Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Lunch and sunset

Lunch was at a fantastic seafood restaurant by a river.
Many levels of wooden platforms had been built along a steep high river bank.

View from table.

That's my pineapple shake.

On the way home we stopped at the Sarasin Bridge to watch the sunset. Sunset is about half past six here.
The Sarasin Bridge joins Phuket to the mainland. The old bridge has been renovated for strolling along and is now quite an attraction, especcially at sunset.

 Food had been very good at lunchtime....and I ate much the same as Jamie.
But the next day he was in pain and puking. He's a bit better today.
I am fine.
Maybe it was the visit to Hell that did it for him! We went there.....a place that depicts both heaven and hell. Very weird......and we didn't get to heaven; it was up too many steep steps. I'll show some photos another time.
Yesterday we needed a rest day. Jamie was in bed all day. I did a lot of reading.
We went for some lunch in the village.

Today (Tuesday) I think Bill and I will go out alone for a while.
Tomorrow we hope to go away for 3 nights to a couple of hotels with the family. I assume Jamie will be just fine by then.


Mainland Temple

A few more pictures.

We drove to the mainland.

Went to a temple with great views.

What is it? Lemur?

We went down to the lower level and did some posing.

Last two taken by Jessica.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


First couple of days.

Won't be writing blog very much for a while.
Here are a few pictures of last night's meal.
And today's lunch time walk and lunch.

The last 2 were taken by Jessica,

Today been to a floating cafe at Ban Rong, on East coast.....fishing village on small estuary in the mnagroves.
Walked along a newly contsructed walk way in the mangroves.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Family meals.

Just popping out for a meal with family.
Will celebrate daughter in law's birthday on a beach.
Will get some photos of the event here at the weekend.
Must get on now.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Tomorrow is almost here.

Bags truly are packed now.
But there is something missing......where on earth did I put it?
I have never taken a driving licence with me in the past; there are 3 drivers in the family and I am happy to sit with children and enjoy the sights.
This year, I decided to take it.....just in case.
I am thinking I may not have seen it since the last trip to Thailand. I may have removed it from my purse and put it in a safe place 18 months ago.
But which safe place?
There is also the chance that I have simply lost it. But replacing it must wait until our return.
Shame to pay and replace it this year, because next year I shall have to have a new one anyway - every 3 years after 70.
Not a major disaster.
The three of them can still drive me about.
And I won't need it for moped riding.
Today has been quiet.
We called in for a chat with Julie after a brief trip to Asda.
Frieda came round here for a chat this afternoon.
The taxi has been ordered to take us to Gatwick.....from there we get a coach up to Heathrow.
It's quite late in the day that we leave.
Hopefully I will get some sleep through the night on the plane.

And here is where we are heading for........


Well, this is just one small part of the Phuket experience - and a very good part.
Jamie's blog shows the rural nature of what we find when we get to our destination.
I doubt that I will walk round the reservoir.......though I would like to.
But I can't do it at Jamie's pace.
We'll see.

There will be blogs whilst we are away. Between us we will produce hundreds of photos.
Some people will see them on facebook. Many family members see Jamie or mam's postings and I can share some of there pictures on that network. And hopefully a few will  appear here.

Have a good time everybody during the end of April and into May. The cowslips have burst into flower in our garden and the hedgerows are just beginning to look  that lovely new fresh green.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Some good news and some very bad news.

Have they all started Spring cleaning?
People came in today with boxes of their treasures/rubbish.
I was in a good mood and as I won't be buying anything for the next few weeks, I decided to load myself up with all sorts of odds and ends.
It helped that I also sold well today.
One item came out of the box of bits I had bought on Thursday at Ford and straight into the customer's bag.
I was pleased....it was a tin plate motor bike, which Bill had not thought worth buying.
This afternoon I was dealing with a woman who wanted my tea trolley. I bought it last summer - always with a view to selling it, but since then it has been used mostly for display purposes.
I got everything off it and pulled it out.
Yes, she liked it........but!
She had come to Dorking, from London, to visit a friend.  She couldn't carry it back on the train could she?
"Could I hold it for a few months?" she asked.
A few months!
I told her, "no" and she wondered why. I managed to persuade her that it wasn't shop policy and anyway, a lot of things could change in a few months.
She decided that maybe her local friends could pick it up.
Maybe they will. Maybe she will pursue the matter. It will be saved for her if she sends a cheque for me in a few weeks.
She took up a lot of time - time in which I had hoped to write up and make tickets for all that I had bought in today.
But she was followed by an American couple who bought 4 things from me to take back home to Georgia to sell.
So, a delightfully busy day.
Farewell to my shelves for a while.....let's hope I come back to some spaces.

