Tag Archives: travel

winter wanderings 2

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A thousand apologies! I know I have abandoned my blog, big time! I have been busier than usual ever since the winter holidays began last mid-December. We also had some guests staying over recently, and then my children came down with chicken pox one by one. Anyway, it’s never too late as they say, so let’s resume blogging! If you have read my Winter Wanderings post, you will recall I stopped just as we were heading into the buffet restaurant called Za Za Bazaar in Bristol (prior to that we visited The Bristol Science Centre). The Christmas atmosphere was apparent inside the restaurant, they had Xmas crackers on their tables, my little ones got really excited by it. By this time, however, my middle daughter was feeling a bit under the weather, she went a bit quiet. She couldn’t eat much either, poor thing.

The rest of us enjoyed ourselves, I especially liked the Indian selection out of their fusion buffet. Afterwards we had a little stroll by the harbour before heading to Papa’s office. My hubby was on leave but we popped by to say farewell to his lovely receptionist, who was heading back to Ireland after working in Bristol for 7 years. My middle daughter had befriended her for the past few months or so, it all started when she gave my girls notebooks and writing papers. My daughter scribbled her a thank you note and from then on they wrote to each other regularly and exchanged little presents too. The girls were tired out by the time we headed home, but they had a memorable winter’s day altogether. Right, time to bid farewell, I shall try to be back as soon as I can. It’s cold here by the way, 3c during day, -1c at night!

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pulling cracker with papa

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reading the message inside, she found a spinning top in her cracker

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her sister checking her cracker out slowly, she wasn’t feeling too well

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hmm, not quite sure what she was thinking about

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happy with her desserts

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my first round, Indian of course!

quite a good selection at Za Za Bazaar

good selection at Za Za Bazaar, halal options available

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view by Bristol harbour

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that’s Za Za Bazaar in view

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with my hubby’s receptionist, my girls very fond of her

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Xmas tree at hubby’s office

they had a memorable day!

they had a memorable winter’s day!

 

winter wanderings

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It is always lovely when my hubby is at home with us, especially at year end when he has to finish off his annual leave. We took the younger two to the At Bristol Science Centre, it’s a great place for hands on activities, you can check out their website here. They also had their ice rink on at this time of the year, so my girls had a go at skating too. We parents had to accompany them of course, it was a bit daunting really. I could roller skate awfully fast when I was young, but now in my 40s!? I ended hanging on to my little one’s penguin for dear life, she was the one who was daring enough to let go! 🙂

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another snowman (do read my previous snowman post) at the science centre, a cute one this time!

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the ice rink when it was empty

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time to get ready!

make sure your boots  are tightly secured

make sure your boots are tightly secured

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off we go, papa with little ones

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that’s me, clinging on to my little one’s penguin

Phew! Glad that was over and done with. Next time they could go with their older brother and sister, I think. Mama and Papa are just not cut out for this ice skating stuff. So off we went into the Science Centre to explore the exhibits. The girls loved it, especially when their papa went around explaining everything to them. Science and Maths are his expertise! The centre’s huge, with many sections to explore, ideally you should spend the whole day there. But we couldn’t stay that long this time around, perhaps another time. I’ve brought my older ones here a couple of times when they were younger, but it would be nice for them to visit again, it’s suitable for all ages really. Here’s some photos I managed to snap away, couldn’t cover everything though as we had to move fast between exhibits in order to experience them all. We had fun!

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watching water freeze at chemistry corner

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papa having a go at the biology corner

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my youngest milking the cow at the food corner

sampling different tastes at food corner

sampling different tastes at food corner

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a bit of physics for my little one!

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Bob the Builder has a lovely new assistant

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happy to complete this far with papa’s help

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outside the planetarium on the top floor

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my middle one with Wallace and Gromit

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my middle daughter having a go at making cartoon clips from scratch

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they really enjoyed making cartoon images

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Shaun the Sheep!

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exploring the magnetic field with papa

Right, time for some food now! All the skating and experimenting has made us truly hungry. Hubby took us to Za Za Bazaar, this buzzing buffet restaurant is just across the Science Centre. I shall return soon with the next episode of our winter wanderings. There’s just too many photos here already, I think it’s best to break it up. Stay tuned for more ok! 😉

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off for some food!

fabulous totnes

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Always maintain a kind of summer, even in the middle of winter.

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.

Summer always ends with good memories…

I was going through my summer holiday pictures and realised there’s quite a bit I haven’t blogged about. This is a good time I suppose, as we head further into dull gloomy winter. We took the children to South Devon again (after our Scotland trip) last August, we stayed at the same caravan holiday park. This time however we explored other areas near the English Riviera, including this historic place called Totnes. It’s a very beautiful old English town, full of quaint little shops. There’s lots of health stores too, much to my hubby’s delight! He even made another trip there before we headed home. There was also this costumes museum which my children really loved. The town has a bohemian feel to it; dads with braided hair, moms with colourful flowy skirts, walking around happily with their carefree children, all barefooted!

Well, I’ve put together some pictures from our trip below, I hope you will like them. I’ve also included a song at the end to match my mood, as I sometimes do. This time around it’s an upbeat Malay number from a romantic Malay TV drama I’ve watched online recently, Cinta Jangan Pergi. This 26 episode drama was screened in Malaysia early last year, but as usual I only caught up with the Malaysian scene much later! I give this drama my two thumbs up; certainly one of the best I’ve watched of late. Superb in every way, with a happy ending too. There ought to be a rainbow after the rain after all, right? Okay folks, till next time, take care yeah, and always find a reason to smile! 🙂

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Welcome to Totnes

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let’s explore the costumes museum first

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Jane Austen period costumes

so lovely

so lovely

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gorgeous

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lil ones wanna dress up too

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my youngest

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my Eliza Doolittle

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let’s explore further

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beautiful shops

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my son’s favourite

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my hubby’s choice

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shall we pop in?

