Sunday, 27 January 2008

Nice Caroline

My lovely, and very talented, blog friend Caroline has sent me a 'I've found Adam Badge' (She has limited edition badges to promote her first novel 'In Search Of Adam' which if you've not already bought why not?? I insist you go and get yourself a copy immediately!!)

It arrived just before we left for Angkor Wat so Caroline - these pictures are for you :-). Congratulations on all your success in 2007.........2008 is already shaping up to be even better!!

This is us with Angkor Wat in the background (I am wearing your badge but it's not that easy to see!!)






The photo on the right is where Tomb Raider was filmed - The temple is called Ta Prohm (Angelina Jolie stood in exactly the same spot!!)


We're off to Chris's boss's wedding today - the engagement party starts at 6 o'clock tomorrow morning and then is followed by the actual wedding.....I will do a proper update on our Cambodian adventures upon our return (once I've recovered from actually being up at that ungodly time in the morning!!)

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

You have been warned

We leave for Angkor Wat tomorrow morning.
Chris has been busy preparing.......we could now start a shop with the number of memory cards we have for our cameras!!

You have been warned!!!


See you when we get back!!

Monday, 21 January 2008

BWG Fashion Show

OMG it was brilliant!! I have soooo much admiration for the women and the husbands that got up on the stage to strut their funky stuff........they were absolutely fantastic!! (personally I would rather have poked my eye's out with a blunt teaspoon!!) The team that were involved in putting the show together deserve a medal - it looked so classy and the show was absolutely brilliant.

We started the evening in our local pub where we met up with Caroline (She was supposed to be coming with her husband but he'd been sent to the States for a meeting at the last minute and his flight wasn't due in till after midnight!!). We got some very funny looks as we wondered down our soi - Chris and Tom looked very handsome in their DJ's and I was wearing me posh frock (I admit that some of the funny looks were probably down to the fact that I was wearing my posh frock with a pair of flip flops (There was no way I was walking to the pub in my killer heels!!) and was carrying my shoes!!). We had a couple of drinks and then headed to the Amari Watergate which was where the show was being held. (We all wanted to know exactly what Tom was doing with his hand in this photo but Marissa wasn't telling!!)

The first thing I saw when I stepped out of the lift was the ice sculpture!! I have to be honest and say that I was ridiculously excited about how good it looked.....then was all embarrassed as I was made to go and stand in front of it by Chris and Tom so that they could take some photo's. We mingled, drank champagne and listened to Jazz (One of the international schools here have a Jazz band that are really good!!) Oh, and got our photo's taken by the professional photographer hired for the evening.

The room looked stunning. The fashion show stage was in the middle with an enlarged shoe at the end of it and all the tables had been decorated in red, white and black (the tables even had lights in them so they cast the most gorgeous red glow). The food was great - the starter was a mushroom terrine which was then followed by leek and potato soup then we had a choice of beef, fish or vegetarian (we all had the beef) and then there was desert.......it caused much hilarity at our table ......there was a strawberry mousse, a divine chocolate mousse and then strawberry's and cream in....wait for it......a chocolate teacup - We have now found a use for a chocolate teacup!! (some on our table had not heard the expression 'That's about as much use as a chocolate teacup' and couldn't understand why Chris, Tom and I were in hysterics!!). Then the fashion show started when we were being served our coffee.

There were five groups each of whom had their own designer and there was only one lot of clothes that we really didn't like.......the rest were really stunning. The men were hilarious with some of them really camping it up for the occasion - at one point four of them came on stage dressed like the blues brothers and then proceeded to pull lingerie out of their pockets.....it was fab (Tom said that if they are doing it again next year he will plan his trip over to coincide with it!!).

Then there was dancing till the wee small hours (There was also a midnight snack but I managed to miss it entirely) - None of us are 100% sure when we finally made it home (we all think it was around 2ish but everything was a bit hazy by the end of the night!!)

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Congratulations

Chris's colleague Ng Wai Ph'ng (who reads the blog but lurks) is getting married today.

We're very sorry we're not going to be able to attend your wedding but both wish you and your wife to be, Kultida Leenabanchong, a very happy future together.

Friday, 18 January 2008

The Tomato has landed

This is just a very quick update to let you all know that Tomato arrived safe and sound and that we are having a ball. So far we have

- Visited Wat Arun (Chris and I have been talking about going for the last year and a half!!). It was absolutely stunning - although none of us were very sure about the stairs!!!


