Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Rumours and Murders

We have been wee social creatures this last weekend - normally we might manage one night out but this weekend we were out two nights in a row.....shock horror!!

Friday night we met up with a group of friends (There were ten of us in total) and headed over to the British club for a night of food and frivolity. The evening started with drinks in the bar (Oh, life is hard!!) followed by a three course buffet dinner followed by a production of Neil Simon's play Rumours. (Neil Simon is probably one of America's best-loved comedy writers).

The Story - Well, it's a fast-paced farce set in the home of Charley and Vivian Brooks (Who we never see). The Brooks are throwing a 10th Wedding Anniversary party for themselves and have invited four couples (Their best mates) to share the evening with them. When the first couple arrive they discover Charley in an upstairs bedroom bleeding from a gunshot wound to the ear lobe and his wife, Vivian, is nowhere to be found. The first couple decide to conceal this mystery (unsuccessfully) and, with the arrival of each new couple, the hilarity and nonsense escalate, until the local police turn up and try in vain to sort it all out.

It was a really good night - the food was fab and the Bangkok Community Theatre made a really good job of the play.

Now we get to the Murder part of our weekend!! Our lovely friend Jane had decided to host a Murder Mystery Party to celebrate her birthday. It was set in France just after the war and everyone invited was given a character - OMG it was an absolute hoot!!

There were 12 of us altogether as you can see from the photo. Starting with the back row and going left to right we have.....Nurse Gently the Army Nurse, Frau Nalott the German Soldier, Liza Wizenni the caberet singer, Julie Noted the British Radio Operator and Noemi Dooyoo from the French Resistance. In the Front row from left to right we have - Phil Le Girthe the travelling Sausage Salesman, Franc Le Orrful the Cafe Owner, Gee I. Joe the American Soldier, General Kopov the German Officer, Luc Overlair the French Policemen and Gerry Basher the British Airman. It wasn't easy to get the costumes together (I ended up making my hat and pinny) but doesn't everyone look great!!!

The story was that Herr Bevore was throwing a party at his favourite cafe to celebrate the end of WWII - everyone is invited...but just before the party begins, he is bumped off by an explosive Roquewurst sausage that has been left in his bedroom - one of us is the murderer and using clues and a DVD we need to try and figure out who dunnit!! The accents alone were hillarious!!

Jane, or should that be Liza, had decorated her apartment to make it look the part, had prepared a fantastic meal and the wine was certainly flowing (we got through 20 bottles of wine aparently!!) so after solving the mystery we ended up singing and dancing into the wee small hours.........as you do!!

God we were knackered on Sunday!!

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Gregory Pecks

I've got new Gregory Pecks - For those of you not in the know - that is rhyming slang for specs. The lovely JJ helped me pick them - aren't they fab!!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Muang Boran - The Ancient City

There was a holiday here on Monday, Buddhist Visakha Bucha Day (This is the day that the Lord Buddha was born, became enlightened and then passed away), so we decided to make the most of it and visit The Ancient City, Muang Boran.

It's not the easiest place to get to as it's about a 30 minute drive from Central Bangkok along the old Sukhumvit Road (We hired a car and driver but I guess it would be easy enough to get a taxi there) but it's well worth visiting!! I'm not really sure how to describe it.....it's like a kind of theme park which explores Thailand's culture, arts, religion, customs and traditions both past and present. The park is set in over 360 acres of land which is shaped like Thailand and round every corner there are reproductions of palace halls, stupas (Where important people's ashes are stored), temples and there are even examples of traditional villages from across Thailand. They are all in roughly the same place in the park as they are in the country and there are 116 different things to visit - It's just phenomenal!!

When we got there we discovered that we had the option of either taking the car in, hiring bikes or hiring an electric golf cart. We've been to a few things before that we went round by car and Chris and I both felt that it spoiled the experience, it was a bit too hot for bikes (My excuse and I'm sticking to it!!) so we went for the golf cart. (It was only 200 baht an hour to hire which works out at about £3).

We drove down through the entrance and the first thing we saw was the Pallava Group of Images (three Hindu Deities - Vishnu, Siva and Laksammee) the originals were carved by Pallava Sculptors in the 13th Century.

From there we saw The Pavillion of the Enlightened which is the story of how 500 monks showed people from all walks of life how to become enlightened and reach Nirvana,

The Grand Hall of Wat Maha That (the original of which is in Sukhothai - photo on the right),

a statue of Phra Phrom (The god of creation and kindness - Photo on the left),

Phra That Bang Phuan which is a temple in Nong Khai believed to house relics of the Buddha brought to Thailand from India and lots of other monuments and things that I can't remember the names of.

We will definately go back as we only got to see about half the attractions (if that) and it's made us very keen to see some of the areas of Thailand that we've not made it to yet!!! It's such a great place - really really worth the effort to get there!!

