Thursday, 31 May 2012

First Thing,

off to the bank,

 it was still early so there was not much traffic,

 but a couple were looking at the Pattaya Beer Garden for I guess breakfast,

 the television above the entrance to Walking Street still working fine, well done Samsung,

 I am not sure what the advertisement is but it appears it is the biggest ad the best! during the day Jess called round followed by David from East Coast Real Estate, we have known each other for years, we chatted the afternoon away also we swapped a few BluRay DVDs, then I just had to go outside and admire his brand new BMW, what a lovely car, Alex then called by, after our guests had left it was time for us to put our glad rags on,

 as we were out for our evening meal,

 to Ali Baba on Central Road, on the left just before it joins Beach Road,

 we were joined by Mr. Tony,

 'Cheers!', from all of us as we tuck into our starters,

 we had ordered chicken chat, prawn puri and chicken samosa,

 all of which was absolutely delicious,

 after a break our main courses started to arrive,

 as well as chicken tikka masala we had ordered a mixed grill type of deal for two, it was served on a hot plate, it was huge,

  Diana could not believe her eyes! the dish consisted of fish, prawns, chicken, lamb and cheese, there was so much of it Diana took a bag home with us we could not eat it all!

we were a bit early, as we were leaving the restaurant started to fill up, the price of the meal with many glasses of wine and soft drinks plus two bowls of poppadoms came to 2,600 baht, (£52.60   $81.50),

it may seem a little expensive for the three of us but the food here has so many different flavours that for us we think it is worth the price,

then home feet up for Hugo in 3D, as the cover says 'A Magical Masterpiece' and it is, the sets and camera work left all of us spellbound, the story follows the adventures of Hugo, an orphan who learns how to repair clocks and lives in the railway station, but he has a connection with a shopkeeper there who sells toys, Georges Méliès, it is difficult not to give the plot away, but it was a marvellous film, also before you dismiss this as a kids film this was Martin Scorsese's first PG rated film in 18 years, as another aside if you do buy/rent/borrow this film be sure to watch the 'extras' the true story behind Georges Méliès who is a central character in the film is fascinating, after that Mr. Tony left for home (it was 01.30 in the morning) and for us we were off to bed.

Do Not Mess With Fish 163,

and you thought fish were fun!

all was going well until a 10ft-long porbeagle shark, (Lamna nasus) weighing more than 550lb dragged Wayne Comben and Graeme Pullen in their tiny boat for a mile out to sea, they were fishing for slightly smaller fish off Boscastle, North Cornwall, Mr Pullen said: 'it was getting towards the end of the day and I just tipped three buckets of chum over the side of the boat, all the seagulls came over to feed on it and then in a split second they all rose off the water, at that moment this enormous shark ripped through the surface, thrashing its tail and fins about and went into a feeding frenzy, it took our mackerel bait and got our small hook in the corner of its mouth and dragged us for a mile towards the Atlantic,'

one and a half hours later the fish was tagged and released, Dr Phil Williams, an independent expert of marine species, has studied the footage and photographs of the catch, he said: 'the current British record for a shark is 507lbs and this has got that beaten hands down, looking at the footage, the shark is immense,'  Chris Brown, a marine biologist for the chain of SeaLife centres, said: 'if the length and bulk descriptions of this fish are accurate then its probably not far off the 550lbs mark, the pictures certainly seem to support the fisherman's story,' so there you have it, one that did not get away,

I can imagine the story being told in the bar that evening, spreading hands apart as far as they will go, 'it was that big I tell you!'

We Are All Looking Forward,

to this Sunday,

as the people of Great Britain celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, even Tower Bridge has gone red, white and blue in preparation for its starring role in the Diamond Jubilee,

as a backdrop to the river pageant on the Thames amongst one of celebrations to mark her 60th year on the throne, not to mention the thousands of street parties that will take place on the day, a great day for Great Britain.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

I Forgot To Mention,

Booie, Mr. Tony's wife loves gardening,

last time he called round he dropped off this pear, it weighs about a couple of kilos, (it is really a gourd, but I thought I would catch your interest!),

 so as we were on our way out I took another couple of pictures of the amaryllis, the second flower looking as big as the rest,

 amaryllis appear so easy to grow I shall keep a look out for other varieties on our travels,

 we arrived at the hell hole called the underground motorbike park, not so bad now but later it will be packed with bikes,

 we were going to watch Men in Black III in 3D at the Central Festival, the blurb describes it best, 'Agent J travels in time to MIB's early years in the 1960s, to stop an alien from assassinating his friend Agent K and changing history', yes that sort of sums it up, but nothing can prepare you for the time jump and even more dramatic the Apollo space ship scenes, a real delight, we both thoroughly enjoyed it,

 next back to 388 where I noticed at the front of our truck some broken glass from a wing mirror of a motor bike on the ground,

 then a gash or crease along the rear door,

 the tell tale signs of foot rest/break/kick start levers left on the ground as the bike must have fallen over after hitting our truck,

there was also a gouge along the running board, Diana said that she heard some thing at about 03.00 in the morning but thought nothing of it, looking around the ground and the truck with Mark there were no traces of hair, skin, blood or body parts, still hopefully there was still a chance of a few bones being broken, we shall keep a look out for some one who lives locally on crutches!