- Walked from Wat Po to the Giant Swing visiting many temples along the way
- Had drinks on Khao San Road
- Tom got two suits made - a dinner suit and a work suit (Very snazzy they are too!!)
- Watched a DVD which told the tale of a very famous Thai ghost story Mae Nak - the story goes that Mak (boy) and Nak (girl) fell in love, got a house together and she fell pregnant. Mak was then sent to war and when he came back Nak had given birth and life resumed but none of their friends would come and visit them and Mak couldn't work out why. One day he went into the village and discovered that Nak had died during childbirth and the baby hadn't made it either. (Moon was so scared she spent the night hiding under her duvet so if a ghost came into her room it wouldn't see her!!)
- We visited Wat Maha But where there is a shrine dedicated to Mae Nak (We had planned to walk but it was waaay to hot so we went by boat instead!!)
- Tried a new restaurant in Soi 8 called Rojo's - the food was fab!! (The wine wasn't bad either.
- We visited the Erawan Museum (Tom, the eejit that he is, managed to brain himself on the door......it didn't knock any sense into him!!)
- We visited the Erawan Shrine
- We had lunch at the Erawan Tea Room. Tom had the weirdest desert ever - coconut ice cream it should really have been called coconut surprise.......it had no coconut in it but did have sweetcorn, broad beans and yellow pepper!!! (It also had some gelatinous mass of a indeterminate nature on top of it!!)
- We went shopping and Tom bought present to take home (He didn't buy any last year and was really in the bad books!!)
- We visited Pakkred......Tom managed to re-christen Mo-Cha-Ya. He kept calling her Ho-Chi-Min because he knew her name had three words in it but couldn't remember what they were!!! (He said it sounded vaguely right.......)
- We spent two days in Kanchanaburi where we visited lots of temples, ate lots of yummy food (Yes we had pakora - Chris was very jealous!!) and decided that we might kill our driver (He had one CD which he played constantly....It was some crappy love thing which featured lots of warbling women such as Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. Have I mentioned just how much I loath Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston???). If we been staying for three days ........
- Tom had a fight with his bank who, despite being told that he was coming to Thailand, had decided to put a stop on his card. The really irritating thing is they have told him that they can't guarantee that they won't stop his card again whilst he's here!!! (It's for his protection apparently.......utter bollocks!!!)
- We met the lovely JJ for lunch and had a great time catching up on all the gossip about the upcoming fashion show
- We did some more shoppingand last but not least
- We went to Admakers - it got a bit messy!! (I have just spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to find photo's that could go on here.......remember......my Gran reads this!!!)




The next big thing is the fashion show......I can't wait to see all the different things they have done with my shoe logo!!!

(I just have to add......OMG OMG OMG we go to Angkor Wat on Wednesday (Tom and I are now both doing a happy dance as I write this.....Chris, if he were here and not at work, would probably be looking at us and shaking his head in despair!!!)

Friday, 11 January 2008

What to do? What to do?

Ok, so yesterday a friend of mine was back in Bangkok for a few days holiday (She now lives in Deli) and we had a proper catch up (Hi Susan). She asked me how all the drawing stuff was coming along and I had to admit that I've not really done much recently and it occurred to me that I've kinda reached a point where I'm not really sure what to do next.

I thought if I list what I achieved last year and what opportunities I've already got then I can mull it over whilst Tom is here and hope that my subconscious makes some kind of decision for me (JJ I'm going to blame you if it doesn't!!)

So here goes

2007
  • Did drawing for Chris's Christmas Present
  • Got two commissions on the back of that
  • Was approached about doing an Art Exhibition
  • Produced 30 pictures and had the exhibition
  • Got a website up and running (not finished yet)
  • Attended three events as a vendor
  • Since September have sold 26 pictures (mixture of prints and originals)
  • Collaborated with SpiralSkies Jen on a illustrated words combo
  • Have produced a logo, Miss Miaow, for SCAD (Soi Cat and Dog) Education Programme
  • Donated three dog drawings to SCAD which have now been made into T-shirts
  • Collaborated with JJ on a logo design for the BWG competition and won
  • Have produced a logo for BWG's Walk This Way fashion show

2008 Opportunities so far
  • JJ has sent me a link for an organisation that buys the rights to designs for three years and then turns them into cards to sell. They only buy colour designs.
  • Two people have approached my about doing a one off piece of work for them but nothing has come of it so far
  • There are opportunities to get on Vendor lists for events
  • A contact of my Dad's from MSL (My Second Life) runs an Art Gallery within MSL and has seen my work. She wants to do an online exhibition when I'm ready

