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text 2017-11-14 02:46
16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Square #2: November 5th - Bon Om Touk

 

Tasks for Bon Om Touk:  Post a picture from your most recent or favorite vacation on the sea (or a lake, river, or any other body of water larger than a puddle), or if you're living on the sea or on a lake or a river, post a picture of your favorite spot on the shore / banks / beach / at the nearest harbour.

 

I love all things open water and there are a number of favourite pictures to choose from. However, seeing that I have just returned from a trip with friends to Penang Island (in the north of Malaysia), I'll share the following picture(s) of the Malacca Strait:

 

 

#1 - Batu Feringghi

 

 

#2 - Batu Feringghi

 

#3 - George Town

 

#4 - George Town

 

 

Batu Feringghi is in the north of the island, and - unfortunately - has been developed into a tourist resort with more hotels and shops than maybe necessary. There is another beach just along the shore to the west called Monkey Beach, which smaller and less developed, but it was getting late and we wanted to spend some time on the beach before dark. 

 

Btw, I'm glad we did not get there earlier than we did because temperatures during the day ranged between 34C and 37C without any wind to speak of that would have provided relief and not many clouds to provide cover from the sun. I am simply not built for hot weather - I start to melt when exposed to the mid-20s (C)!

 

The 3rd and 4th picture are taken along the promenade in George Town. My friends were going to a wedding for the afternoon, and although they assured me I was welcome to join them, I did not feel comfortable to crash the party. So, I seized the opportunity to go sight-seeing. Of course, that was hampered by the heat and I ended up chilling in an air-conditioned cafe with some iced tea and a book after visiting Fort Cornwallis.

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text 2017-11-11 14:15
Adventure awaits...

...and trust my friends to designate a Buddhist book and tea shop as our starting point.

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, I will be offline for a few days. Mostly.

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text 2017-11-07 13:25
This week's office view...

...is pretty cool, BUT it is an office view that I get to spend an awful lot of time looking at, which is why I haven't shared any exciting book, food, or wildlife pictures with you all, yet.

 

 

Thankfully, there is an end in sight as we are nearing Wednesday. And so, I can do more plotting of adventures for the weekend and few days that I have off after this current project. 

 

So, more of this...

 

 

Btw, BOH tea is grown in Malaysia. I visited last time I was here. There is something lovely about drinking tea where it grows. It has a quite delicate flavour, so I'm enjoying this one without milk, but with a little sugar. 

 

These are from the last trip, and were taken at the tea plantation: 

 

 

Imagine plucking these by hand!

 

 

*** EDIT ***

 

So, I hadn't noticed before posting the pictures, but picture # 2 also works for the St. Martin's Day Task of the 16 Festive Tasks.

 

" –OR– Take a picture of the book you’re currently reading, next to a glass of wine, or the drink of your choice, with or without a fire in the background."

 

I'll count it towards that. ***

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text 2017-10-29 19:34
The Sunday Post: Halloween Fun

With Halloween happening on a weekday night this year, my friends and I had a bit of seasonal fun this weekend at this lovely place: Glamis Castle.

 

 

Glamis is my favourite castle hands down (and I have visited ... many). It's not just the Macbeth connection, or the connection with Queen Mother, or anything like that, it is because they (still privately owned by the Strathmores) really care about the place and about making visitors feel welcome. There is always something special about what they put on. And it is a community thing - the castle is staffed by locals who have been there for a long time, the guides have been there forever, the old castle kitchens (now the restaurant) uses local produce from the estate, etc. I seriously love visiting this place and try to do so at least once every year. 

 
This year, the castle put on a Halloween event - A Halloween themed tour of the castle and they also made up a Macbeth inspired walk around the grounds that was fitted with sculptures and a light and sound installation.
 
 
One of my friends has problems with her eyesight at the moment and can't really manage well in the dark. So, we decided to get there in the afternoon and walk around the castle gardens and woods first, while there was still daylight.
It was so much fun. The other friend who came was a bit sceptical at first because, well, how much fun can trees with lights really be, right? However, we spent nearly the whole walk laughing and being shocked by the sounds. At one point my sceptical friend found a big, bright red button in from of the witches sculpture - of course she pressed it! The thunder, lightning, and smoke that ensued set us jumping. One of us even lost her shoe! Seriously, we had so much fun.
 
 
After the woods, we joined the castle tour that we had booked. It was fab! They had dimmed the lights so the parts of the castle were completely dark, others just lit by candles. They decorated everything with gargoyles, skeletons, cob webs ... and live actors dressed as ghosts, zombies, knights, witches...all turning up at random times to make you feel really, erm, uneasy. 
 
(This photo was one I found on the Glamis Castle Facebook page.)
 
The tour told only of the castle's ghosts and gory stories, and a little history. Not much history, tho, because this was a Halloween tour and there were kids present (who might have been bored). And still, we all learned something new. 
 
At the end of the tour, I ended up as a tribute to the resident witches but managed to escape just in time to follow my friends to the old castle kitchens for homemade roast pumpkin soup and a well deserved and absolutely huge pot of tea. 
 
 
So much fun.
 
On top of that, I picked up from the tour that there seems to be a connection between Glamis and Bonnie Dundee (Graham Claverhouse or Bloody Dundee) - who was the subject of Josephine Tey's only (as far as I know) work of non-fiction (which is on my TBR). And because of how rabbit holes work, I now need to know what the connection is. (There is a portrait of Claverhouse in the portrait gallery at Glamis...) 
 
 
Happy Sunday!
 
 
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text 2017-09-30 22:02
MIA... Update

We went exploring yesterday and found ourselves on a bus to the north coast - Port de Pollenca to be exact. 

 

We had planned the trip but it was not until we got there that it occurred to me that there is an Agatha Christie story called Problem at Pollensa Bay. As it turns out, the story is set in Port de Pollenca (tho, Dame Agatha just calls it Pollensa) and it was great fun reading this short Parker Pyne story on location.

 

Unlike, Mr. Parker Pyne, we had great weather. No mist in sight. 

 

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