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 !  ...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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 !                ...

read more

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...

read more

Norfolk Day 7

Feb 24, 09

We spent a great day down at Emily bay on the south coast snorkeling. Emily bay is naturally enclosed by a huge reef and we were able to snorkel right up to it where the waves were crashing against it on the other side. The marine life we saw was incredible; highly coloured parrot fish , Angel Fish and numerous other shoals of brightly coloured fish along with the beautiful towering sides of the coral reef itself. The water was warm & crystal clear so we could dive right down to inspect the lower levels of the coral. I bought a disposable underwater camera and had reeled off 20 or more shots in minutes. Fingers crossed they’ll come out ok as aiming it isn’t exactly an exact...

read more

Norfolk Day 5 … Reunion

Feb 22, 09 Norfolk Day 5 … Reunion

Posted by in Norfolk Trip 2009

The whole family has now finally arrived in Norfolk! Ma & Pa, Gerard & Herma all flew in from New Zealand today. Gerard & Herma have spent just over 4 weeks touring New Zealand whilst Ma & Pa flew in direct from Schiphol via Hong Kong. We’ve celebrated tonight in true Aussie style by having a ‘barbie’ We’ve moved from our temporary accomodation in with the four of them into a very swanky holiday home literally next door to Marielle & Sylvan. The grounds of our holiday home will also be the location for Marielle & Sylvans wedding reception. The Hen and Stag (or Bucks as they call it here) night is planned for Wednesday. The guys are going paintballing followed by a barbie …. the hens are having some sort of pyjama party....

read more

Norfolk Day 2

Feb 19, 09 Norfolk Day 2

Posted by in Norfolk Trip 2009

Annelies slept for nearly 14 hours solid last night and caught up on some much needed rest. We took it quite easy today did a little shopping before Annelies met up with Dee (one of the bridesmaids), Dee’s Mum, Nari & Judith( another of Marielle’s bridesmaids) to look over the location for the Wedding ceremony & wedding reception. The wedding ceremony is going to take place in a lovely location on one of the cliff edges under a beautiful stand of trees. Marielles friends seem to have organized everything for her and we’ll all be pitching on on the day to help decorate & prepare things. In the afternoon we headed down to Emily bay with Marielle, Judith & River. The water as ever was crystal clear and lovely and warm and I managed to do some snorkling over the reef there and saw quite a few exotic looking fish. So all in all ….. another good day!...

read more

A dozen and counting …

Feb 19, 09

… that’s mozzie bites. The local insect population seem to like Guernsey blood. They seem to be pretty partial to Dutch blood too as Annelies thinks she may have even more than me.

read more

Touchdown ….

Feb 19, 09

Well we’ve finally arrived in Norfolk Island. It’s great to be back and although it’s been over 4 years since we’ve been here everything seems so familiar. Weathers not been too good , relatively speaking of course :-D, but it’s still about 25C and very humid. We picked up our hire car yesterday and in true Norfolk tradition it makes several strange clanking and whistling noises, but hey it goes and that’s all that matters eh ? Mariëlle and Sylvan have got to work today (Thursday) and tomorrow but then they have 2 weeks off. Ma & Pa along with Gerard & Herma arrive on Sunday so the family party can really begin then!! It was lovely to see River again, last time we saw him he was only 8 months old and now he’s just over 2. Uncle Rob & Aunty Annelies have already volunteered for some babysitting duties. We’re staying in some temporary accomodation at the moment pending the arrival of the rest of the family on Sunday when the 6 of us will move into a rented house right next to Marielle & Sylvan. Futher updates to follow...

read more

Sydney …

Feb 17, 09 Sydney …

Posted by in Norfolk Trip 2009

We’ve had another great day exploring around Sydney. We took a ferry from Darling Harbour across the bay to Taronga Zoo where we got to see alot of the Ozzy native wildlife up close: Koala’s; crocodiles; possums; emus; wallabies & of course Kangaroos. Annelies even got to stroke a kanga & we were both allowed to climb into the enclosure with the Koala Apparently they sleep for 20 hours a day !! …. my kind of animal! 😀 The best one for me though was seeing a Red Panda (aka Firefox!!)After this we headed back across the bay to the Sydney Opera House for a closer look … very impressive indeed. Unfortunately the weather was quite rainy but it still managed to beat a good summers day at home. Tomorrow we’re flying to Brisbane & then off to Norfolk Island. Gotta be up @ 3:45 in the morning (ugh!!) to catch the Brisbane...

read more
Page 1 of 212