Saturday, 13 August 2016

Sri Lanka

Hello there! Long time, no see! We have just returned from our family holiday to sunny Sri Lanka and very lovely it was too. We saw more wildlife than you could shake a stick at, walked on beautiful sandy beaches, learned to windsurf (well, the girls did anyway!), ate LOTS of curry, rice and fruit and challenged my acrophobia by climbing Sigirya rock. We took hundreds of photos and here are just a few of them:

Sunset at Negombo beach - we stayed here for a couple of days at the beginning and end of the holiday as it was near the airport:
 One of our resident lizards:
 Our attempt at art made from our beachcombing finds:
 Our next stop was Sigirya where we were woken daily by the monkeys running across the roof:
 The hornets nest outside our room - luckily, they kept to themselves!
 Sigirya rock that we climbed in the late afternoon - it was cooler then. The views were magnificent but heights are really not my thing and my legs shook all the way up and down.
 We went on a jeep safari in one of the national nature reserves. If any of you have seen the film 'The Bucket List' (and if you haven't, you're missing a treat), we recreated the scene where Jack Nicolson and Morgan Freeman are standing up in a jeep singing 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight'!

 Sorry for the blurry jackal photo - they are very quick!
 Water buffalo:

 We took a tuk tuk to Dambulla to see the cave temple:
 There were even more monkeys. One stole the lotus blossoms that we had bought as an offering. Apparently, lotus blossoms are very tasty!

 Durians at the local market - not my favourite fruit!
 Our favourite mode of transport. We usually managed to cram all 4 of us into one tuk tuk and lowered the tone nicely as we all piled out at our hotel!
 Sigirya rock before the climb:
 A rather worrying sign:
 We hired bikes to explore Polonnaruwa - a royal ancient city:

 The beach at Trincomalee where the girls learned to windsurf:

 L and I playing 'Hotdog or Leg?'!
 Tea at the market in Kandy:
 A monitor lizard:
 Our best and cheapest meal - masala dosa with dahl and coconut sambal at 'Pure Vegetarian' restaurant in Kandy. It was delicious and cost less than £4 for all of us ......... and that included drinks!
 Traditional Kandian drumming and dance:
 Terrapins at The Botanical Gardens in Kandy:
 Flying foxes -we watched these for ages:

 The Temple of the Buddha's Tooth, Kandy:
 Snatching a yarny moment by the pool:
 Our hotel in Pinnawala backed onto the Oya River. Pinnawala is famous for its elephant orphanage but our guide book implied that, sadly, the animals aren't treated terribly well there and the only way to improve matters is to boycott it until they clean up their act. So, despite it being just opposite out hotel we decided not to visit. Luckily for us, twice a day the elephants are taken down to the river to bathe, so it meant that we were able to get our elephant fix from our balcony and the dining room:

Some of them came very close and we fed a few some sneaky bananas!

Well, that's all for Sri Lanka. We had a brief stop off there and back in Muscat in Oman, where we had a lovely but expensive meal. My abiding memory of Muscat though is that it smells very nice - very floral. Well done if you made it to the end of the photos. We are now back home and A level results are pretty imminent - yikes!
I'm just off to catch up with all your lovely blogs.
Toodle Pip for now. x

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Summer snippets

Greetings! Gosh, it's been a while since I last posted; these summer days just seem to run away with me. I hope those of you in the UK have been enjoying our mini heatwave. Our hose has been put to good use and I had to go up into the loft to find our fan - sadly, I haven't got a photo of Hamish sitting in front of it with his fur ruffling in the breeze! So far though, it does seem a bit cooler today.
We're going to be packing soon (have I told you how much I detest packing? Sometimes I think I'd rather not go than have to pack!) to go off on our little adventure. J&B are at the ready for Hamish, chicken and house sitting, so I thought I'd just clear my camera in preparation. 
Here are a few photos of our last couple of weeks:
Enjoying my sweet peas:
 We have a new chili plant with very vertical fruits:
 Making lavender shortbread:

 Accidentally snipping a poppy whilst weeding the veggies:
 E and Hamish sharing a Wimbledon moment - he's currently moulting; just look at the fur on E's jeans!
 Hamish sunbathing:
 Anniversary flowers - or should I say the emergency 'Oh no, I've forgotten our anniversary for the second year running, I'd better order some on the internet for same day delivery'  flowers!
 Enjoying my colourful washing:
 Our new veggie stockade to keep out the deer:
 'Mad Henry' - E and I bought this as a souvenir of our trip to Devon. The guesthouse doubled as a vintage tea room (Mad Henry's Tea Room) and they also sold garden ornaments made locally. He's a bit tacky but I love him for reminding me of a fabulous few days. He now lurks at the base of a tree in the back garden and R complains that he scowls at him - an extra benefit!
 Hamish isn't the only one moulting!
 Our summer manifesto included 'going out for breakfast'.  Initially we ordered crepes but the poor lad running the kitchen kept burning them; I have a feeling that it may have been his first day. In desperation, he offered us waffles instead - they were enormous and we didn't want anything else until supper!

 My single sunflower - the slugs saw to all the rest:
 The veggie stockade is working:
 We chose the hottest day so far to go fruit picking - it was punishing out in those fields!

It was too hot for jam making and a lack of freezer space meant that we limited ourselves:
 Finally, a joint jigsaw - actually I have enormous difficulty with shapes and only managed 12 pieces. L did all the rest!

Well, that's all for this week. I shall be absent from Blogland for a few weeks, so please excuse the lack of comments, but I look forward to having a huge catch up session on our return. Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.
Toodle pip for now. x