Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Almost back to normal (Well, normal for me that is!!)

Things are going well - Chris is has been out and about meeting with other clients (He's still dealing with 'Client from Hell' but they have improved dramatically and the work is not so intensive!!) so he has been a lot happier since we got back and I am now getting back into the swing of things.

I met up with Susie on Monday morning and had a very productive meeting regarding the NMB (National Museum Bangkok) tours for the blind. We're going to be focussing on tours for tourists (there is another working group looking at tours for blind Thai students) so we are going to meet up at the beginning of September (Lots of people are away for the summer) to do a walk through of the museum to see what we can already use (There are some beautiful sculptures outside the building that can be incorporated) and we can then focus on what is missing. Our first aim is to do something around 'An introduction to Thai Culture' and we are hoping to launch the tours in November. I also found out that one of my photographs (It's one of the ones I took of the roof at the Erawan Museum) is going to be used in a coffee table book commemorating the King's 80th birthday which is being put together by the NMV - I am cuffed to bit's!! (Although it is rather difficult to take a bad photograph of the roof since it is so stunning but I'm not going to focus on that!!)

On Tuesday I went along to the BWG newcomers coffee morning - I've not been to one since I arrived and was feeling slightly guilty about it!! It was a good move.....I got three new volunteers - one is a nurse and she's going to look into doing some work with Aids patients and the other two are going to go twice a week into the offices of a local charity to answer their e-mails. (The Charity get lots of e-mails in English and whilst their spoken English is great their written English is not fantastic). Jo mentioned that she would like to see some of the work that is being done here so I have arranged to take the two ladies and Jo to The Fatima Centre where they will get a tour of the facilities (Sister Louise is going to take them round - she is the one who actually set up the project when she arrived here in the early 60's and is fascinating to talk to). Then I hotfooted it back to the apartment where we had our Welfare Team meeting. We've done a lot so far - books have been bought and distributed to schools in one of the slums, shoes have been bought for children at a local school, a computer and a snooker table have been donated to an orphanage, microscopes have been bought and given to schools at the Burmese border, two children have been sponsored for a year and we have bought medicine and supplies for a hospital. Phew!!!

Today I went along to the Fashion Show meeting - Erm....did I mention that my friend Jenny and I are doing all the graphics for a fashion show that will be held on the 19th of January? I came up with the image (What do you think? Jen calls it my slut shoe) and together we are doing the tickets, programme (which is going to be tricky because we are going to have a lot of sponsors at different levels so we are going to have to make sure we get it right!!) and the set design - it should be a great night. The plans - a band will play whilst everyone has a few drinks and some nibbles, then there will be a three course sit down meal, the actual fashion show followed by dancing and all the proceeds will be going to Charity.

Why was I ever worried that I was going to be bored?

Monday, 25 June 2007

Who's bloody idea was it to get cats???

There has been a war going on in our apartment over the last few days - I think Gai and Lugs have now decided to call a truce - They are no longer hissing, spitting and fighting with each other but......Gai has taught lugs to bite and lugs has taught Gai how to launch himself into mid air and then attach himself to my legs (You can play join the scratches on my legs!!......they are a pair of wee buggers!!

Oh, and Lugs miaows........all the time......he miaows when he eats, he miaows when your playing with him, he miaows when he's standing in the middle of the room, he even miaows in his bloody sleep and, if you ignore him, he climbs onto your shoulder and miaows in your ear - at this rate he is going to become a kebab!! (Actually he's no-where near as bad as he was but I still know exactly where he is.......miaow miaow miaow)

THEN he managed to disable my internet access after taking a flying leap onto my lap and then onto my laptop!! (and just in case your wondering......Bangkok cats genetically have no tail...well, they do but it's just a wee curly stump!!) When I tried to check my e-mails the laptop wouldn't acknowledge our wireless connection (actually it wouldn't acknowledge any of the wireless connections in the entire building!!)......the screen, very helpfully, suggested that I check to see if the wireless switch was on (There's a wireless switch!!!) but didn't tell me where the bloody thing was so I spent the next day and a half trying to work out how to switch the bloody thing back on!! (I even had the computer upside down looking for the switch (honestly......if there are any computer programmers out there......either give all the information or no half just drives people daft am I am IT literate!!) - You can tell this is still a slightly sore point can't you!!). Anyway, I managed to switch it back on again - and was ridiculously pleased with myself!!

If you ever have this problem press the function key (Which is at the bottom of your keyboard on the left hand side next to your Ctrl key) along with F2 (top left - 3rd key in)

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Oh My God.....I had forgotten how bad Jet Lag can be

I am here in body but definately not in mind (Ha, no change there then!!)

