Feelin’ hot hot…not

It has been an interesting twenty four hours during which I procured a fantastic haircut which, if I say so myself, has probably shaved about five years off me. The other twenty two hours I banked have done their their level best to add grey hairs and wrinkles but in fact only succeeded in dark circles.

There is a new game in our house at the moment called ‘hiding’. This is not hide and seek in the most traditional sense; our son basically covers his eyes and tells you to find him, and insists we guess where he is first. Dull, right? And just a bit not-very-clever. So in an effort to introduce him to the delights of actual hide and seek, last night when we heard my husband come in the front door I said “come on, lets hide from daddy!” Whereupon he put his hands over his face and I dived into his bed. Rather unexpectedly he got the idea instantly and followed me head first into the duvet, landing on top of me and in the process nutting me in the face. Writhing in agony, insult was added to injury as he gassed me out with a poisonous flourish, announcing to my broken face ‘mummy, I just did a smelly bottom pop!’ As if I didn’t already know.

Meanwhile downstairs, helpful husband was finishing up on the crackberry aka wife. No.2 and was no where to be seen. Eye swollen and nostrils flaring, I lurched out of the bed and hissed down the stairs ‘will you come and find us, FFS!’ and ran back up to the torture factory. He finally ‘found’ us, only to comment that my eye looked ‘pretty black’ and off I went to find mr. Bump the cold compress, and get ready for (yep, you guessed) our romantic date night out.

Cut to a bottle of red wine later and I couldn’t care less about the eye, in fact I’ve forgotten about it altogether. We get home and climb into bed after a nice evening out, and fall asleep in a semi drunken stupor. At 3.10am I wake up again, boiling. At first I thought it was the wine, but I figured I couldn’t possibly have drunk enough for my liver to fail to process it. It has been in training rather a long time. So, after about 40 minutes of attempting to find a cool spot on the bed, I get up and splash my face and walk around for a while. At 4.30am it occurs to me that maybe I’ve gone into eary menopause. It was about 5am the last time i looked at the clock, sweating and too hot to sleep – and at that point I think I must have fallen unconscious.

So at 6am this morning I was not winning the pretty award. Black eye developing nicely, and five hours sleep to my name, I was a post sweaty mess of mascara and garlic and felt like the human version of a coq au vin.

‘How did you sleep last night?’ I asked my husband. ‘Were you hot?’

‘A little bit’, he said. ‘Did you turn the air conditioning down?’

‘What do you mean, did I turn it down?’

It transpires that in an effort to reduce our summer electricity bills, my DH has been altering the temperature of the AC in the daytime, and on the days he forgets to change it back, lightly sauté-ing me at night.

Between the two of them, it’s a miracle I haven’t run away to hide somewhere neither of them will find me.

Flowers and Whistles

It’s always good to read what other Dubai bloggers are up to. For one, it helps me appreciate I am not the only one out there going slowly la-la, increasingly reliant on shoe shopping and sauv blanc to cure the ails of everyday expat living/parenting. Secondly, it gives me all kinds of ideas of things to do and places to go, that I didn’t even know existed. And better still, what can be struck off the ‘to do’ list because it’s crap/expensive/hot/busy. So when my pal over at Circles in the Sand wrote about a new horticultural extravaganza that had opened up just down the road from us, I decided to give it a try. Armed with a bottle of water and enough antihistamine tablets to cure an elephant of hay fever, my son and I and our friends set out this afternoon for the self-proclaimed “most beautiful and biggest natural flower garden in the world”.

English: A Petunia sp.

Like this, but more  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sounds dubious? Well it’s very pretty. And big. It feels like you are standing in the world’s largest hanging basket. There are pyramids, birds, heart shaped archways, and even a set of flower power painted cars, all full to the brim with flowers of every colour. Sustainable? Well, the developer claims the huge site is using waste water to keep the gazillion petunias flowering. But natural? In Dubai?

Natural or not, the ‘Miracle gardens’ were, indeed, miraculous. If slightly incongruous. Like a giant ski slope protruding into the sky, or a huge offshore development built into the shape of a palm tree, a massive garden of flowers is one of the last things you expect to see on the side of a motorway in the desert.

