Butterflies and Islamic Art…a beautiful combination.

•November 28, 2010 • 3 Comments

Another weekend out in Kuala Lumpur–and so much in this city to see!

Only a stone’s throw from the Bird Park (see earlier blog post) is the colourful and beautifully landscaped Butterfly Park where over 6,000 butterflies of 120 species roam and flit about freely in a simulated natural rainforest environment. [Cynthia’s definition of rainforest: a place that is very warm and amazingly humid where you will wish you had worn less, brought more water and had a different hat.]

Of course, we didn’t get to the butterflies on the same day we did the Bird Park because, frankly, it’s just to warm to trot from place to place. Or I’m too old–or a combination of the two. After two or three hours out in the middle of the day, particularly if it’s sunny (as opposed to overcast) it really does get hot, particularly to those new to it (I am supposing, being new to it). I must say that’s changed a good bit in the near-three weeks I’ve been here but it’s been a gradual process, to say the least, when it comes to being outside in the midday sun for very long.

Pacing is the name of the game here, in my opinion. I have surmised that this is the reason there are so many malls. People spend an hour or two or three in the out-of-doors and then duck inside to have a coffee, a tea or a browse or a meal around one of Kuala Lumpur’s many, many (and I do mean many) malls. They are amazing, really beyond believe. It is one of those “you’ve got to see it to believe it” circumstances in life.

>>To view my Zenfolio album of butterfly images, click here or click on the photo of Derek and the big butterfly above.

In the case of the butterfly visit, however, in order to cool off after our ‘rainforest experience’ we eschewed the normal mall visit and Derek suggested something far more interesting that he’d wanted to do in July but hadn’t got around to on his first visit either–the Islamic Arts Museum, located in the same vast park complex in the centre of Kuala Lumpur where the bird park and twenty other parks, monuments, museums and interesting things are.

We were in for a treat, too! In addition to the air conditioning and the normal collection that’s on display, we were fortunate to visit when the “Treasury of the World: Jewelled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals” was on display. Before I went there, I couldn’t honestly say I’d ever seen a 25-carat diamond, up close and personal (and through a secure glass case) but now I have.

So, anyway, we did the butterflies and then, as I began to melt like the witch in The Wizard of Oz (crying “Help me, help me…I’m melting, I’m melting…”) off we went to the nearby Islamic Musem of Art, which was absolutely incredible, very interesting–and amazingly cool, too. It really was the perfect follow-on to the mini rainforest the butterflies so happily flap around in.

This museum is huge. I’m not sure we saw it all, or anything close to it. It’s only been open since 1998 so is very new–and it’s the largest museum of Islamic art in Southeast Asia. I happen to enjoy Islamic Art so that’s ok with me but I seriously doubt we got anywhere close to covering the 30,000 square metres (that’s something well over 270,000 square feet, if I’ve done the math correctly). It’s a very classy and modern building and the galleries are spacious and never crowded, from what we saw–probably because it is so large.

The guidebook says there are more than seven thousand artefacts, as well as an exceptional library of Islamic-art books. I believe it. It seems endless. The art objects on display range from the tiniest pieces of jewellery to one of the world’s largest scale models of the Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca. In fact, the models of many of the key mosques in the world are works of art themselves.

This museum puts the emphasis on Asia, with China and Southeast Asia especially well represented–as opposed to Persia and the Arabian peninsula, I believe–as well as the third component of Malaysia’s melting pot, India (Malay and Chinese being the first two).

Hence the museum’s delight in hosting the collection of the Mughals on display.Apparently, this is the most lavish display of historic jewellery ever seen in Malaysia. The Mughals were a folk particlarly adept at artistic sophistication and had loads of technical finesse, we learned. This was 16th to the 18th century craft, in a land naturally rich in gems and home to the most highly developed range of the jewelled arts of any nation on earth–so I daresay it should have been good (and it was).

Some of the most remarkable pieces in the collection belonged to a succession of Mughal emperors, while many other objects were the proud possessions of a variety of princely patrons. I agree with the guidebook, which talked about the ‘dazzling mastery of the Indian jewellery artists, whose materials typically were gold, rubies, emeralds, diamonds and pearls.’

This collection was earlier at the Louvre and the British Museum, and this is its last stop before it goes back to the privte collections from whence it came.

