Camel fence

I collapsed upon the floor in the tent.

My car , a prado wrecked outside the flaps.

My host offered me coffee from a golden pot and some dates to eat. I was shaking from the shock of course and shivering from the mental flight.

‘What’s your problem mate ?’

‘I think it’s a case of the camel and the needle’ big bloody camel just came onto the car. Lucky I rolled it actually. The car that is. Otherwise it would’ve come straight through the windscreen. Just like a kangaroo.  Of course you can’t really build a fence to keep the Kangaroos off the road. But I see you have a pretty decent fence here.  So what’s with the camel?’

‘Inshallah someone will keep the gate closed next time.’

‘Well like I said, the car is a wreck out there in the heat and dust., had some water sat least and it didn’t get chucked out., but I hit that palm tree pretty hard. It all happened so fast.   The brakes, the camel, the rolling flight through the air, thinking… This is going to be bad… And then hittin the palm half way up and bouncing off that with dust and burning all around.’

‘You kill the camel ?’

‘Must’ve grazed it at least’

‘Maybe it hopped back over that camel proof fence you got out there.’

‘You got a bit of a graze there though mate. How’s the head ?’

‘Think I hit it on the roll.’

‘Hope the camel’s ok though. It’s got a much longer neck- and a heavier head really.’

‘Sure – / – you sure it was a camel ? I mean – there is a fence – no gate / camels can’t jump – and they usually don’t survive entanglement with a prado — you get my meaning?.’

‘You must be dreaming’


Martini Dry – Abu Dhabi 

people turn up for brunch by the beach around the courtyard fountain – not all at once – but gradually the place is shiny with tourists and locals – who must realise this might be the better brunch in town today. 

Today is a Friday – a holy day in the Muslim week – which we all probably do our best to hold too. Malls are open. Ferrari world is open. The blue mosque too. But people in the courtyard have maybe seen it all before.

I haven’t yet I’m tired from the tumultuous week at ADIPEC and maybe jet lag too quietly dulling out the brainwaves in the sunny afternoon.

So many people at that show. Cars people security parking badges delegate or exhibitor or visitor. Still with 100,000 people expected over the last 4 days, it had been all rather well organised. 

The paper, too techies for some maybe had to be written. Presented in minimalist form in a 20 minute slot. Of course there is a whole calendar of work starting May with the abstract last chance. How easy to write an abstract with keywords, but work and bits trashed searching through the argument and all the while looking for how to explain in only 6k words or less. 

Anyway that’s just the beginning. There will no doubt be a return visit next year with another idea extending the thoughts of others with another new insight.

But not today – too hard – too bright and the population too shiny under the Abu Dhabi sun reflections of the shiny buildings in the courtyard pool beside.