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24 September 2016
Hot.  Very Very Hot.
Swim. A Lot A Lot of Swim.





Dear Birthday Fairy,

Oh boy!  I slept like a baby last night after that dreamy sunset swim.  I dreamt of sunset and swimiming.  But I was rudely awoken from my sweet dreams at 5:45 am by the alarm clock.

5:45 am?

Mum?  Have you gone loopy?  You never get up so early when you are not working.  UNLESS.....!  She has something planned.  Mummy is predictable though.  No matter what time she gets up, she is totally useless till she has drunk her first cup of coffee.  I went back to sleep.... mildly.  I kept an eye open to watch what mummy was doing.... waiting for her to get changed.


6:10 am - Mummy took me out to do my business.  Frodo and I are well-trained by mummy.  We get our business done in 5 minutes.

6:15 am - I saw Uncle Nic at the doorway.  Mummy mumbled and told Uncle Nic to head up to the pool to set up the cameras first.

Pool?
Did I hear pool?

Woohoo!

6:20 am - Darkness at pool side.  But like do I care?  Nope.  Not really.  And yay!  Daddy joined us for our early morning swim.  Daddy has never joined us on any of our excursions and he missed my birthday last year.  Welcome to our paradise daddy!

Sunrise is beautiful.
Swimming at sunrise is even more beautiful.

Swimming is beautiful.
Period.

Frodo and I admiring Sunrise together and discussing about what a great getaway this is.

We are lucky kiddos, aren't we?

Mummy told me that I need to Thank God for this secret getaway.  This has always been No. 1 on our wishlist and every year, mummy would try to make it work.  But every year, we would be left disappointed.  This year was no exception.  After receiving 100% rejection on her search for my birthday getaway, she spoke to God and said, "Dear God, if this is meant to happen, You will show me the place and this staycation will happen."

Mummy could not bear the thought that in my life time here on planet earth that she could give me that dream swimcation.

After saying her prayers, she decided to give it one last shot.  Lo and behold!  She found a very promising place but it stated "No Pets Allowed".  Mummy wrote them an email.  She was not very hopeful.  After all, she had been rejected once too many times.

So you see Birthday Fairy, things happen not because I get special privileges as a 'Celebrity Dog' but mummy and I actually have to work very hard to make things happen.  On most occasions, mummy would make me write the emails but since it was MY birthday surprise, she did it instead.

Lo and behold!

By some stroke of miracle, the very kind owners of this gorgeous gorgeous place granted us the exception to make my Swimcation dream come true.  After much discussions with the owners about the swimming pool, we were granted private access for the entire 4 days 3 nights!

Imagine that!
The stunning infinity swimming pool all to ourseleves!
What more can I, Flapper Choo, ask for?

Mummy nearly broke down in tears when the kind owners made the exception.  It's been a long-awaited Ohana staycation that she has been wanting for many many years.  All she could say was, "FINALLY!"

Mummy kept reminding me to Thank God for the blessings I have received.  Not every dog gets that lucky and have sponsors - much less good sponsors and collaborators - in their lives.

Yes mum.
I hear you.
Thank you God for everything.... and THAT stunning swimming pool.


I did mention swim, swim, swim and swim... right?


Daddy, as it turns out, is a water baby too!  And he is annoyingly fun too!  Now I know where Frodo gets his annoying ways from.  Daddy kept taunting us with the toy and made us swim many many laps.  Daddy dives well too!  He is like a magical merman.  Now we see him, now we don't.  He made us swim in circles and I am sure our brains, *cough* Frodo, went in circles too.

If only he could join us on our swimming expeditions more often....

Because daddy showed up so Pebbles was made to swim too!  😂
Daddy taunting Frodo with the toy. 
The magical merman has disappeared again!  WHERE DID HE GO?
Daddy.... there's no playing tug-of-war with me in the pool.  I always prevail.
See what I mean? 
The annoying underwater alligator.
Revenge is sweet
Thank you daddy for joining us!  We are very happy and we love you loads!





Will Wake For Food

Excuse me Birthday Fairy that this is turning out to be a mighty long entry.  Day 2 turned out to be quite an epic day.  I am sure we have unknowingly set some kind of record for 'The Ultimate Swimcation.'

By this time, I decided to stop keeping track of time spent in the swimming pool.

Daddy + Uncle Nic = Frodo and I have grown invisible fins and gills.  Just leave us in the pool, thank you very much.

After our wonderful morning swim,  we adjourned for a siesta.  It did not take Uncle Nic very long before his fingers were itching to try some indoor photography as the house was bright and had good natural light he could work with.

