A lost room gets rediscovered through spring cleaning

This week I fired Rosa. After she had been my home help for three years, I realised that I could no longer find any of my possessions. While I felt guilt, remorse, and anxiety, I told myself I'd been patient for long enough - she had a habit of rearranging everything from kitchen accessories to lingerie on a weekly basis. I'd played this cat and mouse game on a consenting basis (she got well paid for it, too) but the tipping point came when I went to my utility room to pull out my suitcases and give them a dust down before my Eid escape.

Firstly, the light didn't work, so I entered with a candle and then froze in fear. I was entering the twilight zone. I found bags stuffed with more bags, shoes which I thought I'd lost in even more bags, and a haphazard array of broken printers, Christmas decorations and lost "stuff" shoved in randomly. My suitcases, of course, were at the bottom of a heap - a sorry sight to behold. Clearly, while not being responsible for my accumulation of clutter, Rosa had merely tossed the excess into the heap, added what she didn't like and closed the door on it. Confronted with such a dysfunctional space, I was forced to do something.

Explaining to Rosa why editing my possessions was not in her job description proved to be the biggest challenge. Finding an electrician to sort out the light was the second hurdle. Needless to say, it wasn't just a matter of changing bulbs. I realised to my dismay that things, they are a-changing in the UAE. Formerly, it used to be a case of tipping the odd job man in your building for some extra home help. Now it's seemingly against the law. But without some proper "yellow pages" guidance, it's nearly impossible to find a company who will do such menial tasks.

Thirdly, I needed shelves to restore some sense of method to the madness of the room. Having visited Ace and Ikea, I came back armed with the sort of shopping I haven't done in years - hardware for goodness sake. I then got my hands dirty as I sifted through the mess. I admit to hoarding nice (OK, designer) shopping bags, but decided that there are only so many Harvey Nichols bags you can hold on to. My theory now is, I'm making way for Bloomingdale's iconic Big Brown Bags (Bloomies is due to open before the end of the year in Dubai Mall). But I digress.

Spring cleaning, at whatever time of the year you do it, is invariably forced upon you and when it is, it's as much a trip down memory lane as it is a time to cleanse your home. I finally found an excellent carpenter who came (all the way from Sharjah) to measure up and sort out my lost room. He came back within five days with even more wood than I had provided and came up with a stacking system. For my part, I threw out shoes which are long past their sell by date and redistributed other items which are now back in their rightful homes. I also bought a clothes rail (the theory is it's for ironing and suit-bags). I invested in colourful storage boxes from Zara Home and I gave away clothes hidden, which I haven't worn in years, that were in other suitcases. The end result is that the lost room is now one of the best rooms in the house. The irony was not lost on me, though.

It's all thanks to Rosa?

No Windmills in Basra

Author: Diaa Jubaili

Pages: 180

Publisher: Deep Vellum Publishing 


Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo

Power: 201hp at 5,200rpm

Torque: 320Nm at 1,750-4,000rpm

Transmission: 6-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 8.7L/100km

Price: Dh133,900

On sale: now


FA Cup fifth round

Chelsea v Manchester United, Monday, 11.30pm (UAE), BeIN Sports

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Breast cancer in men: the facts

1) Breast cancer is men is rare but can develop rapidly. It usually occurs in those over the ages of 60, but can occasionally affect younger men.

2) Symptoms can include a lump, discharge, swollen glands or a rash. 

3) People with a history of cancer in the family can be more susceptible. 

4) Treatments include surgery and chemotherapy but early diagnosis is the key. 

5) Anyone concerned is urged to contact their doctor


The Abu Dhabi Awards explained:

What are the awards? They honour anyone who has made a contribution to life in Abu Dhabi.

Are they open to only Emiratis? The awards are open to anyone, regardless of age or nationality, living anywhere in the world.

When do nominations close? The process concludes on December 31.

How do I nominate someone? Through the website.

When is the ceremony? The awards event will take place early next year.


Macron’s Ensemble group won 245 seats.

The second-largest group in parliament is Nupes, a leftist coalition led by Jean-Luc Melenchon, which gets 131 lawmakers.

The far-right National Rally fared much better than expected with 89 seats.

The centre-right Republicans and their allies took 61.


Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside


Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)


Engine: 2-litre 4-cylinder turbo and 3.6-litre V6
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
Power: 235hp and 310hp
Torque: 258Nm and 271Nm
Price: From Dh185,100

How champions are made

7am - Protein shake with oats and fruits
10am - 5-6 egg whites
1pm - White rice or chapati (Indian bread) with chicken
4pm - Dry fruits
7.30pm - Pre workout meal – grilled fish or chicken with veggies and fruits
8.30pm to midnight workout
12.30am – Protein shake
Total intake: 4000-4500 calories
Saidu’s weight: 110 kg
Stats: Biceps 19 inches. Forearms 18 inches

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Traits of Chinese zodiac animals

Tiger:independent, successful, volatile
Rat:witty, creative, charming
Ox:diligent, perseverent, conservative
Rabbit:gracious, considerate, sensitive
Dragon:prosperous, brave, rash
Snake:calm, thoughtful, stubborn
Horse:faithful, energetic, carefree
Sheep:easy-going, peacemaker, curious
Monkey:family-orientated, clever, playful
Rooster:honest, confident, pompous
Dog:loyal, kind, perfectionist
Boar:loving, tolerant, indulgent  

Nepotism is the name of the game

Salman Khan’s father, Salim Khan, is one of Bollywood’s most legendary screenwriters. Through his partnership with co-writer Javed Akhtar, Salim is credited with having paved the path for the Indian film industry’s blockbuster format in the 1970s. Something his son now rules the roost of. More importantly, the Salim-Javed duo also created the persona of the “angry young man” for Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan in the 1970s, reflecting the angst of the average Indian. In choosing to be the ordinary man’s “hero” as opposed to a thespian in new Bollywood, Salman Khan remains tightly linked to his father’s oeuvre. Thanks dad. 

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