Dubai

Director’s Diary – Just Playing at Short+Sweet Dubai 2017

Nick Brocklebank Photo Acacia

Nick Brocklebank Photo Acacia

‘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…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Christmas my way

camel

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…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Desert day, Spanish night

img_3039

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…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Salalah for Eid

img_2860

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…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Happy ever after in Santorini

IMG_2835

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…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

A break in Bulgaria

IMG_2474

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…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Tales from the Riverbank

IMG_2353

Back in Dubai, after a two-week, high octane visit to the UK and France it’s no wonder I’m feeling discombobulated. You what? Until this week, ‘discombobulated’, meaning ‘disconcerted or confused’, is a term I have only ever heard used in a comic context.

Listening to a heart-rending exchange on BBC’s Radio 4, the presenter chose this word to describe an interviewee’s state of mind following a particularly harrowing experience as a child. It jarred with me, as being merely ‘discombobulated’ did not come close to covering the situation being recounted, so I am now appropriating the word (thanks Woman’s Hour) for my own use.
(more…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Three days in Budapest

IMG_2097

With elegant cafés, stunning architecture and history around every corner, there are a million reasons to visit Budapest. Our visit to Hungary’s esteemed capital city was a chance to catch up with old friends in a fabulous destination. By good chance, flight times to and from Dubai and the UK worked out, giving us a three-day window to get a flavour of what makes Budapest special. We knew we wouldn’t see it all but we could give it our best shot. (more…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Write that book!

IMG_1036

I’ve been playing with the idea of writing a book for the last year so I thought it might be worth sharing a few tips on how I finally stopped talking about it and made a start. There used to be a sort of hushed reverence around announcing this kind of activity but in the age of self-publishing and blogging, writing a book is an achievable goal for pretty much anyone that has something to say. (more…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather