Tuesday, 31 July 2007

100 postings!!

Well, it's official.....I have now written 100 postings since we moved to Thailand - Not bad eh!!
(Technically this is 101 but who's counting........)



So I thought I would bring you some other top 100's (Don't worry......I don't have the time or the inclination to put 100 of these things up!!)

1. Greatest films was Star Wars - The Empire Strikes back (Not sure if I agree but Chris probably would!!)
2. Greatest musical was Grease (I love it!!)
3. Greatest Actor Al Pacino (Very sexy man in his day!!)
4. Scariest movie was The Shining (I would go with that - scared the living daylights out of me)
5. Sexiest movie was Dr No (Hang on a minute......Dr no?? Oh wait.....Ursula Andrews)
6. Greatest pop video was Michael Jackson's Thriller (Was fab at the time!!)
7. Greatest Album was OK Computer by Radiohead (I love that album!!)
8. Greatest TV Character was Homer Simpson (Yes.....Chris is very fond of sitting on the sofa with a beer whilst doing an impersonation of Homer J)
9. Greatest Cartoon was the Simpsons (Doh!!)
10. Greatest Blog - Mine ;-))

(did you see that coming?)

I'm doing a happy dance

We went shopping on Saturday for my birthday prezzy (yes, I know it's early but it was a holiday weekend so we thought we would take advantage of it).

I have recently discovered Vietnamese Lacquer paintings and I have to say that they are absolutely beautiful (I like the work of Dinh Quan which is pictured here - fab aren't they!!)..... so when Chris asked me what I wanted for my birthday I said that I quite fancied a painting. The first gallery we went into had one that was incredible but it was also bloody huge and bloody expensive so we headed to another Gallery that my friend had told me about. They didn't have any but the woman who owned the place told me I was better buying one in Vietnam because they are a hell of a lot cheaper there - She also said that some Vietnamese artists are known for painting the same thing again and again then selling them as original pieces so there are god knows how many 'originals' of each painting!! (I'm sure that not all Vietnamese artists do this)......so that was that idea out the window!!

Then I remembered that there was an amazing cheese board made from bamboo that I had seen. It had a hole at the side for your wine bottle and then a flat section for cheese and biscuits and it turned - very unusual and I completely loved it!! We went to the shop....it seems that everyone had loved it.....they had sold out and the woman in the store didn't think they would get any more!! (Now I was getting a bit depressed not to mention running out of ideas!!).

We then had a wee walk through Paragon Passage which has a vast array of unusual Thai arts and crafts but I just wasn't seeing anything that jumped out at me and I didn't want to get something for the sake of it so I told Chris that we should just call it quits. He decided to have a quick nosy round the CD's so I went down to the art department and that is when I saw it!!! It's beautiful isn't it......has a built in lightbox and everything!!! I went from feeling slightly depressed to absolutely over the moon (that is over THE moon not over Moon the person!!) It arrived on Sunday so we went out and bought a chair and a little elephant table to go with it - this is the view I now have when I am drawing!!

(Not only that but Chris also bought me a huge cutting mat, another cutter with blades (for my wall decals), some fine tip pens, a couple of pencils and a carry case to put my prints - I am very spoiled and am doing a happy dance!!)

Sunday, 29 July 2007

You may have noticed....

That I have removed a comment from one of my postings. This is because someone, acting like they knew me, put a link on a comment which directed people to some website which basically said that you could earn lots of money online if you paid them a subscription. This is a scam and is not endorsed by us - If you ever see anything similar please ignore it!!

Harumph....the cheek bugger!!!

Friday, 27 July 2007

Oooohhh it was loooovely

To be honest I have never really understood why people make such a fuss about facials - the one I had with Sadie and Margaret was nice and everything but I wouldn't have raved about it.....this one however......

If you have never had a facial go to Bann Dalah on Soi 8 and try the Baan Dalah 7-Step Spa Facial with Light Therapy.....you will not be disappointed!! It's 1,500 baht which is about £20 - lasts an hour and a half and is worth every penny (or should that be baht?)

My skin looks radiant and I feel like a million dollars!!

