Tuesday, October 27, 2009


If you look closely at the map you will see how close Phuket is to the insurgency in the Thai south. You can see where the Thailand/Malaysian border is. In the Pattani (southern Thailand) region, five more people have been killed in the past week. The area was an autonomous Malay Muslim sultanate until 1902, when it was annexed by mainly Buddhist Thailand. This sparked decades of tension that spiralled into a full insurgency five years ago.
The newspapers here in Singapore have followed this all year... pretty scary stuff.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Girls on Tour

After 10 days with us in Singapore having a whirlwind time, Kay and Charlotte headed off to Phuket, Thailand, for 5 nights. I joined them for 3 nights with Nadine, Celia and Adam. The following entries are various aspects of our Thailand experience.
Steve, Jess and Rhian slogged it out at school!

Deanie and Charlotte catch up

Phuket, Thailand

The hotel in Phuket

We thoroughly recommend the 'Access Resort and Spa' to anyone travelling to Phuket. The staff were great, the breakfasts were amazing, there was a live band in the restaurant each night, and the service was awesome.

Adam's Thai friends

Adam's Thai friends, and sleeping in the big bed with Celia.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Elephant Trek

The elephant trek was a full hour or more on these monsters. They are awesome. Kay and Charlotte are on one elephant, while all four of us (Me, Deanie, Celia and Adam) are on the other. After about 35 minutes, the guide hopped off and put Deanie on the front of ours, and Kay on the front of theirs. It got quite tricky in parts, uphill and down into swamps... so Deanie had to work hard to stay on!
Apart from the sweltering heat and Adam being a bit overwhelmed, it was just fabulous fun.

Karon Beach, Phuket

The words on the sign indicate a 'Tsunami Hazard Zone'. Other signs throughout the town indicate which direction to go in if there is a tsunami. There are also shrines everywhere, memorials to the 2004 tsunami. All very sobering.
We ventured to the beach for the afternoon, despite it being probably 39 degrees and humid. Adam and I found our small area of shade, under the umbrella seats which you hire for 200 baht (about $8). Sellers come along every few minutes with their wares - everything from dresses to ice creams to massages! We said yes to the ice creams.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


This photo is of one of Steve's classes. Official lessons have now ended, while students prepare for A-levels. Some very bright kids here... looking pretty relaxed despite their heavy workloads!
After a few weeks now of 'consultation' (tutor sessions), Steve will do one month's invigilation (exam supervision) at another school, Hwa Chong College.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Singapore Sling

Here we are at Clarke Quay, in a gorgeous little bar/cafe that is named after the Singapore Sling. So of course we ordered mocktails, and the drink in Kay's hand is an actual Singapore (gin) Sling... very yummy too.
Charlotte and Kay did the GMAX Swing (freaky) and Charlotte also did the Reverse Bungy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Decision time

We have made the decision to return home to Alexandra at the end of the year.
Jess and Rhian have had a successful year at National Junior College. But for Nadine and Celia, we have not been able to resolve their schooling situation here in Singapore for next year.

We will leave Singapore around Christmas time, and be back in Alexandra by the 2nd January 2010. We have secured a house to rent from the 18th January... so if anyone knows of some temporary accommodation that might suit us from the 2nd-18th January please let us know.

Kay and Charlotte (Stringer, Alexandra) have arrived safely and are 'run off their feet' already making the most of their Singapore experience. I will share some photos of their adventures in a few days.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Where are the monkeys?

These are the adorable monkeys that we saw a lot of at the beginning of the year, because they played near the roadside at the entrance to Bukit Timah Reserve. Now we hardly see them, so will have to go deeper into the bush to say hello!