Okay, okay, so I’ve been slack….sorry….things have been kind of busy….okay, no, they haven’t; I just went on holiday and then got sick, and then my MA started up again and then the dog ate my homework and I sat in coffee shops and got my nails done instead of blogging…so sue me…I’m making the most of my leisure time before the pre-summer mad months begin.
Yes, its winding up to that strange time of year in this funny little city of ours where life shifts gear – I’m never sure up or down – and everyone starts preparing themselves for the return of the summer.
The weather is changing on a daily basis – last week we enjoyed a heady mix of thunderstorms, torrential rain and apocalyptic sandstorms that made the sandstorm in Mission Impossible: Ghost protocol look quite realistic after all. I was seriously worried the mix of sand and water would mean it rained cement out if the sky. A few days and it was all over – and with it the first whiff of summer arrived. Hazy days, afternoons suddenly too warm to sit in the garden, and for me the first true sign that summer is nearly upon us – a trip to the soft play centre. Groan.
It is traditionally the time of year when I start to make my plans for the summer, desperate to ensure we have enough weeks away from here to gain some respite and perspective from Dubai life whilst not really wanting to uproot myself yet again. The school ‘gates’ are awash with women asking ‘when are you leaving?’ ‘how long are you away?’ and for some ‘are they running summer camp here?’ as we all attempt to juggle the tricky business of getting out before we go loopy in the heat vs. living out of a suitcase for weeks on end and going loopy from that too.
Wardrobe choices are shifting, as the mornings get warmer and the evenings are no longer a ‘pashmina/long trouser’ zone. Last night I spent a very pleasant time sitting about until the early hours in a strappy maxi dress, when only a matter of a few weeks ago I was debating a jacket. And it will only be another few weeks before I’m wondering how to cover up sweat patches at 9pm as the gauge continues to rise and the humidity sets in.
I’m not sure it matters how many summers you live through here (this will be my eighth, for the record), you can never quite accept just how hot it gets, and how relentless the heat is for days and nights on end. The suntan I have been so carefully nurturing will be a short-lived affair, because soon the challenge will be to jump from house to car to destination of choice with as little contact as possible with the non-airconditioned outside world.
But for now, I am making the most of morning coffees in the shade and nighttime dinners gazing at the stars (or the lights from the driving range, take your pick). And despite the temptation to laze about by swimming pools all morning while my son is at school, I will attempt to leave my flip flops and chick lit at the door and buckle down to some writing again before the summer heat renders me limp and crazy.
And if all else fails it’s possible I’ve booked a cheeky few days in London to give me some respite from it all…