13 October 2015

...1....Lift Off

Yes, it's the big day and as you read this we are probably already at the airport. It's an early start with a 7am minivan. As you know, I much prefer the big bus but the timings just weren't right today and neither of us want to risk missing our flight.

Whilst Chanthaburi is now pretty devoid of any foreign teachers they pretty much all headed off last Friday Mr John and I have had a fairly relaxing weekend. Australia won their final Pool game of the Rugby World Cup which was most satisfying and as Mr John has recovered his composure after England finishing third in the group I am now able to properly gloat.

The Chinese Nine Emperor Gods Festival is on again. This year it runs from the 12th to the 21st. We are pretty pleased to have found our lovely doughnut stand again this year. 

Mr John was carrying them and having finished his, he assumed I had too. But I still had about a third of mine left when he threw the whole package into the bin. I was so sad that he's promised to get me some more when we're back in Chan in a weeks time.

Actually, it's a shame all the teachers are away as there are a few vegetarians amongst them and all the yellow and red stalls serve is vegetarian food. 

So don't forget to keep up with our travels on Instagram and the all important Super Saturday. Take care everyone.

08 October 2015

Junk Journals

As you know, we're gearing up for our holiday in Hanoi, Vietnam and our lovely visitors in October. Mr John has three lovely weeks off and whilst we have things we want to do, we're also hoping he'll feel rested by the end of it. We've built in plenty of "chill" time so I'm not too worried. Anyway, I mentioned in my last post that I've started the preparation for my junk journal and it's all way too exciting.

The idea of these things and don't take my word for it, just search the web is that you pick up all sorts of random bits and pieces, that don't cost you much or indeed anything and add it into your journal. When you're travelling you can add ticket butts, postcards, paper bags, envelopes, maps literally anything you're given and add it.

Because we've chosen to fly with hand luggage only I can't take all my bits and pieces with me, so some things will have to wait til I'm back home before final embellishments can be added. Just so you know, by bits and pieces I mean things like scissors and metal hole punch which will be confiscated by security without doubt even in Thailand. So I've tried to do as much before we go as possible.

I cut up a cardboard box that we received off Hannah to make the front and back covers. If you think ahead about the finished product you can come out with something that I think looks good. The metal rings can be bought at any good stationer. Here in Chanthaburi I like to try B2S stationers on the ground floor in Robinson. It was only 60 baht for a pack of four. I've chosen to use them all on this occasion but I could have opted to use 1, 2 or 3. 

Luckily, I'd recently been given a 2015 diary that had monthly planners in, so I used one of those to give an overview of the whole month. You can be as creative as you want and you'll probably find, like me that the first thing you do isn't as beautiful as the last thing. Don't stress, it's yours anyway so do what you want.

You can see I've used cereal box cardboard as a backing panel for the planner to give it some sturdiness. I've also included one of my all time favourite quotes. So I don't forget some key things we want to do in Hanoi, I've written a quick list on the back of some wrapping paper I received recently. If you can get your hands on washi tape yes, also at B2S it makes anything look awesome! 

I've been including Mr John in all my preparations read this as boring him to tears with creative stuff that he has no interest in but nods and agrees in all the right places as he knows when I am happy, he gets to be happy. I've even made a page just for him that I'm hoping he'll do on one of the days. 

One of the things I spoiled myself with last time we were in Bangkok and way before I knew what a junk journal was was a Nancy Chandler Map. These are such beautiful works of art and have some really helpful info that often only locals know about. Sadly these maps are only for Bangkok, Chang Mai and Hanoi. 

The next main additions will be printed photos of our travels / events. I know, most of us don't get anything printed any more what with digital cameras, smart phones, tablets etc. I like to have some so I can put them up on our walls and luckily there's Kodak places in Chanthaburi where you can get photos printed straight from your phone. I just need to figure out if there's an App there's bound to be!

I've also included an envelope and a paper bag to store small bits in, a spare Chanthaburi postcard that I had I intend to pick up more postcards as we go and "odd" pretty papers I've had lying around for ages. I've been lucky with all my bits and pieces I keep for scrap-booking which have come in very handy. 

I've chosen to make mine A5 size, but again you can choose any size you want. I'm so inspired I'm already trying to think what one I can do next. I have odd collections of bits and pieces from all our holidays so maybe it's time to get them into something like this. 

I promise, when it's finished, I'll capture images and share them with you, In the meantime, the creative ones among you and I know there are loads seriously need to check this process out and start doing it. It's so much more portable, instant and convenient than scrap-booking. Just remember - never run with scissors !!

06 October 2015

Countdown ... 1 ...

Yes people, in a week from now we will be in Hanoi and I'm already too excited. Of course, this may also be because of Super Saturday as I like to call it when everyone ok, so not exactly everyone arrives in Bangkok. Mr John and I have opted to only take carry-on luggage of 7kgs each. This is a whole new experience for him and has taken some persuading.

This isn't a problem for me though it does restrict my shoe allowance until I recently discovered Junk Journals or Smash Books as some people call them. Regular readers will know that I love doing creative stuff and I can't believe I've not come across these until recently damn you Pinterest!! Anyway, if I don't stop tinkering with the preparation of my junk journal soon, my entire 7 kilos is going to be taken up by said journal. I was going to share this with you today, but think it needs a whole post to itself.

Because I have so many exciting things that happened this weekend. Did you see the Rugby World Cup? Did you? We did mwah ha ha. Saturday well, technically it was Sunday at 02:00 here night Australia played England. Whenever these two teams play, Mr John and I get as close as we can to "falling out". This is a bit unusual in our house as we get on really, really well. Still, it's always good to mix things up.

To cut a long and for Mr John very painful story short - AUSTRALIA WON HURRAH! Not jut that but England, who is hosting the tournament, in now out of the running for the quarter finals which start on October 17. Of course, this Saturday Australia will play Wales to decide who tops the group. I'm hoping we'll win as the draw to the finals appears slightly easier than if you come second. So fingers crossed. In the meantime, Mr John is speaking to me again which is always nice.

In honour of the big occasion and honestly, because I wanted to defrost the freezer I made a Moroccan Lamb & Feta salad for dinner. I bought the lamb when I was in Australia in March / April. It was a beautiful backstrap and I knew when I got it, it would make a great warm salad. What I didn't realise was how good it could be. We both really enjoyed it but sadly that's now all our imported meat gone. Very sad about that but at least we got to enjoy it. I recommend this easy menu if you have access to lamb!

Some of the high school English teachers I know have pretty much finished for the term. In fact, some are even officially on holiday. This is lovely because I get to do things like have coffee with Emma at Latte Coffee House. What a civilised way to start the day. Anyway, since last time I was there, they've put covers over the outside tables. They look really cute and I'm sure they've been helpful with all the rain we've had lately.

We've been getting the fallout from the tropical storms that have been hitting Taiwan and China the past week or so. It's been torrential and we didn't go anywhere on Sunday. Still, I guess that's what the weekends are for. Hope you enjoyed yours.