The trip began brilliantly. BA had forgotten to update their database, so they treated us splendidly in the mistaken belief that Mark was still a gold card holder. We got to sit in their nice lounge, drinking nice tea and eating nice cakes while our not-so-nice children irritated all the genuine gold card passengers.
In recognition of our gold-liness, they also sent a buggy, and Jody schmoozed the driver into letting her drive it to the departure gate, which made the airport a far more exciting place for everyone.
And, as if that wasn't already enough to make a great holiday, the weather was pretty nice - as demonstrated in this picture of Mark pretending to like mum's cat.
We gave the kids an early Easter hunt. Partly because they have no idea when Easter is supposed to be. Partly because they don't really understand what Easter means:
Rachel: So what are we celebrating on Good Friday?
Dylan: Me being good.
Partly because it meant they could share it with cousin (The Hat) Harriet. And partly because an Easter hunt in a garden that is largely made up of swimming pool would probably require scuba equipment.
Jody very kindly helped little Harriet find her eggs.
When the time came to go back to Dubai, we told mum that she wouldn't need to bring any jumpers as the weather would be fantastic.
We arrived back to find we had missed a week of torrential downpours, violent lightning strikes, and blinding sandstorms (bear in mind the buildings in the picture are over 50 floors tall)
While the news had reported the lightning strikes on the Burj (tallest building in the world), they had failed to report the attack on our umbrella and trampoline (tallest structures in our garden).
So we arrived home to a pool full of sand, a house full of water and several charred remains in the back garden.
In all the excitement, Dylan decided he wasn't tired and wanted the light left on in his room at bedtime so he could put himself to bed when the time was right.
He obviously realised a bit too late that that time had come...