But miracles come at a price. Dhs 40, to be exact (they charged my 3 year old full price to enter). And honestly…the experience was average. Maybe if our kids hadn’t been swiped by over-enthusiastic filipinos and used as props for photo calls, or had a whistle blown at them near- continuously by the rather protective security men, I would feel differently.  One particularly enthusiastic guard saw the kids coming and proceed to stalk us, literally manhandling the boys off the grass and picking up long dead plants and shaking them at us, motioning that our children were ripping them up. Now, our kids are good kids, and they knew not to pick the flowers or run through the beds – but it’s a field full of flowers. If there is an opportunity to climb, or run, or play ‘driving’ on the grass that runs between displays, they are going to take it. What they don’t do is rip plants from the ground. It was all a bit OTT for a few limp looking petunias.

After we lost the nazi gardener at the floral pyramids/Tele tubby caves, we decided to finish up and nipped to the snack tent to feed the boys ice cream. We hoped this would distract them from running around any more, which I thought should have been the point of all that open space. It didn’t. They ran around the tables and chairs instead. A learning moment might be that a few more bits of miraculous grassy areas wouldn’t go amiss, and neither would a play area for the little ones if they want to keep the beds free from wandering feet.

All in all, it was a pleasant hour spent herding small children away from the very things we had come to look at. The kids enjoyed it though and the ice cream was a welcome respite at the end. Would I go again? Maybe, if they add some more facilities and put some signs up that tell you what the rules are instead of blowing whistles at me. As for the big claim made by it’s name – well, for my money, the miracle will be keeping it all alive through the summer.

Arise, agents of change: an open letter

To all the seven kinds of crazy women currently populating our school gates:

It’s fair to say, that I have whined in my time. There have been moments so low in my life that I would have gladly traded all my worldly goods for things to be different. But if there is one thing I have learnt over the course of the past few years, it’s that if you don’t like something, don’t quit, make it right. Change things. Be better.

Take your child’s school, for example. Say there has been an unexpected change of leadership halfway through the year and you have doubts about the school’s future and their ability to maintain the quality of education you would prefer your  little darling to receive. Say the school had offered one on one meetings with the new principal to thrash out any worries or issues you may have, but instead of going and asking the important questions you want answered, you sit and listen to the idle fishwife gossip at pick up time. Say you were that person. I would not want to hear what you have to say, because I’ve already heard it all and never listened to such a load of tripe in my life. Examples of ‘why i am not coming back next year’ that I have overheard include:

– the school curriculum is based on the practices of scientology

– “everyone” is leaving

– one of the FS2 teachers has fingernails that are really long

Dear mother with nothing better to do: look around you. Do you see happy children who are confident, sociable and comfortable in their environment? Do you see them learning? Is there anything to suggest that this isn’t a great place for them to go to school? Does the class size of 10-15 children bother you, that maybe they are going to receive too much attention, too much individual time with their teacher, that they might learn more, develop skills that might otherwise go ignored in a larger class? Do the huge, well equipped classrooms put you on edge? Do you think your children will do better in a school that is brand new with absolutely no track record, and might not even open by september? Or one with 3000 children milling around inside it? I’m sure you feel it’s completely justified to spend your days sitting and spouting idle gossip, spreading your poisonous nonsense and putting doubt in the minds of every parent within a 14 mile radius, just to placate yourself, that hauling your third culture kid out of one school and into another after just one year won’t be detrimental to them in the slightest.

Or…hang on….could there be another way? Could it be that instead of wrenching your child from the bosom of their school because of some whimsical notion based solely on conjecture that the grass is indeed greener, that you could be an agent for change and make the community you and your child exist in work harder for you, to get what you want, what you believe you deserve? Could it be that communication, and a mutual resolve to make things the best they can be, might just be the better way forward? How about instead of moaning about the things you don’t like to people who have no bearing on the situation, that you address them with some one who could actually help you change them?

Of course this crazy idea of social responsibility might never catch on. You do deserve the moon on a stick after all, and if you can pay the fees why on earth should you have to make any more effort than that? Your responsibility lays purely with destroying the spirit of the people around you who actually like the place. Because if you choose to leave, you’re gonna damn well make sure you have someone to share the new school run with, right?

