Archive for July, 2011

Day 1 The Return

Typical, the Piccadilly Line suspended between Boston Manor and Hammersmith, the latter of which we’d been advised was our stop and to get a cab from there. Finding that it was was closed, we were instructed to alight at Boston Manor, as it was closer, and catch a taxi from there instead – prompting puzzlement, why not have done that in the first place? So thanks to London Transport, we had a £6 taxi journey that was 10 minutes to our abode #1. And what an arrival, 36 hours of gluttony; champagne from crystal, tea from china cups, smoked salmon, English muffins, chocolate mousse, clotted cream, fresh strawberries, mozzarella and tomato, pasta and on and on. It was heaven.

And not at all far from the settee to the blow up bed, I could literally roll in.

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So far on Qatar

You know a threshold of boredom has been reached when you get excited about airlines – and we were about to fly Qatar, an unknown quantity, back to the homeland gripped by hacking scandals and oh big surprise, rain. Qatar didn’t disappoint, the first plane to Doha was spacious, the staff unstintingly polite and the food delicious. The film selection was more restricted than Emirates although I was happy with ‘Adjustment Bureau’ a kind of an Inception for the less cerebral, though no lesser film for it, and well acted; sadly, the same couldn’t be said of ‘Paul,’ one joke thinly stretched over 90 minutes. Neither of us had really had time to contemplate being back in the UK, the other one for the first time in 2 years.

As we approached the airport, I got excited, not about landing, but as the skies were clear I could see about 5 other planes in the air, in front and below us (stuck as we were to our holding pattern), the other one muttered something about near misses and kept a keen ear out for the ‘brace brace brace’ command, though judging by the overall lack of communication from the cockpit, especially when we hit some stomach turning turbulence, he’d  be waiting some time. However, we landed unscathed and proceeded to spend another 20 minutes on the tarmac doing nothing. Welcome to Heathrow.

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Normal service will resume

so I broke the Friday update blog rule as I was too busy struggling with what to pack for impending visit to continental climes, especially when my destination was England, what to  pack? Will it be hot,cold, rainy, hailing? I settled for a bit of everything as that was all I had and hoped that our garage would once again reveal its magic mysteries and proffer up some decent clothing for me when I’m home…assuming I can fit into it….

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Social Seychelles weekender

Not quite Southport, though the beaches are better clearly.

Tomorrow heralds the first ever beach clean organised by Social Seychelles and the first in my life all being told. I have the wonderful expertise of ‘A’  helping as chief partner in crime from Save Our Seas Foundation and also S, from our corporate sponsor ‘The Moorings’. The other one has also been roped in doing a marvellous job of the banner, which had it been left to me would have looked totally crap. So an early start tomorrow to do our bit for the environment and feel all warm and fuzzy before rewarding ourselves by pigging out at Kaz Kreol who have offered us altruistic types a discount of some sort, thanks KK (one K short of bad pr there).

Returning to my almost rock and roll lifestyle on sunday,we have the Social Seychelles pub quiz at the Exiles club, back for more…

So it’s a short one from me as I have to go prepare some words in case I get on the tele he he.  The question is, am I more entertaining than 6 hours of school athletics?

It’s debatable.

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It’s a dog’s life

I’m not a dog person, I’m not really a pet person at all, which was why I was confused after going to a work event to find myself in thrall to the shaggy animals and wanting to give them a big hug. I’m not entirely sure that this was the reaction I was meant to have after watching a demonstration of police dog handlers and their dogs, chasing,apprehending and biting the hell out of ‘pretend criminals’, but they were just so clever – not biting when the ‘criminals’ stood still, biting them when they ran, lying down when the police dog handler shouted something utterly indecipherable in kreol to my duff ears. I reckon I could go a whole episode of ‘one man and his dog’ now, is this what being in Seychelles has done to me or is it something that happens with age?

ahhh look at the cute doggie (copyright: The Nation)

I asked one of the guys afterwards what the ‘petting’ etiquette was (not heavy,obviously) apparently the spaniels were ok (they just sniff) but the german shepherds were out, which were exactly the ones I wanted to say hello to dammit. There’s little opportunity for thrill in Seychelles, aside from paragliding and jet skis at Beau Vallon, I reckon I’ve just founded a new extreme sports, forget planking, welcome to world of ‘extreme petting’. B b b b b b bite me.

