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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Swimming in the Bedroom

[16.07.2015]

Dear Matt and Mar,

What an eventful morning we’ve just had, the time must have been around 06:45, when your aunt crashed through the bedroom door and shouting... as I was still in slumberland, I could only pick up the few key words in her sentence, but those were enough to jolt me out of bed and running like Usain to the third bedroom... ‘Flood’, ‘Bedroom’, ‘Quick’, haa haa haa.

The bathroom in the 3rd bedroom was in short a tiny paddling pool, and the water was now overflowing into the bedroom (which has wooden floor, aaahhhhhh). Luckily I am a bit of a odd job man, so it was a simple matter of turning off the valve, your aunt was superb and in a jiffy the all the water in the bedroom was mopped up. The paddling pool was also disappearing (after clearing the drainage and opening the shower door so that the water could exit both ways).

Should have known, lol.
Now for the cause, and I am kicking myself here, last week I had discovered that one of the flexible water pipe leading from the tap (in the wall) to the water heater (below the sink) was ‘rusty’, and I could remember myself thinking where is the leak? Because rust usually means water and air...

Here it is :-)
But I did nothing, at that time the floor was still dry (so there was no ‘proper’ leak), but now with hindsight, the water was seeping from the pipe itself and it was rusting the metal mesh that was encasing the pipe, in the end it was just waiting to become a proper break (which of course happened this morning)... haa haa haa.

Next question, how long has it been flooding the floor... well, I went to bed around midnight, and your aunt saw the waterfall around six thirty... So there is window of around six and a half hour. Judging by flow of the leak and the amount of water in the rooms, I am hoping it hasn’t been longer than an hour.

The fear is now about the water seeping through to the floor below, and the warping of the floor and furniture, nothing to do now but to keep my fingers crossed, as I am writing this the fan is going full pelt blowing on the floor and into the small bathroom, lol.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Square Format

Dear Matt and Mar,

I have never thought of using a square format, until today. I have known of the phenomenon Vivian Maier, an accidentally discovered amazing street photographer, during her life time she had took over 100,000 photos but none of it was ever shown, until around of her passing.

To my understanding, at the end of her life she had not kept up with the payment of her storage space and subsequently all of her belongings were auctioned off. A few bidders bid and won her belongings. One of the bidder Mr. Maloof did a lot of investigations and was the person who brought her work to the world (not sure if she would have appreciated though, as she was known to be a bit of a loner).

Anyway, there are plenty of reviews and documentaries on the web and YouTube, it is definitely worth a look!

www.vivianmaier.com
Vivian Maier
Anyway, on the website www.vivianmaier.com, you can see some great example of here work, and they are amazing! She shot mostly with  Rolleiflex Camera (square format, black and white), and it has shown me how to use square format properly and effectively, thank you.

The only square format I have even known is of the Instagram universe, and I have always found it quite awkward to work with, until I see her work :-)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Off to Spain :-)

[30.06.2015]

Dear Matt and Mar,

It will be a strange a couple of weeks, this Friday Gio and Matt will be off to Spain for two weeks, not much else to say really, haa haa haa. Matt will be travelling with a bunch of his friends from SHB, so that leaves Mar and I alone for 2 weeks, with the help of Aunty Tip of course.

Spanish FlagThinking of taking Mar to the seaside, she has been wanting to go to ‘Jungle house’ and also to see the sheep again, haa haa haa, it will be tough to ask for more leave though, lol. Both your mother and I had been taking quite a lot of leave recently, you two can not imagine the amount of event both of you have during the final week of school year, haa haa haa.

I am sure your mother is really looking forward spending 2 weeks with Matt, and I am more than excited to be alone with Mar during these 2 weeks, I have already planned to skip a couple of art classes, and head towards the modern museum, it is going to be great.

[03.07.2015]

Today is the final day of term for the both of you, and also the day that Matt and your mother travels to Spain. Again cutting half day off work, haa haa haa, well the plan was to leave the condo at around 16:00… your mother arrived from work to the apartment at… guess what… 16:00. I was pacing up  and down like an expectant father, haa haa haa. Must give credit to your mother though, in all the years (many, many years, lol) we’ve been together, I have never seen her showered, dressed, make up and pack this quick, haa haa haa.

