Saturday, March 31, 2007


3rd March Shopping in the market.

After shopping in Tescos, Mam and I went to Kathu market.
Markets in Thailand are busy crowded places, selling all manner of foodstuffs and to Western eyes there seems to be little thought of good hygiene. But nobody seems to worry and I presume few people suffer unduly. Mam normally chooses not to buy meat in the market.

The stalls are set up under coloured awnings. It is hot and steamy with a rich aroma of foodstuffs and life.

I have already said that Mam would not buy meat from the market and I do wonder about the bugs lurking in these chickens.

Here is one being prepared for the stall.

This is a general view across the market, with little snacks for sale in the foreground.

There are plenty of fish for sale which make lovely patterns - with the added colours thrown down from the bright awnings.

The little fish are really silver of course.

Mam buys some fish for our meal and at another stall she bought huge prawns.

Vegetables have lovely colours and shapes.

Mam also buys vegetables at the market. She was a bit surprised to find that the onions she bought were more expensive in the market than in Tescos.
And here are some of the dishes that Mam prepared for us using ingredients from the market.

Friday, March 30, 2007


3rd March Jamie's birthday present.

On Saturday March 3rd we went to Tescos to buy Jamie's birthday present - he would be 38 the next day.
Jamie opted for a good crash helmet to wear on his journeys to work on the motor bike.
A birthday is often a time for looking back to earlier celebrations - here are some pictures of Jamie through his young life.

1970 - Jamie is one year old.

1972. Jamie is 3 years old.

1975 - Jamie is 6 years old, a school boy. He loved that Captain Whizzo T shirt.

1976. Jamie is 7 years old. I wonder what he was wishing for.

1977 - Jamie is 8 years old. I seem to have created a better looking cake that year!
1978 - Jamie is 9 years old.
1981. March. Jamie is 12 years old and Ashley is 10.

1985 - Jamie is 16 years old. He is wearing his Crawley Athletic Club vest.
From this time I on I have shared very few birthdays with Jamie because he was normally away from home in March.

This birthday is mine in 1994 - a birthday I sometimes thought I wouldn't see.
Jamie is 25 and Ashley is 23

And now we jump forwards another 13 years - this year, 2007. Jamie is 38

Thursday, March 29, 2007


2nd March. Eating at Danang

Danang - the word is full of memories and special occasions. It has been a favourite place for Jamie and Mam for some years.
I look back to the last night of our first Thai trip. We ate at a table under that tree. That was five years ago and the tree has grown taller and maybe some of the lower branches have been removed. I can remember walking on the beach with baby Jessica and holding her in my arms to explore the colour and texture of the big leaves, which we could reach on that night.
The moon was full that night too.
John loves the moon.

Mam and I have taken our chairs and we are looking through the menu - I think they usually have mostly the same things. We were amongst the first diners of the evening.

Mam has iced coffee - John's bottle of milk sits on the table with Bear looking on.
Can you see the white container with tissues? Every cafe and restaurant table in Thailand provides a supply of tissues.

Jamie and I study the menu - I maybe asked for some beef with cashew nuts. When Thai families eat, a number of dishes are ordered and everybody helps themselves to anything they fancy. And of course there is rice.

This was the first time I had been to Danang before nightfall. The tide was out, but racing in quite fast. Danang is by Chalong Bay - the huge wide inlet between the two southerly Capes.

Jessica and John played on the sand whilst we were waiting for our meal.
Jessica enjoyed watching the sand flow through a sieve.

John played with the sand toys.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


2nd March Part 3 The Swimming Pool again

After our time at the meditation centre it was good to go and chill out by the pool at Land and House Village - we had been there the week before, so you have seen pictures of the beautiful location perhaps. We could have a bite to eat and a drink and have a play in the water.
Jessica is very confident in the water and with her arm bands would swim with me to the deep end. We had great fun.
If you saw the pictures taken the week before I expect you would agree with Jamie (and me) that the swimming costume that I bought in Central was far more suitable for me really than the one I bought at home - but here goes, I bravely show off my body!

John didn't want to be in the water on this visit - but soon I will put pictures from a 3rd visit to the pool on the blog and you will be able to see how with the help of his Daddy he gained lots of confidence.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


2nd March Part 2 The monk at the meditation centre

After enjoying the views from the meditation centre, we had a look around.
In the light of events perhaps I should have photographed the one bit of new sturdy building - this was a wall engraved with the names of visitors who had given quite large amounts towards the establishment of a new and beautiful meditation centre. The wall seemed very symbolic of the ethos of the place - perhaps I am being unfair.

Another recent construction were these two statues on a platform looking over the temple area.
The temple itself was housed in a shack with a corrugated iron roof. Inside were the usual temple features - plus a big gleaming television!

What was Jessica thinking? Had she tuned into bad vibes - or was she just thinking "Oh no, not another blooming temple!"

I explored and looked for interesting features.

Mam and the children lit candles and burned incense sticks.
A monk sat and watched. Soon he was talking to Mam. Of course I understood nothing but I could sense from Mam's expression and the tones of voice that all was not well.

It would be easy to think, looking at the monk here, that we were seeing a good and kindly, humble man.
But monks are only human and have their faults of course.
Basically he was begging for money - we will assume that he wanted the money to develop the centre, but maybe not.
Mam was not able to give a donation above paying for the candles and incense sticks she had used.
The monk's reaction was quite nasty.
Basically translated what he said was "If you are not going to give any money, then you can P*ss Off, and don't some back."
Mam was upset and angry. She later reported the incident.

Monday, March 26, 2007


2nd March Part 1 The viewpoint at meditation centre.

On Friday we drove south to Rawai and then climbed up towards the famous viewpoint at Promthep, where just about everybody goes to see the sunset.
We turned off before that and went to the Meditation Centre, with a viewpoint all of its own.
We enjoyed the views and then explored the temple area, which created a story in its own right, which I will deal with next time.

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