Three weeks today….

Rupert was lying in the sun having just enjoyed a swim when I broke the news to him. “Three weeks today you’ll be in an office,” I told him.

“It’s Sunday,” said Olivia.

“They work in a Sunday in Abu Dhabi,” I replied. Rupert seemed calm, in fact he didn’t even open his eyes. Maybe he was enjoying one of his last afternoon kips.

I cannot imagine what we will think of it. I know it will be very different to here where we are outside in the fresh air all day, swimming, walking, playing tennis, running out of petrol in the middle of the sea. Yes, my husband and boats. I should have known better than to get into one with him but I didn’t.

We rented a small speed boat for the day to explore the archipelago and its thousands of islands with. It started well. I was driving, speeding along (like you do in speed boats) enjoying the sunshine and the children pointing at various sights. This really is one of the most stunning places in the world. If you haven’t been then you should come. I have never seen so much beautiful nature.

""Suddenly there was a splutter and we ground to a halt. In the middle of the sea. We didn’t have any spare on account of the fact that we’d already used that the first time we ran out. And do you know how many petrol stations there are in the Stockholm Archipelago? About three. And they’re miles apart. So we were on our way to one of them when we shuddered to yet another halt.

We started drifting into land and I saw some people along the coastline. I waved frantically and shouted. They just waved back as is the manner on the ocean waves. I picked up the empty petrol can and started waving that around to passing boats. Thankfully one of them, driven by what I can only assume was a Swedish football player and his WAG, understood. They towed us in to Vaxholm where we filled up. Rupert and Leo tried to leave with the WAG but we stopped them. We managed to get home without running out again, just.

I suppose it’s an improvement on the last time Rupert got in a boat, ran aground somewhere near Marseillan and he and Julia had to be rescued by the lifeguards which cost us over one thousand euros. And he is already talking about buying a boat in Abu Dhabi. Let’s hope the job keeps him busy for a while.

Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2008

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