Saturday, November 27, 2010

Time Travel back to Oct 2010.

Post Ireland and barely off the plane at Luton, I was clearly back with my people.

Yes, these are my people! On route to our destination when we ran smack dab in to a Saturday afternoon Morris dancing 'dance-off' and I couldn't have been happier for the absurdity of it all.

Nothing like a bunch of blokes swilling pints and getting competitive.

When I was a nipper the Pearly Kings and Queens seemed almost magical. Therefore, I had mixed emotions when I saw this old gent standing around having his pici taken, "a bit undignified" I thought. Though clearly he's not shy and that's his way of raising money for GOSH, which is nothing short of heroic. So who am I to feel sorry for him?, yet I had exactly the same feeling when I saw Chelsea Pensioner wearing the heavy scarlet uniform on his frail little body. I guess all the hospitals need help and everyone does their bit as they see fit. Agh, Sharon, just shut up and donate.

Here's someone by the fountain at Buckingham Palace who needs no help!

For mid October the weather was ridiculously good and such a perfect day required us to go on the Eye.

I'm not a fan of standing in line for things that go up high, which is why they created the 'pay more and jump to the front of the queue' tickets! Which we duly did and it was really worth it. Charlie, a fellow blogger was also recently back home in London and took some terrific night shots (scroll down a post or two to see them), one of which was from the Eye.

Bloody sightseeing requires pacing yourself with pit stops and refreshments and what better place than Covent Garden for a coffee and moment.

The visual icons of London never disappoint and you want to know the tide changes at Tower Bride you can follow the River Thames (literally) on Twitter!

At the Tate Modern, spot the stupid cow.

The skate boarders & BMXers have an underground park along the South Bank and you can easily lose a half hour watching them screech and clatter on the concrete steps and benches, practicing, entertaining and generally showing off.

London was a short stop for GP before he headed back to Maui. We'd stayed with his fabby cousin who lives in Greenwich and I'd scheduled a few days alone before I too headed back.

Left to my own devices I hopped on the bus and headed to the Camden Lock market. It's funky and tries a bit too hard...but I still loved it and aimlessly wandered through the countless stalls and shops.

This would work as my fantasy flat for my fantasy life where I travel to Europe three months a year with a big fat fantasy bank account and have a little pied a terre in the city all ready and waiting for me.

With traveling in general I like to have one destination and let the rest of the day be organic. Which is how I found myself in front of the Natural History Museum, having meandered through the residential neighborhoods just off the Kings Road, not exactly sure where I'd come out.

My need for a wee and the realization that I'd not been to the NHM since I was a kid made my next port of call an easy choice!

The lobby was as magnificent (if not more so) than I remembered. What I really loved was how busy it was, numerous school parties with kids in uniform obediently walking two by two, locals and tourists alike admiring both the building and the exhibits and as if this weren't enough, there's the brand new Darwin Center.

The structure alone is brilliant, but as I navigated through it and realized what's going on in there (thanks to the state of the art interactive information points and ability to talk to scientists during their work day), by the time I reached the bottom of the Cocoon my eyeballs were moist with the splendor of it all! Trust me, if there'd have been a lecture at the Attenborough Studio, I'd have pushed one of those cute little school kids out of the way to get a seat! What a stimulating and beautiful experience for the mind and senses and I walked out of there in a daze of appreciation.

And right into the path of a parked Rolls Royce.

It was getting late on my last day and I didn't want it to end. I stood outside the Royal Albert Hall and thought about catching a cab back to my hotel as I'd been in denial that I was getting sick. Yet Hyde Park was just there and the Albert Memorial, so I kept walking and walking and was so glad that I did because it let me breathe and absorb more of why I love coming home.

Sustenance from one home for the long journey back to the other.

Back in the saddle.

Since returning from Europe my exercise flow has slowed to a trickle. In an effort to rejuvenate my mojo I've agreed with myself to exercise everyday for the next few weeks, even if it's only a few push ups. In this spirit of this pemature New Years resolution, I took a little bike ride from Sakamoto Pool to the Iao Needle. It's an appealing route as you start in a relatively urban surrounding and quickly get enveloped by nature.

