My Vision: Challenges in the Race for Excellence is a unique book in which His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, examines aspects of the UAE's development experience. This young country is making every effort to achieve excellence and upgrade its status from a regional economic centre into an international hub. It is striving to excel in services, tourism, the knowledge economy and creative human resources in order to reach its ambitious development goals.
‘When I am disturbed, even angry, gardening has been a therapy. When I don't want to talk I turn to Plot 29, or to a wilder piece of land by a northern sea. There, among seeds and trees, my breathing slows; my heart rate too. My anxieties slip away.’
As a young boy in 1960s Plymouth, Allan Jenkins and his brother, Christopher, were rescued from their care home and fostered by an elderly couple. There, the brothers started to grow flowers in their riverside cottage. They found a new life with their new mum and dad.
As Allan grew older, his foster parents were never quite able to provide the family he and his brother needed, but the solace he found in tending a small London allotment echoed the childhood moments when he grew nasturtiums from seed.
Over the course of a year, Allan digs deeper into his past, seeking to learn more about his absent parents. Examining the truths and untruths that he’d been told, he discovers the secrets to why the two boys were in care. What emerges is a vivid portrait of the violence and neglect that lay at the heart of his family.
A beautifully written, haunting memoir, Plot 29 is a mystery story and meditation on nature and nurture. It’s also a celebration of the joy to be found in sharing food and flowers with people you love.