It is that time of the year again when one looks back and reflects on the year that was 2011. I have not blogged as much as I would have liked too, because I have been busy with two new websites mynokian900.com & mysgs2.com, not to mention helping the folks with their website wilkinsonsworld.com. That is not to say the Bowens didn’t get up to mischief this year, far from it and so in one last post for the year I hope to highlight a few memorable occasions.

blankIn February I created mynokian900.com website in the hope that I could share my passion for this awesome Smartphone. I spent many hours updating, blogging, reviewing software and applications and the site has been growing ever since with thousands of followers from around the world actively commenting, posting requests and questions regarding the Nokia N900.

Heaver Castle, Kent

In March we visited Hever Castle, which is located in the village of Hever near Edenbridge, Kent, 30 miles south-east of London. It began as a country house, built in the 13th century. From 1462 to 1539 it was the seat of the Boleyn, originally ‘Bullen’, family. If you know your English history then you will know Anne Boleyn, the second queen consort of King Henry VIII of England, spent her early youth there, after her father, Thomas Boleyn had inherited it in 1505. (source Wikipedia).

Jamaica – Our 10 year wedding anniversary

On the 1st of May, we spent our 10 year anniversary in Jamaica at The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton resort and spa. This was the 3rd time we had been to the Caribbean, having been to the Dominican Republic in 2003 and Mexico in 2008. It was an awesome holiday. The weather was fantastic, the sea was warm. We got to laze around the pools and on the beaches in five star luxury, relaxed at the spa, sailed in the bay, cruised on a catamaran, snorkeled in the crystal clear sea over the coral reef, climbed the famous cascading Dunn’s waterfall. We drove 4×4 buggies into the hills and just relaxed. It was a very fitting way to spend our 10 year annivesary.

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Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park

In June we went to the Hard Rock Calling and this year the line up comprised of the Kaiser Chiefs, James, and the Killers. It was a very wet affair as it rained throughout the afternoon and into the evening.

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Go Ape Leeds Castle, Kent

We have completed enough courses in Go Ape to have shares in the company 😉 Andrew and Keri were in town so we braved the Leeds Castle forest of high wire, zip lines and tree top ladders. It was very enjoyable indeed. Highly recommended if you have a fear of heights.

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Royal Ascot

This was the first year Jo and I had been to Ascot. It was an awesome experience. We mixed it up with the riff raff in the silver ring (thanks James). We had a perfect view of the race course, the Royals in their carriages, the horses and the big dark clouds that rolled in on a number of occassions with little mercy, but it did not dampen the spirits. In fact I think the Pimms and beer went down really well.

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Discovering Kent

Jo and I discovered Kent this year partly because I started training for the Camino, which I will come back to. We bought a book on ‘Walking in Kent’ and started walking the foot paths across farms, apple & pear orchards, moors and the Kent Downs. We got to see all sorts of facinating things, but one of the highlights was seeing a Vipera Berus or Adder / Viper. You can read all about it in my previous post.

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MySGS2.com

blankIn August I decided to upgrade my Smartphone from Nokia to the Samsung Galaxy S II. I had experienced Android on my N900 so moving to the SGS2 was easy. It’s a great Smartphone, but sadly this meant I couldn’t continue with myNokiaN900.com website if I was spending all my time on my new device. After a month of using the SGS2 I decided to build a mobile website and so mySGS2.com was born. It is very early days but the site is coming a long nicely.

Amsterdam

In early September James, Paul, Andrew and I spent the weekend in Amsterdam. It was an awesome weekend but what happened in Amsterdam stayed in Amsterdam 😉

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The Camino de Burgos

In late September I joined my Mom on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, also known in English as The Way of St James, which are a collection of old pilgrimage routes which cover all of Europe. They all have Santiago de Compostela in north west Spain as their final destination. The main Camino route is the Camino Frances. This part of the Camino de Santiago traditionally starts in St Jean Pied de Port and finishes in Santiago de Compostela about 780km later.

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 Cape Town – Stutterheim

Jo flew to South Africa in October to spend time with her family. Her sister is in Cape Town and her Mom is in Stutterheim, so great distances were travelled. Since I had been in Spain for the greater part of three weeks, it was only fitting that I stay home and look after the cats 😉

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It has been another great year, one which we will remember for a very long time.

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Next year we have the Olympics in London to look forward too and then the countdown to the 21st of December 2012 – apparently this is when the world will end. 🙂

Happy 2012 everyone.

Mike & Jo