Early Shots

07 Feb

I have returned after a wonderful wedding and honeymoon week.  Photos will be coming soon of course, there have been so many posted on Facebook already and once the official ones are through, there will be a couple of posts coming up with the photos that really encapsulate the day.  Until then here are a few photos – in no particular order –  of my travels so far.

A visit to a beach – especially these beaches – in the company of wonderful people is always good. Added to great food, swimming at night, a thousand stars in the canopy of the sky and a super moon; followed by paddling about in the morning and enjoying the view of the sun glinting off the clear water, it was perfect…except for the grimmest toilet and shower facilities I have encountered in a long time.  Eagle eyed viewers will recognise the beach as being just a stone’s throw away from the beach I went to last year Costa de Oro.

Intramuros (within the walls) is also known as the Walled City, so being because the Spanish built the wall in the 16th century to protect themselves from attack in those days when it was a remote outpost of the Empire.  The span of this fortifications is impressive and there are still some cannons lining the walls as well as a sign warning about flying golf balls from the local course. There is a fascinating bookshop amongst other things in this part of Manila, which tempted me with lots of local literature.  One day I will be back for handfuls of that, as there seemed to be some enticing and powerful works waiting for my eyes.

Twin Lakes is a picturesque spot overlooking Lake Taal (which contains the second most active volcano in The Philippines, although Mt Mayon is stealing all the headlines at the moment), here we spent some time photographing, the wind was a bit chill and we had other places to go so didn’t enjoy any of the places to eat whilst taking in the view.  We didn’t really explore the resort but it was nice just to take in the clean air and the natural beauty of the area.  The highlands of Tagaytay are considered cold, with the average minimum temperature for January being 18 degrees.  The wind keeps it feeling cool sometimes but is considered pretty cold for Filipinos.

A local street, just around the corner from our house, captured by Crissy in one of the more peaceful moments.  Usually the streets teem with life, children playing, people hawking their wares or chatting.  I love the atmosphere. although being used to my own company, sometimes it is difficult to adapt to the constant cacophony of commotion.  To hide when the mood takes me, I usually put on some tunes, letting YouTube autoplay me to some whimsical place for a short while.

Finally, the other day I ended up helping a cat get comfortable to give birth, it was a tense time as I was home alone and it isn’t even our cat!  Thanks to the internet I learned some cat birthing facts and now we have three healthy kittens and mother.  Crissy and I have named them, despite not knowing their sex as Mr Bean, Mr George, and Mr Boffles, the latter of whom already enjoys gangster movies, Gustav Holst’s Mars, the Bringer of War and the music of Louie Armstrong.

A huge thanks is due to many people for these adventures; my mum and dad, and Tom for coming across for the wedding, as well as experiencing the above adventures with Crissy and I.  My new Filipino family for their relentless and wonderful kindness and hospitality, for driving us around and being tour guides, for taking hundreds of photos and for speaking English despite constant ‘nose bleeds’.


Posted by on 07/02/2018 in Photography, The Philippines, Travel


Tags: , , , , ,

31 responses to “Early Shots

  1. Lyn

    07/02/2018 at 15:24

    Oh I’m so glad the wedding and honeymoon went so well – well, they usually do 😀 You don’t care about anyone else except the two of you, and that’s how it should be. We are all of us – your internet family – looking forward to seeing the “official” photos when you post them. Give Crissy an Australian “G’day” for me 😉


    • Ste J

      07/02/2018 at 15:29

      I certainly shall! It’s great to have so many photos from so many sources, with more to come. My internet family has and is always a great support to me as well. I am truly lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Alastair Savage

    07/02/2018 at 17:05

    Wonderful! Being married to someone from another country too, I can guarantee your life will be full of interesting moments and strange discoveries.
    I also found it hard moving from the countryside to the city but I go for a walk by the sea whenever I need to escape the hurly-burly of the crowds.
    Looking forward to more photos of your adventures (although I used to like your posts from the Northern pub circuit too!).


    • Ste J

      07/02/2018 at 18:09

      I love the excitement of all the new things, new recipes to cook and customs to master. Pubs are different over here, lots of dancing girls apparently! I did find a nice coffee shop, which isn’t too far to travel by jeepney, which should be easy to master. Everywhere seems to involve travel here, it’s not like a quick nip into town like in England but I quite like the challenge, it will make me feel like I achieve something with every journey. When I go back to England, remind me to do a pub post, which is always a good excuse for a pint of something adventurous.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. shadowoperator

    07/02/2018 at 19:15

    Your news and photos are wonderful, as always. I have a little news of my own, too. At the end of last week, I got out of the hospital after giving birth to a bouncing baby gall stone and having my gall bladder removed. The gall stone was 7 cm. and about the size and shape of a mango pit, the largest they said they’d ever seen. The surgeon had a picture of it on his cell phone to show me. It was laproscopic surgery, so no real incision, except the small one at the navel where they had to take it out because it was so big. Mom and I are at home and she is babying me and fixing my meals, and just to mention the embarrassing and ignominious, I’m on diapers for a while until things sort themselves out, as it were. Funny, after surgery things taste and smell differently. I love shaved turkey sandwiches and ground turkey meat, but it smelled so funky to me the oher day that I almost couldn’t eat it. I have visiting nurses supplied by my insurance coming to check on me every few days, take my temperature, blood pressure, etc. All in all, the worst parts were in the hospital and are now over. The cat was of course freaked out at the disruption of her routine and being taken care of by another person, but she too has adjusted and so long as she is still allowed to sleep on my lap when I sit in my easy chair (where I too am doing my sleeping until bed becomes comfortable again), she has no major complaints. Anyway, I will love to see your official shots of the wedding if you plan to share them, and any others you want to post; they’re always good. Is Tom your brother, your best man, or both? I bet your parents really miss you already. Well, back to the crochet, which is the main activity I’m up to these days. Have fun celebrating!


