Sunshine trip to Dubai is a test of wills these days



Travelling is stressful at the best of times, never mind during a global pandemic.

Everyone will have an opinion about me flying to Dubai but, for me, it was necessary to see my sister.

Travelling has always been a huge part of my life. If it’s legal to do so, I’m going for it, safely.

First off, the dreaded Covid test. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure yet, lucky you.

I genuinely thought I was being poked in the brain (yes, despite what the trolls say, I have one) and I definitely swore at the poor doctor.

I’ve had a few and they’re really not too bad, just don’t move a muscle or breathe.

Being ex-cabin crew, getting on a flight for me always felt like jumping on a bus. Those times are long gone – at least for the foreseeable future.

With the amount of paperwork now required and the necessary triple-checking everything online, I felt stressed beyond belief. I then imagined travelling with a family, which sent me over the edge.

Despite feeling frazzled, I made it in one piece to Dubai, my hands glistening after sanitising them to infinity, a fresh mask for landing, all documents printed, track and trace app downloaded.

All that was left to do at the airport was get my sister her favourite bottle of gin from Dubai’s duty free.

As I finally crept into my sister’s villa at what I think was 2am local time, the first thing I wanted to do was shower off all that travel filth. You know the feeling. Covid aside, after planes, trains and automobiles, we all need a scrub.

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I had planned a few pool days, dinners – but nothing too crazy – with my family and friends during my week stay.

Nowhere on Earth exudes its usual buzz right now but the sunshine in Dubai does help you drift off to more peaceful and less uncertain times.

All that’s left to do after an amazing week in my second home is do it all over again. Pass me a swab.

Students deserve a degree of compassion

I really feel for the university and college students who have had to isolate in campus halls.

I’m not sure what they will think is worse – Covid or their spiralling mental health.

I understand procedures need to be put in place but, really, we knew it was going to happen because it happened in colleges in America.

Students leaving home to start their next phase of life was the biggest movement of people since the start of lockdown so it was inevitable.

Rent rebates are required and mental health support for our students residing in what have been described as “halls of horror”.

Asymptomatic routine testing wouldn’t go a miss and a little more clarity as to who is allowed to go home and under what circumstances.

I just hope by Christmas all of our students will be at home – happy and safe with their families.

I’ll get real with celebs

How women are viewed as they get older has a long way to go.

Our age and appearance are scrutinised constantly. I’ve experienced it numerous times and I’m sure you have too.

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What right does anyone have to comment on a woman’s appearance through how they age?

If you watched Britain’s Got Talent last week you’ll have witnessed Amanda Holden in a ball gown.

As usual, there were hundreds of negative comments on Twitter about why she shouldn’t be wearing such a “revealing” dress. It was appalling.

Wear what you want – whatever your age.

With this in mind, I’ve launched a new IGTV series on Instagram called Get Real where I aim to talk to celebs about the real side of their appearance.

We’ve come on leaps and bounds in regards to accepting our bodies.

Getting celebs to admit what they like and what they don’t like about themselves hopefully will help us to accept who we are and normalise the “normal”.





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