Monday, May 09, 2011

T'weekend is comin' an' it's time for a bath

Last weekend was exhausting.

Dubai St George’s Society Ball was postponed from its traditional 23rd April, presumably to avoid clashing with the Royal Wedding, and to ensure that the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines would be able to come. On the run up to the event, the Goat was chasing around for jobs, passports, visas and so forth, and with less than one week to go, it at last became apparent that You Shall Go To The Ball!

Beloved Wife’s Aunt in Abu Dhabi has a colleague who wanted to attend the Ball with his wife, but the couple didn’t wish to leave their son Kay home alone. A plot hatched that entailed the Aunt and teenager being dropped off at the Crumbling Villa on Friday morning, shopping, errands and entertaining Kay all afternoon, and then Beloved Wife and Goat heading off for a riotous evening including Roast Beef of Old England, unlimited special beverages, a military band, patriotic singing and then dancing the night away to the Royal Marines’ Dance Band. Another task was to find enough gear in the Crumbling Villa’s emporium of dive kit, tools and bicycles for four snorkellers. That was part of Saturday’s plan.

Kay, who is thirteen, spent Friday afternoon ably demonstrating how Beloved Wife’s latest toy, an X-Box Kinect, should be used. Naturally, he has set the bar so high that certain middle-aged owners of said X-Box are going to have to reset the unit or else become unbelievably fit. No prizes for guessing which is more likely.

The Ball was huge fun, with the added bonus of the Goat actually winning a spot prize. Turning the voucher into the actual prize will entail a trip behind the Red Door in Ras Al Khaimah.

So we got home at 2am, dirty stop-outs that we were, and were up again at 6am to go snorkelling.

Any excuse for the Goat to get the bike out and head off to the mountain roads and the east coast.

Kay had allegedly never snorkelled before. Fortuitously, the Goat is a snorkel instructor, and because Kay took to snorkelling like a duck to water, the pool session took about ten minutes and then everybody headed for the sea.

There were the usual tropical fish, large shoals of juvenile barracuda, but no reef sharks or turtles, and the water was a bit murky. It was very smooth though, and there was no current, so the underwater Goat with snorkel and flippers set off with Kay around the seaward side of Snoopy Island. Aargh! Oil slick!! As soon as he realised, the Goat dived below the surface and made a U-turn into clearer water, dragging Kay along. Generally a lucky escape, although the Goat needed to find some olive oil and Fairy Liquid to get the noisome sticky bituminous mess out of his hair. Due thanks to the beach-bar staff at Sandy Beach for being helpful with detergents.

After lunch, the whole party had time to flop in the pool before heading back to Dubai to drop off Aunt and Kay for their trip back to Abu Dhabi. The Goat got back on the bike, and headed south through Fujairah to Kalba. He’d not been in that area for a year or so, and was amazed by the amount of recent construction in Fujairah. It was better to refuel at Al Ghayl before hitting the mountains. The Goat once ran out of petrol on the Sharjah-Kalba road; an embarrassing exercise he doesn’t intend to repeat. A very therapeutic ride on the bendy Kalba to Sharjah road, included entertainment provided by persons unknown piloting black-windowed sports cars. They vanished beyond the horizon upon hitting the monotonous straight bit at Shawka (N 25°04.9' E056°01.6').

Meeting back at the Crumbling Villa, the Goat had changed out of his sweaty biking gear. Everyone piled into the Goatmobile to drop off Aunt and Kay for their trip back to Abu Dhabi, and retrieve Beloved Wife’s car from the Grand Hyatt’s valet parking.



Martín said...

what can I say? nice bike, although you and me know that it is a '10/'11 model, not our Beloved One... ;)

Grumpy Goat said...

True, Martín. But the colour, helmet and angle of lean are all near enouigh to fool the average bear.

(Did you notice I'd Photoshopped the pillion passenger away?)

Mme Cyn said...

And a Good Time was had by all. (And you were brilliant with Kay --aunt, wife and said teenager were all very grateful for your wonderfulness.)

Grumpy Goat said...

I previously posted a comment that the bike's colour and lean angle were approriate enough to fool the average bear (if not a GTR expert), and Mme Cyn commented too.

Unfortunately, Blogger seems to have eaten those comments, and possibly others made since. Hopefully it's now all working properly again.


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