Thursday, 24 November 2016

One Minute There the Next Minute Here!

This is a big “catch-up” blog – so, where were we?


Our Caribbean cruise was drawing to a close – our penultimate stop was Grenada where we had the distinction of meeting up with “Azura’s” big sister “Britannia”. The two ships made for a great sight berthed together on the quayside.


With both ships in port we had the chance to catch up with friend David, an entertainment officer on “Britannia”, and so we all headed ashore to a good beach and enjoyed catching up again after quite a while.


Back aboard ship that evening in Grenada there was a combining of the ship’s entertainment teams who gave a very rumbustious performance at sail-away parties on both ships. Grenada gave us a VERY wet send off …….


……… with torrential and persistent rain but spirits were not dampened! Thousands of us got drenched to the skin on both ships but it was no hardship as everything was warm and wonderful. Here’s a very wet Doug and Pam!


And an equally wet Darren and Jenn who we only met during the party but had a great time with them. During these high jinks Doug slipped over on the wet deck (nothing to do with alcohol of course!) and cut his eyebrow open. There was lots of blood and he thought he was going to die but it was his own damned fault!


The last port of call was Barbados where the ship spent a two-day turn round and we were able to spend another hour with friends Peter and Margaret as they waited for their disembarkation. We were searching to find each other and Peter saw us first! We had a marvellous, if all too short a time with them during the cruise and we hope very much to catch up with them again.


After leaving the ship, friends Pam and Geoff and Bernard and Sandra were to spend another two weeks in Barbados in their fabulous villa in the St James region. Before flying home we spent our last two days on the island with them ……..


……… enjoying a lot of Champagne in their beautiful home and, of course, their terrific company.


On our last evening we had a riotous meal together at a local seafood restaurant. James, Sandra,Bernard, Geoff, Pam and Doug.


We spent our last hours on the island before flying home back at the villa soaking up both the sunshine and final moments of the most wonderful group holiday with these lovely friends. The cruise had been a great success.


More Champagne! – drinking it not swimming in it we hasten to add! (Half submergence in water does nothing to flatter the figure!)


After a good flight back from the Caribbean we spent a hectic 10 days at home (doing “home” things) but it was delightfully punctuated by the company of friend Cris from Manchester who came to stay for a couple of days. Here’s a semi-successful selfie of us all down at nearby Bosham.


We had great fun showing Cris around some of our part of the country and, of course, it had to include a trip to Brighton. James and Cris outside the Royal Pavilion.


Another “must” for us was to catch up with our darling daughters Vicky and Frances with partners Ian (here) and Kel (who couldn’t make it to our early Christmas celebration lunch at the Freke Arms near Highworth in Wiltshire).

Kel did arrive later when we all went back to Vicky and Ian’s home for an afternoon of family fun. The reason for this very early “Christmas with the kids” was that we were ………..


…… about to fly out to India. Here we are, after an excellent flight with Jet Airways, landing in Mumbai yesterday and exchanging temperatures of some 7 deg in the UK with 30 deg in India. “It’s good for bones” we’re told!


During our few days in Mumbai we are staying at the Aircraft Hotel in the Vile Parle district where we have a pleasant view from a pleasant hotel room. However, it doesn’t convey the cacophony of noise and the heat which makes India so marvellous for us.


After a shower and forty winks we ventured out into the local area where we found a great ‘locals’ bar. After a splendid Biryani and a beer ……


….. we took a walk around to absorb, and get used, to the delights of India after the nine months since our last visit.


This is India at it’s best! A man up a telegraph pole supported by a bamboo construction just before it collapsed!


The house could do with a coat of paint but then might spoil it!


Lots of fruit and vegetables on stalls – all clean and beautifully laid out so that’s our 5-a-day sorted.

Our own Exotic Marigold Hotel experience in Mumbai has begun – last night we had our first power failure. The whole neighbourhood was out and soon there was a knock on our door. There was an extremely apologetic man with candles for us!  

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