Saturday, 25 November 2006

Our First Dinner Party

If i ever write saying that i am having people over for dinner (We had invited Jenny, David and their kids Robin and Hattie over to say thanks for all the help they have given us) and that Moon is going to be away please please write me an e-mail or post a comment saying 'DONT DO IT'!! It took me two days to cook all the food and a day to clear up!! First i had to track down my cooking implements (I have now discovered that Moon not only puts things in places you don't expect but waits till you have got used to them being there and then puts them somewhere else!! I'm starting to think that perhaps she has an evil streak.....), then i discovered that i have only one tray for the cooker (Which you would think would be easy to rectify.....ha....i laugh at your optimism!!) so i had to make desert twice (There were six of us and the tray only held enough for three (Which is why i have never realised we only had one)) and for some reason unknown to man we can't buy a grill tray for love nor money so i had to improvise and use a metal tray for cooling cakes to cook the kebabs on (Chris went out and left me to it....a good move on his part!!). I know i have an easy life and have no right to complain but this was in a kitchen that has no air conditioning (It was 35 degrees people....and that was before i put the oven on) and has no dish washer!! Anyway, the dinner went really well....i didn't spontaneously combust (although i came close a couple of times), I didn't burn anything and nobody died!! We had a great evening - there was lots of laughter, lots of wine was consumed and we had a lot of fun playing Buzz even if Robin and Chris wiped the floor with the rest of us!!

Friday, 24 November 2006


It is always the same - anytime Chris and I have actually planned to go somewhere in the middle of the week something comes up and Chris has to work late (Hmmm.....i wonder if he is trying to tell me something......Naaa.....he was even late for a wine tasting!!). We had booked tickets to go and see Madame Butterfly at the Sheraton Hotel - fortunately for me my friend Elyssa agreed to be my hot date for the evening.

We had a lovely time. The ticket price (2,200 baht which is about £30) included a three course meal in their posh Italian restaurant, Rossini, (Elyssa and I agreed that the chocolate desert was definitely worth the calories!!) and we were given a complimentary glass of wine as well as a coffee - not bad eh!!

The actual show took place in their ballroom - we were right in the middle of the second row from the front so had a great view of the stage. The only problem was that the woman playing the part of Butterfly, who had an absolutely superb voice, looked like the love child of Angela Lansbury and Nathan Lane (when he was in drag - think Birdcage for those of you who have seen it....and for those of you that haven't here's a picture so you get the idea). The white make-up required for the first act did nothing for her and since she was supposed to be playing the part of a 15 year old Japanese girl it really stretched the imagination!! (Elyssa reckoned that if you squinted and maybe if the lights were very low......). She did look a hell of a lot better in the second act once the white make-up had come off and she didn't look 90 anymore (she was actually quite pretty.....ok, still didn't look 15 but it wasn't such a stretch). We both really enjoyed it - she gave a fantastic rendition of the famous 'Un Bel Di Vedremo' for those of you that don't know it you can hear it (and see video clips from various performers) at

I was very proud of myself - got a bit watery about the gills at the end but didn't humiliate myself by crying.

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

What have we been up too well, we have been here, there and everywhere since I last wrote. OK, maybe not everywhere but we have actually left Bangkok……twice.

Moon told us that there was a Thai festival at the beginning of November and invited us to go and stay with her sister in Pattaya and to take part in the festival.

(Now for the cultural bit)
The festival is called Loy Krathong – krathongs are small floats made from a slice of the trunk of a banana tree and decorated with folded banana leaves, flowers, incense sticks and candles. By the light of the full moon the candles and incense are lit and the krathongs are set adrift on the rivers and khlongs (canals) to honour the water Goddess and wash away the previous year’s sins – it is also believed that if you make a wish as you float your krathong then it will come true. (It looks absolutely spectacular – watching the little floating lights going off into the night was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen).

We got the bus from Bangkok to Pattaya with Moon and her Aunt Naparon (I may have mentioned once or twice that the Thai’s do like their big gold Buddha’s…..well on the road to Pattaya is a shop (I say shop – it is more like a huge bit of land) which sells big gold Buddha’s – and I mean BIG gold Buddha’s so for those of you planning to visit and that have the urge to buy a 10ft gold Buddha I can now point you in the right direction!!). Moon’s sister, Dow, lives just outside Pattaya in a beautiful big house (She is going out with a Dutchman called Robert) and makes Moon look tall. (I’m not convinced she even came up to Chris’s waist which caused much hilarity).

