What a week! I didn’t have my usual session with Trevor on Sunday – I wasn’t feeling great and had to be at work early. I had lots to get through as the April issue of the magazine was due to go to press this week. So aside from a lot of hours at the office, this is what I got up to…
It was the week of Art Dubai and a friend managed to get us passes for the entire week. I’d never been to Art Dubai – I totally missed it the first year I was here and last year a friend and I got there just as they were closing. I was determined not to miss it for the third time!
Monday night was the opening of the Modern Art section at the Mina A’Salam Hotel. It was small and exclusive. My friend had been in touch with a gallery in New York who were selling paintings by MF Hussain and Sadequain, and they were extremely keen to sell her one! The guy who was showing us the paintings didn’t really impress me. He showed us two MF Hussain paintings and told us that the first one was done in the 1950s and nobody knew when the second was done. I looked at the canvas and said, ‘But it says 1971 on the canvas.’ And when I looked at the tag next to the painting that also said 1971. ‘Oh right! Well done, you could do my job.’ Er, yup, I could. Perhaps he was jet-lagged. He and his colleagues invited us to drinks at Bahri Bar once the exhibition had closed and my friend and I walked around the rest of the hall. It was quiet as the opening of the Modern Art section coincided with Art Night at DIFC and another event at Al Serkal Avenue.
We joined them at Bahri Bar at 9pm along with a few other select clients and sat with them for an hour. We had a great view of the Burj Al Arab (it was St Patrick’s Day).
After that the two of us decided to go elsewhere for a drink on our own and ended up at Left Bank. We ordered some wine, calamari and French fries and caught up properly. I got home at around midnight and went to bed.
In order to explain what happened to me on Monday night I need to go way off-topic. When I have a manicure and pedicure I usually paint just my toenails, but at the end of January I began doing my fingernails as well. For the last few weeks my fingernails have been a little sore. I know it sounds ridiculous but it wasn’t all my fingers all the time – one day it would be my middle finger on my right hand and the index finger on my left, the next it could be my right thumb and the middle finger on my left hand. It was uncomfortable, but not painful enough for me to worry about. Before going to Art Dubai on Monday evening I removed the nail polish completely and cut my nails as I had a piano lesson the next day.
At 4am on Monday night, the pain in my fingers was so bad that it woke me up. The nails and fingertips of my thumb, index finger and middle finger were throbbing and they were swollen. I was in so much pain I couldn’t even press the Panadol tablets out of the foil packet. I eventually managed and took two tablets. I made the mistake of asking ‘Dr Google’ what throbbing painful fingertips could be a symptom of and immediately wished I hadn’t as everything pointed to amputation or dying. I eventually fell asleep as the pain subsided and knew I’d have to see a doctor as soon as possible.
On Tuesday morning I called the clinic and made an appointment for that morning. The doctor was horrified at the state of my nails (as was I).
She asked if I’d been using Gelish or Shellac but I told her that it was just regular OPI which I changed each week. I had told her I thought I might be allergic to nail polish but that didn’t explain why all my fingers weren’t in pain. She said that if it had been just one hand she would have concluded it was a strained nerve and left it at that. As it was both hands, it couldn’t be so straightforward. She explained that the fact that it was just my thumb and two fingers on each hand was significant because those three digits are connected to one nerve, whereas the ring finger and little finger are connected to another nerve. She suggested I have a blood test to check whether I had any vitamin deficiencies and booked me in for the following week. If that test was normal she’d have to do more tests.
I went to work. The pain had subsided and I’d also taken more Panadol so I was able to get through some work and just about managed my piano lesson that afternoon. My teacher was very keen I learn a Bollywood song (Tum Hi Ho) which he’s crazy about so I agreed.
On Tuesday night I was going back to Art Dubai with a friend for the VVIP opening of the main halls. I was tired and didn’t really feel like walking around all evening but didn’t want to cancel. When I picked him up, he got in the cab and said ‘Should we just go to La Serre for drinks?’ Genius. He read my mind. We got to La Serre and made ourselves comfortable at the bar.
We made ourselves a little too comfortable as we each ended up paying about AED 750 that night! We did have some food too. And the bartender was lovely – even though burrata isn’t on their bar menu I asked him if they could bring me a portion, et voila! There it was…
I was a bit hungover on Wednesday but had loads to get through at work. I also went back to Art Dubai that evening for the official opening (I don’t know how many openings Art Dubai has!). I walked around for a while but didn’t get to see everything. These are some of the pieces I saw and liked…
And my absolute favourite:
I caught up with my friend and we went to have a drink and some food. The staff at the bar were extremely disorganised but we managed to get a couple of glasses of overpriced plonk. We then got some food – black pepper beef from Zheng Ye and pad thai from Pai Thai. Luckily we found somewhere to sit as I couldn’t hold my plate for very long – my fingers still ached but not as much as on Monday night. My friend then managed to locate one of her friends who was at the event and the three of us went to the bar across the bridge for a couple more drinks. At midnight I decided I needed to get home as I had a long day the following day.
After my session with Trevor, I went to work and was there till 6.30pm. I got home, tired and irritable (I hadn’t had lunch). I did a bit of work until 9pm and then met up with a friend at Double Decker for some drinks. It was quite relaxed, not hectic at all.
On Friday I decided to get my hair cut and coloured – it was long overdue. That evening I went over to some friends for dinner. It was just seven of us. We started with Bloody Marys and some canapes (salmon sushi and cucumber rolls). We all sat round the table for dinner. The food was amazing. The starters were pastry with oyster mushrooms and scallops, as well as a prawn mousse. The main course was barbecued steak (it has been marinated in cognac, olive oil, black pepper and chilli) and asparagus. Dessert was something lemony (sorry) and mango sorbet with tequila. And it was all made at home. I told our hosts that they were never coming to my place for dinner unless they did the cooking!
This couple also has a 65-kg Great Dane who’s almost 2 years old. He was in the garden for most of the night but was allowed in once we’d eaten. He was the size of a horse and luckily left me alone most of the time, apart from when he drooled all down my sleeve. We were still sitting around the dining table and talking, and the bottle of Patron came out. Oh God. I sipped mine and then decided it was time to go home. I got home and was sober enough to do some work. In fact, I was up until 5am.
I think I only slept for four hours. I was working at home and then met up with a friend. We considered going to Safa Park as there was some music festival on but we ended up going for a drive along the beach and then to Iris for their chill-out Saturday session as he wanted a drink. I really didn’t feel like drinking but had two spritzers. Another friend joined us as well but by 8pm I felt like a total zombie and we all went home.
I love my life.
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