Uncle Nic thinks he is a labrador.  I know he is a labrador in human form.  He WILL wake for food.  After all, he does have a tummy that has a name and is still pending its own Facebook page.

So by Uncle Nic's insistence, I donned on his labrador uniform and pretend I would wake for food.

Okay okay, who am I kidding?
I have even mastered the art of drooling from my nose.
OF COURSE I WILL WAKE FOR FOOD.


Pretending to be lying down and resting....
Hello! Yes!  I "will wake for food" thank you very much.





Afternoon and Me thinks.... It Was Actually Frodo's Birthday


It turned out to be a very hot day.
Scorching hot.

The humans got into a lazy discussion about whether we should get out to explore the vicinity.  But everyone, including us dogs, concurred that it was way too hot and the best thing to do?

SOAK IN THE POOL... AGAIN!

Then perhaps after the swim at early evening, if the weather behaves a little better, we could go explore that gorgeous grass stretch at the back.

Surely that's what a swimcation is all about.

Just be lazy, lounge around and keep swimming!

Heaven.

Frodo had the honour of wearing the Action Cam instead....
Frodo can self-entertain very well.  He epitomized the meaning of 'Dog of Leisure' very well.  He is otherwise known as the Yuppie Dog.
So Frodo insisted that it's his birthday not mine.
I may be 10 years old but I still enjoy my swims thank you very much.
To more swims and beyond!


By this point of the staycation, the humans and I had a "serious" discussion about whether it was actually my birthday or Frodo's birthday.

You see, Birthday Fairy, Frodo had already figured out how to entertain himself.  Nope.  He did not need no humans to throw toys or entertain him.  He would happily run round the pool, plunge in and swim on his own!  He certainly looked more like the birthday boy than I did.

Frodo's Mister Universe physique allows him more freedom in movements and care less attitude in his actions which makes him highly favourable for the camera.


And as usual, the cameras favoured Frodo.  When mummy went through the Action Cam handheld footages taken by daddy and still images taken by Uncle Nic, she glared at them and mumbled, "It's all Frodo."

Daddy retorted, "Not my fault!  He keeps coming to the camera!"

Uncle Nic just gave mummy a smirk.

Derp-face does have camera appeal, that I cannot deny.
As long as derp-face is happy, I'm happy.

After our afternoon swim, we did go explore the greens a little but it did not last very long though.  It was still scorching hot.  We did a quick run and returned back to get ready for dinner.  I saw mummy packing our food bowls into her bag and I had no idea why.....

Enjoying the greens despite the scorching sun.
I may not move as well as Frodo but I still have my own moves.  Me think.... me still look quite good!  What do you think?





Of Handlebar and My Very Own "Flapper Birthday Burger"


The Sony Action Cam FDR-X3000R did not disappoint.  These recordings under low-light condition turned out much better than expected.  And how amazing is it to be able to capture my wonderful experience at Handlebar with all those cuties interacting with me/us?


I must declare.

This visit to Handlebar at Gillman Barracks was the best experience for blondie me in my life time.  When we arrived at Handlebar, I thought it was going to be yet another boring time at some cafe/restaurant/eatery/bistro where I just lay down and wait for the human to eat finish.

But to my surprise, the patrons at Handlebar were very welcoming to all 3 of us - Frodo, Pebbles and me.  The little ones came to touch us, hug us.... no annoying screeches because Frodo and I are big dogs. The big ones (otherwise known as adults) also came to interact and us.... and were fascinated with the Action Cam strapped to my back.

In the midst of all that touching and hugging, I could see mummy discussing something with this lady.  I had no idea what was happening.  I thought mummy was just being friendly and chatting with her.

 As I am typing this section about Handlebar, I can hear mummy shouting at me, "Flapper, don't forget to tell Birthday Fairy how yummy the human steaks were.... and that to-die-for onion strips thing!"

Yes mum!
I hear you!
You don't have to shout.

So yes, Birthday Fairy, I HAVE TO tell you (by mummy's insistence) how much she loved her steak and that onion strip thing called dunno-what-blossom - I think.  I also have to tell you something.  Even though daddy and Uncle Nic insisted that mummy's burger was the first thing they ordered, I know they forgot to order.  Poor mummy watched the two men gobble their steak as she waited for her burger-that-never-came.  And after enquiring and realizing that her order was not placed, she decided on having the steak instead.

Mummy, like me, is a carnivore.
Feed her a good steak or burger and she is happy.

