Saturday, January 30, 2010

Seria Day trip..

Some people rave about John Lewis .. Marks N Spencers , Sainsburys  & the like..
Sadly.. Here in Brunei... we dont have anything like these shops..

In Brunei .. when you are part of the Loan service, you get to shop at the equivalent of John Lewis'!
its called the NAAFI!

We have to travel to the naafi to get out grape juice supplies, as Brunei outlawed Alcohol somewhen back in the 1990s.. as part of being Loan service we get the right to shop for alcohol here.. unlike any of the teachers shell workers etc.. but they can go to the Naafi for other things..(see below)
So.. this is it... the place where the pilgrimage of the fallen ends up!

Seria is approx a 1 hour 15 minute drive from Muara.. Imagine having to drive that far to be allowed to get some wine or beer.. and not being able to just nip to asdas for a beer or 4! Yep.. thats the way it is here

Also this is the only place they sell ENGLISH CHOCOLATE!
ANYONE whos ever tasted imported Aussie chocolate that we get here, will understand why its worth the drive... Aussie choc is like gloop... its really not chocolate.. Imagine galaxy, NO imagine easter egg chocolate!! mm thats about it!

This is the fetching monument that greets you on your way into Kuala belait..

 as we where in seria we figured we would have a drive down to KB and get some lunch.. so we stopped at the 'sea view hotel'

The outside of the hotel was a bit Fawlty Towers like... but we risked going inside and it was a bit like the marie celeste! BUT.. we decided to give the place a try.... how bad could it be????

Steve ordered seafood claypot, and i had chicken and veg and peanut n stuff.. and rice.. it was actually very nice.
steves cost $10 (thats expensive for here ) at about £4..
and mine was $7.. so about £3 ish...

we also had kailan in garlic sauce.. this was $7, and usually lots cheaper, but hey we were at a hotel!

As you can see Steve was delighted with his lunch!

We werent allowed to use the pool there, so just made the most of the cool breeze and the beautiful view of the sea...

I had to add the Final photo (below)... Taken in the Ladies Loo at the Hotel..

It made me smile, as i visualised someone standing IN the toilet BOWL showering!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bukit Shahbandar

some LOVE IT most HATE IT...
i think i actually have a bit of an affinity with this place... i hate the thought of getting up and doing Bukit.. but when im there, its like game on!

these pictures were taken a rather long time ago BUT i can assure you its still very much the same... Lots of ups.. a fair few downs and some real HEAVE HO areas too...

sadly this doesnt actually translate onto a picture so well..

But this was definately UP!!

Next time i go.. i will try and remember my trusty camera...

Its really a good all over~ cardiovascular work out.. especially the steps at the start....
im just wondering how Helen and Jo will feel tomorrow morning, as it was their first time doing Bukit..

Rosalind and i go every week (regularly once a week.. i used to go 3 times a week, but i never felt any different, and so i figured LESS is MORE!!) and hell.. what have i got to prove!
Im 44(and a bit) slightly thinner than i was when i arrived here in July 2007, and im actually HAPPY with who IAM
(ps im not the person i was in the piccie at the top.. shes gone now..!)

SO.. next friday i will take my Camera, and get a team photo of us mad women who bukit!

Be afraid is all i can say!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

unaccustomed as iam to public speaking.....

Id just like to say  BIG thank you to Chrissy Rollins at the the Artist Trading Club for the FAB birthday goodie bag that i received via e mail this morning..
I love it and have started to Create using the downloads already.. I love the fairy cakes... crumbs everywhere!!!

I actually would have done more printing BUT our ink has run out, so Alex has been sent out on a mercy dash to purchase MORE ink so i can go create!!

ALSO.. i was one of the lucky ones to get my name drawn out the hat for a birthday freebie...

Im so excited.. Thank you X


This my most recent ATC..
Flowers speak words of love. I made 2 and have sent one off already a swap..(hope they aren't disappointed!)

i still feel like i need so so much more practice, and much more stuff.. as i have NO stamps and NO access to all the special things that many get to use like paints and accessories and things..
BUT when i get HOME, ill be out there on the hunt for all new things crafty...

sadly things sold here are usually not very good..
some Paints i bought a while ago where all dried, and totally useless...and finding anything decent here is a task in itself..
We have a shope in Gadong that sells scrapbooking things but its SOOO expensive..
But i do go in and look every so often!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cat (Nelson) & Claudia

Nelson.. the wondercat!

Ok maybe not.. but here are some pics i took yesterday... Its ok he hasnt grown horns, hes laying on a cuddly cow.. that he likes to cuddle(AKA attack!!)

He has the most beautiful eyes does Nelson... You can even see the reflection of the camera in the pupils!

(he looks like he has dandruff, but its sand as hed been out in the Garden!)

Claudia! Now what can i tell you about Clauds..

She is now 4 months old, and i love her to bits....

This is Ros(alind) with Clauds..(right)

Wow has this little baby grown a bit since her last Debut on the blog..

Helen and i and another friend Ros(alind) went out the other day, for LUNCH.. (cos thats what we do!)

we went to the soto place for a light lunch .. and a Tea Tarik.. Which Helen liked.. BUT we do always ask for it with LESS sugar, as its pretty sweet anyway!

It was a lovely few hours where we just sat and nattered and ate... and nattered and drank tea...
 Helen managed to get a couple of nice pics of me with clauds before i left to go to the hash...

Im usually BEHIND the Camera, NOT in focus.. x

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Day Out to The Spit with RBYC..

