Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Save The Curtain Campaign

I have launched a 'Save The Curtain' (From Splats) Campaign (really it should be save the curtain and fly screen from splats campaign but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it!!). This has involved a rather large purchase......I am hoping that it will deter the little buggers from running up the curtains

(and it has an added advantage - watching them attack each other through the holes is very very amusing!!)

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Fab Weekend

You may have gathered that I was feeling a little blue this weekend due to the fact that I couldn't be at my cousins wedding - Well, Chris decided that we should have a special weekend too. Ages ago we went to a Comedy night and we won a night's stay in a posh hotel in the raffle (Jammy eh!!) so we contacted them and booked our room for Saturday night.

So, on Saturday we had a very leisurely morning pootering about the apartment then we went out and had Mexican for lunch (Crispy Tacos......yummmm) before heading over to MBK for a wee bit of shopping. I have been working on some new drawings one of which is huge and complicated (to be honest I wish I had never started the bloody thing - to the right is a sneaky peak of a tiny section of it) and I had everything drawn ready to ink in but was struggling to work out what should be black and what should be left alone so Chris suggested I get the drawing scaled down and copied so I had some practice pieces (brilliant idea - why didn't I think of that!!). So whilst I got copies made Chris went off in search of camera stuff. We had a very funny 'Only in Thailand' moment in one of the shops.......Chris had been looking for a tripod for the camera and we spotted two in this electrical department store but only one had a price on it. I went over and interrupted the two sales people who were deep in conversation to ask the immediately started lifting things on the counter and then putting them back down again in a 'OMG I don't want to have to deal with a Farang' kind of way whilst the other one lifted up the tripod looked at it and then said 'Don't know'. That was it!!! Chris and I left the shop giggling!! (He got one in the end - it's lightweight and cost a grand total of £6).

The hotel was beautiful.....we stayed in the Pan Pacific in one of their Junior suits and I have to say that the views across Bangkok were just amazing. I just have to add here that the bathroom had all the mod cons - the shower was one of those that squirts you from all angles and the toilet had a little panel with buttons on it - so after you relieved yourself you could have your bum washed and blow dried!! (We both tried it.....very very odd!! Sorry - you didn't really need to know that did you *grins*). Anyhooo (moving swiftly on!!), the hotel is right next to one of the largest parks in Bangkok, Lumpini Park, and in the evenings when it's cooler they hold aerobic classes there.....I was highly entertained as I sat in our hotel room looking down at about 50 people bobbing up and down in unison.

We dumped our stuff then went for a wee walk along Silom road (popping into the big Jim Thomson shop there so I could lust after their very beautiful but VERY expensive bedding (and cushions....and fabric....and handbags.....)) before heading to the pub for a couple of drinks. We spent a very entertaining couple of hours watching the world go by - there was a very smiley wee man who spent quite a long time outside the pub with his nose pressed up against the window watching the football (it was very funny watching his reaction when his team scored) and we watched, what looked like, a Traffic Cop take a bribe from a taxi driver!!. We then went back to the hotel and had a fantastic meal in the award-winning Chinese restaurant, Hai Tien Lo, (apart from the pudding which Chris reckoned was like Mango custard but I thought it was more like jelly than custard!!) followed by vodka martini's in the bar.

It was just what I needed to get rid of my 'not being with the family' blues :-)

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Wedding Bells

This post is for my cousin Derek and his fiancée Anna who will become man and wife today!!

I hope your day goes without a hitch and you enjoy growing old together

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the wedding cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
Whenever you're right, shut up.

- Ogden Nash

Friday, 26 October 2007

Through Our Eyes - Thailand Up Close

Do you remember me saying that the National Museum Volunteers were putting together a book called Through Our Eyes - Thailand Up Close in celebration of the Thai Kings 80th Birthday?

(The King is very keen on photography so the NMV thought it would be good to put something together that showed Thailand through the eye's of it's volunteers). Well, the books official launch was on Wednesday night and it was absolutely fantastic - the National Museum grounds are stunning and when it was all lit up it looked a bit like something out of a fairy tale. (There was even an orchestra playing classical music!!)

I had volunteered to help out at the beginning of the evening so was chaperoning people to their seats. I did have a very stressful moment when Khun Yui (She's one of our blind volunteers) turned up and I went to collect her from the gate. The bloody taxi hadn't dropped her off where he was supposed to and she had no idea where she was or how to get to me......we were on the phone for ages and she ended up having to ask someone who was walking past where she was and asking them to turn her so she was going in the right direction!! (We got there in the end and she had a blast).

