November. Its raining. The lawn is a soggy mess, the floors are stained with paw prints. One month till Christmas, thoughts turn from stocking fillers to sunshine. Its the usual dilemma; where to go for some winter sun without breaking the bank? Without enduring long haul flights, jet lag and mosquitoes? We thought long and hard about Florida, but in the end looked towards the Middle East. Oman? Still too expensive. Dubai? Overcrowded and overrun, right? Then we chanced upon a deal to Ras al-Khaimah, Dubai’s next door neighbour and fellow Emirate.
The snow had fallen hard all night. By morning all my worries on the drive over were put to rest- there was more than enough snow to ski! Strapping on ski boots, fitting those helmets, trudging down the road with that funky walk unique to winter sport (think of a drunk lizard). First up on the first lift.
Prune jumped out of the Audi’s boot. She pricked up her ears, taking in the sound of leaves rustling in the light breeze, the call of a blackbird perched in a cherry tree. Her nose twitched, distracted by the scents in the warm air. Then her face broke into a smile and her tail swept back and forth ferociously. She remembered this place! Her emotions mirrored mine- if I had a tail I’d have wagged it too. It was a beautiful July day and we were back in the Loire- our favourite place in France.
A motorbike pushed its way through the traffic. Another followed, then another. Some had the whole family on board. A man carried two goats under each arm on another. A small car decided to follow the motorbikes, forming an 8th lane where there was space for two. The pretty face of a Bollywood actress smiled down from a billboard, urging us to drink Coca Cola. Kids sold cheap plastic toys whilst the light was red and a cow blocked the road when it turned to green, to be met by a chorus of hoots and horns. We sped off, into the chaos, our windows open, the car soon filled with fumes and warm tropical sunshine.