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Final show of colour

June 3, 2013

Flame trees in Dubai With Rosie and Hazel pawing at the front door, I turned the key and stepped outside this morning braced for humidity and found freshness. Every day like this is a huge bonus now June has arrived; even though it’s 6am, the sun is already climbing steadily and without that bit of a breeze it is too intense to walk on the non-shady side of the street. By 10am it will be nudging 39 C.  Seizing this bonus day I walk to the sea; it’s a route that I’ve followed, more or less, every week day morning since the end of September.

This winter, the weather in Dubai has been glorious; no evening too cold or too humid to sit outside, days balmy. Is it global warming or the impact of a strange artificial micro-climate that has been created in this desert land (full of parks, swathes of green, extensive flower-beds and lines of trees due to irrigation supplied from desalinated water)? Who knows.

During the last two weeks before the summer melt, nature seems to have a last ditch burst of colour before fading dramatically. Bougainvillea is ablaze, frangipane glows creamy white or rare deep pink and flame trees are covered in scarlet tendrils and blossom.  Later, all colours pale, the sky is light grey, like seeing everything through a net curtain. I start to dream of the English countryside…

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