Monday, 19 May 2008

Our 3rd Wedding Anniversary

Well, we've made it to 3 years without killing one another :-). We had a very sedate celebration on Wednesday night - since Chris was working on Thursday and I had the CWL we didn't think it was a good idea to go out and paint the town red!! (We went out Sat night instead). We had a bottle of bubbly and opened our pressies - I got Chris a beautiful corkscrew that folds up and goes into a leather holder (3rd anniversary is leather) and a wooden alarm clock. The alarm clock is kinda weird in that the surface of it is completely flat yet when it's plugged in the numbers show on the front.....I have no idea how it works but it looks cool!!! Chris got me a gorgeous wooden alphabet stamp set that I have had my eye on for a while (will be great for doing my cards) and a really soft red leather pencil case.....he even got me a retractable pencil and leads (that's my fav type of pencil for drawing with). Moon bought us a huge bouquet of flowers and cooked an amazing meal for us. It was quiet but lovely!! (Gai liked the red bag!!)

We had decided that instead of buying expensive gifts we would go for a very posh meal and spend the money on doing something together so last night we headed over to Silom to eat at a French Restaurant called Indigo. It had been recommended by a Frenchman so we figured that the food would be good - we were not disappointed!!! The restaurant is down a little side soi off Soi Convent and it's tucked away right at the bottom - it's gorgeous. It's got a magical little garden area decorated with little white twinkly lights where you can sit and eat your meal or you can choose to eat inside in the intimate dining room, with its polished wooden floors, subdued lighting and large windows looking onto the courtyard. We chose inside as it looked like it was going to rain (which it did - in buckets!!).

To start with Chris had the Cheese Soufflé surprise (not sure what the surprise was - perhaps the surprise was that there wasn't one!!) which was light and full of cheesy flavour and I had cream of wild mushroom soup which was just divine!! For main course Chris had Duck breast stuffed with apple and wrapped in parma ham which was served with dauphinoise potatoes and I had Beef Stroganoff which came with pasta. We were both absolutely stuffed but had managed to save a wee space to share a plate of profeterols which were to die for (you know the kind that has the rich dark chocolate sauce that cuts through the sweetness of the dish....yum!!). It was a lovely romantic meal.....awwwww :-)

Friday, 16 May 2008

The name is Bond.......

Jane Bond (hehehehe)

Thursday was the combined women's lunch organised by The British Women's Group (I had a stall at the event so was running around trying to sort out prints, paintings and lots of piddly other things that shouldn't take long to do but seem to take forever - which is why I've not been blogging much!!). The theme of the lunch was James Bond - you may remember that JJ and I did the graphics for the event. Honestly, the amount of work that goes into the organisation of these events is phenomenal.....lunch for 320 people with shopping to start with, a charity presentation and entertainment throughout is not an easy thing to do!! The girls did us proud because it was fantastic!!! It helped that everyone that got into the James Bond spirit of things and had made a huge effort - we had girls in tuxedos, some dressed as Bond, a multitude of bond girls and even an M with lab coat and goggles!! I was told that, since I had come up with the lady for the poster, I should dress as her - hence the hair-drier!! (See.....suddenly all becomes clear!!)

It was held at the Oriental hotel by the river and the event started with a video of James Bond (it was someone's son that had been bribed with beer) coming off the skytrain, jumping on a speedboat, entering the hotel and then coming in the door of the ballroom - that was how our host entered the room. It was brilliantly done!!

Our chosen charity was Operation Smile and they showed a very touching video which highlighted the work that they do. I'm sure I mentioned them before - they are a global organisation that works with the worlds poorest families providing much needed operations to both children and adults that suffer from cleft lips and palates. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house!!! Leanne, who is the lady that I have been working with, approached me on the day and asked if I would join them on the executive committee for Thailand - I've said yes (honestly, how could I not!!)

The lunch itself was lovely....we had feta cheese salad to start with followed by chicken in a very light gravy with ribbon pasta on the side which was then followed by an apple tart with banana sorbet - the food was divine!! Oh, and there was lots of wine of course!!

During the actual lunch various clips were played of the best stunts from the Bond movies (The Golden Eye ones went down particularly well since it was actually filmed in Bangkok!!) and then between our main course and desert two men in suits appeared in the room, made their way through the tables and then they started undressing two women!! I couldn't believe it.....I honestly thought that the women had obviously had waaaay to much to drink (that says rather a lot about these events doesn't it!!) but then realised that it had been planned and they were showcasing Smoochie Smoochie underwear!! They came on stage and ended up throwing knickers into the crowd (you'll be pleased to know that they kept theirs on!!) - it was very funny.....I got a black thong with diamond bits on it!!! Then after lunch there was a fab singer and we all ended up dancing.

We were kicked out the hotel about 4 o'clock and then six taxi loads of us headed over to the Soi 8 pub where we were joined by our other half's when they finished work. It was a really good day - knackering but really good!!

I don't know the final total of money raised but I know that it's over 120,000 baht which is just brilliant!!!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Things I never thought I would say......

'I've got to go.......I have a hair-drier
that needs to be painted gold!!'

