Monthly Archives: August 2015

“Don’t assume that every fin you see belongs to a dolphin!”

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Marhaba!

For a birthday treat and by way of recompense for some hard work thus far; it was decided that we should all head for a plush hotel and enjoy a weekend of generally laying about and doing very little, sitting around a pool being waited on hand and foot. Now, our usual haunt has slipped down our table of all-time favourites recently, as reported on Trip Advisor, so a new leisure industry recipient was needed. No less than we deserve, of course, we headed for the The Al Bustan Palace (a Ritz-Carlton hotel) only a half hour drive away down the coast.

Built some 30 years ago to host a GCC conference, the hotel is very much a resort and a fine, luxury one at that. Some stunning pools, secluded gardens and a private, golden sand beach, this is just what we needed but more importantly, just what we deserved.

come on in, the water's cool!

come on in, the water’s cool!

The hotel is lavish although, for the sake of at least one complaint, the bed was a little too soft for our liking. Perfection doesn’t come easy in our book. Nevertheless, it was all that it should have been and probably a little bit more at that. The food was pretty darn good too. The lamb chops were simply to die for! (me only on that account).

A step inside

A step inside the reception lounge

In light of recent events, that being our Japanese fighting fish expiring whilst we were in the UK. We took to the open seas in order to observe fish in their natural habitat, as opposed to my chopping board or the plastic aquarium (check next blog for the former!).

YES! We know that dolphins are not fish, they’re mammals of course, so we booked to see them in their natural surroundings. As much as I wanted a fishing rod in one hand and a cool beer in the other, it was not going to be that sort of trip so off we set with Captain Ahab in search of things that live in the salty sea. The charge for this morning trip was most reasonable and a lot less than any of the U.K. attractions for which we have recently been ripped off. It wasn’t too long before a welcoming party of inquisitive dolphin types, bottle-nose probably, came up close to investigate and entertain. As they frolicked and played, we oohed! and ahhhed! and took some photos. What else is there to do on a dolphin watching trip? We perched ourselves up on the pointy end of the boat and presented our foreheads and noses to the morning sun in order to receive our second degree burns.

A couple of the, usually elusive, creatures.

A couple of cheeky mammals.

We steamed ahead and circled for a while and the dolphins remained curious enough to get up nice and close for our viewing pleasure, plus the odd snapshot.

Flipper! Is that you?

Flipper! Is that you?

Curiosity didn’t last long though and they soon took off to playgrounds new. Captain Barnacles, not wanting to disappoint these particular tourists, took off after them and soon we were in hot pursuit of the now elusive creatures. No matter how hard they tried to outrun us though, Captain Pugwash’s twin 350 Yamahas were no match for them – not until they dived below the surface and we could no longer see them that is. I think they were toying with us but hey ho, it’s their prerogative – what with them being the more intelligent of the creatures among us.

It was about right anyway as too much of a good thing becomes less special otherwise. To fill the remaining thirty minutes of our morning tour, Captain Kidd decided to cool down our faces with a blast of cooling sea air so he released the remaining horses from the twin monsters attached to the rear of the boat and we took off at high speed with legs still straddled either side of the bowsprit.

With the wind in our hair – eruptions came later as the knots needed brushing out – we took in the sights of the coastline and if you have little to do with your cold, wet and miserable autumnal evenings, you can do no better than to spend ten minutes of your valuable time watching this actual sea journey on youtube. Why, here’s the link for you right now:

a view

a view

All in all, it was immense fun and with a whole day lazing around a fabulous infinity pool still to look forward to (with a little man bringing chilled fruit on a stick to your poolside sun- lounger), well, it’s just what the doctor ordered.

From amongst the thousands of fan emails to this much lauded and highly acclaimed blog, it seems that another family photograph is deeply desired by you all so, here it is, another for the family album.

It just gets better and better and better! As we approach the start of Year 4 out here, we reflect and wonder as to where the time has gone? And in case you are wondering as to any deviation from our main purpose – rest assured, we remain, ON HOLIDAY FOREVER!

On another note, here are Japanese George the fighting fish’s replacements. Long may they swim.

New kids on the wet-block

New kids on the wet-block

That’s pretty much it then. Don’t forget, coming right up after this commercial message from our sponsors, more in the enlightening series; ‘FISH I HAVE MAINLY EATEN.’

It’s worth waiting for, so stay tuned…

Get in!

“I know the human being and fish can co-exist peacefully.”

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Continuing with the much lauded, highly acclaimed and compulsive series:

“Fish I Have Mainly Eaten.”

Once again we delve deep, deep into the oceans and even deeper into our pockets. The price of fish is going up at an alarming rate. This little beauty is called the ‘Samman Hamour.’

Samman Hamour

Samman Hamour

This specimen is about 18 inches in length and is a popular fish locally, or so I am told. I personally sliced (filleted) the little fella and fully intend to dust him in some lightly seasoned flour and fry him in lashings of unhealthy butter. And I’m quite sure, were he able to vocalise a preference; it’s what he would want me to do. And how does he taste?

Well…

This literary masterpiece has sat in the draft section of the blog for some time now and the fillets of fish have sat in the freezer for even longer. I believe the texture of the fish, when cooked, is somewhat moist and a tad slimy but it is only my belief. The flesh is firm when raw however, I’m sure we sampled this type of fish once before in a restaurant a few years ago.

For now, there are no plans to retrieve said fillets from their frozen embrace in the freezer. Come the time they are up and dressed in a flour coat, I’ll let you know all about it.

Why is this page being concluded then? It’s time for another new and exciting feature called,

‘Dead fish we come upon whilst walking along the beach during the afternoons.’

A classic in the making, I can assure you. And, just to whet your appetite, here is a spoiler:

Ray no more

Ray no more

Until very, very soon, TTFN