Archive for June, 2011

Oh la la treats from the hotel shop

It’s becoming more regular – the visit to the hotel shop. It’s the Creme Fraiche that did it, once you remember how great and versatile it is  (especially for lazy ass cooks like me) you can’t do without it, though it’s a very expensive habit when you come out having spent £50 (not all on Creme Fraiche obviously). I think I might be hankering for Europe..wine, cheese, cheese, wine, pate (the other one’s of course), it’s the gout diet all over again….

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Mad Men

It’s on SBC, yay I thought, and only on epsidoe 2, series 1, I can watch it all again and catch up on a couple I missed!

Then I found out it’s on a Monday night at 10.40pm, I mean really. I get up at 6pm, we all start work at 8am and it’s the beginning of the week..

Despair.Frustration. Pain. Incredulity. Need I go on?

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Pain. Frustration. Incredulity. Despair.

Over the course of a few weeks, I’ve been trying to open a bank account for Social Seychelles- I still haven’t succeeded – but believe that if I had decided to rob the bank instead, I’d now be sitting in South America writing this as it’d be a hell of a lot easier.

I shall spare the details but in a nutshell, I was given a form, told to bring in the NGO constitution and the minutes setting Social Seychelles up, and proof of ID. Each time I go back its something new, we need this signature, we don’t take photocopies of ID, you need a separate Treasurer (really?!), we need proof of address, we need the minutes certified, we need another signature and on and on and on. The best was not accepting our c/o address as proof of residence, which we use for post and appears on our driving licences and all our bills – I’d love to know who in Seychelles does use their home address seeing as though there’s no pigging postal service that comes to my house or anyone else’s. Ridiculous.  I wouldn’t mind but I only have about 500SCR to deposit- £25 quid.

Really is it worth it?

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Odd running regimens

Bored of the run from near our house, we’ve recently been back to the running track around Roche Caiman and it’s great, why?

It’s got no piggin hills… flat all the way baby…(not that I’ve noticed any discernible improvement in my running time). It also doesn’t have any cars intent on running me off the road, which thinking about it, I should have maybe mentioned first.

What has piqued my curiosity is a number of slightly rotund men walking round the track (occasionally at a jog) clad in shorts and…anoraks. ANORAKS. This is Seychelles, weather between 28-32 degrees, pretty much ALL year round (though I admit to having worn a jumper in the office recently -a very thin one – but still there’s no aircon outside is there?).

I’m not suggesting that in any way that these men are dodgy  and can only deduce that they’re doing some mad keep fit thing (you’d have to be, an anorak/exercise/this heat?) . My main concern is that they don’t take off their anoraks in a confined space nor lend the offending garment to anyone, ever. I also wonder if they’re wrapped in cling film underneath, if not, clearly they’re not trying hard enough.

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Hot off the press

The shop is now open. Pass it on.

The other one raced in with excitement and I could hear him having a right old chat, asking if they were definitely re-open, how good it was that they were, loud laughs etc etc. I sat in the car and stared at the back of a man having a pee, who when he’d finished, noticed me and muttered in what I thought was creole but transpired to be english, ‘beer’ he said ‘beer’. I smiled weakly, the other one came out and rather than it scaring pee man off, he got bolder and came to the car window ‘ beer’ he bleated, clearly wasted. I looked him in the eyes (hard me), politely said no and we drove off and I enquired of the other one, what the deal was with the shop.

‘They’re open’ he said, ‘how are they?, I said, ‘I don’t know’, he said, ‘why’ I said, ‘oh it was someone different’, he said, ‘so like new owners?’ I said. He paused, ‘I guess they were’.

So that’s the story of the shop.

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what was she thinking?

With the pub quiz done for a month (feedback suggesting it was a great success, hurrah!), it’s time now to focus on the impending Social Seychelles beach clean in partnership with Save Our Seas and Moorings. Scheduled for 9 July, it seems to becoming bigger and bigger, which is great, because that’s what Social Seychelles is about, bringing the community together, sharing and supporting each other and in this case, promoting responsibility for looking after our environment and doing our bit to help. All very important stuff, but bloody hell, hard work. What was I thinking (again)?

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Curiouser and curiouser

Saw a police officer at the back of the shop ‘Mangals’ where the family live.  Oooohhhh.

