We might have lost our place among the globe mal1trotting elite (not what we anticipated before our retirement) but it seems our children have picked up the baton with some enthusiasm. Understandable in one sense, given that they were a part of our living in other countries life style. That bit doesn’t surprise me but what does surprise me is that number one son should take the time to write about his Tokyo New Year experience. We could never get him to write anything when he was at school and now here he is writing a travel blog for me to publish. Inspired by the fact that her brother had risen to literary heights and, challenged, by me, to match his efforts, number one daughter has sent us an email about her experience in the Maldives (all photos courtesy of number one daughter and video, if it works, from number one son). Those who know us will recognise her use of bad language and her warm-hearted attitude towards other people as being somewhat genetic. In number one son they will recognise his father’s desire to get things for free. It’s good to know that we pass these qualities on to our children. Gives me a warm glow or is that the incontinence pants?

From Number One son in Tokyo

My new year was different to say the least , they don’t actually celebrate it like we do ? For locals it’s about respect, so visiting temples and shrines and then fireworks .

So me, being an experienced globe trotter, thought out the box and thought we should go where the luxury hotels are on the harbour!! Expecting nice food, wine and countdown with champers flowing!! Ok well that didn’t happen, well the latter didn’t !

Went to the Hilton, but private party only, so the kind concierge sent us to next hotel , told us we had to be quick as the hotel was only letting people in for next 10 minutes . Sweet, made it in 5, got to top floor to walk in a candle light room with 2 people ( tourists / guests ) and a lot of staff!

Anyways, inquired about the celebrations and what was happening , got shown to a table and had a glass of champers – all was okish at this point. Then 35 minutes later they ushered us into / onto the observation deck where we would see the new year in and watch Disneyland’s famous firework show! Well, the observation deck was a room, picture a function room at the Old Mods (local cricket club), with 3 tables in front of a glass window and no one else but 7 staff and us! Nearly passed out laughing on the epic size of this fail by me, but we were polite and watched the fireworks and made the most of it!! Then the entertainment started!!! Video attached!!!  IMG_2348 Heading to mountains this afternoon, so speak soon.

From Number One daughter in the Maldives

mal2Well what to say about this place in a paragraph…. Whilst still reeling from the news my brother has written something witty which I have to live up to…. That’s left me with a very uneasy feeling, so whilst I can’t write on demand I shall endeavour to provide you with relevant paragraph (this preamble not counted).

The place is stunning in a word. Very hot, 30 degrees or so, very slight breezes at times but not much. The Maldives, as you will know, are made up of thousands of tiny atolls some inhabited, some not. Our atoll is known as the ‘reef above water’ the island being surrounded mal4by a lagoon with coral reef and then the sea further out. There is very little to do other than sunbathe or swim and with no internet access it’s easy to forget the outside world for a bit. Our water bungalow has steps down into the lagoon which is full of all sorts of tropical fish. A manta ray swam up very close to me today but it scared the shit out of me so I legged it. There’s air conditioning in the room so we have that on most of the night though it is so noisy it sounds like you’re still on the plane.

Most of our amusement comes from giving nicknames to all the other people we see. There is one restaurant where everyone eats at meal times, each couple or family always having the same table so we’ve got used to seeing the same people each day (not talking to them, fuck that, we came to relax not make friends… Who does that sound like). Lots of Chinese and European people along with English couples…..you’d hate that part of it (meal times, people generally)… We’ve got ‘Thai Steve’ so called because he’s about 60 with a 25 year old Thai wife… Thai bride Steve’s his full title but the challenge with the nickname game is to give people nicknames they wouldn’t know were about them if they overheard,  (though that one is our most obvious if his name turns out to be Steve)… We’ve got ’60/20′ so called because the wife is so brown we decided she’s probably only 20 but looks 60, she’s the colour of the Chesterfield in our living room. We’ve ‘Yahtzee’, the German family of 4 who were playing a dice game one night and Yahtzee was the only game I could think of with dice throwing at the time…..there’s ‘champagne Charlie’ and ‘stingray Charlie’ both a pair of twats who love themselves……. Just for some context most meal times go like this, “It’s 12.45 and Yahtzee aren’t here yet…..oh here they come…….. Have you seen what champagne Charlie’s eating, fat twat……. Oh look Jack Jones is trying to make friends with 60/20 they’ll not be having any of that…..’

Much more to tell but were keeping ourselves amused, food is lovely, lots of variety though quite spicy, the worst so far was an innocent looking carrot which quickly set my mouth on fire. Beautiful place, very chilled and meal times are the only time you have to see other people if that’s how you want it…mal3

So there we have it, the kids have gone east. They seem to be enjoying themselves in their own idiosyncratic way. Meanwhile, we are at home in Leeds with a short visit to Pateley Bridge. OK, we’re not travelling but the kids are keeping the family reputation for travel, alive. By the way I am developing some travel plans of our own (I’ve even included it in my goals for 2015, so it has to happen) and will write about them as / if they unfold. A late Happy New Year.

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