Tag Archives: holiday

Isle of Wight-erval

bestparkingspaceisleofwightApologies for the slight delay to service here on Division6, we’ve been away for a few days – a blissful family holiday on the Isle of Wight, staying at the same B&B we were looked after at when Amanda was pregnant with Emily.

We were lucky with the weather; enough blissful sunshine to spend some time at the beach with makeshift parasols to protect Emily whilst she tasted sand and stones; and our hosts were as delightful and helpful as they were the last time we stayed, making accommodations for Emily and giving us useful tips and guidance for things to do around the Island.

We’ve been to the Isle of Wight three times now and each holiday had a distinctive and different character. I love heading down there – if that’s a sign of middle age, so be it. This trip took us to Ventor, Grange Chine, St Helen’s and Sandown beaches, Sandown Pier, Areton Old Village (and the amazing Maize maze, although we gave that a miss) and a number of pubs and eateries around the Island.

Mini-break at Port Dickson Avillion Village Resort

Holiday destination of my youth, Port Dickson is a seaside town about an hour from Kuala Lumpur. We stayed at the Avillion Village Resort, a nice chalet-oriented holiday resort with a couple of pools, reasonable facilities, free wifi (!!) and decent bedrooms. Service was excellent.

The break was great fun, baby Emily had a lot of new experiences and Amanda and I enjoyed the swimming, setting and time together. It was family friendly but with enough dedicated ‘adult’ facilities to ensure quiet time for the grown-ups too – the spa was very scenic – on the sea – and we had a brief but good massage included as part of a mini-break package. The beach was clean and fastidiously maintained, although we were warned of sandflies so not too much time spent there.

There were a few minor inadequacies, however, which I’ll catalogue by way of a heads-up to would be visitors. The air-conditioning was barely functional, the mosquito netting blocked off the ceiling fan almost completely, making temperature regulation in the water chalet tricky. The chalets on the water are a little close together so blinds have to be drawn for privacy, and you don’t get the isolated serenity we witnessed when we stayed at the (admittedly far more expensive) Sipadan Kapalai resort whilst on honeymoon.

The gym equipment was antique and the treadmill didn’t work, so I resorted to an archaic cycling machine. The restaurant, whilst enormous, has a restricted menu and is pricey as you’d expect. The “infinity pool”is set in a beautiful landscape garden, which has the unfortunate side-effect of diminishing its infinite aspect and steeping the pool in pollen, giving it a somewhat murky feel. The TV didn’t work properly and the internet connection was tediously slow. The sea water was the standard PD muddy brown, nothing you’d really want to venture into…

In short, recommended, but be tolerant of its limitations! We were, and had a wonderful time as a result. Review also posted on TripAdvisor (or will be, when they approve it)…

Christmas Holiday Craziness

Christmas has been amazingly busy so apologies for the lack of posting and hope you all had wonderful seasons and enjoyable new years. Some of the things filling my time:

1) Flights to and from Malaysia

2) Introducing Amanda to about 30 people in my extended family, another 20 in my extended extended family, about 20 additional family friends and a number of randoms and associates. She did amazingly well in overwhelming circumstances and I think mostly had a good time!

3) Visiting Taman Negara in Pahang, where we jungle walked, I spoke Malay to Orang Asli, and we stayed in the delightful Traveller’s Home.

4) Visiting Malacca for a dim-sum fest, travelling on a ferris wheel at the Malacca River Pirate Entertainment Park (consisting of four rides), an interrupted swimming session on the 9th floor of the Ramada Renaissance caused by a brief monsoon shower.

5) Reading: The Reluctant Fundamentalist, finishing the brilliant Bad Science and diving into the Inkheart trilogy, as well as devouring the brilliant ‘Invincible’ Ultimate Collection 1&2 which Arvind bought me for Christmas.

6) Saying “I’m Batman” a few times following Sheila and Dave’s purchase of a full Bat-costume for me for Christmas.

7) Shopping with Amanda for the ‘ring’ and learning from my Aunty Ann about the four Cs of diamond shopping.

8) Three days in the ‘honeymoon’ suite of a less good hotel in Pangkor, including a scenic tour of the Island, some slightly grotty beach, and the most awesome clamshell poolside showers. Flickr will soon have photos. Despite grottiness, was a lovely escape and involved driving down some wonderful plantation road and all the adrenaline that entails (overtaking the lorries involves finding a window and then accelerating into oncoming traffic).

9) A lot of food, including Roti Canai, Dim Sum, Cantonese & hokkien mee, peanut-free Satay, Bhatura, Dhosai, Appom (sp?), and even fish and chips and lamb chops for good measure.

10) Tourist visits to KL Tower, Central Market

11) Shopping visits to 1 Utama, KLCC

12) A lot of jetlag

13) A fantastic Christmas eve featuring the increasingly infamous hat game and the family’s first Secret Santa, a resounding success (I got a Superman Belt Buckle which I failed to work out was from Geets, but she didn’t clock that I’d given her Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker DVD either, so we were even)…

14) New Year’s Eve on Asian Heritage Row in Central KL

…and a great deal more. The first couple of days back have been characterised by jetlag, kitchen construction, a cold, and initial attempts to improve healthiness through swimming and resisting completely unhealthy food. This will be helped by the completion of the kitchen…

Anyway, if you want to know more on any of the above points, let me know and I’ll find some time to write further.

Post holiday email count: 960 in my work inbox, down to 560 after initial pass on Sunday and down to a mere 368 after a second pass early this morning. Fingers crossed for a sane January, but it seems doubtful!


I’ll be between London, Hampshire, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Jeruntung, Pangkor and International Airspace for a bit, but as it’s holiday time posting might actually get a bit more regular. Keep your ‘ask Armands’ coming at me, I’m sure I have a few in a backlog to write up and will make efforts to keep y’all entertained.

Kitted up for vacation

We’re off for a week, driving around the West Country. Thanks to a friend who shall remain nameless, I am equipped with a TomTom One XL with the voice of Patrick Stewart telling me to ‘engage docking procedures’ when I arrive at my destination, or telling me I’m “lost in the beta quadrant” when I make a wrong turn. It should get old, but I think I’m going to be giggling a lot. I’ve also managed to borrow Arvind’s Griffin iPod transmitter and have bought an adaptor for the cigarette lighter so we have double power.

Of course, most of the holiday will be low tech – hills, country, friends, and beer. Can’t wait.

A fun holiday weekend…

Had a fantastic long weekend on the Isle of Wight with Amanda. Photos on Flickr. It doesn’t take as many words as the last post to explain why it was so wonderful (Amanda = awesome, Isle of Wight = has many old people, but is still awesome)… but fun is usually more straightforward than fact.

Stayed at a lovely B&B in Shanklin (Foxhills – website here), drove all over the Island at whim (well, Amanda drove)… ate much tasty food, walked long, beautiful walks, ate Pepperami sandwiches and made use of the spa, even dropped in at the local cinema where we saw Neil Gaiman’s Stardust… You gotta love British country holidays…

Sad about the rugby, though, eh?