Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The week has been quite odd ... and it's only Wednesday.

I have started - in earnest - my preparation for next year's Marathon ... small steps etc ... but have "run" into a small problem ... a pulled muscle in my right leg. Thankfully, a wonderful masseuse called Inese has been working on the leg all week and I am hoping that by Swedenday, I should be ok again ...

On Monday I did have an off-turn though - and to commiserate, I washed down my fish and chips with a bottle of 2002 Vintage Dom Perignon ... I did feel rather better after that!

Tonight I am feeling in that mood again ... hmmm ... tomorrow I am spending the afternoon with Oli the Editor!

I wish!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Back to my desk. So much paperwork to do!

Saturday it's off to Sweden ... very exciting. I hope the weather is good -- we are spending half the time in Stockholm and the other half "in a forest". Midnight picnics! I can't wait ... sadly nowhere for midnight golf! Grrr ...

Wrote scripts for the Switzerland and Bahamas episodes today ... what great memories.

Geneva & Montreux were such a long time ago .... but strangely it felt like yesterday.

 At Davidoff - Geneva
 Patek Philippe - I WANT
Tim, Bernie and Me!

Monday, 29 August 2011

If all the banks go bust - will we lose "bank holidays"? If so, we must make sure they are rescued ... these long weekends are fabulous and so necessary!

No rain today so pottered down to the Jurassic Coast to watch fisherman - fish, sailors - sail and lunatics swim in the cold, cold sea! Ah - but the prawns were fresh (yumyum), the air fresher and the snooze on the beach was just ... perfect!

Back to reality from tomorrow! Eek!

VIDEO: My favourite dive of the year so far: Africa / The Seychelles / Feature / Diving at Denis Island:

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Taking time off is awesome!

I did so little today ... except wait at home for Hurricane Irene to strike ... which according to The Daily Mail newspaper is imminent ... yes, here in England!

There has been a deluge of black flies, hornets and mosquitoes in the UK this year ... so I have bought a fly-swatter. All was well - and yes, I had been ruthless in my hunt for flies - until I suddenly felt a pang of guilt.

Hindus believe that we can all come back as a fly ... and Buddhists believe we could all be flies ... so is it immoral for me to swipe at them ... kill them ... and then flush them down the toilet?

This is all WAY to much thinking for a Sunday afternoon ...

Now, below is a link for one of my favourite features we have filmed this year, at Harley Farms in California. The farm - run by Dee Harley - is all about goats ... and cheese, yoghurt, hand creams and soaps that are made from the milk ... what fun we had. Especially when Tim was attacked by some rather large goats who tried to eat him ... and his camera. How James and I laughed!!

North America / Central Californian Coast / Feature / Harley Farm:


Saturday, 27 August 2011

The US East coast is being battered by Hurrican Irene. Even the tough New Yorkers have taken fright ...

My worry over the past couple of days has been Harbour Island in the Bahamas. I found this fabulous article by India Hicks in The Daily Beast which says it all. There's an excellent before/after photo in there too ...

I try and read as many online newspapers as I can every day. For right-wing, comedy it has to be The Daily Mail. In fact, this newspaper is SO bad for news & comment, that I am amazed that it has even one reader (apart from me!). Well, according to The Daily Mail, the UK may suffer from Hurricane Irene too ... so I am going to stock up on water, toilet paper (The Daily Mail will do) and cigars so as not to get caught short in the coming days ...

I did wander down to the South Coast today - and as you can see - it was hurricane conditions ...

Friday, 26 August 2011

It's FRIDAY! Yaya! Joho!

It's also the start of a Bank Holiday Weekend (Public Holiday on Monday). In reality this means that it will rain heavily, tourists will clog the pavements (sidewalk) reading city maps and there will be endless reruns of the war movie The Great Escape on television.

I have been reliably informed that I have FOURTEEN - 14 - overseas trips to go on before December 7th! Some to look forward to? Hmm ...

I have ALSO agreed to go on a 7-night "Boot Camp" in Spain in January! Mad? Yes ... quite probably ...

