Where did a week go?

Its now a week since the wonderful Cambodian wedding.

Such great memories of a great occasion.

The girls spa. Great fun.

Villa Vedici. A great place for a group to stay. A pool, air con, a bar! , restaurant. A bad road in but who cares!

The morning wedding. Special

Two beautiful strong girls in our boys lives. Elena with Steve and Jordan with me. Lucky us.  
Loved having some friends  and relatives from Peters childhood join us. We are all fans of a Cambodian wedding!

The trip down the river was a wonderful way to arrive at Greenhouse.

Rob and Jordan and cousin Clare came from Australia to celebrate. 
In the afternoon the bride arrived by boat. She was radiant. A friend played a ukulele. Peter beamed.  
It was wonderful having my sister and her daughter Clare join Svetlana, Elena’s mum at the wedding.

All the ladies had a ball.

The next day was recovery day at Kep. We indulged in Pepper crab a local speciality.


So we welcome our new daughter in law and her mother Svetlana.

Now we are at the beach. Recovery time for us. Pete and Elena are still in Cambodia for a few weeks and Rob and Jordan are in Vietnam for another two weeks.

What a month.

The celebrations continue

I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by people who help me celebrate. 

Though it would have been good to have Rob, Jordan sister Catherine and our other friends here. They all arrive tomorrow so perhaps the celebrations will continue. 

After my little cake party by the staff at Villa Savonna we headed off to Nicks place Che Culo for yet another Aperol Spritz. I wore a lovely dress loaned to me by a friend and topped it off with a beautiful necklace – a birthday gift from Steve. It’s a Cambodian sapphire drop. Really pretty. Note it in the picture with Elena and her beautiful mum. 

I’m also wearing a gift from Elena. A watch for sport! I just have to work out how to use it! 

After our drink we headed off in a convoy of tuk tuks to Lost Room. A very apt name as you can certainly get lost in the lane and narrow alley ways. It reminded me of the hutongs in Beijing. 

The food was great. So was the company. Along with us were Pete’s friend Neil and Charli Pollard. 

We ate and drank some fantastic food. The owner a woman from Brisbane was a great hostess and Elena Evan planned a small cake. So I got to blow out another candle. How lucky am I to get a second lot of wishes. 

I’ll bet most of you can guess what I wished for!!

Make a guess in the comments box at the end! 

Wedding Night

It seems like the longest wedding ever. After a beautiful traditional morning ceremony we boarded the boat for the hour long trip up the river.

Women guests were dressed in floaty dress and the men – on the whole in shorts. It was warm. Too warm for the lovely jacket Elena had planned for Peter.


We arrived to cheering and Nick , Peter’s friend and MC ( or the ‘Party Planner ‘ as Rob called him) , pulled the boat to shore.


Elena was still circling in her boat waiting for the groom to arrive before we could start. Finally the groom was ready and she landed along with her mother and brother-  to loud cheers.

She looked beautiful in her third wedding outfit! Brisbane, Cambodian dress and today a lace dress. What a stunning Bride. She glowed.

The ceremony began on the little beach. Rob, Pete’s younger brother was the celebrant. He made it clear he wasn’t qualified for the job but as they had already been officially married in Brisbane three weeks ago he was leading a symbolic ceremony.

He proved to be a  wonderful celebrant. I think he’s missed his calling. He was funny, sincere and had researched aspects of a Russian wedding we didn’t know existed. Elena certainly did though and it was lovely.

Vows were exchanged. Then the Russian tradition of biting into bread. The one who takes the biggest bit will be the one who wears the pants in the marriage.

I leave you to guess.

With the official part of the wedding over it was time for the party to begin.

So up to the deck, the champagne corks popped, the food appeared , the conversation flowed and we all relaxed and enjoyed the Cambodian wedding.

During the night MC Nick introduced the speakers. First up was Svetlana Elena’s beautiful mum. She speaks Russian and Italian but very little English. Yet she had prepared a speech in English! Wonderful. She is such a lovely lady and we are happy to welcome her to our family.

Steve followed later with a speech partly in Russian. What a feat!

Finally Pete who spoke from the heart. He was beaming but got quite emotional as he thanked everyone for their love and support.


Cambodian wedding

Experiencing  a wedding in a different country is an special thing. Elina and Peter wanted to begin their wedding day in a traditional Cambodian way. 

We thought it was to be a dawn – but the monks said that was too early ! 

So at 7 am our party of 15, staying together at Villa Vedici, boarded a small boat for the hour long journey up river. By tuk tuk it’s about a half hour but by water it’s very beautiful. 