While it didn’t occur to me on the day, as I write this a week later, I realise that on that Saturday we enjoyed some of the most beutiful gems that mother nature has to offer–AND some of the most incredible treasures that man has ever put together–all on the same day.

As I look at the albums of photos from the two visits, I realise what a day of incomparable beauty it really was. And, lesson learned, mix the outdoor with the indoor to enjoy (and survive) the best of both worlds.

>>To visit my Zenfolio album of images from the Islamic Museum, click the images above or click here.

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Is it cool? You bet! A day in the highlands is REALLY cool.

•November 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

It’s not difficult to understand why the resorts in Malaysia’s highlands are so popular. Like the everywhere-you-are malls, the air conditioned cars and the ultra-cool buildings, the highlands resorts are a heaveny respite from the warmth and humidity of life outside and down below in the real warm world. It’s so cool there–in every way and most especially temperature-wise.

About 60-90 minutes from the centre of the bustling capital city, Kuala Lumpur, ‘Genting Highlands’ is essentially a huge resort, or perhaps two, nestled on a mountain peak with a maximum elevation of about about 1800 metres (5,900 feet or so) within the Titiwangsa Mountains. That mountain range forms the backbone, as it were, of the Malay Peninsula, and runs north-south from Thailand.

Much of the drive is a series of hairpin curves and switchbacks–there are zero (none, nada, zip, trust me!) sections of straight roadway. Derek had been warned that our little rental car a Malaysian WAJA Proteon, might not make it. It did, though at some points we turned the air conditioner off. The 1.6L engine in the little beast, with an automatic transmission was (to say the least) pushed to the limits of its capability.

There’s also a cable car which, when it opened a few years ago, was the world’s fastest and Southeast Asia’s longest. We only discovered it on the way down so that’s something for another day. I believe one would catch it part way up the mountain to go to the top and the main resort; our experience of the main resort was that the best approach was simply to go through it on the way back down…there wasn’t any other way to get back down…as it was ‘over the top’ in too many ways for us that day.

As it turned out, we made our destination the Chin Swee Caves Chinese temple, quite by accident since we got there and, well, there it was, inviting us and we never got any further. In the end,  we spent quite a while there. We knew we weren’t the “casino types” for the big resort higher above–somehow, a hotel with 10,000 rooms, alleged to be the largest in the world, the giant theme park and all the other attractions of the “City of Entertainment” hadn’t the draw for us that it might for some, or some other time.

The Chin Swee Caves temple, which is Taoist, really was “what it says on the tin”: peaceful. It was tranquility in the high mists of the virgin rainforest. Gorgeous vistas, refreshing breezes. It was completely free of charge to explore and just hang out, though we did pay for lunch in the restaurant–I had a lovely big bowl of Chinese noodle soup and Derek had a stir-fry noodle dish. We were one of two parties in the vast restaurant–was everyone else at the casino, then? Well, who knows!

Chin Swee Caves Temple is also a hotel where one can go and stay–and most who do are there for the spiritual aspect of it. The rooms are advertised “for devotees” and appear to be free of charge, or available for a small donation, most of the time. For casual visitors like we were, just exploring the many pavilions and taking lots of photos, the temple, the exhibits, the statuary–all while enjoying the cool air–was just the thing, to refresh and revive.

The temple was built on a 28 acre plot of land donated by the founder of Genting Highlands, the late Lim Goh Tong. He was a devotee ofa Chinese spiritual leader called Chin Swee, who also has a large statue there. It really is all quite beautiful–and the amazingly high location makes it even more stunning. To see more photos, click here for the album or play a slide show.

The site was chosen, we learned, due to its resemblance to the original site of the temple of the same name in China. Construction was arduous and risky due to the steep and rocky terrain–amazing, really, when I thought about it, that anything could be built there. Never mind a decision was taken to build the temple complex manually and slowly–which explains why it took 18 years to complete.

Though the work was dangerous and time consuming, no casualties or accidents were reported during the entire construction period. There was one story, however, about a giant boulder whichA small part of the boulder that rolled down the mountain. dislodged itself and rolled down the mountain. No one was hurt, though it had to be darned scary! They left it where it lay and wrote on it — I took this picture of the top of the boulder, from high above, but have no idea what it actually says. If you do, please enlighten me! I imagine it’s something like “We’re not moving this thing back up the mountain so here it stays.”

