You’ll know, if you’ve read these pages before, that I am blessed with that most wonderful of things, a patient and understanding wife…..The fact that she combines these qualities with razor sharp wit, deep sensitivity, an I.Q almost as high as my own, kitchen skills, all her own teeth and the bottom of a eighteen year old, is in some ways almost too good to be true…..It’s like being married to an amalgam of Gandhi, Hawking, Jamie Oliver, Ken Dodd and Miley Cyrus.

I’m a lucky man!

However, just occasionally a cloud forms on the Shpics marital horizon.

When I told her that there was a particular waterfall that I wanted to photograph some three hours inland, and that I had found a hotel in the vicinity that would allow us to rest after the bus journey, (only three changes), and then find a driver with the necessary 4X4 to make the 15 km off road trip in time for first light the next morning, I should have probably realised that her asking ‘Do they have a spa?’ might well have given me pause….

Given that I’d actually seen a photo of the establishment, this was a mistake

And…. I’m now convinced that my shrug and non-committal ‘I’m not really sure’ was the point when those first drops of moisture started to think ‘Cloud’…..



In all fairness, her observation on arrival was reasonably restrained……

‘No fuckin’ spa then?’

Thank god that the Maître D, (pictured), sorted us out with cold beers, a huge plate of samosas, white pea masala and more roti than you can shake a stick at, rather than the usual tepid ‘welcome’ fruit juice.

Thankfully, nine times out of ten, she will forego a spa when she has lager-breath and a full stomach!

Consequently, the only things I had left to worry about were convincing her that the toilet was supposed to look like that, that if we drank enough vodka we wouldn’t need a mosquito net, (‘Honestly sweetheart, mosquitos hate vodka’), and that she could get a good four hours sleep before I needed to wake her, shove her into the back of a thirty year old jeep, make four river crossings and a final 4km trek through a landscape famed for a proliferation of funnel web spiders in time for dawn at a waterfall that someone had mentioned ‘Might be worth a quick look’….

Could this finally be the time when I had gone, just that teensy weensy bit too far?

All images Copyright Stuart Allan Hyde.

  1. tanya

    haha,we will have to wait to see the results won’t we??? your adoring public will decide the penance if they are rubbish shots.
    champneys anybody?????


      1. Stuart Hyde - shpics

        Never…even in the wildest of my Lemony fantasies, (and there are a few of those), did I have you pegged as a ‘Gamer’……!!!??**!!???
        I see you draped in diaphanous vintage clothing, elegantly ensconced on a chaise longue, sipping something pale and chilled while you delicately pick out softly trembling melodies on a golden filigree lyre..
        (obviously, fantasy-wise this is a bit of a steam-free prologue, but you get my drift)….
        BUT..A GAMER ??!!!????!!!
        Please, Please don’t tell me anymore, It’s like hearing Botticellis Venus has her own bowling shirt.

  2. scillagrace

    Steve took a look and said, “Don’t like the plastic chairs, otherwise, it’s perfect!” He’s always maintained that India will be the last place he travels to…because he would never want to leave and would die happily there.


  3. Beth Walsh's Photoblog

    Very funny… Yep the spa comment should have been a clue.
    You are a lucky guy, your wife is a saint and she has a great way with words. 🙂 Looking forward to the results of this little adventure and I’m sure you are going to make this up to her, right? 🙂


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