It HAS rained all day ... and I got rather sad when I watched the last ever episode of Frasier - my favourite sitcom ... ever. It was a random flick around of the channels that led me to this half-hour of happiness and depression! The show after was the first episode of Frasier ... ever ... how I laughed ...

I need a holiday.

Am awaiting news from Harbour Island and Eleuthera ... the electricity is down as is the internet ...
Frasier ... with awesome Eddie ... I once met him - Kelsey Grammer that is ... not the pooch ... in Cannes ... in a different life ... he was dressed as Father Christmas ... ha!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

August 25th - Weather Report from Harbour Island and Eleuthera




What a difference a week makes ...

Off for a spot of snorkelling ...

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Hurricane Irene is inching towards Harbour Island. I am holding my breath and hoping ...

The video clips today are from California! The lovely Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay and the awesomely wonderful Post Ranch Inn! Enjoy ...

North America / Central Californian Coast / Hotel / Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay:

North America / Central Californian Coast / Hotel / Post Ranch Inn:

And I will use it if I have to!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

OK - this time last week I was in the Bahamas ... Harbour Island to be precise. The weather was variable ... heavy rain ... stunning sunshine ... heavy rain ... stunning sunshine ... you get the idea ...

Anyway in the next few hours Hurricane Irene is set to hit the Bahamas.

Hotel guests have been either sent home or have been warned not to travel. The battens have been hatched down ... and the islanders are preparing for the worst ... and hoping for the best ...

Here's hoping ...

Ah yes:

Tim anchoring himself in the pink sands in anticipation of the hurricane ...

Monday, 22 August 2011

When I woke up this morning, I am not kidding when I say that EVERY bone and muscle in my body ached! I am not signing up for any more cricket this year methinks ...

It's the "second" Monday and that can only mean Leica: this week, it IS easy ...

Freddy the Fish

Sunday, 21 August 2011

So - I have just come back from a village cricket match! The opposition scored 100 runs (I took two wickets and dropped a catch! doh!) and we got 90 runs (I scored 16) ... it was great fun ... but I am now tired, tired, tired!

Last night I went to a lovely birthday party in Chelsea ... the only down side was drunk football fans roaming around like zombies! The beautiful game - my eye!

Another week is upon us.

Ah - and the video clips today are from Hertelendy Castle and the Four Seasons, Gresham Palace ... Hungary! Enjoy!

Europe / Hungary / Hotel / Hertelendy Castle:

Europe / Hungary / Hotel / Four Seasons Gresham Palace:

I hit 1 six, 2 fours and a 2 ... not bad for my first game of the year!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

The weekend is here! Yipeeeeeeee!

Tomorrow I am meant to be playing cricket ... here's hoping the weather holds.

I hope you enjoyed yesterday's two video clips ... today: The Seychelles:

Africa / The Seychelles / Hotel / Four Seasons Resort Seychelles:

Africa / The Seychelles / Hotel / Raffles Praslin Seychelles:

My favourite fruit!

Friday, 19 August 2011

New video content!

Yes - thanks to Oli the Editor, over the next few days, I will be able to post videos before they appear on the website! Today, the videos come from Malaysia ... my suite review from JapaMala - which is located on Tioman Island and the wonderful Tajong Jara resort ... where I am interviewing the fabulous James McBride, President of YTL hotels & resorts.

memories ... ahhhh

Asia / Malaysia / Hotel / JapaMala:

Asia / Malaysia / Hotel / Tanjong Jara:

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Home, home, home, home!

Left the Bahamas yesterday - sun was shining, 33 degrees - a slight but lovely breeze.

Arrived in England today - no sun, 13 degrees, torrential rain - gusty and miserable winds.

Where would I rather be right now?

Actually ... here at home!

Next stop for us ... the week after ... Sweden! Yay!

 On the road to nowhere!
 Mark Kitchen of Pinks Sands (he didn't get into the Dairy last week!)
In anticipation of Sweden!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

That's it! The Bahamas episode is all over ...

