Thursday, 28 June 2007


Yesterday we did a shopping trip to supercheap. It is a big cash & carry style warehouse. It is basic presentation with no air-con, concrete floors and the goods piled high. However it is out & out the cheapest place to shop in Phuket. We don't go there very often as it is a bit of an effort compared to Big C but every now & then we pay it a visit. The other problem is you are tempted to buy so much because everything is so cheap. I kept a tight rein on myself and limited the spending to 4,000 baht.

Among other bargains, we got a little train set for Ben. It is a fantastic little train that goes, has a light, makes train noises and makes smoke - all for a paltry 160 baht. Ben loves it. He is funny when something really takes his attention. He could not leave the box alone until we got home. Could not control his excitement as I loaded the batteries and once he was playing he could not even waste time to eat. Come bedtime, I had to drag him away from it. I am not sure exactly what time he woke up - I think it was about 4am that he went downstairs to play some more. And of course he wanted to take it to school and he says he wants another one. It is nice to see him so happy and excited. Of course it is only a matter of time before he breaks it.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

A Day Off for Ben

We gave Ben the day off school yesterday. He still had a cough and a temperature. It is the first time he has missed a day. He was actually very boisterous all day and probably would have been fine to go to school. He is back at school today.

Pon and I have resolved our little medicine dispute. Pon agrees not to rush into giving the children medicine and I agree that Ben can have some cough syrup to ease his cough.

The interminable tale of our leaking roof goes on. There was a bit of rain yesterday and there did not seem to be any water coming through the tiles I had bunged up with silicone. We need some heavier downpours before I can be sure and if it looks okay I will do the same thing with the few remaining leaks. We will then leave the ceiling open for a couple of weeks to make sure it looks okay. In the meantime Ben and Jenny continue to sleep in our room. It is actually quite nice. They both tend to wake up early and climb into our bed for a cuddle.

Sunday, 24 June 2007


Benny has a cough and is occassionally vomiting. Jenny also has a little cough but otherwise seems fine. These little ailments always cause disagreements between Pon and myself. It is one of those different culture things. Pon always wants to give them medicine as soon as possible. Thai people love medicine - they must have more pharmacies per head of population than anywhere.

I don't believe in rushing to give the children medicine. I don't think it is good for them to unnecessarily put drugs into their systems when I think their immune systems will deal with most ailments. The other thing is Pon does not worry too much whether the medicine is totally appropriate. She gave Ben anti-allergy drugs for his cough which left me distinctly unimpressed as I don't think he has any allergies. She on the other hand is convinced I am showing a lack of care by not giving medicine.

It is one of those culture differences that you have to find a way round to make these relationships work.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Pon's Birthday

Yesterday was Pon's birthday. We had a party. It was good fun. The usual routine with lots of beer, Thai whisky and food. We did it inside as it has been raining a lot over the last couple of days. Everybody got thoroughly hammered and in traditional Thai style we got the karaoke mic out. We managed to make so much noise that the neigbours called the police. I think I was probably the worst culprit.

Woke up this morning with another hangover and struggled to run Ben into school half an hour late. Then I fell back to sleep and didn't wake up until the afternoon. I feel better now.

Before the party I spent some time working on our interminable leaking roof. I bunged up the gaps between the leaking tiles with silicone. I think it looks promising but I will have to wait for the next heavy rainfall to be sure and typically the weather has changed for the good.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007


It has been pouring down the last couple of days so I have had a good chance to look at our leaking roof. The problem is the angle is just not steep enough. There are only about seven leaks but they add up to a lot of water. The water is not sliding down the roof fast enough and on a few of the tiles the angle is so shallow that the water backs up between the tiles and starts dripping through.

It's a tricky one. To increase the angle of the roof is a major job and a lot of money. I am still looking for some kind of bodge solution. Yesterday I tried blocking up one of the leaks with silicone. It has reduced what was a very fast leak to a very slow leak so I guess that is some kind of success. I think I can see where the slow leak is coming from so I will try some more bodging today. If that doesn't work my next plan it to get the builders back in to relay the roof tiles with an extra row of tiles (each tile is about a meter long) so that the overlay is greater and the water has further to back up.

