Jubail is finally waking up after Eid, just in time for Wednesday to be declared a national holiday and everyone to go home again. We finally managed to get some time with a ship today, though naturally it was 10am before they made it out to sea and by 2pm they were on their way back again, their “day”’ work done.

Never mind the money or the good reputation, the main reason why I’d like us to go on to sell this kit to our Navy is that they work more than 4-hour days and don’t take six weeks’ holiday all at once.

It’s nearly the autumn equinox, and sunsets are racing closer and closer with every passing day. The firey orb that toasts and tans us all day long fast becomes a fat orange disc floating lazily over the horizon, hazy in the dust. And without warning, a few minutes later, it is gone. The long sunsets and fire-pink skies of northern latitudes are not things this place enjoys. There is simply fire, then dust, then nothing.