I believe in choice. What suits me may not suit you. But make an educated decision, not some half baked one based on what the popular mums said over coffee last week. And should you decide to go, do it with dignity and respect for the rest of us. Because I am bored with your tales of woe and your ‘genuine concern’ that the school is going to the dogs. I am tired of feeling like I have to defend my decision, that i should in some way be ashamed of myself for choosing to give my child consistency and a strong sense of community that our school offers in spades. That I am crazy to believe the incredible progress he has made this past six months could not possibly be repeated, and that the teachers will, en masse, decide that small class numbers are really not their thing, and jack in their jobs and their visas to go and live on a beach and teach TEFL. I am making a herculean effort to ignore all of you but I really do think you should shut up and give us all a break.

And lastly – Do try to remember your child is four years old. The likelihood of you being here long enough to care whether a school has IB or not is slim. The likelihood of you screwing them up by moving them across the world five times in a decade is far greater than the school ruining their kindergarden experience and rendering them illiterate. So as long as they are happy, why the hell aren’t you?

Boys will be boys

My blog pal over at Circles in the Sand wrote a charming little post this week about having boys. It made me smile because she’s right, it doesn’t matter how much you try to produce a child without conforming to stereotypical behaviour, nature always wins out.

Boys are mental. I never appreciated until I had a small one in the house, how much energy they use and how much food they consume. I never think of mine as being a particularly gung-ho kind of a boy, yet he still insists on talking, singing, playing, arguing, and running from dawn to dusk, permanently on the move, climbing, jumping, and using me as a wrestling dummy. The sheer exhaustion caused by bringing up a boy, any boy, should not be underestimated.

A grey toy car, n°1

Of course when they hit puberty and retire to their rooms with porn, acne and terrible smelling clothes, we mothers of sons will get a bit of a break. Whilst they sit languishing over computer games and rap music or alternatively run about on a field with a ball of some description, we will be gazing from the sidelines and merely be in charge of providing food (this is my vision; don’t ruin it for me). The mothers of girls, on the other hand, will be dealing with horrid younger versions of themselves getting into trouble at every given opportunity whilst being overly emotional and completely foul at the same time. All those years drinking coffee and watching their little girls strut about in dressing up clothes or sitting doing ‘colouring in’ will fade into a grey memory as they attempt to dissuade them from older men with cars and clothes small enough to fit a Barbie doll.

But, in the spirit of ‘enjoy it while you can’ I try not to imagine those heady days when I might not claw my way to 7pm and a bottle of wine after an afternoon spent throwing, catching, pretending to sleep/eat/fly/drive/be at school/belly dance etc. etc. I try not to yearn for a time when I don’t have to stick the TV on just to have a conversation that doesn’t involve the words ‘Why?’ or ‘Because’ or ‘be careful‘ or ‘mind my hair/sofa/your fingers’, or ‘get down/sit down’ (delete as appropriate).

And right now, my son really is very enjoyable. Despite being relentless. So I really do have a lot of love for him, and as I watch him grow from a baby to a little man I am so glad to be part of this series of special moments. And special they are. For example, this morning, at breakfast, he gazed up at me and said in his very serious voice, “Mummy, it would be very sad if everyone in the house died. Then I would be all alone.”  (I’m not sure where his current obsession with death came from but it seems he has some issues to work out)

“Yes, that would be very sad,” I replied. “But it’s not going to happen, so you don’t need to worry about it.”

“Mummy, I don’t want to die,” he said, “you have to look after me very well so I don’t.”

I gathered him up in my arms and got the best little boy cuddle ever. “Of course I will look after you, you are my number one boy, and I will always look after you.” I replied, with a little catch in my throat. I kissed his head and held on as tight as I could to the moment, hoping he could feel how much I loved him.

Then my darling little boy looked me in the eye, gave me a smacker on the lips, smiled, and farted.

Advent-ures in Dubai

It would appear then, that Christmas is here. It arrived in our house on December 1st, without delay, at around 6am when my son jumped on us and inquired as to where his advent calendar was and when we were putting the tree up. And do you know what? I LOVE that it gets to be 25 days long! This is the first year my son has been old enough to really appreciate what it’s all about – well, not what it’s all about – we still have some work to do on the actual story of Christmas, I’m guessing like many expat parents living in a country that doesn’t officially celebrate this particular religious holiday, we have to work slightly harder at that bit…. However, it’s brought a completely different kind of Christmas our way to our rather more debauched pre-child years, or to the last three, which have been frankly exhausting. It’s made me think really hard about the whole thing, in order to find things to do to keep the excitement building and create traditions for us as a family that will go down the years. I admit, it can be pretty difficult to evoke the spirit of Christmas when it’s 70 degrees in the shade, but as long as we ignore the fact that our friends and relatives are wading through snow and hanging stockings up by actual working chimneys, then the illusion can be maintained until we get on a plane. And honestly, it’s kind of nice to go to a carol concert and only worry about getting mosquito bites rather than pneumonia. So, top ten things so far that have made Advent magical:

