Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Finished At Last!

well just a few dabs of white,

and we are done, looking down from the top,

although it it difficult to see one of our neighbours will know that we have been painting, when their cat leaves a trail of black paw prints across their floor, the trouble is I did not know how to write 'wet paint' in cat, so back to us, a clear up tomorrow and we should all soon be back to normal,
after our evening meal we watched a couple of DVDs starring Tom Hanks, first Philadelphia, Andrew Beckett, a gay lawyer infected with AIDS, is fired from his conservative law firm in fear that they might contract AIDS from him, the story is in part true, the AIDs discrimination was inspired in part by Geoffrey Bowers' AIDS discrimination lawsuit, the courage and love of the Angius family and the struggles of the many others who, along with their loved ones, have experienced discrimination because of AIDS, also in the same box set Charlie Wilson's War, also a part true story, a drama based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects, made more chilling as so much of the film actually happened,

to round off the evening we started on Slient Witness series 3, An Academic Exercise, Sam is shaken when she has to look into the death of a very dear friend, Dr. Annabelle Evans, a Cambridge professor, but her wheelchair bound mentor seems always to be one step ahead, how? with that we were off to bed.

Another Aston Martin,

up for auction,

but this DB5 comes with a bit of Beatles history as it was once ordered and owned by as he was then Paul McCartney, he ordered the dark blue sports car in 1964 on the eve of the bands world tour and had it fitted with a black leather interior, Motorola radio and its very own record player, Peter Wallman, who will be co-running the bidding for RM Auctions, said the fame of both the car and the owner made it a particularly special item, Mr Wallman said: 'the Aston Martin DB5 is one of the most iconic cars in the world, driven by James Bond, and we’re talking about one of the most iconic super groups of the 1960s, We’ve sold a couple of cars owned by Steve McQueen which have sold for eight, nine, 10 times what they would be worth if they were just regular cars',

so if you are interested in the DB5 or want to look at any of the other cars in the RM Auction in Battersea Park, London here is the catalog, by the way bring a cheque book or a suitcase full of cash, some of the other cars up for grabs include a 1998 Ferrari F300 Formula One racing car used by Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine, not to mention a 955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Alloy Gullwing, one of only 29 ever produced, it is expected to fetch between £2.7million and £3million, and the DB5? more than £300,000 is expected.

Could This Be The Beginning,

of a bright new future?

as Energy Minister John Hayes says 'enough is enough’ when speaking of onshore wind farms, I have always maintained that wind farms are a hugely expensive waste of space, just look at the 27-year-old Kamaoa Wind Farm sat on arguably the windiest island in the world, Hawaii, total failure,

He said existing sites and those in the pipeline would be enough to meet green commitments with no need for more, ‘even if a minority of what’s in the system is built we are going to reach our 2020 target, I’m saying enough is enough,’ common sense at last, naturally the greenies and treehuggers known as I believe the Liberal Democrats will moan and wail, but then they are not paying the huge subsidies that wind farm owners collect, speaking of which in a shift in Government policy, ministers announced this summer that the subsidy for onshore wind power generation would be cut by 10 per cent this year,

all of which will delight 100-plus fellow Tory MPs who have urged David Cameron to take a more skeptical approach to onshore wind power, well I hate to say 'I told you so' but I told you so here!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Monday And On With The Painting,

still the good news is that there is not much to do now,

 the security window grills now finished,

 we started on the outside handrails and stairs,

 handrails done,

 then on to the top treads,

 and the ones before the landing,

 nearly all done, one more day and we should be finished for another few years!

 after our evening meal we watched In the Heat of the Night, great film from all concerned, although now dated it is one of those films that if you have not seen it you have missed a good one,

Life of Brian, you either love it or hate it, we both love it, so many great little scenes and conversations, such as,

Reg: What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies, when he can't have babies?
Francis: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
Reg: It's symbolic of his struggle against reality

or perhaps,

Reg: All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
Attendee: Brought peace?
Reg: Oh, peace - shut up!

another film that for us is just as funny to watch the second or even third time again,

we rounded off the evening by finishing series 2 of Silent Witness, Cease Upon the Midnight, two people have been killed but by an expert who leaves little trace, both are considered to be 'mercy killings' but will the killer pay the price? then for us we were off to bed.