Less delightful is the news, which I now have live on the computer as I write, from Boston.
The explosions at the Boston Marathon touch part of my world.
The London Marathon is next Sunday.
Such a familiar world......and now an awful, unfamiliar, violent world.
A world of madness.
Why? Who gains? What do they think they might gain?
It is obvious that the lives of many have been dramatically changed and some may well have ended.
Worrying world.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


A day in the bright fresh air.

A couple of nights when I woke up far too early combined with eight hours of being in the wind and sunny air have tired me out. I can hardly stay awake.
We were timekeeping at an athletics meeting.
One never knows how many officials there might be, just as we never know how many athletes will turn up.
It was a very good day for the Crawley club - well over 400 athletes came to compete.
This number with accompanying parents and siblings and others filled the place up.
It is  a long time since I have seen the track so busy.
The meeting was longer than planned, just because we needed more races and therefore, more time than the original programme allowed for.
I should have had a team of 5 timekeepers, but I had to part with one.
The man who provides the cameras, computers etc to give electronically recorded times was without an assistant. I had to let somebody go; it was important that the advertised electric timing was functioning well.
And don't worry, I am not going to bore you again with details of how many hundredths of a second inaccurate I was. One of the timekeepers went home with all those results in his bag.
And I know that I was not being very accurate today.
Tiredness and the need to concentrate on reading the race knocked my abilities.
The very first race was impressive.
In Sussex we have a star in the making at 400 metre hurdles.
Today, he ran 50.55, very close to that magic 50 seconds which would take him into the ranks of a world class athlete. Seb Rodgers has already competed as an international at a number of events - he had thought of himself as a decathlete, but last winter decided to concentrate on 400 hurdles.
A good start to the meeting......and on it went, with eagerly contested races for all those hours.
It was warm for much of the day. I sat out with bare arms ..... Spring really did happen today.
What a contrast with the weather two weeks ago, when we all sat at the track in many layers of clothing.

Saturday, April 13, 2013



Briefly - a day in the shop and a lovely meal with friends.
The weather turned really horrible.....they had better be right about tomorrow. I could do with mild warmth at the track tomorrow.
The shop was busy.....they came in out of the rain, I shouldn't wonder.
But some spent money too.
Home to cook a meal.....I cheated and cooked a three fish roast from Lidl, with prawns as an extra. Absolutely delicious.
Our guests knew it was not home cooked......because they had also cooked it themselves, at home.
But who cares? They were not with us to mark me out of 10.
Our old friends from North Wales were in town  for the sad funeral of J's brother....well, the death was sad, but the funeral was just right for the brother and quite jolly.
Glad that such an event gave us an evening with these good people.
I end the day feeling tired and delightfully tipsy.
Thank you P and J for coming.

Friday, April 12, 2013



Bags are packed (sort of).....but we are not yet ready to go.
There is quite a lot of living to do before then.
We pack in different ways. I do it quickly, snap decisions and hopes that I have got it right.
Bill dithers and worries  that he has got it wrong.
The first job was to pull out what we would be wearing for the journey. Paula....finished in 2 minutes.
Bill spent ten minutes plus standing by the wardrobe door wondering what shirt to wear on Wednedsay,
Then came the problem of whether to wear short sleeves or long sleeves!
It is difficult (maybe)......we will be waiting for the coach at Gatwick Airport up to Heathrow late afternoon and it could feel chilly.
Twenty four hours later it will feel far from chilly - mid 30s centigrade.
Anyway - it is done.
This afternoon I completed re-labelling the final box of things which had been shop stock and will be taken to a car boot sale to sell at the end of May or beginning of June.
It feels good to discard my failures.
I need the very best of my type of stock in the Dorking shop......and quite a lot of what I have, I now deem to be second best.
We popped out for a short while.....friends are coming for dinner tomorrow evening and I wanted some fresh vegetables.
Time for a cuppa.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Art for Thailand.

This morning we drove in the rain to Ford.
"Don't worry" I said....."the rain will stop"
And it did.
I didn't buy very much at the car boot sale......nothing much for the shop.
I had thought about about a 1920s print. I picked up on Bill's vibes that £20 was way too much and I left it. When I went back for it. it had gone.
Breakfast time in The George at Littlehampton was lively. Bob, the ex military man, who sits with his lap top was very much on form this morning. Sometimes he says nothing.
Today he was very chatty and funny.
Then we went for a walk. It was windy, but not too cold.
I looked at the sea and thought to myself how the next ocean we would see would be The Indian Ocean....maybe sitting on the sands at the Beach Bar.