Monday, 12 May 2008


There have been a couple of Thai public holidays recently so Chris and I decided that we would do a bit of site seeing and visit some of the places that we've not been to before. One of the area's we have talked about visiting is the Island of Ko Kred - it's fairly easy to get to and sounds really interesting. It's inhabited by the Mon people (thought to have originated either in India or Mongolia) who have been persecuted and displaced for centuries. They are very similar to the Thai's in that they are buddhist but they also have strong animist beliefs and aparently all families have totemic house spirits such as the chicken, snake, pig etc. The Island is known for it's Ancient Mon Pottery centre which produces beautiful terracotta pots and Mon-style Buddha shrines. We thought that it sounded interesting so decided that we would go exploring.....Ah the best laid plans......

It started off so well, we got the Skytrain down to Saphan Taksin and hopped on the river taxi - the last stop is Nonthaburi and from there you can either hire a longtail boat to get to the Island or you can get a bus and a cross river ferry. We got as far as Nonthaburi!!

The best bit was the river journey itself....it was a stifling hot day and the breeze on the boat was divine - it was also the first time we had travelled so far up the river and we spent about an hour and a half weaving round huge sand barges and tiny canoes...we even passed a guy in a rubber tyre with a paddle!! The scenery was stunning and it was amazing how the skyline changed as we went along - I think there are quite a few Muslims in that area as we passed a number of beautifully decorated Mosques. When we arrived in Nonthaburi we looked at the sky (Yes, it's getting to that time again.....the rainy season!!) and decided that we really shouldn't go any further as it looked like it was going to lash down and we didn't have any umbrella's with us so we decided to explore Nonthaburi instead.

We had such a lovely day....there is not much to see there (that we could find - we had forgotten to lift the guide book!!) but it's a lovely little Thai town with a very different feel to Bangkok. It has a huge bustling market which we spent a couple of hours meandering around.....we bought this teapot and cup set for 210 baht (£3.40) which I love and then we went and had some lunch at a floating restaurant called Rim Fang. (If you ever get the chance to go I can highly recommend the Tom Yum Goong - spicy hot and sour prawn soup). We then jumped on the boat back to Bangkok where we met up with Caroline and her husband Andrew and went for a curry.....a good day out even though we didn't make it to our planned destination!!

Friday, 9 May 2008

Bloody Blogger!!

Can anyone tell me what on earth has been going on with Blogger?? I've had horrific trouble trying to post (Ha, and you just thought I was being lazy!!). I was able to go into the 'New Post' page and then copy and paste my ramblings, add the pics and then when I tried to publish....nothing....nada.....zip. Is anyone else having this problem?

Anyway, I shall endeavour to update you all on that you've missed (which really isn't that much or that exciting but hey.....). Mind you.....it's our wedding anniversary next week and I have got a big event that I am attending with my art work so you might have to bear with me. (That is if Blogger allows me to publish anything!!)


Ok, so that worked (whoo hoo) see below for first update :-)

Bowling Thai's and St Georges Day

We took Fa, Dawan and Moon bowling - none of them had ever been before (It was going to be ice skating but when we got there Dawan decided he didn't like the look of it so bowling it was!!) and it was an absolute hoot!!!.

When we arrived at the bowling alley we discovered that there was a bowling tournament in progress (which seemed to involved lots of very impressive looking bowling gloves and a very loud woman with a microphone!!) so we were told to come back in an hour. Now, it just so happens that the mall we were in has one of THE best ice-cream shops ever so guess what we did!!! It's great - you choose two flavours of ice cream and a topping and then the server mixes them all together on a frozen bar.....It's very cool (Hahaha sometimes I am just soooo funny!!). Dawan had mango and chocolate (Barf!!!), Fa went for chocolate and strawberry, Chris had cookie dough and chocolate, I had coconut and chocolate and Moon had a spoon so nicked bits from all of us!! OMG it was divine!!

After our ice-cream we headed back up to the bowling alley - this is a picture of all our shoes lined up......can you guess which pair were Chris's? We ended up with two lanes - one for the kids that had barriers along the lane to stop the ball just going down the side and not hitting anything and one for us without the barriers. Talk about laugh!! Dawan, who's only 6, ended up throwing the ball using both hands and then got so excited as it made it's way down to the pins that he couldn't look. He kept covering his eyes with his hands and peaking out to see how he was getting on!! Fa, who is normally a very serious little girl, did really well and was giggling, laughing and jumping up and down (Which was lovely to see!!) and I think Moon was just about as excited as the kids. Every time she hit more than one pin she did this very funny wee dance back to where we were sitting grinning like a loon. It was a great afternoon and really nice to see Moon getting to spend some fun time with her kids since they really don't get much opportunity to do that kind of thing.

In the evening we headed out to the British club to meet up with friends that were celebrating St Georges Day. The celebrations were outside on the lawn and it had been raining quite heavily so by the time we turned up at 7pm the place was like one huge mud bath!! There was nothing else for it - I had to roll up my trousers, take my shoes off and squelch around in my bare feet (Chris had sensible shoes on so didn't have to squelch!!). We timed it well and arrived just as the buffet was being served so we had some really lovely roast beef with potatoes and Yorkshire pudding (Yum!!). Chris then, very sensibly, buggered off inside to watch the footy whilst I stayed outside and endured 'Land of Hope and Glory' being sung along with much flag waving!! (I politely declined the offer of a flag!!). Chris came back and joined us when the football finished and we all stood around chatting and drinking wine - it was a good night.