Essay 36 – Such Fun!

May 18, 2015

by — Posted in Dubai

Yes, we have woken to  another sunny morning in Dubai and it’s Christmas day l97l, so different from our Christmases of yesteryear but there is no point looking back because we are here and it is now.


E36 christmas 6

Christmas has always been about family and friends and although we have no immediate family here, nor for that matter has anybody else. Consequently, we have morphed into one big happy family and, I think, that is how it should be.

E36 friends

We were ready and raring to go, firstly, to a glorious little drinks party, which should, without a doubt, get the day off with a bang as everybody will be in a party mood.

E36 raring to go

One had to pinch oneself though, to register that it was actually Christmas day, as the temperature was rapidly rising and the relentless sun was  beating down   As we now know, that is par for the course, in Dubai,  wall to wall sunshine even on Christmas day!  A snowy scene was just a dream!

E36 hot sun


After consuming some very dodgy cocktails with equally dodgy names, Bull Shots, Mud in your Eye and various other outlandish drinks nobody cared too much, where they were, which was possibly just as well!


E36 cocktails 7


Sure was different from the  partaking of a little dry sherry before Christmas lunch which would possibly have been the norm for many back home.  This was let your hair down time with a vengeance, or was it devil take the hind most!


E36 party 4



Naturally, We were keeping an eye on the movements of our host and hostess for the evening’s celebrations, being prepared to take our que from them as to when we should depart, as they were here too.


E36 elephant party

It soon became patently obvious that their evening dinner party was very far from their minds, at that moment in time, if they had remembered at all that it was even Christmas day!  My goodness, they were having such fun, talk about being full of party spirit!   I feared the worst but there was nothing I could do except roll my eyes heaven wards and pray!

e36 party






We eventually disentangled ourselves from this happy throng imagining that  our chums would be following very shortly, as they surely had quite a lot to organise, even if their Houseboy was supposedly in charge!    We discovered later that was not the case, in fact, they were the last to leave with not a care in the World.   we must have been off our heads  to have ever thought otherwise.


e36 farewell


The three of us returned to base to lick our wounds and recharge our batteries in readiness for the  evening’s festivities.  We surely didn’t have too much time.   As we were becoming very adept at organizing quick turn rounds, this now presented no problem.   Our  battle cry had to be lead on McDuff.   My goodness they didn’t call us team Constabubble for nothing!

E36 McDuff





I almost forgot that we had left a turkey quietly cooking in the oven, oh my god, hope it hasn’t flown away or been burnt to smithereens, who is brave enough to look?  Don’t you agree everything always looks so much better if one is wearing a pair of rose coloured spectacles and now was no exception.  On peering into the oven, in my slightly picked state, I reckoned that  the bird was ready and raring to go too, simply cooked to perfection.   How cleaver is that?


E36 cooked to perfection 2

It was now 7pm the designated time for our departure; we set off together with the turkey in toe which had by now been stuffed, very ungallantly, into a cold box.   All four of us made our way along the road to the little bungalow which these chums inhabited at the head of the creek.

E36 turkey 2





On driving into the parking area, we got the distinct feeling that something definitely wasn’t right, the house was in total darkness and all around was deathly quiet,  Actually,  the place seemed to be totally deserted, they couldn’t still be at the drinks party, or could they?   Have I got this so terribly wrong and we are not expected after all.  Where the hell is everyone, it’s like a grave yard, we began to panic, what to do?

E36 where are you


Goodness gracious, we ratted on the door, not a sound, wonder where the houseboy is, where our hosts, where is the baby  have they all been abducted.  Equally  important, there are no glorious cooking smells, wafting around, what on earth has happened?

E36 dark house 3


We pondered as to what our next move should be but were bereft of  ideas. One good thing at least we wouldn’t go hungry as the Turkey, was still trailing along behind us.

E36 houyse boy




With that the houseboy came flying round the corner of the bungalow totally agitated and virtually incoherent but the gist of it was that Sahib and Memsahib and the baby were all sleeping, I think  they must have  passed out, well not the baby, of course.   What to do he wailed, it would obviously take a bucket of cold water to resurrect them and he couldn’t do anything about dinner either because there were no potatoes in the house!


