I must stop blogging about the weather. I know.
Especially as the UK (where I’m hoping to travel to on Friday!) has been brought to a standstill this week with the arrival of an icy but pretty snowmageddon.
My Facebook page is populated by snowmen with carrot noses and stony eyes, and BBC online has kept us updated with ‘As it happened’ reports on the disruption and chaos – so, I’m well aware that here in the UAE we’re getting off, er, very lightly.
But we’re actually experiencing something of a ‘cold snap’ ourselves.
Really. We are. The mercury has dropped to morning lows of 9 to 10°C, and with hard, marble floors, flimsy summer duvets and no heating, it actually feels really chilly.
This happens every year at about this time (see, as proof, last year’s blog post on the desert freezing over), but we tend to forget about it as it doesn’t last very long – say, a couple of weeks – and when it leaps back to 40°C the cooler temps are hard to imagine.
The best thing is being able to wear different clothes – with a sleeve, even Ugg boots and a scarf if you can find these items in the depths of your closet. My mind starts tripping with wardrobe opportunities – until I remember all my winter clothes are from 2005.
I love this weather, I really do; it’s such a breath of fresh air, but the funny thing is how seriously folks in Dubai with outdoor jobs take it – donning several layers, bobble hats, big, thick coats and sometimes ear muffs (no kidding!) like they’re Arctic explorers.
My top prize, though, goes to gulfnews.com for this hilarious news piece, written by the bureau chief in all seriousness and entitled ‘People shiver in the bitterly cold nights’.
After reporting that the temperature had dropped to a biting 2°C in inland desert areas, the article warns people to wear warm clothes, not to stay in desert camps or open places overnight, and – it gets better – to have hot drinks and avoid ice cream as a precaution against colds and flu.
As a former resident of Minneapolis in the Midwest of America, where we survived temperatures that, with the wind chill, dipped to minus 42°C – and where you could get frostbite on your ear lobes in five minutes – I wore my gym shorts on the school run this morning without fear.