Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The Cape Town Trip - Part ONE getting there

Did I mention that we were going to Cape Town?

This was to celebrate Cameron's Birthday. We could not go closer to his birthday as he was in the middle of exams and we were told that "It would really, really not be a good time for you to be here. I need to study and stress in peace" Well, he did not actually say the bit about the "stress" and "in peace" but I am sure that it is what he meant. We asked Cameron when we could come and celebrate with him. He gave us dates - so we organised ourselves. Well sort of: The truth is that Bryan's Aunt, Justine, sent us a recommendation. I made a halfhearted attempt at getting it arranged and then Julie (Bryan’s sister) came to the rescue and arranged all the accommodation with the recommended place that came from Justine. In fact Julie was the all-round getting it done gal.

If you are planning to get down to Cape Town I am very happy to recommend Hame Cottages. Hame link one and Hame Cottages link 2 . Jess will have a combination of accommodation that will suit you - I am sure. We had sun birds and squirrels in the garden. Easy access to everything we needed to be near. It was lovely. So much better than a generic hotel were you could be just about anywhere in the world  and not know the difference unless you went outside. Hame Cottages have a warm old fashioned feel that is so typical of the dwellings of the town, when it was a little newer than it is now. Sprung wooden floors, brass door knobs, old wooden window frames, and pretty flowers in the garden. You get the picture.

The Granny's were coming. The cousins were coming. The Bad Influence Aunt was coming. Cameron's birthday was a go.

Two days before Departure Day I put my back out. In two places. Not at all serious of course but terribly painful. I felt very, very sorry for myself and what with a holiday looming with the possibility of me being bent doubled over, I was a sulky pup. Let me rephrase that I was a sulky hag.

As you know I get a bit weird once I get into travel mode and this trip  was no exception.....Where did I put my passport? By the way in the obvious place: - the bottom of a wicker basket lying on its side in my wardrobe..... Need I say more? Did I leave the stove on? Would we find out, when we went to pick up the hire car that not only had the hire been cancelled, mysteriously, but we had been banned from ever hiring a car, ever again, anywhere in the universe. Would I cease to exist if I left my safe zone? What is my safe zone? AAARRRRGH. Much internal angst and heavy breathing and needing reassurance and not getting it went on as Bryan was being Bryan and rising above my mania. In Bryan's defence (I think) if he had been all care and attention I would probably have swallowed him whole and spat him out in little bits of fear and anger. I was 50% fine once we had picked up the car. Whew it was there, ready and waiting, just like the Herz person said it would be. I was 100% fine when we arrived at Hames Cottages and we were nestled into what would be our pozzie for the next 10 days.

The Couple that Bryan and I are is not very good at pre-planning holidays. Bryan does not care one way or the other if it is planned to within an inch of its time frame or left totally to chance. Whilst I really do meant to pre-plan ,because I know how great it is when you do. Sadly work and life kind of creep up on me. When I get to the stage that I think" EEEEK I have to get this ALL done" I can't because I am having to make sure that I can go on holiday with a clear conscience re  my office work. I am sure many of you are familiar with and can relate to this refrain. Those of you who aren't and can't must all just go and jump in a big wet body of water. Preferably a cold one. Like a lake. I am sounding bitter so must stop ranting. I think.

I have a lot to say so I will give it to you in instalments....... Tune in some time in the not too distant future for more of the same. With PICTURES if I can wrestle them out of Bryan’s camera.

Friday, 1 June 2012

A reason to love Abu Dhabi - Treasures of the Worlds Cultures Exhibition

The Saadiyat Island  in Abu Dhabi has  these really super cool ( if you are a museum kind of a family - which we totally are) exhibitions a couple of times a year.

Today we went to the Treasures of the World's Cultures Exhibition. Many hours of heavenly delight spent  cooing at beautiful things.

There were some pretty cool walrus ivory chess pieces and I thought "ooh I want those. I will take up chess for those." It them occurred to me that I had that exact sentiment before. Watching Harry Potter. So as soon s I got home I googled "my" chess pieces and sure enough the cute, cute, cute, chess pieces in Harry Potter are modelled on the Lewis Chess pieces some of which were part of the exhibition.

Pretty waves  with Mt Fuji in the distance? Look more closely.  Bit grim really.
Under the Wave, off Kanagawa. By Katsushika Hokusai

My favourite thing for sure was a too old to tell you sculpture of  one dog lovingly tugging at the ear of another dog with her teeth.
Hounds of Lazio, Italy

There were around 200 pieces of the most beautiful things from all over the world. I was in heaven. I stood next to a Picasso, a Rembrandt, A Michelangelo.

 If you are in Abu Dhabi or Dubai really do yourselves a favour and go. Click here for information  Treasures_of_the_Worlds_Cultures Look around the site as they often have related guided activities for children and others for adults and yet other for teens.

Last year we went to the Wonders of Mesopotamia Exhibition and learnt to write on clay tablets in cuneiform. Laugh if you must but I bet you can't write you name in an ancient text.

There is a restaurant at the venue with a great menu of yummylisious food and the added bonus of being licenced , if I am not mistaken. Click here for details fanr-restaurant. When in Abu Dhabi i like to vist Fanr. In Winter the garden is a delight. Bit too hot in summer to be out doors. I love their lemon and Mint Soda.

Currently running over 2011 and 2012  is the  Talking Art Series of talks by terribly knowledgeable people covering a delightful mix of artistic subjects. This is being done in conjunction with the  Agence France  - Museums and Ecole Du Louvre.

Switch - the Trailer

So you may remember that Bryan had a small part in a Chinese movie in which he played a gangster?

 According to Bryan the highlight of his performance  (and  to be honest I was not sure he was telling the truth) was spending an inordinate amount of time  eating cherries and cream out of the belly button of a bodacious blond babe.

It seems that he was telling the truth and not making up fantastical porkers.

Fresh out of Cannes 2012, the trailer for the big-budget Chinese blockbuster “Switch” (AKA “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains”) starring Andy Lau, has been released. Pre-release buzz suggested the film was something like a Chinese-language take on “Mission: Impossible” but the trailer itself is a whole lot darker and stranger than anything we were expecting: http://www.cityonfire.com/andy-lau-is-on-an-impossible-misison-to-top-tom-cruise/

The trailer is out.  Bryan is in it. Don't blink or you wont see him:

 click on this link to see Bryan's 2 seconds of fame.