Monday, 29 December 2008

Pfftt - We've had a computer virus

Which is why my wee blog has been neglected (and I've got loads to blog about!!). I think I shall start by wishing you all a (slightly belated) Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.

Oh, and if anyone knows where I can buy a mirror that does this then perhaps I can ask Chris for one for my Christmas next year :-)

Right, I'm off to see what you've all been up to.....

Thursday, 11 December 2008

All about H

The lovely JJ has tagged me with the letter H (I did ask for a letter so brought it upon myself...well, I thought you needed a break before I finish the Mae Hong Son trip) so I now have to blog about ten things I love beginning with the letter H

Here goes

1. Husband - I adore him...he's the only man I have ever met that can make me laugh so much I get belly ache and I wouldn't swap him for the world!! (Awww....kinda makes you want to go running for the nearest bucket doesn't it!!)

2. Handbags - (Chris you came before Handbags....that's true love for you!!). This is a recent discovery for me....I always liked them but they didn't have my heart till JJ introduced me to the joy that is Mulberry Handbags....I shall never be the same again and it's all her fault!!

3. High Heels - I really did wrack my brains to find a way of including shoes on this list!! (Handbags and High Heels - That almost makes me sound like a classy lady....those of you that read this blog regularly will know that I'm not but hey....I can dream!!)

4. Holidays - I love going on holiday (who doesn't??). I get excited just thinking about all the amazing places I want to see and, sad person that I am, I regularly look on the internet for interesting places that I could visit one day. (Yesterday it was Machu Picchu....I soooo want to go there!!)

5. Hotels - I have no idea why but I love staying overnight in hotels....I think it's something to do with the clean crisp white sheets that they have on the beds.

6. Home - I love going away but I love coming home again too!! Home is where Chris is and that changes as we move around but in terms of an actual place.....well, it would have to be Glasgow. (The picture is of Glasgow School of was built by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and is absolutely stunning!!)

7. Hugging - There is nothing quite like a big hug when you are feeling blue!!

8. Herbs - Cause I love cooking and have a weird and wonderful collection of herbs!!

9. Hiccups - They make me giggle!! (Can you tell I am now struggling for words that begin with H?)

10. Hchocolate - hehehehe

If you would like to do this alphabet Meme then just let me know and I will give you a letter :-)

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

An Award

The lovely French Fancy has given me this gorgeous award (Thanks hon) and as always there are rules associated.

1. Copy and paste the rules and instructions into your post.
2. When you post about receiving this award, make sure you include who gave you the award and link it back to them.
3. Post five winners and link it back to them as well.
4. Post five of your addictions.
5. Add the award image.
6. Let your winners know you gave them an award by leaving them a comment on their blog.

So the next step is for me to nominate five other bloggers for this award so I pass this to the lovely JJ at Tea Stains, Misssy from the Misssy M Misssives, Lily at When Life Gives You Lemons, Lane at Lane's Write and last but certainly not least DJ at DJ Kirkby's Blog. (Why is there always a limit on how many people you can pass these things onto?) addictions

Art - Go to any shopping mall and I am to be found in one of two places....either the art book section or the art supply section. I adore drawing and am never happier than when I am hunched over my drawing table scribbling away. There are a zillion things I would love to try and I keep a note book of ideas (most of which I will never be able to achieve but one of my goals is to have fun trying). I love going to art galleries and exhibitions and everywhere we go I have to buy some kind of art whether it is an actual picture or just a postcard as a keepsake. (If I ever have enough money I want to own a Dinh Quan original)

Tea - The difference in me pre tea and post tea is incredible.......I really am one of those people that can't function without a cuppa in the morning!! I blame my Gran.....she used to make me a cup of tea as a cure for everything (Secretly I still believe in the amazing abilities of tea to solve any problem you will ever have.....but don't tell anyone....they'll laugh!!)

Books - I don't read books I consume them!! I'm really not fussy what I read and have read books from just about any genre that you care to mention. My Dad's a writer and I think that is probably where I got my love of books from....In saying Mum is a book monster too so perhaps it's just in the genes!!

