My old employer rang to ask whether I’d be interested in doing my old job for a couple of months. We conducted the conversation by text, because I was, at that moment, sitting in the cafe of the Imperial War Museum and it would have cost a fortune to conduct the conversation by phone what with roaming charges and all.

The timing of the call was good because: a. I was sitting in the cafe of the Imperial War Museum thinking, ‘Oh, my, London is incredibly expensive and we’ve still got ten days to go’; b. life as a trailing spouse* in Abu Dhabi is a little boring; and c. it is a long time between now and my next break at the end of the school year in June. (I’m not sure if this is a healthy approach, but I survive life here by planning escapes).

I was supposed to start work tomorrow, or maybe even today, but youngest has been struck down by a rather nasty virus and the mister has a series of meetings he simply has to attend, so I might not start until the day after tomorrow. Kind of funny, kind of not.

On the morning the lads and I left Abu Dhabi, we were glad of the jumpers we were wearing, but in the twelve short days we were away, ‘winter’ ended and I doubt we’ll be needing those jumpers again. It is rumoured that yesterday’s temperature reached 36. For sure, it was hot. Sort of like one of those exam weeks in Adelaide. Thankfully without the hayfever, but my fingers have swollen, and my ring must be pushed over my knuckle where only last week it could be slid.

Spring doesn’t even start until tomorrow.

Because the trip to London was somewhat impromptu, the only cheap flights made a stopover in Bahrain. The time in Bahrain passed without incident for me, which is how I like my time to pass these days. I seem to be sending many ‘thinking of you’ messages these days, and it feels ridiculous to be doing so, because I mean, really, how does that help someone who has just seen a boulder, loosened by an earthquake, come crashing through their house? But I do, I do think of them. In the middle of the night and first thing in the morning and all through the afternoon, I think of them.

It occurs to me that it is almost two years since my novel was launched and I have published nothing of substance since. I am thinking that perhaps I am not a writer after all. I don’t feel as sad about that as I would have imagined I might, but the realisation that I don’t feel sad is making me think in a thunky kind of way. I think perhaps I will open my word processing programme sometime soon.

How’s things in your neck of the woods? she asks, but does not demand a reply.


*real, actual term used to describe a person such as myself