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KEY FEATURE The Adventures of a Girl Wearing Pearls About the Author Jan Constable came late to writing but found her forte recounting her amazing and sometimes hair-raising experiences to friends and colleagues, which she decided to commit to paper. Born and brought up near London, Jan was educated at The Lady Eleanor Holles School in West London and in her spare time enjoyed playing tennis and sailing. Her early working life included stints in both London and Paris where she worked at the British Embassy. In 1970 at the age of 27, she found herself catapulted into Dubai as a result of her husband’s job. Dubai then was an unknown desert kingdom lapped by the Persian Gulf. Always assuming that her destiny lay somewhere in rural England, she was not exactly equipped for this extraordinary adventure. How dull her life would have been and her tales of “The Adventures of a Girl Wearing Pearls” would never have seen the light of day! Jan never returned to live in the UK permanently and now lives in Spain. Taster of “The Adventures of a Girl Wearing Pearls” Bombshell! I will never forget May 8th 1970 as it was the day my life, as I knew it, was to irrevocably change forever. Mike, my husband, had been posted to Dubai in the Trucial Oman States at a time when nobody had even heard of Dubai and the only information that could be gleaned from the Board of Trade was that it imported massive quantities of gold, had no official exports and was hideously hot during the summer. In those days, there was no option and wives were expected to accompany their husbands wherever they were posted, donning a stiff upper lip at all times or, more to the point, being seen and not heard. I think it was called towing the line! It was with total fear and trepidation that we advanced towards the dreaded day, with so many plans and so much to do, not least of which was stocking up on essentials, as back then Dubai was not the shopping Mecca that it is today. I was briefed as to what was available and what I should definitely consider taking with me, and one considerable item was cosmetics. To that end I can vividly remember visiting Elizabeth Arden in Bond Street and attempting to order enough cosmetics to last a year; it sounds quite preposterous now. Oh, and J-cloths — why I thought we needed about 500 I will never know; and then there was the question of hosting company soirées which would require, as far as I could make out, buying up the whole of Mappin & Webb. What a nightmare!



By Jan Constable

For clothes, it was suggested that one should take a sufficient amount to cover every eventuality, but what was every eventuality, I wondered. My first priority was to be well-turned-out at all times, disregarding the sweltering temperatures; consequently, I embarked on a dizzy round of shopping and fittings for cocktail dresses, evening dresses and tea dresses, as well as all the other essentials, including tennis, golf and swimming gear. At this stage, I really had no idea at all as to whether my acquisitions would be appropriate or whether I would need to be covered from head to toe in a black abaya and burka, or indeed if I would ever see the light of day, this being an Arab country where women did not have too many rights. The dreaded day was fast approaching, the packers had been, the house was let, the car was sold, our lovely dog Lucy was going to stay with my parents and numerous farewell parties had been attended. It was like sleepwalking into an abyss. Our farewells had been made. ‘When will we see you again?’ chums chorused. ‘Not sure,’ was the reply, ‘maybe sooner rather than later’. May 8th had arrived and I was dressed to kill in one of my beautiful new outfits, in retrospect more appropriate for Ladies’ Day at Ascot than for heading to the desert. We were driven to Heathrow by my parents and joined there by Mike’s parents and chums, and this was when realization dawned — there was no going back. I managed to get through immigration but then it was a total collapse of ‘stout party’, the stout party being me. On reflection, I think I cried all the way to Dubai. Oh what misery, even my beautiful new clothes didn’t lift the spirits or the wonderment of being on my first international flight, or the concern of the cabin crew. My poor Mike was wondering just what could be done to console me; I think I kept saying ‘I want to go home’ but we were helterskeltering into the unknown, possibly both as terrified as each other. “The Girl Wearing Pearls” is available for worldwide delivery in paperback and eBook form and also available to download using iphones and other Apple Apps via, and or locally here in Spain directly from Jan on 0034 952 491 359/ 0034 689 704 060 for 13 Euros. Key to Mijas Costa FB page will be posting about the book launch at Café Boulevard in La Cala this summer. Watch this space… Blog Email – Facebook – The Adventures of a Girl Wearing Pearls Twitter – @janstable

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Key to Mijas Costa #113  

Issue 113 of the Key to Mijas Costa magazine - Mijas Costa's Only Local English Language Magazine for the International Community. Issue 113...

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