The Iao valley is narrow and it's cliffs so steep, that it's next to impossible for the sun to spill on to the road that takes you to the needle. It's a sacred place to the Hawaiian's as not only was it was a burial ground for the ali'i (chiefs), but also the site of a bloody battle in which King Kamehameha fought the Maui army in his quest to unify and rule the Hawaiian Islands. Soldiers bodies were said to have blocked the Iao streams flow.......and now you have to pay to park there.

Blimey, I didn't mean to get all serious, but that's the energy of the valley-intense. Still, the steady up hill climb is well worth it to watch to taro grow and marvel at the grassy cliff fingers.

My reward was perfectly reheated carbo load of dashboard spaghetti.

Always room in a post for a classy palm tree.

At home things were not quite so energetic, look at these two lazy layabouts (oh the judgement from one who was just there)!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A true Hodgepodge.

For our office Christmas card this year, we decided a photo of the three of us would be a nice personal touch. Jesus, trying to get three women to like how they look in one photo took conservatively 30 shots! After one particularly hopeful (yet ultimately disappointing) round this was all we could see!

Talking of illusions, I shall call this shot 'giantess and lilliputian man'.

And while we're at it, here's an enormous head looking slightly like Noel Fielding.

Sundays are fun days at the beach. Camps are set up early with varying numbers of tents, coolers, beach chairs, toys, dogs and kids all playing in the sun. This is an especially large toy but trust me, everyone who rode in it had a smile on their face.

These two spent hours trying to balance on a board that was marginally too small for the job.

I've lived next to the same neighbors for 19 years and never once have I seen them move their boat from it's dry dock. Herbie (the owner) used to climb in and turn the engine on letting it tick over for an hour or so, but even that masculine activity has ceased. I've often wondered why they don't sell it, but as I looked out over my deck the other day I thought I might actually miss the old girl if they did. Go figure.

Mean while inside my house, one thing I'd never miss is the sight of my dirty, smelly recyclable containers. Sometimes I leave them on the counter so long that in an rash act of pure planet destroying laziness, I throw them away! Oh the guilt...

It's Thanksgiving and one of the bazillion things I'm thankful for, is that I'm motivated and heathy to play both on the ocean and off. Enjoy your turkey lurkey people and if you can't be with the ones you love, love the ones your with.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Meanwhile, 7,200 miles away from the nearest decent Guinness.

While you can't get a decent draft Guinness on Maui (and Lord knows I'm trying), driving by Honolua Bay is undoubtedly picturesque. If you add a swell into the mix, it's simply impossible not to pull over and marvel at the conditions and surfers who have paddled hundreds of hours to be able to handle these waves.

The railing is the best seat in the house.

This photographer got here early to stake out his tripod territory.

A small wave on the inside.

Lanai in the distance.

No taste...

In July this field was harvested and look at the cane growth already, it must be on plant steroids, which don't forget boys and girls means so are we.

Last week, having just got off the water I was sorry I didn't stay in to be backlit by this.

Last night instead, the light was so flat that I expected the day to simply limp into night, but instead it fired up in a blaze of glory before respectably fizzling out.

In an unplanned post sunset escapade, I ended up in an Irish Pub. "Pint of Guinness please" I ordered (expectantly) as coincidently the man from Dingle began to play. Having been disappointed that the real thing didn't travel well 20 minutes down the road, I shouda known better.....happily the music fared much better.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


The Blasket Islands are a scenic half hour drive from Dingle and gobbsmackingly gorgeous.

The drive there isn't exactly dull either.

There's something on the planet for everyone, for some it's Vegas but for me it doesn't get any better than this.

Chilly, content and happy.

Even the sea has a Guinnessy head.

Talking of which, "How can we get a pint to go?" asked Giampaolo of the barman. The great thing about Ireland is that the chap didn't miss a beat & pulled a pint into a plastic glass. "But it might spill" said GP and hurried to the car, returning with his solution.


But I digress...... last look.

Cheers from Team Ireland,