Saturday, 21 January 2017

Back Home With Timbo

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Yesterday Timbo also arranged to keep the room until a little later than the usual check out time.  He also arranged a car to take us to the airport. With the few extra hours, we had a big laze by the pool. We went back to our room, finished the final bit of packing, had a shower and then checked out. The people there seem to know Timbo by reputation as the mad man from the UK who likes to stay in one particular room. I would hope they will also remember whose human he is as well.

We sat a little while, Timbo taking some arty-farty photos because of an idea I had. It was not quite as I expected, but it will have to do for now, I suppose.

The best of the not so good arty-farty photos
 Before we got in the car, Timbo asked the concierge lady who had arranged the car if he could have the E&O luggage label on his other suitcase. She put it on for him. I think that is a really nice touch. It made Timbo smile a lot, because, as you know by know, he is a big 62 year old kid.

The journey to the airport was good. It started to rain, obviously Penang was crying because I was going back with Timbo. We arrived in good time. Checked in and went through the passport and security and then relaxed a while in the lounge. After a gentle stroll to the gate, we boarded the plane and the first real leg of the journey back home began.

While we were flying south to Singapore Timbo could see Melaka and he smiled. I think it was only the horrid cold that stopped him from enjoying Melaka.

In the past Timbo has had not so good experiences flying with Silk Air. Today was an exception for him. He felt treated properly and the cabin crew were by far and away the nicest and happiest he has flown with. So to all the cabin crew who looked after us on flight MI351, a very big thank you and well done.

We arrived much earlier than the scheduled time which was good, because Timbo needed to collect his boarding passes from the Swiss desk in Transfer E. Then into the lounge and a hasty insertion of his earplugs because the muzak in there drives him nuts.

He charged up his iPhone and iPad, chatted with Special K after he had finished work (he works very long hours in this new job, but he also has extra days off). We then had a look at the Duty Free shops. This time Timbo seemed to be on a mission in Changi and not saying things like “Brexit”, but the mission was not successful. We sauntered the very long way to the plane, it felt more like we had walked from Jurong to Changi it was so far away.

This time there was no First Class, but I understand Timbo cannot look after me like I should be looked after, but his heart is in the right place, and that is what matters most to me. If he was not the human he is, I would never have chosen him in the first place.

The flight is scheduled to leave very late, 23.30, so when Timbo was ordering his dinner (we had salad, followed by Raclette with boiled potatoes and a yummy chocolate dessert), he asked the lady to wake him up, as he usually falls asleep soon after take off when he is tired. And he did!

We left slightly late because Flughafen Zürich (Zurich Airport) does not open before 6 am and by leaving on time we would be too early. The delay was not that long and soon we were in the air, Timbo snoozing.

He was woken up for dinner, which we enjoyed. It was then time to sleep, but not before Timbo adjusted his watch and gadgets for Zürich time. We had a good sleep, woken a few times to drink some water, so that by the time we woke up properly it was definitely the next day.

I did not realise it, bit Timbo did something nice and gave me a lovely surprise, my own little Appenzeller Bärli Biber to nibble, though I suspect he may have had one or two for himself as well. I told you he is a wonderful Timbo.

What is there not to like?
My own Bärli sized
Appenzeller Bärli Biber!
Thanks again, Timbo.

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Breakfast at 4 am is normal on these flights. Timbo also has a smaller breakfast than usual as he is not normally that hungry and there is also a smaller breakfast to nibble on the way to London, which sets him up for the rest of the day.

Before we landed the captain warned us the temperature in Zurich was minus five degrees. Timbo had packed his thermals in his carry on bags and so he changed into them before landing. Clever Timbo!

We arrived more or less on time and found ourselves having to go through baggage check. We went through with no problem. Well done Timbo!

We made our way to the Senator Lounge for the D gates, where we selected and edited the final photos for the blog as well as updating the text with the recent activity. Golly, this is exhausting work, but I do it for you and I hope very much you like what I write.

We have been lucky with this flight as it does not seem to leave from the middle of the airport but direct from the gate. We boarded and made ourselves comfortable. Once airborne we had another little breakfast, which Timbo enjoyed and for the first time in ages he had a coffee. Two coffees to be precise. The captain on this flight told us the temperature at London City was only minus one degree. Much warmer than Zurich!

We had a tail wind helping us and arrived so early we caught not only the ground crew at London City Airport napping, but also the passport people. Timbo tried the automatic gate and it did not work for him. When he saw the lady she checked Timbo on her machine and told him (rather cheeky but with a nice smile) there was something wrong with him and not the machine!

