Art in Abu Dhabi – Departure

“The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke.” Thomas Merton The 18 metre long iron ship outside Warehouse 421 appears ghostly against the darkening sky. The day’s heat stubbornly clings to it,… Continue reading

Farewell to the Oases City

In a city where buildings, with the exception of hotels and the minarets of mosques or communication towers, are not allowed to exceed 5 storeys (ground plus 4 storeys) or 20 metres, the… Continue reading

A Taste of Kindness

I snap out of my daydream only when the plump form of an older woman in a black abaya swishes past me, stops abruptly and turns to face me. A flood of Arabic spills from her… Continue reading

Unstable Weather

The gusts of wind make it difficult for me to lock the cat flap. My fingers feel clumsy as I lean over my cat, who insists on being loved and scratched, ignoring my… Continue reading

Shadows of the Past

Al Ain had been an important stop on the many trade routes that criss-crossed this part of the Arabian Peninsula, from when people settled in the area four thousand years ago. With its… Continue reading

Love Food Festival

You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food. – Paul Prudhomme – Imagine biting into a gooey English Cheddar and Emmental toasted sandwich made from sourdough bread, followed by crispy Haloumi… Continue reading

Qasr al Hosn Festival – A Celebration of Culture, Heritage, History and Identity

Our ancestors left us a legacy of traditions which make us proud. Our mission is to preserve, develop and maintain it as an asset of this nation for generations to come. – The… Continue reading

Jabreen Castle – Oman

The mid-day September sun is hot and relentless, but as I step into the shadowy interior of Jabreen Castle, I slip back into a time when air-conditioning did not tax the environment as… Continue reading

Places to Eat: RAW Coffee Company – Dubai, UAE

Name:  RAW Coffee Company Description and Ambiance:  Located in a warehouse in Al Quoz, it is home to one of Dubai’s most loved coffee roasteries. RAW Coffee Company sources their organic, ethically traded… Continue reading

Re-visiting Wadi al Helo

“I want to get out!” My voice is tinged with fear. “But we can drive up here.” My husband counters. “Look. There’s a track.” I look at the deeply rutted track curling up… Continue reading

The Dubai Most People Don’t Know Of

I hover at the edge of a flat expanse of what could be misconstrued as a rubble filled building site. Everything about the place looks sad. Dead palm trees stoop like old men, while… Continue reading

Places to Eat: Café Rider – Dubai, UAE

Name:  Café Rider Custom Motorcycles Description and Ambience:  Located in a warehouse, this coffee cum motorcycle workshop combines a love of good coffee with the beauty of design. The cavernous industrial space has cozy leather… Continue reading

A Visit to Beaver Creek Coffee Estate – South Africa

The rich aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans permeates the cool early morning air, and awakens my taste buds, leaving me to swallow back the saliva in anticipation of my first sip of… Continue reading

Where The Smell Of Sugar Floats On The Breeze

A smell of burnt sugar floats along the morning breeze. The sugar mill at Sezela, the first one to be built in South Africa, is working hard to process the sugarcane that is trucked in… Continue reading

Places To Eat: Spill the Bean – Dubai

Name: Spill the Bean Description and Ambience: This family owned, quirky speciality coffee shop, with its mismatched chairs and tables, has an ambience that is funky, yet soothing. The décor choices, from a ceiling with exposed pipes,… Continue reading

Jordan’s Desert Castles

The black asphalt road that runs towards Iraq and Saudi Arabia through Jordan’s Eastern Desert, sags under the heavy bellies of the trucks that rumble over it. Every passing kilometre is replaced by another one stretching in… Continue reading

Mapping the World – St George’s Church, Madaba

He cannot be older than about eight, yet his eyes hold the wisdom and struggles of someone who has lived a long, hard life. He is dirty and dishevelled, and his mantra of “Money!… Continue reading

A Silent Retreat: Shrine of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist Patron of Madaba and Jordan

I trace the path to the museum with my finger on the tourist map, memorising the twists and turns that would take me there. Although the Madaba museum is my intended destination, I want to venture… Continue reading

Petra – Off The Beaten Track

I draw in a deep breath of fresh air, as Musa and I step out of the car, and immediately feel small in the vast landscape that seems to stretch all the way… Continue reading

Petra in Pictures

Petra – A “lost city” of the ancient world, only known to the Bedouin, who fiercely protected it from outsiders, until the young Swiss explorer, Jean Louis Burckhardt, in 1812, at age 27, visited it… Continue reading