Thursday, October 25, 2007

Muscat, Liwa and Ankh Morpork

No diving for me until December.

Following our Eid trip to the Daymaniyat Islands both Beloved Wife and I had to get our dive kit serviced. The dive centre very kindly washed our regulators after each day's diving, but allowed water to get into the innards of the first stages. Water pissed out of mine when I set it up for the next day's diving. As any diver will realise, that is a potential recipe for disaster. The water rots the innards and causes malfunctions and maybe interruptions to the supply of breathing gas. So upon our return, I dropped all the regulators off at Scuba Dubai. I also dropped off all our diving cylinders for cleaning and testing.

The lack of dive kit isn't going to present any immediate difficulties for weekend entertainment. Every weekend up to January I'm booked solid. So is Beloved Wife, who intends to visit gay Paree. She doesn't fancy a week of intravenous, total-immersion motorsport.

UAE Desert Challenge
I'm marshalling in this year's Challenge all next week. This year my job is to chauffeur some press photograpers. I'll have my camera kit with me; perhaps I'll get some decent shots.

The Challenge starts at DIMC in Dubai on Saturday 27th October with the Scrutineering. There's the Prologue from 4pm on Sunday on the desert round the back of the police training college in Umm Suquiem. The prologue is normally good for some car, bike, quad and truck action around a very tight course.

Monday 29th sees the ceremonial start from Abu Dhabi, and then everyone heads off to Liwa for the week. Finally, the rally finishes back at DIMC in the afternoon of Friday 2nd November in time for tea and medals.

Gulf News Fun Drive
I'm one of the marshals on this year's Fun Drive, which is going to be a two-day event in Liwa. Including all the tarmac sections, but excluding getting lost, the total drive from Dubai and back again is just shy of 1000km. ADNOC is apparently going to be providing a fuel bowser at the start and end of each day's off-road sections. Cash only. Any potential competi- sorry, participant with a thirsty engine and a tiny fuel tank (Jeep Wrangler, Toyota Fortuner and Cadillac Escalade owners please take note) might like to consider bringing a spare jerry can of go-juice.

The marshals have to drive the whole route at least twice prior to the event. Many do it a lot more times than that. This will take care of several weekends. The Fun Drive area is roughly where I went camping last February.

Guards! Guards!
The Dubai Drama Group's Christmas play is the stage adaptation of Terry Pratchett's novel. I've landed a role, so evenings and weekends are taken up with rehearsing, I have to learn the words and, in the case of last Sunday, I had a plaster cast made of my face. No, I'm not playing Lord Havelock Vetinari.

Patrons of live theatre please put knots in your handkies for Friday 14th and Saturday 15th December. It's over at the Centrepoint Theatre, DuCTAC, on the roof of the Mall of the Emirates.

The curtain will fall as Guards! Guards! closes, and then Beloved Wife and I are off to the Maldives for our diving honeymoon. A week or so later, we're due back in Dubai to drop off our dive kit, pick up our winter woollies then it's off to Blighty for Christmas. We're having a shindig immediately after Christmas for those who didn't make it to our wedding in the USA in August. I'm thinking of inviting our luggage, and possibly Sir Richard Branson. Incidentally, I've now managed to get hold of someone at Virgin Atlantic in Dubai who appears to believe in the importance of customer satisfaction, so hopefully the Strange Case (boom boom) of the Missing Luggage will soon be satisfactorily resolved.

Edited on 5th November to add that Virgin Atlantic has decided that a couple of return tickets to London constitute adequate compensation. Now all Beloved Wife and I have to do is find time to make the trip!


Keefieboy said...

Nobby Nobbs?

Alistair said...

Hi, what weekend is the GNFD this year? Last year's was a bit of a disappointment.


Chris said...

Who are you playing? The guards and the witches are my Pratchet faves.

Anonymous said...

why do you not own more than one reg each? this is disgraceful. We are down to 11 regs between the two of us, and I still need an argon rig.
best breathing reg I have is lucky no 13 from DSAC

LawfulGoodOf Cowplain said...

Well now, might Beloved find a role?

If I didn't know better I'd have you down as Errol:-)

Grumpy Goat said...

Keefieboy: Nope.

Alistair: 7th and 8th December.

Chris: Neither guard nor witch.

Pegs: Five first stages and four second stages (including the Auto Air). Is that sufficient? I'd rather have too many than not enough.

LGoC: Beloved may be the Voice of the Dragon. Or not. Lady Sybil Ramkin is taken, as it were.


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