Our bag eventually arrived on the carousel and we left the airport about 9.30, the same time the plane was scheduled to arrive. Our connections were excellent. We arrived at the DLR platform with a minute to spare. When we got to Stratford we were able to walk to the frnmt of the train, which is the best place to be when we arrive at our station.

We got back home in about an hour. There was lots of post, some good and some rubbish. One them told Timbo a pension he has was being increased from the start of January 2017. That is a brilliant way to start off the New Year!

We tried to stay awake, but we were so tired we went to bed and slept about four hours. We woke up and had something to eat and then back to bed again.

Considering Timbo had a rotten cold that meant the middle of the holiday was not as much fun as he had hoped, it certainly ended well, and the flights and trains home could not have been better for us.

Timbo received an e-mail from Swiss a couple of days ago. They are offering special bargain fares. I think we will be travelling east again soon!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

E& O, Iain d'Eau is home

Sunday 15 January 2017

Another lovely morning. The air felt much less stuffy. As we left the room, I saw two birds perched outside the room. It was lovely to see them. One of them had its feathers all fluffed up. It looked like feathery fluffy fur.

The two birds
We had our big breakfast and then went back to the room. Timbo did some bank things, paying bills (he tries his best to be a prompt payer), and then he helped make sure the photos were good on my blog and when we were both satisfied with them, I posted it. Now that as out the way, it was time to do the tedious work of emptying the safe and packing those bits and pieces away. Fortunately for us, the safe unlocked and opened on the first attempt.

Timbo was also sending time chatting with Special K. Before we knew it, we were all packed and ready with lots of time to spare, but it soon slipped by. The reception area was very busy as there were lots of people leaving. Timbo was wise to allow time to check out, even though we did not need it.

Incidentally, why do you humans call this part of hotels and office buildings 'reception' even though you not only receive but also say farewell to guests n he same place?

Our ride along the nice windy road was slow as there were resurfacing works going on. In spite of the initial slow progress we made it back home almost on the dot of 1 o'clock. The nice man who greeted us and who takes the luggage saw the E&O label on one of Timbo's suitcases and said "Welcome back" to Timbo.

We went inside and checked in. The lady asked how many of us there were. Timbo said one, and my bear. I never felt more proud of him. He took a photo of me having my E&O welcome drink. I am so happy to be home.

Sipping one's welcome drink.
As one does.

Of course, as we had arrived so very early our room was not yet ready. The lady offered Timbo access to the pool in the new wing. Timbo explained he much prefers the old wing or, to give it its proper title, the Heritage Wing, giving various reasons, but he did not say the real reason. It is my home.

When the room was ready the lady took us there. Timbo asked nicely when we booked the room if he could stay if at all possible in room 106 again, if not, any room on the same floor with a balcony would be really lovely. As we made our way to the room, poor Timbo could hardly keep his emotions under control. He knew where we were going. Once in the room he had to wipe away a tear. You see, it was because he was in room 106 again.

That says it all!
We did a little unpacking, but we hurried to make our way to the pool as fast as we could. It was so quiet and peaceful. Timbo worked on his music a bit and fell asleep a few times and snoozed.

Relaxing on one's sun lounger by the pool.
As one does.
After all this stress it was time to go to the room, get ready for dinner, which we had at Sarkies Corner. Back to the room and bed.

Ready to go to sleep.
As one does.

Monday 16 January 2017

We woke early but took our time to get up. Before we did, Timbo took some photos of boats not taht far from the hotel. If he gets up early enough he likes to photograph the local fishermen at work as best her can. There are also ships that go in and out of the port during the day and Timbo likes to photograph them too. The E&O is in the perfect place for several of these photo opportunities. 

Fishing (1 of 2).
Fishing (2 of 2).
An unusual ship coming in to port,
We went to breakfast and afterwards we went into the little museum of the E&O. This was  deliberate plan by Timbo. When he was here last time, he met in the corridor the lady who looks after the museum, she is called Merlene, and they were talking about things and Timbo mentioned that the author Somerset Maugham seems to have dropped out of favour and his books are hard to find. Well, and this is where the story gets really interesting, he went into a bookshop in Singapore and saw all kinds of books by Somerset Maugham, but not the short stories, which is what he and the lady talked about. Well, on this trip, he went into the bookshop twice and each time he found one of the two volumes he wanted, so he bought them and gave them to the lady today as special surprise. Merlene was very surprised and pleased. Sometimes Timbo can be so generous with kind thoughts I wonder how much Laing and Special K have made him so kind, because he told me in confidence, so do not repeat this to anybody, he did not used to be this kind.

