: you have my sympathy. It's a steady 44 degrees here today....