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Archive for May, 2011

Ta rah Will and Kate

Oh, so they were here, fancy that.

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Election results!!

It’s a sad day when the latest you’ve been up in a long while is not because you’ve out bumping and grinding the night away but to watch the results of the Seychelles election.

And how.

Firstly, the projector that they were using to show the results didn’t work. The assembled throng, which included a couple of work colleagues, stared at a blank white wall for a while (for some probably preferable to looking at the results) before the technology kicked in. Where was Peter Snow when you need him?* Forget the swing-o-meter, there wasn’t a pie chart or bar chart in sight. It was pretty bad.

Secondly, the guy speaking I can only imagine was more knackered than we were being up at this very late hour of 1am, as he could barely speak and had to refer to his notes to remember the name of the President who’d been in power for the past five years.

Thirdly, the audience, who sat in rows like at a school assembly, struggled to look engaged, I was sooooo very tempted to text my colleagues who were right in the eye of the camera ‘ go on, please, please give me a wackaday wave, pleeeassse’.

Fourthly, the opposition parties didn’t turn up so I have no idea who the random rag tag of people were who stood up front when they made the announcement – apart from James Alix Michel (see I remember his name) – and why was he there do we think?

Yup Parti Lepep won 55% of the vote and the SNP, the main opposition party, 41%. So name changes not withstanding, the party that’s been in power for 34 years since the coup in 1977 won again.

*What does Peter Snow do the rest of the time?

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Wedding Bell(e)s #2

We retired to the restaurant for the wedding lunch and feasted on seafood; seafood salad with papaya, grilled lobster with vanilla butter and creole sauce and a divine chocolatemousse with ice cream. The meal was heavenly but best was enjoying the happiness of our newly christened mr and mrs as they laughed, cringed and loved every minute of the speeches, the photos being shown of when they were kids, the gifts and the general ambience. Afterwards,we had a grand tour of their stunning hillside villa before waddling our way with heavy bellies to the beach and sundown from the comfort of our sun loungers.

how's that for a view?

A lovely, lovely day.

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Wedding Bell(e)s # 1

They both showed up

There was a lovely cooling breeze, which was good for the groom as he was looking super sharp in a suit but I feared what might be going on underneath the jacket, though he looked cool as a cucumber. A gazebo had been set up under the shade of a tree, decorated with flowers, and the beautiful crescent of Port Launay glittered behind. We were introduced to the other guests, half of whom were italian and the other half from the midlands – I managed not to mention motorways or the wonders of pesto once.

Fashionably late, the bride arrived, looking lithe and gorgeous in a taupe, strapless dress, a flower tucked behind her ear. The two of them sat to take their vows. It was a short ceremony but heartfelt and the softie that I’ve now become almost shed a tear but luckily I was distracted by some mad woman in swimming costume and sandals who felt it necessary to barge past the wedding guests to take her pictures of the happy couple – whom she didn’t know. So I took picture – see.

honestly

We toasted the two of them with champagne and  stared longingly at the cake which was whipped away for later as were the couple who went off to take some pics.

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Pre wedding nerves

They weren't waiting for me

So my mate from my MBA wrote ages back saying he was going to getting married in Seychelles, woo hoo, I said and got all excited! And we’d like to you invite you to come, he said, ahem, yes should probably have waited to be asked.

I spent weeks before, boring the other one with possible beach wedding outfits and prevaricating on the best way to attend their  nuptials at Ephelia on the other side of mahe, not even sure if the other one could make it. We found out he could 48 hours before, I called my mate with the good news, he called the caterers (‘bloody now they tell us’) and I found out that it was a small and intimate gathering with family – plus us. Paranoia set in, what if he was just being polite and only invited us as we live here?  *ollocks I thought , but what could I do? And besides it was a grilled lobster lunch, I wasn’t going to miss that.

I decided we’d get a taxi there and back and was given the name of a trusty and reliable operator who proved himself to be so when he arrived early and I wasn’t at all ready because, of course, I ignored all the clothes that I thought I might wear, made a random selection, my hair was a mess, put what little make up I had on in the car, waited 20 minutes for the other one who got changed in the back of the cab, arrived just before time at the hotel and ran round in a panic saying we had to get to north beach to find we were already on it. Rushing into the restaurant where I was told to go, I completely missed my friend and he had to come up to me and say hello, looking the picture of calm even though he was about to be wed. He seemed happy to see us so, I think, I was just being paranoid- but then that’s what everyone says about me (a very tired and worn out joke from the lazzer).