We passes simple wooded huts and fishing boats and sat in the early morning sun until Greenhouse came into view. They had set up and area under the deck by the river and a small Cambodian band were making music. 

We went to the top deck for coffee and then when the monks arrived made our way to the area set aside for us. 

Family  sat either side of The bride and groom. Svetlana and El’s brother Eugenie and Steve and myself. 

The monks began their chanting. It went on and on. We held our hands in prayer position and almost entered a meditative state. 

We were blessed with water then after about half and hour it appear to be ove but we needed the offering to the monks. Money in an envelope. One for each monk and one for the facilitator. 

It ended to loud claps from the friends and we headed back upstairs for the breakfast. 

Back to the hotel by tuk tuk for a swim, lunch and a little sleep. We need to regain our energy for the second wedding this afternoon. 

And so the celebrations continue. And why not! 


Friends Gather in Phnom Penh

Excitement is mounting. 

Today I organised multiple pickups from the airport. Friends and relatives started to arrive from Siem Reap and Australia. 

Catherine and David, the Brannocks and the Chisholms. Later Steve’s sister Marg. 

We frocked up and headed off to Raffles Hotel with Mr Smiley in his tuk tuk, for a high tea to celebrate the start of Elena’s hen day. 

The men headed off for the bucks night. It started with a BBQ at the local AFL footy captains home. Then onto who know what. I just hope someone keeps an eye on Pete! 

Pete played for the local Cambodian Eagles until the accident so he’s missing being part of the action. 

Very civilised high tea along with the most expensive cocktail in PP! 

Friends of Elenas- all Nationalities – some living here,  some arrived from India, Australia the Phillipines. All gathered to celebrate with this beautiful bride 

‘The older members of the group didn’t continue on to the sunset cruise. We had others to meet at the hotel. Clare, my sisters daughter and Jan , a cousin were arriving for dinner. 

We experienced the local BBQ restaurant where we ate and ate , drank beer and wine and it cost us $12 head! 

I’m wondering how the bride and groom are holding up after their big night! 

Today Rob and Jordan and her parents Lisa and John arrive and head straight to the Killing Fields. They’ll probably run into the group from here going out for a visit to his very sad place. 

More excitement later today. 

These international weddings are a bit of a marathon! But so much fun. 

The tree at Raffles reminded us that it’s also very close to Christmas. Hope you are all ready ! Shopping done? Presents wrapped? 

Beautiful birthday 

Some people dread another Birthday. Not me. 

Every birthday is a gift. If you don’t celebrate it means you’ve given up! And the alternative is pretty grim. 

This year my birthday is being celebrated in Phnom Penh. Not my favourite city but special this time because we’re here for a great occasion. Pete and Elena’s wedding. 

We started the day in a not so great hotel. I made an unusually silly mistake and when we booked in last night realised I didn’t want to stay there more than 1 night! . By 10am we had selected another one nearby and moved in. The staff are gorgeous. More about that later. 

By midday we were at Pete and Elena’s hotel and it’s a great one – especially for groups. It’s pet friendly and disabled friendly so perfect for all. 

We decided to stay there for lunch. Elena’s Mum from Italy brought beautiful salami, cheeses , prosecco and lemoncello. No wonder we get on! Lucky I speak a little Italian! 

Some of the group swam. 

So we sat and chatted and drank. 

By 4.30 it was time for a little sleep – I am   getting older. 

So back to our hotel – a change into my ‘house dress’ then a knock on the door. 

We are on the ground floor near the pool and they said they needed us in the office. I thought our credit card had bounced ! 

We went around and out came 5 staff members all singing Happy Birthday , carrying a beautiful cake with my name on it! Decorated with Santa and a tree! 

They had seen my birth date on my passport! How sweet! 

What lovely people live here. I’m not thinking about the ba**>| who ran into Peter. But the majority of locals are lovely. 

So now I’m on the bed resting and looking forward to dinner tonight at Lost Room. It’s supposed to be a great place to eat. More fun coming my way. 

Now you know why I love Birthdays 🎉💐🎂🍸🍾💕

Thanks for all the messages. 

Wedding Bells

I wasn’t sure it would happen but the time has come. We’re off to Cambodia today and it’s a completely different feel to the last trip  on Sept 16th. 

Excitement is mounting both here and in Cambodia. 

My sister Catherine has been to Vietnam and is already in Siem Reap. She met up with Elena and her mum and shared a cocktail or two – warming up for the wedding I think. 

I can’t wait to get there. Pete has been there a week and Elena two weeks. They have been preparing for the wedding – all the little details. 

Over the next two days lots of friends and relatives will be meeting in Phnom Penh to ‘Let the celebrations begin’. 

I’ll keep you posted.