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Library politics

The National Library of Seychelles closed down over the elections and moved itself upstairs to a small office filled with not very
many books. Not having been for ages, the elections over, and wanting some mindless drivel to read (not the blog in this instance), I thought it would be open again, it wasn’t, the stupid small place was. As there wasn’t much to choose from, I chose a few random books, including the rather ambitious and bold choice of a book in French by Patricia Cornwall about the Jack the Ripper. Quite what I was thinking I don’t know, hardly useful is it? Sat at a cafe on the Cote D’Azur, sun shining, gazing into the eyes of my beloved, the waiter coughing politely to get our order, and I say ‘je voudrais deux bieres s’il vous plait et aussi, Jack L’ Eventreur (that is indeed the translation of ‘ripper’) etait un homme mal. Il a aime prostituee* – might be worth a laugh trying it at my next french lesson with the boss though…

This wasn’t the point of the story however, this was: I asked the librarian when the proper library with all the books, as opposed to about one fiftieth of them, was going to reopen.

‘In maybe two years’ [COME ON, REALLY?]

‘We closed for the presidential elections but the elections for the MNAs (local representatives) isn’t until next year, so we have to wait until then.’ [WHY?]

‘Can we get order books from the main library in the meantime?’

‘No, not even the librarians are allowed in’.

So the National Library with books in it, isn’t going to make available its collection, apart from a few bobbins ones, to anyone for 1-2 years because of one day next year when people will place a cross on a piece of card and put it in a box. I thought maybe I was missing something but then a  guy sat at one of the tables, hearing my conversation, spluttered with disbelief and came and joined me and together we were raging – I even threatened to write a letter – nothing like English, middle class rage.

Was the librarian mistaken or is this completely inane and nonsensical decision really true – its the sodding National Library?! And worse, if it is, when exactly were they going to inform the good citizens of Seychelles of this?

I now feel so incensed I might even write a letter to the newspaper. Goddamn it.

*Jack the ripper was a bad man, he liked prostitutes. Eloquent I know. Also I can’t be bothered working out where all the accents are on the keyboard, apologies to pedants.

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Local shop politics

our old local shop but you get the idea

Seychelles doesn’t really go in for supermarkets – most people rely on local shops – and they’re very handy  to top up your ‘in town’ shopping and  last minute emergencies, like milk, tonic, chopped tomatoes and beer (don’t expect any fresh produce beyond onions, garlic, aubergine and eggs – unless you’re lucky). The problem with most shops is parking, between limited spaces and stupid, selfish people (often causing kilometre long tailbacks on an island where the only road with more than one lane is by the the airport) it can be a nightmare, which is why our local shop in Glacis is fab. Close by, fine for parking and open every day until 8pm. Or at least it was. It’s been closed for a few days – highly unusual and annoying as it means being prepared, and when you’re not, its either lentils or eggs for tea.

However, a bizarre public notice appeared in the newspaper, for the attention of customers and suppliers of ‘Mangals’ as our shop is known. It seems that the people running the shop ( nice people we thought) had their lease extended last year for six months to the middle of May, but that’s now expired and they’re refusing to leave. The notice asked that no deliveries be taken by to the shop as there’s no licence to run it. Our shop people, it seems, are staging a sit in. This is more exciting than the elections.

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Fingers on buzzers…

Okay we didn’t have buzzers but we did have a cool turnout, cool questions and a cool time (well, I did anyway) at the Social Seychelles Pub quiz. My role largely was heckling the quiz master, A who did a fab job, and pretending (badly) to translate questions into french and german ( in appreciation of our international clientele), hampered mainly by the fact that I can’t really speak either – GCSE’s or not. Four round of quiztastic questions, like name the toy that was a Filipino jungle weapon, which country is the largest producer of cheese and which country has the most time zones (11)?,  kept the audience gripped, some of whom boldly stated their intent early on with such names as Brainiacs and The Champions – as for the Salty Dogs, I can only presume an in joke : ). Learning that 24 carats is pure gold, I waggled my wedding finger at the other one in mock horror and we were later treated to a great impression of Chewbacca, rivalling the other one’s, and so moved  me  that I almost unleashed Yoda but then thought better of it.

Annoyingly, the modest Brainiacs did piggin win (I can state categorically there was no insider advantage even if the other one was on their team) but in the spirit of one love, everyone was a winner and got something from the very generous coffers of Save Our Seas Foundation – though not pens as they seemed to have been recycled without ink – pencils next time!

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