1. Singing ‘Away in a Manger’ to the boy at bedtime tonight and watching him listen, eyes wide, completely spellbound.

2. Putting the tree up and having actual help decorating it with a pre-schooler who can fetch the decorations for me to hang and shoo away the cats, rather than last year’s version – three feral animals (one toddler, two cats) trying their level best to destroy it all from three feet down.

3. Listening to my son rehearse ‘Frosty the Snowman’ for his school show. I should imagine when it comes to it he won’t make a peep but the other 47,000 times I have heard him sing it will make up for that.

4. Knowing my son is old enough to understand that ‘Father Christmas is watching’ and preparing to enjoy 24 days of making that count for something.

5. Watching my son’s anticipation and excitement build about a) seeing the Santa show on Saturday; b) going to Ski Dubai with his best friend to play in the snow c) seeing ALL his Nannas in a few weeks’ time.

6. Going completely over the top with Christmas shopping, in particular for the boy, whom I have unapologetically spoiled rotten. What the hell, there’s only one of him and he’s not going to be three at Christmas ever again. I want magic and I’m willing to let my husband pay for it.

7. The advent calendar I got from Amazon that has no chocolate in it. The doors may be welded shut in a sub-standard made in China kind of way but at least I don’t have to cope with the sugar rush from a Malteser every morning before school. Stroke of genius on my part if you ask me.

8. Getting all teary eyed at my favourite Christmas song ‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire’ etc. Gets me every year and I love it that it does that. If you see a bleach blonde nutcase bawling her eyes out in Mall of the Emirates this week for no apparent reason – that’s me.

9. Skyping my mum in the UK today to see the snow – and my stepdad throwing snowballs at the window that looked to us like they were coming straight out of the screen. So exciting to my son, although I’m not sure he will ever forgive any of us if we don’t produce snow on Christmas day like they have in Charlie and Lola.

10. The fact that November was our busy month for going out, and December is more about family stuff, so I will be sober for most of it – meaning that hopefully by the time we arrive in the UK I will be ready for a several glasses of fizz and a party, rather than assuming my customary burnt-out knackered state, begging for sleep and nursing a whiff of sherry whilst rocking gently in the corner of the room.

And best of all – we still have another 20 days to go of making memories. This has always been my favourite time of year in Dubai because the weather is so fantastic and the city is just buzzing with things to do and see and enjoy – but experiencing Advent as a family in such a different environment brings it’s own pleasures too and so far I’m having so much fun I hardly want it to stop. But we are lucky enough to get the best of both worlds – because in fifteen days we get to fly home and do it all again. Awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Busy doing nothing?

I have spent quite a while these past few weeks wondering what I do that means I don’t get anything done. This is a bad place to be in. I get that people who work or don’t have kids (or sometimes people who work and do have kids) don’t appreciate what I do all day but if I’m questioning it too – well, that is not a good sign. It’s not that I’m not running around like a crazy person, it’s just that I never seem to get anything done, or finished, or sometimes even started. Life appears to be a series of relentless activities punctuated with constant interruptions and no-one who isn’t doing the same thing can seem to appreciate that not working is not the easiest choice sometimes. Well, in actual fact the phrase ‘not working’ is not even an accurate description. It’s more a case of ‘not being paid for all the work I do’. Not that many people view it that way, but let me tell you, it’s not easy being the person that does all ‘the other shit’. Because that’s what most of it is. A load of old shit. But it’s shit that makes the world go round….and the world would be a poorer place if we weren’t in it. So I decided to keep a diary, to prove it. I’m not sure what I proved – mainly that I’m not as efficient as I would like to be, that living away from home adds about 2 hours of extra workload onto my day, and that a whole lot of it is spent chasing my own tail – but anyway, here it is, a summary of a day in the life:

3am: Wake up to the sound of child screaming because he needs the bathroom and the door has swollen stuck on his bedroom and he can’t get out. Take child to the toilet, put him back in bed. Lie awake for 45 minutes making various ‘to do’ lists and wishing for world peace. Or sleep.