There was much to see and enjoy at this wonderful place…my favourites included the turtle pond and the giant statue of the seated Buddha, plus all the statuary inside the main building, which was very interesting–and none of it small in any way. Very impressive.

The best bits, though, had to be the temple itself, ornate and incense-filled, ‘the real thing’ and not just for show, with loads of people coming along to pray and make offerings at the huge alters. Outside, nearly on the cliff edge, burned a wonderful assortment of incense–large hanging spirals swaying in the wind, lit from the bottom (there are photos), giant sticks of incense, large incense candles and more we never actually figured out.

This really was a place for all the senses–‘sound’ was mostly silence with the occasional bell to reverberate through the hills, ‘smell’ the many forms of incense, ‘touch’ the mists and breezes on the skin, ‘sight’ the wonderful forests and mountaintops in the distance. Oh, yes, and ‘taste’ the yummy soup and hot jasmine tea.

After we returned, we learned that had we carried on up and over the mountain pass, we would have found other delightful places for hiking and walking in the cool and serene highlands. Hoorah for that!

all in all, a wonderful place to visit and one we’ll definitely go back to for more of the same: tranquility and (ahhhh…..) cool!

See the full album of photos by clicking here.
More information on traveling in Malaysia is here.

Yes, it rains. And the nice men come to your car with big red umbrellas so you don’t get wet.

•November 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

There are two seasons here in Malaysia. They are both monsoon seasons. However, the monsoon varies on the coastline of Peninsular Malaysia (where we are) so I guess that counts for variation. Malaysia essentially enjoys ‘tropical’ weather, but the best part is that it is never too hot. Humidity is a ‘common feature’, I read on the weather website, and had to agree as I stood in the sunshine looking at the garden of a prospective house yesterday on the hottest day yet, sweat running in rivulets down my neck.

Photo courtesy of the Malaysia Weather site...the lovely cooling rain.

How could it not be humid, given we are on a long peninsula, close to the coasts on either side? And October-November is one of the big rainy seasons here on the West Coast, where Kuala Lumpur lies. That said, rainy season is the best time to spot turtles which come out to lay their eggs–so there is something for everyone. There are lots of turtles here. We have already seen some!

With the exception of the highlands (more on that wonderful exception in my next post) the climate is by and large moderately hot and extremely sultry.

So, yeah, it’s warm. It’s very warm. Outside. Mostly, though, we go from one cool box to another, with forays into the heat to go see things, and then duck back into a cool box (mall, restaurant, museum, car, hotel, mall, hotel, restaurant) to get cool again. I joked the other day that I doubted my dad would need his second fleece here–at least outside. There is little variation in the temperature from day to day, year round, because of the proximity (my sources tell me) to the equator.

And they are right. It does rain, especially now. Nearly every afternoon, though it seems to forget some days. I love the rain. I can almost set my clock by it. Usually it comes when I am sitting, writing, and Derek it at work. I stop to listen, reflect, make a cup of tea, watch it for a while and then go back to work. (or take a nap, as yesterday).

It doesn’t last long–an hour, or less, or maybe more. But there are no endless days of rain–this rain is ‘in your face’ and ‘on your head hard’ and ‘guess what? you’re soaking wet ha ha ha’ rain.

KL After the Rain by Ali Nazarian

The rumbling and sometimes the crack of lightening starts, the skies go dark–and the deluge begins. But, see above reminder, it’s all right because it’s not cold and it really does freshen things up a lot. Well, not hairdos. For the unprepared, that can be a bit of bedraggled shock. After the rain, well, it’s just lovely and fresh.

And so it was that we ended up headed to Bangsar Village Mall (one of them) to stop in and get groceries on our way back from a sightseeing expedition. It absolutely poured down rain as we neared the car park. This was building-an-ark-would-be-a-good-idea rain. Or don’t-expect-photos-of-the-rain-because-I’m-not-getting-my-camera-that-wet-rain. You get the point and I’m tired of typing hyphens instead of spaces. These are huge splats and plenty of them.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear? A cadre of tall young men with gigantic red umbrellas sporting the Bangsar Village Mall logo. They wait in the shelter of the mall entrance, each with multiple large umbrellas, and dash out to your car to help you in. The nice young man (I sound like an old woman as I type that…oh, I am an old woman!) came out with two but red umbrellas, handed one to Derek and then came around to my side of the car to assist me and keep me dry. Well, mostly dry. I got wet enough to be nice and cold inside the mall.

