Thursday, 31 March 2011

First Thing And Off To Carrefour,

another tray for one more of Diana's miniature gardens,
I arrived there just as they opened,
next stop just up the road to the plant stalls, we still needed some more chopped coconut to try to keep moisture in the soil,
the shrine next to the store,
another bonsai looking for a home,
3 more bags of coconut chips the tray from Carrfour and I am good to go!
after dropping all of the shopping off it was time for a late breakfast/early lunch, so as we have had a number of very nice meals there I decided to eat at the Punch & Judy,
also we had noticed that at the front of the pub there is a sign, 199 baht for burger, chips and a pint, what a way to start the day, 'Cheers!'
next for today, place the coconut chips on the soil, after putting the new tray next to the first one, I just hope after all of this the idea works!
next spread the coconut chips out evenly, only to realise we need another couple of bags to make the covering look even, should have taken the truck and bought the big bag in the first place!
Mark called round for a cup of tea or two, so we chatted the afternoon away, then away to the Royal Indian Hut for my evening meal,
a starter of the most delicious onion bhaji's I have eaten - anywhere,
followed by chicken tikka masala and rice,
after the meal I had a look at what the disturbance was on Second Road, it appears that some one is laying a cable along the road, they just finished as I arrived, the low loader waiting for a construction machine,
as it slowly trundled along the road,
up the ramp,
mission complete,
and the traffic can now flow in both directions again, then home feet up for the first of tonight's DVD's,
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, we have of course watched it before, but I did not want to watch any of our new DVDs till Diana returns, in case you have not seen it, the second in the series has Captain Jack Sparrow reminded he owes a debt to Davy Jones, who captains the flying Dutchman, a ghostly ship, with a crew from hell,
followed by The Silence of the Lambs, a young FBI agent Clarice Starling is assigned to help find a missing woman to save her from a psychopathic serial killer who skins his victims, thoroughly watchable, just a shame at the end she enters a situation that in real life would never happen without back up, then for me, off to bed.

I Almost Thought It Was April Fools Day When I Read This,

Ben Kinsey, 18 bought a ten-year-old Fiat Punto, after passing his driving test last December, the car cost him £350, OK I know he should of done his homework to see how much it would cost to insure, but before I tell have a think about how much you think the premium would be,

would you have thought Aviva's Insurance quote of £83,600 up front - or £91,625 if he paid in instalments was fair? Ben used a price comparison website to look for fully comprehensive quotes, he also received quotes from other companies, the cheapest quote fell - to £10,598, Ben said: 'the figures are almost laughable, my car will just have to collect dust,' I guess younger drivers do have more accidents then experienced ones, but at those prices is it any wonder that some drivers desperate to be mobile take to the roads with no insurance?

Aviva said: "there is clearly a glitch on the system and this quote is incorrect, a senior underwriter will contact Ben to see how we can help," the cheapest quote at £10,000+ a lot of companies must have glitches in their systems too! males aged 17 to 22 can expect to pay £2,750 on average for insurance, says the AA.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Just As We Were About To Go Out,

Diana found the bag of miniatures we bought yesterday,
so she had to install them,
another pink flamingo or two,
next stop over to see the boys and drop off the scissors we bought yesterday,
the hotel has a really nice shrine out side,
but the bad news news that we missed them as they had already left,
so we left the scissors at reception and then we were on our way to pick up some more coconut chips for the garden,
4 bags of chips,
and a small bonsai to go please!
having bought one in a bigger pot the day before, I could not resist this one, especially when the lady saw I was looking at it and reduced the price to 300 baht,
just a few bits of pruning to do,
then Grieg called by for a chat, we had not seen him at 388 for quiet a while so it was good to have chat without the music in the background,
his trusty steed,
then it was time for Diana to leave Thailand and return home for her sisters graduation and to visit her family, I will not tell you about the fact she had all day to get ready then as the taxi pulled away from our house we screeched to a halt as she said, 'wait, I have forgotten........'
but we made it in the end, in plenty of time in fact so it was goodbye to Diana till I fly out to meet her and her family, she has already called to say she had a safe flight and is with her family and on her way to Jollibee's,
the new airport is a credit to the nation, clean spacious and smart,
beautiful displays of flowers along the main concourse, with cascades of colour,
it just so happens that many of then were my favorites, orchids,
I just wish the designers/planners/builders of the ongoing construction site in the UK that is known as London Heathrow could give UK citizens something to be proud of, then home watch a bit of the news and off to bed.

How Many Times Have You Heard Of A Project Costing More Than It Should

and taking longer than it was scheduled to be finished by? I am guessing many times, especially with military and government projects costing way over estimated costs, well here is one where the bean counters, number crunchers, call them what you will got it right! builders were celebrating being turfed out of London's 2012 Olympic stadium after completing it in record time and millions of pounds under budget, the 80,000-seater centrepiece of the games, which took less than three years to build, also came in £10million under budget at £486million, but perhaps I should say that it's original bid book budget of £240million has more than doubled though that figure was never seen as realistic, I wonder why it was given?

but well done to Sir Robert McAlpine and architectural practice Populous, who built and designed it respectively, the was also team behind Arsenal’s Emirates ground, the stadium has employed 5,000 workers from 240 British businesses, now can some one please do some thing about another construction site which I am ashamed to say is British - Heathrow Airport, for me the airport in the last 30 years or so just seems to be limping from one construction crisis to another, when will it ever be finished?

