Well, that’s all folks…

I am officially job hunting.  I have been informed by my boss that he is not extending my 3 year contract next year.  I am very lucky to have been given plenty of time to job hunt *grin*.

I do feel a bit unwanted – but honestly I’ve had the feeling that he has not wanted me here ever since he came on board in January this year.  And I have to say it hasn’t been the most fun I’ve ever had.

I do have the opportunity to tak to the GM in a couple of weeks to see if there are any other opportunities within the company – we shall see.  Not burning my bridges just yet – mining is the smallest possible workforce to be involved in and people remember!!!!!!!!

So the hardest thing this afternoon has been not to sit and think, update the CV or job hunt online.  I will certainly miss all of the people here – especially my team.  Hope the next place I work is just as welcoming – and doesn’t have a change of boss 2 years in.  My previous boss was awesome – but there were many changes happening in the company and he was one of the first to go.  I have been waiting for a pink slip since December last year so I guess it’s a bit of a relief to know I’m not invited to stay……..

Now I just have to work on as normal here – I don’t want to tell my team yet – they all hate change and it would cause difficulties.  Also I’m not sure what the boss is planning to do – advertise now and get someone to replace me or wait – again I don’t know.  I will find out soon enough though *grin*

I do have a lovely visit from mum and dad to look forward to.  They are coming for 3 weeks – arriving in Bangkok on Sunday.  I’m really looking forward to it.  Now that I know I don’t have to save any annual leave for after March next year – I shall take as much as I can while they’re here *grin*.

Gah!

Seriously – if you are going to eat in the big open plan office have the courtesy to eat quietly.  I really don’t need to hear or see every single chew you make.  Please!

Note to self

Well a quick note to self – don’t attempt to cook meat pies AND apple cakes on a school night.

I made the shortcrust pastry and the meat pie filling in the Thermomix. I love my TM. It makes everything so very easy. BUT tonight I thought I’d broken it. I had just chopped up the beef and just wanted to take the lid off. The stupid thing wouldn’t come off! I tried so many times to remove it and it was stuck tight. Not very happy let me tell you. THEN I had a proper look and realised that I still had the dial set to closed lid. Yes I am an idiot and I am so laughing with you right now.

Anyway all was well with the TM – cue enormous sigh of relief.
So I ended up cooking Pear and Buttermilk cakes which I twisted to Apple and Buttermilk cakes cos that was what I had.

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The meat pies just made it out of the oven. They smell good, hope they taste good too. Of course it’s nearly 10pm but I’m still going to eat my pie!

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สงกรานต์ 2554 (or Songkran 2011)

Songkran – the Water Festival – is to celebrate the traditional New Year.  There were three public holidays April 13 to 15 during which there was a lot of water thrown around – especially on people.  Click here to see more information about Songkran on Wikipedia – it’s not exhaustive, but it does the job.

We closed the exploration office the day before and the day after the public holidays so that everyone had the chance to drive to their home towns safely.  Roads here during Songkran get very busy – with cars and people celebrating!  As the office was closed for the actual celebration we had an ‘office Songkran’ on Friday April 8.

It was actually a cooler than normal day and I really wasn’t looking forward to getting ice water poured and then thrown all over me – but hey who am I to stand in the way of tradition (well this one anyway) *grin*.  The throwing of water started well before we got out there for the “official” part of the day which involved all the managers sitting to have water poured over the hands and shoulders to give good fortune.

This year we had a bbq and sound system set up – just for karaoke *grin*.  We also had the local fire truck complete with fire hose and water cannon.  I have some photos I took from the safety of the front office – so they aren’t very good quality – but it will give the general idea of what was going on.  At least the water from the truck was warm – there wasn’t a lot of ice water around but when you it is poured down your shirt – gah!  Too cold!

 It was a great afternoon – I was absolutely soaked within 10 minutes *grin*.  I did get my own back though – that fire hose was very good fun!
 
In Thap Khlo – a town about 6kms away which is on my way home, the Songkran celebration goes until the 19th of April.  the main street is bumper to bumper with vehicles full of people dancing and throwing water at each other.  I went around town on the public holidays, but I drove through on the 18th and 19th.  The 2 middle lanes are barricaded to allow through traffic – but it isn’t always moving *grin*.  It did take quite a bit longer than usual but it was an experience.  I managed to take a couple of photos while i was waiting for traffic to move.
 

Slow crawl through Thap Khlo street party

Street party
 
And finally I have a photo of Thap Khlo that I took this morning – it was a very slow crawl through the fog – this was much better than just out of town.  I did see locals taking photos – so I’m guessing it’s not a common occurrence,
 
Morning in Thap Khlo
 
I feel quite accomplished – 2 posts in one week.  No promises about when the next one will be *grin*.
 
 
 

Monday

A big “Hap to You” to Miss Bella who is 4 today. She had a lovely 4 layer cake – way to go Ros – I do hope someone had a piece for me :).

I decided I felt like cake. Not only was it Bella’s birthday, but it was a cake sort of day ( but not vaguely lemony). When I got home from work I decided that I needed to make cake and some fresh pasta for dinner.

I cheated a little on the cake – I had a fudge brownie mix that I used and cooked it in mini loaf tins. It only made 5 mini loaves – but they taste good :). Then I worked on the pasta. The dough looked great – I kneaded it then let it sit, then it got to the pasta machine. The first stage was ok, but do you think I could get the stupid dough through the narrow spaghetti cutter. Ahh no. It kept clagging up, what was more annoying was that it clagged up the fettucine cutter too. Obviously I needed to flour the dough – gah! Anyway I reworked the dough, floured it properly and used the clean slightly wider spaghetti cutter. Success – at last, finally.

