Friday, 5 September 2014

wow it's hot

It's Spring here in Mauritius, the cherry blossom is stunning, it's windy (the south coast especially so) and it seems to rain overnight. The temperature is supposed to be in the low 20's but during the day once the wind drops, the skies turn bright blue and it's been hitting 26.

For me that's a bit hot for doing too much, I find it really tiring however for Wednesday 3rd we had booked a James Bond underwater scooter experience up on the North West coast at Mon Choisy. Sadly when we got all the way there the visability was too poor due to the winds so we weren't able to do it. That really scuppered our plans so with nothing arranged we drove along the coast to Grand Baie.

The top bit of the island is picture postcard beautiful and full of top class hotels. This is the bit everyone I know who's been to Mauritius has stayed and based on this I can see why they think it's paradise. If you don't leave the hotel or this bit of the island you get a blinkered view but then again it's a hard earned holiday so who wants reality?

We didn't stay long in Grand Baie. It appeared to be a nice waterfront full of little boutique type shops, not MPs thing.

We drove further round the coast then decided to set off back to the house (driving aimlessly is not my thing). As we passed the signs for Rose Hill, where MPs family live he decided to pull off and eventually pulled in. A phone call to find out the plans for the service became a visit with his auntie Yolande and uncle Henry. Another uncle, Raymond was there and took us to his house nearby to meet his wife Madeline and see all the family memorabilia he has collected including a photographic family tree, furniture from the family shop in Port Louis to the family kitchen table. It was fascinating to see as MP isn't interested in his family or background.

The visit was cut short as I was still wearing my swimming costume under my clothes from earlier and it was digging in and really uncomfortable. However we did at least leave with a rough idea of the plans for Henri's service Friday.

Home via Blue Bay to feed the dog, a lovely dinner made by the cook of the villa owners, some emails to local animal rescues to find out how I can get Puppy back to the UK and a good sleep.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

not such a jolly holiday blog

When MP's Dad died he requested that his ashes be scattered at his favourite place in his birthplace Mauritius so he left some money for the 3 boys to travel to Mauritius to do this. MPs youngest brother took out the ashes earlier in the year (another free trip) and plans made for us all to fly to Mauritius in September where a service would take place and Henri's ashes laid to rest.

So I write this from Mauritius.

MP and I arrived late afternoon on Saturday 30th August after a hard 16 hours of travelling. After collecting the hire car it was a short drive to the villa we had rented. We were met by the owner and the maid who had kindly prepared a meal for us, so after dinner and a shower it was off to bed with the mosquito net wrapped tightly around the bed.

Huge cactus tree in the garden

The house we have rented

Sunday 31st we went to find the local supermarket to stock up on provisions. I love exploring supermarkets in other countries, the unknown products, the familiar brands and fascinating vegetables. After stocking up we went to the villa for a lazy day. I needed to put my feet up as my ankles and calves were so swollen from the flights. In the evening we walked to the only local eatery where I had some oyster type thing which was very nice.

Monday 1st September we drove to the recommended Maheborg (My Burr) market. Busy, hot, smelly like most markets. Into KFC for a cool down and free wifi then a drive  along the coast road south of the island. Almost home we took a detour to Blue Bay to check out the 
snorkeling potential but got distracted by the most gorgeous friendly stray pup who wanted nothing but a cuddle. So awful to see all the dogs there sheltering in the shade, terrified of the people walking past. God knows what they are subjected to!

Now if like me your mental model of Mauritius is white sands and turquoise seas you wouldn't be far wrong but what the brochures don't show you is the utter poverty here, the inhabitable tin shacks that people live in, the stray emaciated dogs, the high unemployment or the drug problems.

You may say this can be seen in most countries and you'd be right but you kinda expect it in Thailand, which is improving. Mauritius is basically a third world country telling the world it isn't. So really not what I was expecting and a real shock. Consequently I am struggling with it. 

I find it upsetting to see the poverty, the people and dogs with no chance or life and the hypocrossy of those with housemaids/cooks. What makes them better than others?

The capital Port Louis was our destination Tuesday 2nd. Just an hour from our base in the south at Pointe D'Ensy via the M1 (evidence of the British occupation) Port Louis is a modern developed harbour front for the docking cruise ships and tourists (doubt locals could afford to eat or shop here) with a mix of colonial and modern buildings behind forming the centre.

