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.





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.


Going to the beach for love

Now that the summer sun has finally decided to show up in the UK, I have to knuckle down and do my girlfriendly duty once again.


Hmm hmm hmmm...


Yes, I have to go to the beach with Piers so he can indulge his sun-deprived body.

I don’t like sunshine, so being anywhere in direct exposure of sunlight is not my idea of nice. But Piers needs his sun, so we meet halfway. Instead of lying on the beach all day half naked and cultivating skin cancer, we just go for walks.


Not very nice beach


After about an hour of walking along the beachfront, we stopped at a quiet part of the beach where the sand is not so nice (we both prefer solitude to nice sand) for him to dip his feet in the icy cold water.

(Does anyone know why seawater is freezing cold even in hot summer?)


Bournemouth Beach


I took loads of photos of him before he realised it because we were quite far from each other and he probably thought I was taking photos of seagulls or something, lol.


Unsuspecting Piers


Bournemouth Beach


When he finally realised, he came charging back, confiscated my camera and sent me packing to the sea.


Knowing Sheylara


Knowing Sheylara


Unsuspecting seagull


It was quite nice, overall, although it was really very hot. I really don’t understand why people like to lie in the sun to be barbequed alive.

On the way home, I took some “miniature” shots. I’m totally amused by the miniature function on my camera but there weren’t many good subjects with clear shots at the beach so I didn’t get very good pictures.


Little car and wheelie bin


Little car and wheelie bin


Well, yesterday’s excursion at the beach was a kind of warm up, really. We’re going to Mallorca again in September, and going to a resort island does mean we have to lie in the beach all day etc. I’m preparing myself to be burnt to a crisp.


Sheylara in bikini and mud

Now that I have lulled you into a (false) sense of security with my short break from blogging, it’s time to unleash upon you more scary bikini photos.

Yep. Just when you thought you were safe. I present to you… a diseased-looking Sheylara in bikini.


Sheylara on pebble beach


Okay, I’m not actually diseased, but merely covered in mud. It’s pure, natural mud taken from a cave in a region where pirates of old used to hang out and rest between rampageous naval battles.

That’s as natural a mud mask as you can get.

We were at Coll Baix, a tiny beach of gravel, hidden away from civilisation in Mallorca. You could get to it via a long trek through paths thick with vegetation and trees along the scary cliffs of the island, or you could get to it by boat.

We went by speed boat. It was Piers’ birthday and it was a surprise from his dad.

Yacht charters and boat rentals can be had just about everywhere in Mallorca. We booked our boat adventure at the Puerto Pollensa marina.


Sea Adventures


Our tanned, robust captain claimed to look younger than his supposed 67 years thanks to the mud from the caves. I’m not quite sure I believe him. He was trying to convince us to plaster the mud he had given us all over ourselves. But he did smear his entire head with that stuff.

His speed boat runs on a daily schedule for different sea tours. We did the Pirate Routes, a two-hour adventure that costs 60 Euros per person. Expensive, but so eye-poppingly fun!


Sea Adventures


When the boat goes on high speed, it kind of skips along the water, so the ride is kind of bumpy.

I found it scary at first because I was afraid I would get seasick, which I have a history of. But the seasickness never came and I began to enjoy myself. Fear quickly turned to exhilaration.

You’re bouncing on the water as if the water were a spring mattress. The wind is rushing at your face and rustling madly at your ears. Your eyes drink deeply the sights of unspoiled nature all around you.

It was just amazing.

Here’s a picture of the mud cave:


Mud cave


In this trip, we were supposed to enter the cave and bathe in the mud, then come outside to bake in the sun. But we couldn’t that day because the water was up and a bit choppy, therefore dangerous or something like that.

So our captain took us to Coll Baix beach and gave us a tupperware full of mud harvested from the cave.

The beach is made entirely of gravel, with stones and rocks in the water getting bigger as they head out to sea. The larger rocks are painful to walk on barefoot while the pebbles are uncomfortable. So all you really want to do is sit and bake in the sun.


Coll Baix


Everyone had mud on their faces except me. I had makeup on my face and I didn’t think it was a good idea to have a apply a mask over makeup. Plus the mud was so pure that there were many tiny stones in them, some of which were sharp. I didn’t want to cut my face!

I don’t have a lot of photos on that beach. We had to anchor the boat 20 or 30 metres away and then jump into the water and swim to shore. Obviously, I couldn’t take my camera.

But Piers swam back to the boat at some point and took some photos for me from there.

He took this photo of himself before swimming back, lol.


Piers' muddy face


We were on that beach for about an hour, I think. We had our mud bake, we swam around a bit and we played with the waves. It’s fun sitting on the shore. When the waves hit, you can’t help but fall over because the waves are quite strong.

The water was ridiculously beautiful, a rich turquoise colour. It felt so unreal swimming in that water.


Turquoise sea


Turquoise sea


But it’s not turquoise all the time. It depends on the area you’re at and the weather. As you travel across the sea, the colour changes from turquoise to emerald to cerulean to navy.

Regardless of the colour, it’s always clear and sparkling.


Beautiful sparkling sea


Well, everything was awesome, in a nutshell. If you ever go to Mallorca, a boat trip is highly recommended. See more photos at this Facebook page of other similar trips taken by our boat captain.

And that’s all I have for you today. Let me know if you want more Mallorca posts! (But then, I’ll probably do some more whether you like it or not, lol.)