Monday, 31 May 2010

Today Over To See Nick And Maureen,

for the afternoon and evening,
Diana I think wants driving lessons,
today she has on one of her Indian style outfits, including shoes
and earrings,
it was so hot I just had to have a dip in the pool, ah! that's better!
meanwhile Diana was feasting on chocolate biscuits from the UK,
beer for Nick and Maureen, red wine for me, 'Cheers!',
Ta-Taa, had to have an operation on her ear, two operations in fact, the good news is that she is well on the road to recovery, the collar will be removed in a couple of days time,
the coconuts over the pool are beginning to ripen,
ugh! what is that? Diana took a picture of my one and only tattoo, half a butterfly, I did not have enough money for a whole one! that was back in 1985,
Diana decided not to have a swim,
it was too hot in the sun for Ta-Taa,
then for our evening meal bangers and mash, delicious,
and for dessert Diana with a chocolate corneto,
whilst for us cheese, biscuits, beetroot and celery,
after dinner we were talking about being cold, Nick and Maureen had just returned from the UK, the first week of their holiday it was quite chilly, so Diana had to try Nicks leather jacket on,
on the inside of it was a map of the Far East, we then settled down to watch a few movies, have a few more glasses of wine, all the time chatting about Thailand and the UK, then off to bed.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Our Last Saturday Get Together,

yes the last one, we have had friends call round every Saturday for over a year now, we have had some great times, but even though everyone brought food and drink with them it still meant a significant financial weekly out going for us, which with today's economic climate we can no longer afford to do, so many thanks to every one that called in over the past year, we have all had such fun times, but on to the last one, of course Mr. Tony was here,
along with Mark, and Big Jim, Mark as usual carved the chicken, Mike and Riza also called in,
for the evenings meal Diana had cooked mince beef with mashed potatoes, peas and carrots,
Mike looking serious, we were talking about the different qualities of stainless steel, made with iron, chrome and nickle and the associated problems of welding it, primarily using argon instead of air so it does not corrode in the welding process called Tig Welding or GTAW - Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, it was a pity Phil was not here as metallurgy is also his field of expertise,
we had finished the food when Chanel and Eric called in,
as it was our last Saturday Big Jim came prepared with bottles of vodka, gin and tequila,
oh no! another empty bottle! but Big Jim was helped in emptying it by Chanel and Eric, all to soon it was time for our friends to leave, so Diana and myself settled down to watch The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Red Circle, a nervous landlady brings a mysterious boarder to Holmes' attention, leading to a secret society and the efforts of a young couple to escape their past, we are getting near to the end of the series, the actor playing Holmes Jeremy Brett was in fact dying, his appearance in these later episodes could not be disguised, the effects of the life saving drugs he was taking plain to see,
his death at the age of 61 was the result of cardiomyopathy (heart failure), Brett's heart valves were permanently scarred by rheumatic fever, which he suffered as a teenager, medication later prescribed for his bipolar disorder, and his longtime smoking habit, also weakened his heart, Brett would often buy three packets of cigarettes in the morning, and smoke them all during the course of the day, which of course did not help his already failing health,
once again a sincere thank you to all of our friends over the year for bringing such good health and cheer to our Saturday gatherings, then off to bed.

One Of The Many Things That I Love About The UK,

was the sight and sound of Concorde going past every afternoon as it prepared to land at Heathrow, hopefully a Concorde will be in the air once more as a partnership between the British Save Concorde Group, SCG, and a French group Olympus 593 looks at testing the engines of one of the remaining fleet, with the long term view of returning it to the skies,
one long-term ambition is to try and get Concorde airborne to feature in the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, for me Concorde was so far ahead of its time, it was a shame that events took their toll on the fleet, but if £15 million can be found we might see one flying again.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

We Had A Quiet Day Today,

just a small breakfast, we watched a bit of TV, then keeping or at least trying to keep to my diet, Diana made a prawn salad for our evening meal, we went to Friendship during the day to try and buy some low calorie mayonnaise but no luck, so now the portions of mayonnaise have got even smaller,
then off to the weekend evening market in Thepprisit,
the light stall looked nice, a close up of some of the lights on display,
the end of a row of stalls setting up,
I then went down to the pet/fish/flower row of stalls, but it was a bit of bad news, the stall where I normally take a picture or two of flowers, mostly orchids had gone, in its place a stall selling cages for pets, also if you look carefully the two stalls past this one are closed, a sign of the economic times,
looking back towards the flower stall,
opposite the bar a clothes sale, it appears everything was just 59 baht,
Diana just arriving back from her first shopping horay,
and the second foray finished, fresh fruit for latter,
whilst sitting there watching the world go by John called by to say Hi,
it was a Buddha day so no alcohol could be sold, so green tea, which tasted suspiciously like beer,
then home to and feet up to watch The Fifth Element, in the colorful future, a cab driver unwittingly becomes the central figure in the search for a legendary cosmic weapon to keep Evil and Mr Zorg at bay, a great science fiction adventure, in the trivia department the explosion in the Fhloston main hall was the largest indoor explosion ever filmed, the resulting fire almost got beyond control,
next a big film about a big country, called, you guessed it! The Big Country, a New Englander arrives in the Old West, where he becomes embroiled in a feud between two families over a valuable patch of land, although Gregory Peck was the star (this was the only film he ever appeared in with his three sons), for me the star of the show was Burl Ives, my first childhood memories of him was him singing in the Uncle Max radio show from 8 till 9 on a Saturday morning, I guess I was about 5 or maybe 6 years old, the song? Big Rock Candy Mountain, a song about a hobos dream land, great lyrics,
In the Big Rock Candy Mountain
The cops have wooden legs
The bulldogs all have rubber teeth
And the hens lay soft-boiled eggs
Oh the buzzin' of the bees
In the cigarette trees
Near the soda water fountain
At the lemonade springs
Where the bluebird sings
On the big rock candy mountain
the song was first recorded in 1928 by Harry McClintock, its a Hobo song, the word Hobo I have been told stands for Helping Our Brothers Out, first coined in America's Great Depression, then to bed.