After the hungry humans ravished their steaks,  I heard mummy tell that lovely lady that she is ready.

Ready for what?

I still did not know what was going on!

Mummy and Uncle Nic were busy discussing about where to place the table, what table to use, where to place the camera etc.

Then out came this beauty.

My very own Flapper Birthday Burger!

I sniffed the burger.
I knew it was for me.

Mummy asked for a candle. She brought me to that little table and positioned me behind it.  The candle came.  Mummy stuck it on and lighted it.

I could hear voices exclaiming, "It's the dog's birthday?"

Mummy smiled sheepishly and replied, "Yes."

One of the patrons, "Burger!  Now that's what I call a dog's birthday!"

After posing for the camera, I saw these two little ones excitedly gathered near the table.  So mummy asked, "Would you like to sing Happy Birthday to him?"

They shouted, "YES!!!!!"

To my surprise, not only the little ones sang to me, EVERYONE sang along!

I was so touched and happy.

Never before did I have so many strangers singing Happy Birthday to me!

Me!
A mere dog.

I felt very very special.

After the birthday song was sung, that absolutely adorable little kid hurriedly came forward to blow the candle for me!  I'm not complaining.  I have no idea how to blow my own candle!  The crowd erupted in laughters as his elder brother broke out with a dramatic, "NNNNnnnnooooooo!!!!!!!".

Mummy quickly took the burger away and just as quickly, I followed her.

Heeelllooooo Burger!
Say hi to my stomach!

Mummy whipped out our doggie bowls, took the extra doggie burger and distributed for Frodo, Pebbles and me.

Boy oh boy! Burger! My birthday could not get any more special... or could it?

After feasting on our burgers, it was time to go.

Hearsay.... there was night swim coming up.


This was the nice lady who organised and helped put together my special burger!  This lovely lady is called Jan.  Thank you for letting Frodo, Pebbles and me to be there at Handlebar Gillman Barracks... and for making my birthday wish come true!

I would also like to say special thanks to Craig, whom I have not met, for answering mummy's enquiry, spontaneously agreeing to letting me have this special birthday surprise and organising with Jan to make my birthday wish come true.








Night Swimming





Armed with my brand spankin' new Action Cam and the swimming pool all to ourselves, one thing mummy knew - we HAVE TO complete a night swim.

I have only done night swimming once in my life.  That was once upon a time a beach barbeque.  Mummy always wished we could go diving together but erm well, Frodo and I can't dive.  We only swim.

However, with the stunning swimming pool, mummy was itching to try the Action Cam underwater... at night.  And what an awesome experience it would be for Frodo and I to experience night swimming!

It was initially planned for midnight swimming just because it sounded more exotic.  But after a day of swimming, running at the field and steak feast, the humans decided that 10 pm was a better idea than midnight.  Frodo and I certainly wouldn't complain about midnight swim.  But the humans were pretty knackered by then!

Frodo and I opened our eyes wide.
We looked at each other in disbelief.
More swimming?
Woohoo!!!
Come on swimming pool.
Come to doggies!
We are ever so ready for you!


Enjoying the pleasure of night swimming.   Can you see our party of fur in the water?  *guffaw*
I never realized how pink Frodo's nose is.
Thanks to the fabulous lights in the swimming pool, we managed to capture pretty spectacular underwater shots.
Frodo vs. me.
The spectacular new Action Cam FDR-X3000R underwater.





When we finally called it a day at around midnight, I quickly plonked myself to MY bed and crashed out like a pup.  Mummy was still busy transferring the footages from the camera to her laptop.  Daddy was also excited to see how the footages turned out.  Most of the underwater Action Cam footages from that day were pretty much taken by him.

#Notalcoholic mummy and Uncle Nic indulged in gin and tonic while enjoying the photos and video footages.  Uncle Nic was not impressed by the number of bottles of tonic water left in the fridge.

Gin and tonic, anyone?

Mummy was very tired but she was very happy.  This secret getaway turned out much better than what she could hope for.  After all, she thought this dream of a getaway was never going to happen.

I have to say, Birthday Fairy, Day 2 of secret getaway was really spectacular didn't it?

I went to bed a very contended and happy dog.  I did not even have the energy to think about what else mummy might have planned for Day 3.

Just trust mummy.

Good night Birthday Fairy.  Dreaming of my wonderful day of swimming.... and burger.






Photography by Uncle Nic of Furry Photos Pet Photography using Sony RX1004.





Video by Flapper & Flapper Mummy using Sony Action Cam FDR-X3000R

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