Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wednesday's Windows

Good morning. I am post Pilates class today so am feeling pretty chipper (and clearly from circa 1960...)

Today's window is dedicated to all the writers and readers in my life. It's from Jaspal. I first spotted it in Emporium, my local mall; but then, from a taxi, I saw the whole front window at Terminal 21 decorated bookishly. Sadly some of the pictures were a bit reflection heavy and it was beginning to spit I didn't hang around for a drenching in the afternoon downpour.

What's not to love? My favourite trick, playing with scale, makes another appearance and it's in celebration of books and writing. Brilliant.

Jaspal Emporium

Jaspal Terminal 21

Jaspal Terminal 21 close up

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday's Windows

Okay, so the high end shops I've been featuring have got lots of money (relatively speaking) to spend on their window displays. But here are a couple of unrelated shop fronts who demonstrate that it's not about money...

The first one is Thann, an upmarket spa shop with their own products line. This is their Gaysorn branch. Oh how I love the simplicity... It must have taken someone many hours of cutting corrugated card into these lovely leafy branches and you do need tons to be effective but effective it is. It's so lovely and simple. I LURVE...

The next one I spotted  this week. It's courtesy of Adidas in Siam Centre. I'm completely unmoved by sports and I never rarely get stopped in my tracks by a sports shop's window display but I love this. Simple and brilliant. And of course it's hits the spot with my favourite technique, playing with scale.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Location location location; apartment hunting in Bangkok

Two years ago, while I was in England, Husband went apartment hunting all on his own. We’d had a difficult year: Son's iGCSEs, political upheaval followed by not knowing whether we were staying or going and I couldn’t face house hunting. I trusted Husband but I knew if I hated it, I’d have to keep my mouth shut. He found The House. When I returned to Bangkok, we moved from our new, shiny, expensive apartment, The Towers, to a big, old and cheaper place. I got my own room and I liked saving the money so I was prepared to keep my mouth shut and live in the dark. (I don’t really hate it but it is dark…)

I went apartment hunting yesterday. Oddly, Husband is in Europe but I think that’s a coincidence. We aren’t desperate to move but we could be nudged in that direction if tempted by the right property so I went along on some viewings to see what was out there.

The viewings were arranged by which side of Sukhumvit Road they were on (because crossing Sukhumvit can be monstrous) but they could almost have been arranged by the dross in the morning and the nicer ones in the afternoon.

Husband enjoyed my reviews of the properties so I thought you might too. I have changed names and x’ed locations to protect whoever may object to my comments.

I saw two in Hola House (parallel to Soi X...up from Nightclub.) (One was 340sqm.) No worse than The House but not worth moving for.

Then I saw  Mai Ben Lai House which is on Suk X up past the bakers. (380sqm.) It was interesting in the way that The House is - a strange cut off room at one end of the sitting room that could be an office, studio or/and spare room. It was a duplex so bedrooms upstairs. The communal areas were filthy and even the dead cockroach I saw lying upside down in a cupboard had committed hari kari. Again, old and dark and not worth moving from our current old and dark apartment.

Then I saw a bonkers one. (280sqm.) The master bedroom had the bathroom in it with no walls! And the third bedroom was their office space so no other office or spare room for us. It was also five miles into the bowels on the green route (I'd never been that far before) so taxis will never come past and we’ll be stuck there for ever.

Next I went to Premier Homes which is the one you showed me from our balcony - just up the one way bit. (280sqm) The owner was very shouty and had two barking dogs. She lived next door to the apartment for rent. (Not on your f'ing nelly!)

Next I went to Round House on Soi X. (310sqm.) Lovely building, weird apartment because the building is round. Duplex again. Reminded me of the comment someone made about our little house in Cardigan Avenue, 'looks like someone designed it after a night in the pub.’ 

Then it was The View. I didn’t make a note of the size but smaller than The House. Big reception room; tiny bedrooms. Fab views. Light and airy. I almost moved our orange sofa in instantly - it would look so cool here on the white tiles; I'd move here just for the light and modernness. 

Flowers Towers, Soi X. (350sqm.) Big fab kitchen with table in it and halogen cooker! It's a '3+1' which is 4 bed if you're not an estate agent. A young man let us in and then he went back to bed while we looked around! Fabulous views. Really, really liked it but can't put into words quite why (partly because I can't remember but I felt at home as soon as I walked in. I’d take this tomorrow.)

