Back in Blighty again

Mar 08, 09

Once again we find ourselves transported back from one world into another. Travelling can be such a weird disorienting thing as we now find ourselves back in our familiar part of the world and as I write this I’m sure that I’m suffering quite a bit of “jet lag”, mixed also with a dose of “culture lag” too. Our trip back was a little fraught, we were supposed to take off from Bangkok at 00:30 on Sat/Sun night but were delayed for 3 1/2 hours until 4:00 am Sunday morning, this meant that after our 13 hour flight we had to dash from Heathrow to Gatwick, via taxi, to catch the Guernsey plane , only checking in with 35 mins to spare until we then took off. Travelling between different cultures & different worlds is easy today, for which I’m eternally grateful, but it sure does leave your head in a spin !  ...

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Bangkok

Mar 08, 09

Our Bangkok stop-over proved every bit as interesting as Hong Kong was on the way down. Once again we found ourselves in a teeming metropolis filled to the brim with life & commerce. Like Hong Kong, Bangkok was an overwhelming cacophony of human life all packed into a very dense space but in many ways felt more “far eastern”.  Bangkok is home to 12 million people many of them coming from the north eastern provinces to work as low paid labourers. There’s no real heart or main historic centre to the city which proved to be a bit of a disappointment. It is a city that has grown rapidly in an organic manner with little or no coherent planning strategy it seems. We stayed at the Marriot hotel situated right on the Chao Phraya river & travelled by boat to visit what is regarded as one of the main commercial areas. What we found was an incredible confusion of ultra modern shops along side simple market stalls & kiosks. Over-arching all of this is the sky train. At one point I counted 3 different levels astride the main road all mounted on huge concrete pillars & flyovers allowing trains to pass over each other. We didn’t do the usual tourist thing of visiting temples & shrines as we didn’t really have time. Like Hong Kong Bangkok is definitely not for the claustrophobic...

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Sydney … Deja Vue

Mar 07, 09 Sydney … Deja Vue

Posted by in Norfolk Trip 2009

After returning again to Sydney, we managed to pack in a trip to the National Maritime Museum, where we got to go on HMAS Onslow (submarine) and HMAS Vampire, the last gunship destroyer in the Australian navy. It was deja vue for us because we also visited a replica of the Endeavour, Captain Cook’s ship that first mapped & discovered Australia, the same replica that visited St Peter Port some five or six years ago. However in Guernsey we stood on her decks in freezing, rainy...

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Norfolk Day 15 … Farewells

Mar 04, 09 Norfolk Day 15 … Farewells

Posted by in Norfolk Trip 2009

We bade a sad farewell to the family (& our new friends) on Norfolk Island today  🙁 We’ve had a fantastic time & it’s hard to believe we’ve been there two weeks, the time has flown by. We’ve had so much fun with everyone but especially with our little 2 year old nephew River. He’s as bright as a button and just learning to put sentences together in both Dutch AND English …. very impressive indeed.  As a little parting gift Uncle Rob & Aunty Annelies bought him a brand new bright yellow dumper truck ……. Uncle Rob had as much fun playing with it as River ! Tomorrow we’re leaving Sydney to go on to Bangkok for a couple of nights before going on back to...

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Norfolk Day 11 … The Big Day

Mar 01, 09 Norfolk Day 11 … The Big Day

Posted by in Norfolk Trip 2009

Mariëlle & Sylvan’s big day has come at last after much preparation and activity. We’ve all pitched in with different alloted tasks including the decorating of the reception & wedding location, setting up the bar, cleaning & cooking. My day started at 8am when I helped out with the washing and cleaning of the bridal “cars”. No ordinary cars ….. but a WW II American jeep and a WW II RAAF personel carrier no less ! Both of these were  kept secret from Sylvan so the first time he’d see them was when his bride to be and her bridesmaids rocked up in some sexy ‘WWII hardware’. The vehicles were left in Norfolk Island by the Americans and RAAF after the island was used as a staging post for aircraft & supplies in the South Pacific war. The day went beautifully. Marielle and Sylvan were married in a short service in a clearing on the cliffs on the Eastern side of the Island in a place called ‘Simon’s Water’.  Despite sounding like a label in a path lab, it is a beautiful place overlooking the crystal blue waters of the pacific and the lush green cliffs of Norfolk Island. After the short service the bride & groom drove back, in the Jeep of course, to the reception which was in the grounds of our holiday home. The grounds had been tastefully decorated by Marielle & Sylvan’s friends & both families. The previous two days we have had torrential non-stop tropical rain. It’s estimated that at least 20cm fell in those two days, but it all came good on the day and the sun shone & the weather was warm & balmy !                ...

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Norfolk Day 8 … Hens and Bucks

Feb 26, 09 Norfolk Day 8 … Hens and Bucks

Posted by in Norfolk Trip 2009

Last night was Marielle & Sylvan’s Hens & Bucks party …. and did they go with a bang! The boys kicked off with paintball (& beers) at about 3 in the afternoon …. & man was it FUN, FUN FUN ! The overalls weren’t much  protection at all and so we all got our t-shirts & shorts liberally “redecorated” with various paint colour, in addition to the huge purple bruises we all got from the paintballs . Plus after crawling through a creek which was ankle deep in mud & goo I finished up in a truely ‘glorious’ state for the rest of the evening 😀 . The bridegroom to be was of course dressed up by the best man in a white dress & veil so we could all identify him more easily for target practice. Honours were pretty much even between the red & blue teams although my moment of glory came when I captured the red team’s flag & was half way back to our base when I was unfortunately brought down by a hail of red team paintballs. We then adjourned for a barbie (&beer)  & re-dressed the bridgroom in a lovely little nightie after tieing a heavy chain around one of his ankles. We then moved on to one of the local clubs to play Guitar Hero on their massive overhead screen. It was at this point that Sylvan was further trussed up like a turkey & led to the roundabout in the centre of town & left for a while, much to the amusement of a passing busload of tourists who also came back to watch. Unbeknownst to Sylvan a little “arrangement” had been made with the local police. So after we’d blindfolded & tied him to a palm tree in the middle of the main high street the police duely turned up, “arrested” him, bundled him in the back of the police car & drove off, sirens going.He was eventually delivered back to us at the campsite...

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