Monday, 31 May 2010

Ahhhhhh! Public holidays! Nothing like a Monday where everything is just "quiet" ...

Have done very little again today ... but am travelling later this week to Prague for another show. I believe that I am staying at the Kempinski and The Four Seasons ... should be fun!

Tomorrow I am having a wee operation on my finger ... the one I broke playing cricket! I hope it's not painful ...

Song of the Day: Glory Days - Bruce Springsteen

Weather: Humorous


Sunday, 30 May 2010

I have had a lovely day sitting in the sunshine, doing a wee bit of gardening, visiting the local Summer street fair ... and avoiding the radio!

This morning it was all 70's music and this afternoon my favourite radio station announced one pet obituary after another. It was all too sad & depressing!

ANYWAY - I have never used Avon before! You know - "bing bong, the Avon lady" etc BUT I have started using this product called "Skin so Soft" ... it smells lovely, keeps my skin all soft and is non-greasy ... BUT what it does the BEST is keep midges and mosquitoes at bay! I recently found out that the Navy SEALS in the USA use this stuff on night & swamp missions!


Anyway, I sprayed it on today and walked into a mosquito-saturated part of my garden and guess what - NO bites!!! Long live Avon and long live Skin so Soft!

Song of the Day: By My Side - INXS

Weather: Summery

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Saturday! It's been raining all day which is actually quite miserable for me ... but great for the lawns & plants ...

Bert & Ernie have been looking rather "small" today but are still bleating vociferously for food at all hours of the day.

So - as you can tell - nothing much to report!

I have been watching DVDs though and my favourite for the day MUST be the Chinese movie Assembly or Ji Jie Hao ... which is a stunning (albeit bloody) story that centres around the 20th century Civil War ... visually stunning and a fabulous true story. A great cinematic find ..

Song of the Day: Some Like It Hot - Power Station

Weather: Yuk

Friday, 28 May 2010

One wonderful thing about living in the country is that you can get animals! I have a Bert and an Ernie - two black sheep! They are the sweetest creatures on Earth! So tame ... so loving ... and full of baas!

Last year on the South Island of New Zealand - at Blanket Bay just outside Queenstown - I learnt how to shear a sheep. It is NOT easy and I do remember nearly killing my poor victim.

Anyway - today - Bert & Ernie had 4 visitors from the local vets to shear their fleeces and ensure they have all the necessary inoculations for the next few months.

Lovely local vet Holly turned up with a professional shearer ... and a bag of sprays and medicines.

Bert & Ernie have had rather thick fleeces of late and the hot weather has made them hot & bothered but Richard took just a couple of minutes each to turn them into naked sheepies, ready to face the summer!

I am not sure the boys really enjoyed it BUT they look like lambs again! Love it!

Quick funny story from last summer ... the boys were frothing at the mouth so I rang the vet in a panic. Sheep have 6 stomachs and they had been eating too many apples and were basically drunk! The apples had fermented in their stomachs! The apple tree has been cut down! Ha!

It's a long Bank Holiday weekend here in England ... I am doing NOTHING! Prague next week ... yay!

Song of the Day: Crazy - Seal

Weather: Ahhhhhhh! :)

that's my bum ...! The poor kiwi sheep ...!
bert & ernie - at 3 months old
baby-bert (pre-leica days)
bert early this afternoon
bert during the shearing!
naked bertie with fleece
baby- ernie
ernie early this afternoon
ernie during!
ernie as he now stands! GORGEOUS!
richard and lovely holly (vet)

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Strangely, I did NOT have to pay a penny to get back to England from Wales this morning!

My ears were ringing a bit today ... nothing too bad though.

I have had lots of large intentions today ... but small things kept on getting in the way!

Hopefully tomorrow will bear more "fruit".

The Moon is looking wonderful tonight ... makes me feel a wee "grrrrrr"!

Song of the Day: Wishing On a Star - Randy Crawford

Weather: Again ... superb!

the werevarun :)

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Greetings from Cardiff – the capital of Wales!

I have had a mixed day …

It started with a lovely drive to Bristol which for those who don’t know is a large but pretty city in the South West of England.

From here I drove to Cardiff. There is a toll bridge over the River Severn - £5.50 … US$8. I did ask why I was paying for the honour of visiting Wales and the toll-attendant said it was because the Welsh are such lovely people!

I did have a haircut in Cardiff which was a huge mistake. The twenty-one year old hairdresser (who had been cutting hair for 5 years) has – erm – created issues on my head! It’s very uneven and chunks of hair are “missing”. I am not sure if it’s fashionable or I just had a girl who isn’t very good at cutting hair! Hmmmm …

Anyway – why am I in Cardiff? To see Mark Knopfler – the Dire Straits lead-singer fellow. Last time I was at the Cardiff International Arena, I saw Simple Minds (another 80’s favourite of mine). Then, I drank 10 pints of beer and the whole evening was a forgettable (but highly entertaining) rampage!

