Archive for January, 2011

On tortoise racing… really

I was well and truly tickled this week.

Speedy in training, top right

A letter written was published in the main national newspaper ”The Nation’ on ways that money could be raised to support  the Carnival Seychelles in March. One of his ideas, tortoise racing.


Aside from any animal welfare issues, two thoughts leapt to mind:

– how do you make tortoises go in a straight line?

– exactly how entertaining is it to watch tortoises race?

The argument was made that camels are raced, dogs are raced and even, apparently, crabs in Australia. That might be so, but I think a key  point has been missed. They go fast.  THE RACE DOESN’T LAST VERY LONG. They might be Giant Tortoises but does that make them any quicker?

Perhaps to combat this weakness, it was suggested that the tortoises race within a certain amount of time so that when the end time for the race is reached, the tortoise closest to the finish line wins. This I assume allows for the fact that no tortoise as far as I’m aware (though I’m no zoologist) is naturally inclined to make a  run for it.

Half hourly race updates on local radio were also recommended.

‘And we have Speedy in the left lane, he’s averaged so far 0.04 km an hour, he’s looking round at the competition and spots Hard Shell just ahead. She’s been in her shell for the 45 minutes,  joined at the 28th minute by Ted next to her. And what’s this?  Speedy’s gone slalom, he’s crossing lanes, he’s approaching Hard Shell and he’s on top. This is unbelievable. It’s got to be disqualification for Speedy. But it’s given Hard Shell the nudge she needs, she’s off. Just 5 hours and 30 minutes to go.’

Apparently, the idea of tortoise racing was put to the country’s National Assembly (must have been a slow day) some time ago but it was rejected. There’s a benefit of democracy right there. Some people.



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I heart Apple Macs

Did I tell you that I had one? I have and its wonderful.

It’s light, its fast and all I do it tap tap and pow a document is open, tap tap and its gone again. Reducing the size of photos to put on the blog, saves me sooooo much time. I admit, that it took me sometime to work out the forward delete (function/delete) and also how to get the hash symbol (alt+3) and the multi track pad had me all over the place at first but now I get on the pc and I’m trying to scroll through a document and it’s like sooooooooooo tedious, wasted minutes of my life!

I also had great fun filming the other one on the iphoto booth when he didn’t know he he.

Just hope that nothing goes wrong with it as I have no beggaring idea how it’d get fixed here.

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Something’s come up…

A new job was advertised round work for a  Regional Communications bod. Hmmmm, think I could do that. Only problem, french skills needed (reading mostly). Loyal readers will know that my attempts to refresh my GCSE French didn’t go too well at the Alliance Francaise and I’m not sure that my replacement learning of watching cartoons in French will necessarily help – Disney’s Petit Einstein and Mickey Mouse not being obvious subject matter for the media. Anyway, I understand that the role is more about the communications than the language and given that it’s a level equivalent to that which I started at in the Civil Service over 10 years ago, I should be able to blooming do it, j’espere.

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Death by Stereo

Watched Lost Boys at the weekend – for first time in years – and it still stands up, love it. I’d forgotten how funny it was (the Frog brothers, the grandad) and also the number of lines we used to quote from it, took me back. I have to confess to having been a Corey Haim fan at the time (my defence is I mustn’t have hit puberty yet) and it was sad to think that he’s another one of Hollywood’s statistics, a life lost too early. Kiefer was fab and whatever happened to Jami Gertz and Jason Patric? I feel an internet search coming on. The only real dodgy bit were the band playing ‘I Believe’, was there a time that looking like a Chippendale was ever cool?

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The boss asked me if I wanted to go along with him to the launch of the countdown to Carnival Seychelles (they ‘re really hot in their PR opportunities here).  We rocked up at ICCS along with a gathering of the great and good, a couple of whom gave me a nod in recogntion (for the right reasons I hope) and I sat with the diplomats and tried to look the part (not quite sure what that is but it involved me not getting loo roll out and blowing my nose).  It was being filmed, so during the speeches interspersed with performances from the Carnival CD that really captured the carnival spirit if not the audience (it’s not like people were going to start dancing in the aisles, metaphorically speaking we were a large bunch of suits), I tried very hard to have my captivated and interested face on. This was easy during one of the numbers with dancers from the Consevatoire, some of whom I recognised, I was immediately  absorbed wishing I could be doing that too, maybe I need to get back into the dancing thing.

Afterwards, there were drinks in the lobby and as waitresses flitted by with ice cold pint glasses of Seybrew, I  tried not to feel too much of a pleb as the boss did his networking thing and I stood sipping on my fizzy orange. Still, I did see someone I knew and we had a chat too, see I can network too ; )

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Party in bad taste

It rarely happens in Seychelles but a weekend with three party invites… my wardrobe couldn’t cope. One we had to turn down but the other two, a goodbye and a birthday or two, we went along too.

‘A’ is leaving with her family after 9 years and back to Oz, sad to see her go as if it wasn’t for her we probably wouldn’t have got into the running (not that I can say I’m much of a poster child for it now) still with her gone, it might mean that there’s a chance for every other bugger on the island to win something! She was like the bionic woman on steroids.. A particularly amusing moment was seeing ‘A’s son in his bedroom with his mates, all of them lay in a row on his bed playing on their mobile phones, talking it seems is sooo over rated these days.

