Sunday, November 22, 2015

Remember Me Angels - Going from Strength to Strength

This last week I have finally received my Business Logo. I am very pleased with it! I wanted something that reflected the sensitive nature of my business. My customers all seem to find that having a memorial is comforting so I feel that this logo hits the spot. I am really grateful to all my friends who have helped to spread the word and get my name out there. Please keep on spreading the word!!
Thank you!

Well back to my holiday which now seems like a million years ago!! Part of our time in Hong Kong was spent at Disney including a stay in Hollywood Hotel. We had never stayed in a Disney Hotel so it was fantastic to finally experience it!

We took a train to the park, which was decked out Disney Style.

The excitement started from the moment you stepped on board!

We arrived at our destination station which was right on the entrance to the Park. We had to take a shuttle bus to our hotel. It really felt like Florida Disney, hot weather, shuttle buses and Disney music. It was fantastic!!

Our Hotel was lovely, it had a good pool and huge bedrooms.

Lots of things were modern with typical Disney styling but I was surprised to find that the TV was one of the old style with the huge back to it!!

The one thing missing from the room was a bottle opener, so I had to buy one from the onsite Disney store!

We had our entrance tickets and made our way to the park. The walk to the entrance could have been straight out of Florida. 

Once inside we spotted the castle, it was tiny!!! I was shocked. small but perfectly formed. 

Overall the park was pure Disney, but dinky!

The best bit there was Toy Story land which had lots of places for photos. None of the rides were big fast moving ones so perfect for small children or adults of a timid dispositions .

Halloween was on the horizon so there were lots of Halloween balloons and decorations.

We found that some of the decorations were exactly the same as Florida Disney. Over all the park was a mini version of the ones in USA. In some ways it was much nicer. It was no where near as busy, no queues for anything. Only two rides had fast passes and they weren't needed. I was really impressed with Toy Story land and had a go on all the rides in there. There was one ride that was really a white knuckle ride and I only managed one go on it, once was enough (it was the car ride from Toy story) I went on the parachutes, slinky dog and everything else! My favourite ride was a version of the run away train combined with the yeti ride, again no queue so I went on time and time again. I was really pleased that we went, we enjoyed the park and the hotel. I had thought that perhaps I was now too old for Disney but as soon as you get into a park that magic comes flooding back. 
This week we are finally experiencing winter, yesterday we actually had a covering of snow, it was a curious situation, no frost this season so far, just straight into a covering of snow!! I hope you all have a wonderful week. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Strange Food in Taiwan!

Taiwan was quite an experience. The American chain 7-11 is very popular out there, so we felt quite safe going in there for drinks and snacks. What I was not prepared for was the awful smell!!
In Taiwan they love boiled eggs, cooked in a really pungent 'brown water'. So every 7-11 has vats of brown bubbling water containing stinking boiled eggs!!

The eggs are treated as an on the go snack and people were just fishing them out and bagging them up, much like we might buy a hot dog.  It certainly made the shops very different to the 7-11 store in USA and Hong Kong!!!

Another delicacy is the aptly named 'Stinky Tofu' One evening we went to Shillin Night Market, it was a fantastic vibrant place with lots of interesting stalls and street food. We decided to eat out and choose whatever took our fancy. One thing that didn't was stinky tofu. It is the vilest smelling food in the whole wide world, how people actually eat it is beyond me. The tofu is marinated in brine made from fermented milk, They add all sorts of other stuff according to their own particular secret method. The closest I can come to describing the smell is a cross between week old spilt milk that has been festering in a warm car and sewage. It is vile.

It doesn't even look appetising !!I was glad to get out of close contact with that.

We did manage to find some lovely food and some very nice stall holders.

Sweet potatoes were big!, the potato balls were served with powdered peanut and cinnamon sugar. They were lovely.

Tom had an omelette kind of thing, he really enjoyed it and the lady was lovely, so he went back for another one!! 

We had a smoothie made to order to include whatever fruit we wanted!! I was surprised at just how many plastic bags were used, the smoothie was already in a cup but they put it in a bag as well!

Once we had finished our wandering around we spotted a stall selling toffee covered fruit. We decided to give it a go.

The skewers looked delicious, like our traditional toffee apples. It was a bit hard to understand exactly what was under the toffee. We did manage to identify, strawberries, plums, pears and grapes. We decided to go for strawberry.

They were very nice! Carl was a bit quicker to eat his and when he got to the very last fruit he had a bit of a surprise, it was a tomato!!! We all had a tomato! I love tomatoes, but I couldn't bring myself to eat it covered in toffee!

So my useful tip of the day - don't go near stinky tofu and be suspicious of toffee covered fruit!!!
Have a lovely week.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The next steps!!