After this, the rest of today was what Timbo needed. First to do a little readjusted packing, which he did very well, followed by more poolside rest and a few snoozes. He also did a little more music thinking and scribbling.

Yet again, after all this stress identical to yesterday it was time to go to the room, get ready for dinner, which we again had at Sarkies Corner. It is so nice there, the staff were very polite and smiling to us. It was then time to go back to the room and bed for the last time on this holiday.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Penang, Pinang, Here I Come

Wednesday 11 January 2017

We woke up and Timbo felt much, much, better. With most of the easy packing done yesterday it was time for the rest of the stuff after breakfast.

As the train to Butterworth was not until 12.50, we had plenty of time to get ready to leave and empty the safe, which was a good thing since the safe refused to open again. It took two lots of people to release it, which gave Timbo less time to do the things he needed to. He has been very strict on his banking, checking it regularly on this trip.

We checked out of the room at about 11.50 and waited it seemed for ever and a day until the taxi arrived, but we got to the station in plenty of time. The train arrived more or less on time, and we had to ask the person in our seat to move. He did not look well pleased.

This train was the KMT Gold service. There was more leg room on it, and for Timbo that matters. I am lucky as I am a young Bärli that I do not have such long hinds as you humans.

We arrived a few minutes after the scheduled time. Timbo said the station at Butterworth is very different to when he and Lang took the train in February 2011. We had to go up only to go back down (as is the way for you humans).

When we got back down people surrounded Timbo saying "Taxi?" to him and he kept answering "No. Ferry." We came to a load of step going up and Timbo thought lots of naughty thoughts, I recognise that look on his face, that is how I know, when a young man in military uniform offered to help him.

When we got to the top, yes you are already ahead of me, there was another load of steps to go down, but another young man in military uniform came over to help. Timbo and I want to publicly  thank these very kind young men.

Well, having gone up then down, back up and back down, you will never guess what comes next. Oh, you did. Yes, we had to go up a steep slope (there is a lot of going upwards in Butterworth) and got to the ferry check in. You then have to give a man your notes in exchange for coins which you then put into the turnstile which is watched over by another man. Timbo was very adept at wheeling his suitcases under and through the turnstile. He can be resourceful when he is feeling well.

We had just missed a ferry, but that did not matter as there are three every hour at this time of day. Once the foot passengers and then the cars got off the ferry it was time for the cars to go on followed then for us paw passengers. 

On board the ferry from Butterworth to Georgetown
The crossing was most pleasant and relaxing, then when we got to the other side, Georgetown on Pulau Pinang (or Penang island), guess what? Yes! We had to go down again as we were up on the top deck of the ferry.

Once we were down we got a taxi and after a very long drive we got to The Lone Pine. After the wide roads in Georgetown we found ourselves on narrow roads twisting and turning hugging the coastline. I was so happy to be back home, well not quite, but I did glimpse the E&O as we made our way here.

The Lone Pine is not like many other resorts, a large shaky scraper hotel. The tallest building is 5 storeys high. Our room, 309, is on the highest level. It overlooks the garden where they hold outdoor events, and beyond that is the narrow beach and then the Straits of Melaka.

He first thing Timbo noticed was he could hear the sea. He loves the sound of the waves. He had a text chat with Special K and then we strolled around the small grounds of the hotel. Then we went back to the room and got freshened up for a cocktail, ‘ferenghi fling’. There are five cocktails listed. We are here four nights. Two of the cocktails are prosecco based. I think the last night will be double cocktail night.

The house speciality cocktails
We went to the main restaurant, The Bungalow, for dinner. This is where we will also have breakfast every morning. Soon it was time for a shower and bed.

Lovely bed. Lots of room for me and (especially) Timbo. Hee-hee!

Thursday 12 January 2017

We had a long sleep. We woke up at 8 and had to rush. Even though breakfast is served until 11, who wants to be last? By the time we got to The Bungalow, nearly all the loungers round the pool were taken. We did not mind, after all we have a lovely large balcony, where we stayed nearly all day. Timbo was recuperating, snoozing, thinking about music, doing a special blog entry of his own, while I was at last catching up on writing my blog, which I have ignored while I have been looking after Timbo.