    • Ste J

      08/02/2018 at 17:51

      Wow, 7cm! That is as impressive and it sounds painful. I am glad your cat has gotten through it, I felt for Bella when my parents came across. Tom is not my brother but people seem to confuse us, so I teased people, that we obviously all look the same, us white people. Haha, they love it! Speaking of food, you remind me to get cooking for when the ladies come home. The time seems to move differently here. Way too fast.


  4. Letizia

    07/02/2018 at 21:04

    So pleased for you! And you even found time to become a cat midwife in the process haha, they are adorable!


    • Ste J

      08/02/2018 at 17:42

      That is going on my CV, I never know what will turn up from one day to the next, I like that. I am off to a reputable airline tomorrow, not for any other reason than I invited myself to the wife’s place of work haha!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. LuAnn

    08/02/2018 at 00:19

    Congratulations to you and Crissy! I am thrilled for you both! And now, let the adventures begin. Looking forward to photographs of your special day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ste J

      08/02/2018 at 17:43

      Thank you! They are 80% done so once they are all in, I will be posting up the best ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. thelonelyauthorblog

    08/02/2018 at 01:57

    Great pics


  7. Clare Pooley

    08/02/2018 at 08:20

    Thanks for the update, Ste J. The photos look wonderful – I hope you are coping manfully with those ‘cold’ temperatures! Getting used to a new place is always difficult no matter how much you love it. I’m sure it will soon feel like home, especially if you find a few decent boltholes!


    • Ste J

      08/02/2018 at 17:47

      It will take me time, sometimes I feel right at home and others like a total stranger but I will get there. The photos are wonderful, I need to learn to drive as getting a bus isn’t as simple any more. The weather is great but I know soon, I will be layering up like a local.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Liz Dexter

    10/02/2018 at 15:04

    Wonderful pics and it sounds like you’re adjusting to your new life so well! I’m glad you have good and supportive people around you as well as long-distance.


    • Ste J

      13/02/2018 at 19:54

      I mostly think I am adjusting well, then something throws me and I wonder if I will ever settle. Time is the key and of course the wonderful support. I’ll be fine with a bit more language under my belt.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sarah

    11/02/2018 at 11:09

    So glad to hear the wedding and honeymoon were a success. Wonderful pics – ‘We want more!’, and I have to say that the name Mr Boffles must surely be up there as best cat name ever!


    • Ste J

      13/02/2018 at 19:56

      I was proud of myself for that, not sure where the name came from, it just popped into my head. I have another post that I am collecting photos for and one to do with bookish things which I am looking forward to getting around to, that and the pile of reviews I need to get written up properly as well.


  10. Andrea Stephenson

    12/02/2018 at 03:02

    Many congratulations Ste, I’m very glad it went so well and I hope you settle in well.


    • Ste J

      13/02/2018 at 19:55

      Thank you, it’s going really well for the most part, the biggest challenge is eating the snacks between meals. People eat six times a day here, I managed four times today and that was a struggle!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sherri Matthews

    13/02/2018 at 19:16

    Hello my friend! Soooo much enjoyed your post and seeing just a few of your wonderful photos. So very happy for you and Crissy, many congratulations once again. That beach! And Mr Boffles! He has great taste! Of course, as a cat lover, you know I was delighted to read about you not only rescuing mummy, but helping her give birth, and oh those darling, sweet little kitties. She reminds me of our darling Maisy, who, as you know, we sadly lost at 15 last April. She was feral, we adopted her from a cat shelter. I always knew you were a top man 🙂 So glad you found a book shop. Your new home welcomes you with open arms as you adjust, one day at a time, taking time out to when you need to zone out on YouTube. Thanks for the great update and look forward to many more!


    • Ste J

      13/02/2018 at 20:05

      Thank you my friend. I am always excited to publish photos, so much I could publish seems normal now so I need to retain an eye for what is different from back home in England. I am sure it will be great to have four cats and a dog to look after when they are all roaming about but it will keep me entertained if nothing else. Plenty more photos to come on a variety of things. I always love my beach times, they are glorious, which reminds me I need to sort out the Batanes post as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. macjam47

    14/02/2018 at 21:06

    Steve, what a wonderful post with lovely photos. I loved hearing about your adventures here and look forward to hearing about and seeing more photos of your new life together.


    • Ste J

      15/02/2018 at 12:51

      I have more photos and stories than I can keep up with, plus books to review. All I need now is time to get them written down!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder

    15/02/2018 at 04:47

    OMG! This is the greatest news I seemed to be missing during my absence from the blogging world! Really glad to know about the BIG event. 😀 Many congratulations…stay blessed together always… 🙂


    • Ste J

      15/02/2018 at 12:46

      I like to surprise you when you return! Thank you for your wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Resa

    20/02/2018 at 03:10

    You have moved to a wonderful place, culture and adventure! YAY!!! 😀


    • Ste J

      20/02/2018 at 08:15

      Yes! I am enjoying my time here so far, eager to immerse myself even more in every Filipino.

      Liked by 1 person


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