Archive Page 2

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.

 

I’m still here – really I am!

Ok so I know it’s been a long time and I haven’t kept up with the resolution of posting one a week *naughty* – but I’m back now *grin*.

I’ve just found the decidedly handy blog post format in word – so I really have no excuses now do I?

It’s been a very busy couple of months. Wendy and Nathan were in Thailand recently (end of June) and I caught up with them in Chiang Mai. It was so lovely to see them and just hang out. I’ll post later with more about the visit – this post is a quick catch up for all of you that have been prodding – you know who you are!

Ros and Nat visited at the end of July. It was great having family come and stay to experience the rural Thailand I live in *grin*. We did a few touristy things and lots of relaxing. Post more about that later – including the wondrousness of being caught in evening traffic in Bangkok – all the joys.

Finally work – it is here and constant. It’s a busy job – no time to coast. When one thing is done there are lots more to follow up. We finally put the midyear resource/reserve update away – yay! There are however, lots of reports to do. Gah! How can there be no complete resource report written at all here in the last I don’t know how many years……….

So now that I have proven I am still here and love you all (even if it is via a blog post) I shall go back to compiling the July monthly report. Because I love reports. Really I do………

*daily mossie kill count: so far today: 3 – all in the office*

Tractors, they’re all around us.

Tractors tractors everywhere….

Most of the time driving here is an exercise in driving for everyone else on the road.  There are cars, buses, trucks, motorbikes, scooters, home-made vehicles, farm equipment, dogs and let’s not forget the pedestrians walking on the side of the road 🙂  Apart from the home-made vehicles I suppose you could really be anywhere in the world – but add in the faith that most Thai drivers have, that they are protected whilst driving, and it’s not really like driving at home. 

Weaving around motorbikes that will just swing out in front of you at any moment and overtaking the very slow-moving home-made vehicles you get used to.  Although the home-made vehicles tend not to have any driving lights so seeing them after dusk is quite nerve racking on a road where the majority of drivers travel at 100kms + per hour.  What I noticed today was the huge number of tractors on the road.  I suppose if I’d grown up in a farming town I’d be used to it, but I do still find it strange having to play dodgem tractor in the morning on my drive to work.  As it’s nearly the wet season (some rain has fallen, but not too much yet) all the rice farmers are ploughing and sowing their crops.  So, I guess I’ll be playing dodgem tractor for a while yet *grin*.

Well I’m now nearly up to date with Masterchef – to last week anyway.  It’s getting much more exciting now – a simple mistake can be very costly.   Not sure who my money’s on yet – there’s a pretty good bunch of people still in the house.

I’m struggling with a very sore throat/ear thing at the moment.  I’m trying to ignore it to see if it goes away, but it’s not disappearing as fast as I’d like it too.  Of course I’m starting to lose my voice too.  Those of you that have heard this particular sound will know that I could start my own business – and yes those are the comments I’ve had from everyone at work.  Along with the smiles and laughter that go with the total loss of voice – that I think is going to happen.  Ahh well it just means I don’t have to answer the phone *grin*.

I have a few more pics of the kids to post.  Nikki and Josh have been going through the “I’ve lost a tooth and I’m gummy” phase.  I asked for them to pose for me.  Of course Miss B had to pose – “me too!”

Josh

Nikki

Bella (showing all her teeth – or being the Wide Mouth Frog!)

Back in Thailand

Well I made it back safely to work.  I flew into Thailand last night and instead of staying at the usual hotel (was in the exclusion zone – near Silom Rd) I stayed at the Novotel hotel at the airport.  It is very plush – as is the cost.  Note to self – must put travel expenditure form in…..

I arrived at the hotel at about midnight and was waiting until after 1am for a room.  I was not the only one waiting – the rooms were not ready.  I did get one at about 1.20am so I went up just wanting to shower and sleep and promptly came back downstairs.  My non-smoking room on the non-smoking floor smelt very strongly of cigarette smoke.  The room was even worse than the corridor.  I went and requested another room.  While I was waiting I was given a complimentary meal (which was good as I was kinda peckish).  So anyway, at about 2 and after I’d had some spag bol (with penne pasta) I went up to a lovely smoke free room. 

I was picked up by my driver (that sounds so posh doesn’t it) at 8 this morning and we only had to stop at one police checkpoint on the way north.  We really weren’t close to Bangkok – I think the closest must have been about 20 to 30 kms away.  There was a very black plume of smoke hanging over the city though.

There has been no protest activity where I am living and I don’t think there will be *fingers crossed*.  So all is well and I am glad to be “home”.

I’ve just come back from a week of GS3 training (MIK block modelling program) in Sydney.  I learnt a lot, but I think my brain is full! 

I managed to get to Melbourne for a few days to see the family.  Ros and Nat’s kids posed for some photos…..

There are other photos – particularly of Josh and Nikki showing off their toothless gums, oh yes and Bella imitating them *grin* – she is a parrot! – but they are too big – I need to resize them and that is a job for another day.  I don’t have any photos of Callum – I have threatened him with using the baby photos though – what do you think Callum???

Go the Business Class

I got my upgrade to Business class on the way back to Sydney.  Excellent news – it means I can get a good sleep.

I leave work at 7.30 tomorrow morning – catching a company bus going to Bangkok.  I will then have the possibility of getting a little shopping done – in the outskirts of the city as the political unrest has had the shops in the centre of the city shut since the weekend.  So if there seem to be any issues I’ll go straight to the airport to sit and wait until I can check in for my flight.

Oh I’ll be in Sydney from April 9 to 16 if anyone will be around and wants to catch up.

I’m looking forward to catching up with people in Melbourne and Perth – see you next week!


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