It soon came round to cocktail time and Timbo chose ‘pine forest’ which he found surprisingly delicious. Then dinner, then shower, then bed.

Friday 13 January 2017

Today was much the same as yesterday. Breakfast then I was hard at work on the balcony with my blog. Timbo was snoozing or thinking about music in his head.

This evening we decided to have dinner in the Japanese restaurant and that was delicious, if a little large. Naturally this was preceded by a cocktail. The poison of choice this evening was ‘frozen baturitas’.

The evening was slightly marred by a business having its annual dinner on the lawn.Timbo could not get to sleep and phoned reception to ask when it would finish. 11 pm. Not good when you are sleepy and even the earplugs do not keep out the noise of the woman shouting on the microphone. I know Timbo is slightly deaf, but that is no reason why he should be forced to hear all the inane prattling going on. I think my cuddles helped.

Saturday 14 January 2017
Our last full day. We spent it like every other day except we went for a slow gentle walk along the beach. Timbo was happy as he let the warm waters of the Straits of Malacca rush around his feet. It meant he was all covered in sand but that did not matter! He took some photos, some of them were macros of what nature left on the beach.

The beach at Batu Ferringhi
Two Shells
A dead crab
Two (different) shells
After our walk we started the repacking.

As anticipated Timbo had the two prosecco cocktails on his last night. Timbo thinks the best of the cocktails was his first, ‘ferenghi fling’.

Off to bed and tomorrow I am going home!

Iain d'Eau is going to be back in the E&O!

Monday, 16 January 2017

Ipoh! Ipoh! Hooray!

Saturday 8 January 2017

After breakfast we set about making sure we were ready to go. Timbo had been collecting the free bottled water from the hotels, which made our bags heavier, but it also meant we had loads to drink if we were thirsty.

The check out went smoothly, we got a taxi to the station and arrived in plenty of time. For the new  ETS trains there is a special waiting area with hard seats. Some younger people offered their seats to Timbo but he politely turned them down. Sitting is not always worth it for a few minutes, and it let us walk about a bit. After all, we were going to be on the train, about two and half hours.

When we were called there was a mad scramble. Timbo decided to take the lift with about twenty other people. We got to the platform and everybody was scurrying like ants even though there was about ten to fifteen minutes before departure.

We found our assigned carriage and assigned seat. This was a silver service and that means we stop at more stations, but we also arrive in Ipoh at a decent hour and it fits in nicely with check out and check in at each end if the journey.

When we were booking we wondered why one half of all the carriages seemed to be fully booked. All became clear. Rows from 1 to about 10 face in one direction and the remainder in the other. Most people want to travel facing forward.

Timbo was concerned how cold the train would be. This is because when he and Special K went on the train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta in June 1026 the air con was so cold Timbo wished he had brought his winter coat, hat, scarf, and thermal underwear. Thankfully the KTM is not too bad, just about bearable for a human and very much humanable for a Bärli.

When we got to Ipoh we had to go to a little counter to ask for a taxi, we paid the lady there, and a taxi driver came to collect us. We got to the hotel, checked in. The room was Spartan, Timbo said. This is not quite like the Hyatt, I thought.

The Spartan Suite
Next it was time to put things into the safe. Timbo could not unlock the safe. It had been locked, it seemed by the previous person. We had to get somebody to open it. Timbo was feeling quite tired still, exhausted by this horrid cold. So he had another nap. We woke up to realise it was getting darker and we needed somewhere to eat, preferably near the hotel. An internet search brought up a Belgian restaurant! Timbo said, this has to be seen to be believed.

Now I do not know how familiar you are with Ipoh, but zebra crossings and traffic lights seem to be a bit of a luxury. They seem to be all congregated together in the space of a few streets. SO to cross the road takes courage or sheer stupidity. A bit of each got us across the sort of mainish road outside the hotel. The road we walked along also revealed another novelty. Pavements are replaced by car parking slots along this street.

We made it to the restaurant and Timbo chatted wit the waiter, and wondered why a Belgian restaurant should be here in the middle of Malaysia. A Belgian guy went to Penang, opened a Belgian restaurant there, got bored, came to Ipoh, opened the restaurant. Guess what? Got bored and went off somewhere else. Before he left, the new owner asked him to train the local chefs how to make the food as they wanted it to remain a Belgian restaurant.

