Mohammed al Suwaidi's Cup of Tea

Mohammed al Suwaidi's cup of tea
has multiple and changing definitions:
a rainy Sunday, thoughtful company,
black hansoms, London's Constables and Titians.
No less diverse, we find, are its negations:
football, less than gentlemanly manners,
dirty commuter trains and noisy stations,
demonstrators shouting, waving banners.
He learned the phrase in England. Now he tends
to treat it like a cherished souvenir.
He dusts it down, displays it to his friends,
its many facets, clever, coy and queer,
and milks it for the conversational leverage
afforded by his yet untasted beverage.

Sumer is icumen in

Yesterday was about as hot as it gets here. The radio had warned that temperatures were going to hit 46C and the general consensus was that 46 was a conservative estimate. My after-lunch walk around the perimeter of Muntazah Park, a total distance of no more than a mile, must have cost me a litre of dehydration over and above the high beetroot hue. The odd thing is, I like it.

Too much information

Only in England would someone take the trouble to make a slate message board like the above. It's mounted outside a small second hand shop on Malvern's Bellevue Terrace and seemed, today at least, more or less to sum up the difference between Malvern and Doha. There should be no need to enlarge on that.