Archive for December, 2010

Preparing for mother dear

We washed the bed clothes.

We went to the hotel shop and got among other things cheese.

We got alcohol.

We prayed for ‘good’ weather’.

And lo, despite severe weather warnings across the UK, Heathrow in chaos and people delayed, sleeping in airports and cancellations here, there and everywhere.

My mother arrived on time.

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Swimming pools and spas…

Labriz Pool

After feasting on breakfast and sneaking in a couple of Bucks Fizz, the gods were on our side as the sky cleared and the sun peeked out. Wasting no time, we sidled into the pool, took lots of shots and got out again, just to prove what a great break we had.

No we did swim a bit, how could we not?  The swimming pool was ours most of the time and at one end we had a beautiful view of the mountains and the other a view to the beach. We dried off in the sun’s rays and curled up on a big comfy chair that we’d been coveting where I vainly tried to take a decent photo of me concluding that it was the camera’s fault that I had more than one chin and gave up, dragging the other one to the beach instead, where I vainly tried again, this time from the flattering angle of swinging on a hammock – though I think the other one was more concerned with capturing the beauty of the beach as it was pretty awesome.

Boring of that game, we continued on to the resort spa where we gave the treatments a miss as the prices were rather steep (£100 average) but clued in from someone else learned that the rest of the facilities can be used for free.

The only ones there, not content with living in the humidity of the Seychelles for months, we felt it necessary to work up more sweat in the sauna and the steam room (and I hoped to drop a chin or two). Plunging in the outdoor pool, we discovered that its shape and depth distorted our body images and amused ourselves no end, but then this comes from people who find swimming in pools with snorkel masks on, funny.

Back at the villa, we got ourselves ready to leave and despite the weather had had a lovely time and were disappointed to be going. This mean that the Christmas was approaching and with it the arrival of mother dear.

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Teppanyaki voyeurism

We knew that for a bargain break the cost would have to be recouped somewhere and that that would be the food and drink. We’d brought snacks but figured we should treat ourselves to a tasty meal. Of the 5 restaurants on Labriz,  the one that caught our fancy was the Japanese Teppanyaki one, that is until we saw the prices; 1500 SCR (about £75)  per person, alas I don’t have that sort of money, and for what?  The novelty of watching someone cook it for you, eh?

It’s another LT thing- give us something to talk about over dinner, except I don’t think we’ve reached that stage yet. We’re at the choose your fish stage, gives you a little something to chit chat about at the start of your meal leaving you free to improvise later, suitable for the 7-15 yr early stage maturity. Yup, that’s it.

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Checking out the hotel facilities

Having the home advantage of

a) not having flown hours to get there

b) being able to see Silhouette from our window

we’d come prepared – we had our gym stuff – yes really. Not only that but sadly, I really enjoyed my second gym session in 18 months even if my technical knowledge of how a running machine works hadn’t vastly improved since the first time so that in actual fact I spent my first 10 minutes trying to work out how to go faster than the 2 mph hour I’d selected cautiously so as not to make a tit of myself, a tactic that well backfired. I didn’t do too well with the free weights either, they made my muscles ache, who wants that?

With the rain still pouring, we sought out the resort’s entertainment centre that boasted a ping pong table, DVD library, games and pool. We thought the place would be heaving but no, it was just us, must be an LT thing (Long Term couples, 5 yr + stage) all the other guests can’t have been together that long….

The other one harbouring fond (but inaccurate) recollections of our playing pool in south Africa fancied a game or two, presumably forgetting the little fact that I can’t play. No surprise there then that we played two games and he won two. However, he did take the time to explain to me how to hold a cue, how to stand and how to try and work out angles which meant that when he was helping me, I didn’t do too badly, it’s just when he stopped that there was a problem, especially when at the end I insisted on potting all my balls still left on the table. It was like those films that show time passing by speeding through the seasons, we went through a whole year and were back again, Merry Christmas 2011!

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Soggy in Silhouette…

The one exciting thing about going into work before Christmas (besides receiving my photo of me shaking hands with Princess Anne : ) ) was an email about a special corporate offer at the Labriz resort on Silhouette Island, one of  Seychelles’ islands and the one visible from Beau Vallon and Glacis. Scrambling around for decent content for this here blog is always a good excuse to justify a splurge plus it had been the other one’s birthday recently when all he got was some cheddars, marmalade (that he doesn’t like) and a box of Special K, so really I owed him (skipping the fact that he actually paid, he’ll never know…).

We rocked up at Bel Ombre in the pimp mobile where it joined all the proper cars in the secure parking area and staff pondered the wisdom of offering a corporate rate at all. I’d tried to cunningly disguise the beers, crisps and snacks that we’d brought with us to fill up on but needn’t have worried as other people staggered in with what looked like a week’s shop, I mean honestly.

The boat roared off  near empty with about 20 of us on board towards the ominous clouds suspended over the island. Getting off the other side, we were transferred to a buggy that transported us to through the island’s village (aka the staff quarters) and then into another buggy that had sides so we didn’t get wet as the heavens opened. Wonderful, idyllic beach island in the rain.

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Water of life

Ten Litres!!

Seychelles hasn’t got enough water, the reservoir at La Gogue is at about 20%, some people have no water at all and bowsers (containers with water as they may be less technically known) are getting delivered to houses (unless you live in Mare Anglaise where the trucks can’t get up).

