“Hi, Nick, how do you fancy being a judge for our awards this year,” asked Mohana one day towards the end of last November, “you get to eat in the best places in town.”
“Come and watch the RC44s race from my catamaran SY Azzura,” offered my friend Clara, “We will be able to get close to the action.” Management and I jumped at the chance to put on our nautical gear, check out the boats and crews at Almouj marina, and take to the ocean to see the racing as it happened.
It is sometimes difficult to appreciate that running the finances of a country is based on the same fundamental principles as one’s own household budget. What you earn needs to be more than what you spend; otherwise you are left with the hope that your bank manager is one of the friendly ones who will bail you out with a loan.
“Good morning Mr Nick and welcome to Yemen,” said a smiling face as I entered the arrivals hall at Sanaa airport last Saturday morning. My visa was produced, stamped, and my bag appeared in record time. I was taken everywhere by my friend Abdulkareem, who had a green badge allowing him access to all of the places necessary to make my stay as safe as it could be.
Many years ago when I was studying in the UK, I had a very organised friend who ran his life with his daily list. Before going to sleep, he would compose a list for the following day, beginning with ‘get up’, followed by all the things he wanted to achieve that day, carrying forward any that were still outstanding.