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 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 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 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.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

16 April 2017

It's been a fabulous 2 weeks with Fiona, Chris and the girls here.  Chris completed his Open & Advanced Open Water course with Simon and I took Iona on a Discover Scuba Dive.  Fiona and Chloe didn't fancy diving this time round.

Chris on OW dives 1 & 2

Iona in the pool, skills completed
Text book 'Giant Stride Entry'

Haad Thien Resort

Chilling out

Fun & games

Some days were just spent relaxing around the Haad Thien resort.  I would cycle over late morning/early afternoon to meet everyone while Simon went off to work.

Swimming, snorkeling, searching for black tip shark and Terry the turtle filled our days ..Boy do I miss my snorkeling buddies!!  

Even though Simon was working everyday, we all caught up in the Crystal bar and then went to the usual haunts, Yangs, Whitening, Cafe Del Sol, Pranee's to name a few.

Whitening restaurant

Dinner at 'Yangs' with cousin Richard


John Suan Viewpoint
One of the lovely viewpoints at the south end of Koh Tao, John Suan. A little hike in the blistering heat but well worth the view.  
Morning coffee at our house
What was really nice is that the Fi, Chris and the girls came over for morning coffee on Easter Sunday.  It' was so lovely to show them where we live.

Monday, 10 April 2017

8th April 2017

I apologize for the lack of blogs, we have been busy  :-D

So, at the moment, we have Fiona, Chris, Chloe and Iona visiting which is very exciting.  It's been nearly 3 years to the day since their last visit.  They arrived on Koh Tao on a very wet Tuesday evening, exhausted from their journey, having not slept particularly well.

After a brief welcome, they were shuttled off to their resort where they could finally settle, relax and get some much needed sleep.

The next day, Simon and I rode to Haad Thien to visit the family and found them relaxing on the beach, trying to soak up some rays between showers  :-D      We had a lovely coffee, chat and after a a couple of hours Si had to leave to return to work and I stayed trying to avoid the rain but later playing on the beach with Fi and Iona.

Here are some pictures of the girls relaxing, while Chris was completing his confined Open Water session with Simon in the pool.

Chloe getting nail extensions

Foot massage for Fi
Iona's braiding

Girls are so strong :-D

Morning stroll before the rain kicked in
The weather has been pretty awful.  You'd check multiple forecasts and they'd all say different things. I felt terrible the first few days as all they'd had was rain with the odd bright spell.  Thankfully we have seen the last of the rain and it's lovely now.   We are all so silly though, as the first full day of sunshine we all got burnt :-D  ...Chloe is still recovering :-D

Most days I've been over to their resort, snorkeling, swimming in the sea trying to spot black tip reef shark and Terry the turtle.  It's been lovely spending time and just chilling with family.  Si's not been so fortunate as he has to manage multiple things as per normal.

It's been great that while Simon's took Chris out on his Open Water dives, I took Iona on the boat for a Discover Scuba Dive.  (Pictures to come)

Both were exhausted by the end of the day :-D  

Monday, 27 March 2017

27th March 2017

Many Happy Returns of the Day Roger!!

Have a relaxing time.

We shall be celebrating in your honor!! :-D

Lots of love,
Jenny & Simon


Saturday, 25 March 2017

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

22nd March 2017

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday dear Chloe!
Happy Birthday to you!!!!

Dear Chloe, 
Have a fantastic day! 
We will celebrate properly when you're here in Thailand ;-D
Love and BIG Birthday hugs,
Jenny &Simone
X x X x X