Tag Archives: leisure

elephant trekking

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The forest, makes your heart gentle, you become one with it. No place for greed or anger there.

We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on earth, as its other creatures do.

Nature is pleased with simplicity.

Hello everyone, how are you? I know, it’s been a while. Have I lost my mojo in blogging, I wonder? I realised many bloggers have somewhat abandoned their blogs and resort to Instagram these days. I’m afraid I’ve also gone down that route. It’s just so much quicker, that’s for sure! Though not quite the same like blogging, IG is rather fleeting. Do forgive me if I do not blog as often as I’d like to anymore. But I do miss my blog, so when I get a chance to myself like this evening (family’s tired out from a hectic weekend and have retired), I shall carry on! This time around I’d like to share our elephant trekking experience in Krabi, Thailand. It was one of the strangest but most wonderful thing we’ve ever done. We didn’t know quite what to expect, we just relied totally on our tour guide. He also took us to view a beautiful waterfall prior to the trekking. He was a lovely person, just like majority of the Thai people. They’re very warm and friendly, well-mannered and polite. Before we knew it, we were sat on the elephants and away we went! It felt strange, yet exciting!

We trekked through the dense forest, river and little village. The weather was rather cool on that particular day, not blazing hot like the day we went island hopping. There was a shower that morning but we were fine as the guide provided us with macs each. We made several brief stops in the forest as the elephants grazed on branches here and there. They were gentle obedient creatures, despite their massive size. Towards the end we all felt attached to them, my children especially warmed up to them in a big way. We were exhilarated from being so close to nature, we felt a sense of sheer joy and contentment. I can tell you it beats shopping in a mall any day, at least for my family and I anyway. My adventurous daughter bought a little souvenir from the centre, the money goes into maintaining the well-being of the elephants. The children got to feed the elephants at the end, and then we were given some refreshments before we called it a day. They say a picture tells a thousand words, so enough of mine for the time being! Take care everyone, till we meet again!

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beach blues

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island10

Hello little blog, hello all out there! I know, I’ve neglected you big time! Such is life, one gets so busy all caught up with the world one hardly has time to one’s self! To just reflect and be grateful for all the good stuff that’s come our way! Anyway, September has returned, with the promise of Autumn round the corner. I have to re-focus my energy towards the children, now that the older two are back at school and the younger two to resume their home education activities. But my heart is not quite ready yet, I feel as if my soul is still away on summer holiday. Yes, far away in beautiful Krabi, Thailand, to be exact. I shall never forget the few days spent there, truly memorable. I would very much like to return there someday, God Willing. The cluster of tropical islands, white sandy beaches, crystal clear emerald waters, smiley friendly people, more natural forests and waterfalls to explore, delicious foods and great massages are beckoning for my return. It doesn’t hurt to dream, many a times, dreams really do come true. Meanwhile, I shall hold on to these sweet memories which will remain with me for quite some time. Alhamdulillah for life’s many great blessings! Hope you will enjoy the pictures below!

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I want to be where the sun warms the sky…one of my favourites during my teenage years!

welcome winter

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WINTER, A LINGERING SEASON,

IS A TIME TO GATHER GOLDEN MOMENTS,

EMBARK UPON A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY,

AND ENJOY EVERY IDLE HOUR… 

I can’t believe it, all of a sudden, we’re in Winter! I finally succumbed to the weather, I got my furry winter coat out. Along with my gloves. Cardigans and pumps not sufficient anymore. I have been wearing my boots since mid-Autumn. So yeah, let’s welcome Winter! Let me give you a quick update of my little life here. My close friends from Malaysia who visited me have now returned home, glad to be back in the 30c sunshine. I think they left at just about the right time, as apparently the cold Arctic front will bring freezing temperatures to the UK! My friends have had their fair share of cold weather when they visited France and Switzerland afterwards anyway.

Since then I’ve been busy with my little ones. The dull gloomy weather means we’re less motivated to do lessons at home like usual (I home educate them). So it was a much welcomed distraction for us when we were invited to the launch of a horse riding arena by our local farm. My adventurous daughter (9) was super excited. She loves everything outdoors. So horse riding is now next on her list! She and her best friend had a go at riding the horses, they also got a chance to groom them. She was well pleased. My littlest one (5) however was a bit spooked, the horses looked rather mighty to her!

nfewjf

my adventurous daughter getting on her horse

mg'

a bit nervous but a happy bunny

grooming away

grooming away with her good friend

jdow

my lil one (black coat) didn’t want to be left out

my youngest and her gang

my youngest and her gang

gorgeous farm cake

gorgeous farm cake at the launch

Apart from that, we also visited Oxford once again (hope you’ve read my post on Oxford last Autumn). My hubby had to co-supervise a PhD student at one of the colleges, so my little ones and I tagged along for the day. I took them to the Natural History Museum and Pitt Rivers Museum, they were well worth it. We walked a lot, despite the cold weather. After all, Oxford is best explored on foot. I wish we had more time, there was so much to discover. We hope to go again the next time my hubby has to work in Oxford. I could even take my older two if it coincides with the school holidays.

As usual, I leave you with images, both from the horse riding arena launch (as above) and our brief Oxford trip (as below), hope you will like them. Winter’s usually associated with grey, gloom and depression, understandably. But if you wrap up and brace yourself out there, you can actually find ways to have fun and to collect some warm winter memories. That’s what I did. This song was playing on High Street in Oxford as we walked past; utterly classic, timeless really. There’s something quite nostalgic listening to The Beatles in wintry charming Oxford, I don’t mind playing it again and again!

