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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Bouncing around :-)

Bounce-05007Dear Matt and Mar,

Now that I’ve paid for a bunch of money to purchase a bunch of vouchers for Rockin Jump... came along ‘Bounce’... haa haa haa, and now you two don’t even want to go to Rockin Jump anymore, lol.

Essentially both are trampoline park, but Bounce also has ‘Clip & Climb’... simply several very tall columns of rock climbing obstacles, and once you reach the top all you have to do is jump off! The line that is tethered to you would then does its magic and slowly drop you to the ground.

 

The Sunday before last we did some scouting, the four of us went there just to see the place, and you two felt instantly in love with the place. Slightly different than Rockin Jump, Bounce let in people by rounds, typically every hour on the hour.

Bounce-04998While we were there it was super busy, so prior to the the following Sunday I’d decided to reserve your bouncing session online, lol. The first session starts at 10:00, not wanting to be swamp by a million kids I’d decided to book that for you two... but I’d made a little oooppppsy.

We were there late, a bit of a SOD’s law really, around 6 in the morning the lid on the water filter under the sink decided to go pop... and turned the kitchen in a small paddling pool, lol. The funny thing was, I’d heard the ‘pop’, but just thought something fell over in the kitchen, not until Matt went out for a cup of water then came running back screaming like a nuclear kettle :-)

Back to ‘Bounce’, because of the paddling pool we couldn’t make it at 10, just as well because instead of booking you for the trampolines I’d somehow booked all of us for the Clip & Climb, haa haa haa, your mother and you two didn’t find it funny at the time though, haa haa haa.

Bounce-05032As we were late, we weren’t going to get the full hour anyway, so we changed the booking to 11:00, meaning a short wait of 30 mins... ‘Bounce’ is bigger and more spacious, generally more lively. Matt spent most of his time playing trampoline dodgeball, Mar was running around everywhere but ended up on the dodgeball as well, an hour felt like 10 minutes.

No that we know what to do, next time will be so much better, here is the plan... 10:00 - 11:00 trampolining, then 11:00 - 12:00 Clip & Climb... brilliant...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

FORE!!! haa haa haa

pageDear Matt and Mar,

Looking to change things a little, for the previous Saturday instead of me taking Matt to the driving range (for his lesson), your mother decided to take Matt out for a round of 9 holes Par 3. This is the third time in many, many months for both your mother and Matt, so this time Mar and I’d played truant and joined your mother and Matt purely as spectators… haa haa haa.

No wonder why your mother had been wanting me to see the course, it was nice and quiet (well it wasn’t quite anymore when we were there, lol).

I think your mother was a bit rusty through the lack of practice, she had a terrible round (much to her annoyance), haa haa haa. Matt also took time to warm up, but got so much better at the end.

 

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Mar, as usual had the most fun out of all of us, haa haa haa. Next time it will be the four of us again, but this time I’ll build up my courage and join the game, better buy about a thousand balls then, lol.

In the afternoon came the usual classes, Piano and Violin, followed by Thai for Matt and to the feed the chicken & goats for Mar… all your mother and I could do was to chill :-)

By the time we were home, Mar was off to dreamland and Matt became the human bags carrier, lol.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Here we are again

Not the chickens again-04845Dear Matt and Mar,

I am not going to write anything and let the photo tells the story… haa haa haa haa, we are back into the old routine for Saturday afternoon, Matt is in his Thai class and Mar and I are feeding the chickens and the 3 goats (glad to see them all still alive, lol).

However the morning’s routine has changed slightly, I now go with Matt to the golf lesson while your mother accompany Mar to here Brain School, I think your mother thought I was getting lazy and was actually hoping I would hit a few trays of balls while waiting for Matt, lol, fat chance :-)

George’s Birthday.

10.01.2016

pageDear Matt and Mar,

You two have been looking forward to this for ages, George is from good old England and he is in the same class as Matt.

All birthday parties are fun, no exception, lol. Unfortunately I can not post any photos of you two playing with your friends, because I feel I need their parents permission first :-)

Everything was brilliant, the magician, the games, the music and the food, lol. Mar tried her best to join in every game, and Matt was being loud as usual :-) haa haa haa haa haa.

Matt was running around and was inseparable from his machine gun balloon… he was ever so proud of adding the balloons to it himself, to make the biggest gun there. But what I was proud of, was when it was time to leave, Matt gave it away to a boy who loved it :-) Another step of growing up lol.

Monday, January 18, 2016

I knew this day would come :-)

Ballet time-04667Dear Matt and Mar,

Finally this day has arrived… Mar has been enrolled (your mother and I was under extremel pressure from Mar, haa haa haa) for the dance class (I don’t want to call it ballet, it sounds just a little pretentious to me, haa haa haa).