We went swimming in the sea, had the best seafood I have ever tasted, met the campest man I have ever seen, visited a National Park (Lions and Tigers and Bears….Oh My – well we did see a tiger), went on an Elephant ride (Chris was bemused when my guide tried to chat me up – he actually pointed out which hut was his – Ahhh!!) and attended a rock concert on the beach. There was only one negative – Dow only seemed to own one CD…..which she played ALL weekend (and sang along to)… was a compilation of Country and Western songs (aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgggggggg) – Chris thought the worst one was ‘Acky Breaky Heart’ but I thought it was ‘Love Me Love My Dog’ which was so bloody repetitive that three weeks later we can both still sing the chorus – I think it may haunt us forever!!

Phimai, Phanom Rung and Prasart Muang Tham

The following weekend we went on a bus tour to Northern Thailand to look at the history of Khmer art with the National Museum Volunteers. (More culture – god we’re good). Despite our initial reservations (The first place we visited was laughingly called a quarry – it was a big rock with grooves cut out of it and the second ‘temple’, and I use the phrase loosely, was just a big lump of rocks) it was absolutely fantastic. We arrived in Phimai (Home of the Siamese Cat fact fans) on Saturday evening in time to attend their annual sound and light show which takes place in an Historical Park in front of a spectacular khmer temple.(
They re-enacted the birth of the universe, had choreographed thai boxing and then released about 100 Thai Balloons (They are called Khoom Fay which means Fire Lanterns and are made from thin tissue paper and bamboo – you light a paper wick which has been soaked in lamp oil and that provides the hot air needed to make them rise gracefully into the sky) at regular intervals to form a chain of lights which looked amazing. It was also helped along by the fact that the lovely woman, Suzy, who had arranged the tickets had also brought along some wine (Yes, we got on famously – actually it turned out that she had got married in Park Circus Registry Office in the same room as we did about 4 months after we did – how weird is that!! (She was Australian and he had only lived in Scotland till he was 2)). On the Sunday we visited a temple at Phanom Rung which, we were reliably informed was what Angkor Watt was based on, and it was beautiful – not so sure about the stairs we had to climb to get
to it but it was worth it when we got there.

Chris has been working amazingly hard and is keeping me entertained with ‘Tales from the office’ my favourite is the fact that the Thai woman make their way to the office in their high heels then change into their slippers when they get there. Completely the opposite to what we would do in the UK – Chris says that it is very difficult to take someone seriously when they are wearing bunny slippers (I can imagine). The other thing that makes me chuckle is the fact that his colleagues put coats on when they get into the office as they find the air conditioning too cold – Amit, who is from Bombay, has even been known to put on his beanie hat!!! I think he is still enjoying work despite the fact that he is working all the hours god sends!!

It’s Moon’s daughters 10th birthday this week and, since it takes over 6 hours by bus to visit, she doesn’t get to see her children very often which she finds really hard especially when it comes up to birthdays. (We’ve given her 4 days off so that she can spend some time with her family - she is not going to tell her daughter and is going to surprise her by being there on her birthday when she wakes up). She had been feeling a bit low (till I insisted that she take the holiday) and had mentioned that she loves curly hair ‘same same you Madam’ she informed me (She is a strange girl!!) so I ended up getting my curlers out and doing her hair, then I did her make up and took her out for a drink (making sure she had lots of water so she didn’t end up too Maw Maw). We actually had really good fun and I think it did her the power of good.

Plonchit Fair
Chris and I also attended a fair (Plonchit fair) which is for charity – I was helping out at the BWG cake stall and was forced into wearing a union jack waistcoat (Chris pointed, laughed and took a picture on his mobile). We had a great day – we sat in the beer tent section of the fair and watched the various acts that they had provided for the entertainment. There were some very bendy children making human pyramids and at one point two men and a woman came on stage wearing kilts and proceeded to play Scotland the Brave (This prompted the comments – ‘This is really weird’ and ‘God they must be hot!!’)

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed the latest update