Goodbye 2004 / Hello 2005

2005 is now up and running, and what a year 2004 turned out to be in the end!

Happy New Year to everyone.

I am presently at the airport in London on my way back to Bangkok (3rd January), and Trish will be joining me there again on the 15th. This time we will not be back to the UK for at least 12 months, barring unforeseen circumstances, of course.

2004 ended with us in Knott End on Sea, with Trish’s family, and the usual celebration at the local pub, then the working men’s club (complete with Bingo – TaDaaa) for the change over to the new year. We also had a party on New Year’s day at Trish’s parents, then a small celebration at her sister’s place for Trish’s birthday on the 2nd. The third was (is) the public holiday, and we drove back down south, in time for me to change, and head off to the airport. I’ll be glad to get back to work, for the rest!

Prior to the New Year at KEOS we had Christina and Trish’s parents at our place in Reading for 2 weeks, as well as her Brother, Gerard, and his wife, Kay, with us for a couple of days over Christmas. Quite the family bash, and very enjoyable all round, including the Pantomime (Mother Goose) and the after-Christmas shopping in London that Christina and I did together around the Camden Town area.

Prior to going home for Christmas I had a busy few weeks at work, after Trish left (1st December), as we were trying to get the signalling infrastructure installation work started on track side. The subcontractor responsible for that is a local company, and not very well organized. Ah well, if everything was perfect they wouldn’t need project managers eh?

I did manage to squeak in a weekend away in December though. The Church in Bangkok was holding a retreat in a seaside resort 2½ hours from the city, and I went on that. It was a beautiful, peaceful place, and a very relaxing agenda. It was held in a sort of school come conference facility, which is actually a school for the disabled run by priests.

In Thailand the disabled are usually hidden away, or abandoned, as an embarrassment to their families. This school does a marvellous job in educating them, and then getting them jobs. The priests there also run an orphanage (about 250 kids) and schools for the deaf and for the blind, as well as a home for aged, stateless people. There is also a shelter for street girls – much needed in this resort which is a place that the Americans practically took over after Vietnam as a place for R&R (ergo sex, and more sex, etc.) continuation. Sad, but true, and the redemptorist centre there does its best in the midst of all this to help people affected by it – hence the Pattaya Orphanage which has a large proportion of abandoned mixed race kids, as you can imagine.

If you would like, you can donate to the orphanage. You can also read the book about the orphanage: In the Name of the Boss Upstairs.

So, having started the year with a new job in the UK, and ended the year with a different job in Thailand (same firm mind), and having taken my wife – the cold lover – to the hottest place I could find, then spent the new year partying harder than ever before; there goes 2004.

Again: Happy New Year to everyone!






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