I will not say it will set the world on fire, but if you are in Malaysia and have a craving for pork, this is one place pork is on the menu. The other people in the restaurant seemed to be Chinese locals. I rather enjoyed myself, so too did Timbo. We do not know if this is genuine Belgian cuisine or not, but it made a pleasant change. As Timbo was still nursing his cold he did not try any of the Belgian beers, but he would have liked to have had a go.

Me and my pudding
Back to the hotel and bed.

Monday 9 January 2017

Breakfast was as Spartan as the room for the western palate. There were no other westerners at breakfast. After we had eaten and Timbo dosing himself up on medication, we left the hotel with a rough idea where we were going. It was simply a case of following our noses, bunged up or otherwise.

Street signs suddenly throw up European names
Spooky entrance
We made it to the Ipoh Padang, Timbo insisted on taking a photo of me there, so I reluctantly agreed.

Me at the Ipoh Padang
Ye Olde Tudorbethan Restaurant
Birch Memorial Clock Tower
From there on it was just go where we wanted, keeping in the shade where we could. 
The magnificent railway station
We went beyond the usual confine of the Concubine Lane area and strayed into Ipoh’s Little India.

Choose your matching sari for your elopement motorbike.
While we were there we saw a wonderful printing shop. The man chatted with Timbo and showed him some old printing presses he has, one of them about a century old and one about as old as Timbo.

The printing shop
It was getting much, much hotter and we were both sagging. Timbo because of his cold and me because of my fur. Ipoh was really hot. We had a nice ice cream (‘ais krim’ in Malay, in case you need to know) that revived us and, stopping off only at a 7-11 near the hotel for urgent supplies, we got back to hotel and napped. W also had to go back because the battery was low in the camera and Timbo had forgotten to bring the spare he carries with him. Silly old Timbo!

We had decided to try a place called “plan b” we saw in the old town area. So we walked fairly briskly there, that was possible as it had turned cooler now the sun was almost setting. It took about twenty minutes. Again the food will not set the world on fire, but two courses and mineral water for only about 70 ringgit or £12.50, that is not at all bad.

A much slower walk back to the hotel, full tummies do not make brisk exercise a good idea, and bed.

Tuesday 10 January 2017

Today at breakfast there was a mature while couple who sounded British in the hotel. We never saw them again! Had Timbo been well we could have organised a trip or two whilst here, but a last minute attempt was fruitless. Next time, do not get ill, Timbo!

We popped out again, following a slightly different route into the old part of Ipoh and took more photos, this time with sufficient battery power!

Recycling, Ipoh Style (1 of 2)
Recycling, Ipoh Style (2 of 2)
(Informal) Portrait of a Bärli as a Young Cub
Selamat Hari Krismas & Tahun Baru 2017!
Wm Jacks & Co., (M) Sdn Bhd
Considering Timbo was not very well only a week ago, I was impressed how well he handled the extreme heat in Ipoh. When we checked the internet later in the day, we found out January is the hottest month of the year here.

Golly! No wonder I felt warm under my fur.

We were not the only ones who found it tiring
Timbo got some more medication just in case he needs it, but I say his cold is almost gone.

Back in the room and packing up suitcases better for tomorrow.

As it was our last night Timbo wanted to find somewhere nice. On the internet there was a restaurant that had good recommendations overall but not somewhere we knew. We went out but could not find it. It was supposed to be only 200 metres away but where it was supposed to be on the map was waste land. So we went to a nearby Vietnamese restaurant instead. It was OK, but at less than 50 ringgit (under £10.00) there are no complaints.

Back to the hotel and a solid sleep was wanted.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Interlude in KL

Friday 6 January 2017

We went to breakfast late as usual. It is nice to take time. Timbo packed lots of water for the journey. We took our time and he rested a little bit. Timbo had reserved the taxi for midday and we clashed with the children leaving school early as it is Friday. It did not take us long, however, to get out on the open road. The driver had a special machine that took the road toll off him as we came to both the toll booths. We made excellent time and arrived a little before 2.30.

The room has a walk in shower and bathroom. Timbo likes the extra space. He told me of his favourite hotel in Berlin that has the same sort of arrangement. The view was not fantastic, but there was a park below that looked quite pleasant.

After we had checked in and unpacked as chief as we needed, Timbo went to the Business Centre to try to book the train journeys. He only managed to get so far and got no further or else the Malaysian train website did not have an English option. The lady tried to help us on the lap top and despite trying several browsers we got nowhere. So we used the Business Centre's Windows desktops and it worked. For both journeys. Timbo was very happy.

