Last September, upon our return to Dubai, our coffee table melted. Literally sank to the ground, in a sort of Wicked Witch of the West moment, crying “I’m melting! I’m melting! Oh cruel world!” Well, ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, our coffee table wasn’t well known for it’s Wizard of Oz impressions (although as a small aside, I am – to such an extent my brother in law calls me the Wicked Witch of the Middle East he is so funny ha bloody ha). However – back to the point – it really did melt. We’d been back a matter of days, and one minute it was fine, all smooth glossy black glass and shiny legs, and then I heard a creaking sound from the kitchen and came out into the living room to find the mdf base the legs were bolted to had been slowly dissolving during its five years of service and the table was gracefully sinking to the ground with the legs folding up underneath it. I took it as a sign there and then that we had been in Dubai FAR TOO LONG if our furniture was falling to bits.
The year before was pretty special too. The air circulation machine-thingy had stopped working and so although there was air conditioning there was no ventilation in the hallways or bathrooms. Obviously there was a touch of mould here and there…and OMG on my HERMES handbag and ALL my suede boots and shoes…it was a disaster of epic proportions that I have never fully recovered from. And, despite being sent to Paris for some R&R at the Hermes Home for Sick Handbags, my lovely little black number has never been the same since either.
Every year we come home from our summer trip to find something has gone wrong in our absence. It’s hardly surprising given how long we are away for, although it always amazes me that so much can still break in a house whilst it’s not being used. This year’s list goes something like this:
– Oven ignition not working on the grill and intermittently on the top gas rings, new front panel required
– Handle of tumble dryer broken off in my hand (of course my sheets were in there) and requires replacing, unless the maid can replicate my spanner-prising technique for the next year until the whole thing inevitably breaks down next summer
– Front door swollen and stuck, door has also dropped a few millimetres making it almost impossible to lock or unlock it. Other doors that have swollen and won’t close or open include the ensuite bathroom in our room and my son’s bedroom door i.e. the two doors we use most in the whole house.
– Shoe cupboard showing signs of mould again – but this time only one casualty, a pair of wedge platforms c.1996 that I only keep to remind me of why the 90s were a bad fashion decade. So no biggie.
– Car requires four new tires. Immediately. Oops. Ker-ching.
– Several toys appear to have completely run out of batteries despite not being touched in months although I am not sure I am hurrying to fix them
– Living room rug covered in stains and ripped up by the cats so badly it needs replacing. This was true before the summer too but coming back and seeing it after some time away made me realise how totally gross it really looks
– Our mattress has two distinct his and hers dents in it. I moan for weeks on end about wanting my own bed and come home to find it’s really uncomfortable. Brilliant.
So it’s a month of expense and boredom waiting in for repairmen that never come and trawling the shops for replacements to stuff I didn’t want to replace. Yippee.
Still, looking on the bright side, I haven’t found any spiders yet.