Mar was over the moon to finally have a chance to dress up in pretty pink dress and opportunity to join a proper dance class (rather than messing round with me, lol), she has been asking for this forever, haa haa haa. So her very first class took place last Wednesday, and it was a bit of an adventure.

Matt has what the school calls ‘You Time’, basically after school activities and that doesn’t finish until around 15:30, by the time he was ready to leave it was almost 16:00, but Mar’s pretty pink dress was still at home and her dance class starts at 16:30… can you feel the tension? Haa haa haa haa haa.

Fun Sat-04574There was no way your aunt and you two would make it on time, if you had to come home to pick up the dress first… so I came to the rescue, as I was working off site and quite near by. Finally it was decided, your aunt was to take you wo straight from school to the dance class (same place that you two have your music lesson every Saturday), and I was to come home, pick up the dress and join you and your aunt at the class… it was just like the A Team’s plan, doomed to fail until the very last second, lol.

Just like clockwork, everything went without a hitch, Mar was on time, as this was a new class so all the students were utterly new (by way of a bonus, one of Mar’s friend from the apartment was there too :-))

Because this was going to happen every Wednesday, it seems like a waste of time to have Matt waiting for Mar at the music shool and doing nothing, so your mother, being (not) old and wise, haa haa haa, has enrolled Matt to some singing classes, just as a trial for this coming Wednesday… Matt, you love to sing, only today when I was picking you up, you were singing one of my favourite song, ‘I’m gonna be (500 miles)’ by the Proclaimers (may I add, you were singing at the top of your lungs, lol). So letting you have a go seems like a good move from your mother (again), lol.

Feeling guilty…

Before Term begins-04579Dear Matt and Mar,

We are actually already in the second half of January, so this post took its time in coming. Your mother and I are feeling enormously guilty for not taking you anywhere over this Christmas and New Year holiday, I was ever so busy with the launch of 2 restaurants and your mother was super busy with the fitness club.

By the time things had cleared, it was too late to find a reasonable lodging anywhere, so sorry babies. However, we did try to keep everyday exciting for the both of you though, and had done a ton of activities, but it would have been better if we had managed to give you two a change of scenery, rather than being stuck in good old BKK.

We must have hit all of the attractions that you love, from Rockin Jump to the Emporium Playground, along the way managed to spend quite a bit of time in the temples as well, visiting the Wat Sa-Kes was as much for me as it was for you.

 

 

 

Before Term begins-04586So to make it up to you, especially for Mar who had been asking for quite a while now if we could go back to the hotel with a really deep pool and a slider (haa haa haa, it took a while and some tough interrogation to find out which place she was trying to describe, haa haa haa), so we have already booked the hotel for the half term period.

On the final day of your holiday, and as it was a New Year I had decided to take you two to Wat Hua Lampong, to make some donations to buy coffins for the people who has no relatives, unfortunately New Year is probably the busiest time for charity to be receiving donations, I have never seen the place so full, and there was no way I was going to let you two be crushed by a large crowd in searing heat. At least we’d managed to visit the main the main temple though :-)

As I am writing this, it has already been a couple of weeks into your new term, and the routine had settled down pretty quickly :-) it was difficult waking Mar up at first, but all seems to be in order right now, lets hope it continues :-) haa haa haa.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Lungs of Bankok.

02.01.2016

BKK Lungs-04559Dear Matt and Mar,

The place is literally a stone throw away from our apartment (straight line distant being only 4.4 Kms), but to actually get there by car, the driving distant was around 20 Kms, crossing the Chao Phraya river and a small canal, but it was all worth it.

If you look on Google Map, right in the centre of BKK there is a huge piece of land that is almost an island, result from the natrual erosion forces of the river on the land. Once we had arrived on the, I am going to call it ‘almost-island’ from now on, it was like we have driven hundreds of kilometres away from Bangkok, the environment was fantastic, never knew these kind of places exists right in the middle of a metropolis.

Actually to call it ‘lungs of Bangkok’ was a bit much, the Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park And Botanical Garden was great and probably one of its kind in Bangkok, but I would have thought it needed to be a hudread times bigger to truly be the lungs of BKK.

What a great place to ride a bike, it was’t particularly large, but the environment was fantastic no wonder why it was such a hit with all the cyclists. By the time we’d arrived it was closer to noon, and the sun was particularly angry that day, duely the bikes were left back in the van.

BKK Lungs-04541

Dir_BKK Lungs-04571

For the next visit, we are going to try to be one of the first group here, lets hope the rest of Bangkokians won’t think the same, haa haa haa.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Paseo Park Karnjanapisek.

