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Breaking Radio Silence

Please accept my apologies for my recent and somewhat lengthy absence from the airways but I have been frantically and furiously digging The Camel Land Escape Tunnel.

Yep, as this mad Arabian Adventure draws to a conclusion and my two year sentence (with time off for good behaviour) is nearly up I have been contemplating my future.

Actually I have been thinking very hard about how best to combat Nibs’ ‘suitish’ tendencies. Cos as you may have guessed he has, predictably, been seduced (poor lamb!) by all the love and adulation he has received as the ‘Big Daddy’ of the Camel Land entrepreneurial development world.

And as such he has been doing his very best to persuade me to be his Moll (the Bonny to his Clyde?), his Madam (Bovary?) his Mad-woman (Macbeth?) as he attempts the daring transformation into a beer-swilling, perma-tanned, BBQ-attending, Camel-Land-residing-Ex-Pat….for ANOTHER freekin’ year!!!

Now just in case you have been sleep-walking your way through the Trailing Trials and Tribulations of the last 22 months and just in case I haven’t been quite crystal clear about my views on life over here amongst The Brethren and The Blighty Zombies, then for your edification and delight let me make it perfectly plain:




Of course this has led to much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, hours of discussion (accompanied by fish-cakes and other flying objects) and the speedy and critical development of The Mad Muscat Madam’s Master Plan to Save the Hannah Clan from Destruction.

Let me explain.

The MMMMPSHCD, devised by yours truly, is a simple yet cunning plot whereby an experienced, capable and highly recommended teacher (aka MM /moi) quickly and easily secures a modest teaching position back at the Blighty chalk-face, thus leading to the successful recapture of one errant husband who, reassured and confident that enough pennies are thus likely to be earned to put humus (or the NY equivalent …mashed pots /chips / Yorkshire pudding) on the table, sees the error of his ways, relinquishes his desire for world domination and the aim of becoming the next Richard Branson and heads peacefully back to Blighty and the NY sunset to indulge in retirement hobbies and Parish council politics!!!


Simples eh!?

Yeah, that’s what I thought too.

But 5 Application Forms and 5 Individual Personal Statements (Respect eh?!); 1 4,000 mile plane ride; 2 train trips; 3 car journeys and a day-long interview later, having come runner-up to an inexperienced young woman (totally fluent and completely unintelligible in ‘Ungrammatical Broad North Yorkshire’ and most importantly) considerably cheaper than this ‘Pidgin-English’ speaking Madam…
….I am still no nearer to securing my place at the chalk-face, teaching the children of this country to sing their Doh Re Mes, and saving the Hannah Clan from another Camel Land Ramadan.

My plan is in tatters.

But no matter, because the 7 week enforced separation alone has caused a wondrous change to occur; the 7 weeks Nibs has spent talking to the wall/the dog/the water-delivery man (Way Number Building Number); the 7 weeks of having no sensible, sane, intelligent, English conversation (welcome to my world darling!) seems to have wrought a miracle….

And Nibs has had a change of heart!



(Allbeit only on a 3 week well-earned holiday this time.)

But he is coming home FOR GOOD at the end of August when this endurance test will be over.

When we can all be reunited as the Hannah Clan.

When we can reflect on the achievements (his successes and my survival) of the last 2years.

And even if we do have to eat beans on toast everyday from now to the end of time and I have to write my meanderings with a pencil on the back of an old envelope by candlelight, at least we will be together…
…and happy!

So hurry back Nob (oops Nibs!!!)….we love you….very much.



Our Day Out

“I’m taking you away from all this….” said Nibs.


Could I believe my ears?
Did I hear you right??
Has somebody heard my prayers???

“Let’s go down the coast.”

Moment of high excitement evaporates to be replaced by the Blighty stiff upper lip.

“Sounds great!” says I.

So yesterday, determined to have a splendid day out, I donned my best dress, grabbed my twinkly parasol (aka a child-size brolly ‘made-over’ with bits of mirror and tinsel resembling a cross between a disco ball and a Christmas tree bauble and sold to me for 300 rupees outside the Taj Mahal) packed up the swimmers and sunscreen and together with Nibs set off down His Maj’s Highway in search of a taste of the Camel Land seaside.

An hour and a half later having passed through the Arabic equivalent of the East End inhabited by the Camel Land cast of ‘Shameless’ we arrived at the ‘Resort’ and purchased a day ticket to ‘enjoy’ the facilities.

In desperate need of a long, cool drink after our journey we headed for the bar.

Now maybe it was the sight of Nibs resplendent in Panama, dark glasses ‘n’ Linen or maybe it was the mesmerizing effect of my newly affixed sunglass-dislodging lashes and shiny pint-sized parasol that caused the customers to stop their glugging and fix their gaze on the pair of us. But whatever it was it made us feel like Han Solo and Princess Laya arriving at the Inter Galactic Star Wars Cantina after a helluva journey from outer space.

No smart dresses and linen here – no siree! – this was the Camel Land equivalent of a windblown promenade café in Skegness on a damp Bank Holiday weekend. So after supping my Mocktail Mojito that looked (and tasted) more like a sugary spinach soup we beat a hasty retreat to the dining room to make the best of the fly-covered buffet. Moving swiftly on to the Weston-Super-Mere-like beach (ie a mile long walk before you can swim in the sea) we proceeded to spend the next three hours, like Darby and Joan, dozing on two deck chairs under a rustic looking sunshade, constructed of tubular steel and fake date palm fronds, until the beach-bar-DJ-from-hell decided that he really needed to sound check all his equipment and proceeded to bounce us off the beach with his bass-rich version of Lady Gaga’s Poker Face. (Note to self: can they find nothing more contemporary to play than that?!!)

