Wednesday, 3 February 2016

3rd February 2016

I went out on the bike this morning,  nippy to say the least!    It's been lovely cycling through the country lanes, seeing all the daffodils, snowdrops and crocuses start to come out.  It's slightly early for them but it has been a mild winter, so everyone says.  I'd say bitterly cold out there!

Sunday was our family day.  We had cousins travelling from all over the place popping in, bringing homemade cakes, cupcakes, soda bread and the tea/coffee pot was constantly on the go :-D

It's always lovely to see family ..I sometimes forget that not all families are as big as ours.  That'll be the Irish in us :-D

Last night Simon and I did a little bit of babysitting for my sister Fiona. I'd forgotten how difficult it can be LOL  ...only joking!!!

It was easy peasy.   I was the one being looked after :-D  Iona made me a lovely cup of cappuccino with their lovely new coffee machine and then entertained me by showing me all of her lego creations.  Even when it came to the her Maths homework, she was teasing me by calling out the incorrect answers  ...she's a clever one :-D     So when Simon turned up I took a back seat and watched Simon and Iona take turns to play with a remote control car. It didn't take them long to get bored of racing up and down the carpet, so they constructed an obstacle course from folders, books etc which seemed pretty challenging.    I'd forgotten how hard babysitting can be ;-)

Monday, 1 February 2016

31st January 2016

It's been very windy the last few days but I still ventured out on my bike through Mattingley, Hook, Upton Grey and I stopped off at my sisters in Odiham, for a cuppa and a couple of slices of flapjack  ..mmm very tasty.  I didn't stay too long as I began to get realy cold, so 20 mins or so, I was back o the bike, cycling home, via Winchfield & Hartley Wintney.   The wind in places was pretty intense so I stayed to the country lanes which helped a little.

While I was out, Simon was driving down to his fathers (Croydon) to drop off digi tapes and to do a little bit of work.  He could have done this at home but it would have taken him a lot longer and it's so much nicer to see family.  Once his work there was complete, he stopped in at his mothers (Gravesend) and then drove to his brothers Roy (Hoo), for an evening of beer & curry :-D

I had a very lazy evening with my sister and family.  I finished off last nights enchilada's which were very tasty and then sat with everyone in front of the fire and watched TV.

Tomorrow, Rosie has organised a big family day.  A gathering of all the cousins to the farm for a good ole catch up.  I think Simon and I missed the last one, so it will be lovely to see everyone.  Rosies asked everyone to bring a cake I think we will be all caked out   ...can't wait!! :-D

Saturday, 30 January 2016

29th January 2016

It's been over a week since we arrived back in the UK.    Si's joined the gym which he's been going to daily and I've been out and about on my bike which I've found a lot harder, especially in the cold & wind.  So different from the heat of Koh Tao.

Simon's been working continuously on various projects  ..he's never really off his PC with one thing and another.   He's been editing footage from our Komodo trip back in April.  It seems such a long time ago but what great memories :-D  We'll be posting some links soon :-D

We've managed to catch up with most of Simon's family which is brilliant. They're all well and it was really lovely to see them all.   I need to arrange to meet up with my big sis Jan & family in Sussex and hopefully meet my new great niece, Emily Rose :-)

The weather has not been too bad  ...wet & windy but it's been mildish ...compared to when we first got back.  I think we've adjusted.

My sister's tea room reopened on the 26th, so I've helped Rosie out with a Costco & Macro run and Fiona and I have done some tidying outside if the Tea room, cleaning windows, brushing up the moss etc's looking much neater and more inviting.  Fiona took me shopping to Basingstoke for an hour or so the other day. I really enjoyed the novelty of being able to shop for anything you wanted but after a couple of hours, I had my fill.

This afternoon we popped to the 'Lock up' (storage place) as Simon had to locate tapes that he needs to work on.   It's been 6 months since we last open up our unit. There were a load of dopey old flies on the ceiling but apart from that, all's well.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

24th January 2016

Our last few days on Koh Tao seem a distant memory now  ..I miss the heat for sure but it's great to be home and see all the family.

