Monday, 30 November 2009
Monday, 23 November 2009
So with that in mind we decided on a short video to show how it was done. Bit self indulgent on our part, but hey this is my site right?...So we can do it.
We, comprising Wanna, Tee, his son Ghan and myself had intended making it in some sort of formal manner, but, a few 'takes' and it was clear a more relaxed type of video was called for. Listen to me sounding like an expert. I've also tried to add in the video of the video if you know what I mean.
I've only ever made a few home clips for this Blog!!! So stick with us on this one OK? Anyway check out below and tell me what you think of it. Well done Tee, and of couse Wanna and Ghan. Both leading Aotors and Actresses. Oscars anyone?....
Sunday, 22 November 2009
Buffalo racing, making garden lights. All of which I'll be sharing with you in the next few postings. But it brings me to possibly the most light hearted of them all, camping. Yes, camping, we set the tent up in the garden. You'd thing we were still young teenagers... So what!!!! It was fun.
Friday, 20 November 2009
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Monday, 16 November 2009
Sunset in Ban Muang. As viewed from our farm.
Anyone following this Blog must think I live half my time up in Ban Muang. Well not quite but this weekend we decided to check on our road and complete a few little jobs around the place.
Well the road is looking great. No major cracks. All that is required is get the surrounding grass to grow and give it a more natural look. Instead of the harsh new bare concrete as it is now. We seem to have adopted a dog from one of Wanna's nephews. 'Bo' as he is called has moved in. I'm not sure who has adopted whom? But he's good company and seems happy enough just hanging around.
We also restocked out fish net with some small 'fry' and got that started again. And bought some Mekong River Cat Fish. They the species not mine, are the largest 'scaleless fresh water fish in the world. Reputed to grow to 100 + Kilos. That's a lot of fish. I doubt in our pond they will exceed 25 kilos. Even that would be a great catch. But for now they go in at 0.5 kilo. Long way to go to reach 25 kilos.
The other thing this weekend is that it is rice cutting season. Hard work and in such a hot environment. Not my idea of fun.
But a really great weekend.
Monday, 9 November 2009
What happened? Well Saturday was intended to be a bit of a relax. You know what than means. a euphemism for doing nothing.
Didn’t work out as planned. Spend a few hours cleaning up a few things and checked out a few bits of stuff we had left in storage boxes. Even found my old rechargeable drill and grinder plus a few hand tools. They all needed some cleaning and the drill batteries recharging. So that took time in between coffees. Morning gone already. It did include a quick visit to us by Tee. He was all excited and he was trying plan a trip for Sunday up to Nakon Yayot. About 200 kilometers away in the national parks. Seems we could go to visit a famous Wat (aren’t they all ?) and see a large concrete dam and lake. All set in or close to one of the national parks. And if the water levers in the river are OK we are going for a river rafting trip. No sooner had we said “yes we would love to come along” then he said “Good. I’ll pick you up around 5 tomorrow morning.”. Before I could respond he was gone!!! So that is Sunday organized. Now back to Saturday.
Also found some time for baking and making yet another quiche. Why so many you ask? Well obvious really, they keep getting eaten. So by popular demand I keep making them. However I have given up following the same old recipe each time and added in a few of my own ideas. The usual bacon and cheese remains but I add a few different additions to each one, maybe a little curry powder and different spices seems to give them real added tastes. Last one included cocktail sausages and olives. Adventurous or what?... Hardly earth shattering or of the Jamie Oliver standard of ideas but I enjoyed it. Other big deal for the day… Making spaghetti. Yes I know, I seem to be going cooking crazy. Not really, its just that I am enjoying myself. And well, yes, Wanna had managed to locate some semolina flour. No mean feat in Thailand I might add. So I had to show my appreciation.
Finish the day off with a swim and relax in from of the TV. Rugby should be on but for seem reason I could not get it on my receiver. Bummer. Even earlier night than planned.
Ugh!!!! 4.30am and we’re up. Have some coffee and toast then get ready for the trip.
Made up some sandwiches and pack some water, drinks etc. And of course a quiche…. Don’t ask….
