Sunday, 2 August 2009
Marjorie Dawes would be happy with life in Dubai right now. There's quite a lot of dust about.
It's everywhere, a miasma of fine, irritating powder suspended in the air and reducing visibility to a few hundred yards. I'm constantly clearing my throat, my hair feels like chicken wire and the car is downstairs having a fine layer of abrasive sand ground into its paintwork by the watchman, who is a closet Green and believes in using minimal water to wash a car.
In case you're interested, it's been blown down the Gulf from Iraq, this dust. It's well-travelled dust, liberated dust. This is one of a number of stunning images of the storm from NASA's earth observatory.
It's brought the summer temperatures down by about 15-20 degrees, but we're living in a gloomy, overcast world that will have asthmatics grasping for the Ventolin. We had this last year, too, but nowhere near as bad. Usually, you get dust here when the 'Shamal' blows, the North wind. But this is no shamal, it's just a suspension.
I've never seen this before in 20 years of travelling around and living in this place. I don't know if anyone else remembers it.
Next thing we're all going to find out that it's rich in depleted uranium from US munitions deployed in Iraq. I know that's seeing the hole not the doughnut, but this is just the weather for that kind of thing, oppressive and gloomy.
Blogging about the weather... How low have I sunk, hmm?
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