 we decided on a meal at the Punch & Judy, 

 whilst waiting I became engrossed in the puzzle page of the paper,

 our meal arrived,

 we went for today's special, corned beef and carrots,


 just as we walk into our drive we have another pot or two of amaryllis, they have been flowering for so long every few days a new flower stem appears,

 but Diana noticed a new colour flower opening,

 it looked quiet nice, 

 I mentioned before the hibiscus had also been doing well,

although these two were past their best, then feet up to watch some satellite television, more Kings of Restoration and a few other series, then about 01.30 we were off to bed.

Oh No! We Missed It!

how did that happen?

with Diana's birthday coming up I was looking for something special, the Martian Pink at 12.04-carats is the largest pink diamond ever to come to auction, so that would have been fine, but to be fair it went for over double its original estimate when it went under the hammer for $17.4m (£11.1m) through auction house Christie's, so it was a bit over the top, then there is the cost of the ring mount for it, another $10 or so, that would have been the deal breaker, the Martian Pink diamond was previously owned by a private collector, and was given its name by American jeweller Ronald Winston in 1976, the year America launched its first satellite mission to Mars,

but all is not lost, The East India Company has released 60 minted gold coins, one for each year of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, encrusted with diamonds to celebrate the royal milestone they are a mere £125,000 each, they feature the head of the Queen wearing a diamond tiara, necklace and brooch with the words 'Elizabeth Regina, Diamond Jubilee 1952-2012' around the outside, they have also released 60 silver coins of the same design and weight but at a 'cheaper' price of £25,000 each, I wonder if like stamps I should buy Diana the complete 60 year set!

About Once A Year Or So,

one of my 5 or 6 hard drives fails,

so this to me with no hard drive looks like a good idea, Goggles new own range of computers, the £279 Chromebox desktop and £379 Chromebook laptop, plus a new operating system, all under the Samsung label, it appears that they boot up in a matter of seconds, they ditch traditional software stored on the device such as Microsoft Office and Photoshop, instead, users go online to access word-processing and photo-editing software on “web apps” via Google’s web-based operating system Chrome, data is saved on Google’s servers in “the cloud” rather than on the computer’s hard drive, the other piece of good news is that you can keep your original screen, mouse and keyboard just buy the tower or the laptop,

now here is the downside, you need to be on the Internet and presumably have a good Internet connection, have a look here to see how where you live rates in the world league of 176 countries for household download speeds, this list was updated 2 days ago, but for me it seems to be the way to go, upload all of my hard drives and I never have to lose data or replace a hard drive, I wonder how much the cost of storage space would be? for a more detailed look at what is on offer have a look here, could this be the start of looking at hard drives in a different light just when non moving hard drives are hitting the market?

At Last A Precedent Has Been Set,

in what will be seen as a landmark ruling,

a High Court judge ruled their right to preserve their landscape was more important than the Government’s renewable energy targets, Mrs Justice Lang said building four 350ft turbines would harm the character and appearance of a beauty spot on the edge of the Norfolk Broads, common sense at last to stop building these eyesores on Britain's green and pleasant land, (not to mention the huge cost of the electricity they produce), 

the proposal from Sea & Land Power and Energy had already been rejected by both council and government inspectors so good news for the people of Hemsby, I just hope other communities take note of this ruling and stop the blight of wind farms once and for all, yesterday Roy Pinnock, an expert in planning law at the firm SNR Denton, said the case may bolster other villagers fighting wind farm projects, I so hope so.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

We Had A Lazy Day.

I did not even take a photograph!

but Mark and Mr. Tony called by for the afternoon and early evening, after they left it was feet up for the Monday night 3 in a row of Pawn Stars, along with another favourite of ours Kings of Restoration, after those a look at Coal and then we were of to bed.

