Archive for March, 2011

Across the Sahara in a Series II Land Rover


In the late 60s my mother was working for the Foreign Office in Rabat, Morocco.

She had to do a long trip to a remote city, along with some colleagues.  They drove this Land Rover Series II, at one point running out of spare tires and having to be ‘helped’ by a truck that passed by, fortuitously.  It was a long trip.

My father found this photo whilst sorting through some of her old things.  Is that her at the wheel, or was she taking the photo?

What an adventure.

Philipino names


A great article from the BBC.

Philipino ‘strange’ names are definitely something that have you raising your eyebrows at first.

Our local supermarket has a lady working there called Tin Tin.




Despite having grown up a few minutes away from London’s premier polo ground, I have never actually watched it being played.

We drove down to Dubai’s polo ground this afternoon.  Apparently it sometimes costs around 20 quid per car, but today it was free.  Three cars of friends, parked up next to the polo pitch, a picnic, beverages and lots of fun.

Social aspects aside, it was a wonderful afternoon – great fun to see polo being played properly.  Exciting stuff.

Perception is your competition


I am baffled by the results of this survey.

I would rank Dubai as being, hands down, the safest place you could possibly want to visit.

Dubai does need to clarify certain things – there are clear ambiguities around the consumption of alcohol, for example, if you are looking from the outside in.  If you live here, however, it’s fairly obvious what’s what.

It seems that perception is the problem.  High profile cases make headlines back home – and it’s easy to see how that generates the preception that Dubai might be a dangerous place to visit.

It isn’t.

Come and visit Dubai.  If you can afford it, you’ll love it.  Just don’t expect to get away with shennanigans on a public beach, brawling or being drunk in public, just as you wouldn’t when visiting, say, England.

Technology = more kitten photos


When I were a lad, working as a systems engineer at Sun UK, lots of the talk about the coming internet era focused on the benefits it would bring to business.

Sending photos via text messages was all about enabling a technician to be more efficient by sharing images with his colleagues to help get advice, for example.

Video conferencing would transform businesses, as costs would be saved as fewer flights were taken, etc, etc.

In reality, the only people who used MMS, all those years ago, appeared to be those sending drunken pics to their friends – peak load was allegedly at closing time.

Now,  Skype have proved that video conferencing is nothing to do with business.  The internet era is all about one thing – thanks to technology, you can show your friends your fluffy kitten.  And it’s free.

Gratuitous kitten photo


Little Pebbles, of Milton Keynes, is a very cute cat.

My brother-in-law has some nice pics of her.

More Dubai bashing drivel


It’s sad that these kinds of lazy articles still get published.

AA Gill can usually be entertaining and thoughtful, but this drivel is a poor effort.  Almost as dull as a recent Sunday Times piece of his, in which he ponced around in a new tweed suit.  Sadly I can’t link to this fascinating effort, thanks to the Times’ paywall.

Long time readers might remember a similar Dubai bashing article that appeared a couple of years ago.  Plus ca change.

Sweihan again


We had a great trip to Sweihan on Saturday.

I didn’t make it around the bowl of doom this time – I am blaming a change in the shape of the sand, rather than my nerves.

Matt’s Pajero popped a tire a couple of times – part of the danger of nicer looking, larger rims, but less room to deflate and take the knocks.

The Pajero performed very well though, the only problem being the car thinking it knew better from time to time and switching on all the anti-skid and other cleverness – not what you need whilst at 5,000 rpm sliding sideways down a dune into a large bowl.

I bought a special windscreen camera mount to record the trip, but forgot to charge my camera battery!

You will have to make do with this video from Dec 07 (was it that long ago?) taken by someone following us on an earlier trip we did.

Mr Jeep


I love this photo, taken by our friend Laura.

chris jeep.jpg



How does this sort of thing happen?

What a waste of time, money and reputation.