Monday, 8 December 2008

Hello, hello

Hello, Hello.
It's good to be back,
It's good to be back.
Hello, Hello, Hello...

Did you miss me? (Yeah!)
While I was away,
Did you hang my picture
On your wall

Did you miss me? (Yeah!)
Every single day,
I bet you didn't miss me at all! (Yeah!)
I bet you didn't miss me at all.

As (the now disgraced) Gary Glitter used to sing "It's good to be back!" although the Sock has been awake since 3.00pm as her body clock is well up the creek. Not helped by a 13 hour flight from hot and very humid Singapore which arrived at a freezing and frosty Heathrow at 5.30 a.m. yesterday. The pilot informed that it might be a bit bumpy going over Afghanistan and he wasn't wrong there - the bumps started somewhere near India where apparently there was a cyclone or something going on and didn't actually finish until the plane flew over Germany. The good news being that even the Sock's fear of flying couldn't be sustained for that length of time and she just got used to it but couldn't sleep on the plane.

Although the Sock felt ready to come home and was missing her little fur babies dreadfully the fascination of being back has already worn off. The cats have been remarkably disloyal in the Socks' absence and gave all their love to Auntie Debbie who texted every week to say how happy they all were! Just a little bit of pining for the Socks would have been nice.

Now the impending doom of Christmas is upon us. We pretty much avoided the "Festive" build up with things being reasonably low key Chrimbo-wise in Australia (at least during November) but the last two days in Singapore made up for that. There were hideously overblown tat decorations everywhere in particular down the main shopping mecca of Orchard Road! (The woman in the pink shirt is not the Sock!!)

Worse was to follow! The Socks fulfilled one of their holiday ambitions to have Singapore Slings at the Raffles Hotel. Based on having watched Tenko the Sock had imagined sipping her cocktail in old colonial splendour... rattan chairs, ceiling fans, cool linen clothes and an oriental ambience. What she got was a weak cocktail, bored barman and a loud muzac version of "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" blaring through the bar!

Singapore is a strange place... massive tree planting schemes over the past four decades have created a "green city" overflowing with lush plantings squeezed into every nook and cranny. But it feels false and slightly threatening like an episode of the Prisoner. A feeling added to by the insistence of all the Singaporeans the Socks met talking at length about how wonderful Singapore is, how rich it is, how happy the people are and that this is because "we don't have too many civil rights", "we don't pay people not to work by giving them state handouts", "we work hard and pursue our education" all said implying (in the most charming way) that these are problems that Britain has. The Sock thinks that either they have all been brainwashed or they are genuinely happy because they don't suffer from Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) as they are on the equator and have a dawn to dusk that runs from 7.00am to 7.00pm every day of the year.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens are however a great place to visit with an outstanding orchid garden which made the stopover worth it.

Apologies for not responding to any of the comments made whilst the Sock was away. Access to the internet was limited to two slots of 20 minutes over the five weeks - at least one addiction the Sock was able to train herself off for the duration. Sadly this may have been replaced by an addiction to daytime TV and the Brangelina/Jen triangle!!!!


Anonymous said...

Welcome back!
No we didn't miss you.
Glad the cats are fine - now you need to bribe them don't you, in order to make up for their 'pain'
I expect you have loads of lovely photos to show us, when you're up to it

Arabella Sock said...

Catwise I have one thing to my advantage which Auntie Debbie didn't... the power to let them out of the house!!!! All morning I have heard cats moaning and screaming in the back garden where Luka is making up for lost time and territory by seeing off all those poor liddle pusscats who thought they were safe whilst he was locked in.

I have over a 1000 photos most of which are wildlife. I will endeavour to only be a bit boring with them..

jro said...

I did wonder whether to say anything when you mentioned Raffles...a friend of mine had her honeymoon there over 20 years ago. They returned expecting to see all unchanged, for a second honeymoon, but came away very disillusioned.

Dishwasher Crab said...

Any photos of wombat?

emmat said...

I am so addicted to Branjengerlinagate that I made my boyfriend watch Mr and Mrs Smith the other night so i could try to spot the exact moment B and A fell in love

Very glad you are back, though I expect you've only come home so you can take advantage of our free health care to cure all those ailments you've picked up in welfare-state-free Singapore


VP said...

You're back!!!!!!! :0

We went for the short stopover option in Singapore which means you get let out the airport to go round the Botanic Gardens, shop, see a couple of temples, shop and have a meal in the heart of the city. All this for free whilst technically not entering the country at all!

WV is saying shwitio, which I think is Blogger's reaction to Emmat's new profile picture...

Arabella Sock said...

Now listen here Dishwasher Crab....!
I saw zillions of kangaroos, koalas, kookaburras, pelicans, penguins, seals, sealions, wallabies, parrots, dolphins, echidna, snakes etc. etc. I even eventually saw two possums on our last day. Could you ask about any of those? No!!! You just had to ask about wombats didn't you?!

The only wombat I saw was roadkill although the Bedsock thinks he saw one lurking in the distance when we were 'spotlighting' out in some jungly place.


More on Branjengerlinagate to follow..


I wanted to break the home journey so we did two nights in Singapore but we would have been better off doing what you did VP. We did actually do a morning guided tour of the sights which I think was pretty much the same thing as you mentioned. Unfortunately they forced us to go to some godawful gem factory as part of the tour despite the incredibly bossy guide woman admitting that a lot of people didn't like to go there. Then we were given only 20 minutes (exactly!!!) for the Botanic Gardens so we went back there on our own afterwards to see it properly. The same thing happened in Bangkok where a guide we had employed to take us around some temples somehow decided to take us to a gem factory as well which we were pretty cross about.

Anyway apart from gem factories, Raffles and a distinct lack of live Wombats it was otherwise a pretty fantastic holiday.

Must go and catch up on my recordings of America's Next Top Model and Corrie.

HappyMouffetard said...

I see your Gary Glitter and raise you Peters and Lee. what else could it be, but... this!

Juliet said...

Welcome back! :-D

The cats would have missed you more if you hadn't said they could watch TV with Auntie Debbie - I knew that was a mistake.

My wv is feolking - I expect that is something they do in Australia, but I'm not sure I want to know any details.

emmat said...

I am a bit worried how you are going to watch 5 weeks of such important Corrie before Other Important Stuff happens. Are you planning to have a 72 hour marathon? Please set my mind at rest

emmat said...

ps your next post is your 200th - did you know?

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Welcome back - as you can tell by the flurry of comments - you were missed by us - if not the cats.

Arabella Sock said...

Peters and Lee!!!! Aaargh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I recorded the omnibus editions of Corrie and have now watched one and a half and am up to the bit where Gail suggests a bit of nookie to David's girlfriends father whateverhisnameis. Aaargh!!!!!!

VP said...

I can lend you a wombat piccie if Dishwasher Crab gets too demanding...

emmat said...

re; Gail - Ha ha it only gets worse you know. Although at least there has been quite a lot of Tyrone related comedy to balance things out

JamesA-S said...

Sock? Sock? I seem to vaguely recall a Sock many months ago. She upped and left to go and lie around colonial motel rooms watching daytime television.
Are you related by any chance?