There are very few things I am better than my wife at. Peeling oranges, cooking rice and, er, actually I think that’s it. She is better looking and more intelligent. Not to mention a better cook, a better singer and better sudoku player. In all respects you would be better off consulting her before me. Unless you want fluffy rice and perfectly peeled oranges, in which case I am your humble servant. Her general superiority is one of the great unspoken truths of our relationship.
Unfortunately, as happens every summer, I will soon be forced to live without her sensible guidance when she takes our son back to England for his annual holiday with grandparents. Whenever the temperature starts to threaten the 50C mark, the two of them stuff their suitcases full of camels and pashminas and pay a visit to welcoming relatives. Leaving me home alone, like many other males in Dubai over the summer months.
Although this is obviously for the greater good (they will be showered with love and gifts by barely recognised aunts and cousins) it is not a time I particularly look forward to. This is mainly because I won’t have the pleasure of their company for the duration, but also because it means I’ll have to keep myself entertained.
Last year I moped, pined and generally languished like the last kid at the orphanage. But this year will be different. I’ll wake up early to go and play some pre-scorch golf. I’ll catch up with the lads and stay out past bedtime. I’ll probably even go to the gym more often and get rid of my tummy before they return. Mrs Milner would appreciate that. The only problem is I remember making her similar promises last year, and how did I end up making the most of my summer? Takeaway pizza, 12- hour Lord Of The Rings DVD marathons and sleeping in my work clothes on the sofa. I can’t help but feel I didn’t make the best of it.
So this year I need a better gameplan. Maybe even an itinerary. The best person to create this, of course, would be my wife and, while I am prepared to admit that I will be lost without her, I have far too much pride to ask for help. What I really need to do is wrestle the company credit card away from its management grasp. If I can get my hands on that, then the summer of decadence may be within my reach. I could take a suite at the Burj and make my base there. Sure, I’ll probably waste the experience by smuggling in cheap pizza and a DVD box set, but at least I’d get away from an empty house full of half-eaten oranges and blank sudoku puzzles.
Mmm. On second thoughts, perhaps I should ask my wife for some more realistic ideas.