x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Great outdoors is finally beckoning

The drop in temperarure means soon I will be able to enjoy and al fresco lifestyle again.

I'm sure I'm not the first to notice that there is a whisper of change afoot. I hardly dare say it, but is it almost pleasant to be outside again?

My sunglasses certainly aren't steaming up quite so rapidly and it's been a good few weeks since I've leapt out of the shower shrieking when the water streaming out of the cold tap suddenly becomes unbearably hot.

The reason that I am being so cautious in voicing this opinion is that my eagerness to spend time in the open air has already caught me out a few times this year.

There was an incident a few weeks ago when I had to interview someone in Internet City, just a few hundred metres away from our Dubai office. Deciding that it was frankly ridiculous to even contemplate driving the short distance, I set off, water bottle in hand.

What a mistake it was to wear heels that day. Building six, the destination of said interview, was nowhere to be found and I spent a fruitless 40 minutes wandering around, becoming increasingly hot and agitated. I eventually arrived but it's no fun doing an interview when your face is glowing beetroot red. Then there was the time I managed to convince my friend that a trip to the beach one Friday afternoon was a good idea. I was prepared: I had a bag filled with icy water and sunblock and a parasol to boot.

Alas, it wasn't to be. We lasted less than half an hour in the sweltering heat before we were forced to retreat to the car and the air conditioning. Note to self: when the sand burns the soles of your feet the moment you step on it, you shouldn't be out in the sun.

And we shall gloss over my decision to go running outside in August entirely. Let's just say it had mistake written all over it and I ended up sheepishly jumping in a taxi halfway home.

Yet last week, having arrived early for a meeting, I stood outside a restaurant waiting for the doors to be unlocked for a good 20 minutes.

And you know what? It was really rather pleasant. So perhaps someone wouldn't mind testing the water for me; is it time to start living al fresco again?