On reflection….

Unless you are a devoted blogger – which it appears I am not — it seems to be that there are periods of time when you are so busy planning, doing, and figuring things out that blogging doesn’t really make it on to the to-do list.  Its not that other people don’t use their blogs to reflect, plan, and report on small (and large) fears and joys as they experience them–on the contrary–it just seems that I’m not that kind of blogger.  And, as a result, this blog starts to sit dormant and looking like it might have gone dark.

Its not that I don’t like reading other people’s experiences of bad hair days, flat tires, and unexpected joys as they unfold in their lives.  Just the opposite.  Some of the best blogs I follow share the intimate details of these events and make really good reading as a result.  Its just that I prefer to go away and plan, reflect and feel the fear of whatever it is that’s happening to me, and not post it on the wall for all the world 15 people to see.  I don’t feel the need to write it all down in private either, I guess I just work through it differently.

This is all a preamble to fact that I am kind of overwhelmed – in a good way — right now with the events of the next six months or so, and trying to make them unfold in an order that pleases me.  A recipe for disappointment, perhaps, but we have to at least have a stab at making us feel that we are masters of our own universe, right?  So the blog has been silent for a while as I am embroiled in a considerable amount of event planning that includes college tours for the summer, major surgery, new job opportunities, visits from family, trips to exciting new places, summer school placement and our annual trip to Greece.  Mixed in with all the daily responsibilities, IB demands, and work schedules, it makes me wonder how I ever worked full time.  Except that not too long ago I did.  And managed to sell our house and move our lives halfway around the world at the same time.  Its all doable, I guess, I am just less exhausted and overwhelmed by everything:  busy getting through the pile, just not on an never-ending hamster wheel of demands.   That’s as near to balance in my life as I can imagine.

So, in my attempt to not totally wimp-out on January altogether, I think I just wrote a reflective post about being a non-reflective blogger!  Who knew?!

I’m Dreaming of a White (Beach) Christmas….

Firstly, I know I got this a bit backwards – its usually Christmas before New Year I know- but it the spirit of my earlier mid-year resolution to hold consistency over perfection – here it all is and who cares about the order, right?!

We spent Christmas week in Boracay, world-famous for its 2-mile stretch of perfect white sand beach, crystal clear waters and beautiful weather.  And very beautiful it is too.  Here’s a classic promotional shot of the beach:

And it does look EXACTLY like that with two provisos:  this is the far end of the beach past all the noise and hullabaloo which we much preferred …and the sun needs to be shining to enjoy the blue skies and water.  It wasn’t when we arrived.  Christmas weather was overcast, gloomy and rainy or with the threat of rain.  This was kind of beautiful in its own way and kept the crowds away from the beaches.  It looked more like this:

We were warned it would be crowded at Christmas and it was – despite the weather.  The main restaurant and tourist section (Station 2) was heaving by 7pm and we had to shuffle single file past the shops and bars past slow-walking Japanese women wearing ridiculously high, spike-heeled evening shoes in the sand, every tenacious tourist peddlar known to man all selling exactly the same crap goods, large families with small children, loud crowds of young backpackers on an Asia odyssey, trading locals, Manila Pinoys and everyone else (and their mother)…  It was quite a scene.  We ate early, left early, and returned to our quiet cottage at the far end of the beach.  We were happy to enjoy the chaos for a short time and happy to get away.

After the rains stop around day 3, we explored around the island a little.  Boracay is very small.  A few miles long and less than a mile wide.  On the opposite side of the island is a smaller, quieter beach which is also the side of the prevailing wind, making it a great location for water sports.  When we visited the winds were still blowing strongly for the tail-end of the low pressure, and the kite boarders were out in full force.  It was amazing to see 200lb men taking off into the air like they were paper bags:

We stayed in a small, recently built private villa that was part of a native-style resort at the end of White Beach.  They were clean, new with a kitchen, bathroom, living space and bedroom:

It turns out that the thatched roofs are built in their distinctive style for reasons other than just aesthetic.  When it poured with rain and the wind blew, the umbrella of the roofs kept me dry enough to continue reading on the balcony of back porch.  Sitting outside reading, protected from the rain, watching the storm was as close as it came to experiencing the cosy, Christmasy feeling of watching the snow falling next to the fire…. a bit of a stretch I admit… but Christmas in the tropics takes a little extra imagination….

A beautiful place.  But next time I think I would prefer a smaller, beautiful beach (I hear there are many) and less people.  Working on that for Easter.