Well, here I am sitting at floor nine of a lovely apartment block in Durban, looking out over the city roof tops, trees, roads, parks and skyscrapers. In the distance I can see the Durban Waterways and the unusual shape of a Hindu temple. A siren is blaring, birds are chirping, traffic is moving on the freeways and the sun is opening up another day. (No sand-filled skies here!)
As I type, Christina is lying on a couch reading a novel.
We are so fortunate; one husband and wife team that has dual lives in Durban and Al Ain met us at the airport and brought us to the apartment generously loaned to us by another couple who also live at Al Ain. How lucky can you get in one life time?
One day these and other friends will visit us and we'll be able to repay their hospitality, although Alice Springs is a bit smaller than Durban. But, a plus is that there is much to see of natural beauty, the Macdonnel Ranges, a Desert Wildlife Park, the Olive Pink Botanical Reserve and notable places such as Lassiter's Casino, the Overland Telegraph Station and our famous dry river bed, the Todd River.
Leaving Al Ain wasn't without its challenges, even at the airport. There had been a foul-up in our travel arrangements that caused a lot of grief ... I won't bore you with details, but my feeling at the end was that the last couple of weeks almost negated the three years of wonderful experiences and lovely friends we had made in the UAE and I just wanted to get my bum on an airplane seat and get out of the bloody place.
As my mental composure restored, I realised that in every life a little rain must fall and ultimately, I had enjoyed some of the best years of my life at Al Ain.
After a half hour on the jet and a restorative glass of red, all the trials and tribulations of the last few weeks seemed to simply fade away.
So begins a new era in our lives. One that has taken almost 50 years of work and 35 years of marriage for us to reach. The next 20 years should be glorious years as we count down to our unplanned adventures in some place that everyone is dying to get to. Maybe one day we'll see you there and we can lend you our apartment.