Our journey, even though it was very long, went pretty well.  We left Koh Tao on the afternoon Seatran ferry to Koh Samui, then caught a taxi to Samui Airport.  

We had a slight delay with our flight to Bangkok but I entertained Simon by playing 'eye spy' which he truly enjoyed.    Our luggage was checked in all the way to Heathrow so that was good.  Thankfully we had not forgotten to put a change of clothes/warmish clothes into our carry on luggage as when we arrived in Vienna, and had to disembark for a couple of hours, it was minus 4 degrees  ...ONLY 39 degree temperature change.  

The last leg of our journey to London went pretty quickly, both Simon and I were in and out of consciousness and couldn't wait to collect our luggage and collect the hire car to go home.  Unfortunately we had to wait around in the freezing cold for a bus, then wait in a chilly car rental office for what seemed like forever.  All turned out well as even though we'd (Si) had booked the car ages ago, they hadn't got the right car, so we got a free upgrade  ..Peugeot 308 :-D

Finding it a little odd to see so much traffic, driving, frost everywhere, proper roads etc we made it home and sat down to a refreshing cuppa where we were greeted by Charles (bro in law) Jim, lovely old boy who regularly visits 'Rosies' my sisters Tea shop and reminds me so much of Dad and then a little later, my sisters, Rosie & Fiona, :-) 

Fi & Rosie

After unpacking, a few more cuppa's, we all went for a lovely walk to check out all the newish calves and later on, Simon played with his new drone

Saturday, 16 January 2016

16th January 2016

The time is flying and we both can't wait to see everyone but we're not looking forward to the extreme temperatures that are forecast in the UK :-D

Nathan who used to run Eco Koh Tao & his son are visiting Koh Tao until the end of Jan.  They've been doing research on giant clams and biodiversity of marine life on an artificial versus natural reef. Fortunately for Nathan, I've had 2 Eco interns that have been around to help with the research, which has been brilliant as he'd so much planned and I think without help, he'd have had a huge feat. 

I've also arranged for some of the DMT's (Dive master trainee's) to give a hand making cages for the clam transplants. It's funny as Nathan has not changed one bit  ...he's the same ole Nathan but Kailash his son, has grown up a lot and I think proper schooling has done him the world of good.  

Nath hard at work while DMT
Chris cuts the chicken wire;-)

Wire cut, then shaped into a box around a crate

Clams in their original cage

Individual clams transplanted ..(A) covered (B) uncovered
2 dive sites, 160 clams & 80 cages  

So, with only a couple of days left on Koh Tao, I decided to go diving this morning with Jenny (Eco Intern) Getting up at 6am was a little bit of a struggle but it was certainly worth it.  Both of our dives were lovely.  Great visibility, hardly anyone else on the dive sight and lots of marine life out and about.   We're both going to miss diving  ..if only the UK was a little hotter :-D

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

12th January 2016

On a very happy note  ..


We can't quite believe that it's been 2 year since you were here ...where does the time go?

Today I am transplanting a coral for your birthday and it will be named 'Posie'  eeehhhh!!!!!

We hope it's not too cold for you and the bulls are not behaving themselves :-D

Have a fantastic day and we'll be back soon to celebrate :-D

Lots of love & hugs,

Jenny & Simone

X X X 

Saturday, 9 January 2016

9th January 2016

The last couple of days have been a bit strange.  We were both shocked to hear the passing of our friend Mike and haven't really had any communication as to what happened.  It's not that surprising that no one knows as Mike didn't really touch base that often :-D

Simon has been working non stop. Steve's  been on his visa run and Si's had to manage 'Crystal Images', supervise students, deal with inconsiderate instructors as well as not getting any sleep or 'Jenny Time'.  So he's absolutely shattered and his back has been playing up, so he's looking forward to some quiet time.

I've managed to get out and do some repair work with some volunteers to JunkYard, our artificial reef.  Due to the fact that there's been a lot of coral damage & traffic through the site/domes in general and that we have now closed the site for repair, I've decided to close some of the smaller domes off with rope nurseries which has worked out pretty well but it's a time consuming job that I hope we can finish before we return to the UK.

Coral transplant using wire technique

One of the blocked off domes

Rope nursery blocking divers swimming through