Thursday, 23 March 2017

As Usual My Day Started At 05.55,

the mornings are getting brighter now,

but I still needed the flash to take these pictures of the local cat that has adopted us, 

every morning she is here for her breakfast and is the mother of the black kitten that we used to feed, she is totally feral, this is about as near as I can get to her even after months of her having breakfast here, 

 then we were out to Makro, as usual 4 boxes of wine, 6 cases of soda, one of coke zero plus all of the other essentials that we needed,

 in the evening it was glad rags on, 

 we were out for a romantic dinner for two,

 for tonight we were at Magg's restaurant, it is located on Thepprasit Road just before the Thappraya Road junction,

  on to our starters,

Diana chose one of the specials, a baked rock lobster cooked in butter and garlic, served with a white wine sauce and showered with Parmesan cheese,

 for myself I stayed with the comprehensive menu,

 and chose the crispy duck with hoisin sauce salad with beansprouts,

we had telephoned and asked for the table by the fire, 'Cheers!',

on to our main courses, 

 for Diana, chicken wrapped in bacon,

the stacked potatoes like a wood pile were a nice touch,

 and for myself, 

 beef Wellington with saute potatoes,

 which was perfect, 

Valerie popped over to ask if everything was to our satisfaction which it most certainly was, we were full to bursting, 

 but after a very long break,

 we weaken and ordered profiteroles with ice cream, delicious! well the whole meal was, the food, service and ambience was 100% excellent,

we said goodbye to the other half of Magg's, John, who made us more than welcome,

 the sign says it all, what a fabulous meal and a huge choice from the menu plus two specials for both starters and main courses, we called a grab taxi and made our way home, where it was feet up for a nightcap and we were off to bed.

At First Glance,

this trailer looks like a reto camper trailer, 

but look closely, the roof of the trailer doubles as a 16 foot boat!

a 1954 Ford Courier with a matching Kom-Pak Sportsman Travel Trailer, the fibreglass trailer with fiberglass boat weighs approximately 1,180lbs, the trailer came with built-in work table, cabinets, 5.4 cubic foot ice refrigerator and 8.4 gallon water tank, what a neat idea for the outdoor types that like fishing, boating and camping.

Many Times When I See Aerial Pictures,

I think,

 well that was easy, just use a drone with a camera, but these pictures by Zack Seckler were taken the hard way,

 using an aircraft and a pilot, 

 which is not so easy, the pilot has to almost be a mind reader to allow Zack to take the perfect shot,

 his latest series of pictures took him 2,000 miles through South Africa, each picture shot from the passenger seat of a two-seater sport plane,

 “From elevations between 50 and 500 feet, the landscape hovers on the line between things looking very real and recognisable and being more abstract,” said Zack. “That’s what really draws me in—the line between reality and abstraction.”

Seckler’s aerial photographs will be exhibited in a solo show of his work titled Zack Seckler: South Africa at ClampArt in New York City opening April 13, You can see more of his work on his Instagram and Facebook pages,

and in this video you can see him at work, what unusual but stunning photographs.

I Had Never Really Thought About,

soap being black,

 until I saw this black welcome soap in the shape Tai, or sea bream in English, the fish has been caught and served in Japan for centuries, there are various theories why it’s considered to be a lucky fish like its bright red colour, or the fact that it lives a lot longer than typical fish, but the most commonly accepted theory is simply because of a pun: the word medetai (happy) ends in tai, Tamanohada is a 125-year old soap company that has occupied a factory space in Tokyo since their founding in 1892, they survived the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, and WW II,

 so they know a thing or two about making soap,
Tamanohada sources all the organic, raw ingredients for their soaps themselves so they’ve always had flexibility in the shapes and sizes of their soaps, but the actual inspiration for the tai welcome soap came from traditional wooden molds known as rakugan, or kashigata, Tai is a common motif and the company, somewhat on a whim, thought it would be fun to create soaps based on the symbol of good-luck, the Tamanohada Welcome Soaps are available in 3 scents: Red (Pomegranate), White (Lily Blossom) and Black (Brown sugar), and no I am not on commission, I had just never heard of black soap before!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