So at that point we admitted defeat and decided to head for home: passing herds of goats chewing lino and old tyres in the middle of the road; bare foot kids playing footie in the sand; groups of dishdasha clad men sitting in the dust drinking coffee and chatting; a young boy driving a motorbike along the road (without a helmet) and ….a camel on the end of a leash running alongside a pick-up truck being taken for a walk!

Honestly you couldn’t make it up – not in a month of Fridays!

So after our ‘interesting’ day out we retired to the comfort of the settee in search of sanity and familiarity, and getting out the elastic band, the hamster and the thunderbolt, and praying for the wind to be blowing in the right direction (which it was) we watched the Blighty FA Cup Final start to finish on the telly – an amazing feat given the unreliability of the Heath-Robinson style set up we have to devise!

Perhaps we just struck lucky!

Perhaps it was because someone (God /Allah??) was looking down kindly on us last evening?

Or perhaps it was because as we had decided that in spite of everything we would root for the Underdogs and pray that their Camel Land goalie would keep the ball out of the net (he didn’t play in the end but the Underdogs still won so I’m not sure how to interpret that!)!

Whatever it was it was the perfect end to our (‘shameless’) day out!

(Camel Land) Fortune Cookie…

Who wants to go to an Award Winning Camel Land Chinese Restaurant where…

…you order your food from an Ipad? (hmmm noodles and wonton soup in a ‘cart’ ???)

…you aren’t served what you order? (waiter tells you it’s not available)

…when you’ve eaten what you didn’t order (ie your husband’s order)

….they bring you what you did order!

…the soup tastes like dishwater,

…the seafood looks cat sick,

…and the service is c**p!

So what’s the solution?

…a vow (NEVER to go there again)

…a stomp round to the local supermarket to stock up on supplies (shoulda done that in the first place)

…and a lick of a rapidly-melting-chocolate-Cornetto all the way home!!

Trailing Spouse (unlike Confucius) She Say: A Cornetto In The Hand Is Worth Any Amount Of Award Winning Chinese Food In A Camel Land Restaurant.


Getting things straight…

Madam: “So let me get this straight… the weekend is Saturday and Sunday right?”

Nibs: “Wrong!”

Madam: “Oh wait a minute…silly me…sorry…the weekend is Thursday and Friday right?”

Nibs: “Wrong again!”

Madam: “Whaaaaaat???”

Nibs: “The weekend is Friday and Saturday – starting tomorrow!”

Madam: “Noooooo! It can’t be! It has taken me 18 months to get my head around it not being the same as everywhere else in the world and now as I’m kinda getting used to it they have changed it to something else that isn’t the same as the rest of the world. Why????”

Nibs: “His Maj has decreed it….”

Off stage ‘thud’ of a lifeless body hitting the floor….

Only in Camel(ot) Land.

Going to ‘Extremes’

I have just been to the beauty salon and had 16 extremely long false eyelashes attached to each eyelid!!!


They are so long I can’t blink without dislodging my sunglasses!!!

All I need now is Big Hair to complete the latest ‘look’ and given what the crazy Camel Land humidity level (still raining) is doing to my curls that is not gonna be difficult to achieve!

Bring it on!

I laugh in the face of your manis and your pedis and your body scrubs and your massages, they are yesterday’s treatment.

Any REAL Madam these days goes for Extreme Lashes.

Too much time on my hands…


Son et Lumiere

For several days now we have experienced unusual amounts of rain and abnormally cool temperatures and for the last three evenings Nibs and I have played a willing audience to the ‘Camel Land Son et Lumiere Show’ as epic rain storms have swirled over the city in spectacular fashion.

Torrential rainfall has flooded the wadis, created rivers in the streets and made roads impassable. Some districts of the city are washed out and without electricity. Schools have been closed, many normal everyday activities have been suspended and getting to work has become a work of art.

So where are the headlines?

Where is the reporting of this amazing and unheard of phenomenon?

Why, when there is a flood of Biblical proportions in less than 3 days in a country where in the not so distant past not a single drop of rain fell for almost three years, isn’t it front page news?

Let me tell you a story….

it’s because his Maj has been busy receiving credentials (diplomatic)!

It’s because his Maj has been occupied meeting the latest Ambassador (from La-La Land / Toy Town / Ruritania)!

It’s because his Maj has been delightedly receiving the latest visiting chinless wonder from Blighty (who by the way made a shed load of money selling airplanes and guns and dirty deals before joining his Eton chums in cabinet).

It’s because the papers are filled with lovely, fluffy pictures of men in Dishadashas and Khanjars receiving awards for yet another competition that has been invented to make us believe this country has joined the 21st century.

It’s because the Camel Land papers never carry a single word of analysis, discourse, dissent, argument or worthwhile facts and by comparison make the ‘Malton Gazette and Herald’ look positively intellectual with Pulitzer Prize winning reportage.

It’s because living here is like living in the Truman Show or Camelot.

It only rains at night. The sun comes out each morning and all things are well – no matter what.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen Go Out In the Mid-Day….


I am delighted to announce that it is raining!

Not a few pathetic spits and spots but the Moors and Dales/ Cats and Dogs/ Thunder and Lightning variety!

So the overblown-testosterone-pumped-anti-deluge-device that Nibs purchased for his Madam whilst on a fleeting visit to London a lifetime ago – nearly 2 years to be precise – has now had an airing (see post November 13th 2011)!

I’ve got a brolly and I KNOW how to use it ….properly!

The Brethren have been zooming up and down, splashing thru puddles in their monster 4x4s like 2 year olds on speed… and we have done what all good Blighty dwellers do when the weather is ‘good’*

• taken the dog for a walk,
• enjoyed a celebratory G and T
• eaten our supper outside

Cos to quote a famous song…

‘The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow’.

That kid knew a thing or two!

*(good weather here is known as the cool and wet variety!)