How Strange Is This?

just last night we were watching Top Gear,

the guest in the show was Ronnie Wood and who should be in the news today? Ronnie Wood, it appears that memorabilia and artwork provided by Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood and his ex-wife was sold in a two-day auction on Sunday, among the items were a white leather coat worn by Wood that sold for $8,960, and a lithograph of Eric Clapton drawn by Wood that features his signature as well as Clapton's that fetched $5,120, despite being made of cardboard, a guitar cutout gifted to Wood by Keith Richards sold for $6,875, the real thing commanded almost nine times that price, with a 1955 Fender Stratocaster guitar often played on stage by Wood bringing in $60,800,

part of the proceeds from the auction will go to MusiCares, the Grammy Awards charity that offers help to people in the music industry with finance and addiction, but for us how strange that we watched him one evening then in a completely different context we saw him in the news the next day, cue the music for Twilight Zone!

This Post Is For Diana,

she likes chocolate so much,

and where are these youngsters trying some chocolate? at the 2012 International Chocolatiers and Chocolate Fair in Geneva, Switzerland, there were tastings, conferences, a kids’ zone dedicated to young chocolate lovers and many other chocolate inspired surprises, now here is a bit of trivia, every second, 95 tonnes of chocolate are wolfed down around the world, or three million tonnes a year, but of course we have missed the Geneva show, so we must be quick to arrive at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris, from Wednesday, October 31 2012 to Sunday, November 4,

but in a double whammy for me at this event there will be a number of dresses made of chocolate in the the famous Chocolate Dresses Fashion Show, so for Diana chocolate and a dress all in one! lights, tickets, cameras, action and away we go!

With My Fear Of Heights,

this is a job I would let pass me by,

an everyday job for construction workers on the south side of the Yangtze River would leave me clinging to the nearest thing that did not move, eyes shut tight, but for these engineers working more than 270 meters (885ft) high in Tongling city, East China's Anhui it looks like a stroll in the park, the men are working on one of 1,421 electricity pylons that will stretch from Huainan, Anhui province to Shanghai, some 268 miles, in case you are wondering the pylon is the equivalent height of a 90-storey building, the tallest UK's pylons are a mere 164ft, I do not know how much they are paid, but for me I could not think of a figure with enough zero's behind it to get me up there!

Monday, 29 October 2012

The Time Just Flies Past,

it is Sunday again already!

 so we are off to Soi Diana for our Sunday lunch today,

 the Robin's Nest is calling us, it is at the end of Soi Diana near Soi Bukaow,

 there is inside and outdoor seating,

 we all went with the Sunday carvery, 249 baht all you can eat, soup, main course and ice cream dessert,

 gammon ham and pork for Diana,


 Mr. Tony decided on a blueberry slushy,

 Diana drank a coke zero, whilst for me I stuck with the medicinal red wine, for dessert we all had the ice cream,

 a triple mix for myself,

 the blueberry slushy was so nice Mr. Tony just had to have another one,

 I went with a coffee latte, then home feet up to watch a few late Sunday afternoon/early evening DVDs,

in the evening Diana made a few pieces of finger food, also a plate of fresh fruit to nibble on,

'Cheers!', from all of us,

 we watched firstly Evolution, a meteorite falls to Earth which contains life, but not as we know it, two college professors and two students must battle the army and the aliens to save us all, great fun with surprisingly good special effects,

then in a much more chilling film who has taken over Ghost Ship? it was found adrift in the Bering Sea, lost since 1962, is everyone what they seem to be?

to calm our racing heartbeats a series of comedies was next the 6 episode Police Squad! paving the way for the Airplane series all of these have so many gags in them it was difficult at times to see and hear them all, great fun,

we rounded the evening off on a slightly more serious note with one more from Judge John Deed series 5, it was then time to say our goodbyes to Mr. Tony, for us we were off to bed.

With Halloween Just Around The Corner,

here's an idea for a bit of a thrill,

a ghost tour around Hampton Court, with over 500 years of dramatic and sometimes violent history a after normal public hours visit can be shared with the palace Warders, they will lead you to some of the places where mysterious tales reveal themselves, for over 170 years, they have been in a unique position to collect ghostly stories from visitors and staff alike which they will share with you on this unique tour, so for £25.00 per person you can embark on a 90 minute tour that I am guessing very few other people have been on, have a look at the site for other dates, the first is 31st. October, scary dairy!

