Our journey from Spain to Adelaide is, Because of Reasons, a little convoluted and finds the lads and I sitting in Abu Dhabi for a few days waiting for our plane to leave.

The mister has returned to work, and I’m glad that we came back here with him. It would have been a lonely end to a fabulous holiday if he’d had to come back here alone.

It is perhaps the only time I’ve landed in Abu Dhabi and not burst into tears – a sign not that I am growing used to life here, but that I know I will soon be gone. In three Abu Dhabi summers, this is the closest I’ve come to living through one. I’ll be gone before the heat and the humidity really hits, but it’s hot and humid enough as it is. Lonely too. The compound is even quieter than normal, the lads’ friends gone to India and Cyprus and, I think, Tunisia. Their school friends are all gone back to Switzerland and Finland and France and Colorado. I am having lunch today with a friend, but my small circle of friends is smaller even than it usually is.

Yesterday was the anniversary of my father’s death, and I muddled through well enough. The lads were insisting that they wanted to see Harry Potter at the cinema and, against my better judgement, I took them. We loved it, all of us, and there was only one scene where both my arms were wrapped around shoulders and heads were buried into my chest and the question was asked again and again, ‘Is it finished? Is it over?’

There weren’t many people in the cinema, but this being Abu Dhabi, those small number who shared the cinema with us all held phones, all of which not only rang but were answered.

The city is not deserted, not at all, but it is quiet. It seems to me that there are less white mercedes and other assorted fancy cars with black-tinted windows* on the roads, but that could be my imagination. Everyone says that all of the locals are currently in Kensington or some part of New York, but everyone says a lot of things, and I really wouldn’t know.

I’m telling myself that I’ll dust the house before I leave. It got in quite a state while we were away, though I don’t know how because all of the doors and windows were closed. It’s a good way to say goodbye dusting is. And it will be a gift to the mister because an empty house is one thing, and a dusty, empty house another.

*Perhaps I haven’t told you, but only locals are allowed to tint their windows black, one result being that local-owned cars are easily identifiable).