Category Archives: Climate

Rain and Cold in Dubai

I went swimming today. I blithely dived in and nearly died of shock.  The water has dropped over 5 degrees Celsius in just over 3 days!

It is now a definitely bracing 26.5! ( It was 32.) I had to put in a couple of laps of fast freestyle just to combat the cold! I’m so used to it being like a luke-warm bath.

It was positively UNCIVILISED!


You know it’s cold in Dubai when:

1) the pool attendant is wearing a woollen beanie.

And The air temp is 22 celcius.

2) People in the lift see you going down for a swim and say, ‘But isn’t it COLD?’

And the water temp is 32 celcius.

3) Richard regularly gets mugged on the couch by both cats who now find it too cold to spend the evening rottiserating on the balcony.


New Header Image

The new header image is taken from a Gulf News photo of racing dhows.

I just love that photo so much I had to put it somewhere I could see it more often!

It’s hot-ish in Dubai at this time of year. It get’s to the low 40s during the day, and is super-humid in the afternoons and evenings.

If I leave the door to the balcony open for an hour and turn off the air-conditioning (I did this once for the cats) the bathroom mirror will fog up and then start raining on itself.  Literally, after an hour the shelf under the mirror will be covered in a puddle of water from the condensation running off the mirror.

I can’t leave the cats outside while I go out now.  It’s too dangerous. Of course, they WANT me to leave them outside all day, basking like cheetahs, interrupted only by short breaks on the cool tiles inside.

Naturally, this necessitates me jumping up and down like a yoyo to  let them in for temperature regulation stops every 20 minutes. They get 2 steps inside and then flop onto the cool tiles.

Mozz has even taken to scratching at the door to come in then staying put on the balcony while the cool air-conditioned air blasts outside onto his little body.

‘No way sunshine! You want in? Then come in! I’m not standing here while you suck out all the cool!’

I’m very unreasonable.

Heating Up

It’s now 7pm and its 38 degrees celcius. The car said the outside temperature was 46 while we were driving today but the weather report says it only reached 44.  Not a personal best for me but it’s getting there!

Despite the fact that I seem to be aclimitising better than most people (maybe being Australian helps?) I did notice it was hot today.  (When its in the high 30s I now describe it as ‘quite warm’.  Madness.)

We decided a trip to Dubai Mall was in order because I had heard there was a good cafe there called Kozi. Kozi is an African-themed cafe selling coffee from African beans, and staffed by Africans.  It’s quite a charming spot and the coffee was excellent… which is why we went searching for it.

Richard and myself at Kozi today

Richard and I at Kozi today

Also took some pics of a couple of stores with interesting retail desgn.

Kurt Geiger Shoe Store, Dubai Mall

Kurt Geiger Shoe Store, Dubai Mall

The Manolo Blahnik Store - designed to look like a fishtank with the shoes being the fish.

The Manolo Blahnik Store - designed to look like a fishtank with the shoes being the fish.

Yay!  Galleries Lafayette is finally open in Dubai Mall!

Yay! Galleries Lafayette is finally open in Dubai Mall!

The Dubai Mall Fountain

The Dubai Mall Fountain

Worker on break sleeping in window, Dubai Mall.

Worker on break sleeping in window, Dubai Mall.

More stories from the fires – video

This has got to be one of the most incredible videos of the bushfire.

I was unable to really imagine the size and speed of it until I saw this.

Click on the Busfire Survival Video link that you find on this page.

You can also see a summation video at

More stories from the fires – the aftermath

The Sign Survived (Image Source:

‘I’ve never seen anything like it. The whole town ‘

Lindsay Murdoch, Buxton

February 15, 2009


JENNY Pullen could not believe what she was seeing. “Marysville is far, far worse than I imagined … 100 times worse,” she says. “It really was hell.”

When Ms Pullen sat on a bus with other survivors from the mountain resort town north-east of Melbourne yesterday and looked at the ashes of her award-winning Allawah tourist cottages, she wanted to get out and take something — anything. “The statues in the garden are still there. The signs to the cottages are still there. That’s all,” she says.

But Marysville remains a police crime scene, with an unknown number of bodies still to be recovered, and none of the survivors could get off three buses that had a police escort to the town.

The survivors wept and hugged each other when they returned for the first time since the town became the centre of the worst of Black Saturday’s firestorms eight days ago.

They mostly sat in shocked silence on the buses, peering through windows and thick smoke at utter devastation. Simon Hudson, 42, wept as he told how a garden fountain he bought at the time of his wedding is the only recognisable thing that remains of his guesthouse.

“The town is wiped out. All the infrastructure is gone,” he says.

“It’s unbelievable. Of about 200 houses and other buildings, only 10 or 12 remain standing.

“I feel sick in the stomach and can’t eat or drink.”

Ashraf Doos, owner of Marysville’s Patisserie bakery, says no words can describe what has happened to one of Victoria’s most beautiful towns, which was nestled in a valley surrounded by waterfalls, creeks and tall mountain ash.

“I’ve never seen anything like it, not even in the movies,” Mr Doos says through tears.

“The whole town … there’s just miles and miles of black. It’s all gone. No more Marysville.”

Mr Doos says it will take a long time to clean up the piles of debris.

“What I saw in the papers and on television is only 10 per cent of the devastation,” he says. “I wish I could show pictures of it to the world.”

Mr Doos said it felt awful to go back to see the ruins of his two-storey business.

“This time last Saturday I was having lunch with my friends. Now they are gone. It’s a sad day to see that your life is gone.”

Mr Doos, who sat next to his sobbing wife, Christine, and two teenage sons on one of the buses, says he does not know what he will do next.

“I can’t think. I need help. My car is my office and our home. I don’t know where we will sleep tonight. I guess we’ll get there, but I just don’t know how at the moment.”

Yvonne Jones, 70, saw from her bus the ruins of a house where she believes the remains of a woman and her two teenage children still lie among the ashes.

“The husband is in contact with us,” Mrs Jones says.

“It’s very hard …”

Mrs Jones and her husband, Ivor, a retired Baptist pastor, lost their home and all their possessions.

“It’s terribly, terribly sad,” says Mr Jones, 74, who will preside over a memorial church service in nearby Buxton this morning. “But I believe as Christians that we can have hope.”

He says he prefers to think the victims are not dead but “promoted to glory”.

Many of the residents who went to Marysville yesterday were too upset to speak about what they saw.

Patricia Beggs, who is in a wheelchair, says residents needed to go back even though it was distressing.

“It makes you accept what has happened,” says Mrs Beggs, who watched her house burn before fleeing the inferno with her husband, John.

“It’s like burying the dead,” she says.

“There it is, it’s gone, it’s not there

any more. Now it can live in our memories.”

A 150-strong team of forensic police will take at least another week to

finish the gruesome search among the ruins.

Nobody knows the death toll, but it is believed to be more than 100 — one in five of the number of permanent residents.

“There’s still a lot of people missing,” Mr Doos says.

“I can’t find many of my friends.”

More Stories from the Fires – Deathtoll reaches 131

I just found out the people that I was worried about in Strathewen are okay.  They actually moved to another area just recently and were quite safe.

Strathewen has been just about wiped off  the map.

Where they lived is probably now gone.

You can read about ‘The Obliteration of Strathewen’ here

Here are some photos that give you an idea of the impact of these fires. What is hard for me to accept is that someone deliberately lit them.

Strathewen (Image Source:

Bushfire Victim: I cannot image the pain this poor person is in. (Image Source:

Kinglake (Image Source: