august 2012: spain / thailand / malaysia / australia

We flew from Spain to Thailand. We rested in Thailand for ten days. We flew from Thailand to Malaysia. We flew from Malaysia to Australia.


LA NINA. I have read somewhere that if you can afford it, then the best childcare for children under three years old, is one-on-one. Of course, as seems to be the case with all parenting advice, I have also read that the complete opposite – childcare centers with loads of other kids – is the best. Anyway, we are convinced by the arguments for one-on-one and are running with that. So, I am a professional mummy for the time being and whenever possible we bring in outside help for a day or two a week in an attempt to prevent me from going completely insane. In Spain, we found two amazing women to care for Willow. Normally, only one of them would come at a time but on the last day they both insisted on coming “to have a lovely last day with Willow”. Willow was in heaven. Fortunately, she is too young to understand that this was the last day that she would see two of her favourite people for a very long time, hopefully not ever…

…Or her last play with her much adored Spanish big “sister”…

…Or her last play at the awesome Spanish parks.

LIFE. We have moved “house” four times this year: Australia to Zinc (Malaysia) – Zinc (Thailand) to Spain – Spain to Zinc (Thailand) – Zinc (Thailand) to Australia. And, there will be at least one more move, probably two, before Christmas. The reality of this is not pretty. Packing. Unpacking. Stuff scattered across three, sometimes four, different countries. I find the process incredibly stressful. Dale says that I am ridiculous and a drama queen. The trick is to travel light… Here is our luggage leaving A Coruna…

…And from another angle.

…And at Madrid airport.

…And arriving in Phuket. Goodness.

IN-TRANSIT. The 12.5 hour flight from Madrid to Bangkok was a dream. It was extremely comfortable. Willow was an angel. We lucked-in to being allocated four seats in business class in which to spread out. And, there was another little girl in our section for Willow to play with.


LIFE. We had planned to take Zinc out sailing, but we checked-in to a resort at Karon Beach instead. Some cruising sailors we are… We were tired. We are pathetic. It was the first “normal” “relaxing” family holiday we have been on. We really enjoyed it. People are onto something. Of course, we went to play (clean) and tinker on Zinc almost everyday. And, we installed our new solar panels. The normal stuff you do on a resort holiday.

ZINC. She is looking amazing. A boat detailer and her girls are looking after Zinc for us while we have reluctantly abandoned her this year. We recommend her very highly. If you are thinking of leaving a boat in Phuket, then contact us for her details.

BOAT KID. Willow is obsessed with vehicles – boats, trains, planes, helicopters, trucks, motorbikes, but mainly cars. Despite thinking of ourselves as parents that would focus on eradicating gender biases, we were completely unprepared for this “boy-stuff” with a daughter. We are completely chuffed.


LIFE. We had a free day in KL. Dale and I have completely different ideas about “fun” activities for Willow. On this particular steamy tropical day, I was thinking water-park; Dale was thinking hanging out in the airport, riding the hotel carts and doing photo shoots with Willow against a roller-door backdrop. Dale won. I caught the train into the city and visited the National Museum.

IN-TRANSIT. The eight hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to the Gold Coast was a dream. It was extremely uncomfortable. Three seats in Air Asia economy hit us hard after four seats in Thai Airways business class. Nevertheless, most importantly, Willow was an angel. It was a day flight and she slept for two and a half hours and played reasonably quietly for the remainder of the time.


LIFE. We have ideas. They do involve sailing on Zinc. We are waiting for north-easterly winds. Dale is earning a few bucks, and Willow and I are playing in Mummyland, in Australia while we wait. Stay posted.