Tuesday, 20 June 2017

17th June 2017

Our trip back to Thailand went smoothly.  This time we travelled with Thai Airways, they were pretty good.  Simon didn't think much of the food but all n all a smooth trip.  We both slept pretty well on the plane which made a lovely change.  At Bangkok we only had a couple of hours to wait for our next flight which was a prop, small but comfy craft.  Once at Samui, we hoped straight in cab and went to our friend Daves hotel for the night.  That wasn't such a good nights sleep, we were both watching UFC at 2am, wide awake.

Well we've been back on the island for a week now.  It's still seems a little odd, I haven't got 100% back into the swing of things yet.  Still missing everyone :-D

Simon and I have been out diving a couple of times, once on the normal boat with the crowds and then on our own boat as we were doing measurements on a research project that we're working on with another dive school  ...so that was lovely,  peaceful, no interruptions and back early

Just the two of us :-D
This is a shot of all the Dive Master Trainees on the Beach Clean Up that I organised with video Tim who's visiting.(green tshirt & black cap)  Tim was the chap that filmed Rosie on her Birthday when she was here a few years ago

A shot of the beach on my day off.   Lovely and quiet ..just the way I like it

Friday, 16 June 2017

10th June 2017

Time flies when you're enjoying yourself.  We've been back in the UK for just over a month and it's time to leave yet again.   This time, not such an emotional goodbye for us we'll be back in just a few months for Simon's brothers wedding :-D

It's certainly been an action packed few weeks.  We've got new passports, new visa's, had Dr appointments, sorted house management issues, banking, helped out in Rosies Tea Room, Si's revamped the menu,  celebrated Birthdays, I've gardened, had some great cycles, secured flooring in Toms workshop, moved greenhouses, made glasses from recycled bottles, painted furniture, eaten lots and have been spoilt by our families :-D

So much has happened, here are a few photo's of our time  ...lovely memories

Birthday gathering of the boys
Mrs M's Birthday

Fi & Pip 

My sleep over with Iona ;-D
My crazy Goddaughter

Cuthberts first driving lesson

Emily & Auntie Jen at Roys

Roger & Kate
David Lean cinema Croydon

Lovely walk

Down at Jans

Out at the pub

Tom in his workshop

On our way back to Thailand

Monday, 29 May 2017

30 May 2017

Many Happy Returns Jan,
Wishing you a very Happy Birthday!
May all your Birthday wishes come true 
Love & Hugs
Jenny & Simone

Dear Rosie & Charles,
Happy Silver Anniversary!!
25 years is a long time :-D
May you have many more happy years together.
Jenny & Simon

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

24 May 2017

Today would have been mums 89th Birthday.

Happy Birthday !!!

Image result for pictures of ireland countryside cork

Miss you


10th May 2017

Birthday party & some old buddies
The Bangkok wedding brought a lot of the old Crystal Dive crew together from all over the world. Some of which we've not seen since 2009

Koh Tao to the UK
Lomprayah boat to Samui

A bit chilly  ..on our way to get the hire car

After picking up the hire car, our first port of call was Simon's mum.  His mum and Del were very pleased to see us.  We spent the day catching up and relaxing.   We both found it very odd that it was still light at 10pm compared to the usual 6.30pm on Koh Tao, our body clocks were totally confused and very tired but.  Luckily Roy had just come off of night duty, so after he caught up on a few hours sleep, met us for an early evening beer.  It was sunny but very chilly.

Beers  with Roy
We are staying at the farm while we're back ...THANK YOU ROSIE & CHARLES!!
It's always great to be back.  The end room is reserved for us as we have most of our worldly goods in there.  We are so pleased that we don't have to visit the lockup anymore :-D

So whilst we are back, we've had to sort a few things out, like passports, Thai visa's, eye tests, Dr's appointments, bank stuff and house stuff.  Simon has been driving everywhere  ..it's nice to get back behind the wheel but exhausting visiting everyone. Cuthberts been learning to drive but his legs can't reach the pedals yet :-D   The hire car that we picked up was new and only had 9 miles on the clock and I think it's just got under a 1000 now.  

Cuthbert at the wheel

Our trip to the passport office with Cuthbert.

Cuthbert having a cheeky pint while waiting for the express service at the passport office for our new passports.   We only had 6 hours to kill.  It was a very long day and being told nearly 2hrs after you had your application checked that you're passport picture's too bright wasn't the best news. So back to the passport office and what seemed to be half way across London we marched to get more photo's done.   Hey Ho!!

