Wednesday, 30 November 2011

I have a touch of flu! That's according to the nice lady at the pharmacy. She has sold me several boxes of pills & potions so hopefully I will be raring to go tomorrow ... for South Africa! Yay!

Sadly, I did have to work today ... looking at "fun" edits ... ah well ...

Still smiling ... although in my joggy bots, I look a wee chavish ... "who you gonna call"?
Movember Oli
Chef Tak in Hong Kong
Somewhere in Madeira

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Sadly awoke this morning feeling rather ill - every bone in my body hurt. Have spent the day in bed ... feel much better now but what a waste of a day ... tomorrow, back in the edit with Oli. 

Monday, 28 November 2011

Countdown to Cape Town!

Currently outside my home, it's dark, cold and raining ... it's positively wintry ... in CT it's a balmy 24 degrees, clear and no rain ... tomorrow it will be 29 degrees there! Whoo-hoo!

Last time I was there, I flew in a jet-fighter at Thunder City ... drove cars at great speed ... and went on safari that featured the "Small Five". This time, thanks to BMW South Africa, I will be travelling around in comfort and visiting wineries like Rust en Vrede and Constantia Uitsig and cooking with some of the greatest chefs in Africa... how excited am I?

To compound my stress of today, I had that "once a year" need for a cold beer ... and in my refrigerator ... there was just one beer BUT it was non-alcoholic! Yuk! Really?

 The memories!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Today I went to the zoo! Why? Because the sun was shining, the sky blue, it was chilly and after writing all night, I needed to go on safari to take my mind off things ... and erm - the nearest game reserve is too far!

The zoo I visited is home ONLY to monkeys & apes that have been rescued from homes where they were pets or orphans who cannot be released back into the wild. Yes - some would say that zoos should not exist - but to them I say, ok - do we let these monkeys die or do we look after them the best we can? Easy answer ...

Anyway - I had fun ... and occasionally it was like looking into the mirror ... or talking to Tim!
Squirrel monkey
A cheeky looking 10-ring long-tailed lemur

Saturday, 26 November 2011

It's a Saturday evening and I am chained to my desk! The Pooch is sitting beside me asleep (as usual) and I have a feeling, it's going to be a long night.

While all the travelling IS fun, I do need to catch up with paperwork when I am home. I believe that Oli the Editor is working tonight too ... brothers in arms etc.

We are designing two new websites for the shows and newsletters need writing! Grrrr!

ALSO I am hungry!

Hello & welcome to an Indian safari
Starring Chief Naturalist - Ratna Singh
Grrrrrrrr! Here puss puss!
Proof that my Leica camera never lies!!

Friday, 25 November 2011

A long day ... a very long day ... a very, very long day ...

Had a fun time will Oli and Ed in the edit suite ... India is looking great!

Looking forward to the first weekend home in ... a long time! What to do?

Had quite a late "whisky" night with dear Dougie at the bar at St. Ermins' ... rather too late for me ...

Next week - SOUTH AFRICA! I just home the airport strikes don't affect us too much.

Dancing at The Four Seasons Mumbai ... I am dreadful!
Oli - Movember
Ed - Movember?
Hello & Welcome - Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel
Suite review at the Four Seasons
With the delightful Raymond Bickson - CEO of Taj Hotels
Tea in bed in the Tata Suite
Thank you & goodbye

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends across the pond (& around the world) ... I wish much food, wine, happiness, Peace and prosperity to you all ...

Greetings from my St Ermin's in London ... early edit tomorrow so am here working and watching the world go by ...

I am - once again - amazed at people's sheer cruelty. A woman here in England was found guilty today of "murdering" a kitten by putting it in a microwave in revenge/spite over a domestic dispute. She can only face a maximum of 6 months in jail ... I didn't know that such people existed in this world. She will certainly find it hard for even Hell to want her in its community ...

Is it just me or is the world getting darker and colder (I am actually talking about the weather now!) sooner in the day? I can't wait to get to Cape Town!

Hus - the fabulous Exec Chef ... with a "growth" ...

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

It's been a weirdly cathartic day ... by doing the chores I hate - washing the cars, sweeping the drive, putting out all those empty bottles of wine, deleting all the "you have won $15,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 emails and shredding the equivalent letters - I feel rather loose & free!

Tomorrow I have to write all my scripts for the Mumbai and Indian safari shows ... I am actually quite excited by the latter ... especially the "Ratna & Varun chase scene" where Ratna drives like the devil to get the best views of a female Royal Bengal Tiger while I ramble on like an over-excited, deranged monkey. Photos to come on Friday, I promise!

