Monthly Archives: August 2014

Dubai x 2 4 2014

Two a days in Dubai – A city I have become very fond of and I suppose why I stop here to provide a new experience for my tour groups and a chance to rest after the long flight from NZ.
40 degrees was hardly relaxing and there were times on the city tour that were definitely trying – lots of water and fresh coconut juice helped. My lovely guide Shaneez once again extolled the virtues of Dubai and showered us with her knowledge of the city.

Relaxing in the swimming pool, enjoying a beer in the cool and spending time catching up is what the Dubai stopover is meant to be about. However,offering the Desert safari was a must for some and not to be missed. Four wheel driving in the desert,careering over sand dunes, riding a camel and experiencing a Bedouin camp for dinner brings the desert alive and at least my group can appreciate how hard it must be to build this monumental city on sand .

The best find for me has been the Baker and Spice restaurants – based on fresh seasonal vegetables and a relationship with the Ottolinghi look – we enjoyed a lunch and dinner and will definitely return

23 rd August – departure Auckland – Dubai – 5.50 pm

A bit late getting this blog up – juggling wifi’s and flights proved quite difficult.
What happened to the last 8 weeks … Since returning from the most wonderful tour to Turkey to now sitting in Melbourne airport in transit with some of my new group ready for Dubai and finally arriving in Venice in a couple of days to meet the remainder of the group.


Hannah’s graduation day was a lovely celebration. Proud parents and two brothers plus our Holly and James home for the weekend. We celebrated with her friends, our friends and family..
Dinner was at home based on a food story about Hannah . It was so much fun….and yes that is fish and chips !

My life has been busy with the renovation and new look at Glenfalloch. Every time I go down there I am delighted by the garden , birds singing and the peaceful sheltered environment .
It’s all coming together and will be the perfect place for a wedding or dinner function..I can’t wait to see it with its new lacquered tables and upholstered chairs in the very white chalet.


White Willow v Spring Willow

Last Thursday I had a demonstration class in Invercargill and my daughter Hannah and I drove south on one of the most glorious days of the winter. For many years  I travelled state highway no 1 to Southland every month for classes in Gore, Winton and Invercargill. The green velvet of the countryside and the bright yellow and oranges of the winter willows has always impressed me and we forget what a huge expanse the farm land is down there.

Our return trip was also a ‘hot’ winter’s day – It became one of my favourite road trips. Starting with breakfast at the Seriously Good Chocolate Company with my friend Jane and time to do a little damage and retail therapy in Liz Thomas in Invercargill. We had a lunch date in Gore with my friend Jan but the scenic route through Winton meant I could pick up some more green glasses from Country Matters !!!!

I love the Spring Pussy Willow and I spotted a tree on the side of the road on the outskirts of Balclutha – But… we also spotted the shop ‘White Willow’ on the main street – I had heard about this, so…. what do you do on a road trip but ‘stop’PicMonkey Collage willow

Oh my goodness  – this great shop is run by the infectious Jo Creighton – She has created a fabulous Oasis in Balclutha – full of smart clothes and terrific gifts and jewellery – Stunning bunches of white flowers filled the counter and before I knew it we were friends on face book  and friends in life. It was obvious she loved what she was doing and I can only encourage everyone to make a stop here – in one of the more unlikely places of finding such a smart trendy shop.


‘Willow’ was obviously the theme for the day and after doing some very early Christmas shopping – I found my Pussy Willow tree up a bank on the side of the road. Hannah wouldn’t have anything to do with helping me … (I did have my secateurs in my Bag) Well, after water coming up over my shoes and walking into a ditch I managed to pick a huge armful of my favourite pussy willow to fill my vases above the fireplace.PicMonkey Collage willow 2

We had an unexpected two days of fun.. And it was so lovely going South again.