Funky Things - I am a collector of weird and wonderful funky things. I adore anything that is a bit odd (I'm a bit odd myself really....hey, at least I know!!) and have a strange collection of ornaments dotted about the house. I will give you a couple of examples - I have a gorgeous (Chris hates her) wee pottery cave woman ....that has huge feet, feathers for hair and a brown toga thing that goes over one shoulder but the thing that made me absolutely fall in love with her was that if you lift up the toga (don't ask me how I found this out) she has feathers for pubic hair (hehehehe - I would show you a picture but she's already been packed!!). Another example (which I bought the other day so can show you) is an old Burmese statue of a girl's face....she has, what I would call, sprigs (bunches of hair) on either side of her head and in the middle is a little rope which you can barely see but if you pull it she sticks her tongue out at you!! (I really need to get out more don't I....)

Food - I love my food. I didn't used to (that was when I was thin) but as I've got older my taste buds have matured and I have discovered the absolute joy that is good food. One thing I have really missed here is cooking...the kitchen doesn't have air-con which makes cooking in it just hideous and I end up all red faced and sweaty so one of the things I am really looking forward to about moving back to the UK is being able to cook again. I can't wait to get back to perusing farmers markets and going to food fairs choosing the freshest ingredients to cook with and then matching the wine to the recipe....bliss!!!

So there you have my five addictions :-)

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Mae Hong Son (Day 2) - Huay Gung School

Gawd it's taking me some time to get to the end of this trip isn't it......Your going to be fed up reading about it by the time I'm finished!!. In my defence, during the last week, we have gone through all our stuff, had it packed up ready to be shipped, had the splats chipped (Lugs was determined not to get into the cat basket and had all four feet employed in the task of avoiding it) and we've been waiting with bated breath to see what on earth was going to happen with Thailand's political situation....ok, I'll stop making excuses and get on with it.

As I've already reported (here) leaving the village of Mae Jong was nowhere near as nerve racking as our arrival. The road, or the muddy track as it's otherwise known, had dried up overnight so we were not sliding all over the place much to the relief of all concerned (although the plummets on either side did still cause a few heart stopping moments!!). We had planned to visit Om Ai School which the BWG recently gave money to for the refurbishment of their bathrooms (If you look closely at the picture you can see the village) but we were told that the road was impassible and the only way to get there would have been by elephant......we didn't have the time.....or the elephants!!

The next school we visited, Huay Gung, was one of the most heart breaking places I have ever been and I left there with my blood boiling and a determination to help change things there!! My first impression of the school was that it was not too different from the others we had visited but once we started asking questions and walked past the main building we were shocked by what we found.

To put this into some kind of context - there are 190 kids attending this school aged between 4 and 16 and over 30 kids live h
ere full time.

To be honest I don't really know where to start!! (The photo's don't show just how awful it was there). There was rotten, mouldy food all over the place...there is no canteen, all food is cooked on this one stove, and not enough teachers to look after all the kids, never mind keep the place clean, so they are kind of running riot. The water tanks which are supposed to provide them with a water supply for the year are leaking, the classrooms were in a terrible state and the accommodation for both the kids and the teachers was just horrific!! I don't know if you can see from the pictures but there are no beds, no proper mats or mattresses, mold was growing up the walls, mouldy boxes were piled up in a corner along with broken desks and the teachers, that don't sleep in with the kids, sleep in the cooking area cause there is nowhere else for them to go!!!

To add insult to injury some idiot in the education department (I have no idea which government was in charge at the time) pledged that ever
y school in Thailand would have a computer and computer room. The people that run the schools were told that the money would have to come out of their budgets (no extra funds were made available) and that they had to comply. So, as a result, this school has a computer room and something that would pass as a computer....they can't use it........because they have no fucking electricity!!!! That money could have paid for another teacher, or beds, or a new water tower but nooooo someone wanted to be able to tell the rest of the world that every school in Thailand has it's own computer!!!!

On a happier note - The school now has a new headmistress in place and it was her that approached us for help and showed us round. She has some excellent plans for tackling the problems there but she needs financial help to achieve them so, upon our return to Bangkok, I made a special request to the BWG Committee that we pledge to support this school for an initial period of three years to help it get to an acceptable standard. It was agreed and I have offered to co-ordinate the project from the UK.