One of Simon's pictures from his walks

The weather has been pretty kind since we've been back.  Simon has been walking every other day and has taken some stunning photo's.    I on the other hand have been cycling as it's been the perfect weather for it.  I don't miss the hills of Koh Tao at all;-)   There's nothing quite like the English countryside for a good ole cycle

Pipper ..in training :-D
Mountain biking with Cuthbert
During our time back, we've been treated to some delicious meals out with the family, Simon has caught up with his best friend Chris and brother Mark, we've seen Roy's children Emily & Thomas and have caught up with Simon's dad.  All we need to do now is catch up with my big sis, Jan :-D
Shopping has been a novelty.  We've both been amazed to see the variety of veggie food that's available now.  So much choice!!    I've been out with Fiona doing a few shops ..mainly for essentials, it's been great fun :-D

Sleep over with Iona & Big Ted 

Simon's Niece, Emily

Roger & Kate
Sunday just gone, we went to see Simon's Dad and Kate. The weather was so lovely that we spent the entire day sat in garden just catching up.  Kate's parents even dropped in to say 'Hello' which was a real surprise  :-D    

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

28th April 2017

We've been in Bangkok for Matts wedding (Dive Manager of Crystal)  Our journey was long but pretty smooth.  We left Koh Tao on the afternoon Lomprayah ferry to Chumphon.  Once at Chumphon, we jumped in a mini bus which took us to the train station and then caught the night train to Bangkok.
on the night train
We arrived in Bangkok at some stupid hour in the morning all very tired from the journey.  The train was comfortable but it was very noisy so none of us had a good nights sleep.  Unable to check in until 2pm, we took refuge in Starbucks :-D
We were staying on Soi 11 at an Airbnb hotel which was very central and most people that had flown in from other parts were staying close by. 

The first night in Bangkok the boys went out for Matts stag doo.  Obviously no women allowed so while the boys were out on the town, I popped out to get some street food, a bottle of wine and watched a very odd Kiwi movie.  The boys didn't stay out that late which was a surprise.  I think they were all very tired and I think Carsten was conscious that Tina was returning from Canada, so wanted to be around when she arrived at the apartment.  

The happy couple

The cutting of the cake

The wedding itself was very Thai ..not that I really know what Thai wedding is like but it went on all day.  I think it started around 5am with immediate family, Monks chanting, blessings and then at 7.30am everyone attended a morning ceremony which started with a procession, the groom had to ask the family permission to marry their daughter, dowry was given, accepted andblessed,   then the groom had to find the bride who was hiding  ...all a bit odd.   They had a translator telling us what was going on but everything she said was the 'most important part' and 'auspicious' :-D   This all happened between 7.30-11am ...so very early.

The evening reception which was pretty lavish with over 500 people attended.  It was Thai/Chinese style food with a flow of alcohol.    I must say it was a very long day for the bride and groom.They must have been shattered.  We on the other hand got rather tipsy and had a great time :-D

Our wedding outfits

Friday, 28 April 2017

23nd April 2017

It's nearly been a week since Fiona, Chris and the girls left.  It stills seems really odd that they are not here.   I received a message from Iona after they arrived back in the UK, asking if I'd put a little gift in their luggage  ..as after opening her case she find a little gecko lizard inside, goodness knows how it managed to survive the long journey or even get through customs.  So if Odiham is over run by gecko's by the time we get back, then we'll know why LOL   ..just so you know, I did not put it in there!!

So yesterday was Earth Day 2017 ..where Koh Tao’s community came together for conservation & fundraising for the new community recycling project.  Simon and I, ( especially Simon really, as he's been non stop, sorting audio, visual, prize vouchers ..you name it he was doing it) , were heavily involved in the organization , along with a few other key players.   

So the morning there was a mass of volunteers who joined in on the Island wide clean up, while the local government launched a Shark & Turtle Sanctuary Project for Shark Bay/Rocky Bay and a Giant Clam Project in Sai Nuan which was televised.  I appeared for a few seconds in the footage.  If you look closely, around 1.14mins you can see me putting on my fins and snorkeling off into the distance :-D  
Group shot of officials & 
That's a whole load of rubbish

In the afternoon dive schools went out in force for underwater clean-ups which I was in control of the Crystal crew.  We had to make sure that all debris collected was recorded and submitted online to Project Aware's ‘Dive Against Debris’ In short, this information reported helps inform policy change to convince individuals, governments and businesses to act against marine debris.

Briefing the underwater clean up

The after part was held at 'The Hacienda' (mini golf) It gave everyone a chance to let their hair down, enjoy fairground-style games, an assortment of food, drinks and the chance to win some fabulously big prizes of which most had been donated by local businesses, resorts and dive schools.  For Simon though, it was a hard night, working visuals with winning ticket numbers popping up on the big screen with underwater movies, throughout the night.  

Simon ready for action
Simon in action

 What was really cool is that cousin Richard won a prize bundle :-D Well deserved after helping out with the land clean and the games.