Bill took this, using my phone. It was on facebook within minutes.
Oh, where has the stylish hair gone, that Rob (my hairdresser) gave me last week. Been blown half away along the beach!
No coats next week!
This afternoon I have followed up my promise to produce something a bit unusual and arty for our grandchildren in Thailand.
They are arty and unusual children.
Their music tastes are not "normal"......no One Direction (this year's boy band) for them.
Jess has been singing Suzi Quatro numbers in the kids group they are both in; while John has been a Bob Marley fan for ages.
I combined the children with both their music tastes.
It took ages, but was so much fun.
Jess came out best - quite a similarity between her and the young Suzi Quatro.

See how their two faces blend in the middle.

When I took the photo of John he was younger than now - only 6.
So, much contrast between his face and the lived in moustached faced of Bob Marley.

The eyes blend pretty well.

When they get fed up with my efforts, they will still have the frames for future pictures.

Tomorrow will be an at home day. Actually we will get our bags packed. We have busy and full days Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
It will feel more relaxing to know that everything is ready.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


The bare necessities.

This time next week, we will be waiting to board the plane to Bangkok.
A whole week to wait.
Normally I am the sort of person to leave things till the last minute.
But when it comes to the things I really must have with me, then to save any anxiety, I like to organise early.
Today I have got all my medications ready and all my stoma bags and equipment sorted.
These are the things that I cannot get in Thailand.....anything else I might forget can easily be found; except perhaps denture fixative.
Bill and I had quite an adventure one time when I needed some....almost ended up in the dental chair in a fairly remote hospital on the mainland.
It was sufficiently remote that there were few people who spoke English and I was trying to explain by mime and pointing.
I still have a hospital number!
I have also coloured my hair today.
I thought about leaving it.....but I am glad I got on with it. I have done it with a deep reddish tinge this time.
Time now for a cup of tea......and to watch the programme narrated by vVctoria Wood about the history of nice cups of tea.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013


The day I became a groupy

I began the day with a long Things to Do list.
It is a week until we go away.....lots to get done before then.
This morning we went into town and did almost everything needed.
I am still without Sloggis......Debenhams only had very large sizes. Woe is me....I should have bought on line. Why did I leave it, after all I prefer to buy things without having to go into a shop.
Maybe I'll buy in Thailand......I remember a place which sold them.

This afternoon, well, yes there was a doze.
Then I abandoned the Things to Do list.
Suddenly I was communicating with a pop musician.
Then I was communicating with a second cousin.
Well, actually the one and the same person.
I sort of knew of this young man - well, I guess I knew he existed. I have not met him or his parents and only occasionally (and recently) have I met his grandmother (my aunt).
Well, that's enough clues for my brother!

I have been communicating with Sam Roberts - grandson of our Aunty Valerie.
He is in a group - drummer and vocalist (?) in a group called Charming.I am not good at labelling different genres of music.......but  think folk rock would cover it.
I am liking what I hear.


The first item on this YouTube page is a collection of snippets from a recent performance.
I am liking what I hear.
He did an interview on Radio Kent on Sunday. he grew up in Kent - but I am thinking he is now on the Isle of Wight.
I am sure I will learn more.
We are now Facebook friends.
Whilst I was at it, I decided to make contact with Aunty Valerie's son and daughter on facebook......my cousins, who I have never met.
It feels good to have a personal interest in a music group who have the ability to go far, maybe......if the luck goes with them.

Looks like I shall be busy on the Things to do List tomorrow. I have pictures to print and framed to be taken with us.
And I must sort out the end of year accounts.....not much to do there. I buy things (have no receipts of course), I pay rent for the space in the shop and I sell things. I make a small amount of profit. Mr Taxman has never been interested, so I doubt he will be bothered now. I, so obviously, can prove that no tax can be due on my income of a few hundred pounds.

Monday, April 08, 2013


Us and Boo

Bill was very keen, it seemed to me, to meet up with Boo again.
Boo is a dog, a big dog. We last saw him when he was a very young puppy...already quite big.
He is still considered to be a puppy (about 16 months) and is enormous.
Boo belongs to my cousin, Rod.
This weekend Rod (and his son) were visiting his sister - my cousin Alison.
Rod and son enjoyed 2 days with the super bikes at Brands Hatch....leaving Alison holding the puppy!
Here he is.....a big and friendly dog.

He encouraged me to sit down - a quick nudge with his nose had me settled on the sofa!
Then he investigated Bill.