Here's One I Missed,

not quiet so frightening, a cat show in Zagreb, Croatia,

if Devon Rex's like the one above are your favourites you are too late for this years show in Zagreb, the World Cat Show, so put the date in your diary for next year,

or if you fancy something a little more Asian like this Bengal cat, this is the place to be, pity the mice in Zagreb over the past week or so!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

We Know It Is Not Yet Halloween,

but as it was Saturday we decided to hit the town,

so a 'Happy Hallowen' to everyone, but back to the morning, straight on with the post as there is a lot of pictures,

first thing and we were painting again,
the security grill around the water meter,
inside and out,

just in case,

then we were off with friends to the National Stadium on Soi Chaiyapruk,
we were going there for a National sale and authentication of Thai amulets, these are made by many temples and are worn on a chain, they have different properties bestowed upon them such as life safety, invincibility, good luck, wealth, fortune, attractiveness, evil protection, but before we went inside I noticed there was a band, the outside is also used as a training ground for marching bands,

also outside there were a number of food stalls,

once inside I was amazed at the number of stalls,
the hall itself was big enough for almost any indoor sports to be played,
so we started our walk around,

every stall had many different types of amulets on display for sale, some in metal but most made of clay,
this was the sign behind the main viewing area,
in the front of it a group of experts photographing and authenticating amulets,
as I mentioned before the hall was huge, we arrived in the early afternoon, by then a number of stall holders had already left, but there was still so much to look at,

table after table with different amulets,

as I mentioned by now many had left,

one thing I had expected to see here was some examples of Thai 'bullet' money, but I did not see one example of them like the ones above, in 1857, England's Queen Victoria became aware of the coin shortage in Thailand and sent King Rama IV a coining machine as a gift, this was used to produce the first machine-made Thai coins, until then Mexican coins were especially popular for international use because Mexico was the biggest silver producer in the world, bullet coins continued in use for many years, and were finally withdrawn from circulation in October 1904, it just seemed strange that there were none on display here,

we then went outside for a drink, like some of theses novice monks,

Diana with an ice coffee, if you look closely you will see a battery powered flapping bird just behind her,

then after looking at the amulet exhibition and sale our nest stop was the Saturday/Wednesday market in Soi Khao Talo, if you go towards Sumkivitt on Thepprisitt Road turn left at the lights then right at the next set, over the railway line and it is about a mile along on the right hand side,

like most markets there is always a household goods section,

but mainly the stalls sell food,

both prepared,

and fresh, now when I go out on a boat fishing why do I not catch fish as big as these?

as I am eating more salads it was nice to find some small radishes,

as well as peppers,

and tomatoes,

we also found some nice fresh garden peas to nibble on,

lots of grapes too,

and some nice fresh lemons,

did I mention there were clothes stalls there as well?

some cooked bamboo shoots,

although people do not seem to use it much nowadays this is betel nut and the leaves you wrap it in to chew it, I tried it once and was completely unimpressed by it,

there was plenty of dried fish on display as well,

these it appears at just 25 baht a bundle,

we then called in to see Juu, Diana just loves the play animals,

but she is a bit too big for a ride!

meanwhile I was looking at the fish,

they are getting huge,

this is their food, twice a day,

one splash and it is gone!

then as the moon came up,

it was glad rags on and we were off to town,

we walked along Second Road to Soi Diamond,

and into Walking Street,

past the neon signs, it was still before 07.00 in the evening so cars and mobile stalls are still in the street,

under the Samsung television,

to Pattaya Beer Garden, this is the view along the bay from the walkway to it,

 their card,

and map,

each table has a small light, but a torch is provided to read the menu,

out in the bay one of the floating restaurants,

the view along the other side of the bay with me in the way of it,

Diana decided on a margarita,

whilst I settled on a beer, we also ordered a plate of Thai starters,

we both liked the way the fish came wrapped,

time for another beer,

we then ordered some chicken strips, we both thought that there would be a couple of thin pieces of chicken as finger food, but there was so much of it,

that I just had to have another beer!

the moon was now in view over the bay,

then margarita finished,

Diana decided to get into Halloween spirit and order a Zombie,

and nice it was too,

then before I knew it I was out of beer again so Diana helped me,

our main course then arrived, garlic cooked prawns for Diana, curried chicken and rice for me,

we were by now completely full so it was then time for our walk around town,

a group of party goers in the Halloween mood,

it also appeared that there was a Halloween party going on at the Cavern,

we walked along the street past the big tree,

lots of neon lights as we then started on our way back,

I must admit I thought there would be many more people dressed up for Halloween, but we still had a great Halloween evening, so then home,

and feet up for another episode of Silent Witness, then from us,

'Happy Halloween!' for us we were off to bed.