When I woke this morning the weather was DESPERATELY bad! Thunderstorm, heavy rain, windy ... even chilly!

By the time we arrived at Valentine's Dive Center (!) ... the rain had stopped. I met with Divemaster - Sean Springer ... an 18 year veteran of Scuba.

Twenty minutes later we arrived at the Devil's Backbone - where in 1648, Captain Sayles and his Puritan brothers & sisters ran aground. They all escaped with their lives and arrived at Preachers Cave.

In 1841, a passenger ferry also sank at the Backbone and now it's a dive site! I had a brilliant time diving through old boilers ... and under & over metal beams ... fabulous!

SO - Harbour Island ... Pink and Coral Sands ... both great properties ... with service unexpectedly efficient and friendly! This is the Caribbean after all. All in all, we were all quite impressed!

On my way home ....

Sean Springer

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

"Eleuthera" is a word derived from a Greek word which means "freedom". It is the name of an island quite close to Harbour Island ... in fact, five minutes away by speedboat.

We zoomed over there this morning and were first driven to the Glass Window Bridge. The island is 180 kilometres long and just 1 km wide ... to the East it's the Atlantic Ocean - dark blue rough water and to the West it's the Great Bahamas Sound - light blue, calm and turquoise water ...

The Bridge is not really made of glass but is the thinnest part of the island ... and its Ocean to one side and Sound to the other! You can see them "clearly" ... !

From there it was a visit to the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve. It was built to honour the late Mr Levy. It's a wonderful facility that shows the different ecosystems from the islands and also some medicinal remedies from the past. It was a wonderful visit!

It was then a drive to Tippy's - the premier restaurant on the island. It's owned by David Barlyn who helped set up Island Outpost - a hotel group that used to be actually quite good.

Anyway, the food at Tippy's was marvellous as is the beach there! In fact, it's one of the loveliest beaches I have ever seen.

On the way home, we stopped off at the Queen's Bath or the Hot Tubs. Basically, the limestone on the island has been eroded away over the years and this area of wall has been turned into a natural bath with pools that are filled with hot sea water ... BUT only at high tide ... guess what ... we arrived at low tide! Shame ...

Back at Coral Sands now ... last night here. Boohoohoo ...

Wonderful beach!
With Mark Daniels from the Preserve - fabulous guide!
The Bridge!
Dr Seebreeze - the entertainment at Tippy's!
The Hot Tubs ...

Monday, 15 August 2011

I never learn ...

Drinking alcohol at lunchtime is bad .... drinking a Goombay Smash at lunchtime is very bad ... drinking THREE Goombay Smashes at lunchtime is simply ... madness.

The day at Coral Sands started with thunderstorms ... but somehow we battled through and filmed the entire resort. Originally built in the 60's ... the resort now features 39 rooms including 5 cottages ... of which one - Sunrise - is mine! It's lovely ... and has one of those fabulous views right down to the Ocean ... and a wooden walkway to the beach ... gorgeous ...

We also filmed a cocktail-making segment at the beach bar with the "mixologist" Vashti ... the Goombay Smash contains may types of rum ... coconut rum and brandy ... with a small drop of fruit juice. Hic. We had to make three ... and I had to drink them ... to make the segment look good - of course.

I also interviewed the General Manager Pam Barry ... she has been here a few years and loves Harbour Island and island life ...

The weather did pick up and ended up being gorgeous - by the way!

Three is murder!

It's not a dog ... or a cat ... hmm ... could be a chicken?
I venture into the Ocean
The boys frollicking ...

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Greetings from the Coral Sands resort on Harbour Island, Bahamas.

It's been a lovely, hot day and I have spent most of it in the Ocean. First up, we joined Vincent Cleare, a local fisherman for a fishing trip, in search of the bone fish. We didn't find one! Oops! We did see some speedy turtles though ...

In the afternoon we joined Jef Fox and Adlon Barry on their boat - Top Cat - for a some wonderful snorkelling ... and I got to play with a HUGE starfish!

I am tired!

Saturday, 13 August 2011


Yes – today is all about James.

