Thursday’s Special: Desert Dawn


We’ve been suffering serious gales and wetness in the UK, and it’s set to persist, bluster and precipitate for several more days yet. Which has me thinking of dryness and deserts and heat and stillness and no wind. This photo was taken early one morning in the desert outside Dubai. It was around 5 a.m. and I had just given up the battle of trying to sleep in an igloo tent while close by our guide snored loudly in the open back of his 4×4. And when I walked out alone and saw all this, what could I say. Who cares about mangled limbs and a sleepless night? Why would I?

Thursday’s Special  This month Paula challenges us to show her any or all of the following: inversion . circuitous . corniculate . sabulous . interstice . I’m definitely claiming the last two in this shot, and also some circuitous tyre tracks. And then there’s inversion – the up and down-ness of the dunes and sand ruts, the light versus shade, the cool of sunless valleys versus sun-warmed peaks. I suppose at a push too, you might say the distant small lumps and bumps are reminiscent of newly erupting horns?

copyright 2019 Tish Farrell

Wind-blown: Thursday’s Special


I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


We lived in Kenya during the late Moi years, the last days of the one-party state. By then the President was feeling under threat from external pressure to democratise, and whenever the President felt threatened, the crime rate rocketed – white collar crime that is, AK47 operations such as car-jacking that especially targeted expatriate aid workers, and organised by people whose elitist way of life was also at stake. There were episodes of ethnic clashes thrown in for good measure, stirred up in the same quarter. A German forestry consultant was murdered on his front doorstep for complaining about some bigwig chopping down Mount Kenya’s forests to grow hash.


In some ways it was fascinating to observe the bloody devices by which some people cling to power – and by fascinating I mean in the way you might stand frozen, staring into the headlights of an oncoming car. It was stressful then, and especially as election time approached, and so one year we decided we’d had enough, and needed a break. We went to Dubai. While we were there we spent a night out in the desert. You will appreciate the bliss we felt, standing alone in all that emptiness, seeing for miles, and with not one thing on the horizon to trigger our internal security scanners. A landscape arranged by the wind, timeless and mysterious, and with a welcome absence of humans.

© 2015 Tish Farrell

Paula’s Thursday’s Special: Arranged