A great friend and collaborator on many of the things I do these days, especially on the speaking circuit, knowing that I was in Dubai and the UAE in the 1960s and 70s, happened to come across some old photographs on the internet recently of Dubai in that period of time. They really brought back some memories, especially when you look at the place today. Days of few roads. Actually no roads in many places. Electricity was intermitment - which meant so was the air conditioning. But it was fun, it was pioneering, and as a relatively young man there were few responsibilities.
And for leisure? A game of rugby. Played on sand. Not the nice beach stuff, but rough old desert sand. You wore elasticated knee bandages in the hope that they would minimise the sand burns that were inevitable - and which had generally just about healed by the time the next game came along. Helped in the healing process by sitting for a long time in a hot bath full of an antiseptic like Dettol. Playing the game on that surface did make you "moderate" your game to some degree - although the picture I am about to inflict on you might suggest that the idea was actually just to stand around wondering what the heck was going to happen next - if anything!
Anyway, I digress. In amongst the collection of rugby photographs was one actually taken from a local Dubai newspaper in 1973. It showed the Dubai Exiles (in white and black), a Club I had helped to found in 1969 in full (?) flow against an opposing team - from Bahrain if I recall correctly.
And there, unknown to the sender of the link was a face I recognised. Somewhat younger than now and with considerably more hair - most of it down the side of his face! Centre stage, ball in hands, the author of this Blog!
Scary. Those were the days I guess - but you know what? I would do it all over again!!