It must be a little strange, celebrating a landmark birthday away from your family but I am sure when friends & family ask him in the future, “where were you on your 21st birthday?” ... he can answer “the Bahamas”. Fabulous!

James has been part of the team for nearly three years now and he’s been brilliant!

Our baby boy ... is ... now ... a man! In reality, it means he can carry even more bags and work even harder! Ha!

Today has been strange ... we filmed the resort’s executive chef James Van Dyke, cooking up a lion fish salad. Lion fish is not indigenous to the Bahamas ... it’s actually from the Indian Ocean but it was introduced here ... and now it eats all the coral. So the locals are going crazy, hunting them down and eating them! And lion fish DOES taste nice ... yum yum!

This afternoon was taken up filming around this small but cute island.

Friday, 12 August 2011

What a difference a day makes.

I awoke to a truly beautiful morning – albeit rather humid.

First up, an interview with the wonderful General Manager Mark Kitchen of the Pink Sands resort - on the pink sandy beach that fronts the resort. The sand really is pink ... coral has mixed in with the sand over the years turning it into this beautiful colour.

There are just 25 cottages at the resort and 2 estate homes ... of which one – Banyan Tree – is mine! I have 4 bedrooms ... 3 in the main house and a Guest House. I also have my own swimming pool ... fire-pit and as the house is situated on the highest point of the island, fabulous views!

It is a truly lovely home here at Pink Sands.

I was lucky that Karen the masseuse was hiding in my Guest House ... and after I found her, I was rewarded with a rather fabulous massage! Lucky me!

We then drove the 5 minutes to Briland Art – home of artist Ersley Wilson. He scours the beaches for driftwood and paints some lovely stuff on them. Nice fellow.
Finally, we visited the Princess of Queen Conch – Chanella Percentie. Queen Conch is the premier conch shack on the island. Conch comes from a shell ... is a mollusc ... and the meat is “cooked” using juices from orange, lemon and lime. Mixed with tomato and onions, the salad she produced was truly scrumptious.

It’s been a very productive day!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Greetings from the Pink Sands Resort on Harbour Island, Bahamas.

We left "hell" this morning quite early and took a three hour ferry journey to Harbour Island. The ferry was clean, efficient & modern and we sailed through huge pockets of thunderstorms and the boat hardly rocked ... for Captain Sea-legs (Tim) it was a sickness-free voyage! Yay!

We arrived on Harbour Island in pouring hot rain, were met at the dock by the resort General Manager, Mark Kitchen and were driven the 5 minutes to the resort.

After a quick & delicious lunch, I met with Mr Prince Mather - who is just over 70 years young. He is the premier historian in the Bahamas and he took me on a short but informative tour of this small island. There are 29 islands, 661 cays and 2387 rocks (islets) that make up the Bahamas but 24 main "inhabited" islands. In 1973, the Bahamas gained independence from the British. Pre-Columbus, the islands were inhabited by the Lucayan and Arawak Indian tribes.

Unfortunately, we have just had a power cut on the island and I cannot upload any photographs ... shame as we have some nice ones.

This episode of Inside Luxury Travel is NOT going to be action packed ... more like laid-back and fun luxury ... I have an amazing suite here ... I will tell you more about that (hopefully WITH photos) tomorrow.

By the way, heaven is MUCH better than hell!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Greetings from Nassau in the Bahamas!

We are here filming for the next 8 days ... and the weather is going to be a roller-coaster of sun, rain ... and hot, HOT sunshine!

The flight was around 9 hours and it was painful ... REALLY painful ...

I hate day flights ... HATE them ... but what is worse than a day flight is that if my – yes, just my – entertainment system does not work ... and the flight is full! What was EVEN worse (yes – these capital letters are necessary!) was the in-flight staff who basically ignored me! Bloody Awful customer service ... and this is the second time in four long-haul flights that this has happened on this airline ... and leaving me to stew away in my seat for 9 hours to think about it is NOT a good idea!