After another rest, poor old Timbo, we went to see if he could buy some posh toiletries he likes that were running down. They did not have them. Timbo was not best pleased. It was not that far from the hotel, so it was not a big waste of time.

We had dinner in the posh restaurant called 'thirty8' because it is on the 38th floor. It also had a view of the Petronas Towers, if you were sitting in the right place. 

The view of the Petronas Towers
It was scrummy nosh and I thought perhaps Timbo was getting a little bit better. We went to bed and this time he slept more soundly than ever before since he caught this cold.

Saturday 7 January 2017

We did nothing in KL, merely rested Timbo some more. I thought a short rest after breakfast would revive him and it did. We then went down to the pool and Timbo sprawled himself out. He sounded less poorly though he kept saying his chest was not good.

Once the sun was well behind the other buildings we went back to the room, showered and got ready for dinner. We decided to try the other restaurant in the hotel, 'JP teres'. It was a sports bar as well as a restaurant. Timbo liked it there apart from the football, the large TV screens, and the volume they were playing at. Back to bed, and I am sure Timbo is much, much better now. He is being nicely grumpy again!

The Road to Malacca and Being There.

Tuesday 3 January 2017

Timbo hardly slept a wink. He could not get to sleep with this wretched cold. I felt sorry for him and even my magic cuddles were not enough to make him sleep. It is a good thing I do not have to sleep as much as a human.

We were up out of bed at 5.30, much earlier than we needed to be. Timbo sang in his croaky voice “We’re off on the road to Malacca”. I think he was being funny. We checked out and the taxi Timbo had ordered for the morning was there ready and waiting for us. The kind uncle took us all the way and chatted with Timbo. Timbo likes to tell people how much he loves Singapore and thinks of it as one of many places that are home to him. Singapore people are rather nice people I think, too.

We arrived very early. The coach was hiding from us. We got on board and soon we began the long trek across the island to the Tuas boarder crossing. After snaking around (though not a long queue), when disembarking Timbo asked if he needed to take his hand baggage with him. This was met with blank uncomprehending looks. He only took one bag, it was not checked. This was merely checking the passports. However, this is where no-man's land began. A seemingly very long drive brought us to the Malaysian passport check, but this time all bags were unloaded for checking. Timbo tried to choose the right queue for passport control and got the wrong one. He hen put all our bags into the big ex-rays machine but thankfully they went through with no problem. Then the next bit was fun. We had to find our coach! We did, and got on board again.

Poor old Timbo was feeling really, really poorly. There was a "comfort stop" as they are called. We got off and I looked after him while we took the chance for the break. Then it was back on again. I wish I could report the scenery was interesting, varied. It was not. I guess coming from Penang I am spoiled by the variety on the island.

Malacca is a big urban sprawl, Timbo said. It did seem to go on for ages. Suddenly in the middle of a main road the coach stopped. Timbo and some others were told off you get. We thought we were going to Melaka Sentral which the booking site said was the destination, instead we were stuck here. Several days later, when Timbo was much better, we checked his ticket and it was not for Melaka Sentral, even though the website did not seem to give a choice of final destination.

Timbo hailed a taxi, feeling most unhappy and most unwell. We got to the hotel, checked in and Timbo and I fell asleep.

We woke up to a car alarm beeping outside. Despite being on the 11th floor it seemed like it was not that far from the room it was so loud. As Timbo was poorly we ate in the hotel and had a huge pizza all to ourselves. Then it was bed again and I cuddled Timbo much, much, much more than ever and I think he slept better because of that.

Wednesday 4 January 2017

Timbo woke rather late, but we were in time for breakfast. Timbo did not know if he was well enough to go out, but I gave some more cuddles and he thought it would be good to go out.

After sorting out about getting the hotel shuttle into the UNESCO heritage zone, Timbo also organised a taxi to take us to Kuala Lumpur, also known more simply as KL. This would only cost 300 ringgit, or about £55.00.

We got the hotel shuttle, essential as there was an uncrossable main road outside the hotel. A lady got off to go to the mall. Timbo said as a joke, I hope you are getting me something. She smiled.

We got to the bit of old Malacca everybody recognises and took some photos. We had to wait our time as there were loads of tourists all wanting their photos den or just standing in the way being total nuisances. Did they not realise I was in their midst? 