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hmm, what’s not made in China these days?

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This one made in England for sure

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let’s find the castle now

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It’s this way Abang

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got side tracked by a lovely cottage

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Totnes Castle

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hungry now

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my 4 happy carefree kids

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let’s get some cheese to take home

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and some cakes for teatime!

flower headgears from totnes market as souvenirs!

flower headwear from bohemian totnes as souvenirs!

Have a good weekend everyone, enjoy this sweet song in my mother tongue, from a great Malay drama!

remembrance sunday

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Greetings everyone! It’s been a while since I last sat down to pen my thoughts. I’ve been a busy bee now that the new school year is in full swing; home educating my youngest two, ensuring my older two are on top of things at their secondary schools, running the household, carrying out my roles as wife and mother the best I can. The weather’s turned wintry here too, it gets dark before 5pm! But it’s not all dull and gloom here, Autumn’s full of events; Halloween, Bonfire Night (a big fireworks display expected where we are this weekend), followed by Remembrance Sunday on the 9th of November. This is the day when they remember those who have perished/suffered in the previous battles, those who have fought/died for their country. This is also a day to commemorate the services of all military personnel from past to present.

On that note I would like to share my son’s recent History school trip to the World War 1 sites, both in France and Belgium. History is my son’s favourite subject, war history in particular. He remembers all the facts by heart from a very young age. A coachful of them took the Eurotunnel Crossing to France and went directly to Ypres in Belgium. They visited both the German and British war cemeteries there. The following day they went to Somme in France to visit the WW1 Trench Museum, where they witnessed the real trenches and battlefields during the war. On the last day, they went into Ypres again to visit the famous Flanders Field Museum, after which they bought some souvenirs before heading back.

My son arrived home safely late that night, laden with Belgium chocolates for us. He only took an old simple camera with him, even the date hadn’t been corrected! Most of the pictures were not very clear, he didn’t mind, the memory of being there is what counts, he said. He felt sombre whilst he was out there, particularly when he saw the tombstones of many soldiers as young as he is. Millions of lives gone within days of the war, so terribly sad indeed. War is never good, there is no winner. I leave you with several images my son captured from his trip. Till next time, have a pleasant weekend…

Courtesy of Google Images – Click image for original source

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A memorial at Essex Farm, Flanders Field, been 100 years since the onset of WW1

Tyne Cot Allied war cemetery, the largest in the world

a tree that was shot at many times during WW1

a tree that was shot at many times during WW1

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Essex Farm Cemetery in Flanders Field

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A memorial at Tyne Cot cemetery

Langemarck German cemetery

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Trenches belonging to the Newfoundland regiment on the Somme

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Flanders field poem at Essex Farm dressing station, the site where it was written

a crater

a crater on the Somme

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dressing station (hospital) at Essex Farm

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The view from Thiepval memorial

another trench on the Somme

Thiepval memorial, Somme

battlefield, now a meadow for grazing farm animals

The small tree on the right was the furthest point some 4000 Canadians got to before being killed

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Sombre mood at Tyne Cot Cemetery

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soldier as young as my son

some goodies for us!

some goodies for us!

500+500 miles

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I told my husband recently of how I wished I had met him sooner, rather than in our late 20s. He smiled and said that I wouldn’t have noticed him back then. Hmm, I should be the judge of that I think. I then wondered whether he would have fancied me had we met a decade earlier. He said yes, without a doubt. He said he would have taken me away and hid me from the rest of the world! I thought he did that anyway! 🙂 My hubby is funny like that, he makes me smile. On days when I feel a bit down, I think of him and his sweet words and I feel cheered. Life is like that isn’t it, sometimes you feel on top of the world, the next moment you feel like you’re in the dumps. I lead a very simple quiet life, just the way I like it. I don’t even have a TV (by choice)! But from time to time (like all normal mortals), I can’t help but feel annoyed, upset, angry or sad. Dealing with people is never easy. Sometimes I just feel like shouting out, ‘Please folks, just leave me be!’ No wonder many wise ones throughout history chose to hide and meditate in the sticks far away from it all, stress free!!!

Well, shall we escape for a while then? Follow us on our nature outing during our recent Scotland trip. I took my 4 children on this lovely trail at a place called Inverawe. My children love pretending getting lost in the woods, they would walk fast ahead of me just so that I lose sight of them. Children love the thrill of adventure and I must admit I was like that as a child myself. But as a mother my middle name is now WORRY. Even though this forest was safe, my motherly instinct sniffed out for trouble yonder. I need to relax a bit, my hubby always says. I couldn’t agree more! Oh well, time to go out and chill I think, a good friend has invited me out to dinner (ladies night out) and I so look forward to it! I leave you with our nature trail pictures and a beautiful song to go with it. Would you travel 500 miles + 500 miles more to be with the one you love? Oh yes, 6,500 miles to be exact! Now I know where my children got their daring sense of adventure from!!!

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our nature trail began

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my eldest and my youngest leading the way

not that way!

not that way!

further into the woods

further into the woods

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down they went

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let’s slide down!

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over the bridge

my big girl lost track of the rest

my big girl lost track of the rest

they found a little fort

they found a little fort

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they loved it!

their role play continued

explored every corner of the woods

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let’s have a short rest now

this is fun!

this was fun!

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off they went again

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breathtaking

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stay quiet, there’s a deer!

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and a Scottish Highland cow too!

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seek and you shall find peace and beauty!

A Scotland post is not complete without a song by an awesome Scottish band, they take my autumn blues away! Enjoy it! 😉