We headed to the market as all tourists do but didn't stay long as it was hot and the constant hassle from stall holders became a bit annoying. A walk round China town, a call in to the Mauritian institute and museum to see the (badly) stuffed bird collection and the dodo, coffee on the waterfront and we had seen all we wanted so set off back to the villa. A quick stop at another supermarket to buy some dog food for the pup and a stop at Blue Bay to feed her.

I'm tired now and it's taking ages to type this on a tablet never mind add in photos, so enough for tonight and days 4 and 5 tomorrow. Till then x

Saturday, 16 August 2014


Not been on to update blog for a while, reason being .........

took a bit of a tumble, broke my scaphoid and consequently am sporting a dashing blue splint. Normal service hopes to resume shortly

Monday, 2 June 2014

Summer 2014 photography scavenger hunt

Maria Ontiveras over at Gallo Organico is running her summer photography scavenger hunt again this year. It's great fun for photographers and not and adds fun to days out. Here is the list of things to photograph this summer:

1. A sign welcoming people to your home town (or a nearby town)
2. A garden gnome
3. Birds on a wire
4. A group of tourists
5. A rack of post cards
6. An urban street scene
7. A rural landscape
8. A tattoo on a person
9. A bakery
10. A photo bomb (someone found lurking in the background of photo; the lurker may have intended to disrupt the picture or may be doing it unintentionally, but the background lurker is a surprise to the photographer)
11. A horn
12. A mascot
13. A sunrise
14. A parade
15. A juggler
16. A sign in a language other than English
17. A lamp post
18. A water fall
19. A public garden
20. A bus (not a car, truck, lorry, camper or RV) with a picture painted on its sides.
21. A photograph of you with something representing the season (recognizing that the season will be Winter for our friends in the southern hemisphere). Note: you may not use a substitute for this item.
If you find something on the list too difficult, you may substitute one of the following items for anything on the list, except for Item #21:
Alternative A: A kite, hot air balloon or blimp
Alternative B: A bird house

You can link up via your blog or instagram and once a month on the site.

Happy Hunting x

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Missing in action

I know it's been a while but I am busy doing university stuff at the moment so not been doing any scrapping or pretty much anything really. I am enjoying the reading but not doing well on the essay writing front.

I gave a draft of the first half of my essay to a colleague to critique and it didn't fair well. As a consequence my first essay is well overdue and I am having a melt down .......... I need to get it done in the next week and then start my second essay so I'll pop back with an update in due course. Until then ..............

Friday, 4 April 2014

Last fling

Still loving my Scraptastic kit and so desperately want to kill it before the next one arrives. The April kits were gorgeous and it was difficult to chose one but I did and this is the one I went for after much deliberation - the worth wondering kit

and just had to have the matching stamp set

So before I get my head down and start writing my first essay for uni, I thought I would rattle off one more layout from the March kit and here it is.

The first of my pages from my trip to Harry Potter World with Team B. I'm going with a theme of stars and book page papers for these layouts to pull them all together.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Loving this kit

I am loving my first Scraptasic kit. I am not a quick scrapper so I have only managed one layout so far

This is Sam at the hydrotherapy having a little rest in between swims.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Spring has sprung

Yesterday was an odd day, we had all 4 seasons in one day including heavy snow at one point so a perfect day for staying in with a roaring fire lit, catching up on some tv recorded through the week and doing some scrapping.

I have finished my February project life (will post pics later) and now I can do some layouts. I have started subscribing to the Scrapastic monthly kit starting with the March kit and it is rathe lovely. You get a choice of 2 kits each month plus loads of add ons. I went for the It's my life kit which is full of gorgeous reds, mint and blues and stuffed full of embellishments.

This kit will be perfect for scrapping some of my recent photos of Sam at the spa.

It's not really a dog spa. Sam has a problem with his hip, possibly hip dysplasia so we are taking him to a canine hydrotherapist to see if we can sort it out before it causes long term conditions such as arthritis. We are taking him to the wonderful Canine Health & Hydro run by Steve and Poppy. Steve is fantastic and a real dog whisperer. Sam is nervous with people but in 2 sessions his confidence is growing and Steve is his best swim pal.