I can't sleep when I should and want to sleep when I shouldn't (I am so tired I actually just want to cry!!)

Thursday, 21 June 2007

And then there were two......

Just take a look at that wee face.....there was no way we could resist!! (No need for a name competition - we took one look at him and named him Lugs)

Gai is not amused!!

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Back to Bangkok

Well we made it......although I have to say that there were times that I didn't think we would!! We were delayed at Gatwick for half an hour (and we only had an hour and a half at Dubai as it was) then when we landed in Dubai we sat on the plane for about 10 minutes (aaargggg we're going to miss our connecting flight to Bangkok!!) so when we finally got off the plane and though the security checks we had to run to the next gate....we made it just in time!! Then we sat on the plane for another half an hour till they loaded all the luggage on (apparently ours was not the only plane to arrive late and I had had to run.....harrrumph!!). Anyway, we got home and as we were opening the door (being a bit puzzled why there were lights on) we were greeted with a huge 'Sawadeeka' as Moon flung her arms round us both!! We were not expecting to see her till Monday but there she was.....waiting for us.....with dinner at the ready - What a fantastic welcome home!! The following day when we surfaced Moon was already here preparing lunch - she doesn't work weekends so I said to her 'Erm Moon, you don't work on a Sunday' she replied 'Never mind Madame I miss you and Mr Chris, I holiday long long long, I help you today!!' well, you can't argue with that can you!!.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Then onto London......

Where we met up and stayed overnight with Tom who is now the proud owner of an apartment in London and two cats!! (No, he's not that bright because yes, he's still allergic to cats!!). He showed us round his new apartment which is lovely - he's had the kitchen done (which looks great) and the living room and is taking his time with the rest of the place but it's looking fab!! This is Tom and I out in his garden (I love this photo - not sure if it very flattering to either of us but I love it anyway!!). Tom showed us round Croyden and we went along to his local for a few drinks (Sat out in the beer garden in the sunshine and fresh air) and then had dinner. It was fantastic - not your usual pub grub at all (I had venison with big chunky chips and a pepper sauce....I can't remember the last time I had venison!! The photo on the left is Tom trying to persuade Chris to give him some of his Cheese and didn't work!!) then we went back to Tom's, drank copious amounts of red wine and listened to music till the wee small hours. The following day we went into Central Croydon and bought sausages, burgers, minted lamb sticks, humous and pitta bread and then went back to Tom's and christened his barbecue (we bought waaay to much food as is our want so we left him with a fridge full!!). He came with us to the airport to see us off.....we were both really sad to be leaving but he assured us that he would be coming to visit us in January (which made me feel slightly better but didn't stop me crying when we left!!)

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Then onto Manchester ......

Where we met up with our lovely friend Onelia (Neils) who used to work with Chris. When we arrived we discovered that Ron (who also used to work with Chris) had arranged to stay overnight in Manchester so he could join us for dinner and have a few drinks. It was brilliant seeing them both again - Neils had decorated her house with streamers and balloons to celebrate the fact that we were in Manchester (Which really was a lovely thing to do and made us feel very welcome). We had such a laugh....we went to The Metropolitan for a few drinks (an old haunt of ours), popped into Reserve (which was our local wine shop and is just as good as it's always been) and then went into our favourite restaurant in Manchester - Ramblas (I had forgotten how much I loved their Chicken and Chorizo paella). We had a fantastic night and I was sad to leave the next morning although I think Neils is going to come and visit us in September so don't have long to wait till we see her again.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Our world tour of the UK - The Ardrossan and Dundee Leg

We are having a fantastic time - we spent a day relaxing with Sadie then went to see Jimmy, Leslie and their kids (Jimmy was our best man). I have to say that neither of us could believe how much the kids have grown!!. It was lovely seeing them and Jimmy made me roar with laughter when he said 'So, your not working over there in Thailand......what do you do all day?'.

The following day we drove to Glasgow, picked up Chris's Aunt Margaret and then drove up to Dundee. It was Jo's birthday (Chris's sister) so the whole family got together to celebrate and give her her birthday pressy (we all clubbed together and bought her an original painting)- we toasted her birthday with champagne then had some of her Doctor Who birthday cake (what can I runs in the family!!) and then went out for a curry. (Jo and I made a pact - I promised I would put no drunken photo's on the blog of her on her birthday but that whilst she's here visiting she has no say on what photo's I post.......she arrives a couple of weeks after we get back.....mmmwwaahhahahahah (Hmmm....I think my evil laugh is improving!!)). The following day we met Tracey and Derek who are going to be coming to Bangkok with Jo (We thought they were lovely....they are now probably wondering how they can cancel their tickets and can get their money back!!) and then had a lovely meal with Dot and Steve (Chris's Aunt and Uncle) at their house.