"Hello Boo"
"Who are you?" Boo sniffs....."Should I be friends with you? You seem to have intruded into this house where you don't belong."

Boo decides to make it very clear that he is the boss. Bill is getting increasingly nervous!
Bill grew up with dogs - but none of his family dogs were as big as a bear!

Just being friendly?
Bill is outside his comfort zone.

Alison tries to calm Boo down and tells him that Bill is very welcome in the house.

I am sorry, Bill and Alison........this just makes me laugh out loud!

After that nobody was sure what to do. Perhaps Bill had better go and sit upstairs!
Alison took Boo out into the garden and I followed.
Boo was intent on finding a good place to bury his bone. Nowhere seemed right.....well, not until he decided that in the pot where pansies were growing would be suitable.
It was fascinating to watch him.
Once the bone was hidden, Boo grew restless. Alison began throwing his squeaky toy for him. At one point I went to pick it up to throw it for him.
Wrong move!
"Get away from my toy"
And he pushed me. I am not really very strong and I could feel an accident developing......he could push me onto some concrete steps and I could smash my head. I saw it all.
Fortunately, I kept just enough balance to land on my bottom on the steps......and Alison pulled him off me.

Rod loves him dearly - has always been a dog person. He won awards at Crufts in the past.
They have a good relationship.
But the general opinion amongst all the rest of us was that Boo (a Newfoundland) is just a bit too big.
Just a bit too much (or a lot too much) to handle.

It was lovely to see my cousins again and we shared a lovely roast dinner together.
Glad we have had the Boo experience........maybe we are bit too frail to cope with another!

Sunday, April 07, 2013


Sunday roast later.

The day has hardly begun really - just after midday.
The sun is shining, the air is crisp, the light is bright.....and we will be going out a bit later.

We are going to my cousin's for the afternoon and evening.
Another of my cousin's and his son will have spent two long happy days at Brands Hatch with the super bikes.
There will be a roast dinner ready on their return.

This morning we enjoyed a brunch....left over food, eggs, hand cured bacon from the farm shop etc.
Very good.
I hope it gave Bill enough energy to go out into the fields......well I mean lawns actually, but after months of no attention they are looking very much like meadows.
He has gradually removed layers of clothing......just as well he has almost finished now!

I have tidied up and got things ready for the shop tomorrow.
Here are some of the things I bought yesterday.

I actually bought this fine animal at the farm shop.

A small corner has been taken over by a seller of second hand kitchen/country bits and pieces.

It is made by Mulholland and Bailie and would have been expensive when new.....£50 plus.
It is in super condition.

I had already bought juvenile items at Ford.

Children's chairs tend to sell well.
The Noddy waste paper bin is quite modern.....must remove the bar code from the bottom before displaying it in the shop.

The old stone hot water bottles make interesting ornaments in a kitchen or attractive door stops.
Bill thought I shouldn't have bought the flour bin....."It's chipped".
"That's part of its appeal, Bill"

The little tomatoes look so real.

Cake plate by Wedgwood.

The cup cake makers of today like to display their arts on pretty plates.

And so - let's make a cup of tea for Bill (and me).
I'll catch up with blogland tomorrow evening.

Saturday, April 06, 2013


Amberley walk and tea shop.

For simplicity today's posting will just be photos and a few words.
We visited Amberley on our journey home today.

 So many old and beautiful cottages and larger dwellings in the village.

Typical Tudor thatched house. 

Celandine and violets.

The railway line from Horsham to Littlehampton and then on to Portsmouth crosses the water meadows before Amberley Station. 
 We had to cross the railway line in order to continue our walk.

 Views across the water meadows to Bury Church.

 The countryside is littered with redundant old machinery.
I don't know what this machine is, but it had been abandoned a long time ago.
The tree is growing up through it.

Sticky burr and cow parsley seed heads against the blue sky.

The wind was chilly - but so much warmer than in the last week.
We reached 10 degrees today.

 Green hellibore above.

Windows of glass and filled with stone.

The handle and riddle.

There should be a pub called this.

We made our way to the tea shop....a splendid establishment!

These were menus (hand made) on an outside table.

We went indoors, where the fir was lit.
 Decision time for Bill.

 Old wood and ornaments under the counter.

There were many original features, old wood, hooks and so on.

Originally the building had been the village slaughter house.

Tea bread.
I opted for orange, walnut and honey.
Bill had the sweeter raisin tea bread.
We swapped half a slice of our breads, so that we could sample both.

The tea shop does no hot meals.
But the range of cakes is superb!

Tea for two. All the china comes from the local Amberley Pottery.

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