(Just in case you have not heard of it - My Second Life is a 3-D virtual world. It opened to the public in 2003 and it has grown explosively - users can socialize, sell stuff and it is inhabited by millions of Residents from all around the world)

What to do?
  • Well, I guess I need to look at trying to do some colour work - painting? or I might try doing something in ink. A lot of my designs have little washing lines in them which I think would look great in colour with the rest of the design still in black and white. Would that count as a colour design or is that cheating?
  • Should I speak to the two people who have said that they might be interested in commissioning a piece. Maybe ask what sort of thing they are thinking of and when would they need it finished by so that I can build the time into my schedule. Is that being really pushy?
  • Do I really want to get up at the crack of dawn and lug lots of pictures to various hotels across Bangkok? Will people not get bored seeing the same designs? I suppose I could pick and choose the events that I want to go to
  • Before I can do anything on MSL I need to go online and create an Avatar (character) and do some exploring. Hmm.....will I need to produce some new work or can I use the existing stuff?
  • I do need to finish the website - I've not had many sales through it so far......I wonder if that's because there is not a buy now facility? Would it be better to keep the website drawings section fresh by only having, say, 10 at a time and then changing them round to keep it looking new?
  • Should I join some kind of art class?

You know something - I feel a lot lighter now I've got all that out of my head and onto paper (or onto computer.....you know what I mean!!).

Ok.......subconscious it's over to you.......

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

I am soooo excited!!!

Our best mate Tom (otherwise known as Tomato), who introduced Chris and I and was Matron of Honour at our wedding, arrives on Saturday morning.......only three more days to go!!!

Can't wait can't wait can't wait :-D

Monday, 7 January 2008

Blog Blues

dah dah dah dah da ba boom ba boom
dah dah dah dah da ba boom ba boom

woke up this morning

dah dah dah dah da ba boom ba boom

my blog post was gone

dah dah dah dah da ba boom ba boom

I said I woke up this morning

dah dah dah dah da ba boom ba boom

aaaannnnndddd my blog posting was gone

dah dah dah dah da ba boom ba boom

ain't no-one going to write me another oooonnnneeeee

ba boom ba boom

I got the blooooog posting blues



Thank you very much *bows*

Saturday, 5 January 2008

New Year

I had written a long post on what we got upto on New Year's Eve but it's vanished into the ether........and to be honest......if you wait for me to re-do it you may be waiting a while. So........here is the short version :-D

We had a great new year - about 15 of us got together and went on a boat cruise along the Chao Phraya River. The boat itself was lovely, the views were stunning, the wine was flowing and the DJ was great (The food on the boat was crap but hey.....you can't have everything). We ended up at a Jazz bar and crawled home about 3 in the morning.


Wednesday, 2 January 2008

What we did between Christmas and New Year

You want to know a scary fact?......good........cause I was going to tell you whether you wanted to know or not!! We totalled up the number of weeks we had had visitors last year and do you know what......it came to more than four months worth of guests.......that's a third of the year!!! (Don't get me wrong.....it was brilliant seeing everyone but that's a lot of guests!!!). Normally we get a two week holiday on our own but cause we came to see you lot in the UK last year (and wouldn't have missed it for the world!!) we've had a grand total of two days away when it was just the two of us and that was on our wedding anniversary!!! So, guess who decided to go away for a few days between Christmas and New Year!! (No, it wasn't Moon :-D)

So, on Wednesday Chris got up early with me and came to Pakkred to meet Mo-Cha-Ya (He said he wanted to see what I got upto when he was at work!!) She was great with him......we were both slightly worried that she would take one look at him and bawl her head off (not having seen many white men in her wee life!!) but she was great - fell asleep in his arms (honestly.....how cute are they in that picture!!). It was really quite amazing.....we got to see her take her first steps!! (I was ridiculously excited and she beamed from ear to ear......awwww)

After Pakkred we headed over to Bangkok Noi and got the train up to Kanchanaburi. (I know we've been recently but it's cheap and easy to get to and the Indian there really does do great pakora........yes we are aware of just how sad that is but we don't care). The first night we were there we just chilled out by the bar at the river, watched the sunset over the bridge and then walked along the road to the Indian restaurant where we had a fantastic meal (Guess what we had!!). The following day we got up early and arranged for a car and driver to take us along to HellFire Pass. I know that we have been there before but we had decided that we were going to do the full walk along the tracks which takes about three hours. It's heavy going - lots of stairs and it's very rocky but the museum staff keep in touch with you via walky-talky to make sure you are all right which eliminates the worry of being stranded if there was an accident. It was amazing.....and not something that everyone does so we only passed about three other people on our walk (and we managed to get some great pics as you can see!!). From there we decided to visit the nearby Khmer ruins of Prasat Muang Singh since we had never been. We both loved it.

