Sunday, December 16, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Hi all,

Nicki and Tayla have arrived in South Africa today after 20 hours of traveling and I am home alone this week - suppers should be interesting as there are NO food delivery services in Bermuda.  I fly out on Friday and arrive in Umdloti on Sunday morning spending Saturday night with "The Arnott". Hopefully the Liverpool loss will be long forgotten - sorry Jamo!! 

It has been a very busy end to 2007 as can be seen by the "Sushi night" that has remained the focus of our blog for three weeks. I received a phone call from Dubai and was confronted about this serious breech of blogging etiquette by one Nathan Carr - and you know that no one messes with Nath!

Just to ensure that Nicki has a chance of saying something in this blog here is her Christmas letter to all our friends.

"I cannot believe that the year has almost past and that we have been in Bermuda for 16 months - hectic. I constantly hear others saying that their kids grow up so fast, but man, they are right!

Dave continues to steam ahead at Warwick. Other teachers come and ask me how I manage to cope with all his energy, but I guess when you are passionate about something then it is easy to have that level of energy. His Training and Development portfolio at school has had to fit in with a pretty heavy timetable as well as being Super Dad. Dave has been holoding the fort for the last week while I have been in the UK and Luxembourg. As many of you know, he made his international hockey debut at the age of 35 as the captain of the Bermuda team (we won't mention the fact that he got sent off the field this last weekend - but it was all the ref's fault!). The team's tournament was on the Isle of Man so he managed to see Basil and Penny there.

The sad part of the year was that my grandfather passed away. We all take great comfort from the fact that he is now with Gran and much more comfortable than he was at the end.

Madam Tayla is just like her Dad - lots of attitude and way too much energy! Our pastor at church told us that kids have the most amount of energy at the age of 4 (so we are still on the up). She is VERY into Cinderella, Belle, Snow White etc. Ballet lessons are still popular and I am happy she is enjoying them as I think they will help her foot in the longer term. School is going well for her, they are even giving the kids Spanish lessons (and Dave and I learn at the same time!), although I must say that our Afrikaans comes in handy now and again when we have to have a 'private' conversation.

For the most part I am fine. Work is a little challenging whilst they recruit a new Finance Director, and I am juggling a few balls and waiting for one to fall.

We are still very happy in Bermuda and it continues to suit our lifestyle. In some ways it is really limited (shopping), but the way of life and the secuity we have more than makes up for it. Depending on the jobs, we will probably stay a while. It can only ever be temporary as we are not able to buy a home there as expats. They are leading up to election and there is quite a bit of racial tension (which is interesting after having lived in SA and left to escape all that).

Christmas will be in Durban and then PE.

Love to you all and keep sending news."

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. We look forward to seeing many of you next year and, if you feel moved to visit "the rock", know that our door is open to you.

The Horans

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sushi night!

I attended a Sushi course with Grant Valentine two months ago and we promised our wives they could test the fare at some stage. The evening did coincided with the World Rugby Classic final (retired international rugby players), in which South Africa played and beat the All Blacks, so my absence from jeering at the chokers must have been for good reason. Have a look at the photo below - no - it was not bought, but "rolled" by theses artistic hands.........a really great evening was had by all and we ate enough sushi to feed a small Japanese army.
Nicki is in London and Luxemborg on business this week so it is home alone for Talya and I - take aways, DVD's might be on order!!

Speak soon.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Disney for 3 year olds

Apologies for the delay in updating the blog. It has been a challenging - and of course stimulating, couple of months. Dave has been trying to concentrate on finishing his Masters assignment (as well as concentrate on the rugby), and I have had to take on extra tasks at work. Most evenings are much like this one, get home, dinner, bath and put Tayla to bed, and then we head for out 'puters (as Tayla calls them) and do another couple of hours work. Not very exciting, but needs to be done.

Last week we were joined by the Fosters in Orlando. We stayed in a villa which was very central and had all we needed including a pool. We managed to visit Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney MGM and of course Sea World. All highlights. Tayla's highlight was having lunch in Cinderella's castle and seeing all the characters including Snow White and Sleeping Beauty - wow! She, of course, had to wear her special Cinderella dress (blue of course), and thought she was beautiful. She was so excited she could not eat.

Less enchanting were the characters with masks on, they were fine to look at from a distance, but not good to have a photo with. Some of the shows also caused many tears as there was real rain in the theatre, or the Lion King show that was just too noisy. But at the same time she had absolutely no fear of the roller coasters - I was more scared than she was.

We had a lovely week, although I would not say it was relaxing, it was certainly fun. The highlight was of course seeing the Fosters, Chris and Tayla get along like a house on fire and there is rarely need for adult intervention.
Now we are home for a little while, although I have 2 business trips to the UK in November. Tayla and I fly to SA mid-December for a well earned break where I plan on putting my feet up and letting the grandparents make up for lost time.

Madam has started ballet (on a Saturday morning at 9am!). I have to say she does love it. She also takes Spanish at school (Dave and I are learning at the same time). The kids these days have so many opportunities - we got to learn Afrikaans - how relevant is that!
We promise to keep you all updated.

Monday, October 22, 2007

World Champs

Sorry, for not updating for so has been a very busy September...and October. We are off to Disney on Saturday and promise to fill in all the gaps on our return.

As for the Boks, we had a fantastic bash here with about 20 South Africans...and just to make sure.....