The Oriental Hotel did all the catering so the food and wine was fab and a number of VIP's turned up including Khun Wanchana Sawatdee who played King Naresuan in the movie (He grinned like a loony when Chris and I recognised him) and Khun Arak Sunghitakul who is the Director General of the Fine Arts Department - he officially opened the exhibition.

My photo was not one of the ones in the Throne Hall (there were too many to have them all enlarged and framed) but it was on the first page in the book and I was chuffed to bits when I saw it. We bought a copy when we were there and have placed an order for another three. (So Mum, Dad, Sadie - guess what your getting!!). If anyone else would like one then let me know - they are 750 baht each which works out at about £10 (They are beautiful books and look very professional!!). The exhibition will continue at the NMB for a week or so and then will be touring all the major museums across Thailand.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

New Camera

Guess who bought himself a new camera with money he got for his birthday!!! It's an all singing all dancing sooper dooper digital SLR (Olympus 500). He has taken some absolutely fantastic photo's so I thought I would let you see some of them (and for the first time ever I can now show you how pretty the view is from our apartment at night)

To the right is the view from our dining area

and this is it at night (The building with the slope is where Chris works)

Below is the view from our sitting area

And this is why I can never get any peace when I'm trying to draw!!

And just because it's a pretty picture - Our paper fish

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

I am very proud!!

Most of you least I think most of you know.......that my Dad makes his living as a crime writer. Well, he was contacted to say that his novel 'Snakehead' had made it to the final seven of the Prix Intramuros Award.....he didn't even know he had been nominated. It turns out that Prix Intramuros is part of a crime-writing festival in Cognac and means 'within the walls' and the award is actually voted for by jail inmates!! The prize is decided by juries from seven different jails across France who are then brought to Cognac - each writer who reaches the final is expected to spend a day behind bars being quizzed by the inmates who will then use their insights into crime to chose a winner.

So my Dad arrived in Cognac on Friday where he met the other finalists. The 'condemned' novelists got their last meal in a local château and the following morning they were taken to the prison......were they were quizzed for 12 hours by the prisoners!!! (and he did it all in French!!)

Guess what!!.......HE WON!!! (Woooo hooooo!!!!!)

Now I may be slightly biased in saying this but I reckon he deserves it......the amount of research he does for every novel is incredible and before he wrote Snakehead (which is the fourth in his Chinese series, features bio-terrorism and opens with the discovery of a truck full of dead Chinese immigrants......I'm not going to say any more in case you want to read it) he went to the states and actually visited death row......he walked the green mile......and even saw where they administer the lethal injection!!

I am very proud - well done Dad!!

Sunday, 21 October 2007

I learned something last night

I learned that if you are a man living here then you should not shave naked!!

We had a dinner party last night.......I always think that it's a great idea to have people over till I actually get down to the cooking part. I spent most of Friday and yesterday cooking!! I made a three course meal for six people......Chicken Kebabs, Lamb Tagine, Rose Ice as a palate cleanser followed by a caramel and chocolate tart - I am all cooked out!!).

Anyway - it was an absolute hoot!! We invited Sue & Jon (Sue was the one that drove us to Wat Sakeaw) and Julie & Dave (We don't have any pics of Dave but Julie is the one waving the flag here). Well, when Jon walked in he informed Chris that he should never shave whilst naked. Sue just looked at him and shook her head as he then went on to tell us that he had been bitten that either an ant or a mosquito......on the end of his willy!! He then went on to describe in great detail how swollen it was and what colour it was!! (I told him last night that I was going to have to blog about this!!) I have to be honest.....we were less than sympathetic......we laughed......we laughed a lot!! (we are very bad people!!). That kind of set the tone for the evening!!!

A lot of wine was consumed.....I confess I felt slightly delicate this morning - I didn't used to get hangovers but I think those days might be over!!

Friday, 19 October 2007

Major brownie points for me :-)

It's been a bit manic here recently - it was Chris's birthday yesterday, I have started a new drawing (which is huge and complicated and I'm now wishing that I'd not started it at all!!) and Moon's kids are back staying with us!!

But I still managed to make him a chocolate and orange birthday cake (It uses thin cut marmalade and come out really moist - Thanks for the recipe Caroline) and cook him a full Indian meal.........from scratch!! (I am very proud of myself!!). We had pepper and cheese pakora (which sounds horrible but was absolutely lovely) with a home-made mint chutney (actually I had a bit of a disaster with my first couple of pakora's the oil was a bit hot and they came out a lovely shade of chocolate brown but once the oil had cooled down a bit they were fine), followed by Spicy Chicken Korma and Saffron Rice. It was yummy (she says modestly!!) but there was tons of it so I fear that we are going to be living on it for months!!

