A wise man once said....

"When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new."
Dalai Lama

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Satellite dish.

Big day today. I had been telling you all that I’ve been sitting round doing very little of late. Well today I added to that by getting a satellite dish installed. Means I can still sit around and do little but in so doing watch more TV channels!!
Installation was easy. Took them about 2 hours and most of this time was taken up by the need to pull the cables through our ceiling.
All in all a good mornings work. Now got over 300 channels nearly all in languages I do not understand!!!!!




So I think I'll be settling down to a bit more TV this evening....

Friday, 24 September 2010

Fishing.



Having told you about how little I’ve been doing, up here in Ban Muang, I did find time for some more fishing…


Sitting by the pond and we, that’s Steve and I caught, well he caught them all, cat fish, Pla Chong (a favourite of Wanna’s), Pla Jalamet, (a sort of piranha) as we would call them.) . Vicious teeth that can cut through ordinary nylon line. Steve added in some braded line which made the difference between landing them and us telling stories about the ones that got away!!! h


The cat fish is about the biggest we have caught so very pleased. We will leave it in some fresh water for a few days to ‘cleanse’ then on the Bar B Q!!!!


While waiting on this process the next major job/activity is, yes you got it.. waiting again. This time on the satellite man to come and install the local signals dish. Picks up about 60 stations. Once installed the service is free. Can’t be a bad thing. So off to sit and do nothing for a while. Will record all about it here when I’ve finished!!!!!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Pook And Her Magic Cups

Our friend Pook has started another aspect to her business. Making prints on cups, T shirts etc. Complements the Internet Cafe very well.


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Saturday, 18 September 2010

Silence

You know as well as I do my Blogging has again gone quiet! Surprising to me and I write them! And really as I am not working at this time, so should have plenty of activities to report on and keep memories for the future.
You know it all sounds so easy. However every retired person I meet in Pattaya tells me they do not know where their time goes. Before when working I used to think this was ridiculous but now I’m convinced they are right!!!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Came back to Pattaya from Khon Kaen on Monday.

Long journey about 7 hours. Normally takes 5-6 but this time we decided to go slow and stop off along the way to look at some of the sights.

The trip in basically north south crossing a low range of mountains. Up in the mountains it is easy to buy fresh vegetables, and being off the beaten tourist path prices are very reasonable. As usual it was one of those days where I did not have my camera. Used the phone camera which does not do such a good job.

We stopped up in the mountains and bought some veggies, also stopped at a coffee shop which had unusual seating! The local coffee was excellent.

Also spotted one of the long tailed rowing bots used in various competitions. These things can have a crew of up to 56 people. I know as I counted one time before! Well it was being transported by pickup and trailer. No big deal in Thailand but can you imagine the difficulties of towing a 50 foot boat on the English roads. The permissions and regulations alone would be frightening.

All in all a comfortable journey. Think next time we might stay over night up in the hills.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Rice Polishing

I mentioned in my last post that the Land Spirits were now living in the rice hut and that we needed to buy a Spirit House for them. Well today we had need to open the rice hut. Wanna’s parents needed some rice so she filled up 4 sacks of rice. We took them up to one of the local rice polishers. They charge ?... How much per sack? I hear you asking. Nothing… That’s how much. But you know nothing is free in Thailand…. I’ve stated so often in the past. So what does ‘no charge.. nothing’ really mean? Where is the catch? Well the deal is simple. You bring in the rice and they dehusk the grains and polish them. You get back the polished rice. The remained they keep for animal food and other uses. Fair deal for all as far as I can tell.

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Interestingly I do not see any quality control in all of this operation. Basic monitoring to ensure all works OK but apart from that nothing. When I say quality I am of course referring to the percentage of good grains as opposed to cracked grains. Commercailly they have very different values. But here in the village I suppose it makes little difference.
So we loaded up the ‘saling’ with 4 sacks, after Wanna had filled them full of rice from the store. Drove all of 500 meters to the polisher. Unloaded the sacks and left them there. Seems everyone adopts this approach. We went back in the afternoon to collect our freshly polished rice. Looks good and read for cooking.

House Blessings




We seem to have had our fill of house blessing recently as you will have read. Today was one more but a bit different. Wanna had only a few days back, been to see the local religious man who is also something of a ‘Fortune Teller’. He provided some advice and fixed a time for a follow up prayer session and extra blessing at the house. That was all happening today.
Basically there were prayers, candles being lit, water bowls filled, cotton string pulled out etc, and then at one stage he went outside into the garden and walked around the plot, even buried a large rock in a hole adjacent to the house and placed some nails ( metal) in several corner locations. This was accompanied by prayers at the different locations around the garden then back into the house to bless the family.
It was a brief ceremony with only Mum, Dad, a couple of cousins and us.
During it all I was conscious of my trying to take photos. Difficult in these situations. Not sure if it shows some sign of disrespect or whatever. That said I did manage to get a half reasonable photo of ‘Dad’ and a side view of Mum. The others were even worse shots!!! Again as you can see problems with my ‘flash’ with the strong shadows in the background.
The Fortune Teller advised us on the reorientation of the Buddha’s in the prayer room and suggested we made some offerings to the ‘Land Spirits’. (now done).
He also advised we purchase a Spirit House for them as a permanent home. We should set it up in the garden, probably near the existing rice storage hut. No doubt it will be prudent to have him back then to let us know best location etc. Might do that next week. See how time goes.
I say he, but there were two of them. One older guy and the other a sort of apprentice as you can see in the photo. Anyway I hope some good comes of it all. Even if nothing comes of it, no harm was done and it was a relaxing experience. However I do wonder in a positive way, if there is something in all this prayer and the ability of ‘forward looking’…for want of a better description, as a few comments he had made last week to Wanna on some things have already come to pass. I’ll wait a bit longer and see what transpires in the next week or so. If it turns out as he has predicted well I’ll let you know. If not I’ll conveniently forget to mention it again!!!

The Visitor







We were just sitting having a light dinner with some friends when we had an unexpected visitor from some where in the garden. He’s big so I can only assume he has been around for some time. A scorpion. First one I’ve ever seen in the flesh so to speak. Seen them on TV etc but not in real life and not in my back yard only a few meters from where I was eating!!!
Amazing creature. We managed to get a couple of shots of it but with poor lighting and direct flash meant we were not going to get not such a glamorous photo. No David Baily stuff here, for those of you who would remember him!!! Famous contemporary photographer mainly in the 80-90’s but more recently had his work reviewed and he was interviewed in the Guardian. Enough of David.
It was most definitely and interesting diversion from our dinner conversation!!! Not sure I really need or want a repeat.

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