Off to Spain-180934

I was going to leave Mar back here in the apartment with auntie Tip, but after explaining to her that I was going to drop Matt and Gio off at the airport and that she was going to remain in the apartment… the waterworks started… lol. It was almost 17:00 when we headed off. The first thing in mind was supper for you two… so I’d called ahead to Jay Ngor (one of the most well known Chinese restaurant in BKK) as the restaurant was close to the expressway.

Well us Thai call it ‘Express Way’ but during rush hours, one might as well call it a flipping ‘Car Park’, after picking up the fried rice we entered the ‘Car Park’, haa haa haa haa haa haa. My heart was pounding as the check in and immigration can take a while, a long, long while. At least while we were stuck in the ‘car park’ you two had time to enjoy your supper, in fact we all dug into the gorgeous fried rice, lol.

Just a little before 18:00 we finally parked the car, the check in line was virtually empty (Qatar) so I am assuming the immigration would be the same. My stomach was full of butterflies saying good bye, a bit soppy I know but butterflies are butterflies… haa haa haa haa haa haa.

Off to Spain-1435929846712-2This is the picture that you mother had sent after Matt and your mother had boarded the plane… :-) butterflies… haa haa haa.

Hoping you’ll have a fantastic time, can’t wait to chat on the Google Hangout… :-)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Noddy International Day 2015

26.06.2015

Dear Matt and Mar,

Can not believe it is already time for another International Day at Noddy, lol. This is where every nationalities put on a small show as well as setting up a booth showcasing what is special or unique about their country (mostly food, haa haa haa).

This is by far the most important annual event at Noddy, and one can tell, the booth were beautifully decorated and the food were fantastic… unfortunately this year I had to run after the show and could not join the walk around, as each child has a little passport, and they have to go to each booth and get them stamp… Oh how I wished I had stayed now, lol.

The ‘Thai’ show was (and I am guessing here) a very old nursery rhyme, ‘yok mue kuen lae moon moon’ (lift up your hands and turn it turn it, is pretty much the direct translation). Mar has been singing this for weeks, and of course it comes with a dance… haa haa haa haa.

Such fun… haa haa haa

Mar has been practicing it so much, both your mother and I are still singing it more than a week later, haa haa haa, even Matt was complaining slightly, haa haa haa. Just recently Mar has

Monday, June 29, 2015

Tides of time 2015

[24.06.2015]

Dear Matt and Mar,

As the end of school year approaches, the amount of activities at school for the both of you had sky rocketed, haa haa haa haa haa haa. This past Wednesday was ‘prize giving’, each child was put into a category and was given a prize, Matt was in the ‘writer’ category.

Prize giving-00713Prize giving-00740What kind of took my breath away was actually after the prize giving, when we took Matt to try out his new uniform, lol. Suddenly, by just a change of clothes my ‘baby’ was no longer standing in front of me, but instead a little man was there staring back, lol.

It will be fun to teach you to do a Tie, I can still remember Mr. Burfield (Head Master of Skippers Hill Manors) teaching me the ‘Full Windsor’ (I’d just giggled, it sounded like a line from one of ‘Carry On’ films (now I am showing my age)).

Soon Mar will also have to change her uniform from an ill fitted t-shirt and colourful shorts to a ‘proper’ dress (with a hat)… truly the tides of time… and in an blink of an eye, ‘graduation’? Haa haa haa haa haa.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

No Playdough, lol.

[27.06.2015]

Root farm Saturday-00874Dear Matt and Mar,

Well today was just a little strange, Saturday was going swimmingly, until we got to the last class of the day. Matt went to his usual Thai class with spring in his steps, but for some unknown reason Mar refuses to join the playdough group. Well there were already signs in the cars driving up to the place.

Instead, she wanted to got to the ‘Jungle house’, well, after some serious scratching of heads we’d finally found out that the so called ‘Jungle house’ was our last place of stay in Pattaya, haa haa haa. I think she was using the ‘Jungle house’ excuse not to join the playdough playtime.

That was a slight knock to the routine, but fortunately she had also mentioned about feeding some sheep, and we know that just down the road (walking distance) there was this ‘Root Garden’ right in the concrete jungle of Thonglor. We have been here once (briefly) before, and had already been written up in the earlier post.