Then it was back to Ardrossan (this is where Chris grew up) via Lunkarty to see Ellen. We took some photo's on the way home just outside Ardrossan.....would you look at those views!!! (Maybe I should have written move over Scottish Tourist Board!!). The following day we went into Ayr (which I found very weird as it's my old stomping ground and I'd not been back in ages) and did some shopping (one of Chris's sister Margaret's friends runs a shop there which sells the most gorgeous handbags.....I wasn't allowed to buy one) so we had a nosy round then went over to Irvine to see an old family friend of Chris's who, funnily enough, is also called Margaret (there are waaay to many and I always get confused as to which one Sadie is referring to when she's on the phone - Sadie will say 'Margaret' and I'll say 'Which one?' to which she'll reply 'Sister Margaret' and I'll say 'Is that your sister Margaret or Chris's sister Margaret?'.......we go through this every time!!). Then we met up with my Mum and Gran and had a farewell dinner at Balbirs (which does the most divine Indian Banquet.....their tandoori salmon is to die for!!). The following day we were up bright and early to pick up our hire car and make our way to Manchester.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Lost in Translation - a guide to Glasgow phrases

Here are a few helpful phrases guaranteed to help make your trip to Glasgow a memorable one!!!
  • Howzitgaun? - How are you today?
  • Thatsnaborra - Your welcome it was no trouble
  • Witdaeyewant? - What would you like?
  • Hawdoanaminutamdainsumthin - Please wait for a minute till I finish what I'm doing
  • Gonnaepirritinapoke? - Can you put it in a carrier bag please?
  • Geesabreak!! - I am starting to loose my patience!
  • Geesafag? - Can I have a cigarette?
  • Geesalight? - Can I borrow your lighter or matches please?
  • Thatwummansarightnippysweetie!! - That lady over there is in a very bad mood!!
  • Maheidisnippinthedayneveragain!! - I have a really bad hangover and am never going to drink again!!!

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Our world tour of the UK - The Glasgow leg

Well, it's been an action packed few days.......and it's not about to get any quieter!! On Tuesday we headed over to my Gran's house to spend some time with her. This is me and my Gran and this is me freezing my butt off in her Garden!! We then headed into the west end (Which is the trendy, and student filled, area of Glasgow)......I have to say this (I can resist everything but temptation!!)......we got a came to the house to pick us up and the driver never once said that he didn't want to take us nor did he try and drop us on the wrong side of the road near a bridge!! was a pure pleasure apart from the price OMG it's expensive (Ha, I'm down with the youngsters of today OMG is text speak for Oh My God!!) so we then went on a little pub crawl down Ashton Lane starting in the The Ubiquitous Chip and ending at Brel before heading into the city centre and meeting up with our friend Scott. A very drunken evening.....jet lag and alcohol are not a good combination!!

But no rest for the wicked.....the next day we met up with my cousin Colin who had travelled up from Birmingham to see us. We met for lunch at Di Maggios (A very yummy Italian restaurant) and then sat out in my Mum's back garden drinking you can see it was a beautiful sunny day (Chris actually took a photograph of the blue sky!!) and for a dinner I made Tom Yum Gai (This is a famous Thai hot and sour spicy soup. The basic broth is made with lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, shallots, lime juice, fish sauce, tamarind and crushed chillies and then you add either Chicken, Gai, or prawns, Goong, mushrooms and then corriander). I was pleased with it but it wasn't as good as Moon's!!

The following day saw us start the Ardrossan leg of our tour....via Dalrymple to visit Brenda (we joke that she is my udder mother....they used to have a farm which is where the udder comes from) and Ronnie (he always calls me 'wee yin' so he's known as 'big yin'.....roughly translated as small one and big one)

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Move over Glasgow Tourist Board......

I had forgotten how much I love my home town - Look how fab it is!!

This is Central Station which is the main train station in the city.

This is the Gallery of Modern Art (The statue with the traffic cone on it's head is a very well known symbol of Glasgow)

This is John Street (Cafe culture in a Scottish Styley!!)

The Kings Theatre

Merchant City

St Andrews Cathedral

and here are a couple more pics of Pollok House

If you've never been then you really should visit!!