Sunday, 31 August 2014

Varun's Diary - Sunday 31th August

Back in 2001 I was nursing a broken heart (not the first!) ... and my dear friend Victoria suggested I stayed at The Four Seasons at Kuda Huraa in the Maldives for a couple of weeks by myself to read books, eat pizza, drink whisky, smoke cigars and figure out the meaning of life. I did all but the last ...

Anyway, I am back here today - 13 years later!

I have swapped the Landaa Estate for the Royal Villa ... so no hardship there ... "but" only two bedrooms ... private pool AND a private jetty into the ocean. Oh ... and a heron called Bob.

I am DEFINITELY going back to Landaa in March 2015 - by the way - I have just booked my airline ticket! That place is just ... magical.

SO - flew 30 minutes from there to here - have settled in, had a mani & pedi, eaten Indian food but have to be up VERY early tomorrow for a dive ... as today we ran out of time ...

SO, GOODNIGHT and hopefully, plenty of cool/exciting photos tomorrow!

Song of the Day: I Can Dream About You - Dan Hartman

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Varun's Diary - Saturday 30th August

Conservation Saturday!

I spent most of today underwater in some shape or form.

First up, I joined the Manta Trust - a charity set in 2005 - that's looks after the welfare of Manta Rays around the world. I went out with its founder Guy Stevens ...

We sailed for 20 minutes to the Reethi Beach Reef where we "bumped" into the most amazing Manta Rays - up to 4 metres in length ... and very friendly!

I snorkelled for an hour (tiring) while the Mantas came to say "hi". There we upto 42 rays in a "flock". Yes - 4-2... !! Amazing!

A few months ago I was in Grand Cayman where the Sting Rays jump all over you as they are "tamed" by the locals ... here, the Mantas are free and come to say hello when they want ... lovely.

ALL the worlds coral reefs will be dead by 2050 if the rate of their destruction carries on. Global warming is raising the temperature of the oceans and the coral just dies. Coral is a symbiosis of animal and vegetal by the way .. it is "alive". Here at the resort, there is a program that lets guests "propogate" coral ... and its planted in the sea where it grows ... and becomes a "reef". I AM SO EXCITED that there is now an official "ILT" reef ... I will be back in two years to see "my reef"! Thank you Landaa marine scientist Thomas Le Berre!

What a day ... WHAT A DAY!!

Off for teppenyaki ... yum!

Song of the Day: We Used to Wait - Arcade Fire

Friday, 29 August 2014

Varun's Diary - Friday 29th August

Another Day in Paradise ...

Let me see, how many modes of transport have I used on this trip:
1) Car (home to airport)
2) Boeing A380 (ugh)
3) Seaplane (yay)
4) Boat (yaya)
5) Bicycle (yes, really!)
6) Feet (!)
7) X-jet pack

So the sun has been shining today except for one storm this afternoon ...

X-JET PACK???!! Oh yes - this - as the photo suggest is "flying using water as propulsion". It's not as easy as it looks BUT I did manage to "fly" ... just!

I am feeling MUCH better today - enough to go swimming at sunrise ... 

Just spotted a shark outside my Estate ... I wonder if I should offer it some chicken tikka masala? Hmm - maybe not - it will get a taste for Indian ... haha!

Oh - yes - I am SO SO happy here! Although I wish YOU were here :)

Song of the Day: Rocket Man - Kate Bush

(and whoever is enjoying "my" seats at the concert in London tonight - ENJOY!)

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Varun's Diary - Thursday 28th August

Hello & Welcome from Paradise ... the Maldives! Yes - I am here (with crew) to film an episode of ILT over the next 10 days.

The flight over from London was painless but the service on Emirates is quite desperately bad. Shame ....

ANYWAY - we are here at the first resort - The Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru ... and I am quite impressed ... actually, VERY impressed.

Landed at Male (capital) and took one of those cute small planes for 35 minutes to the Baa Atoll.

I am being rather ... um ... spoilt. I am staying in a 3-bedroom estate - 24 hour butler & private chef - 25 metre private pool - 80 metres PRIVATE beach ... and it's rather nice. I am feeling a wee sad that I am here all by myself. The estate costs US $20,000 a night ... and I am here for 4 nights ... ha! 

I have had a cold for two days which has meant no diving and lots of Advil ... which has made me quite wooey. Anyway, I feel much better now and after a good nights sleep I should be back to normal for tomorrow.

The sunrise is incredible and is only matched by the sunset ...

Heaven - Paradise --- yes, it's all here ....

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Varun's Diary - Wednesday 21st August 

I recently read a newspaper article that suggested that one should take a "break" (foreign/domestic) every 56 days to ensure a happy life!

I was hoping I misread it and it said 5 - 6 days! ha! No such luck ...

Yes, I have just been away for a few days ... and discovered another amazing location. A small & very pleasing & comfortable hotel that serves fresh (sweet) cider, amazing seafood dishes and heart-attack-rendering desserts - even for breakfast!

I am actually not going to say where I was because it's perfect ... and if I don't travel abroad for Xmas, that is where I will head. Next to my bedroom was a freshwater babbling brook ... and even stepping stones that led to even more cider! Yum!

ANYWAY - off to the Maldives for filming very early next week ... and a chance to dive with Whale Sharks! How excited am I?

Yesterday we confirmed a filming trip that will tick off a "bucket list" item ... it's a cruise ... with a difference ... more to follow!

Song of the Day: Moby - Extreme Ways -

p.s. I love my orange Boomerang jacket - Orange is the new black - after all ... !

Monday, 4 August 2014

Varun's Diary - Monday 3rd August

Lest we forget how much we owe to so many ....

Between 1914 and 1918 - 8.5 million were killed and 21.2 million wounded.
8 million horses died. 119 tonnes of nerve gas was used by all sides. 30 countries suffered.

War - old men sending young men to die.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Varun's Diary - Sunday 2nd August

"we could be Heroes ... just for one day ..."

Song of the Day: You're All I Need to Get By - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Varun's Diary - Saturday 2nd August

The Isles of Scilly Part 2:

1) a perfect beach - in fact one of the loveliest beaches in the world
2) a perfect hotel pooch & a new canine friend
3) a perfect sunset over the Atlantic Ocean
4) a perfect early morning start
5) a perfect breakfast "bowl"

SO perfect - I am off there again ... yay!

Song of the Day: There Was A Time - Nancy Wilson - (You Don't Know) How Glad I Am

Friday, 1 August 2014

Varun's Diary - Friday 1st August

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves - Henry David Thoreau

The past few weeks have been crazy ... it's amazing to think that in a matter of days, one can travel around the world from Shanghai to London, Athens to Tokyo and Isles of Scilly to Dubai and it's just so easy ... possibly too easy.

Anyway - apart from (maybe) a couple of days of wanderlust, I am spending this month "at home" - chained to my desk, editing suite, radio booth (I have a good face for radio apparently), the tennis court, the running track, the swimming pool, Bear, Roo and sleep in preparation of what is set to be a VERY busy & demanding Autumn/Winter. The last series is airing well - with many more international airlines and broadcasters confirmed to air the shows from next month! The series we are filming is building up to be quite fun ... it's all good ...

I have been taking loads of photos over the past few weeks so will post these over the next few days ... 


The Isles of Scilly Part 1:

1) Welcome to St Martin's
2) Love on the Beach
3) A pint of chips
4) A pint of beer (with one in the wings)

Song of the Day: There Was A Time - James Brown (Kenny Dope Mix)
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