Our new Bok supporter!!

Friday, August 31, 2007

The end of the Summer Holidays

The summer has ended and Dave has had to return to work – all very sad as I was getting quite into the routine of having a stay at home Dad. He is very handy although he is constantly telling me how busy he is and all the things he has to do.

Kevin and Kate became part of the family for about 10 days in August. It was amazing how they slotted in so easily. I am now trying to get Kev a job over here. Tayla adopted Katie as her best friend and poor Katie could do nothing without little madam. We had some great nights out too, sampling some delicious food and enjoying the Dave Bootle’s excellent tunes. I am sure that was not us dancing on the chairs – my my – the youth of today!

Dave is off to the Isle of Man next week for his hockey tournament. Formal gear is pink Bermuda shorts, blue tie and navy blazer, complete with long socks! They have been training pretty hard although I am not sure whether the captain is the fittest member of the team. They went for a run on the beach the other night and all the other guys came back, except Dave! Needless to day he was just behind them and Tayla was very happy to see her Daddy.
This weekend is a long weekend in Bermuda – Monday is a holiday, so we are hanging around here. I feel like I need a holiday even though the rest of my family have had a lovely long one. Our next trip is to Orlando in October for half term – Mickey Mouse here we come.

Tayla is good – she has gone back to sleeping well at night, and sometimes comes to my room in the middle of the night. When I say, "What is the matter?" she replies, "Mommy, I just wanted to see you!" As you can imagine, with that she promptly climbs into our bed and goes back to sleep. Thank goodness for King size beds.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Fosters and a "raft-up"

Since Tayla's birthday we have enjoyed a rather entertaining "raft-up" experience with the Bermuda Hockey players and a very special week with Pete, Jean, Chris and Michelle Foster.

A "raft-up" occurs when two or more boats moor against each other. This time we had eight and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. One then sits on a "noodle" with beer in hand for as long as possible. Tayla thoroughly enjoyed the attention and spent about three hours in the water. All this in the name of team thinks the Captain is doing a great job!

The Fosters then arrived after what can only be described as a shockingly poor flight. The words "never fly ZOOM" are very close to being branded all over the internet. Never-the-less it was fantastic to see them again and spend quality time together. We spent the week dodging the rain (a rather unwelcomed sight at this time of the year) and getting in as many child friendly activities as possible. The aquarium, dolphins, a day out on the boat, several beaches and one or two quite evenings (with sleeping children). Chris and Tayla took a couple of days to get to know each other and then played like brother and sister. Tayla did however teach Chris the word "NO".........mmmmmm these naughty 3 yr olds! The standards are slipping.

I am now madly trying to get some of my masters done - hence my procrastination at doing this blog - until Kevin and Kate Gillett arrive tomorrow.
Jobson's cove.
A day out on the boat.
Views from the Gibbs Hill lighthouse, behind our house.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Tayla

Well all the excitement came to fruition on Saturday when 12 young lasses and some more tired moms and dads took to the Horan residence for 3 hours of face painting, playing and eating cake (and drumsticks and salad - and hedgehogs and teeth). All in all it was a great success.
We managed to get away with the Barbie cake (she even quite liked it), as for the last month all she has wanted is a batman cake! So tomorrow morning I have a Superman for her (I could not find a single Batman in the whole of Bermuda!)

Madam has been thrilled with all the pressies she has received. Somehow she managed to remember exactly which one was from whom, just by the wrapping paper.

Pete and Jean arrive tonight and I hope their say is better than their flight over here (delayed by 4 hours). Tomorrow night we will probably just head down to our local for a pizza and then get these little monkeys to sleep.

All well otherwise. We did a raft up today with all Dave's hockey mates - I think there were 7 boats all linked together which was great fun. They ar ebusy preparing their drinking arms for their tour to the Isle of Man.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Visitors - Ottawa - The Robertson's wedding - The Mussett's and holiday!!

Well, I am now 3 weeks into my holiday and thoroughly enjoying the break.

Lisa and Lee-Anne were our first visitors of the summer and they seemed to take very quicky to island life. Both took to the scooter, with varying success, and made full use of their time here, visiting most of the sights. It can be reported that the Devils Hole attraction is possible the worst" in the world".

It was then off to Ottawa for Keith & Pam Roberston's wedding. We found Ottawa a very pleasant city - clean, efficient, friendly and very importantly full of shops. The wedding took place on a beautiful maple leaf farm just outside the city and although the weather was varied the evening was a great success. It was also good to catch up with Old Rhodents - Gus Robertson and Jon James. The following day we were treated to a traditional Canadian BBQ with moose meat being the attraction on the fire.....there was much talk about which country had the best meat. It must be said both are outstanding.

On the Sunday we caught up with Steve, Alex and Elizabeth Mussett over lunch - with Pierre Nel and family in attendance. It was great to spend some time with an old friend......

I have spent the subsequent weeks pottering around at home catching up on admin and enjoying the good weather - a large number of nerrands. Tayla has been attending swimming lessons most days and is now loving the water. I have bought a "punt" - a small boat to get out to the larger boat - and am putting my fibreglassing skills to the test repairing a crack.
Hockey training continues, the Tri-Nations ends dismally and a wet test in London is on the telly.

The Foster's arrive next week and Tayla's much anticipated "Princess" party is looming on the horizon - oh the stress!!