We stayed a couple of hours and then headed to our second party of the night which had a theme ‘bad taste’. Not having many clothes in the wardrobe at all to even warrant bad taste, ours was a more abstract interpretation of the theme. I had wanted to go as Boris Johnson but this seemed a virtual impossibility, being the wrong colour, the wrong sex and not a wig shop within I don’t know a 1000 miles? Sarah Palin was out too. So the thought process went like this:

*rap did a white wash meant to put in the net curtains…hmm net curtains they’re in bad taste, maybe I can wear net curtains (wearing curtains being a ‘thing’ of mine), wash net curtains, actually they look rubbish I can’t wear them, maybe I can wear them over my head so I’m peeping through them but no they’re way too big, the other one joins in,we can be people who twitch curtains like peeping toms they’re in bad taste, ok let’s get a lace wrap it round our heads with two bits of kitchen rolls hanging down, yeah brilliant look I can open and close them, yeah great we find it funny even if no-one else does, yeah!!!!!!!

No-one got it. They thought we were dressed as Arab Sheikhs (very cheap ones). You try be creative…..

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Fire! Evacuate!

High drama today (see being on top of this thing means I can report on same day issues wow!).

Colleague in office says ‘I say come and look over here, there seems to be rather a large fire’.

Two other people in office  ‘You do think so really? Righty ho let me see this puppy’

Me in office thinking  ‘what, what, move from my chair to see the handiwork of some hoodlum who’s started a fire in an oil drum, no I’d rather carry on staring at this spreadsheet thanks’.

Next minute ‘EVACUAAATEE. Bags were grabbed, people were rounded up and we were down those stairs (still waiting to hear the alarm might I add) and out onto Francis Rachel street as the sirens sounded, 3 fire engines turned up and hoses were aimed at the flames and smoke billowing out of the building next door but one. It was a proper big fire.

The streets were full of crowds watching the fire fighters who did a fab job containing the fire but not so the people (though strictly speaking its probably not their job). I reckon some had pockets full of marshmallows they wanted toasting.

It took well over an hour before the smoke calmed down and the top of the building is now just a black hollow of scorched remains. I don’t believe that anyone was in there but it makes you realise it can happen so easily. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, smoke alarms – sometimes this having worked for government stuff rubs off on you. It’s a surprise that I’m not the straightest person ever. But I’m not- I have rugs in my house without grips on them.

[note: no picture available as I always forget to carry my camera and I no longer have the USB thingie for my phone]

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Always the last to know…

me and the other one on a bad day

A regular reader of popbitch for more years than I can remember ( apart from when they accidentally kicked me off their database) I have to confess to a shallow attraction to showbiz tittle tattle, so imagine my horror when I found out only this week that Brangelina had been on holiday here in Seychelles in November with their brood. It’s not like you can miss them is it?  The online rumour mill has also been suggesting that they got married or had a faux marriage or something. I’m not sure that most of us really care about whether people are married or not, its just another excuse to nosy at celebrities, see what they’re wearing, what they spend and who they’re friends with- and hands up I’m guilty. Sadly, I would have loved to see Ange, Brad and the brood but having ‘worked my contacts’ (not a search on google no) it seems that they’d gone to North Island, the ultra swanky place that costs thousands of pounds per night, which explains why I knew nothing about it.  I’ve seen the island in the distance from Silhouette if that counts.


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Normal and supra normal service resumed

Mother dear has returned back to UK shores, the other one and I are both back at work (though unlike the majority of the world’s population struggling to raise the enthusiasm to get in, I actually turned up 2 days early and had to go home again), water restrictions are being lifted, the Seychelles national newspaper ‘The Nation’ has a new look (a rusty red header now instead of a green one mainly from what I can tell) and best of all a regular and timely update of this blog.

I start as I mean to go on.

For now.

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Ringing in the New Year

I had no idea what we were going to do, couldn’t be bothered making a decision and was reaching that point where being constantly with parent (or anyone for that matter ) in tow was becoming harder having a low tolerance for such things (from a young age having often been left to my own devices but with no great story to illustrate this, like say burning down my school).

We went into Victoria, which was heaving, managing to get most of what we needed in case we decided to eat at home instead of accepting the invite we’d had over to a friend’s. In the end, home won out and we invited over J and S (who was back from the UK) to join us. Mother cooked up a storm in less time and with less stress than I’d ever have done and everything was ready to go when they arrived. Food was delicious and as we chatted counting down the hours, our earlier idea of going to the beach which I had thought forgotten, was well remembered by S – at 11.50pm.

To the beach!!

In such a rush, I didn’t even bother with shoes (but managed the bikini) and grabbing the champagne and plastic cups we piled into J’s jeep and motored down to Sunset beach, finding the path down and squealing as we could hear the guy at the hotel bar counting down to the new year. We made it on to the sand just in time and launched into a rowdy rendition of Auld Lang Syne much to the surprise of the occupants of the beachside villas who’d probably paid a small fortune to escape people like us.

We cracked open the champers and S and I splashed into the water my mother calling after me to be careful. All I wanted to do anyway was float in the Indian Ocean staring up at the stars that were scattered and shining across the black sky, alone and happy reflecting upon just how much of a lucky bugger I am.

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