Our landlord installed individual tanks for each of the flats and touch wood and the other one’s head, we have not yet had the inconvenience of running out of water, although we may be heading for a divorce as every time I hear anything that sounds like a tap or a flush he needs to submit a 24 page memo as to why he was using the water, for how long, what were the benefits, were there any cost savings and did there need to be a communication plan? Funnily enough, the target audience and message remained consistent ‘P^8* off”.

Anxious to ensure our own house was in order and having been given a fright by our neighbour stood in the pouring rain outside our bathroom in a long yellow mac looking like Captain Birdseye forlornly staring into empty buckets, I thought it best to collect a little water too. I grabbed our mop bucket stuck it underneath the edge of our veranda where all the water ran off, waited overnight and hey presto next morning full bucket. And would you believe it held 10 litres of the stuff, TEN LITRES.  I best tell Capt Birsdsye before she gets pneumonia.

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Christmas follies

With the UK visit out of the way, it was time now to focus on that time of year ‘Christmas’, ho ho ho.  First on the list was the other one’s School Christmas Concert (NOT to be confused with Carol Concert no, no, no or we all get told off). The hall was packed as we were taken on a journey across the world to hear how other cultures celebrate at this time of year and each class sang a festive song, it was very sweet and amusing, particularly spotting those kids staring into space,oblivious to the fact that they were meant to be faking happy and not trying to use their finger to reach their brain from through their nose.

Then there was the work Christmas lunch, a big event as I was driving all the way there and back  to Eden Island, oooooooooo.  I was late as I had to ask our neighbour to move his truck (otherwise I’d have mown down our only surviving palm tree ) plus check the water, not that I was nervously faffing at all.

Arriving  in one piece at Bravo, everyone was gathered at the table all but drumming it with their knives and forks and gnawing at their fingernails. A plethora of starters arrived which were yummy, followed by my main of  King Prawns. I hadn’t been sure of the etiquette when the menu came round work, do you order a dish more expensive than the High Commissioner’s or not?  As at least three other people had, I thought sod it, baa baa (and hope he hasn’t made a note of it).

Having had a couple of glasses of wine with the sun shining, I thought it best to sober up and made a nuisance of myself at Save Our Seas visiting A. I went over to her transition flat (she’s was in the midst of moving) and we had a chin wag over a peppermint tea ( a treat indeed) before I left to meet the other one who, although he’d finished school for the term, had the grand job of fixing up the school’s new whiteboards – a job he’d never have got if they’d seen the inside of our house.

That was my pre Christmas build up. To think magazines dedicate pages and pages to this stuff. Either they’re really sad or I am.

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No offence but it did make me laugh… so Seychelles thought they were getting the ex Manchester City player Andy Morrison to coach the national football team and to great fanfare unveiled him a few months ago to the press only to find recently that in fact they haven’t employed him at all but instead some guy called Andrew Amers Morrison whose apparent claim to fame was running a samba soccer school for underprivileged children in London.

I read about this in the Seychelles’ national newspaper The Nation, whose hilariously blunt opening line ‘Did Seychelles get the right Andy Morrison? The answer is no’ tipped me off to the mix up but it seems that they only knew about it because of an article in the Northwich Guardian newspaper (not too far from my home town Manchester in the UK) where the real Andy Morrison is assistant manager for their non league home team Northwich Victoria, who on hearing the news was reported by the Guardian as saying: “I thought it was a wind-up…took a phone call on Sunday night asking for my thoughts on getting the job. Apparently it has also been in news stories on the Internet. I had to laugh, it’s the first I’d heard of it.”

So it seems it was news to the Seychelles Football Federation too: “We thought we were getting the real Andy Morrison,” said Suketu Patel, chairman of the Seychelles’ Football Federation (SFF) but instead we have an impostor.”

In an attempt to clear up the matter, Andrew Amers Morrison was called before the SFF to explain himself and for whom action would be taken if it was found he’d mislead them, so said Mr Patel. Curious then that just a couple of days later, indeed yesterday, the Seychelles Football Federation announced that the fake Andrew Amers Morrison would be staying on as according to The Nation at no time has the SFF or any of its officers made any statement in respect of the identity of Mr Amers Morrison and that the confusion came from the local press which mistook Amers Morrison for former Manchester City centre-half Andrew Charles ‘Andy’ Morrison, which was then picked up by the Northwich Guardian newspaper and the SFF website. Ahh so it was the press that did it, SFF knew what they were getting all along did they Mr Patel?

That would explain why the SFF were not so concerned when apparently according to the Nation two days after signing his contract with the SFF, coach Andrew Amers Morrison told the local football body about the false information on its website, asked for it to be rectified and provided the SFF with his own website http://www.sambastreetsoccer.com but unfortunately ‘due to an administrative oversight by the SFF, this was not followed through’.

So fake Andrew remains in employment but we are assured by the SFF that he’s on 6 month probation where his ‘performance will be assessed and evaluated’ presumably by the SFF. Hmmmmmm.

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16 hours after I left the UK

I was back in Seychelles and on the beach.

I have no idea who that couple is

It’s not home here either but I hear they’ve started commercial flights to space, the final frontier maybe that it’s it, beam me up Scottie, now where’s my light sabre? bidee bidee.



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While zipping about on trains here there and everywhere I had time, in between taking pictures of snow and eating cr*p, to reflect a little on what it felt like to be back. I wasn’t weirded out, I didn’t find choice overwhelming, I didn’t even mind the cold. It was all just like normal except it wasn’t, sometimes in some places I was a stranger passing through with tales of strange lands, I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. So I clicked my heels together three times and …


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