But this time was slightly different, we actually had some ‘proper’ time to have fun. Matt’s class was for an hour, so Mar had at least that; your mother had decided to make herself more beautiful, so it was just Mar and I trodding along Thonglor to the ‘Root Garden’.

It was quite a great place to hang, the breeze was strong and the sun was in hiding, this combination meant it was enjoyable to be out and about again (rather than being able to fry an egg on the footpath). The coffee shop was fantastic, the prices were ‘too’ reasonable and the taste easily matches all the much ‘hyped’ brands out there, and most importantly they have ice cream… haa haa haa haa haa haa.

So there I was chilling and Mar was off somewhere feeding the goats and watering the plants (with a short ‘ice cream’ break), an hour felt like five minutes, lol. Soon Matt and your mother joined, and we had a discussion that Mar may never want to go back to the playdough class. It was kind of like a Déjà vu, Matt was exactly the same, after a year and a bit he turned around one day and said ‘no thanks’, and that was that for the playdough time.

Turned out to be yet another great Saturday though, lol.

 

Root farm Saturday-00879

 

Root farm Saturday-00887

 

Root farm Saturday-00907

 

Root farm Saturday-00906

Friday, June 26, 2015

New Routine :-)

[21.04.2015]

Homework-PageDear Matt and Mar,

Since your mother is so busy at work, a new routine has developed in our house. I am now no longer the last person home :-) Most nights I would be home around seven-ish, just in time for you two to be finishing up your supper.

After supper would be some TV time, then the fun time begins... haa haa haa, shower and brushing of teeth never seems to get any easier, lol. Flushing out Matt’s sinuses is the latest routine, and that has helped out so much with his blocked up nose.

After you two are nice and clean, it would be time for homework, especially for Matt, but Mar, as always wanted to be a part of everything, so she has her ‘colouring’ homework to do too. This is probably my favourite time of the evening, Matt and I try to do all of the weekly homework by Wednesday. So for Thursday and Friday instead of homework we would spend about 40 mins on the PS4 playing Lego Marvels.

I’ve never expected Lego Marvel to be so much fun, working together with Matt to solve the puzzles has turned out to be the the biggest laugh of all. Shouting instructions to Matt and vice versa reminded me a lot of all the boarding school banters in the dorm (although this one is the ‘clean’ version, haa haa haa).

Around nine each evening you two would already be in dreamland... as for me? I would jump back onto the PS4 to save the world once more... haa haa haa.

 Homework-Page2

[I don’t know how hit has happened, but apparently this post had been written way back in April, but for some unknown reason it was saved in ‘draft’ within Windows Live Writer (my utmost fav. program) and I had totally forgotten about it, until I saw it by accident just literally 3 minutes ago]

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Short break in Pattaya

[30.05 - 01.06.2015]

Dear Matt and Mar,

This past Monday was a our ‘Wisakha Bucha day’, this is a Buddhist holiday, in short it is the day when Buddha was born, achieved enlightenment and passing, for us Buddhist this is quite an important day (to say the least).

For you, it meant a long weekend (although we’d just found out upon our return that Matt and Mar both had school, haa haa haa, oh well).

Since our last break in Hua Hin was a bit of a nightmare (although it did turn out great in the end), so we thought we should get away once again, and Pattaya seems a good choice as any, and it has been a while since we’ve met up with our friend, and you both love to visit your Uncle Chat and his family (2 kids your age).

Driving East towards Pattaya was a bit of a nightmare, long weekend traffic is never enjoyable, unless you are a masochist. But finally we got there in the end, our usual place of stay (Villa Wanida).

SplashingYou both were in fantastic mood, the sun was out (but I’d wish it wasn’t, way too hot of late), and the birds were singing (it was probably cursing at the Sun for being too hot). After a quick lunch and a short break we all headed to the pool, and in no time supper time was upon us, so we all headed to Uncle Chat’s house (literally 5 mins away). You two and Gun and Chan (Uncle Chat’s kids) had a fantastic time, singing and dancing all evening... haa haa haa.