Tonight was a much more sullen affair.

He came in and sat down on a high chair … something to do with a trapped nerve. While he did play with great gusto – there was something quite big missing … heart. I was quite disappointed … but for two hours, I was dragged back into the 80’s – the best decade EVER! I wish he played “Money for Nothing”. It & “Don’t you forget about Me” were part of the soundtrack of my 80’s …

Hmmm ….

Song of the Day: MONEY FOR NOTHING – Dire Straits

Weather: Grizzly

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

I have political views. They are private.

I do however have "public" views of what is fair/unfair ... democratic/undemocratic.

When the war in Iraq started, a chap called Brian Haw, legally, camped outside the Houses of Parliament in London demonstrating what he believes to be a war that was wrong, illegal and totally unjustified.

Through snow, rain, sunshine (and the occasional change of Government), he has sat in or outside his tent protesting ... with banners and the odd vocal torrent of ire directed at our esteemed (joke) lawmakers.

In the run-up to the Queen's Speech - outlining what the Government intends to do over the next few months - he and a fellow protester were arrested and forcibly removed ...

The comedian Mayor of London, Boris "hello I am a bumbling buffoon Tory boy" Johnson is trying to rid Parliament Square of all protesters because he believes they are menace. Menace they may be - but they are still a necessary part of our democracy. Without people like Brian Haw to shout about perceived injustices in the world, we may as well live in a lawless society.

I met Mr Haw once while walking Gemima the Pooch to work. He was polite, gave Moo a stroke and provided her with a new smell (Eau de Protester). He hasn't stolen money from the public purse (unlike many, many of our politicians) ... he has just his voice - and the authorities want to take it away. Shame on them....

Today - indeed - is yet another sad day for British democracy ...

Song of the Day: I don't believe in you - Talk Talk

Weather: Quiet & lovely

brian haw ...

Monday, 24 May 2010

Another glorious day ... sun is shining ... sky is blue ... AGAIN! Long may it last ...

The only thing I wish I was doing more of is playing golf but I am also trying to fit in a workday too! The plans for 2011 are taking great shape ... it's going to be a busy, busy year! I can't believe that I am planning for 2011 ... it's only May 2010!

I watched 2012 yesterday ... what utter rubbish ... John Cusack - Grosse Pointe Blank and Sure Thing and Grifters ... hold your head in shame! Thandie Newton and Woody Harrelson - why, why, why? Danny Glover ... yes ... you ARE "too old for that sh*t"!

Song of the Day: Mr Blue Sky - ELO

Weather: Mr Blue Sky!

2012 - a rotten stinker!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

It's Sunday! So far from being a "day of rest" for me.

Up early ... yesterday's lovely wedding still lingering in my mind. Pack up the car and drive the 180 miles home. The weather is glorious ... sun streaming through the windows, lovely music in the car ... sleeping pooch on the back seat! Heaven ...

Have just been for a swim ...

This week WILL be busy ... the website is being revamped, the South Africa and Barcelona shows need to be looked at and we are preparing for Prague ... phew!

Tonight I am watching "2012" - the end of the world is nigh? Pah!

Song of the Day: Take It Back - Pink Floyd

Weather: Incredible!

a fabulous album cover ....

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Brian to Peter (Family Guy) - "Every problem in life can be sorted with a kicking" (after watching the Roadhouse movie!).

The weather in England has been GLORIOUS today! I have been at a wedding in Staffordshire - 150 miles from London.

It was a stunning day and the bride & groom had a wonderful wedding. Some of the other guests were lovely and I was actually nice & polite! Yes, REALLY! AND I wore my lovely Tod's red moccasins ... that I haven't actually worn since I was in Thailand.

I am totally wiped out now and it's time for bed!

Song of the Day: Kick - INXS
Weather: Roadhouse!

he's a fun chap ... or is it dog?

Friday, 21 May 2010

I am sitting in the editing suite in Soho (wth Oli) having a look at the rushes from KwaZulu-Natal. Oh - it looks so lovely!

I have a cheetah going for a wee in a tree, a Black Rhino cow looking very angry, three lionesses dozing in the sun, a lighthouse, a "swarm" of Tiger Sharks AND more ... phew!

London is still in the grip of the Elephant Parade! I found out today that they are up for auction with Sotheby's ... I reckon around £5,000 each ... on my summer wish-list!

The weekend is finally here and I am home! Home, home, home!


Song of the Day: Take a Bow - Madonna

Weather: HOT & sweaty!

Wayne - General Manager of The Oyster Box
Jane - General Manager of &Beyond Phinda
Happy, grazing White Rhino
Oli the Cheetah ... I mean Oli AND a Cheetah!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

I have had a day of interrupted electricity! That is very pleasing ...