Every few months the yacht club lay on a day trip to 'The spit'

This is always a great day out, and far enough away from the hustle bustle of real life(!) to make it feel like its your own special dessert island.. except not particularly deserted...

There seemed to not be that many people this time, but it was the morning after the burns night, so that may have been the stumbling block..

Its a beautiful place to spend a few hours...( even with the resident sandflies .. who seemed to be having all their Christmasses in one go..)i think we were all pretty well eaten, but hey.. its a small price to pay for a slice of paradise..

I even managed to swim in the sea for the 3rd time in my entire time in Brunei ( I love the sea, and the Beach.. but am never too keen to go In it..!)

Magi and i took the chance to cool off, and have a natter, and make the most of the surroundings whilst we could..

Reggie put on a fab buffet of salads,kebabs, almond fish peas beans baked spuds etc etc.. and even some of her fab apple pie n custard too ...

its funny how food always tastes SO much better when you dont make it yourself! and especially when you eat it in a place like this with the clear blue seas as a backdrop..

On the way back we decided to give the RHIB a go, as the River boat was only able to take 7 people and there were 8 of us.... OMG what complete fun that was! i was soooo scared as the guy opened the throttle out that i wasnt sure if i wanted to laugh or cry!

what a Brilliant day......

Im going to miss days like these.....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Burns Night....

We were invited to a Burns night last evening, to Celebrate  the wonderful life of Robert Burns, Famous Poet  of the scottish land ...
Now, my sister used to live in scotland and i had been to a burns supper before so i kind of knew what to expect..
a potted description of burns night from a sassanachs point of view..
(in the rather shortened version of ceremonies, for the sake of the blog) Robert Burns.. writer of poetry,philanderer,father of many,lover of even more, revered worldwide .!
wrote inspiring pieces like, oh My loves like a red red rose, thats newly sprung in June... and also
When chapman billies  leave the street,
and drouthy neebours,neebours meet,
and market days are wearing late
and folk begin to tak the gate.... (nope i had never heard of this one either, tho it seemed MANY of the scotts amongst us had, and as steve and i were sat with 3 other scotts people, we didnt argue)

cue ~ bagpipes and the piping in of the haggis.... NOT just ANY kind of haggis but a goat haggis, as sadly the non halal dept in supersave were fresh out of real haggis!
the haggis is walked round the room and piped to the head table.. where a ceremonial grain drink was taken in its honour... then...the Haggis was dutifully STABBED with a rusty blade (actually for the health n safety concious amongst us it was a  very clean knife!)

Now english is my first language and i thought i knew a bit about the man himself, but had never actually seen his poetry written down..
but it incudes words like   skellum( rascal)  Bellum (babbler)  greet (cry) Ingle (fireplace) and many more..I found it fascinating..

there was then the eating of the said haggis... mmmm ... i have to admit it smelt yum, but my head wouldnt let me eat it... traditionally sered with mashed neeps (parsnips) and tatties (potatoes) (the Brunei version served with mashed pumpkin.. and tatties)

The evening continued  late into the night, with readings and replies, all with very good humour...

The Scottish society of Bandar seri Begawan do this man justice admirably by paying homage to the Mortal memory of Robbie Burns..

Friday, January 22, 2010

I love my beach....

                                                                                                                                                                            Those of you who actually know me, will know that this is one of my favourite places in  Brunei.

This Beach is in Muara..and im so very lucky to live within 2 minutes walk of it...Once upon a time we were able to get thru our back garden and go straight to the beach, but its got too overgrown now...

I feel Very lucky to have spent the last 2 and a bit years with this fantastic beach on my doorstep, and i know that when we do get back to the UK, its the one bit of brunei that i will truly miss!

I love to just wander along this beach, and listen to the sound of the waves, sometimes lapping gently onto the shore, and other times crashing down with absolute power and anger....

  I think the sound of the sea can be one of the most emotive sounds ... i just love it..

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


This for me is the best welcome home anyone could ever get ..

Nelson is always pleased to see us when we come home...

hard to believe hes the same cat as a few weeks ago.when he was just soo ill.....

Taking Nelson home with us to the UK will be costly....


He really IS worth it


Boel's Birthday...

Today was Boel's Birthday, and a few of us were asked to go share some cake with her...

Never one to turn down the offer of cake and good company,i went along and had a lovely morning, with lots of nattering, catching up and the chance to get to know some people better too..

Some of the ladies there bought there incredibly cute babies with them

i really cant resist taking pictures of babies...

This is oliver... he has the biggest brownest eyes that were like pools of chocolate..hes really going to break some hearts when hes older...

This little lady is Ida (pronounced eda) 

she was a happy little one, who also shared her (1st) birthday with Boel.. as well as Lucas, Boels son (who was at school telling everyone he was 6 today..... Boel declined to shout about her age too much though!! x)

Happy Birthday to you Boel..

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Some cards what i have made...

Just a few cards that i have recently made...

I cant wait to get the next ATC challenge as i will have 5 days to make them! cos Steve & i are off on our travels again..

OOOh its exciting!

WELL  i keep being told i HAVE to make the most of my time here !! SO... Iam!

Im heading off on Holiday!

am loving making the cards though...

PS its STILL raining in Brunei.

pps these are some muffin type things that i made for Steve.. Hes dairy intolerant, so i try making all different types of muffins.. these were made with the pulp from carrots after they had been juiced! (we have a new juicer, and the boys have had much fun trying out combinations of lemon and cucumber and carrot etc etc!!) some conbos have worked better than others..

 BUT the muffins although a little heavy, were VERY tasty ..