Back in Boracay

It feels good to be back in Boracay. We’ve been coming here for twelve years and every year we come back there are always changes and rarely for the better, but there is always a feeling of coming back to a familiar place and the welcome we get from the many friends that we have made over the time that we’ve been coming here.

The view from our cottage

The view from our cottage

The last two years we have been coming via a roundabout route, supposedly cheaper but involving so many stopovers, flights and taxi rides that I’m sure it must end up costing more, as well as wasting time. This year we went back to the old route and flew directly from Brunei to Manila. For the first time since I can remember the plane left and arrived on time, a smooth transfer to the hotel, which was fairly ordinary but clean, comfortable enough (apart from the pillows which were like blocks of rubber)and relatively quiet for the centre of Manila. Up early in the morning, breakfast and then a taxi dash to the domestic airport, arriving in good time for our eight thirty flight. I couldn’t believe it, everything was going so smoothly.

No queue at the check in, I knew the cases were overweight but was prepared for that, and then the girl at the check in looked at us and said “do you realize that you are booked on the 8.30am flight for Thursday 10th December?” Today is Tuesday 1st December!!!

Whose fault? Mine. I booked the flight online a couple of months ago, printed out the ticket and never thought that much about it. I did check the booking several times but obviously didn’t look at it closely enough, and didn’t get my husband to double check it. Luckily the airline office was just round the corner so we were able to go round and change our booking. Unfortunately the early flight was already full and we had to pay quite an extra chunk of money, but were able to get on a flight a couple of hours later. I couldn’t get cross and blame anyone else as it was totally my fault, so nothing for it but to find a spot in the airport that wasn’t too freezing get a cup of coffee and sit down and write my blog which I’ve neglected a bit recently as I’ve been so busy in the last couple of weeks.

I should have checked the dates more carefully!

I should have checked the dates more carefully!

Now I’m looking forward to a month of relaxation: windsurfing, swimming, catching up on a bit of reading, enjoying some good food and spending time in the company of good friends. I didn’t bring any sewing with me as I feel it is good to have a complete break. Actually I was tempted to bring some hand sewing and very soon start to miss it, so by the time I get back to Brunei I’m always itching to get back to my sewing machine. I do intend to work on creating some new designs while I’m here so I won’t be completely out of touch.

Boracay from the air

Boracay from the air

Back in Brunei

We are back in Brunei after having spent the last month on holiday in Boracay in the Philippines. We’ve been going there every December for the last twelve years and every year we see more changes and usually not for the better but we still go back every year for the friends we know there and the wind surfing. We stay in a small resort with only a few cottages for rent and we love it there for the relative peace and quiet and the views over the windsurfing beach. The price of staying up there is going up and down eighty eight steps many times a day, but it is good exercise if nothing else.

view from our cottage

view from our cottage

This year when we arrived we were warned about an escaped monkey that was causing a few problems by hanging round the cottages. We weren’t too worried about it as we are used to monkeys in Brunei, but he did have quite a fearsome set of teeth. He was obviously used to human company and he would make some very funny faces when we looked at him. One morning I was standing with a cup of coffee gazing out to sea and suddenly looked down to find him sitting beside me quietly looking up. Eventually he was cought and taken down to the local village so I hope he found a good home.

The monkey

The monkey

 We had an enjoyable time meeting up with old friends, and we had some very good wind surfing conditions, although on several days it was almost too strong. When there was no wind we relaxed with our books or swam on the other side of the island, enjoying the warm and crystal clear water. Ocasionally in the evening we made it over in time to have a drink and watch the sunset.

Sunset on White Beach

Sunset on White Beach

We have been back in Brunei a few days now and after wading through mountains of washing and ironing I’m thinking about getting back to sewing again. I wanted to have  a complete break so I didn’t take any with me but hopefully now I am refreshed and ready to work on some new projects as well as finish off the Forest Path design I started just before we went away.

a windy day on Boracay

a windy day on Boracay

Rain Forest continued

trees and foliage

trees and foliage

I have been continuing to work on my rain forest design this week. This time I tried a new technique for adding leaves or foliage to the background, I applied fusible web to the back of small scraps of fabrics then snipped them into small pieces and applied them to the background. When I was happy with the placement I fused them in place and then used variegated cotton thread and a free motion zig zag to stitch over them. I was pleased with the way this turned out because it makes the background trees recede into the background and look more realistic. i did the same for the fallen leaves in the foreground, very time consuming but effective.

detail of forest plant

detail of forest plant

I added a small jungle plant in the foreground and embellished it with rayon threads for the leaf veins. The design is now ready to be quilted.
 
While I have been working on this design we have had some quite stormy weather here in Brunei, and I’ve been taking advantage of the windy conditions to get out on the water and do some wind surfing. Borneo is known as ‘the land below the wind’ because of its location near the equator and the fact that luckily we are out of the typhoon zone. This means that we don’t normally get strong winds but over these last few weeks we have been getting much better conditions than usual and a number of us have been able to get out on the water.
local beach view from the water

local beach view from the water