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Wax on Wax off

I discovered something about myself today.......I discovered that I am really not mature enough to go into a spa and have a body scrub!! My friend Susan had arranged for a group of us to have exclusive use of a spa just along the road from us so at 10am I met up with Jenny and the two of us toddled along to Baan Dalah spa on Soi 8. I had had a wee look at the Spa menu before leaving and thought that the Classic Spa Body Scrub sounded great

'This service may be the perfect blend of health care and pleasure. This service leaves you soothed and with skin as soft as a baby. Exotic plants and essential oils massage you from head to toe.'

Now.....what it actually said was

'Performed in a special 'Wet Room' where water can flow over you and onto the table, this service leaves you soothed and with skin as soft as a baby.'

Why had I not noticed the beginning of that sentence?

Well, when the masseuse got to my buttocks I got the giggles and once I got the giggles I couldn't stop!! Honestly, it was fine - a bit embarrassing but fine, till she got to my buttocks!! Have you seen the movie Karate Kid? There is a bit in it where the karate mentor, Mr Miyagi, is teaching his apprentice karate moves by getting him to wash his car (Can you guess where I am going with this yet??) - so both hands start in one place then one goes in a circle to the left whilst the other goes in a circle to the right and he says 'Wax on.....Wax off' she was doing that..... to my buttocks!!! She then stopped, obviously waiting for some kind of explanation but she didn't speak any English - the only thing I could think of, and that I could say in Thai, was that my bottom was not beautiful!! She then started laughing (hmm I wonder why!!) I'd only just recovered when she turned the water on which felt quite nice till she pulled my feet - I nearly went shooting off the end of the table it was so slippery!! So as you have probably guessed that was me giggling away again!!! I am just not mature enough to have a body scrub!!

Was I soothed......I don't think so!! (Well, at least not from the massage - the champagne we all had after the massage definately helped!!)

In saying that.....I am going back tomorrow to have a facial (Chris is treating me as part of my birthday present) and I have read through what it actually involves very carefully.......there is no mention anywhere about a wet room so I reckon I'll be safe!!

If you are curious - I'm going to try the Baan Dalah 7-Step Spa Facial with Light Therapy (Facial Cleansing Oil, Awakening Reviver Scrub, Herbal Alcohol-free Toner, Facial Massage Cream, Awakening Detox Mask, Moisturizing Cream then the Light Therapy). I'll let you know how I get on!!

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

www.gallusart.com

Guess what!!!.........I have a website!!! It's currently under construction but it exists - and I am sooo excited (Currently doing a happy dance!!). I even have an e-mail address - carol@gallusart.com (How cool is that!!)

So, thank you Tom for coming up with the Gallus idea and thank you Janice for teaming it with Art and for putting my website together for me!!

And just in case you are in any doubt as to what the web address is it's

www.gallusart.com

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Postings will be sporadic.....

I am now in full 'must get everything ready for drawing exhibition mode'. Apologies - postings will be sporadic.

Back to the Drawing Board......

Thursday, 19 July 2007

The last day :-(

We had a lovely day yesterday (even though it was their last day!!). Tracey really wanted to go and visit Vimanmek which is the worlds largest golden teak palace so we decided that it was a lot better to keep occupied rather than dwell on the fact that they were leaving. It was a brilliant call the place is absolutely beautiful and there is a lot more to see than just the Teak Palace!!

It was originally built on the small island of Ko Si Chang but King Rama 5 had it transported to Bangkok where it became his favourite place to stay and he spent long periods of time here between 1902 and 1906 (There was not one nail used in it's construction....I guess that's why they could transport it!!) it also has Thailand's first indoor bathroom, the earliest typewriter with Thai characters and has some of the first portrait paintings ever done in Thailand (The Thai's used to believe that portraiture was a way of stealing part of the sitters soul!!).