History Stuff - (just skip this bit if your not interested)
About 800 years ago the Khmer empire stretched from Cambodia all the way across Thailand - Prasat Muang Sing is believed to have been one of the last temples built by the Khmers at the end of the twelfth century. It covers one-third of a square kilometre and it is believed that the site has not only defensive significance, it's bordered by moats and ramparts, but cosmological significance because at the heart of the complex is a enclosed shrine. It is absolutely stunning, faces east towards Angkor, is surrounded by a series of walls and covered gateways and is guarded by a sandstone stature of Avalokitesvara. (He delayed his entrance into nirvana in order to help others gain enlightenment and in Mahayanist mythology he represents mercy - the other statue at the sight is the female Prajnaparamita who represents wisdom). It really whet my appetite for going to Angkor and we were both really glad we had seen it before going as I think it would have been a disappointment had we gone after. Once we finished romping round that we went to the Ban Kao Museum which is devoted to relics from an advanced prehistoric civilisation (8000 to 1000 BC) that once settled on the banks of the Kwai Noi river. It was a lovely way to end our day as it really put into context some of the stuff we had seen at Prasat Muang Singh.

The following day we had decided to bite the bullet and visit Wat Tham Mangkon Thong - otherwise known as the Floating Nun Temple. I've mentioned this place before......you pay a Nun some money and if you give her enough she will go and float in a pond and meditate. Chris and I toyed with the idea of trying to kidnap a Taiwanese visitor (you may remember the guide book said Taiwanese were particularly impressed) but A. we couldn't find one and B. we were not sure that we would even recognise what a particularly impressed Taiwanese would look like!! Well, apart from not seeing any Nun's or a pond I can seriously recommend going.....I'm not kidding - the temple is stunning. You have to walk up tons of stairs to get to the cave which houses the old temple bit but it's seriously worth the pain and panting. It felt old and unreal and the Buddha was surrounded by old texts - it was really quite wonderful.

I have to tell you this cause your going to laugh - when we had just arrived a group of Thai's suddenly appeared as if from no-where. When we went in the direction they had appeared from we found another Buddha and some concrete steps which we climbed but they just came to a dead end and the only thing we could see what a small hole in the ground which was partially obscured by rocks. There was no way they could have passed us without us seeing them so we couldn't figure out where they had come from. Well, when we were in the temple cave we were shown round the Buddha at the back of it and the man then pointed at a hole in the side of the cave - he told us to crawl through it and that it would bring us out in a chamber we could stand up in. Eejits that we are.......we did exactly what he said and after crawling along on our hands and knees (with heads down cause there wasn't enough room to have your head up) we emerged in a chamber that I could stand up in (Chris had a few more problems) and as we walked through the chamber we spotted our exit......a rusty ladder that went straight up to the hole that was at the top of those concrete stairs (so that's where the buggers had come from). Glad I had lost weight since moving here or I might have got stuck!!

The final temple we visited before heading back to Bangkok was Wat Ban Tham (There are a lot of caves in this region many of which have been turned into shrines). Up another load of stairs (honestly by the time I got to the top my calf muscles were screaming - I never wanted to see another stair again.........ever!!!). Wat Ban Tham was founded about 600 years ago but is famous for a seventeenth century love story that played out at the cave site. A young woman called Nang Bua Klee was forced to choose between her criminal father and her husband who was a soldier and a local hero to whom she was pregnant - her father persuaded her to poison her husband (I don't know why) but he learned of the plot and killed both her and her unborn child. It is said that their spirits now reside in the cave as one of the stones inside is woman-shaped. It's a popular place for women who are trying to conceive to visit (no, I'm not one of them before you get any funny ideas!!) and they bring pretty dresses and shoes for the mother which are hung in wardrobes to the side of the shrine as well as toys for her son. The cave is incredible as you can see from the photos.

Then it was back to Bangkok by bus which was even cheaper than the train......it cost us a whole £0.80 each to get back. (Just in case anyone is reading this that is planning to get back to Bangkok this way the bus doesn't take you into central Bangkok so you have to get a taxi from the Station back into town).

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Happy New Year


My New Year's Resolution is to tolerate fools more gladly

(provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time).