Let’s try to have a memorable winter despite the obvious gloom! 

fhe

welcome to the land of the wise!

hf

a fire juggler performing for us

jt

students’ bikes everywhere

fjg

autumn leaves still visible

at the Natural History Museum

at the Natural History Museum

just like the fox we saw in our back garden!

just like the fox we saw in our back garden!

they had a good time

they had a good time

[pl,]

we love Oxford, hope to visit again soon!

scotland part 3

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Shall we have a cuppa tea now? After all the walks we had (I have never felt fitter in my life), we decided to check out this manor hotel about 10 miles away from our forest lodge. We saw a sign for it 7 miles in after we left the main road, but we turned right for another 7 miles to get to our accommodation. From that intersection (a small village called Kilchrenan) to the hotel it was about 3 miles to the left. But mind you, these country roads were all very winding, hilly and bumpy, so the journey felt twice as long! The scenery made up for the inconvenience though, I took a couple of shots along the way. We only passed by one or two other cottages, the hotel (and its massive grounds) itself was the only building at the end of the 3 miles! We almost thought we were lost at first. As we drove into the hotel driveway, I thought I saw a woman looking out from the the top window. She was brushing her long hair, dressed in Victorian outfit! I looked up again and the curtain closed. A bit spooky! I suppose it was just my imagination running wild, the hotel dated back to the 1800s after all.

Anyway, we had a warm welcome inside, the staff were friendly and accommodating. They served us cream tea by the piano in their grand living room. We explored the two main rooms downstairs, took some photos as it was truly beautiful. My little ones and I went for a short walk in their gardens afterwards, the rest were not dressed appropriately. The rain is always a hit and miss in Scotland, best to be in your macs and wellies permanently like I was! It was chucking it down when we came out of the hotel! For those of you curious about this old manor, please click here for further information. Who knows, you might want to hold your wedding there, or go for your honeymoon. Or to celebrate your anniversary perhaps. Or like us, just go and explore and experience it all! The scones were the best I ever tasted, that’s for certain! 🙂

sign to the manor hotel

sign to the manor hotel

view of loch along the way

view of loch along the way

lots of farm animals here and there in the countryside

lots of farm animals here and there in the countryside

view of hotel as we approached it

view of hotel as we approached it

the reception

the reception

stairs visible from the main entrance

stairs visible from the main entrance

main living room

main living room

we were sat across the piano

we were sat across the piano

join me for tea!

join me for tea!

best scones ever

best scones ever, served on slates!

family relaxing!

family relaxing, entertaining my son’s dream of becoming a manor lord someday!

view of Loch Awe by the living room window

view of Loch Awe by the living room window

the other half of the main living room

the other half of the main living room

the study room, turned into another living room

the study room, turned into another living room

my girls played chess there

my girls played chess there

the fireplace

the fireplace in the study

lil ones after our walk in the hotel grounds

lil ones after our walk in the hotel grounds

 

 

scotland part 1

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Where do I begin, hundreds of holiday photos, which ones do I select to go with my blog posts? And you can never do justice to the photos, the experience is something else altogether. You have to be there in person to soak it all in! Let me just dive in and take it from there, yeah? Our first summer getaway was to Loch Awe, which is to the north west of Glasgow, Scotland. It took us a good many hours to get there by car, we made several stops in between. This was my first time to the Scottish Highlands, somehow my visits to Glasgow and Edinburgh in the past seemed pale compared to this wonderful trip.

Loch Awe is the third largest freshwater lake in Scotland, after Loch Ness and Loch Lomond (which we passed by on the way). It is certainly the longest, about 25 miles from top to bottom. We stayed in a forest lodge cabin about 200 yards from Loch Awe. My hubby wanted some peace and quiet, away from everyone and the hustle and bustle of life. We certainly got that there! All we could hear was the pitter patter of the rain, and oh boy, it did rain cats and dogs! We were well prepared however, I’m the sort who’s always checking the weather forecast. A bit obsessed with the weather like the rest of the Brits after living in England for almost 2 decades! I packed all our wellies (Wellington boots) and macs (rain coats), and that’s how we dressed throughout our 1 week stay there. Despite the not so bright weather, we still managed to have a very good time. We went for long walks, nature trails, loch cruise, castle tour, fly fishing and we had cream tea at an old manor hotel. I will try my best to blog about all these experiences!

Although there were about 50 cabins altogether at the site, they were set fairly apart so we hardly saw anyone. The locals were extremely friendly, always with a smile on their faces, ready to greet and assist you. The landscape was breathtaking, I fell in love with it instantly. Mountains, forests, waterfalls, streams, lochs, castles; beautiful countryside all around. To be honest with you, I wouldn’t mind moving there at all. But I shall have to change my blog’s name to ‘Greetings from Scotland’! I was a bit sad to leave Scotland at the end of our stay, but we had our Devon trip to look forward to so it wasn’t too bad. I’ve heard people say, you need another holiday after a holiday. Well, that’s what we did this year! Right, let me share some of my pictures with you now. This shall be my first Scotland series, watch out for my upcoming ones, more to come hopefully!!!

welcome to our forest lodge, well hidden and tucked away!

welcome to our forest lodge, well hidden and tucked away!

in our macs and wellies, studying site map by our lodge to plan our first walk

in our macs and wellies, studying site map by our lodge to plan our first walk

we walked by a stream

we walked by a stream

a quick pose with papa

a quick pose with papa

we ended going down some steps

we ended going down some steps

and found ourselves by the shores of Loch Awe

and found ourselves by the shores of Loch Awe

explored the cabin site, my 4 children enjoyed being out in the rain

explored the cabin site, my 4 children enjoyed being out in the rain

our enclosed garden, view of loch from our verandah

our enclosed garden, view of loch from our verandah

we slept peacefully in this 3 bedroom timber lodge, only sound was the calming rain

we slept peacefully in this 3 bedroom timber lodge, only sound was the calming rain

np

my early bird at breakfast the next morning, stay tuned for our next outing!