Force of circumstances that I have missed out the last few days blogging but here is something I composed on Thursday of last week while in London.
It is around 3.30pm and I am in one of the interior offices far away from natural light. However, even if I crane my neck around and look outside I can see that it is rapidly getting dark and this reminds me of one of the reasons I left the UK - the long winter nights. Don't get me wrong, as my post from earlier this week shows there is nothing that I like better than a crisp, bright November day. Equally, however, there is very few things that I dislike more than a cold, drizzly overcast winter's day with the wind whipping straight through you. Unfortunately, no guesses for which of these we get more of in the UK (and it is not as if it is even remotely evenly balanced - cold, crisp, November days are far from frequent).
When I first arrived in Hong Kong I did wonder whether I had jumped out of the frying pan into the fire - it was June/July 2004 and the middle of HK's typhoon season. A "black rainstorm" signal had been put up and - quite literally - day turned to night as the most ferocious deluge was unleashed over HK Harbour. From my office in Wanchai all I could hear was the mournful moans of the foghorns from ships in the harbour and this carried on for the best part of three days. No wonder HK was so green! Fortunately such prolonged downpours were (relatively) rare although during the Summer months HK certainly had it fair share of rain although not often for days on end and during the Winter months (and the summer months - subject to the high humidity which I did not really mind anyway) the climate in HK was excellent.
Rain is not an issue in the desert although we did have a couple of rain storms at the beginning of this year (putting the place under water due to the absence of any drainage). Like HK, one of the great things about living in the Middle East is that you can wake up with the sun shining and the sky blue the majority of days. Yes, it gets extraordinarily hot in the Summer here (110 degrees F was far from usual even towards the end of Summer) but at least the sun shined. In Mud Island, when the sun shines, it is beautiful. Unfortunately this is all too rare (at least whenever I am around!) but on its good days UK is beautiful.