In fact, I am going to etch this whole day out of my memory ... and tomorrow when we get to Harbour Island, life will be good again!
Tim and myself have grown beards ... so has James!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

I am back in the "twilight zone" - a place where there is no wi-fi but thankfully my trusty Blackberry carries enough signal for my Diary.

First thing tomorrow it's an easy flight to Nassau. It's a long time since I was last in the Bahamas ... And I am quite looking forward to my return.

I hope you like the photos from Camp Bestival ... Music, cider, cigars and photos ...

The sun is shining in Nassau ... And there's no rioting ... !

Monday, 8 August 2011

Have you ever head the name of a place and thought "I want to go there"? I have been to Shiraz (Iran) and Timbuktu (Mali) for just that reason. Today I was "introduced" to Baku ... Baku is the capital city of Azerbaijan and doing just a small bit of research on it has made me quite giddy with excitement! It's on my 2012 wish-list!

Tomorrow I start my journey to the Bahamas ... via Surrey to see my Papa.

I haven't seen the boys in a couple of weeks ... and I am very much looking forward to celebrating with James as he will be 21 years old on the 13th ... 21 ... a distant memory!

Ah - before I forget:

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Sunday - ah - a day of rest. To celebrate one of few Sundays I ever get to spend at home - I bought all my favourite newspapers and settled down on the sofa with one of my Cats & a cup of tea and .... got thoroughly depressed.

It seems that in parts of London there has been rioting over ... I am not sure over what ... the world financial markets are going to nosedive tomorrow ... because of greedy bankers and idiot politicians ... a poor chap was attacked and sadly killed by a hungry polar bear whose habitat had been decimated by humans ... and scientists have found that working in an office is bad for your brain ...

On the bright side, the weather forecast was wrong and the sun shone for most of the day. The price of diesel seems to have decreased ... and I am off to the Bahamas this week. I love my job ...

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Just back from the cinema.

I don't seem to have the time to go to the movies anymore - mainly because I watch films on planes ... or have lovefilm download onto my laptop before I travel ... OR even watch the odd movie in a hotel bed surrounded by pizza and red wine ...

Initially I wanted to see Harry Potter BUT I had honestly forgotten what happened in the first twelve (?) movies so this would have been pointless ... Captain America looks quite daft ... Cars 2 - I am possibly a wee old for ... SO I settled on Super 8.

For those under 35, you will possibly not know what I am talking about now ... but Super 8 (for me) was "ET" meets "The Goonies" ... and I preferred the originals in every way ... ELO's "Don't let me down" launched and ended the movie gloriously ... it was everything in the middle that sucked ... hey ho ... maybe Cars 2 would have been a better choice ...

Friday, 5 August 2011

Another week is drawing to a close.

The weather was quite acceptable today so after getting all my work done in the morning - and having a long & hard swim - I fired up the barbecue and cremated food. Last year I bought one of these super-duper Weber machines that takes gas and charcoal ... so that's two sources of heat to contend with ... hmmm ...

Early next week we are flying off to Bahamas for the ONLY shoot this month! Things go crazy in September (& for the rest of 2011) so I am going to try and hibernate for most of August.

I have noticed that it is getting rather dark earlier in the evening ... I hate that ...

Later this year I am off to Sweden where I am going on a midnight wilderness horse-ride ... and it will be light! I like that ...
A time-lapse of the midnight sun in a 24 hour period  ... stunning! 

Thursday, 4 August 2011

After "wonderful Wednesday" ... today was "torrid Thursday"!

Firstly, I had to slather layers of my Ligne St Barth "mint & avocado" lotion onto my skin to pacify the sunburn from yesterday. Then the rain ensured that a short walk to the dentist ended up in me looking (& feeling) like a drowned rat ...

Eventually I got to my desk to find a bundle of correspondence and general work that needed my "urgent" attention! Grrrrr!

I did go through some more photos from Camp Bestival from last weekend:

Danny Boy from House of Pain talking- backstage - to Mark Ronson ... how do I know?
Mr Ronson!
Big Boots ... & Baby Boots
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