After we finished our shopping, there they were again, and off we went again, appropriately umbrella’d (me escorted, Derek left to his own devices with his own umbrella) and me seen safe and dry to my side of the car. Then, the fellow collects the umbrellas and takes them back.

Civilised, or what? It’s really quite wonderful though I might be clever enough to have my own umbrella, wouldn’t you think? Hmmmm. Perhaps when we’re here longer-term, we’ll have our own umbrellas, but in the meantime…it’s nice.

‘WordPress.com is also available in Bahasa Melayu.’ Well, who’da thunk it?

•November 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

No sooner did I log onto WordPress to blog away about my flight to Kuala Lumpur and the excitement about coming here to Kuala Lumpur, but, clearly, even the folks at WordPress.com already knew that I was here in Malaysia and had been studying my little bit of ‘Bahasa Melayu’, or the Malaysian language, as they greeted me with an invitation to use Bahasa Melayu.

Isn’t technology wonderful? How ever did we get along without it? I keep wondering. The fantastic opportunity to stay connected these days makes my head spin. I lived in Thailand in 1972-1973 and, 37 or ao (eek!) years later, the difference in how the world works, in how people communicate, is incredible.

In Thailand, I purchased blue tissue paper airmail letters, pre-stamped, and wrote in my finest penmanship and smallest script on single pages to send to friends and family at home — which they received about ten days later, if I recall. Today, having arrived in Malaysia at about seven o’clock in the morning, I could have sent emails, and posted Facebook posts and even sent text messages before leaving the terminal, if not whilst still on the plane (after the seatbelt lights have been turned off, of course).

However. I restrained myself and took a full five minutes after reaching our Nomad Residences room, where Derek’s been ensconced and enjoying himself whilst toiling days for the privilege, to say “OK, so where’s the code for the WiFi?” And he duly got it out, I plugged in and got going and got posting. In nanoseconds, hundreds of people, if they cared to, could know that I’d had a great flight and was happy to be here.

The Nomad Residences, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur

No time wasted trotting off to the post office to speak to people who don’t understand me and whose language I don’t speak. Hmmm, I reflected, that’s sortof sad. It’s not quite like that. I really should be out there saying “Selamat pagi” (good morning) to the postal clerk and “Nama saya Cynthia” to anyone who wants to know. And how about “Perlahan sikit” (slow down) when something’s going all too fast for me–traffic or language? I have learned some little bit of the language and had some lovely conversations with Malaysian people already, sharing my ten words of vocabulary, so why not plunge right in and go buy a stamp?

All right, well, I will and isn’t it nice of WordPress to invite me to write in Bahasa Melayu, the ‘Language of the Malays’ anyway? Thank you, WordPress. It’s an interesting language but, to my surprise, it’s only been the language of the Malaysian government and the schools since the early 70s. Malaysia, I’ve learned, is multiracial and multicultural and multilingual as well. As the guidebook says, wherever you go you will see shop signs in a ‘rainbow of languages and scripts’. And in WordPress too, it seems.

So, anyway, here I am. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH003 was blissfully uneventful. These days, the best one can hope for is a dull, insipid, boring, yawn-inspiring flight. It doesn’t get any better than that, especially if it’s 11 hours and 20 minutes long. The only way it could be improved on would be a surprise upgrade to Business Class (that only happens to me on BA) or a little bit more tailwind to shorten the flight time.

My solution was to sleep–and, for once, it worked. I tried the “psyche me!” approach and set off believing it was already late afternoon where I was (Yateley) even though it was early morning (0715hours). The dreary rain and wind helped. It was a bit dark and easy to play along with the game in the taxi. I dozed. I had turned my watch forward eight hours (this is GMT +8) in the taxi and dozed on the M3 and M25 and reminded myself I was tired after a long day.