The entrance to the Palace is not the most welcoming - there are a lot of tourist police and you have to put all your stuff into a locker before being allowed onto the compound but boy is it worth it!! When you visit you have to go on a compulsory tour - I have to say that this was quite shambolic (we were rushed through, other language tours kept catching up with us, sometimes over taking us, and it was really difficult to hear what the guide was saying) so we went round twice......it was just as well we did or we would have missed a whole section (The carpet on the stairs was being repaired the first time we went round but had been completed the second time so we got to see the Kings Chambers). In saying that.....I wouldn't have missed it because the place is absolutely beautiful and well worth visiting!! (If you do go remember to dress appropriately - same dress code as The Grand Palace)


One of the nice things about going here was that most people came to see the Teak Palace and then buggered off so we really had the rest of the grounds to ourselves. Several small throne halls have been turned into tiny museums featuring all kinds of things (to be honest we didn't go into any of them because we wanted to go inside Anantasamakom Throne Hall).


The Anantasamakom Throne Hall has played an important role in Thai political history as it reflects the bond between Royal and political institutions (It was ordered by King Rama 5 but not finished till the reign of King Rama 6) - when King Rama 7th gave the Thai people their first constitution the first meeting of the Thai parliament was held here and it's still used for state council meetings. It is absolutely stunning inside (You can't take photo's but I found this one online) and is a real mix of east and west - It's such a shame that people only go to the Teak Palace when they visit this site!!

We headed home, had dinner and ran around making sure that everyone had everything. All too soon it was time for them to head off to the airport - It was brilliant having them here (See you next year guys!!)

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Time flies.....

On Monday we headed out to the Grand Palace - as the saying goes 'You've not been to Bangkok if you've not been to the Grand Palace'. It wasn't very sunny but was incredibly humid and I think it was probably the first time that we were all felt really hot and tired. It was funny - Tracey was interviewed by some students from one of the universities here and had just finished saying that tourists to Thailand should try and see as many temples as they could when Jo said 'I am completely templed out - There is only so much bling I can take!!' So we headed back to Khao San Road and found a brilliant pizza place (It was the best pizza I had had since moving here!! - can't remember the name of it......If it helps any it was down the alley towards Starbucks). When we got home we discovered that Moon had made ribs which are so tasty even Tracey and Jo ate them (and neither of them like ribs!!)

We had a chilled out day today. Tracey and I went and had a manicure and pedicure (For the record Jo is still the only person that didn't like it!!) then we met up with Derek and Jo who had gone for a mooch round Emporium. We had a few drinks in the house then headed out to the Dubliner with Moon as Jo, Derek and Tracey wanted to take her out for dinner to say thank you for taking such good care of them whilst they were here. We had such good fun - ate waaay too much, drank waaay too much and laughed a lot at the band that was playing!! (They were truly awful which is why I look like that!!)

I can't believe they leave tomorrow!!

Monday, 16 July 2007

Bangkok Weekend

We had talked about going up to Chaing Mai this weekend but couldn't really ask Georgie and Ben to look after the cats two weekends in a row so we decided to spend the weekend in Bangkok. So on Saturday, after a ridiculously long breakfast/lunch at Crepes and Co, we headed over to Khao San Road which is the backpacker area of Bangkok. We had such a giggle - we sat at The Buddy Restaurant and Bar and people watched......the sights you see!!! (We didn't manage to get a photo of the punks or the man with feathers in his ears but did manage to capture this little beauty!!). Then I nearly fell off my chair laughing......there was a noise that sounded a bit like an ambulance siren and suddenly about 10 Thais pushing various food carts ran past us which was funny enough in itself but then Derek commented 'I wonder if that's the traffic police' and sure enough about two minutes later a van marked Traffic Police drove past!! (the vendors came back about five minutes later but we all agreed that it was very nice of the police to give them some advance warning!!). After that we went and had some dinner then went to the Hippie Bar - it was a good night!!

On Sunday we were up and about reasonably early so headed over to Chatuchak so that Jo, Tracey and Derek could get whatever last minute things they wanted to get. I do love that market....it truly has everything you could ever want and every time we go I wish I had unlimited means!! We grabbed some lunch and then Derek and Chris went to the pub and Jo, Tracey and I went to Khun Dao's for a fitting. That evening, in our new togs, we headed out to Mambo to see the Lady Boy show......IT'S NOT FAIR!!! God those guys are gorgeous!! (ok, not all of them as you will see from the photo of Derek but most of them!!) Chris and I had seen them before in Manchester with Tom but we had not been to the show here - It was fab!!! I don't know what was more entertaining....the show or the look on Derek's face!! We got some great pictures as you can see!!
















