Friday3rd Feb. At breakfast this morning we bumped into Johan and Britta. They lived in Centre Pointe while we did and Dave worked with Johan for about a year, again it seems to be a very small world.
I met with an old friend, Claudia, we went to lunch and caught up on what had been going in our families since we had last seen each other two years ago. I am surprised at how alike the two of us are in some ways. Later we visited a wonderful book store where we found our likes and dislikes in the literary world are very similar. The main difference being Claudia can read French which excludes me from some works.
Dave and I stayed at home in the evening, to recover from last night and prepare for tomorrow!
Thursday 2nd Feb. and we are up bright and early to travel to the National Museum, in the old part of town near the Grand Palace, for a lecture series. I used to be a member of the museum volunteers and a friend told me about the series which was postponed because of the flooding last year.
The first lecture was about the funeral rites of Royal family members as conducted here in Thailand. It was fascinating as it detailed where the belief systems came from; first Brahmanism, then Hinduism and finally Buddhism all play a role in these rites of passage.
Second lecture was a run through in words and pictures of the Ramakien (a Thai adaptation of the Indian epic The Ramayana). A story told in fantastic wall murals painted on the cloister walls surrounding the temple of Wat Phra Kaew (Emerald Buddha temple). It is a tale of war and love, loss and redemption with strange demons and monkeys as well as gods and humans all mixed up in a sea of Thai imagination. Fantastic.
On our return to our hotel we were caught in a huge downpour (this is not the rainy season what is happening to the weather) and had to wade through the water to the boat pier. Of course our journeys on the Chao Phryer river were as interesting as always affording an opportunity to both people watch and stare at the huge rice barges being pulled upstream high in the water like a 4 story house, followed by skinny long tailed noisy boats zipping in and out of the other traffic like dragon flies with megaphones. Over seeing all this bustle the prang of Wat Arun, stands in its Angkor glory representing the mountian of Meru; the centre of the spiritual world to Hindus and Buddhists alike, as well as the home of Lord Brahma. Further along the river bank are other tall buildings representing great success in the human world, if you can afford the rent to dwell in any of their oppulent rooms.
In the evening, after a nap, we decide to check out a local bar we once knew. Walking along Sukhumvit we suddenly bump into Moore, a Taiwanese guy Dave used to work with in Taipei who later moved to Bangkok where he got a job with Bombardier and eventually moved to Sweden where he now lives and works. We thought it extraordinary to meet like this so we repaired to the nearest bar to catch up. Later that night we fell into bed still jet lagged
Our friends, John and Joelle, drove us to Ottawa airport bright and early Monday morning the 30th January where we checked our 3 bags (more on this later) to be picked up later in Bangkok. We first flew with Air Canada to Toronto and then boarded another Air Canada flight to Beijing. The fourteen hours it took to get there flew (!!!!) by in a haze of wine, bad movies, good food and sleep. We had a couple of hours wait in Beijing Airport, this is new since we where last here in 2007 and must have been opened for the Olympics in 2008. It is very modern but at 4:30pm on the 31st January it was almost completely deserted. We flew to Suvarnabhumi Airport with Air China and slept for most of the 5 hr journey. Passing through immigration at midnight on 31st January all was well until we came to collect our 3 bags. Only one of them turned up (fortunately it was mine), after reporting the missing items we arrived at our hotel at 2am on 1st Feb. We fell into bed and slept!
The next day was spent in a blur of jet lag reacquainting ourselves with an area of Bangkok we were very familiar with, but which has changed a lot since we were last here in 2010, as well as trying to get Dave some clothes. Our wayward bags finally arrived at 11pm on Wed 1st February. We imagine the bags were left on a trolley somewhere in Beijing airport!!
My daughter and a few friends have suggested I might like to start blogging here again
Dave and I are now settled in our house here on the Kemptville Creek in Oxford Mills Ontario.
When we first moved in we put a new roof on it, had wood floors fitted in lounge/ dinner, new furnace/oiltank. the usual stuff, just to make it comfy!!
The summer after we moved we fitted a wood burning fireplace in the lounge. We were lucky in that their was a rough in for a fireplace behind the drywall. Most people think we are mad having a wood fire place but we like the ambiance. We have a wood stove in the family room which gives off a lot of heat especially when we keep it well fed.
Their is a large room off a bedroom upstairs which was roughed in for a bathroom and we started to work on this in January 2010 with help from a friend who came down for 5 days and managed to get a lot of “behind the scenes” work done. Then we took off for 3 months to Thailand. On our return the garden required a lot of work just to catch up on the lack of weeding the previous year/s. Thus the bathroom took a back seat untill the fall when Dave started to work on it now and then. We had already got most of the fixtures and fittings but there was a lot work required and soemtimes Dave got a little overwhelmed. In the end it was compleated and we moved into the bedroom in the summer of 2011.