6am: Wake up to the sound of child singing. Attempt to snooze and fail.

6.30am: Finally give in upon being butted in the nose by my loving, if slightly over-enthusiastic son, and get out of bed. Shower, and attempt to cover up bags under my eyes with make-up. Mentally add several items to my to-do list whilst drying my hair.

7-8am: Drink a cup of tea, write a thank you letter and succeed in getting it into the envelope without sticky fingermarks or my child ‘enhancing’ it with a crayon while my back is turned. Make nutritiously balanced packed lunch, cajole child into socks and shoes, pack bags and check emails. Quickly reply to various people from the US and UK who have all sent me messages in the night so they too can enjoy full in-boxes first thing in the morning.

8.15-8.45am: School drop off. Negotiate car parking, realise I have forgotten it was ‘Mo’ day. Consider using my biro to draw fake moustache on my child then think better of it. Remind myself that it is also National Day this week and add ‘fancy dress outfit’ to my list of things to organise. Remove old posters from various locations around the school as part of my PTA mum duties. Smile at lots of parents but keep walking purposefully so that I don’t have to stop and chat.

8.45am: Fight through the hordes of women parking up and head to the supermarket for tonight’s dinner (even though I clearly spent an hour food shopping yesterday, for some reason I still have an empty fridge). Bump into two people who want to stop for a chat, and get agitated to the point that I avoid making eye contact with the third person I see and reverse into the next aisle to hide. Forget blueberries for making fruit salad at school on Thursday and resolve to make a return trip tomorrow. Again.

9.15am: Assess ‘to dos’ regarding house maintenance, overseas property management, Christmas, travelling, Improv group, PTA and school stuff. Reply to emails regarding all of the aforementioned. Forget most of what I had remembered I needed to do at 3am this morning. Call a guy to fix DS’s bedroom door.

10am: Head to shopping mall. Buy DS some winter boots for our UK trip home, some pyjamas, cards and gifts for this weekend’s kiddie birthday party, and attempt to find some inspiration for DH’s Christmas gift. End up in a decoration trance in Crate & Barrel instead. Unless my husband wants seasonal napkins and a santa sleigh for Christmas this is considered an epic fail.

11.30am: Give up and go home. Grab a cup of tea. Start making food shopping list to order online for delivery to our rental accommodation in UK. Email several good friends I haven’t spoken to since summer but really should have so that I don’t have to handwrite paragraphs of crap into Christmas cards when I do them next week. Accuse some of them of being lazy for not getting in touch and keep it to a short, abusive ‘Are you still alive?’ type thing so I don’t have to write much. For others, write something longer and more newsworthy, copy and paste content, changing names as appropriate for speed. Yeah, I know, that’s really bad – but it’s very efficient. Deal with it.

12.15pm: Head back out to the party shop to buy the National day costume stuff I forgot to look for in the mall. Make a mental note I need to find the pirate costume already lurking at home somewhere for Saturday’s birthday party.

12.40pm: Make a sandwich and start studying. (In my head, this activity was allocated 2 hours today.)

12.41pm: Doorbell rings, it’s the guy about the stuck door. Abandon sandwich and studying to oversee job.

12.50pm: Repairman comes to tell me he is finished, so I go to check the work and pay him. Resume eating stale sandwich. At this point with less than half an hour of time left of my morning I give up on my studying and call my mother.

1.00pm: Tell my mother I have to get off the phone. Check email whilst talking and cross of the stuff on my to-do list. Mentally note I haven’t done very much of it.

1.20pm: Hang up and drive at breakneck speed to pick up DS from school.

1.45pm-5pm: Get jumped on, do colouring, play football, climb up stuff, assist in operating various toys, go to park, read books, cook, wrestle, repeat myself about 457 times, mend something broken, wonder if I’m starting to smell, sing, prepare dinner, be endlessly enthusiastic about stuff that is interesting to a three year old. (No-one who doesn’t have one will appreciate just how much energy all this requires, but trust me, it is the working person’s equivalent of conducting a series of endless negotiations whilst having your boss sitting on your lap singing for the entire day including bathroom breaks.)