We then went to the pub to recover!!!


Saturday, 14 July 2007

No rest for the wicked!!!

On Monday we went along to Wat Po and then had lunch at the Oriental followed by drinks on the terrace. It was really lovely sipping cocktails and watching the boats scoot up and down the river - it was also bloody expensive but definately worth doing!! (Although when we had dinner that night Derek commented that Moon's cooking was better than the food we had had at the hotel - I must say that I agreed with him!!).

On Tuesday Jo and I were supposed to be going to visit the Fatima Centre but there was a bit of a mix up and it was postponed so we went along to Crepes and Co and had a lovely relaxing lunch before Tracey and Derek headed off for their romantic night at the Oriental (They had booked it before coming and Chris and I had decided that we would treat Jo to a lovely dinner at Rang Mahal for her birthday). I took her along to Take Care Beauty Salon (on Soi 33 if anyone is interested) and we had a manicure and pedicure. It was hilarious - she is the first person I have taken that didn't enjoy the experience (Half way through she was threatening to do a Godzilla impression - roar, stand up and shake them off!!) although she did decide that she wanted her nails to match her phone and caused much amusement round the shop as the girl who was doing her nails wondered off with her phone to get the right colour!! We had a nice meal that evening but I think we were all a bit too tired to really appreciate it - we were in bed by about 10pm (It's all this wild living - we're not used to it!!)

On Wednesday Jo and I went along to the Erawan Shrine at Chit Lom. It really is a sight to behold....the story goes that when building the Erawan Hotel (This is now the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel) the foundations were placed on the wrong date causing a series of mishaps including cost overruns, injured labourers and the loss of a shipload of Italian marble intended for the building. An astrologer was brought in who said that they needed to build a shrine with the four-headed image of Brahma, or Phra Phrom in Thai. The shrine was unveiled on the 9th of November 1956 and that was the end of the building problems. It is now famous for bringing good fortune and people go there to give offerings of flower garlands, incense, light candles and, if a wish has been granted, the spirits are thanked by donating teak elephants or by commissioning the classical Thai dancers that are there. We had a lovely morning people watching then we headed to the Erawan Tearoom for lunch - If you have not been you really must!! It's lovely and was apparently the first restaurant in Bangkok to serve Chocolate cake!! We met up with Tracey and Derek at MBK (had more yummy puddings) then spent the rest of the afternoon getting prints done from my original drawings to take to Pandora's.

On Thursday Tracey and Derek visited the Erawan Shrine, Tearoom and then went to Lumpini Park whilst Jo and I went along to the BWG Coffee morning that was being hosted at Pandora's and then visited the Fatima Centre. The coffee was a strange one!!! It was actually in the Indian Restaurant next to Pandora's (the shop is too small for everyone to fit into) - I thought that Wellie was going to give a talk on setting up a business in Thailand (you know....a hints and tips sort of thing) then everyone was going to have a chance to do some shopping (hence the reason I was trying to get all my prints organised!!) but it wasn't!! She ended up splitting us up into groups and running a workshop come training course - which didn't really answer any questions about how to set up a business in Thailand but highlighted how difficult it was (which most of us already knew!!). People were coming up to me at the end saying 'I didn't get to do any shopping - I was going to buy one of your drawings but now I have to go!!' which was a bit of a bummer. (I was hoping to raise some money so I could pay for the framing I need to get done prior to the exhibition). When I mentioned it to Wellie she said that the morning had not been about shopping which is fair enough but I think she missed a great opportunity to make some money!! After the coffee Jo, Carolyn, Louise (Carolyn's daughter), Lynne, Debbie and Jasmine (Debbie's daughter) all headed over to the Fatima Centre. Sister Louise gave us a tour and Jo got to see one of the projects that is currently being run here.

On Friday I spent the day trying to plough through all the e-mails that had been building up since my internet provider had decided that we didn't live here anymore and had terminated our access!! Jo, Tracey and Derek headed off to Ayutthaya for the day.