Essay 35 – Pass the Smelling Salts

May 12, 2015

by — Posted in Dubai

Oh my goodness what have I let myself in for?   It’s all very well being willing to help but being bombarded with questions and phone calls is definitely another matter.   Yes, I’m now embroiled, like one of those beer cans chickens stuck helplessly on top of a barbeque, but this was no barbeque,  it was the Social Committee of  the Dubai Country Club!

E35 beer can chic

I knew we had some serious work to do, but this is ridiculous, I thought this would be fun but we now seem to be responsible for everything including rumbling stomachs all round, and I might add there were many.


E35 rumbling stomach

The brief also included entertainment, how in God’s name did you conjure up the equivalent of the Glen Miller Orchestra half way to the Empty Quarter, I ask you?

E35 desert orchastra

I obviously found myself on the wrong committee; this definitely was not a game for a laugh!!   Where are the smelling salts?

E35 smelling salts

I will be honest, our first function left a lot to be desired even although we all bragged that nothing was impossible, of course, we could put on a marvelous do, without any real facilities at all and by that I mean a kitchen, yes a little naïve, to say the least.   We were so full of our own importance that we didn’t give it a thought.

E35 nothing is impossible

A date was fixed for the inaugural party with hind sight that was the easy bit, what do we do now?

E35 food




We scratched our furrowed brows and pondered, ah, yes, we will cajole anybody and everybody to produce a plate of food.   What a good idea, instead of passing the parcel it was passing the buck, in the end all we would have to do is wind up the gramophone and get the bar stocked up.   Let the party begin!

E35 let the party begin 2

The up shot was,  plates and plates of soggy sandwiches, screechy music and lots and lots of pickled golfers with us girls flying round and round in circles like demented red faced bats, wishing to be anywhere but here!!

E35 get me out of here


A mighty lesson had been learned and for me it was quite simple, keep your mouth shut and don’t volunteer for anything!  It will only get you into trouble!

E35 volunteer



Decision time, with immediate effect no more social events planned until the new kitchen is operational, the idea was welcomed by all and sundry, nobody could bear the thought of another soggy sandwich!!

E35 sandwich

The golf course had been embraced by everyone and  quite naturally it didn’t take long for it to become well and truly established,  with the ‘men’ enjoying many a happy afternoon pitching and putting through the sand,  and now they were being joined by the redoubtable ladies of the LGU.

E35 golf 2

For the uninitiated the LGU stands for the Ladies Golf Union, yes a truly formidable bunch of club wielding ladies, who loved their golf too, and who were always ready to give the gentlemen golfers a run for their money!

E35 lady golfers

What a happy play ground that patch of sand at the head of the creek was turning into, just goes to show, one can’t judge a picture by its cover.  Surely, it would have been impossible to find anything looking less like a conventional golf course on God’s earth.   It’s the imagination that does it you know together with an enormous amount of faith. Miraculously there was an abundance of both!

E35 happy playground




As it was now coming up to Christmas and the real big time party season was about to erupt, Mike and I thought we ought to show willing and give our first ‘big bash’ and what did we come up with, well  in a million years you will never guess,  The Mad Hatter’s Pimms Party, Black-Tie, of course!E35 Pimms

The general idea was that suitably smart attire was required, Tuxedos for the men and long dresses for the ladies,  all to be topped off with mad hats.  We must have become totally addled by the heat to have had such an idea!  I blush even now thinking about it and the consequences it had!!E35 mad hatter




Naturally we thought the whole idea simply hysterical and in retrospect it was, because the Pimms was our secret weapon.   You probably know that the recipe for a good Pimms is normally one bottle of Pimms to a third of gin together with the necessary gubbins.  I think ours contained about three quarter’s of a bottle of gin, boy it was potent! A truly    glorious concoction.

E35 pimms 2

It was, definitely understated and naturally nobody had any idea that it was possibly strong enough to catapult all the mad hats straight over the balcony into the creek in one fell swoop.   Without a doubt there would have been many a thick head the following morning and without a doubt it was a humdinger of a party!

E35 seeing stars



Christmas was now looming and plans had to be made.  As you know it really doesn’t matter where one is in the World, Christmas has to be celebrated but how was this going to happen here.  I fear an awful lot of ingenuity will be required, but we are getting quite good at this ingenious thing,  so maybe the problem won’t be so bad after all!   Finger’s crossed.

E35 christmas 2



Miraculously, parts of the Souk suddenly turned into tinsel town and one was able to pick up a few bits and pieces,  which would add a little sparkle,  and at least show willing!  All a little tacky but nevertheless it helped to get the show on the road.


E35 tinsletown


Alas, I don’t think father Christmas will be appearing with his reindeer in this neck of the woods, now that would be a surprise and a half.    I fear the locals would find it hard to recover from the spectacle   On the other hand if an Ex-Patriot wag had reported a sighting of Papa Noel and his reindeer, I’m perfectly sure that Mr. Johnny Walker would have had something to do it.

E35 surprise

A very amusing couple had recently arrived in town having been posted up from Muscat, we got along like a house on fire and when they suggested that they would do Christmas I couldn’t believe my luck.   I was going to be spared a monumental headache or was I, nothing is ever as it seems!

E35 celebrate

Now it was all going to be fun, our day was sorted, what a relief – Always a bit of a bother at this time of the year but here we were on Christmas morning, looking forward to a very happy day indeed.   We were about to set sail for a drinks party and were in high spirits.

E35 high spiits

We were not alone as we had invited a young Army Officer to join us for the celebrations, as a gesture of kindness, I might add.   I very much fear though that by the end of the day he might have thought otherwise and would rather have been anywhere else than tagging along with us.   Hollow legs were definitely required that day!E35 hollow legs


I hope this Essay has brought back memories and with them a smile!

Essay 36 will be posted on 26th May, 2015 – Your thoughts and comments would be appreciated. xx

E35 nice cartoon  I’m now going to take a snooze!



3 thoughts on “Essay 35 – Pass the Smelling Salts

  1. Yes, Jan, your recipe for Pimms was a bit different to mine. I always mix it with lemonade – have obvious been missing out on having cracking hangovers for many years now ! No wonder Naomi was slightly horrified when I gave you a crate of Pimms for you and Mike doing me a favour one time !

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