No Jubilee Bunting For Bath Road in Cheltenham,

unless traders buy £5m insurance cover,

it appears that the insurance is needed by Gloucestershire Highways, Chris Riley from Gloucestershire Highways said the £5 million insurance would have covered the disruption of erecting the bunting, he said: 'we are not asking for insurance to cover the bunting, but insurance is needed to put it up as a traffic management plan would have to be put in place to put it up and take it down and for a cherry picker to be used',

but as Lizzie Smith, chairman of the Bath Road Traders' Association, said she thought the ruling was unnecessary: 'it is rules for rules and they are a bunch of party poopers, we were happy to hire a cherry picker to get up there and would have paid for that ourselves, but nobody was willing to take on a £5 million public liability policy, which is quite understandable,'

what a pity for the people of Cheltenham that Gloucestershire Highways and Cheltenham Borough Council, (who would already have liability insurance for this if they were to put it up), could not have come to some sort of compromise with the Bath Road Traders' Association, I wonder how all of the other towns and cities in the UK overcame this problem with their bunting across streets?

The Last Of Four Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato Sanction II Coupes,

that were made came under the hammer,

at the Aston Martin works, it was the 13th sale of its type was held at the Aston Martin restoration shop on the site of the company's old Newport Pagnell workshop, in Buckinghamshire, attracting a record crowd of 2,000 bidders and enthusiasts, the star of the show went for a cool £1.23million, which was a record-breaking price for this model of Aston Martin, the Sanction II had good performance for its time, 0 to 60mph in 5.5 seconds and reached 100mph in 12.2 on its way to a top speed of 153mph,

also at the sale was this Aston Martin DBS that was converted into an estate car, the only DBS Estate in the world, I mentioned it before when it had a guide price of £70,000, it went for £345,000, what a windfall for the owner, there are some that say that there is no money out there, but a few still have a bit to splash about!

Monday, 28 May 2012

One Of The Reasons I Went To The Market,

was to buy some fertiliser for the plants,

most have been putting on a good show so I bought this one, the number 16-16-16 refers to 16% nitrogen, 16% phosphorus and 16% potassium, so a quick sprinkle of that before today's watering should hopefully mean that we will have a good show over the next few months and allow the bulbs to replenish the energy they have used,

 a hibiscus, these have been making a good show but a couple have stopped flowering,

 then it was midday, so glad rags on and we were off,

 with Mr. Tony in his new truck,

 for Sunday lunch at the Pig & Whistle which is near the golden statue on the way to Jomtien from Pattaya,

 spring rolls for Diana,

 chicken liver pate for Mr. Tony,

 and a prawn cocktail for myself,

 for our main courses Diana decided on a Thai dish,

 whilst Mr. Tony settled for a sheppard's pie,

for myself a steak and onion pie,

 from all of us,

 a touch of lime,

  some sauce and we are all set to go,

 dessert next apple pie for Mr. Tony, blueberry for myself,

 and a banana split for Diana,

 then eyes down tuck in!

 Diana is all smiles, 

 she just loves ice cream,

do not get in the way of Diana and her dessert,

it was delicious!

the restaurant was busy when we arrived, but we take our time when we are out for a meal, so by the time we had finished we were the last to leave,

 a different type of light fitting,

 so meal over, into the truck,

 and make our way back to 388, to put our feet up, have a coffee and watch a few DVDs,

 we started with The Adventures of Tintin in 3D, there were not many pop out of the screen moments, but it did look good, the search is on for the Unicorn, a ship lost for 300 years, Tintin, Snowy and Captain Haddock embark on a quest to find the wreck,

 keeping to comedy Al Murry, The Pub Landlord, brings his 2009 Beautiful British Tour to London's O2, funny through out, but here is a tip, if you go to watch the show live avoid the front few rows like the plague, after you watch the DVD you will know why!

I remember Victor Borge from many years ago, in this DVD Victor Borge in Concert and Encore he was still as funny and captivating as ever, he is a matercraftsman at the piano and mixes comedy and serious playing at the same time, wonderful to see him again,

 keeping to a comedy theme we watch the last two characters that Mr. Tony had not seen from the suitcase of Jeff Dunham in his Spark of Insanity DVD, namely Peanut and Jose, the jalapeno on a stick, this DVD is so funny, well it was for us,

 the price of some BluRay DVDs seems to be coming down in price, this triple pack now just over £5.00 less than £2 a movie, we watched Total Recall, Douglas Quaid is haunted by a recurring dream about a journey to Mars, it almost seems like he has been there before, perhaps he has? as usual lots of shooting but the good guys win in the end, by now it was past midnight so it was time to say goodbye to Mr. Tony, another great day was had by all,

we then settled down to watch ELO,

I chose the Zoom Tour Live as it featured all of their old hits, the band was note perfect, I hate watching a live concert when having listen to a recording the band plays badly, that is one complaint you can not make against ELO, they were brilliant, also worthy of note is that with the one exception of Roll Over Beethoven Jeff Lynne wrote and produced all of the tracks, we listen to them all, with that we were off to bed.