Musically, my day has been dominated by James Brown and Chuck Berry ... I wish I could dance like them ... note to self ...

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

First - Leica Part 2 – of course I was in Madeira ... but here are some more photographs and a wee story of how Madeira wine was discovered – by accident!

It’s been a long day ... but quite fun ... cigars, pineapple juice, Darjeeling tea, trains, meetings, rain, sunshine, London ...

We are currently editing the Mumbai show and I have to say that my review of the Tata Suite at the Tal Mahal Palace is the best suite review I have ever done! It’s just awesome ...! Next – the safari show ... can’t wait to see the tiger sighting! So excited ...

I have a hankering to revisit Nashville, Tennessee ... (could be the Roy Orbison I am listening to as I write this!) ...

That was the life ... memories!

Monday, 21 November 2011

The curse of the long-haul flight strikes again! Yes, I did sleep but I also was so teary - at one stage - that a very kind member of the crew had to stop, bring me water and a box of (man-sized) tissues! What set this latest bout of emotion off? Not much! Actually it was a strange movie about the harvesting of body-parts ... not sure what got me into such a state! Hmmmm ...

Anyway - home at last!

The flight was long ... an overnight ... but I had a comfy bed ... a new BA aircraft ... weeks old apparently and EVERYTHING worked! I have become greedy of late and ask for two cocooned seats in the centre of the plane ... one bed for me and the other for imaginary "friend".

I landed at Heathrow at 0440 ... and was in my car by 0500 - HOW COOL IS THAT?

I have a few days at home with a small trip in there before CAPE TOWN (whoo-hoo) next week!!!!!!!!!

Oh by the way: my Leica for this fortnight:

With a bear!
With THE Bear

Sunday, 20 November 2011

I am thankful that I have many dear friends here in Hong Kong. Last night I managed to get see just a handful of these wonderful people ... which was quite lovely ...

We are just about to leave the Four Seasons and head to the airport ... it may have been just two nights here but they have been marvellous ones.

This morning we filmed the hotel - and in the afternoon had a masterclass in delicious sake from a fabulous Executive Chef in the Japanese restaurant next to the hotel - Inagiku - a favoured Japanese here ...

While the boys prepared/packed the equipment for the journey home, I headed to the hotel spa for a 2-hour Turkish hammam experience. Do I now feel like I am walking on air? Oh yes! Spa treatments in Asia just seem so much better than on any other continent. Manju ... THANK YOU!

All that remains is to say thank-you to the FS Hong Kong PR Claire for making our filming visit such a fabulous success. She rocks my world!

 The FS Hong Kong
 Martin - Istanbul now China
 Kurtis & Lizzie - home now Hong Kong
Priscilla - London, home and Hong Kong
 Chef Shigeru Tanigawa
Tim didn't invite me!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

It's not often that on one day, EVERY meal I eat has been prepared in a 3-Michelin starred restaurant!

The morning was spent in Caprice - the 3-Michelin starred restaurant that is run by Chef Vincent Thierry. He prepared two dishes for me - a crab tiramisu and one that featured pigeon and foie gras ... that surprisingly was delicious!

From there, we popped into the "cheese cellar" to meet Jeremy Evrard ... the Master of Cheese and Restaurant Manager at Caprice. He led me through three cheeses -- all from France. The Mimolette extra vieille, the Cabri Ariegeois (a liquid goat cheese!) and a Saint Nectaire. All had a beer or wine pairing! CRAZY Number 2!!

The afternoon was spent with the fabulous Chef Tak at Lung King Heen - 3 Michelin stars. I was made a grouper steamed with garlic and ginger. While this was being made, I interviewed my old friend, the Four Seasons Hong Kong General Manager - Andrew Mackay. We were fed dim sum ... and I was taught about the tea "ceremony" ... which was a precursor to dim sum.

Supper was with Bear at Lung King Heen ... fabulous!

A Bear in the kitchen?!
Chef Vincent

Chef Tak
Mr Cheese - Jeremy
Mr Mackay in the interview
No Tim! NO!!!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Greetings from Hong Kong ... Greetings from the 42nd floor of The Four Seasons Hotel!

I left London at 9 pm last night and arrived here at 4.30 pm ...

Fabulous flight ... slept most of it - thankfully ...

I have loads on this evening ... more tomorrow ...

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Off to Hong Kong this afternoon - will arrive late tomorrow so - as I don't want to miss a day of the Diary ... here's some holding music ... Please do NOT play more than once or you will slide into brain freeze ...

My impression of that Belgian detective ... with my "Milou" ... who is much cuter!
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