The 300-mile journey north to Isfahan takes at least five hours by road so we make an early appearance at Shiraz bus station, with a helpful taxi driver in tow to make sure we head off in the right direction. Isfahan is the ancient former capital of Persia, renowned for its historic sites, art and architecture. (more…)by
‘Yeah, it was really good fun.’ I quote Tim, the erstwhile ‘non-actor’ among us, after making his highly effective stage debut in Dubai at the biggest ten-minute play festival in the world. Turns out he’d love to do it all over again. Just one of the unexpectedly wonderful things that came out of writing, directing and performing at this year’s Short +Sweet Festival of Theatre. (more…)by
It seemed as if it would never happen but finally – after all the official documents were in order – a six-night stay in Iran became a reality. Tim’s been travelling from Dubai to Tehran for work quite regularly but this was our opportunity for a trip together. With a seven-day visa, we only had a couple of days in each city to access the history, heritage, beauty and cultural achievements of this remarkable country. No problem. They are everywhere! (more…)by
It’s hard to believe our second and last Christmas in Dubai is fast approaching but the calendar doesn’t lie. A momentous decision has been made and so far, no regrets. Lunch on Christmas Day will be a home-cooked affair and a turkey, currently enjoying an organic life on a farm somewhere in Tipperary, is destined for our table in the UAE. (more…)by
I wake up to the news that against all predictions, His Donald Trumpness – the ‘joke’ candidate is the new US president elect. Television pictures show that even Mr Trump seems slightly startled by the new reality. Let’s not forget that before the vote he had his sights set on exposing a Hillary Clinton ‘rigged’ win, but enough of him. There’s something else that is leaving me breathless with disbelief and causing my legs to fly out at unusual angles to boot. Strictly Come Dancing? Nope. It’s a dip in the Dead Sea.
I feel like I’ve been hibernating indoors for the past few months but now that the constant, searing heat and humidity is abating I’m venturing out of my air-conditioned protective shell again. Of course, my really sensible friends high tail it out of Dubai when the heat is on and only return when the worst is over, but staying put for most of it has been an interesting challenge.
A couple of writing projects have kept me busy indoors, and I’ve been motivated by the thought that having a block of time to really focus is precious and will soon be gone. Dubai is a ‘feast or famine’ sort place. There can be nothing much entertainment-wise going on for weeks and then everything seems to suddenly ramp up and special events, invitations, recommendations and new attractions all come along at once to fill the spare time. (more…)by
Ask anyone living in Dubai for suggestions on places to visit in Oman and they will probably list one of three destinations.
The capital city of Muscat is reputedly a must-see, with its fabulous Souk and impressive historic architecture. It’s on our list. Or they might mention Khasab in the Musandam region, a mountaneous peninsula with a jagged coastline, within driving distance from Dubai. We enjoyed dolphin spotting on board a traditional dhow there so much we’ve done it twice. Those really in the know will also mention Salalah, the capital city of southern Oman’s Dhofar province, a two-hour flight away. (more…)by
When it comes to travel, the Badley family have a pretty decent track record. Members of the clan have at one time or another, lived an expat life in Australia, Germany, the USA and Ecuador. One of our own currently resides in France and here we are in Dubai.
Even those that are at home in the UK are either planning the next overseas trip or returning from it. So when Matt and Nicole decided to tie the knot, it was an even bet that it might involve a flight somewhere. The nice surprise was that they invited us along to the festivities – in Santorini. (more…)by
My dinner has arrived and I’m nervous. It’s Chicken Kiev. I am dining at one of the city’s best known traditional Ukrainian restaurants and I have ordered a dish I last ate in London in the late 70s. The recipe is well known and comprises a chicken breast, flattened to accommodate a garlic butter and parsley stuffing before being rolled and sealed with an egg and breadcrumb coating. The flavourful butter ensures the meat stays moist during deep frying.
Someone should have warned me back then that chef has a tendency to overdo the garlic butter stuffing. My knife went in at just the right point to release a volcano of foaming fat. I just had time to notice the garlicky aroma before around 250 ml of boiling butter sprayed onto my chest, completing its journey down my front in meandering rivulets. Nice. No wonder Chicken Kiev makes me nervous. (more…)by
The Eid holiday that follows Ramadan offers an opportunity for a few days away, but where to go? Bulgaria, it has to be said, wasn’t our first choice.
We thought about North India but at the start of the rainy season maybe this wouldn’t be such a good idea. A Korean colleague of Tim’s encouraged us to consider Seoul but again, the potential for heavy rain there at this time of year put us off. On paper, a five hour flight from Dubai to Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, ticked a lot of our boxes. (more…)by