It was a mere one hour and 10 minutes from the taxi at home to being checked in and through security. I had, of course, checked in online 48 hours before (how civilised is that?) so I was relatively certain it wouldn’t be too onerous. There wasn’t anyone at the bag drop, though there were hundreds of people in the queue to check in. Are there still people who don’t check-in on-line? Apparently so. I was surprised at the proportion. I dread the drama of not being checked in and finding out my chosen airline partner has sold my seat to me and three others. It’s happened before. I want to be the first to check in–even to the point of setting alarms to remind myself to doing so and being all sweaty-palmed as I go through the process. OCD? No, not me, not a bit.

They fed us dinner at about UK breakfast time, which aided the illusion that it was eight hours later than I had previously known it to be. I chose the chicken biryani and it was stunning. It was almost too hot, reminding me that I don’t eat a lot of spicy food these days. Why not? No idea. Living in England? Who knows? I love spicy food. Spicy food has known health benefits. What’s not to like? Well, I plunged in and it was terrific–raisins, pandan leaves and all.

Amazingly, I ended up with an empty seat next to me in row 61 (one of about four such empty seats on the 747-40. It didn’t begin that way and I thought ‘Oh, no, this is going to be a long one.’ I was beyond ecstatic when the young woman who originally sat down beside me leapt up as we began to taxi, a seat having remained empty next to her mother, in row 59, and off she went. Quelle relief! A place to pile my books, drinks, notebook, pens, bottle of orange juice, iTouch, headphones and everything else I seem to have brought along. And, oh joy, a second blanket because it was darned cold on that flight.

It was a relatively turbulent flight. Not enough to whoop over but enough to not write a lot with a pen. I love reading the on-screen in-flight statistics and following our progress on the coloured mockups of the world. Does it help, knowing we’re being thrown all over the place over the Andaman Islands? I don’t know. The Bay of Bengal was particularly bumpy. I rather like knowing where I am while experiencing strange sensations, even if I don’t always understand what I’m experiencing.

This on-board system, iXplore, or perhaps Ixplore or even IXplore, or whatever the marketing people ended up calling it, had an “Advanced” mode so I was in heaven. After, that is, I’d taken the advanced course in operating the in-seat control device for the “AVOD” (Audio Visual On Demand) system. Thank goodness the instructions were in the in-flight magazine and I could sneak six or seven peaks at them until I finally figured out that the thing really was 101 gadgets in one and really did have all the same controls as a DVD remote control, a gaming joy stick, a telephone with a credit card swipe channel and the ability to control the lights overhead and request assistance from a cabin attendant. I gave up before I figured out how to make muffins with it but I’m convinced it has a beater attachment.

Malaysia National Musuem

In spite of over 300 hours of on-demand entertainment available to me, I managed to fall asleep half an hour into “Inception” (DiCaprio’s latest). I chose it because the review in the magazine said it was ‘ambitious and clever…and also a little confusing.’ It takes place in the human brain, they said. Hmmm, ok. I think I’d like to watch it whilst conscious and not actively trying to sleep as much as I can, but it did the trick. I slept.

Sometime during the ‘night’, the lovely Norelina, a beautiful sweet Malay with the most incredible eyes and the eyelashes (extensions) to prove it, passed through and left a “snack”. If one was to have an introduction to Malaysia a the national airline, and it was Norelina, one could hardly do better. How often is the service really like you see on the adverts? Not very often. But it was on this flight; I truly did feel welcomed.

I was dimly conscious of many trays of orange juice and water going by but, for the most part, I slumbered on, safe in the knowledge that I had my own bottle of liquid anyway. I was also dimly conscious of the absence of crying babies and screaming children–if only because a crying baby woke me at one point and I realised how quiet the flight had been, overall.

Somewhere along the way, probably over the Bay of Bengal, I woke up and went through the on-screen tourist’s introduction to some of the attractions available to visitors to Kuala Lumpur. I made a list of Places to Go in my little “Paper Words” notebook with its ‘finely wrought Rennaisance-style tooled leather cover’ from the museum gift shop in Strasbourg on a previous trip.

Poor Derek! I sometimes wonder he can tolerate my manic enthusiasm about such things. But he does seem such a good sport about it. We actually have little time together this trip–weekends only since he is working Monday to Friday–to be day-tripping together to all the places on my list, but I daresay we will try.