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Bank book – I couldn’t #3

This is the deposit book I was given for Social Seychelles. There’s a slip for cash, a slip for cheques that come from that bank and a slip for cheques that come from other banks.

And, as I need a copy for the bank and a copy for me, I was told I had to get my own carbon.

I swear, I couldn’t… not in my wildest imagination.

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We’re not British…I couldn’t #2

I couldn’t make this up…

29 June 2011 was a national holiday in Seychelles celebrating 35 years of independence from the British (who it seems were keen to hang onto a slice of a paradise for as long as possible – and being a Brit I can see why – but still it’s no excuse…)

To celebrate this auspicious occasion, tradition it seems dictates that the country holds a national inter-schools sports day at the National Sports Stadium at Roche Caiman. No harm in this you might think, and I fully agree, encouraging sports and achievement is brilliant, especially when in western countries the dire truth is that kids average life expectancy will be less than ours because of obesity.

No, my problem was with it being broadcast live from 10am-4pm on SBC.

Go on, give everyone a day off and they switch on the TV to find the only chuffing thing on is a load of kids, playing at athletics for seven hours!! I mean, no offence but it’s not like they’re even going to be that good, and well, when the other one exclaims ‘they’re all lying down’ you have to wonder – but it then it all made sense, apparently they were just getting into their sacks! Yes, my friends, they had a sack race and also an egg and spoon race, to which the other one then cried ‘they’re showing it in slow motion!!’. That I actually missed it, I realise now is something of a tragedy.

I think maybe what was really going on was subversive stuff, what they were doing is making people want to go to work the next day.

And just to be sure, in case people hadn’t realised…THEY REPEATED IT IN FULL THE NEXT DAY.

And I still missed it.

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Come on hurry up, I've only got another 250 years to go

PLEASE NOTE: see comments to this post, helpfully pointing out that fauna are animals and CITES is Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species. Dodgy schoolgirl error (sorry Mrs Grundy) and though I don’t profess to ever really know what I’m talking about and will do anything (almost!) for a cheap gag, promise I’ll do better next time. Probably a good thing that I’m not responsible for any tortoises ;  ) 

I know it’s a phrase I use far more often than I should but that’s because this country keeps giving me reason too.

Really… ‘I couldn’t make this up’…

From now until August, the country is having a Tortoise census.


And it’s not run by any tom, dick or harry (TDH), oh no, it’s by decree of the environment department of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Environment, Transport and Energy (which might well be the Government equivalent of TDH judging by its title).

It’s an important task, Giant Tortoises can only be found in their natural habitat, here in Seychelles, and in the Galapagos Islands, and right enough, the notice of the census that appeared in the Nation newspaper referred to some official conventions for why they’re doing it, but:

a) quite how a tortoise census is connected with  ‘the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild flora and fauna (CITIES)’, I don’t know (unless Mrs Grundy, my biology teacher had it all completely wrong);

b) Quite how the above convention leads to the acronym CITIES, I know not either, and can only assume that’s it’s translated from French, begging the question why not just have it in English? I’m learning French and its a lovely language but let’s not kids ourselves, there’s a reason English people are crap at speaking French, it’s because there’s no need to ; )

My own thinking is that a Giant Tortoise can’t possibly be flora or fauna as it can’t possibly fit in a vase, there are however, I realise, holes in this argument.

Anyone who has a tortoise is requested to contact the Ministry. I’m quite sad now that I haven’t.

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