A Mabel Fable – Chapter 2

These are strange times and are getter stranger by the minute. Yet, at the same time they also getting less strange as we reach yet another new normal. I think I may have mentioned somewhere the euphoria we have experienced when doing something that used to be normal and everyday. The first time we went out for dinner, after maybe 5 months, we felt this sense of euphoria and looking round you could tell other people were feeling it too. At the moment we’ll take anything that gives us a boost and one certainly learns to appreciate small triumphs.

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Cats, Boats and Birds

Nell, like many dogs, has a chase instinct. She wants to chase basically anything that runs. When we lived in London she would periodically hurl herself at the back corner of our garden where the shed meets the wall chasing cats or foxes that were passing through. She did this so often that it was basically impossible to grow any grass there. I re-turfed that patch many times but with only limited success.

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Election, Fever

I will be very interested to see what the percentage of people voting is in this election. This will be our fourth US election as a married couple. To my recollection none of the other elections have come with so much discussion over the actual process of voting. The hoops that Americans who live in Myanmar are jumping through to actually vote are both insane and varied.

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The Travel Blog with no Travel

We are three weeks away from the first holiday of the year which is a week in October. In our first year we had a wonderful time in Angkor Wat in Cambodia and last year we went on another great trip to Laos where we saw gibbons and had a relaxing cruise down the Mekong. This year, because of Covid, we could only plan a local beach holiday which, even though we’re not really beach people, I was still really looking forward to as we haven’t been to the beach yet and they are supposed to be lovely.

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It could be worse…

…you could be working in the construction industry in Myanmar. On May 3rd, a Sunday and the day before we got Mabel, the house directly behind us started getting torn down. Houses are built right up to the edge of the land here so this house is about 3 feet away from ours. At first they started removing the tiles from the roof and then wooden beams etc. We then started seeing them hammering away at the floor they were literally standing on with sledge hammers.

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Santa in Sri Lanka

We decided to spend our luxurious three week 2019 Christmas break in Sri Lanka. I had been there years before in about 2000 but not since. I remember the great birds, some great sites but terrible food. On that trip there was a week long part on the beach but this time we did no such thing travelling around the whole time. Like with our trip to Laos we probably packed a bit too much in but thoroughly enjoyed it regardless.

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Birds of Yangon

The audience for this post is not really our regular audience so feel free to give this one a miss.  If however, you are interested in the birds of Yangon then I hope this will be useful.  What follows is not an exhaustive list of every bird but simply every bird I have been able to identify so far.  The region of Yangon is actually quite large and includes, for instance, Hlawga National Park however, I am not including birds I have seen there.  This is really just for the city area of Yangon.  I will try to keep it updated with new photos that I have taken and new birds as I discover them.  For birders more expert than me (which is just about anyone) feel free to comment with corrections and missing species.

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Birthdays & other things

The other day a friend of ours, Liz, treated me to a birthday extravaganza. This was literally months in the planning which was done with Lindsey. Two other friends of ours went along for the ride initially but had no idea of the plans. The first step was a crossword puzzle which when completed had to be viewed with a black light to reveal our first destination. Liz hired a driver for the day which is a new feature on Grab (the Asian version of Uber). You basically pay by the hour and can have a decent size and quality of car. You literally order a driver for 8 hours or so minutes before you need them, quite amazing.

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