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Showing posts from July, 2014

Every cloud has a silver lining!

It's a funny old world You never know what is just around the corner... We're in the middle of winter  it's been wet, and cold. The footy pitches are muddy and disgusting to play on, and we are wearing coats.

Don't feel that sorry for us this is a Melbourne winter  and the sun is generally not that far away. Here's the crazy poodle sunbaking in his winter woolies!

We are having the best ski season for thirty years although lifts are shut at Falls Creek today due to high winds...
Winter chills are all around and we are surrounded by nasty flu bugs. You can hardly get an appointment at the Doctors  these days for love nor money.

Daughter No 2 has just contracted Glandular Fever (Mono) and now looks at those muddy soccer fields wishing she was out playing on them.
Daughter No 1 is still happily working in Liberia. The deadliest ebola outbreak in history continues to plague West Africa  and now the Liberian land borders have been closed. We read every news report with keen interest.

I get …

Mum's Youth Hostel - open all hours!

Mum's Youth Hostel is officially open again.I love to travel but when we can't get away we do the next best thing... We have the world come to us! We have our twenty-seventh, twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth Japanese Homestay guests living with us at the moment. Three lovely student nurses from Kyoto who have never been out of Japan.

We do love the Japanese Always so polite and calm.  Well, until they accidentally set off the burglar alarm... then there is much shrieking and panic  on a par with the din from the alarm, but generally it's quiet and I adore hearing their giggles!
It's a big deal to come to Australia. They arrive with enormous suitcases often bigger than them. Empty of course,  as they are here to learn English, to study  and for shopping!
On the drive home on day one  I warm them about the Crazy Poodle our over enthusiastic pocket rocket of a dog.
The Crazy Poodle launches himself with all his love and affection, usually at the one girl who has requested a pet free house. 'W…

My Sunday Photo 20th July 2014

Melbourne's sadness

I woke to a sombre Melbourne this morning. My city is hosting AIDS 2014 starting on Sunday.  14,000 delegates are arriving in town.
Melbourne has just over four million people. We are a small city by world standards everyone knows someone, who knows someone who is involved...
One of the Mums at Bookclub is a Director of HIV Medicine. My boss has just taken a week off work  to volunteer at this event. Friends kids are working with the catering companies...
Next week Melbourne hosts the world's leading  HIV leaders, scientists and researchers. Former US president Bill Clinton and activist Bob Geldof are due to speak.

Melbourne is no stranger to big events
think Commonwealth Games, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Australian Open,
but this one just quietly, we are rather proud of.

Rather proud that without anyone batting an eyelid 
we were playing our part in getting together the world's  leading experts in the global fight against HIV.

Yesterday we woke to the news  of the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH1…

Holidaying in Bangkok - Are we mad?

People look at you a bit weird  when you tell them you're off to Bangkok at the moment...
You know the sort of look that says: "well you clearly love adventure holidays!"

It was fine! I can report Bangkok is steamy hot, stormy and  extremely quiet.

On account of most tourists heeding many governments'  advice to exercise a high degree of caution!

Indeed most local people we meet are unperturbed
by as they call it 'just another coup'.
It is, they explain, just the way Thailand sorts things out 
when neither party are strong enough to take control 
the political democratic way...

Yes life in Thailand is very different to my
all mod cons lifestyle in Australia
and that is why I love to visit.

That and the Thai people who we love!
They have to be one of the loveliest, smiliest nations...

We had some lovely conversations especially over some of the lovely 
Western names the waiters and waitresses had selected. One gorgeous waitress was called Cake.
'Ohh, that is my sort of name,

Bangkok Critters

Where are all the animals?I was really surprised on our recent trip to Thailand to find so few animals on the streets of Bangkok. In fact, I was in danger of having nothing better  than a few fish to share with you!

On our boat tour we threw bread in the murky river 
to find a frenzy of African Cat fish appear from nowhere
But that was a bit tacky...

I went three days with only coming across a large rat,
which would have been ok, 
but it wasn't running in a particularly straight line...
but then neither was I by the end!

A lack of critters was a tad disappointing given the 
Country's promise of exotic animals everywhere. The day of the elephant 
around town has long gone...

But then I came across these cute kittens
sunbathing under a motorcycle

Have a happy weekend
where ever you are!

Linking with Saturday's Critters thanks to Eileen

and Camera Critters. Thanks to Misty

Bangkok Skywatch

Don't you think you look at the sky  more often when you are on holiday? Is it that you have more time or just that skies elsewhere look more interesting?
This week we've been in Thailand admiring a myriad of different skies...

The day starts of well with blue skies and fluffy white clouds as we speed along the Chao Phraya river  without a care in the world...

But later on...  Take a gander at these storm clouds! Taken from our Bangkok hotel balcony. Phwoah!
We know it's the rainy season  but we're not looking forward to this rain!

The storm passes, happily moving off without a drop of rain on us. Thank you Dear Buddha! We head up to one of the many rooftop bars for pre dinner drinks... This is the life!

A sundowner cocktail and a glorious sunset, go hand in hand on a perfect holiday. We have the time to stop, linger and admire...
Bangkok has some impressive sunsets and some rather nice cocktail bars...!

In case you were wondering  what it's like in Thailand at the moment  given the military…

Beautiful Bangkok

So somehow we ended up in Bangkok in the middle of a military coup.
It was already low season but add in martial law ,
a curfew to put the kibosh* on all rooftop cocktails together with the rainy season and high humidity,  and you practically have the place all to yourself!

Wonderful, whoever wanted a boring holiday?

We've packed carefully  no red or yellow t-shirts which might be misconstrued as political support one way or another.
Our Australian Government's Smart Traveller advice is to: 
exercise a high degree of caution in Thailand,  as the security situation remains volatile...

We arrive to find remarkable calm,
and unlike many European or American airports
not even a Royal Thai Army machine gun in sight...

When you arrive at Bangkok's International Airport these days the Thailand Tourist Board operating under 
the new administration of
the National Council for Peace and Order,
give you a right royal welcome.
The Thai people, renown for being friendly and welcoming are so super pleased to …