So tomorrow we start the first edit on the KwaZulu-Natal show. I am very excited ... what memories it will bring back! All those animals! Cheetah, lions, elephants, hippo, crocs etc etc ...

Ah - we have new video footage for your perusal:


City Guide:

Chateau Yering GM Interview:

Crown Towers Room Review:

Healesville Sanctuary:


The Henry Jones Art Hotel Room Review:

The Priory GM Interview/Room Review:

Country Guide:

Agrarian Kitchen:

Bonorong Wildlife Park:

The animals features are of course my favourite!!!!


Song of the Day: All You Good Good People - Embrace

Weather: Warm & sweaty!

memories ........

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

It's been a very odd day. We had a power outage for most of it meaning no internet (except on the Blackberry) ...

I spent most of the day in the Spa ... having massages, swimming and eating healthy food.

The power is back on! mixed feelings ... !

Outside, the moon is trying its hardest to fight through the fog! It all looks very dramatic!

Song of the Day: I Want You - Elvis Costello

Weather: Warming up nicely!

it's been a dark day!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

I love writing this diary. I can forget travel memories in my mind but they are all here on this website to help jog my white matter ... or is it grey ... when necessary ...

On this day last year I was about to leave Canada after filming a very successful show in British Columbia. The tag-line to my entry was "I must come back here again soon" ... and guess what, I did! I must admit that there isn't one place that we have filmed in that I would not want to revisit ... except the hamam in Istanbul - now THAT was painful!

I have had a lovely day - the weather has been wonderful, my cats have been quite loving, the pup has been dozey, the cigar very tasty, the swimming pool "just right" ... all right is with my world.

I want to go and watch Wall Street 2 ... maybe tomorrow ... during the day ... how daring is that?

I detest soccer in every way, shape and form BUT the song of the day is to "celebrate" the World Cup. It's being held in one of my favourite countries ... erm and in my mind that's where the positives ... end ...

Song of the Day: Three Lions - I don't really care

Weather: Happy!

Gekko in the 80s ... I have never met a cigar smoker I didn't like!
Gekko in 2010 - obviously the greed did get the better of him! Note to self - greed is not that good!

Monday, 17 May 2010

OK - I am finally home!

Arrived at 0230 after an aircraft delay (surprise, surprise) ... a 1-mile queue for immigration at the airport ... and lost luggage! The boys flew home this afternoon and arrived safely(just one aborted landing!). We beat the ash cloud!

Not much to report today except that I am pooped and have caught up on sleep, emails and post. My lovely scarves from Avoca arrived ... watch out for those on the show and diary.

I did receive a rather interesting email from a company that is basically selling "internet postcards". You send them the photo and words ... they print ... and post for you! CRAZY! I send 35 (no more, no less) postcards from every location I go to. Recipients include friends, family, hoteliers .. and even a couple of pups in Canada ... the list changes occasionally ... but only by 10% every 6 months. I LOVE sending these postcards! It takes an hour to write to them but it's my way of keeping in touch ... and I know that the recipients enjoy a handwritten postcard among the bills and junk mail! Postcards ... rule! Internet postmails do not.

I have a few days at home now ... late next week, it's Prague! Yay!

Song of the Day: Happy - Rolling Stones

Weather: Cold but bright!

a lovely Modernist sculpture at MNAC in Barcelona!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Greetings from Barcelona Airport. I have caught an early flight home as I am worried about the ash-cloud! Fingers crossed that I actually make it ...

Awesome last day filming. Checked out early from La Florida. What a lovely property. The staff, the service, the facilities, the views ... ALL superb!

SO -first thing we headed down to MNAC - National Museum of Catalunyan Art - my favourite museum in the City. It tells the history of Catalunya for 1000 years ... ending around 1940. Met with the lovely Mai Felip who showed me round the halls. Fabulous Romanesque art ... and superb Modernist art ... yes, there are works by Picasso and Gaudi ... BUT the Casas really caught my eye.

From there we drove the 30 minutes to Circuit de Catalunya - home to the Spanish Grand Prix - held in May - the first race in the European calendar (it was last Sunday). First met with the Operations Manager Ramon Orriols ... for a quick chat about the track before I was allowed to drive a Lamborghini at great speed round it - under the expert guidance of Pro-driver, Jordi Fuset.

I drove fast!

A highlight was also getting a ride in an Ariel - a British open-top sports car. 0 to 60 mph in ... 2.2 seconds! It was a hair-raising experience! Thank you Gabriel Manzanera!

The sun shone ALL day ... and now I am off home! Yay!

Tonight Barcelona FC may win the Spanish League ... oooh!

Song of the Day: Barcelona - F. Mercury and M. Caballe

Weather: Lambo-yellow!

Our wonderful and lovely guide for the whole week - Lucia Burbano! She is funny & knowledgeable! THANK YOU Birdie!


Is that an F1 I spy?

My boys!
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