Muriel Arnold has led a varied and interesting life which has taken her to all corners of the world. After working in Spain and as a purser on the Queen Elizabeth 2 (beautifully described in Tiaras and Tshirts) her next move was rather more prosaic when she found herself as a secretary working for Esso Standard Libya Inc in the Sahara desert oilfield of Marsa el-Brega.

Life was tough; with Col Gaddafi and Libyan Government restrictions and bureaucracy ruling everyone’s lives. Surveillance by the secret police was the norm and form-filling took up large chunks of the day. The work involved long hours with few facilities for recreation and ‘home’ was a one-bedroom bungalow in ‘Secretary Street’! Every ninety days Muriel was required to renew her visa, which necessitated a round trip to London – which did not always go smoothly. A blow-out of an oil well meant constant work for days while Red Adair worked to extinguish it.

The Author has described very well the life endured by all oil workers in the Libyan desert when political and bureaucratic regulations more than matched the heat and discomfort of oil production.


Genre: African history, Autobiography, Librario, Non-fiction, Politics
Subjects: Esso, Libya, Marsa el-Berga, Red Adair, Sahara, Tiaras