Sukhumvit Soi X. (380sqm.) I can't begin to describe how grim this was. It was four miles into the @rsehole of the soi. There was a little old lady looking after the place who didn't open the gate 'til we rang her. There was no lift, no gym, no tuk tuk. No way.

The Posh Residence.  OMG. Call me shallow and superficial.... tiny but gorgeous. Right on top of shopping area skytrain. Shares the pool with the hotel, has a gorgeous gym, a library. Gorgeous modern kitchen, tiny bedrooms. When will the kids move out? It's perfect for you and me...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday round up: yee haa

I thought that when the exams were finished life would relax a bit. Ha. No.

I survived a week at the beach with five teenage girls. We were the talk of the resort. One lady had the decency to stop me and enquire what relationship I was to the girls… Actually, she stopped me to tell me how beautifully behaved they were and then she asked: she guessed teacher. Daughter said wistfully that she wished school trips were like our island jaunt and not trekking up mountains in soggy ground with a two-ton backpack.

One young man engaged me in conversation. He thought they were all my daughters! I’d have to have been busy to make that happen: my ‘daughters’ were three Caucasians and two Asians and all sixteen!

Son returned alive from his ten days grad trip to the beach. Phew. He was only a little bit smelly and only a very small amount of his conversation about what happened in Koh Samui has made my hair turn grey. I have remained cool and serene on the outside.

We went to a jubilee ball.

I went to a jubilee coffee wearing the silliest hat I’ve made yet. It weighed a ton and I spent the afternoon with a phantom hat on my head. I kept trying to remove it only to discover I WASN’T wearing it…

Random backpackers have come and gone.

Husband’s flown to London and then Paris.

And breathe… there’s a small window before the next panic sets in.

It should be a Friday Photo here today but instead it’s a round up. So, here’s a picture of the mad jubilee hat:

(The stupid expression can be accounted for by telling you that I was caught with yet another piece of cake in my hand. What I was really doing was relieving K of the item. She doesn't like banana cake; so actually I was performing a charitable act... honest. I cropped the picture so you couldn't see the cake hanging by my side so you could see the hat clearly.)

Pic stolen from YZ's facebook album

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Wednesday's Windows

There's been a bit of a War Horse thing going on in some of the Bangkok window displays. There's a third, but my addled brain can't find it!

From CPS CHAPS Emporium

Yakko Maricard Siam Paragon

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

No Jubilee celebrations

There have been no jubilee celebrations for us this weekend but on Saturday, Son graduated from school in a rather nice, congratulatory ceremony and then departed for a ‘holiday’ with his school friends. Gulp. I am trying hard to be a grown up. I am mostly sitting on my hands, trying not to text him to ask him if he’s applied the sun screen/insect repellant I purchased for him. (As well as a host of other, much more controlling and intrusive questions…)

Daughter and I had planned our own jaunt to the beach after exams (with strict instructions from Son that the island he was going to, WASN’T big enough for the three of us) and somewhere along the way, it morphed into me taking her and four of her friends to the beach. We left yesterday. There have been lots of (good) hysterics. Teenage girls, en masse, squeal a lot, don’t they? Their phones have remained tacked to their hips (unless they’re in the sea or the pool) even though the four other people they’re in almost constant communication with, are sitting on the beach bed next to them.

My own change in status (from holidaying with Daughter to chaperone) means that I am free to tackle the Adobe Illustrator book again. *Sigh* Despite having worked half way through the course book, EVERYTHING I attempt to tackle feels like Hard Work and I usually abandon it to do it in a more long-winded, but slightly easier mentally, manner.

And that’s pretty much why I’m sitting here blogging… 

I’ll be back tomorrow with Wednesday’s Windows.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Friday Photo

There are just no words to describe this picture.

I took it on the way to Sam Roi Yot. Thailand is in the top four producers of pineapple and leads the way in exporting the canned fruit. It's a huge part of the diet here and is found, peeled and cut, on every street corner.

You can see the 'pineapple penny' dropping for me here when I discovered pineapples grew on shrubs on the ground and not on trees; and you see them growing in situ, in a beautiful pineapple grove, here.

The way that Thais cut and peel the pineapple is a work of art. There's a video of a Vietnamese man doing it in the same style, here.