Checked camera, video etc and added in some spare towels and shorts(post rafting) ready to go and pick up the others. Six of us having a day out. Great.
And last but not least car keys and money. We’re off.
Tee drove most of the way and when we to there he was right. Beautiful spot and being early to the Wat (7.00am) we really were the early birds. However it did not take long for the place to start filling up and in no time it began to feel crowded. I was actually glad we had come earlier.
I should tell that by now the sandwiches had been eaten along with the quiche. That was before we arrived. Just a small snack during the journey. And we were all beginning to get hungry again….The place was quite calm if that is a good word to describe it. sort of lull before the storm. We wandered around and took a few pictures.
All made for a good start to the day. What next. A trip to the very large Concrete dam. Its apparently 2.3 kilometers along the top. That's a lot of concrete.
Thursday, 5 November 2009
We had not made any plans for the evening but eventually decided to go out and have simple mexican dinner. It was good! But no photos.
That said I had not planned to write about it but for some reason this morning I went back to loook at our wedding photos. Though perhaps I would play a quick 'spot the difference'. There were to many differences to choose from!!!
But that's my opinion. You can see below the Wedding and the 6 years on photos for a comparision!!!! I doubt very much that I need to tell you which one is which! (Hint: The new one has a cake in it!!!).
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
We went to the local Wat and whilst it was fun, it was somewhat low key this year. Perhaps also it was because we had been so often before over the last few years it was no longer a new thing to us.
The festival is to pay homage to the goddess of the rivers and waterways, Mae Nam.
‘Loy’ literally translates to "float", while ‘Kratong’ is the Thai word for a sort of tray made out of Banana leaves. We had one Loy Kratong each. Loy Kratong 'activity' is celebrated by floating these down a river. Again in our case it was a lake and the wind was blowing onshore. So they did not go far…. Not sure if this is a good or bad sign….
The romance input, is provided by a legend from the origins of the festival in 13th century during Sukhothai. The story goes, Nang Nopamas, a royal consort of King Ramkhamhaeng (the founder of Sukhothai), made the first kratong as an offering to Mae Nam. She set it afloat on one of the canals of the palace so that it would drift past her lover the king. The king was delighted with the creation, and this was the origins of the saying that if two lovers set a kratong adrift and it stays afloat until out of sight, their love will last forever. You believe that…..... Keep floating your Kratong...along….
Monday, 2 November 2009
Often up at Ban Muang, having a cool beer as the evenings set you may hear gun shots. Not automatic but single shots. Clearly not a high caliber rifle but something more akin to a shot gun that you might find in the UK. ‘12 bore type thing’. I knew about this as I had several times asked what was ‘that’ noise. Well imagine my surprise when I came up this weekend and found one such gun up against the wall in my bedroom. It is an old fashioned type which I am told are made locally. It has a flint lock and needs gunpowder and manual priming followed by a flint to let it off. Has a range of about 40 meters tops.
What do you use it for? Shooting wild rat and birds. Farm food is the way it was described to me. I plan to try shooting with one next time I go up. Only worry is will it blow up in my face. It looks so old and fragile. Take a look at the close up of the flint action. This gun is apparently about 25 years old. They are available for sale but I’m not sure about getting one. I think I would prefer something a bit more modern and also need to learn just what I am going to shoot excluding my own foot of course!!
Sunday, 1 November 2009
To make the road with an area of about 170 square meters.
Materials. 17 cubic meters of concrete. It weights in at 45 tons. Needed four delivery trucks. Some reinforcing steel and a couple of embedded plastic pipes for future use to carry water and electricity. Not together!!!!
Labour. 4 experienced construction workers, with Wanna and I helping by getting in the way.
Started at 2.00pm and we were done by 6.30pm. A good piece of work which went well in spite of my involvement. No real issues except for the first truck delivery which started to bed itself in the first part of the road and crushed my plastic water pipe as it reversed in. So much for advanced planning. Positive side to this was that the ground got better compacted. On completion of the work it was followed by showers, clean cloths and a sit down to an excellent chicken dinner. Way to go… I’ve posted this video together with a few photos. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did making it.