I also made some apple cinnamon breakfast muffins – they’re not too bad if I do say so myself.

So it was a cooking sort of night which I am happy I did – even if I did feel like tossing the pasta dough out the window at one point.

We’ve just been through Songkran here. I’ll find the work celebration photos and post them later this week.

New comfy chair

My new comfy chair is most wonderful. I love my birthday present to myself :). I may even post a photo of it one day….

Oh dear – very bad karaoke

I am currently suffering greatly. There is a party at the house behind mine. It actually sounds like it’s right here inside the house. It’s an amazing setup. The whole back yard is set up with lights and a stage with full on light and sound system set up. So, I am suffering – um I mean really enjoying genuine Thai karaoke – NOT!

GAH!

Post from Hong Kong

Dear Bazza et al,
Lenore here.
I thought you would like an independent report on the welfare and status of the eldest
fruit of your loins.

Happy hour here in the SipSip bar of the hotel, although I call it the Pee Pee bar – eternal happy hour – you work it out!

Today we went to Hong Kong Disney. (now I have the hiccups – too much gin!)
Any how, my train of thought isn’t what it used to be (before HappyHour) oops.
here’s Fiona…

So, walking to the station, Disneyland, walking, more walking, eating, buying.
Oh for God’s sake, that woman is light on the detail!

Firstly, it has been more than wonderful to see Fiona in the flesh. We manage to communicate almost every day through Skype, but to see her and speak , and shop and laugh together has been wonderful. It has absolutely affirmed to me how much Fiona means to me as a friend and pseudo sister. Pseudo is better than real given how many sisters I actually have!

We went to Disney land today and it has been a huge day! This is my second time at Disney . The first one was in calfornia long before the one in hong ever happened. And I can assure you Bazza that it is something I so will not do a third time!

But is was fun to take the children, and I do include Fiona in that group.

Thank you Lenore – really. More another day.

Wat Dogs?

Just a few more photos from my trip to Chiang Mai.

As Wendy, Nathan and I were travelling around town we saw a LOT of dogs. They are literally everywhere. It all started with Wat Dogs. There were dogs, they were in the Wat – Wat Dogs. Of course it went on from there to Road Dogs, Running Dogs, Cafe Dogs – you get the gist. We had a lot of fun *grin*. Of course then we saw the chickens……..

                                    Wat Dog

 

            Wat Chickens

Sundays…..

I remember Sundays when I could sleep past 7.30am – I miss them.

Thailand is a country where people work every day – not saying people don’t have days off – just that the western concept of the weekend really doesn’t hold here. So come Sunday morning if you happen to be still asleep at about 7.30am on my street, you will most likely be awakened by the man on his motorbike that sweeps up the street at about that time. He beeps the horn and calls out something that I don’t understand – but there you go – you’re awake. Oh well it could be worse – I could still be working FIFO and have to work every second weekend getting up at 4.45am. OK I feel better now *grin*

 

Of course I also remember my growing up Sundays. They often involved some sort of event at softball be it a weekend carnival during the summer season or playing in at Falkner Park during the winter season (which was cold, muddy and great fun). But the thing that stands out the most is Disneyland – hmmm and “cleaning the house”. Disneyland comes to mind first, but to get to that point, the house HAD to be cleaned up. It was a family affair that tended to start as soon as everyone was up and sort of extended across the day depending on how much we kids could hide, procrastinate or come up with great excuses – like homework *grin*. Disneyland used to be on at 6.30pm on a Sunday and when I was in primary school we all looked forward to watching it. I remember it as a time when we all sat down and had dinner in front of the tv and watched Disneyland as a family – good times *grin*.

 

So enough about Sundays – it was fun remembering though………

 

A couple of months ago I travelled up to Chiang Mai for a long weekend. I went up to meet with Wendy and Nathan – it was so lovely to see some friends. I had a great time. I drove up from Taphan Hin – a lovely 6 hour drive with some really revolting road and some not so bad *grin*. I managed to miss the turn I wanted to take off the main highway and ended up travelling the ring road around Chiang Mai until I was on the opposite side of the city to where I wanted to be. I did make it to the guesthouse so it’s all ok.

We went and saw the tigers (yes I do still have the photo cds – I promise to send them soon Miss W); visited San Kampaeng and Bo Sang (where we went to a silk factory); walked all over the Sunday Market and visited Wat Umong. I managed to remember my camera that day – I think Nathan is looking at the chickens.

One of the highlights of the visit was going to a Thai cookery class. We were picked up at 9am and taken through Chiang Mai to pick up the rest of our fellow cooks. Then we were taken to a market and shown most of the ingredients we would be using – a bit like an introduction to herbs and spices Thai style – and what they look like when you go to the market and can’t speak Thai. It was really quite interesting and I am thankful that I did NOT taste the raw chilli.

We went to a house up in the hills and started our class – there were 7 courses. A lot of food to eat *grin*. We all learnt how to use the mortar and pestle to make the curry paste what I found amusing was that in the provided cook book it instructs you to use a food processor *grin*.

A great deal of fun was had – and I would possibly do it again. We finished up at about 4pm and were taken back to out accommodations not hungry at all and fairly foot weary from standing up all day. But oh the food was good!

I haven’t used the recipe book to cook at home yet – but it will happen sooner or later.

 


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