Parrot entertains us at the bar

I know I said I’d talk about jellyfish in my next post, but let’s pretend I didn’t, because I want to talk about a parrot, instead.

So, I went to this bar in Mallorca one night, with Piers, his sister and brother-in-law.

We were seated next to a parrot.


Parrot looking at me cutely


It was working hard at being the centre of attention by squawking very loudly and jumping around its rope toys, swinging wildly as it clung on to them.


Parrot fooling around on ropes


We realised after a while that it wasn’t chained and was quite free to go anywhere it wanted. But it seemed quite happy to stay on its little tree plant.


Parrot's little tree plant thing


A man, a customer of the bar, went up to the parrot and, amazingly, managed to coax the parrot onto his arm, then shoulder, by whispering sweet nothings to it.


Parrot on man's hand


Parrot on man's arm


The man thought he had the parrot charmed.

But the parrot had other ideas. It hopped onto the man’s shoulder and starting attacking the man’s glasses.


Parrot eating man's glasses


Not too amused, the man gently told the parrot off and made it go back to its tree plant.

My group urged me to get the parrot on my shoulder, too. I would be safe, they said, because I don’t wear glasses. So, after some hesitation and one giant cocktail, I went up to give it the old college try.

But allow me to digress first because giant cocktail!


Because giant cocktail


As you can see, my cocktail was a lot more impressive than the other drinks on the table. And it has sparklies. And tropical fruit!


Because giant cocktail


It’s called a Hawaiian Volcano.

Piers and Humfrey were quite jealous so they ordered their own awesomesaurus cocktail for seconds. I think their ones were a bit less impressive, but they had straws a mile long each, so their straws win.


Because giant cocktail


So, back to the parrot.

I went up to it and looked at it with what I hoped was a benign expression. It looked back at me quizzically.

I offered it my arm (but rather tentatively, for I anticipated a surprise violent peck or two). It didn’t accept. It looked away. It looked at its food bowl, at the tree branches, at the ceiling. Anywhere but at me and my arm.

Defeated, I decided to just take some close-up photographs.

I don’t think it liked that very much. It started walking away.

As I followed it with my camera, it kept walking, up and down the branches, left and right, but all the time keeping a wary eye on the camera.


Parrot looking at camera suspiciously


After it had finished its tour of every branch on the tree, it came back to its favourite perch, the food bowl, and stared at my camera challenging.


Parrot looking at camera more suspiciously


I continued snapping while it held that still pose.

And, then, with a super fast motion, it lunged at the camera. Before I even knew what was happening, it had got hold of the camera strap with its beak.


Parrot trying to eat my camera strap


It started chewing. I mean, really chewing. You could see the movement of beak and tongue, and the tip of the leather strap getting mushed up.

The other patrons in the bar laughed. I continued snapping photos while at the same time trying to rescue my strap without using too much force.

After about 20 seconds, it let go. Whether it was because my strap didn’t taste to its satisfaction or because my gentle tugging was annoying it, I will never know.

Then it scooted off to its ropey playground and squawked merrily, swinging on the ropes without a care in the world.


Parrot swinging on rope


There was another free-range parrot on the premises but it didn’t attract as much attention because it was asleep most of the night and perched high up on a tree so that it blended in with the colourful surroundings.

I totally want a parrot now. They’re so entertaining!

Here’s a video of a parrot mimicking phone calls. It’s the same breed as the one I saw in Mallorca, an African Grey!



Our parrot wasn’t that chatty, though. It mostly just squawked and occasionally said hello.

By the way, in case you want to know, the bar is called Cheeki Tiki and they have Sky Sports, which is the reason we went there in the first place, because the boys wanted to watch England vs Ukraine.

If you had a parrot, what would you teach it to say?

Beaches, bikinis and food, is all

So, I’m home from Mallorca, in front of my computer now, trying to claw my way back to the surface of reality.

Holidays always throw me into a dreamlike, soupy funk from which my ego refuses to emerge until I have unrelentingly walloped it in the face with a wooden spoon so that it has no choice but to come to its senses.

As you can tell by the way I am speaking in abstracts, I have not quite found surface. But I am sober enough to update my blog by now, even if I haven’t gained sufficient lucidity to write in a non-trippy way.

Therefore, I think it would be wise for me to write less and show more.

That means photos!


Sheylara in Mallorca


All photos were taken in Cala d’Or, Mallorca, a little beach town from which Piers and I didn’t venture an inch because we are lazy bums.

But there is really no need to go anywhere when you have sand, sea and sun (and, in my case, iPad) within reach.



Not so hot dog legs

My version of hot dog legs.



Cala d'Or beach

Cala d’Or beach is tiny at 40 metres wide, perfect for families with little ones because it will be really hard for you to lose your little ones here (unless you’re an iPad addict, then I can’t say for sure).



Sheylara in Black and White

The town centre has a great selection of cafés, restaurants and bars (and shops) for your hedonic pleasure.



Seafood Paella

Seafood Paella is a one such pleasure.




Sangria is another.



Padron Peppers

And Padrón peppers, which are so very, very tasty and full of wholesome goodness, containing vitamins A, B1, B2, C and P, proteins, calcium and iron.



