Monday, April 30, 2012

WI for Cricket

The main aim of our recent beach trip was to catch the cricket. Cricket nations tour each other throughout the year and this April, Australia toured the Caribbean islands to play against the West Indies.

Fans will say that this bat-and-ball game is the best spectating sport there is. I have to agree. Which other game can you play for 5 days - where you can start watching at any time, where the game stops for lunch (and tea) and how each day can be as riveting as the others. Whilst I may not be the a fan of sport, watching live cricket is a fabulous experience.  

If you have only been to a cricket match in an anglo-nation (in my case, only in Australia and in the UK), the scene at a Windies game is like none other. The music, the spirit, the carnival-like atmosphere and let's be honest, the drinking, was absolutely INSANE.

We purchased Party Stand VIP tickets for day 1 of the test. Here are some highlights.

The grounds:

While the game went on, the party stand was where the fun was at: 

Can you imagine if there were mechanical bulls at Lords, the (stuffy but oh so nice) home of cricket)?
With all that music, it was only natural to get a game of musical chairs going:

Day 1 was rained out soon after we were down to one chair. We returned the next day for Day 2 of the test. Needing a break from the party, we sat within the covered stands instead:

This concludes my Caribbean trip recap. We had a wonderful time and I am already counting the days to our trip next April!

(Note: photo-alignment in this post has been so painful to get right. Please excuse the wonkiness)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Flowy in the WV

I hosted a dear friend this weekend, who was visiting from Sydney by way of London. 
Post-brunch on Saturday, we strolled through Soho briefly before making our way to my favourite neighbourhood in Manhattan, the West Village, where we spent a great deal of time checking out the tree-lined streets, quirky boutiques and quaint restaurants that flourish in the area.
Showing off the city to wonderful company was a pretty nice way to momentarily put aside recent troubles.
Club Monaco Adela skirt, white tee from a boutique in Kuala Lumpur, Anthro sandals, Chloe sunglasses, BR belt, Ferragamo bag

This past week has been a time for great reflection - albeit minor, I am ever thankful that I am only a 5-minute subway ride from such loveliness.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Island Style

I consider myself a highly efficient packer though fancy skills was unnecessary for the recent beach vacay. There was no need for complicated multi-season garments, all I packed were breezy outfits, cute sandals and minimal accessories.

Therefore, loosely abiding by the environmental 3Rs, I give you my interpretation of island style:

Last seen here

Proudest moment of the trip - at the peak of Gros Piton

PSA: please say no to bareback riding #somuchpain

The only casualty of the trip was my Calypso St Barth for Target floppy hat - white tends to fare badly on the beach...

Now please excuse me while I figure out how to smile some other way (although props has to be given for consistency right? right?!)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Scenes from St Lucia & Barbados

Thank you everyone for the kind comments, emails and tweets to my previous post. Granny's send-off yesterday was a huge celebration of her wonderful life. She was the matriarch of our family and will always be missed.

Now it's been 10 days since the return from our island holiday and a recap is overdue.  To start, here are a few general snaps from our trip, commencing with St Lucia:
Drinking St Lucian beer minutes after arrival. Named after the mountain that we conquer the next day
View of the south-western town of Soufriere, our home for 3 days
Those ninjas are crafty - had to cross the Pacific, then sneak through the Panama Canal
St Lucia's twin peaks - Gros Piton (foreground - we climbed this one all the way to the top!); Petit Piton (background)
Mad view from our hotel balcony. This is Petit Piton - very steep and unclimable unless you are an expert
Gratuitous sunset shot 
View of Petit Piton from the half-way mark (~1500ft) on our Gros Piton climb
Spear fisherman and his catch
Grey beaches of Anse Chastenet
City life in Rodney Bay  - which lies in the north-eastern corner of the island
Tanker, cruiseliner, speedboat and sampan

And followed by scenes from Barbados:
The main agenda on our Barbados leg of the trip (separate post to follow)
We missed the dolphin skinning
Catamaran cruising
Waving to the Emir of Qatar on his "little" boat  (which had a helipad and helicopter!)
Bajans take dominoes as seriously as they do cricket
Which cut would you be getting today?
More pictures and recaps to come!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Darling Granny

My grandmother passed away peacefully in her sleep yesterday. She would have been 85 next month.

As I sit here by myself in my lush but very lonely Toronto hotel, I am overwhelmed with sorrow at losing my last living grandparent. 

Granny Josephine Joseph: 27 May 1927 - 16 April 2012

I am devastated to be so far from home. Here for visa renewal, my passport is being held "hostage" by the US consulate so I can't fly back to see granny a final time.  

I last hugged her a year ago, and though deep down I always knew I wouldn't be around when she departed, I was under some misguided assumption that final goodbyes were still awhile away. I mean she was pretty darn healthy right up to the end.

Granny was awesome. My brother and I had a playful relationship with her (It is he who cheekily got her to pose for this picture). She always had something nice to say about what I wore even if the miniskirts I wore went against her conservative views. She was an excellent cook, making sure everyone was well-fed - my mum and my aunts swear they learnt all they knew from her. 

As her short-term memory began to fail in her later years, I used to tease her mischievously about losing things, like the time she misplaced her dentures! She insisted on education and would always ask if I was getting on alright in school, long after I graduated. I stopped correcting her ages ago. 

Whilst I weep at every thought of her, the outpouring of loving messages from friends and family has been deeply comforting. I find great solace in phone calls with my mother too, who is so remarkably strong at the loss of hers.

Granny was very pious and I am comforted that she is now in her paradise, to be with her husband, two sons and everyone else who left before her. As she wished, granny will be cremated and her ashes scattered over my grandfather's grave. Together in life, they will now be together in the afterlife. 

I miss you so much Granny. You are and will forever be loved.