29 October 2014

We're back.....

the Big Bus bbirtack to the Airport in Bangkok
What a fabulous time we've had with Ross. I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted but there was just way too much fun to be had. And now, he's already back in Hong Kong and back to teaching. Why is it when you do fun things time whips past and drags when you're bored?

So it all started with the arrival at Bangkok International Airport, followed by the 3.5 hour trip back to Chan.  Honestly, the road between the two is awful and you get some scary potholes that just suddenly appear in the road when you're least expecting them!  

Actually, on that note, Ross commented he would have preferred another 1 hour internal flight to Trat and then a 1.5 hour drive back to Chan as he had no desire on this visit to see Bangkok.  He's got a good point.  For instance, I would never put a "long haul" visitor straight in the car and bring them back to Chan.  When Leon visited, we spent two nights in the capital and then got the big bus back.  This seemed to work really well.  So if you're planning to visit, you might want to take all this into account. I should also point out that our trip to the airport was longer than Ross took to get to Hong Kong airport and fly in!

Anyway, it was Tan's birthday on that first Saturday and although we missed the visit and prayers by the Monks, we were back in time to join in the free drinks and karaoke OK, so we didn't really join in the singing because the words were all in Thai. We had a lovely dinner that night too with friends Russ & Ann. I must have been enjoying myself because I have no photographic evidence this even happened. Not at all like me, I think I'll blame the 8 hour round trip drive. 

There were lots of things we didn't do during his time here like the waterfall, local beach, craft centre, Khlung or even a walk around town, but we did get to do some good stuff like see the Cathedral, visit Pii Kob at the Hangout where Ross made his Thailand singing debut, walk around the lake, visit a few other bars and a few coffee shops.

We spent a bigger chunk of our time in Koh Mak and I'll give you a run down on that in my next post.  Meanwhile, Mr John still has a week's holiday left and the rain has returned with a vengeance - which isn't great when you're trying to catch up on 10 days worth of washing!

15 October 2014

A.S.E.A.N. Day

Chompoo looking fabulous
Last Friday we went to the ASEAN day celebrations at Mr John's school.  It was quite a festival and the effort put in by students, parents and teaching staff was commendable. Each of the 14 countries were represented by year groups from both the English and General Programme.  My John's year had "China" and we were treated to a "cup" of tea when we arrived at their stand. Chompoo, who you may remember was Mr John's entrant in a competition earlier this year, was our "tour guide". She had us tasting some various things but our favourite was a pork satay.

It was a great way to end the first term of the school year.

10 October 2014

Only 8 sleeps!

Well, it seems I've been suffering from inertia lately. I'm not sure what's been up except maybe I'm in sync with the weather.  We've had quite a few days where it has rained all day. Plus we've been a little quiet here in the household as we prepare ourselves for our next overseas visitor.  Yes, Ross arrives a week tomorrow and we are sooo looking forward to it. So it'll be done with the cleaning and the washing and on with the fun and festivities.

Mr John has his last day at school today for the three week break between terms. This means he'll be messing with my routine but fear not, I have a few jobs lined up for him - just don't tell him!

Of course today is a huge day for the "littlest" of my three big brothers.  Yep, today Pete turns 60. OMG! How did we all get to be so old? He was the youngest 'til I came along many years later and stole his position in the family. Fortunately it's not something he's held against me.  

So in his honour, I thought I'd share a few memories whilst I'm 7,000 + miles away and he can't reach me well, what are little sisters for?
  • wearing platform shoes in the '70s when he's already over 6 foot tall
  • buying me jeans in my teenage years when I grew too tall for the pair I had my Mum wouldn't buy me any because nice girls don't wear jeans
  • playing the piano and saying "oops sorry" when he made a mistake before starting again - mostly Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
  • the two of us on the piano playing a "honky tonk" duet version of Amazing Grace much to our mothers dismay
  • not holding my hand when walking down the street presumably because it may have ruined his street cred
  • running out of the bathroom, razor in hand, with a crazed look on his face to see which of his sisters in the house had newly shaven legs
  • reading a book and laughing so hard he nearly wet himself both indoors and on public transport I think Spike Milligan was mostly involved
  • at a family picnic, being sent with the other "I've got no children" bloke to get food that the nephews would eat and returning with only potato chips and fizzy drinks
  • being the best story teller in the family though to be fair these can take forever as he starts laughing at the next line before he's actually told any of us
Of course there are a lot more stories but not all are for public consumption the one with the shorts and panty-hose still makes me laugh out loud and no doubt the older siblings would add many more not to mention nieces and nephews who have their own dirt on him. So many happy returns to an ace big brother. We'll be having a "small sherry" here in your honour. 

Now that the AFL Grand Final and the NRL Grand Final are done and dusted, I'm not sure what we'll be up to this weekend. No doubt Mr John will have earmarked some rugby union for my viewing pleasure! Hope you all have a great weekend.

01 October 2014

October? Already?

The rain has returned with a vengeance this week.  Needless to say we haven't yet ventured back into town but fear we will have to soon as the Chinese festival will be finishing soon and it would be rude not to have some more doughnuts.

As the rain has been ever present, I've been taking the opportunity to do a bit more craft work.  With the rain comes cooler temperatures and it's much more conducive to getting on with stuff.  So now we have a perpetual calendar on the wall.  I bought an A4 picture frame and used some pretty paper.

The post from here can take anything from 5 to 10 days to arrive and is never the same twice so I have to think ahead if I want to post something. I'm also used to having to complete "customs" stickers when sending anything overseas, but they don't believe in them here.  I popped a little thing in the post to my sister-in-law in Australia the other day and when it was delivered to her, it came compete with a pamphlet on what you can and cannot send into Australia. I'm not sure why they insist on sending it to her as she clearly didn't post it to herself.  I was nearly in the dog house though as this isn't the first time she's received one of these things!  A few years ago now we sent a bunch get it  of banana related stuff to her it was just an in-joke at the time and because we'd put a pack of dried bananas in, customs took a dim view of the parcel.  I took it all on board though and have not sent anything untoward since.

I've also sorted a white-board for us that I've customised. Invariably, after returning from doing the weekly shop, Mr John will enquire as to whether I got something in particular that I am completely unaware of, so I thought this would help. Of course, the system does rely on him adding things to the list!

The best thing I've had though was a photo sent from my niece under instruction from her son who will be four this month.  I'm thrilled that all the way in Oz and from this gorgeous little man, he wanted his Mum to send me a photo of his colouring in.  The colouring-in book accompanied a small gift for his little brothers' birthday.

Speaking of birthdays, and it being the first of the month, we'd like to send a big shout out to Bitong, Aunty Marilyn, Pete, Johnny Boy, Roman, Kik and Dan. We hope you all have a very happy day.