Sam's taster and assessment session. He had to wear a doggy life jacket till Steve assessed his swimming capabilities (lasted about 10 minutes then he was just in a harness)

With MP and I sat on the side of the pool Sam looked at us for reassurance but was in no rush to get out of the pool.

With the red of the harness and the blue water, the Scraptastic kit will match perfectly so looking forward to breaking into it tomorrow.

I also had a birthday recently and was a very lucky lady indeed. MP and my Dad bought me some new straightening irons, MP bought me a Fuji film instax camera (perfect for project life) and Dad bought me a fabulous CD 'Teenage Kicks, full of sounds of my youth, perfect driving music. So all in all, March has been good so far.

Till next time, thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

What a giveaway

Over on the Sodalicious website they have some gorgeous new papers and a great giveaway ........

Why not pop over and have a look 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Catch up

I said I would post up, so here are some of the layouts I have done since Christmas, far more fun than studying.

Maggie Holmes papers
Cream Paint
October Afternoon Sprinklers

Kit from Studio Calico

Dear Lizzy Papers

Gesso sprayed background
Crate Papers
Freckled Fawn wood veneers

A close up of my fabulous typewriter

Modelling Paste
Liquitex Inks
Paper Scraps
Studio Calico wood veneers

Modelling Paste
Wow embossing powder - silver
Freckled Fawn and Studio Calico wood veneers

Another Studio Calico Kit 
Findingnana flare badge
My Minds Eye enamel dots

I have also finished my project life or pocket scrap booking (don't want to get into trouble with copy right) for January.

Because I do it by months I find some months I do several pages and some (like January) are quiet, so I only do one or one and a half like here. I use my phone to take most of my photographs and prefer Hipstamatic to Instagram as I print my photos at home, plus I like all the different lenses and films you can download.

Looking at some other monthly scrappers I notice they put a lot more of the day to day stuff in e.g. shopping and petrol prices and current affairs/news which I hadn't thought of. So from now on I am going to make my PL about more than just what MP and I get up to (or don't) so I have a true records of the years to look back and reminisce on.

I also need to work on my title card for the month. I find this really difficult to do and to be honest they really are dull looking, so watch this space.

Well, time for bed now. I haven't done my car reviews as promised this time but I might try to get back at the weekend and put that up OR I might do some studying, decisions, decisions.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Baby's back

Wonderful news ....... my car is finally back from the repairers following it's accident in the middle of December. I wasn't that keen on it at first but having driven 5 other cars in the last 10 weeks it has made me realise what a great car it is. So welcome back baby, i'm surprised to say, I have missed you.

Next post on here will be my Top Gear review of the cars I have been driving, so look out for that.

Anyways, what has been happening since my last post.

1. I've started my Master's modules at Uni.
It's quite a trek from home to Sheffield which involves a very early start to get there on time and quite a long journey home so two 14 hour days back to back is pretty shattering. This time I have booked the days off either side to rest which will be better. There's a lot of reading to do but luckily someone I know has done a leadership degree and leant me some books.

2. Got my car back 

3. Been doing quite a lot of scrapping, which is great and going to do Project Life again this year as it was such fun. Will post photos in next update.

4. Been having a clear out and sold some scrapping stuff on ebay, still loads more to sell.

5. The house is still in one piece despite the torrential rain and gales the UK has been subjected to, which for us on the top of a hill is most welcome.

So not much really ...........

Over at Scrapfriends they have posted another of their fabulous sketches

and here is my entry for February

Papers by Crate Papers
Modelling paste
October Afternoon Sprinkles
Stampin Up Heart Punches
Amy Tangerine Love Die

Thanks for looking and back soon with more stuff.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year

Well that's 2013 behind us. It's been a good year in some ways and a bad one in others. On a positive note we had a lovely summer, I am really enjoying my job, I've managed to complete my first year of project life (only 1 month behind) and I got accepted to start a Masters degree in 2014. The downside has been that Sam injured his leg, Oscar appears to have dementia and my car is still being fixed after it's accident (some young muppet going too fast crashed into the back of it). However that pales by comparison as worst of all three of the people closest to me have lost parents. 

So to everyone Happy 2014 and hope it treats you and your loved ones well.