Sunday morning was a bit of a question mark on what we should do, but once again your mother came up with a suggestion, I am not exactly sure of the name of the place but it has sheep and ponies (what else does one need), haa haa haa. It was the morning well spent, you two had a great time. I wasn’t too keen on staying too long, the Sun was angrier than usual, even in the shaded areas were not enough to keep us cool.

Feeding time

Riding time

Misc

I’d decided we should stay away from the sun and heat in the afternoon, so we headed to the popular mall of lunch (nice and cool), then after some shopping we headed off to the resort for swimming time.

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Yesterday’s and today’s pool time was terrible for me, jumping into the pool was like jumping into a freshly made ‘cup of soup’, haa haa haa. For the first time it was uncomfortable to be in the pool, the water was way too hot, instead of cooling off it was just the opposite, haa haa haa, but you two didn’t care one bit, lol. The evening were more dancing at Uncle Chat’s place, lol.

Came Monday morning (checkout day), we’d decided to leave early and head towards Sriracha Tiger Zoo, of course there were more than tigers, this was your only second visit. I was hoping for more breeze, but none came, luckily there were plenty of shades for us to dash around under, lol.

Tiger zoo

Mar insisted on visiting and feeding every animal in the petting pen (from elephants to little lambs, haa haa haa). Matt on the other hand had his heart on the fish feet spa and shooting the tiger’s feed (they put bits of meat in small cube metal boxes, which were hung five or six meters above seven or eight tigers in the enclosure, each box has a small round target above it, to which we would shoot with an air gun. If you hit the target, the box opens and releases the meat to the tigers).

By the early afternoon, after all the heat and activities, Matt was begging to go home and he was getting visibly tired, Mar on the other hand was like pac-man still running and singing. As soon as we reached the car, Matt was out quicker than the Enterprise on warp drive. I don’t know what Mar was on but there was no sign of her sleeping at all, so I resorted to putting on a cartoon for her to watch... snoring like an elephant about 5 mins later, haa haa haa.

It was an excellent long weekend, although we’d found out that we inadvertently took Matt out of school for one day, it was well worth it.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Women homeless shelter

[24.05.2015]

Dear Matt and Mar,

As it was soon to be Otto’s birthday, his family was arranging lunch for the homeless women (shelter) somewhere to the north of Bangkok, you both, Sofia.R and several others were invited. However Sofia’s mother was away overseas, and as we are living in the same condo it just made sense for Sofia to come with us.

Banner

There was a slight misunderstanding so our group arrived a little late, lunch had already been served, so you three didn’t have a chance to help out, however you were in time to help out with the dessert though, running around handing out ice creams and ice lollies.

The atmosphere was so different than a couple of weeks ago when we visited the Orphanage, as mentioned earlier, these ladies must have had a very hard life, whether mentally or physically, and it was very obvious that they all needed help and I am glad there is a place like this to take care of them.

I had avoided taking any photos of the tenants out of respect for their privacy, but did manage to take a couple of photos of the gang as we were about to leave. We were in a bit of a rush as it was getting on, and I knew I had three very hungry children in the van, haa haa haa.

I can not post any of the photos here because I have not asked the parents of all your friends if it was ok for me to post a photo of their child in this post, I think I would be miffed too if someone posted a photo of you two on the internet without our permission.

After lunch Matt promised to meet up with Sofia for a swim, and as a bonus you two managed to play a game of Uno as well... No Matt, you didn’t win, haa haa haa. I do love the plastic Uno cards though, especially made to be played by the pool.

Because we were in such a rush (to the restaurant, as I could hear your stomach rumbling) I didn’t have the time to make a small donation to the shelter, but with today’s tech it was easier to find them on line, and by chance I’d also found another shelter under the same name but for men. A few days later a small donation was made to both shelter, I am planning to do this monthly, they do really need everyone’s support.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tiring Saturday… haa haa haa

[20150523]

Dear Matt and Mar,

I must have mentioned this several times throughout so many posts in the past, Saturday is the most busiest day of the week, haa haa haa haa, so many activities for you two.

During the weekend I always carry the camera around just in case a photo op comes up, and most weekends the camera bag stays closed, but even one photo makes it all worth the effort of lugging the blooming thing around all day.

Tiring Saturday-00312-horz