Monthly Archives: August 2005

Between the covers

The internet’s all well and good, but it lacks a little va-va-voom. Over the weekend, I’ve been contemplating bringing back the art of writing, on hand-made paper, and in a coloured ink like burgundy, purple or dark green. People will either think I’ve become the epitome of chic, or that I’m totally barking.

At, you can check out the multi-Royal-warranted Smythson of Bond Street, who provide stationery and leather goods to the rich and famous, as well as the inhabitants of Buck House. Navigating past the Cosmic Diary and Royal Court Diary (so you can schedule your appointments not to clash with The Queen’s birthday), and the fiendishly expensive bespoke writing paper, I stumbled across evidence of a sense of humour.

Take the Seduction Notes book. According to the description, it’s a feint ruled notebook for those who wish to record their own art of seduction, with an index that includes Food and Wine, Music and Travel, you’ll have no more excuses! Not entirely necessary, according to Super Ted, who swears a text message with “fancy a KFC and a snog” as the lights go on in Rock Bottom is just as effective – and a lot cheaper.

Or the Friends, Lovers and Husbands book, where you can keep track of the husbands you’ve had – and the women they belonged to …. and the Lovers and Losers address book, which presumably serves as a little black book with marks out of 10.

Or the Domestic Goddess book, which claims to give you room to write up your Houehold (sic) tips: perhaps they meant ho-hold tips, which would be better suited to the Seduction Notes book.

My favourite, though, was the tangerine pigskin Juicy Gossip book – never has something so unpalatable looked so cute.


Land of confusion

The layout and signage (or lack thereof) at Souk Madinat is well known for being totally baffling to all but those armed with GPRS or SAS navigation skills.

It struck me this week that it isn’t just inside the souk where confusion ensues. The buttons in the lifts from the car park are marked B, G and 1, when the in-lift notice rather confusingly refers to B2, B1 and G.

Inevitably, for someone who is locationally-challenged, I’m lost before I even get there.

You spin me right round

The story of the rotating city made us all start singing the retro 80s camp classic by Dead or Alive (you spin me right round, baby, right round, like a record player, right round right round).

Spookily enough, lead singer Pete Burns pops up on the next website I check – – confirming it must be April 1 after all.

Spinning around

According to a Dubai-based business magazine, plans are afoot to build the world’s first “rotating city: in DubaiLand.

The report said: “The project???s planners have proposed that the development itself, as well as the individual properties it contains, will revolve. You will be able to acquire villas, apartments, floating villas on water, [and] flying villas [that] elevate in the air. So you have the accessibility to a villa that not only rotates on ground, but it gives you up to a 15 metre to 20 metre up in-the-air elevation.”

No good for me, then, considering I get air-sick, sea-sick, motion-sick and am scared of heights.

Without a quote from anyone at DubaiLand, I’ll check the calendar – sounds like it’s April 1 to me.

Misty eyed

The only good thing about the spate of heavy mists over the last few days is that they block out some of the unsightly construction (i.e. most of the further end of Dubai Marina). However, as the mist starts to lift, it looks more like Gotham City than ever up here.<script type=”text/javascript”></script><script type=”text/javascript” src=””></script&gt;

Music maestro

Thanks to the random playlist in my iPod, I’m discovering choons I forgot I had downloaded (in retrospect, there may have been a reason for them lying undiscovered for months).

First up is a Will Young cover of Sade’s Your Love is King. This was on the Bridget Jones’ Diary soundtrack, so is about as middle-of-the-road-adult-orientated-rock as they come. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I have it on my iPod, and more so when I discovered myself singing along.

One of the better finds was another cover, this one done for Jo Whiley on Radio 1. Lemar (product of a UK TV reality search-for-a-star show, like Will) did a version of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, which was a hit for the screeching, catsuit-wearing axemen, The Darkness. Lemar’s version is cut with the Marvin Gaye classic What’s Going On, as well as KC and JoJo. Sounds bizarre, but worth it.*

Suddenly, I seem to have reached the stage I promised myself I never would – where I end up listening to the Beeeeeeeeeeeta Mix on old people’s radio, Emirates 2 FM.

* for anyone that’s interested, you can download it from Limewire, source of that other classic, the Fatboy Slim remix of Prince’s When Doves Cry and Depeche Mode (again, has to be heard).

Going green

Driving into work at The City this morning, I noticed the giant lobster on the Safestway building for the first time. Since I’ve been here the wrong side of five years, this obviously means a) I’ve been here too long and b) the worm must be about to turn and I’m starting to see the light.

Meanwhile, just opposite the Oasis Centre, they started putting up the framework for yet another massive billboard. As with all the others up and down the Sheikh Zayed road, as well as in Bur Dubai (Ikea and Axiom), these billboards will cover up the only remaining space in the city.

There’s no doubt that the creation of these giant bits of painted plywood will generate more income for the outdoor media companies, the graphic design / advertising companies, and the production houses. But wouldn’t you rather see the spaces used for small community gardens and parks?