Monday, May 30, 2011


I found this fabulous chrome pillar – stay with me people – outside my apartment building last week. Yes, pillar; as in holding the building up… or simply looking elegant, I’m not sure. Or maybe it was placed there just for me…

As I ran past I thought, ‘who is that gorgeous, slender creature?’ I stopped and walked back to gaze into the chrome mirror. Gosh it was me twenty years ago. Just kidding; we'd have to go back a LOT further than that! I was never that skinny. But I looked and looked, just like Narcissus. I even took a photo for you lot.

And then I remembered where I was going: to the 7/11 for a snack.


The irony wasn’t lost on me.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I need a 12 step programme

I’m totally addicted. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night it is, I can’t get myself off it.

Back in March I downloaded two series of the old version of Upstairs Downstairs to keep me entertained during my travels in the UK. I’ve always loved period dramas and I’m sure I must’ve come across the odd repeat while growing up but I’d been too young to see the original airing.

I watched a couple when my travelling lagged but I found the style of acting and dramatization very dated; hammy and overacted, embarrassing. But back in Bangkok I began to watch the odd episode in the evening and before I knew what had happened, I was hooked.

I forgot that they’d irritated me. For some of the visual preparation of the NF book, I can work while plugged into the next exciting episode in the lives of Bellamy family and their servants. And then I see in the following episode Elizabeth and her husband of six months are spending Christmas apart because their marriage is falling apart, and honestly, I’ve got to watch it, haven’t I? Before I know it, several more episodes have been viewed and then Lady Marjorie is sailing to America on the Titanic and well, I’ve got to see what happens, haven’t I?

Then there’s the singing. For days now I’ve been singing the theme tune, which, oddly I can’t reproduce on command, rather it just appears in my head to irritate me (and my family.) And there’s something in the phrasing that makes it morph into The Teddy Bears Picnic so I sing that over and over too…

I do think I may be losing my grip.

But oh, Hudson (Gordon Jackson) is just wonderful (and not hammy at all) and Thomas Watkins (a very PHWOAR young John Alderton)… the beautiful lust-after John Alderton Edwardian clothes… And god, the horror of the way they lived… I love it all.

Now it’s no longer just the evening but the morning as well and sometimes even during the day; I’m just watching one episode at a time… Honest. Well, mostly.

Husband has rechristened it ‘Crackstairs, Smackstairs.’

Monday, May 23, 2011

And after the event...

What a lovely day we had at Neilson Hays Library yesterday. Saturday night’s big thunderstorm gave me hope that we’d have a dry day and we did; it was a scorcher.

I don’t have many pictures but this one makes me happy:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

WordPlay: final programme

Tomorrow the Neilson Hays Library is hosting WordPlay, Bangkok's first literary festival.  The details below are the final programme. It's not too late to sign up for the workshops!

Further details are here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's the Friday Photo... YAY

This photo comes courtesy of Daughter's lovely friend EN. Thank you for letting me use it for this week's pic.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ten years in the planning...

For about ten years I’ve been thinking about writing a non-fiction book – not any old non-fiction book obviously, I had an idea for a specific one. It’s a dangerously long time to leave my ‘brilliant’ idea in my head because it could evaporate or someone else could be writing and publishing it. But in my case they haven’t (that I’ve discovered) at least not with the angle that I have on it.

So as I’ve put my novel aside for a time (actually, my the novel has put itself aside; it quite insisted. It refused to cooperate with my plans for it.) And I have started, seriously, to plan my non-fiction book. Ten years thinking is probably long enough.

I am eminently qualified for this project which, let’s be honest is a miracle. I am qualified - with my two useless but enjoyable degrees - for precious little.

So that could be where I am when I’m not blogging: listening to Radio 4 and working on this new/ancient project.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bangkok Literary Festival details

On Sunday the 22nd May 2011 the Neilson Hays Library is hosting Bangkok’s first literary festival.

There are some fabulous speakers coming:
World famous chefs – Ken Hom (My Kitchen Table) and David Thompson (Thai Street Food.)
Novelists Christopher G Moore (Vincent Calvado Private Eye series and Editor of Bangkok Noir), John Burdett (Bangkok Eight) and Stephen Leather (Private Dancer.)
Philip Cornwell Smith, Editor of Time Out and author of Very Thai (possibly my all time favourite book about Thailand) will be in attendance talking about trends in Thailand.

And if that’s not enough, you can listen to:
Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit (The Tale of Khun Chang Khun Phaen) talking about the craft of translation;
Nic Dunlop (Lost Executioner);
Sandy Dodd and Jennifer Baccon (literacy promoters);
Tom Vater (Sacred Skin);
Ruth Heald (short story writer);
Janice Santikarn (Little Blue Tuk Tuk).

In addition to this the library are running six workshops related to books, writing and story telling.

1.    Breaking Through
Photographer Gavin Gough and writer and coach Paul Sochaczewski will teach how to write and photograph a personal story for publication.

2.    Writing from the Unconscious Mind
Anette Pollner’s workshop will trigger your creativity and access the unconscious process.

3.    Make Your Own Handmade Book
Kate Macdonald will show you how to make your own silk bound book.

4.    The Art of Story-Telling
Artist and Actor Louise Truslow will share her secrets on how to make stories engaging.

5.    Writing Stories, a Workshop for Children
Janice Santikarn will inspire children with the joy of writing stories.

6.    One to One critique service
Submit your work for a critical review by author Bonnie Sauder.

Click here for more information or to book any of the workshops. 

Friday, May 06, 2011

Bangkok's first literary festival

Can't wait for this.

We've got some fabulous names lined up. Check out further details on WordPlay here and I'll be back to tell you more soon.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

My favourite people in Bangkok

While the rest of the world (barring the conchies and the cynics) were watching the wedding, I was being a tourist and gallivanting around Bangkok with my brother.

These chaps (at Wat Pho) are among my favourite people in Bangkok. During the time of King Rama III these stone figures came from China to Bangkok to act as ballast on the returning royal rice boats.

(I couldn't disappear without leaving you a picture of the Reclining Buddha: the beauty and sheer size stuns me every time.)