Garlic mushrooms

I love Spanish food because it is so generous with seasonings, herbs and flavours. This garlic mushroom dish had nearly as much garlic as mushrooms.

I ate up all the garlic.

Piers didn’t mind.



Bread and olives with ali oli sauce

Bread and olives with alioli (or aioli) sauce are a common starter in Spanish meals. I love the sauce. It’s a blend of garlic, olive oil, salt and egg yolk.



Dress-down weekend

The best thing about going on holiday is being able to buy new holiday clothes (without telling Piers).




This is one of the bikinis that I bought two years ago and forgot to pack for my first Mallorca holiday. I never wore it until now.



White bikini

And another one.

I bought four in all. Which is quite stupid considering that I never go to the beach (or even swimming pool) if I can help it.



Just another

Cala d’Or beach is a couple minutes’ walk from the Marina de Cala d’Or, where you can find a good selection of restaurants and a few shops. And lots of boats, of course.



More peppers

More Padrón peppers, because I can.



Sirloin steak with Roquefort Sauce

We ate lunch at this restaurant called Zocalo, which offers a 3-course meal (with choices for each course) for only €15. Piers and I had the peppers for starters and sirloin steak with Roquefort Sauce for mains.

I didn’t know what Roquefort Sauce was so I asked the waiter, who said in halting English, “Uh… is… ahh… creme.”

It turned out to be a cheesy cream sauce which is really nice for vegetables but I don’t like it on my steak.

Also the steak looked a bit sad and pathetic, which made me a bit sad. But it explained the €15 price tag.



Right. That’s too much said, and two too many bikini photos shown.

Don’t you think?

Next time, I will talk about jellyfish.

What I do in Mallorca

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to blog from Mallorca but it appears that I’m able to. The wifi is good and I have pockets of free alone time, which is when everyone’s at the beach. Except me.

I’m in Cala d’Or, Mallorca, for a 9-day holiday with Piers and his family. We’re staying in a villa just a minute’s walk away from the beach, and the family’s plan is to practically live on the beach the whole time.




My plan is to not live on the beach. I’m quite happy to lounge around in the airy villa all day, enjoying the full protection of a sturdy roof.




I did go to the beach in the morning. There was a section of shade I could hide under because the sun was still low and hiding behind a line of trees.




But, eventually, the sun got me and there was no hiding. So I got up and built little Emma a sand throne. At least, that was what I set out to do before Piers decided to help by turning it into a sand race car.




Emma got into it and was quite happy with it for a bit, but then half destroyed it when she tried crawling out via the hood.

By the way, if my photos and drawings are extra crappy, it’s because I didn’t bring my laptop and am blogging from my iPad.

Anyway, one morning of sun, sand and sea was quite enough for me, and I came back to the villa while the others stayed to enjoy the beach all day.




That’s all I’m going to say today! It’s taken me three hours to produce this silly post, mainly because I’ve got a stupid long-winded process to get photos onto my iPad and then into the blog.

Oh, Piers just came back to the villa and he’s gone all red, lol. He won’t admit it, though (he claims it’s a nice brown) so here’s a photo of His Redness.





Sure, let’s go to the Bournemouth Air Festival yet again

Every year in August, Piers drags me to the beach to watch fancy airplanes zip back and forth in the sky.


Sheylara at the beach


The Bournemouth Air Festival is the same every year. Same planes, same air performances, same crowd (and by crowd I mean omg CROWD).




There are other attractions such as military and vehicular exhibits, stage and street performances and fireworks, but I’m not really big on those things either.

I’ve gone to this event three years running now, Piers probably a lot more since he’s lived in Bournemouth all his life. And, still, he keeps going back.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. At least, I have to admire his dedication. It’s just that planes do not particularly interest me, so I don’t really need to watch the same thing over and over again.


The Eurofighter Typhoon


“But honey!” said Piers, “The Eurofighter Typhoon is flying this year. We HAVE to see it!”

“Why do we HAVE to see it?”

“Because it’s LOUD and it’s FAST!”

Right, of course. A perfectly sound reason why we HAVE to see it.

Wait a minute.

“All planes ARE loud and fast, you nuthead!”

“Not as loud and fast as the Eurofighter!!!”

Yeah, yeah.

Never mind we’d already seen it two years ago at the very same place at the very same show, and it does nothing but fly back and forth, up and down.


The Eurofighter Typhoon


I was more interested in this little boy flying his own Typhoon while the real Typhoon flew in the sky.


Boy with Eurofighter Typhoon


He was very cute doing it!

Well, I do enjoy watching the Red Arrows because they have fancy formations and colourful smoke, so I don’t mind so much going all the way to the beach to see them. Still, it’s kind of the same every year and I’m not sure I want to watch them every single year for the rest of my life, which increasingly seems to be my fate.


The Red Arrows


The Red Arrows


We saw the Red Arrows last year, too . This photo was taken last year:


The Red Arrows


And the year before.

I took these photos from my window at home:


The Red Arrows


The Red Arrows


We can actually watch the air show from our flat (although with limited visibility). So there is really no reason to go to the beach to watch it every year, is there?