A Trip Out Today,

first stop,

the aquatic store, we were getting low on dried food for the fish,

next stop the Buddha at the top of Pattaya Hill,

bear in mind if you visit there is a dress code,

the view that so many of us who have been to Pattaya know,

at the base of the stairs two fearsome Naga snakes, one on each side,

also some deities and a bowl,

of water lettuce, (Pistia stratiotes),

the bodies of the Naga going from the bottom,

to the top of the stairs,

arriving at the top,

there is a courtyard,

where the main Buddha statue sits,

and offerings can be made,

naturally I had to have a pose,

and so did Diana,

in front of the statue a table where incense can be burnt and prayers made,

and gold leaf can be attached to some of the statues,

the view looking towards Jomtien, the Jomtien tower in the middle of the picture,

this is a new pavilion built since our last visit here,

as we made our way around the courtyard, a quick look inland,

around the courtyard there are Buddha images, one for each day of the week, the day of your birthday being the one that would represent you,

we started back down, past what I call the Avenue of Bells,

naturally I was taken as a tourist, so I bought the plate,

our next stop was to the Taoist temple, in the courtyard next door,

with it's fearsome dragons,

waiting to pounce,

we then made our way past one of the pools,

that on one side,

have statues,

of historical events like this one that depicts Chao Woo Wang raising an army to defect the last Emperor of the Yin Dynasty,

there are a number of Chinese temples and statues here,

like this scene depicting the birthday of Wongbo, (the Queen of Heaven),

below us another small park,

and to our right another Chinese temple,

then a number of pictures, 24 of them in fact depicting the story of the 24 Gratitudes,

here they are,

the next small park below us in a series of pools,

three dolphins leap from the middle,

we walked through the last courtyard,


and headed back,

admiring the views,

of the bay, now unfortunately blocked by this condominium, as they say, 'nothing stays the same forever', which is a shame as it was a nice view of the bay and city from here,

we continued our walk to the motorcycle and continued our ride up the hill to the radio station where we parked our motorcycle, on the right a cafe where we will be having a cool drink later,

and this is the radio station 104.75 FM,

and it's tower,

an advertisement for the Sanctuary of Truth,

and a nice view of the bay,

and the city,

we moved a little further along,

and found ourselves behind this building we have often seen on our trips to the island,

looking closely at it hardly any work seems to have been done to it for some time, by now I would have thought it would have been finished or pulled down, as in it's unfinished state it is a terrible eyesore for residents and tourists alike,

at the very top of the hill a monument to HRH AdmiralKrom Luang Jumborn Khet Udomsakdi, or Prince Abhakara Kiartiwongse, the 28th child of H.M. King Rama V, was born in December 1880 and passed away on 19 May 1923 at the young age of 44, His original name may not be familiar to many of us, but the mention any of His other names : Sadej Tia ("Royal Father") or Doctor Phon or Prince of Jumborn, will command deep respect from Thai people from navy officers to rural villagers, His early years were spent studying Naval Science in England, upon the completion of his education abroad, He returned to Siam to serve in the Royal Siamese Navy and contributed significantly to the advancement and modernisation of the navy, founding the naval base at Sattahip, in honour of his contributions, the Prince was proclaimed "The Father of Royal Thai Navy",

in many people's perception, Prince of Jumborn did not expire from this world, like other holy deities, He is still "around" listening to people's grievances and helping them achieve their desired goals and there is a steady steam of worshippers giving their respects to Him,

 by the side of the monument there is a place where firecrackers,

can be let off,

looking out to sea,

and below the courtyard,

there are some small statues of birds and animals,

and some Frangipani or Plumeria trees in flower,

time for a picture shoot,

the view here,

is unobstructed,

giving a nice view of the city and bay,

and as a bonus there are some,

Frangipani's flowering,

to add a splash of colour to pictures of the bay,

we made our way back past the radio station,

and Navy shop,

some clouds were rolling in over the bay,

as we looked down on to Bali Hai pier,

then it was time for a cool drink,

and some sweet bananas,

an ice coffee for myself,

and an ice tea for Diana,

the wonders of timers on cameras,

and a neat table made from a sewing machine base, in the afternoon Mark called by, after he left and our evening meal,

it was play time with the kittens,

we could not quite time it so that we could see Hogue's face,

but you can see Judge Judy behind him,

to round off the evening another couple from The Crown, which gets better with each episode, and with the midnight hour approaching we were off to bed.