The highlights? I was enchanted that Malaysians are crazy about orchids and there is the Agricultural Park (over 1295 hectares, if only I could remember what a hectare is) and its Orchid Garden with over 800 species of Malay orchids. How can there be 800 species of orchid in one country to begin with? This definitely begs a visit. There is also a Spice Garden (what DOES a nutemeg tree or a galanga bush look like anyway?) and a tropical fruit garden. When I left Thailand in 1973, I said if I never smelled another durian in my life, it would be too soon and, hey ho, perhaps I’ll smell another durian after all.

The highlight, tough, could well be the tropical forest walk — take a shuttle or hire a bike. Oh, yes, and the cultural village. That could be a good one, too.

Then there is Templer’s Park, at Bukit Takun, “only” 500 hectares, twenty minutes North of KL, which boasts a structure 350 metres high made of limestone.

And Taman Alam, at Bukit Melawati, is a proper nature reserve with a bird sanctuary that is home to some really rare birds, largely owing to it being in a mangrove swamp. Over 150 species of birds, the little EVOD (Educational Video On Demand) system tells me, have been identified. Including, for you birders, therare spoon-billed sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank. I am sooooo glad I hired that lens. What if? What if?

It costs 2 “ringgits” (MYR, Malaysian Ringgits) to get in. That’s about 40p for you Brits and ‘half a buck’ for the Yanks. Things really are amazingly inexpensive. I don’t think I’d mentioned that yet. There you go. Ringgits. “ring-gits” or “ring-its”, I am not quite sure yet.

And then there is Taman Tasik Perdana, aka the Lake Garden, the vision of Alfred Venning, the British State Treasurer here (when it was still British, which it was until the early 50s) in the 1880s. While only 104 hectares, it’s a bird park, a deer park and a flower garden.

See what  mean? Too much to do. And that’s just the parks. Guess we’ll have to start thinking about spending more time here. Like, how about a year?

November 2010 and it all happens at once…how exciting!

•November 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

It’s just three hours and five minutes until the official start time for NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month, and I’m excited. November 2010 will be the month I’ll begin and end a novel. Fortunately, the organisers who goad us 130,000 or wo people, worldwide, into doing what seems like a Herculean task, also suggest that Wrimos should “Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes.”

Well, all right! Who’da thunk it? Certainly not I. Or me. Neither of us would.

And so, in less than three hours begins what could arguably be the most exciting and creative month of my life. And no longer can I say “young life” so I really had better get cracking or I’ll be like one of those wonderful old women who finally gets a degree in World History at the age of 92. Oh, yeah, I haven’t got the degree yet either. Never mind. Three things at a time.

Three things? Yes, at least three. First, there is the NaNoWriMo commitment to write 50,000 (different!) words between November 1st and November 30th. I’m doing this because I can’t start yet, other than my pencils are sharpened, my research books are lined up on the table, there’s plenty of coffee to hand and I’ve been using heavy duty cream on my hands and haven’t had my nails done in a while so I won’t clack and will make fewer mistakes.

Lest you think this is a horribly daunting task, it’s not really. That’s a book the length of The Great Gatsby or The Grapes of Wrath or The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s not War and Peace. And, as mentioned, it can be cr*p

Second, I am off to Malaysia for just under three weeks of the month. I need to get a running start on NaNoWriMo because I will lose time for travel and touristing-type days. I already know that. Can I keep up? Who knows. I can try. I have ordered a new lense to hire/rent and am very excited. It’s ‘only’ a Nikon 18-200mm telephoto zoom but, heyho, it gives me chance to try out some new things I’ve been wanting to try out. It isn’t the one that would cost £1557 to buy if I actually wanted one. I’m sure Derek will be pleased about that.
Third, we are going to be putting the house on the “lease with an option to buy” market. Yes, howdy, friends and neighbours, it’s time to move. While the current intention, all going to plan, is to move to Malaysia (see “Second” above) in March of 2011, in the meantime we now have the decision and the impetus to move on to the next phase of our lives…something smaller, perhaps more in the countryside (but not out of the larger general area) and more suited to a couple of borderline old folks ready to get on with the business of slowing down (in some regards) and thinking about upping those sticks and downsizing their lives so they can afford it in their dotage.

And so…on with the November show!