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

With All Of The Rain We Have Been Getting,

the plants in the front garden have been growing really well,
everyday new flowers are on the hibiscus,
the yellow one had four huge blooms,
one on this pink one,
two on this one,
we also bought a dark pink flowering one,
even the 'double' flower plant was putting on a show,
we were on our way to get Diana's nails painted, we had been to Tuc Com where there was a stall but the lady was having lunch, out here 12 to 1, well we waited with some other customers till ten past one, tried telephoning but the number was busy, then we walked away, the good news was that Diana had remembered this place on Soi 17, it is at the intersection of the road that runs to Pattaya Tai, past what was the Hollywood disco,
the view looking towards Second Road,
towards Third Road,
and Soi 'barbershop', looking towards Pattaya Tai,
if you are wondering about the two prices, 40 baht for Thia's, tourists 80 baht, tourists have bigger heads I suppose,
the good news about this place is twofold, firstly easier to park,
secondly 80 baht instead of 150 baht, but the one thing I do not understand is why the lady who works for herself has to take more than an hours lunch break, all of the others eat their lunch, 'on the go' as it were, eat when there are no customers, serve them when there is, not leave the stall unattended, the sad news is for this entrepreneur is that we will never be back, strangely enough the same happened when I wanted a haircut a few years ago, I was told 'come back 1 hour, lady sleep' I came back to the saloon in two hours and was told 'lady still asleep' by now it was 3 in the afternoon, so Diana and myself went to one of the big stores and bought a set of electric clippers and scissors for 249 baht, (the price of 3 haircuts), hey presto no more trips to the barbers!
the number of designs was almost endless,
these are just two of about a dozen show cards the ladies can chose from, then there are even more in colour catalogues,
beside most bussiness and buildings there is a small shrine, this store being no exception,
first few applications completed,
now on to the flowers,
whilst waiting I took a few pictures of passing traffic, normally two on a bike is de rigueur, but so many make it three,
or four,
well I am not sure about four, but this little accessory makes it a bit more comfortable for three,
a third seat, I am not sure if this is legal as there are signs up all over Pattaya saying it is a 500 baht fine for three on a bike, just do not get caught!
the flowers finished now,
and few leaves, a clear gloss coat and we are ready to go,
to Carrefour, we were still on the trail of the kitchen scissors, also in the building was an Home Pro outlet so we tried there, but no luck,
but we had to have an ice cream though!
mango for Diana,
and an ice coffee for me,
we also wanted to buy some coconut chips for Diana's mini garden, so just up the road from Carrefour is a large number of plant stalls,
just by the road you are greeted with a beautiful display of orchids,
each stall or shop selling different plants, this one took Diana's eye,
more miniatures for her garden,
another show of bromeliads and orchids,
we then walked through to the back section where more treasures awaited us,
bonsai, I just love bonsai, but they are so expensive,
one you do not see very often grown as a ornamental plant,
a pineapple,
so many plants to chose from,
so little space in our garden!
these were quite neat, for plants that need air circulating round their roots you can buy pots like these with holes in the sides,
coconut chips at last, 20 baht for a bag full,
then I saw them, three beatiful bonsia,
the pots were about 17 inches or so across to give you an idea of scale, I thought the price would be in the many of thousands of baht, but after haggling and walking away, just 1,100 baht delivered, (we were on the bike), bargian!
marigolds in full bloom,
I also liked these hanging baskets, but I had spent enough already,
by now we were back to the street where lots of bromeliads were flowering,
some of the flowers can retain their color from two weeks up to twelve months, depending on species, in some species the flower remains unseen, growing deep in the base of the plants,
but obviously here only the more showy ones are grown,
and showy they are too,
great plants if you have a shaded area,
then across the road to the kitchen center, I do not know what it is called,
but it is three shop houses knocked into one, if you want plates, cutlery, pots and pans this is the place to come, for us four kitchen sissors that we want for the boys,
add this expensive pedestrian crossings to the ever growing list of them that do not work, next to the kitchen centre is FoodLand, these are the lights outside them, press the button to stop the traffic, but nothing more that a bleeping sound is heard, no change to the lights, we tried but had to run to beat the traffic, the same as this family after us, get ready to sprint, ready, steady, go!
we were then on our way home, after a last look at the plant shops frontage,
now I have no idea if this will work, I am trying to keep Diana's mini garden moist, so we bought a cooking tray with two plastic containers with holes in to surport the rock, the idea being the tray will keep a reservoir of water in it, also the coconut chips will help with evaporation to keep the area moist, who knows if it will work!
finnished and ready to plant,
then Jay and Pricil called round,
not long after the bonsia arrived as promised, I just love it, the only thing I would like to see different about it is some green moss on top of the soil,
whilst Jay and myself chatted upstairs and I lost at cribbage, the girls enjoyed a game of Monoploly,
Diana's mini garden 'planted' we will have to buy some more cococnut chips as we can still see part of the tray, another job for a few days time, it was then time for Jay and Precil to leave,
so then it was feet up for us to watch another from the Hammer box, The Reptile, looking surprisingly like some one from Avatar, the female monster of the piece attacks people as she turns into a snake,
the next to watch was Cirque du Soleil: La Magie Continue, made in 2001 the second of the 4 DVD box set, it was as good as the others we had seen but we felt a little let down that 3 of the acts we had already seen from the first of the box set, still enjoyable but I would have thought that the producers would with have made the effort not to repeat acts from the first DVD,
by now it was getting late so we finished the last of series 2 Open All Hours, Diana is really getting to like this series, especially when I told her that Chris from sunny Brighton (Hi Chris, Wannie and family), thought I was the same as the lead character when I was working, it did not help that the till we had was even older than the one in the series, then for us it was off to bed.