Timbo insisted I pose for him
We took some photos outside, went into the Christ Church, which is interesting on the outside but nothing special inside. But Timbo noticed a memorial plaque, which recorded deaths in a family from diphtheria. Timbo told me he was lucky to be born when he was as it used to be a disease that could kill children. He remembers his mother telling him stories of things like that.

A windmill in old Melaka Town
The façade of the red Christ Church in Melaka
The altar of the Christ Church
Anyway, we even climbed the mound to the old church even though it was trying to rain.
We did not see a Lidl while we were here
The tractor Oliver and an old Fire Engine
When we got there we looked around. 

St Francis Xavier, and missing right hand
It started to rain a bit heavier.

The interior of the church of St Paul with large memorial stones
Timbo took shelter and met up with the lady who got off at the mall. She was originally from Singapore but now lives in New Zealand and her son lives and works in London and has recently married. Timbo told her about Laing and Special K and how he retired early. She was really nice. Timbo even introduced me to her.

We went back down to see if we could take some more photos despite the weather trying to rain. 

Incidentally, when I am taking photos, Timbo says to me, “David Bärli? Who’s he?” I presume this makes sense to humans, and especially old ones like Timbo. 
David Bärli? Who’s he?
The shuttle bus arrived and even though Timbo was scheduled to return an hour later, he decided to call it a day. It was back to the hotel and collapse again on the bed.

After a snooze we decided to eat some local food and Timbo fell back on a good faithful standby, nasi lemak, or was it nasi goreng? It was one nasi or the other and they are simple dishes he likes. They are delicious.

After that, back to bed and more sleep.

Thursday 5 January 2017

Today Timbo was not at his best. After breakfast we returned to the room just as the room service man was finishing. We went to bed and rested and snoozed most of the day, rising to pack for tomorrow and have dinner. Italian again this time, but pasta not pizza.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Xmas and New Year in Singapore Part 4: After Special K left us, Timbo slowly but surely went down with a cold. Is this love sickness?

Before I start this blog, I must apologise for getting so far behind. As you will read, Timbo was very poorly and had the lurgi for quite a while. Although it took the lustre off this part of the trip, nevertheless we have had a wonderful time together. I cannot help but wonder how other humans cope when they do not have a Barli to look after them.

Tuesday 27 December 2016

Today was an official lazy day, after breakfast we made our way to the pool and my pavilion. I took possession again of my pavilion. Hooray!

We lay outside and snoozed. I even gave Timbo a couple of cuddles. The ignorant ordinary humans did not notice, of course. Part way through the afternoon it started to rain and everybody ran away. Timbo with his usual sang froid (he alleges he had it before I came to look after him, and I do not think he would tell huge fibs to me) said "We can wait a little for the rain to ease off a bit and then make our move." He is a wise Timbo.

So we sat in the pavilion as the rain came down and we waited a little while and the rain did ease off. Timbo is clever at working out the rain in Singapore. We walked over to the covered walkway and took our towels with us. Plenty of the other humans did not take their towels. I have this theory that perhaps they are not used to the sun, so they are no longer strong enough to carry the towels back after they have used them, because the sun has sucked so much energy out of them.

But Timbo was not feeling 100%. He got more unwell each day. It all started with a slight sore throat. Slowly but surely it slipped down and onto his chest. From there it progressed back up and into his nose and he sounded terrible and got even worse as each day went by. He even told Special K if he would rather not get close while he had the lurgi, but said he did not mind. But Special K likes Timbo so much he wanted to be with him. He is a really special chum. That is why we call him Special K. 

Wednesday 28 December 2016

We tried to do something but it was not successful, but we walked from the Aljunied MRT station to the next station, Payar Lebar. It is not anywhere tourists would find interesting, but Timbo being Timbo liked seeing the ordinariness of the buildings. He told me it is one of those small village areas you find in cities that get overlooked and are not heavily developed and have a charm of their own.

We tried booking our coach seats but kept having problems. Eventually it got sorted out. Phew. That was a relief. 

Thursday 29 December 2016

In the morning Timbo took his time. I am so glad I did not get his cold, it seems to have knocked him sideways. In the afternoon we sat down by the waterfall feature at the hotel. Timbo was able to snooze there but also take advantage of being in the open. He did not want to sit by the pool as it was too noisy and he could not face the sun as he was feeling so poorly.

We had a room service dinner as poor Timbo felt so bad. It was fish and chips with extra chips as Timbo was determined to feed his cold followed by some ice cream, because everybody knows ice cream has magic powers to restore the infirm. 