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Then again…

They’ve changed the times of the Air Seychelles flights on Saturday to Mauritius. It leaves Seychelles at 9am instead of 11.30am to so that it can come back for 15.15 instead of 20.00, so people can vote. Presumably, that suits everyone.

You can’t wear party colours at the polling station.

The sale of alcohol is also restricted on election day from 6am Saturday 21 May until Sunday 22 May, though people can buy it in restaurants and if they’re ‘bona fide lodgers in hotels and guesthouses but  [not] any member of the public who wishes to consume alcohol in a public bar in a hotel.’

Can you imagine pulling that one in the UK?

Now polling stations in pubs that might work…


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Election Fever

Seychelles Presidential elections are around the corner, as an expat I don’t vote and I don’t know an awful lot about the situation and certainly not enough to pass judgement on what’s come or gone, but it seems there are  two main candidates drawn from the two main parties – Parti Lepep (current President James Michel) and Seychelles National Party (SNP) with their candidate Wavel Ramkalawan. There are also two other independents, Ralph Volcere who edits the Seychelles Weekly and Philip Boule, who I know very little about.

Most of the time I’ve been here, I’ve had hardly any conversations about politics, partly because I don’t think it my place but also perhaps it’s not something that people

this in no way endorses any political affiliation, it was just by my shop.

are comfortable talking about, probably a hangover from the coup and the years following in the 1970s.Now it’s elections that’s changed. Posters have been strung about the place, there are party political broadcasts on TV and there was even a leadership debate on SBC, but alas I missed that choice piece of television. People have flags out their windows, we were invited to a ‘green party’ that was soon dropped to just a ‘party’ as people thought  if green, it was party affiliated (SNP) and I even caught myself wondering whether I should wear a red top this week lest people think I’m a Parti Lepep supporter. Until I thought, **** that, I’ll wear what I want. And I did, Seychelles is a democracy after all.

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FA Cup Final

Different place, more football, no sound, more Procol Harem. I’m not kidding.

What’s with this island?

And more to the pertinently, what’s with the stupid name? Musical suicide, produce one hit and have a name that no bugger can remember. Genuis.

[I only know cos the other one did and he’s not normal]

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Football turns me a whiter shade of pale

With the football Premiership coming to a close and the other one, unfortunately for me, a Manchester United fan, I’ve had to suffer the interminable bore of hearing how many points, how many games, what goal difference etc etc the team has and pretending like I’m interested. I kinda feel sorry for him as the poor sod hardly ever gets to see a game on TV as SBC rarely shows them, so he sits glued to yahoo sport (the text commentary as we don’t have the download speeds or capacity for video) but always a minute or so behind, his phone pinging having received a text from mates thousands of miles away telling hims someone’s scored, while he sits watching the screen refresh. So exciting times in our household, we went out to watch the footie  at Pirates – on a sunday night. I don’t know the last time we ever went out on a sunday. It was United vs Chelsea. You’ll know the score by now but suffice to say the other one was happy.

Of course, it wasn’t straightforward. The TV’s were on, the sound wasn’t and so in the background, some geezer on a keyboard belted out ‘hits’ including Procol Harem ‘ Whiter Shade of Pale’. It was a very strange experience; it’s hard to be tense and nervous with excitement listening to a bad version of a song whose only line you can remember reminds you of paint and presents the surprising conundrum of would you rather watch paint dry or listen to that song?

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Trois Freres – it’s a walk

see, the funny shaped pods with the lid? that's them

Thought it was about time that I dug out my boots and supported the ‘What Wildife’ group on Social Seychelles that organises regular walks out and about the island. The other one has an apparent aversion to walking so I was striking out on my own but in the company of a few of the scooby gang. Thank god, they decided not to go with the three hour walk with required scrambling at the end (dodgy ankles…) but the much easier and gentle Trois Freres walk. Unfortunately, I’d done it before but that was with the other one, who knows about as much as I do about flora and fauna, whereas this time we had our secret weapon ‘R’ who does plants – and he has a personality- not that I’m stereotyping at all.

R found and described the pitcher plants for which Seychelles, and the walk, is well known. I paraphrase badly;  ‘the plants are thirsty cos the soil is crap and so they eat insects’ or something. The walk was fairly easy as there’s a clear path, you just need the knees to climb, and the views are stunning; one of the best placed picnic benches ever. It was just a shame I didn’t have anything to eat and I don’t eat insects. Not even if they’re covered in chocolate.

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