The air show is on four days a year, with a different lineup of planes each day, so we have to make a few different trips to the beach to see the specific planes that Piers wants to see.


Silly Piers


Silly Piers.

Actually, many people make a day of it at the beach with their beach umbrellas, chairs, towels, tents and windscreens.

It’s nuts but it looks very fun. Get a few windscreens together and you can partition off a private little enclosure for yourself and your friends. Have an all-day picnic or barbeque. Bake in the sun.

I can totally understand the draw.


Did I mention crowd?


Did I mention baking?


Unfortunately, that sort of thing is not my past-time of choice because I don’t like to burn. Which IS unfortunate because I miss out on a lot of fun, but which is also very sensible because I’m protecting my skin.

Which explains the silly hat I was wearing.


Sheylara's silly hat


And this is me all prepared for my Mallorca holiday:


Sheylara's sunscreen


These are absolutely the best sunscreen ever because they are non-greasy and non-sticky, easy to apply and don’t smell disgusting. In fact, they have a very mild and pleasant fragrance.

The only problem is that I have to buy them online and they are quite expensive.

But I’m digressing. Mostly because I’m done talking about the Bournemouth Air Festival, (which IS a very good event, to be objective about it). So I think I shall end with a small anecdote.

Heard at the festival, the host interviewing some random people at the beach:

Host: You guys come to the festival every year?

Guy: Yes, we love the Red Arrows.

Host: Which plane are you looking forward to seeing this year?

Badum tish!

Strange, funny things in the UK — #1

When I came to live in the UK more than two years ago, there were many things I had to adapt to. Some things are relatively easy, such as using a knife and fork for eating everything (even spaghetti).

But some things are not so easy. Some things are strange. And some are amusing. This is the first part of my long list of those things.


1. Saying “trousers” instead of “pants”


I’m not unfamiliar with the word “trousers”. I learnt it in school when I was a kid, since Singapore uses British English. But, thanks to the influence of American media, most Singaporeans say “pants”.

I have always associated the word “trousers” with old men because only my dad used that word when I was growing up (he was schooled as a kid by British teachers when Singapore was still a British colony) and he was the only person in the family to actually wear trousers. So, after more than two years in England, I still have trouble saying “trousers” without thinking old men attire.

Also, I had to learn the hard way that “pants” means “underwear” in the UK.


I don't like wearing pants!


2. People going mad when the sun comes out


Yes, the Brits go apeshit crazy when the sun comes out, understandably so since they have, like, maybe 20 sunny days in a year. But I still get amused and amazed by it.

When the sun is out, everyone goes to the beach, whether it’s a work day or a weekend, morning, afternoon, or night. It’s scary how the beach gets swallowed whole by people in the blink of an eye.

It’s something I can’t relate to because we get too much sun in Singapore so my modus operandi is to avoid it as much as I can.


UK beach comic


3. Signing off with “x”


I was confused at first when I started receiving e-mails and texts that signed off this way:

“Bye! Sue x”

“See you tomorrow! Jane x”

I wondered why everyone’s last name was x.

And then I was told that x means kiss and it’s just a friendly way to sign off. And people use more x’s if they like you a lot or are feeling particularly excited.

I’ve tried to adopt this habit in order not to be rude and have people think that I don’t like them, but I keep forgetting to do it because it’s very strange for me to virtual kiss anyone who is not my partner or close girl friend!


To x or not to x


4. Shops closing at 5 pm


This I find most inconvenient. I am used to shopping up till 10 pm in Singapore. I guess it has to do with labour laws here seeking to protect all residents equally. But I wonder how anyone gets any shopping done when all the shops close the moment they get off work.

It’s worse on Sundays, when supermarkets close at 4 pm so that employees can go home and enjoy some family time. I mean, I feel happy for people in the retail industry, I honestly do. But it’s just difficult to get used to it.

Just last week, on a Sunday evening, I suggested to Piers that we should go to Tesco because I want to buy some frozen fruit to make smoothies.

For the nth time, he looked at me quizzically and said, “Tesco is closed, dear.”

It took me a few seconds to remember (yet again) that he’s right.




5. Cars stopping for me


Now, this is a good thing. The British are a very gracious and polite people and I love that.

When I stop at a road to cross, a car coming my way will (8 out of 10 times) stop to let me cross. And I’m talking about a regular road without a traffic light or zebra crossing.

This is very strange because I grew up in a country where cars are king and pedestrians must bow to them and not look them in the eye. Which I think is fine because Singaporeans get taxed a serious shitload of money to drive cars, so they understandably get very possessive over roads.

So, in England, I feel bad whenever drivers stop for me because I feel that it’s easier for humans to stop than for cars to stop (especially manual cars) and they use up more petrol when they stop and start again.

While their stopping for me makes me feel very warm and appreciative, I just can’t get used to it!


Stopping cars


That’s all for today. I’ll continue with my list when I feel like drawing more cartoons. Drawing is hard work, you know!

In the meantime, if you’re also a foreigner or immigrant here, feel free to share your stories. I will use them in subsequent posts and credit you if they’re not already on my list.