Saturday, 2 May 2009

April family holiday update...

The last to be seen of my Panama

We returned last week from a fantastic holiday in Koh Samui. The memsahib and me to our home in Dubai; son Dominic and his Fi to Edinburgh, via Dubai for a few days. My brother Nick was joined in Samui by his kids - Sam and Ruby, who now live in Australia. Nick arrives in Dubai shortly en route to his home (and partner) in France. Another nephew - (young) Nick, his girlfriend Helen and their friend Tweet, also contributed greatly to a wonderful family holiday.

Hotel Family Holt. L to R - Olwen, me (John), Fiona (Fi), Dom, Lucy & Jonny

Most memorable was the birthday cruise organized to celebrate the moveable feast that was my 60th birthday - two months after the event, which I had spent alone in Dubai. A boat trip around neighbouring Koh Pha Ngan had been arranged through Kenny at Sunseekers and we duly departed from Petcharat jetty in calm seas accompanied by fruit, beer and singer guitarist Mark James who, with Fi on violin, were to provide musical diversion.

First stop was the beautiful beach at Thong Nai Pan, where most had lunch. Approaching the bay at speed into a headwind caused the loss of my beloved Panama hat and the swim ashore for lunch and back, consumed all my diminishing stamina. It didn't help that, as I hadn't brought shorts, I undertook the swim fully clothed.

We stopped again at stunning and isolated Bottle Beach, before heading for a final stop on the southern side of the island, closer to Samui, to enjoy Mark And Fi's music while watching the sun go down. The weather, unfortunately, had it's own plans and we were hit by a squall that seemed to appear from nowhere, forcing the decision to head for home.

The strength of the gusting wind quickly intensified, before blowing over as swiftly as it had arrived

Finally back at Baan Bophut with glasses filled and the squall replaced by an orange sunset, we enjoyed a fantastic unplugged performance by our musicians. Olwen produced a surprise birthday treat, my Mum's recipe Christmas cake, unadorned, smuggled unbeknownst to me from Dubai.

Mark & Fi gave a fantastic, unamplified performance

Fireworks and fire-balloons from Tweet, and lots more beverages, completed an unforgettable belated birthday.

Dom & Fi toward the end of a beautiful day

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