E36 ice cild water


The later problem was easily remedied, as he was swiftly  dispatched to the souk to buy said potatoes, whilst we stood there not knowing whether to laugh or cry terrified that, our trump card which was the turkey would abscond too.


E36 turkey trot




I am sure there has got to be a moral to this story and that is get everything organised before your let yourself in for a long drinks session on Christmas morning.   Mind you I’m now sounding like Miss Goody Two shoes, and that will never do as, in fact, it’s all these little cameos that go a long away to making special celebrations so much more fun and memorable.


E36 goody two shoes 2


Yes, it’s being caught up in situations like this  that are so ridiculous that you find yourself falling about laughing!  My goodness this would never happen in leafy Surrey, would it?


E36 sherry 2




After a while our sheepish hosts appeared minutes before they were about to be drenched with a bucket of water, although I might add looking somewhat the worse for wear.

By this time the house  boy had returned from the Souk with the potatoes, the champagne had been opened and hey presto we were once again off on the road to ruin.  By now we had smiles on our faces, as at last all was well, we were back on track with a resounding toot and a hoot!   Not too sure if we ever noticed whether we were eating Turkey or flying Pigeon or even cared!


e36 p;arty 3

I can honestly say that this Christmas day in Dubai had been like no other we had ever experienced in our lives, was it good or was it bad, did we miss the folks back home?


e36 christmas image


On reflection, I think I can safely say  we had all done a jolly good job at helping Dubai don her Christmas hat, pull a cracker or two along the  way and generally let her hair down.  I suspect though it was from that moment on that our Christmases, as we had known them,  were never quite  the same again!


E36 christmas 4



What a day that was!  Hope you have been amused


Essay 37 Will be posted on O9 June, 2015

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7 thoughts on “Essay 36 – Such Fun!

  1. Reminds me of my first Christmas in Sharjah in 1977. Trying to find decorations – next to impossible and cards didn’t exist. But my Christmas day started with a Norwegian Christmas breakfast in Sharjah, carried on to a barbecue suckling pig in Ajman (and just as the food was ready it started to rain) and a full Christmas dinner in the evening on the Grand Flotel! We were lucky we were given the day off from our office too. I don’t think too many of us ate for the next few days.

    1. Gail – It always astounds me just where we managed to get the food from!! Maybe your Holiday Inn helped?

      How they got a suckling pig in Ajman one will never know! All such fun and so preposterous, especially when one thinks of those Christmas days, in Sunbury and Teddington??
      By the way are you now in Spain? If so enjoy your new adventure. xx

  2. Brought back happy memories of hot Christmasses! We always struggled manfully with hot roast turkey, roast spuds and another half dozen hot veg, not to mention brandy flaming Christmas pud and brandy butter, even with the temp in the 40’s…..

    1. Hi David, It would seem all us Ex-Pats have extraudinary memories of our Christmas Days in far flung places, where a little glass of Tio Pepe would never pass muster!!!!!

  3. Hello Maggie – Lovely to read your memories of ‘that’ Christmas!! You really must read my next Essay no. 37 which will be posted, I think, on June 9th! It sure will bring back some more memories. Don’t want to give anything away right now!

    Let me know what you thin?

    PS What were your parent’s names, sure we would have known them, or them us! Dubai was very small in those days. xx

    1. Hello, My stepfather was Capt. Ian Anderson, and my mother Tess Anderson. Both characters in their own ways. Ian worked for Lamnalco when we first arrived in Dubai, then moved to Dubai Port Services at Port Rashid. My mum had secretarial jobs at Shell, and others, as well as a spell at Dubai radio in its very early days.

      1. Hi Maggie, I remember your Father, he was with Arthur Jarman, Ian Butcher, Len Chapman etc.,
        Such a small World, where are you now??? Don’t forget to read next Essay posting next Tuesday, will bring back memories!! xx

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