22 August 2015


After a couple of enquiries I though it best to let you all know what's going on with us. 

I'm sure you've all heard about the awful bomb at Erawan Shrine in Bangkok and the senseless loss of life. Our condolences go to all those who have lost loved ones. I'm also sure you're aware of how far away we are from Bangkok and so were not directly affected.

I have, however, come down with another bout of bronchitis and have just got back from the doctors with my second set of tablets. So, dear reader, "rest" continues to be the instruction and I need to listen. Mr John says I have terrible trouble sitting still but to be honest, I'm feeling too exhausted to do much else. So until I'm feeling better and have a spark of energy to write something, please be kind to yourself and each other.

14 August 2015


Well, what can I say? Quite a lot actually. Our jolly day out wasn't quite what we all had in mind but the company was excellent so really no complaints. I have a nephew called Rhys, he is a legend, fact. To prĂ©cis his words when you give him something he doesn't like .....

Me: Did you like that? 
R: Yes
Me: Do you want some more? 
R: No
I think that pretty much sums up my feelings on Rayong.

OK, so we were a little late heading off but this trip should be about one and a half hours. We sat on the minivan me in an individual seat near the door to try and avoid getting travel sick at 11:30 and we walked into Central Plaza having had to get a taxi as it's not "in town" at 14:00. I know it was a national holiday and there was a bit of traffic on the road but I did have an incredible urge to keep saying "are we there yet?" "are we there yet?".

So after trying to find somewhere different and relaxing for lunch you know, where we could chat and maybe have a drink and failing dismally, the girls came up with the option of visiting a Strawberry Town. We had terrible trouble trying to find a taxi and then making ourselves understood. We then found out it was about 36 kilometres away and by this time it was 15:40 and it starts to get dark around 18:00. So we knocked that idea on the head. I also found out later that there are actually no strawberries here and that its more like a resort,

Next up was the idea of going to the beach. Thinking we were being clever we headed to the Information desk in the Plaza as surely their English would be better. Wrong. But they were very smiley and tried their best. We did establish that the beach was 40 kilometres away. So we knocked that idea on the head.

There was only one thing left to do in circumstances like these. Head for the cinema and hope an English film was going to be shown soon. And success, yay, we got to watch Fantastic Four in the Honeymoon Seats very appropriate. We got lucky with the timing as only one of the films is shown in English even though there are about eight screens. 

Of course, before we knew it, it was time to bite the bullet and head back home we couldn't stay forever, the girls had to teach the next day. It was 19:10 I'm reliably informed when we came out of the shopping centre. Then of course we had to get on the back of a motorcycle taxi each don't ask why, I'm exhausted just re-living it to take us back to the Bus Station. Thankfully a minivan was heading to Chan in 30 minutes. Forty-five minutes later we were on our way and I walked through the door to Mr John at 22:00. 

I'm not sure any of us will be in a hurry to head off on a day trip to Rayong any time soon. To be fair, there were some pretty looking shops like Rip Curl and Sketchers if you're in the market for that sort of thing but really pretty much everything else you could find here in Chanthaburi, albeit a little less shiny and probably on a slightly smaller scale. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained but, as I said, the company was excellent. Thanks Emma and Orla

12 August 2015

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day to all the Mums out there! I know this date differs all around the world and quite frankly, when you're away from "home" what date do you stick to? Do you use the date in the country where your Mother lives and if you do, can you remember it? Do you use the date in the country you're currently living / working in? And if you do, will your Mother think you are deranged as you dial up Skype other video conferencing services are available and boom out a happy greeting? These are just some of the dilemmas you have to deal with as you start globe trotting.

Of course, Mr John and I are pretty static here in Thailand. Today is the Queens birthday and therefore Mothers Day for the whole country. It's a national holiday and so yesterday, at school, there was a big assembly in the morning. I popped along to check out what was happening but I actually didn't see much in relation to the children's Mothers being celebrated. What I did see where the lovely matching shirts all the teachers wore sadly they never seem to think of the foreign teachers as, forget how bad the pattern is, the material is so thick for the heat of the day they all end up a sweaty mess.

There was food giving to the Monks and the whole school was at assembly singing the national song I'm genuinely not sure if it's also the national anthem and the school song but no Mums by the time it got to that stage. Still, it is always lovely to see the little ones first graders are sooo tiny.

Nice hat!
This last week has seen Mr John survive "man flu" actually, he was really sick and even had a day off school for the first time ever though I did wonder if it was tied in with "post holiday trauma". We are both missing the conveniences of Bangkok and the lovely swimming pool that was so handy.

And so today, I've left him home alone don't panic, there's water in the house and I've opened the windows and have gone off with the girls for a day trip to Rayong. Am really looking forward to some quality girlie time and I suspect Mr John is looking forward to some uninterrupted Play Station time.

05 August 2015

4 nights in Bangkok

Oh my, what a fantastic extra long weekend we've had in Bangkok. I really hope you were checking out our pictures on Instagram. Although we went separately to Bangkok we both had reasonable trips. There is so much to tell you but one of the highlights was meeting up with Lisa and Gordon. We made the executive decision to watch Mission Impossible 5, followed by lunch and a bit of shopping.

I'm not really sure who was more excited about having an oven but I produced some fantastic dinners even though I say so myself. Is it OK to be a fan of your own cooking? Or is that considered narcissistic

Anyway, roast chicken dinner was accompanied, amongst other things, by cauliflower cheese and Yorkshire puddings. The roast duck breast also got dauphinoise potatoes plus I did Mr John a few small roast potatoes using the fat from the duck breast. 

Now, I'm inclined to think you're all wondering what the fuss is. Some of you may even have made these types of meals mid-week. Unless you have grown up in a Western country and then lived in a non-Western country, I'm not sure you can appreciate what it's like to live without a kitchen / oven / certain produce. Of course, if you live in a big city like Bangkok, you can get access to all these things - at a price obviously - but at least they are available. Here in Chanthaburi well, you can't even get beef mince or potatoes with any certainty.

So yes, we pretty much hung around the apartment most of the time. Given that two of the four days were "no selling alcohol" days, this really wasn't an issue.
We used the pool a couple of times. They insisted on me wearing a swimming hat, which they supplied because oddly, I don't have one. But there was hardly anyone there. In fact, it was crowded on Saturday with three other people in it. 

We had taken some DVDs and watched a couple of films. At this time of year, you have to be prepared for rain and sure enough on our first night it bucketed down. The lightening and thunder made quite a display from our 15th floor vantage point, so really no complaints but it wasn't the last of the rain.
The apartment was 600 metres from the local train station, this may not sound far but in tropical heat it can seem an awfully long way. No worries though, the apartments had a "shuttle bus" that went around the rather large block with the total trip probably taking 15 minutes. You could buy tickets in the office at 10 baht each. This was an absolute bargain as it was in fact an air-conditioned mini-van. At the weekends it goes as far as Chatuchak market yes still only 10 baht so that's a winner and when you need to get your luggage back to the train station it's a no-brainer.

Tuk Tuk's and motorbike taxis were abundant and relatively cheap at 50 & 20 baht respectively and there was a lovely, reasonably priced coffee shop just across the road. Of course being in the big smoke, we couldn't resist the odd Starbucks.

We would really recommend this fabulous apartment and Bert (the owner). If you'd like to enquire about staying there, get in touch using my Contact Form and I'll be happy to pass on your details to Bert. 
Please note that I will note receive any gratuity, cash or otherwise.