We stayed for three nights in Hong Kong before flying out to Taiwan. I was looking forward to this part of our trip, we took a taxi to the airport with Carl for our early morning flight with China Airlines. I was really impressed with the airline, the journey was only a short hop on a par with an Easy Jet trip in Europe. The huge difference was that it was a fully serviced flight with tiny pillows and a meal and free drinks and everything!! It was great!!

As we touched down Taiwan experienced an earthquake. A fairly strong on 5.6 on the scale. The country seems to be fairly used to them and they weren't phased about it. We continued to feel the aftershocks later in the afternoon. 

We were so lucky to be able to meet up with our dear friend Raymonde who was spending the month in Taipei with her husband Colin. It felt really weird to go half way around the world to meet up with someone who lives two miles away!!!

Our hotel was in the Zhongxiao Xinsheng area of Taipei, which was dominated by the University of Taipei. It seemed that just about everyone had a motorbike/scooter of some sort. The hotel was in brilliant position right next door to one of the underground stations.

Raymonde took us on the underground and showed us around lots of the wonderful places. The buildings were fantastic. The city was spotlessly clean and really puts the UK to shame. 

It was  really good to have a 'local' guide. Raymonde had been to Taipei quite a few times and was able to show us all the dodges!

We went to a lovely little eatery where we ate like the locals, Bowls of Ramen Noodles with tempura prawns and vegetables. I was really impressed with the tempura sweet potatoes. It was a very nice meal, tested our novice chop stick capabilities though!!!

After dinner we took a look around the local shops and markets. There seemed to be loads to look at, I loved all the figures and cartoons which seem to be very big in Taiwan. 

For some reason EVERYONE out there insists on having their photos taken with this finger sign. It looks stupid but is clearly very big in Taiwan!! Well when in Taiwan, best do as the locals do!!

We really enjoyed our introduction to Taipei. Thank you Raymonde for getting us off to a fantastic start and for spending time with us!!

The next day we went up Taipei 101, the building you can see in the photo above. 

My little business venture is going well, I have landed a couple more commissions this week, its really exciting. I hope that it continues to gradually grow and then one day I will be able to give up work and become a millionaire!! (OK just to reduce my working hours would be a win!)

          Please check out my website - Here

          Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday !!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

We're Home!!!!

Well its been a while!! We are back from our exciting adventure into Asia. We have visited Hong Kong and Carl, we have visited Taiwan with Carl and we have taken a trip into China proper. We have had an action packed few weeks!

I wasn't looking forward to the journey, 12 hours on the plane with a time difference of 7 hours was a bit of a scary though, as it turned out it wasn't too bad. They were showing all three episodes of The Enfield Hauntings, a series I had recorded but not had time to watch. So with everything else going on the time passed fairly well.

On the way, Cathay Pacific was very good, seats were comfy and quite roomy.

We were totally wiped out on our arrival so we got to the hotel and went straight for a nap. We had only been asleep for what seemed like minutes when there was a knock on the door and the purpose of our visit was standing there!! It was great to see him again, He took us out for a few cocktails to mark our arrival.

They hit the spot what with the lack of sleep and everything, they really hit the spot!!!

We went out for dinner, Carl found a great burger joint that was doing a deal burger and free Peroni, well I hadn't really been a big Peroni drinker before that night.

But faced with a Bogof you just have to go with the flow. So with raging jet lag and and a fair few Peronis we headed back to our hotel, the rather lovely L'hotel Elan. The hotel was very luxurious but sadly had one of the firmest mattresses I have ever attempted to sleep on. I think we were so tired earlier in the day that we just slept!!

The next morning we met up with Carl and he took us to Hong Kong Park, followed by a trip to the peak. The park was so beautiful in the middle of high rise financial buildings a real oasis of calm. There were all sorts of water life plus butterflies, a cactus house, lots to see.

I was very impressed with just how clean the whole place was, no litter anywhere, they had a real pride in the park, it was beautiful.
We ended up getting a Taxi to the Peak because the world famous Peak Tram had a huge queue. The taxi was cheap for three of us. The views from the top were fantastic.

It was a hot day with the temperature in the high 20's It was truly breathtaking. Just for good measure there was a shopping mall at the top so we looked around and stopped for a mango smoothie.
WE found that returning by tram was the way to go, barely any queue from the top!!
So once we arrived back at the bottom we walked to the harbour and took a Star Ferry.

The Star Ferry is as famous as the Staten Island ferry, something that I have long known about and long wanted to say that I had ridden. 
It was a fantastic start to our holiday. 

I hope you all have a good week, its tough being back at work after so long off!!