a whirlwind week in the Theme Park

May 22, 2012 at 10:27 pm Leave a comment

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An excellent night flight with Virgin Atlantic from Heathrow and a row of seats to myself. I slept…mainly due to the fact they serve cocoa before dimming the cabin lights!

Arrived at Dubai to be met by my daughter. Boy oh boy was it hot…in excess of 40 degrees! A/c wasn’t working at the villa and for a few hoursmonths, neither was the Internet/phone/television (e-life)….same old story then! Despite not having seen me for 6 months the crazy 9 year old desert dog with the mohican went mad…he does remember me then! Something must have triggered in his little doggy brain which is a bonio short of a box of biscuits. Can’t believe they are demolishing the 35 year old Metropolitan Hotel on the Sheikh Zayed Road – its used to be the boundary of where Dubai finished and the desert all the way to Jebel Ali (passport required) began! Also the venue where a few of us Dubai bachelors watched the Royal Wedding only a year ago. No doubt it will be replaced by the biggest/best something or the other in the grand scheme of things!
Off we went to the cinema for the 1200 film – just like old times – I even smuggled in a latte. The name of the cinema in MoE has changed but it still smells like a badly managed nursery school. A hot and sticky night followed and a family of cats yowling out the front and setting the dog off all night reminded me why he’s better off in Dubai…sad but true…boy does his bark echo round the marble hallway!

Every morning I awoke at 0700 and headed to the beach…’my beach’…delighted to see the fish have returned, despite the disruptions of building redundant islands and suchlike in the sea. I limited myself to 2 hours as the sun was fierce even that early in the morning…but the sea an absolute pleasure to swim in, ensuring I never ever swim in Europe at any time of year (way too cold!). A dear friend made me breakfast of homemade mango jam, cheese and lovely bread and proper coffee…a fabulous second day! A supper party followed with ‘ladies who book club’ – we had a laugh and a remenisce, reminding me I do still have good friends in the Sandpit.
Day 3 spa at Cleopatras with my daughter for her 21st birthday treat…hydrotherapy detox bath (posh jacuzzi with water jets that suck and pummel arms and legs with alarming ferocity!), full body massage (yes I confess I slept, snored and dribbled) and a rejuvenating facial which my therapist assured me took 10 years off – actually I think she removed 10 years worth of skin haha no wonder I was glowing! Light and nutritious lunch and ginger tea and being wrapped about the neck with a hot cherry pip wrap – relaxation doesn’t come much better than this and Cleopatra’s spa in the Wafi do it very well. Followed by a manicure/pedicure with a good chum in Mall of the Emirates – a Dubai staple – it has to be done! Amusingly we both chose the same lurid deep pink nail polish for hands and feet. More catching up with friends and occaisonal coffees and 2 trips to Eat and Drink for their wonderful pint of fresh mango juice, hummous and bread. Thursday night at the newly opened Hard Rock Cafe (of course now the largest in Asia – otherwise why would they have closed the old one and reopened this in Festival City after 3 years drought!) Glad to see some familiar faces amongst the Philipino staff…the more badges they wear the more years they have ‘loved one and served all’. Question…who pins all the badges back on when they’ve had their shirts laundered…always puzzled me that one…must take hours! Friday was a trip to Christ Church at Jebel Ali and lovely to see so many friendly faces and to be made so welcome. Brunch followed at Pergolas in the Murooj Rotana….what a fabulous array of international cuisine (especially fresh seafood) for the excellent inclusive price of 250 dirhams (less that Β£50 per head) and you literally eat and drink whatever you like from 1200 til 4pm. I had forgotten just how well Dubai does Friday brunches. Great to get a crowd of people together….and amusing to hit Double Deckers afterwards to dance in the pub with the beautiful young things as if it were Ibiza…and all this at 4pm!
A trip to Dubai wouldn’t be complete for me without a visit to The Chalet restaurant on the Beach Road for a Paneer Masala (Indian cottage cheese curry) mopped up with a garlic naan and washed down with another pint of mango juice. Full up, friended and fighting the heat, I flew back to Blighty to tend to my garden. After 20 years of being an inmate and nearly 1 year back home it felt good to return to lay a few ghosts to rest…and hey I brought the sunshine back with me!

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mary mary quite contrary and the two hamlets of Alton Singing to the Olympic torch

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Debi Evans

Debi Evans

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