Bristol, October 2007: my partner landed a promotion, a three-year overseas posting in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Out of our family of four, I was the only one who hesitated at this offer. I saw myself diminished under the black shroud of an abeya, aginst a backdrop of monotonous, yellow sand, the call to prayer providing a repetitive soundtrack. Yet, simultaneously, I was enticed by the lure of shedding wellies and cagoules to relocate from a country where autumn seemed eternal to a place promising 20-degree warmth even in its winter months, and an outdoor life for my young daughters. Beyond all that was the prospect of a family adventure to a country that remains so little known to so many.