5-7pm: Cook, play the ‘if you eat this you can have that’ game for half an hour or so, clean up, bath, bed. Get at least one phone call during this time from someone who should know better than to attempt to speak to me at this point in the day. Consider the merits of sauv blanc vs. responsible parenting. Settle for a cup of tea and half a cold (home made) chicken nugget.

7pm: Yank myself into a dress. Shave legs (just down the fronts where the light catches) with a wet razor and some moisturiser. Think about going to the gym in the morning. Assess my arms and legs for spit/ketchup/sand etc, brush hair, spray perfume on, add lipgloss.

7.05pm: Leave house for client dinner with DH.

11pm: Return home, slightly squiffy. Check emails and drunk message at least one person on Facebook. Enjoy precisely 3 minutes of quality time with DH to discuss the day. Go to sleep, safe in the knowledge that my day will begin again sometime between 3 and 6am.

Oops I did it again

Dammit. The weather is beautiful. The sky is blue. Life is exceptionally good. I’ve gone and fallen under the Dubai spell all over again.

It happens every year. It’s difficult not to love never-ending blue skies and warm sunny weather that is perfect for doing just about anything in when you are skype-ing a family in polo neck jumpers and reading FB status updates that continually moan about rain and putting the heating on.

Corona

Just about the only thing likely to give me cold hands this side of Christmas (Photo credit: Tris Linnell)

Sometimes I feel bad that I don’t miss the UK anywhere near as much at this time of year as I do in May or June; but most of the time, I couldn’t care less. I’m too busy worrying about getting rid of strap marks, booking outdoor tables at restaurants and figuring out which pool to go to. Living in Dubai is no holiday, that is true, but at this time of year it can really start to feel like one.

However, this week is particularly troublesome in that a whole load of people we know are lying in wait to see what Hurricane Sandy will blow their way. As well as the friends that are all on Sandy’s current flight path, half my family are also getting ready for the hit. My sister is in New York – last year we camped out at their apartment in Manhattan a mere block away from the evacuation zone, and watched Irene blow through the city from rain spattered windows. My in-laws are scattered over Massachusetts and New Hampshire and various of them lost power in a freak snow storm that hit in October last year. So it would be fair to say it feels a little churlish to complain about the Dubai version – a couple of hours of blustery sandy shamal that forced us out of the pool and indoors this afternoon and has already moved on as I write this.

In summary, America is windy. And everyone in the UK, without exception, is cold. It’s half term from school there as well as here, and I compare struggling to think of anything to do with a small child in the cold and wet (maybe that should read ‘anything to do that involves me having to leave the house’) vs. my oh-so-difficult choice of beach/pool/park to fill in the hours over the course of the next few days. Clearly there is absolutely no better place to spend an October week off with your kids than Dubai. The thousands of tourists that have flocked here like penguins at mating season would seem to concur.

So our host city wins. And it will continue to do so for the next four months. With the brief exception of two weeks at Christmas of course, when we will dress up in our finest antique wooly jumpers and grace England with our suntanned faces and relaxed demeanours and everyone will be jealous and think about visiting us again (although they probably won’t, even though they should).

Whilst it might travel under the guise of spending time with loved ones, in reality this fortnight of cold, damp and darkness is not a particularly desirable choice of Christmas vacation. After all, we could be eating turkey on the beach. However, I like to think our decision to leave Dubai in what could easily be agreed on as the BEST TWO WEEKS OF THE YEAR (not that I’m bitter) is done for three reasons:
1. It is incredibly difficult to get into the festive spirit required of a mother of a pre-schooler if you are dressed in a bikini and drinking rose wine in the garden instead of trawling Bluewater for tree presents.
2. My son has demanded snow for Christmas. Whilst it is unlikely to actually snow in the UK in December, it has been known to – and there is a greater chance of it happening there than here in Dubai.
3. It is essential to refresh the memory of how awful the cold, damp and darkness is in order to prolong the feeling of smugness as long as possible into the new year. There are a good few months left until the summer begins in earnest but it’s never to early to start emotionally preparing for it.

So it’s time to enjoy the next six weeks before we break out the hats and boots and jump on a plane. To get out in the warm sun and make the most of every single day. To worry and fret about our loved ones with serious weather warnings and – well – largely ignore the rest of the moaning masses who are a bit chilly. Get on a plane dudes. It’s bloody fantastic here.