Why Are Some People Born In England Ashamed Of It?

I must admit I am not into sports, but with the world cup just around the corner I see no harm in nailing your colours to the mast to show some support for our lads, but Taxi drivers in Kent have been warned by Canterbury City Council that they could have their licences suspended if they fly the St George’s Cross, in Kent, licensing chief Roger Vick denied being a killjoy, He said, ‘We are not being killjoys, there is a degree of health and safety here as well,' planet earth to Roger Vick, planet earth to Roger Vick, you are being a pompous killjoy and I hope voters remember you for being so totally unpatriotic next time round!
binmen in Merseyside, working for private contract firm Enterprise-Liverpool, have also been banned from putting badges and stickers inside their trucks, bosses said they were concerned that the items could block drivers' views, but workers are furious at the decision, one said: ‘We are all football fans and we all cannot wait for the World Cup, the drivers in Liverpool were ordered to sign contracts forbidding the St George’s Cross due to apparent ‘health and safety’ risks,
that it should come to this, having to sign a contract not to fly the flag, what other country would sack their staff for being patriotic? only in England, an absolute disgrace.

Snuff Bottle Up Date,

they have finally come to auction, the George and Mary Bloch collection of snuff bottles went under the hammer, this little beauty going for 9,280,000 Hong Kong dollars — £821,383 the entire collection of 140 bottles, made £5.8million — smashing the pre-sale estimate of £1.8million. I first featured these bottles on the blog some time ago here, but if you do not want to follow the link basically Mr Bloch was a German Jew, born in Vienna, and educated in England whose family fled Austria for China in 1938, in fear of persecution from the Nazis, and he settled in Shanghai, it was there he and his wife started collecting the bottles, the bottles, which range between one and four inches high and date mainly from the 17th and 18th centuries, come with small spoons, snuff became popular in China during the early 17th century and because of the warm climate it was kept in air tight bottles — unlike in Britain where boxes were suitable, now why did my family not think of collecting them?

Friday, 28 May 2010

Fishing Today,

so first stop, some bait, I parked the bike at the back of the market and walked through the dried fish/squid section,
past the butchers and bar-b-q stalls,
to the seafood part of the market, to buy a kilo of squid for bait,
then I picked Mick up in the truck and we were off to the boat yard,
the tractor pushed us out to sea,
and we were away, our first stop was the small island you can see it to the right as you look out to sea from Pattaya Beach, it has a lighthouse on the top of it, I took a few pictures of it, but, as I was transferring them to my computer the battery in the camera gave out, so I lost the 4 or 5 shots that I took there, fishing wise it was slow, not a bite, so it was anchors away!
and we sped across the bay to The Sanctuary Of Truth, the building is over 100 meters tall, it is at Rachvate Cape, Tumbon Naklea, Amphur Banglamung, the good news is that not many people have shots of it like this from the seaward side,
it is entirely made of wood, allegedly there is not a single nail in its construction,
the decorations consists of thousands of carved wooden sculptures, every gable is decorated, it was in construction when I first came out here in 1982, work is still going on even today, we tried our luck again there, but nothing for the pot, so a quick sprint along the bay, then disaster struck, we had run out of beer!
so we started moving closer to the shore, past the beaches in front of the hotels,
until we came to the parts of the beach with umbrellas on,
we anchored up,
then Mick went on a mission of mercy before we both became too dehydrated,
and in a total coincidence a guy that was in the same mini bus as Mick yesterday when he did his visa run was on the beach,
mercy operation a success!
'Cheers!' even though we had a fish less day it was so pleasant sitting in the boat having a chat and a drink,
mission of mercy part two, we ran out of beer - again!
where are the floating 7 - 11's when you need them? they are everywhere else! but Mick being a first rate Captain came to the rescue yet again,
this was the box we were going to put the fish in that we caught,
score so far fish 0, beers 8,
then home to the boat yard,
a quick blip on the throttle to put the boat on the trailer then park it up,
but it is not all over yet, Mick is very proud of his boat and always washes the salt off with fresh water,
whilst he was doing that I had a stroll around the boat yard,
Mick multi tasking,
a very sun burnt me with the towel Diana had bought for me for when we go fishing,
then cover off of the engine, WD 40 sprayed to repel any water plus an application of grease to the steering and throttle linkages,
then home for a pork chop and all of the trimmings, Diana was going to make a prawn salad, but reasoned I would be hungry after hauling all of those fish into the boat, well she was half right, I was hungry, but alas no fish!
then feet up to watch some DVD's, first The Bourne Identity,
followed by The Bourne Supremacy, I must admit I did not like either of them, but then I am sure I nodded off a couple of times, but I did become fully awake for The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Golden Pince-Nez, Sherlock Holmes and his brother Mycroft investigate the murder of an amanuensis who clutches a pince-nez and whose last words were, "The professor--it was she" then off to bed.