Last night Pon and I went out to watch a movie. It was a Thai comedy - lots of childish slapstick which the Thais absolutely love. Afterwards we went for a meal. There was a storm raging and the water was flowing along the roads in rivers. We tried a new karaoke bar but it didn't look very inviting so we end up at a restaurant on the road to Bang Wad Dam. It was nice with live music, good service and decent food. I love being in a bar when there is a storm raging outside.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

No Football

Not much happening at the moment. I have been going down the gym every other day. Pon is still doing her yoga classes. There is no football in Patong at the moment as there is a tournament taking place. I went down last Sunday and the French guys were very put out. Apparently some of the other guys have entered a team in the tournament but didn't tell them about it. The French guys were totally convinced they would have won the tournment if only they had known about it. I couldn't help but laugh. We beat them every match and we know we have no chance of winning one of these tournaments. The best Thai teams are too fit and too good.

There is a Danish guy who always plays up front. He is middle-aged, overweight and also totally crap. He just stands up front all game so occassionally gets a tap-in which convinces him he is a superstar. He is furious. Apparently a team of the French guys supplying the amunition with him slotting them away would have been unstoppable. You have to wonder how these guys get so far from reality.

So there is no football to play and no football to watch. These summers when there is no major competition really seem to last a long time. It has only been a month and that means there is still another two months to go.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Benny has a Gik

Benny quickly shook off his fever but now Jenny has it.

Benny has a gik. That is Thai for a special friend, usually of the opposite sex. I knew this would happen. The Thai girls are going to love his fair skin and western features. He is going to do so well with the girls. I just didn't expect it to start when he is three.

So today I have just done the tedious yearly chore of my tax return. At least these days it can all be done online which just makes the world such an easier place to enjoy. My income all comes from the UK - rent from my flat in London and income from my part time work over the internet. Type in the figures and the Inland Revenue website does all the calculations. I can even make the payments with internet banking. Nothing has to go by post. The internet makes living abroad so much easier. I can keep in contact with friends and family, work and do my admin while living on the other side of the world.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Nothing Special

Benny had a fever come on all the sudden last night. He was suddenly very tired but also a soldier about it with lots of brave smiles. I was worried it might be another case of Dengue Fever but he seemed to be okay this morning so we took him to school. Boo's bus didn't turn up so we had to run her into school as well.

It is raining again today so we have another chance to look at the leaky roof. It is amazing how much water can come in from such small leaks. I have marked them all so we will chase the builders again.

Jenny is missing Ben. Now he has started school she hasn't got anybody to play with in the mornings. She does like watching Thomas the Tank Engine but I feel guilty leaving her to watch TV while Pon does the housework and I do my work. She gets a bit more attention in the afternoon.

Monday, 11 June 2007


We had a party last night around our house for our friend A's birthday. Yes his name is A. We have known him a few years. He is Thai and a nice guy. He bought three cases of beer and it seems to have done the trick. I am well and truly hungover today. It was a good party.

It finally rained a little today so I had a look at the leaking roof. There are 7 leaks, all around the same three or four roof tiles. We have called the builders to come back and have a look and see what they can do. It is now a beautiful day again.

The new computer is all put together and running fine. I installed both hard discs, the DVD writer and a memory card from the old computer. The new computer now runs like a dream.

Friday, 8 June 2007

The Roof Again

So we got the builders back in to look at our leaky roof. The only real way to see where the water is coming in was to open up the ceiling. Now we must wait for the rain so we can see the leak. And wouldn't you know it - all the sudden the weather is lovely.

Benny is nicely settled in at school. He has always loved playing with other children so it mostly suits him. The only problem is he does not like sharing things. I guess that is fairly normal for young kids. He has started taking his own toys to school and I was pleased to see yesterday that he was sharing them with some other boys.

Jenny is back to being lovely. She went through a very demanding phase with lots of little tantrums. It only lasted a couple of weeks and mostly coincided with her being ill. Just the same I am so used to her being lovely that it was worrying to see her turn into a little monster. Glad she is back to her old self.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Offline Again

I have been offline again. This time it was the computer. The fan went. Such a small thing but as much as I searched the computer shops of Phuket, I could not find a compatible replacement. So for the sake of a part that would cost about 500 baht to replace I had to replace the whole computer. Well not the whole computer - I bought a new box, motherboard, disc drive, etc. I am now going through the tedious chore of moving the DVD writer and hard discs from my old computer to the new one. I have to re-install all my software, etc, etc. Probably a good couple of days work.

Still I am back online.

And while I have been away not much has happened. It looks like my fever last week was actually Dengue Fever. Huwy's little stepdaughter Fern has been diagnosed with the same thing. Well that is bad news because once you have Dengue Fever once it means if you get a it again the next time can be much worse. The body's immune system can react badly to different strains of the disease and that can lead to Haemmoregic Dengue Fever.

It was Huwy's birthday last night so we went round his house for a few beers. Other than that I have played a bit of football and been down the gym. Pon is quite getting into the yoga classes.