Apologies for being incommunicado this week and hope none of you out there are too distraught not to be receiving the usual almost-daily MotV missives. The reason for the silence is that I'm up to my neck, metaphorically-speaking, in research papers for my first grad course assessment. This experience has made me realise how rigorously un-academic I am in my thinking. It has also illuminated how reliant I am on red wine in order to get through endless evenings typing furiously on my laptop, not to mention the fueling of increasingly colorful curses that I feel obliged to aim at the University's online library system which consistently refuses to spit out any of the journals I'm desperate for (I refuse to believe this is 100% due to my technical incompetence...) Oh well, if this is the price one has to pay in order to realize a long-cherished dream then it's not all that bad... No one ever said a mid-life career change would be easy. Wish me luck!
Being an expat, a favorite topic of conversation is 'where I/you want to go next?' or 'When do you plan to go home?' It's a good question. I'm not sure I want to stay in Dubai for ever, but I'm also not sure about how long I want to be here for or where else I would like to live. For almost the first time ever, I have no fixed plans apart from keeping my eyes and mind open to interesting opportunities. And as to going 'home', I have no idea where that is. Constantly moving around as a child left me with the feeling that 'home' is wherever I am right now, so in effect 'home' could be anywhere. The longest I've ever lived in one fixed place was 18 years in London, on and off, but that doesn't feel like 'home' either - I love going back to see family and friends, and it's a great place to shop, but that's about it. I have a great love for California, which is where my extended family is from (and where most of the