From me he got - his PS2 (Play Station) chipped so he can now buy and play computer games from here, a wee selection of games to go with it (They are much much cheaper here than they are in the UK), a Dilbert book and a beautiful (dark) solid jade cheese board. It has a hole in the middle of it so Chris was making comments about using it as a Frisbee.....honestly....sometimes I worry about him!! He got an elephant key ring from Dawan, Fa did him a drawing of flowers in a vase and Moon got him a weird paper vase thing (Sorry I can't really think of any other way to describe it - once it's assembled I'll take a photo and post it)

We had a lovely evening and opened the last really nice bottle of wine that Jo and Co had brought over with them. Amarone......heaven in a glass!!

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

They ARE all out to get you!!!

Conspiracies and other such stuff -

Chris was online looking up weird and wonderful things last night (as is his want!!) and........actually I should probably explain what inspired his search for all that is strange in our world. Have you ever heard of David Shayler? He is the blokey who used to work for MI5 that was prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act for passing documents to the Mail on Sunday. Well, he went to University in Dundee with Chris's sister Jo (you know.....the one with the pig fan!!) which is why, when Chris heard rumours that he'd gone a bit David Icke (He's the guy who said that he was the son of god when being interviewed by Terry Wogan), he went looking to see what he 'd said....You following this so anyway he has just announced that (and I quote) 'I am the last incarnation of the Holy Ghost or the Yeshua or Jesus Spirit (aka the Christ consciousness). As the Holy Spirit is God incarnate as essence, I am God incarnated as spirit and man'. So does that make David Icke and David Shayler brothers then?

So, that was why Chris was online looking up weird and wonderful things.....and he found this website Above Top Secret. I don't think I have ever laughed so much in my life - apparently Hillary Clinton and Paul McCartney are actually huge walking reptilians (and there are video's to prove it.....which you can watch here). My other favourite was that Star Gates are real because the Egytptians and Mesopotamian (Who?) had them and that all you have to do is to look to the ancient texts to figure it out (Apparently stories from an Ancient City called Sumer about Star Gates were also found in the texts of the Hindu Mahabarata, The Hebrew Torah and even ones from ancient China. Incidentally - Sumer is where Iraq is now).

Our conversation went something like this

'Some of the points here are extremely well articulated' (Chris)
'Does that make them any more believable?'
'They are extremely well articulated' which was followed by 'What do you know anyway......your currently playing with cat poo!!' (I was cleaning the cat's litter tray!!)

So in conclusion - if it's well articulated and there is video to prove it then it MUST be true!!

Monday, 15 October 2007


Today is my lovely friend Jenny's Birthday (Happy Birthday honey) and we decided that we would have a bit of a pamper day. So this morning we headed over to MBK where we had made appointments at a new Japanese Place which specialises in facials. (I have no idea what it's called but it's next to the food court on the 5th floor). It was a little bit daunting....there are no private rooms so people can walk past and see you lying there with gunk on your face but we had decided that, since it offered the whole face hoover thing, that we would give it a go. I should probably explain that when you go you can have your pores cleaned with a little gadget that basically sucks out all the crap. Anyway, the actual facial was lovely - we came out all steamed, hoovered and fresh faced that was until........(I really need some da da daaaaa music here)......they offered to put some make up on us (Obviously we were both waaay to hideous to leave the shop with no make up on!!). Nervously we both sat down......Jen's woman started first and I laughed when I saw what she had done to her eyebrows but it was nothing.....NOTHING compared to what the woman did to mine!! I'm actually struggling to describe just how bad they were........they looked like someone had drawn two big, thick caterpillars shaped in an arch across the top of my eyes (I wouldn't have minded quite so much if her's had looked like that but they were relatively normal which made me question why she thought mine should be that way!!!).....then to add insult to injury she added pink over my eyelids and lined them in blue!! (I'm not even going into the pink that she put on my lips and cheeks)...... think startled rabbit, rabbit caught in headlights, bad old lady eyebrows......actually I looked like one of those old ladies that looks like she has fallen head first into her make up bag!!!

We beat a hasty retreat to the nearest loo and washed the make up off......thinking about it......perhaps I should have kept it on and then when Chris walked in the door jumped in front of him yelling SURPRISE....then again perhaps not!!!

So the moral of the story is that you don't need botox or a face lift in order to achieve the permanently surprised look!! All you really need to do is go have a facial then have some wee Thai women draw some really scary big eyebrows on you and bingo......... you've achieved the look for a fraction of the price!!