Friday 30 December 2016

Much the same. Poor Timbo. I have never seen him this bad, and he told me he used to get it worse when he was a stupid grown up who smoked cigarettes. Ugh! I hate them. I do not like the smell and it gets trapped in my fur.

Special K came to join us Friday evening. That was our last meal in the lovely Real Food in Killiney Road. They will open a new branch in Orchard Road not far away, and easier to stay dry to get there as it is linked by malls to Somerset MRT. 
I thought the sky looked nice as we stepped outside the hotel.
Saturday 31 December 2016

Saturday we did not do a lot. We went pharmacy shopping for Timbo and his cold. We have done a lot of pharmacy shopping, so much so he is going to as many different branches of Watsons or Guardian in case they think he is secretly addicted to expectorant or cold medicine capsules.

We were really stumped where to go for dinner. Eventually Special K had a genius suggestion (he really is a clever person, another reason why he is special) and we went to a Spanish restaurant. We, well Timbo, ordered various tapas. Had we known how very full of potato the tortilla was we would not have ordered both it and the patatas bravas. Timbo still thinks the best patatas bravas he has ever had were in a restaurant in Playa del Ingles in Gran Canaria. We went back feeling good after our dinner and quietly saw in the arrival of 2017. No fireworks, no crowds, just happy closeness with my two best friends. What more can a Bärli ask for?

Sunday 1 January 2017

Happy New Year! We woke up late New Year's Day and went out for breakfast. Special K suggested one of two places which might satisfy Timbo and his craving for Eggs Benedict which he was continuously going on about. He told Special K the best ever was made by Laing. The hollandaise sauce had just the right level of vinegariness. The second best was in Café Laville, just above where the Regent’s Canal comes out of a long tunnel and into Little Venice. This is the third best, but a very close third according to Timbo. High praise indeed. I know Timbo likes nice things to be special.

Afterwards, Timbo wanted a walk so we took the MRT to the Botanic Gardens stop, which is the furthest point from the hotel. We went into the rain forest section. Timbo loves it there. He feels calm and relaxed. While we were walking about Timbo told Special K a little bit about Kew Gardens, a place that is very special for Timbo.

Underneath the Spreading Bamboo Clump
One of the trees in the Rain Forest section.
One of the many interesting sculptures in the Botanic Gardens.
This is called 'Nurturing', by Vanessa Marston.
We took the bus back. The Thai Embassy was being demolished it seemed (we found out later it was already remodelled and the older buildings were being pulled down. 

While we were walking to lunch Timbo was looking at the plants and we saw a sexual act in broad daylight. It was shocking to this in Singapore's famous Orchard Road.
1 of 2
A flagrant act of copulation in Orchard Road.
2 of 2
A flagrant act of copulation in Orchard Road.
We had a late lunch nearby, tcc at International Building in Orchard Road. Then it was time to go back to the hotel for a last goodbye for the weekend as Special K had to work on the public holiday. His employers are rotters.

Dinner was room service. I graciously permitted Timbo to share. You can see from the crumpled pillow in the background of the photo below that poor, poorly Timbo had another snooze.

Room service dinner was very filling.
Crab cakes, club sandwich and fries.

Monday 2 January 2017

Monday Timbo spent packing in preparation to go to Malacca/Melaka. Then a rest by the waterfall again.

We had dinner with Special K. We tried a place that looked OK selling cheap food, supposedly Hong Kong style. Timbo did not like it at all. It rather killed his appetite. It did not do much for mine either. We then went and bought some fruit for breakfast in the morning and some nibbles for the coach in case Timbo got really hungry, then an ice cream from the 7-11 in Lucky Plaza (Timbo calls it Yucky Plaza, you might easily guess why) as dessert and Timbo noshed it up with pleasure.

As we were returning to the hotel Timbo took photos of the windows flanking the Orchard entrance to Tang's department store. Now Xmas and New Year are over, it is time to get ready for Chinese New Year. Both Timbo and Special K thought the windows were beautifully done, very simple, but effective.

The right hand side of Tang's 2017 CNY display
The left hand side of Tang's 2017 CNY display
The  left hand side of Tang's 2017 CNY display
from a different angle
Back to the hotel. The final, final, farewell.

Bye-bye Singapore. I love you a lot still and want to see you again. Next time I hope Timbo is better and we can do all the things we wanted to but could not.