Today I had breakfast at Dean and Deluca’s at Souk al Bahar, which is near the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall. You know those things that are the biggest of their kind in the world? Funny, I often miss the civilised nature of Australia, but there, they boast “The Big Pineapple” and “The giant prawn” and other inane tributes to food and agriculture – who really comes across as the swankiest…?

Anyway, as I was sitting there on my lonesome, I was enjoying the changes that have come to my life since the blessed arrival of Mary. I quite enjoy solitude, and I honestly can’t remember getting any of it back in my old life, unless you count while I was sleeping, but I was always accompanied by the orchestrations of my husband’s sinuses. Not entirely peaceful….

Mary is our maid, and she joined us shortly after arrival. (Man, we truly hit the jackpot with her!) When I first hit the shores, I started searching for a maid, but Dubai was still going through its insanity – the spending, the big business, the chartered flights to Ibiza, the property flipping etc. – and maids were being snapped up all over the place. I got gazumped twice, and then I got interviewed by another maid (and obviously came up wanting). By the time I met Mary, I basically just asked her when she could start. So the fact that she was the best maid in Dubai was pure coincidence.

Within two weeks, my youngest son had disappeared for all except the really fun stuff – feeding, changing nappies, tidying up toys, unceasing walks around the block all became a thing of the past. I actually had to work to get him back, and explain to Mary that I didn’t actually mind doing those things (which was not entirely true – the feeding of Goldilocks has remained my most dreaded of tasks, as he is now three and a half, and has only just graduated from soup and custard to all different kinds of junk food).

But the greatest change involved the freedom. I started to have coffee with the girls (I use that term very loosely) once or twice a week, and I found I actually had time for a haircut. Before long I was getting fat, and had to ditch the bickies and lattes for pilates – but that was fine too – because with a sense of freedom comes an open mind, and I simply told my exercise-hating brain that it was going to be fun. And if that didn’t work, then I had 3 clinics within walking distance of our villa that could suck and clip and flatten and plump every square inch of my body.

Well I finished my coffee, and then had breakfast, deciding that the bacon and eggs could be worked off during a double-lap of the Dubai Mall (3 km in high heels thankyou very much). And then regretted ordering bacon, because it was beef bacon and tasted and had the texture of a dried up old steak stuffed in a dried up old boot. At least they are getting better at making coffee over here – but they still have a long way to go.

By the way – best coffee in Dubai is at Brunetti at the Dubai Mall. Interestingly, it is a Melbourne cafe…

Some other suggestions or opinion to add? Please comment