We have been welcomed to Canada this week, more precisly, Ontario, by a huge fall of snow. It started on Monday when it snowed all day leaving about 3 inches and two, very excited, just returned to the land of snow and ice, people. We should have known better, being the age we are with the experience we have, that it wouldn’t all be lovely white sparkling fluffy stuff. It could get serious.
Tuesday was a lovely sunny day and I took Karen Christmas shopping, fun and rewarding. Wednesday we awoke to a snow storm and Dave had to take the car (we have bought a red PT Cruiser, I LOVE it) back to the garage to have something fitted. He spent most of the day traveling around carefully doing errands and picking up attachments for the the lawn tractor he just bought. Thursday, we had planned to go and do a food shop, it took us 1 hour to get out of the driveway due to the deep snow and getting stuck in it just outside the garage. We did not have snow tires yet so we used a lot of bits of wood and digging out before we got traction. We drove straight to Canadian Tire and ordered a snow blower to be delivered the next day!
This was originally written in Dec, 2009.
Well, no one’s posted here in a while. My parents have retired and moved to Kemptville, ON, where they own a beautiful property on which they are both working vigorously to turn into a welcoming home. In fact, they’ve put in a lot of work on it in the past couple of years and it’s really come a long way from a vast, empty house on ex-farmland. It’s now a very warm, welcoming home in which they hold many parties, and they’re loving it. I wish they’d post more about all the projects they’ve taken on… the renovations are fun to look at… *poke poke, mum and dad!!*
In any case, I’ve opened up a new blog over at Knitravel. The word is a combination of “knitting” and “travel”, and “ravel” – for what yarn does 😛 I’ve since begun other crafts now, but I suppose the main focus will still be knitting and travel. And also, I’m not really traveling at the moment, though I suppose short weekend trips to Kemptville sort of count as travels, so I do post about that as well. I also post about stuff going on in Toronto, although really, that’s not all that interesting – you get the best updates on my Facebook page with the photos, I think.
I’m also still posting, about my client work and school studies in interactive multimedia, at the envy creative blog. So head over there if you wanna see what I’ve been up to in my career.
Anyway, hope you’ll still follow us. Cheers!
Well, I’ve already blogged about this over at the new envy creative blog, but I’m excited enough about it that I figured I’d post it here too. I’m not going to be duplicating posts very often, if at all, but I do want to point to other things I’m doing online from here at the very least.
In any case, I’ve decided to start posting a photo a day. I’ve already posted the first photo. If you want to see it, you’ll have to click over, or check out the post at the new envy creative blog. BTW, I relaunched the site recently – it’s not completely ready to begin promoting yet, but a link or two here and there won’t hurt.
Who cares what you have to say? comes the voice from within every time I begin to write. You’re nobody important. Why bother, when there’s already a million people clamouring for attention, with both far more, and far less, important things to say? and so I pepper my blogging platform with half-written entries, this voice quelling my initial excitement at the thought of publishing something – anything – that might garner me an audience, folding the desire back into itself, slowly stemming the passion to put my fingers to the keys and tell people what I’ve been up to with my own observations, in my own voice. Why would anyone bother to read that stuff anyway?
This is probably why I turned to design. So I can still create works to be seen, published, even more – interacted with, without having to come up against possible failure at my greater passion for writing (have no doubt, I do love design). Without having to hear words of discourging criticism of my limited, mostly squandered, once-potential for talent that just never blossomed and probably never will.
This way, I can slowly turtle on, writing in bursts, when my need to express myself genuinely becomes too great and I can no longer hold in my voice, when I can finally take my vocal croak and turn it into eloquent hieroglyphs perhaps destined to be digitally burned eternally into the minds of humankind as the Internet Archive and biotechnology evolve, morph together into some new species that will overcome all environmental disaster, oxygen depletion and animal extinction.
Well, it’s nice to have a less scary dream amidst all the constant prophecies of our self-induced, imminent doom, anyway.
Caught between two layers of cloud: one, a cushiony, fluffy bed on which to catch us if we fall. The other, a greyish-white ceiling of the most liquid dream I’ve ever seen. A pale strip of blue sits between these two layers, parallel to us. It’s the most desirable room in an insane asylum – white walls with a glimpse of freedom millions of miles away – one could ever inhabit.
Today is super-free day! At work, we Had “haircuts and hot dogs” day in celebration of getting placed as one of the 2010 Best Workplaces in Canada.
And Starbucks was giving away free coffee to anyone who brought in a mug. I gotta say though, it was really watery compared to usual…
Still a good day. Being beautifully sunny as well, I rode in on my bike, saving a couple of tokens too! What a great day!