27.12.2015

Paseo Karn-04220Paseo Karn-04233Paseo Karn gif-04236Dear Matt and Mar,

I think I had already mentioned this place already in an earlier post but didn’t have a chance to attach any photos, so here goes. I had just realised there are actually 3 of these, the one we’d visited being Paseo Park Karnjanapisek (as for the other two, I have no idea where they are, lol).

Definitely worth a visit if one lives near by, otherwise it is mostly same old content (shops) once again, but the packaging is pretty good, all done in Japanese style environment. It was much larger than I had anticipated, the open plan really helped it a lot, quite nice to have a wander around, and most importantly, there were plenty of parking, lol.

anigifMatt decided to have a go on one of those claw machine with toys things, (wait a sec. let me google around for what I am trying to say)… Apparently it is named ‘Toy claw machine’, who would have thought :-) Anyway, with a 10 THB token in hand, and after walking all over only to settled on a machine with Mario… Totally beginner’s luck… managed to clawed himself a toy on the first try… judging by the scream, Matt was pretty chuffed, haa haa haa.

By the way, just realised I had only posted 85 posts in 2015, I think the aim was to post at least 100 posts per year, oh well, haa haa haa, will try to do better in 2016.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Crimbo 2015

Boxing day 2015-04107Dear Matt and Mar,

Christmas 2015 was a bit flat for me, simply because the team and I had to work. Unfortunately 25th of December isn’t a public holiday in Thailand, but usually I would take time off just to be with you. Your mother is Catholic so the 25th is really, really sacred.

On the 25th was also the date when the company launched the third location (Paul Bakery Restaurant), only about 7 days after we had launched the second, and it has been such a difficult journey for both locations, from negotiations with the landlords, extremely difficult build, and probably the worst of all, some bad missed communication with the contractor.

In the end both were launched on time (kind of), the only regret was the pressure on the team, both front line and supporting team, but their character came through and made it all happen... quite amazing really (stand up ovation very much deserved), and now not four days after the launch of the third location I have to call another meeting for the preparation of the fourth location. I wished I could have waited until after the new year, but timing wise it would have been too late.

20151226_121128Luckily Boxing day fell on a Saturday this year, having the weekend with you was a real boon, lol. Anyway, back to Christmas day, you two were up before the sun rise as usual, opening up of the presents was a laugh (as anticipated). Mar got her princess Aurora dress (as ordered, lol) and I got Matt a ‘manual’ battleship game (since then I have lost to you twice already, lol). I am glad both presents were such a hit!

Usually my choice of present for your mother would be nothing short of a cataclysmic disaster, I don’t think I have got her something that she had actually liked for the past decade... seriously... haa haa ha haa haa, but all changed this year though (of course with some help, lol).

One of my colleague helped me to find the gorgeous dress for Mar, and so I turned to her once more on what to get your mother. Without a thought she took me to this sunglasses place and in less than five minutes picked out the present for your mother, it was the ‘it’ brand of Sunglasses, judging by the price I thought it was made from solid gold, haa haa haa haa haa. But who cares, your mother loved it, and she also knew immediately that I had help, lol. So from now on your mother is making it mandatory for me to get help shopping... haa haa haa.

Boxing day 2015-04127Boxing day 2015-04126

Boxing day 2015-0414520151226_094413

To the weekend immediately following Christmas day, luckily Matt’s morning and late afternoon class was cancelled, but Mar still had her nine am play class (basically only music in the early afternoon). So instead of taking Matt to the driving range, I’d decided to take him to the park, with our new small rugby shaped ball, touch rugby was going to be my mission, lol.

It was shameful to be out run by a seven year old, haa haa haa, I thought we were going to spend an hour or so, but it went way beyond that, it was fantastic. By the way, a day before Christmas your mother also took Matt to get him a new bike and now he wants to ride it everywhere! So in the afternoon we went to the park to let Matt show me some of his cycling skills lol.

Sunday afternoon was blocked for lunch with my second cousin and my parents, he had just passed a very important exam to become a judge, that is quite an achievement in our family, on top of all that he is an extremely nice guy too.

As our lunch was taken near our out of town home, where there was a new community mall which we have been meaning to visit, so it was only a short drive. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was totally wrong, it was a great place, the name of it is ‘Paseo’. It was a great weekend, full of activities and no drama... haa haa haa haa haa.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Open Live Writer :-)

Dear Matt and Mar,

I love to write, it may be boring to read, it may not even receive a C grade in an English exam, but the process of thinking and typing it out, together with countless times of backspacing and re-writing over and over, until it reads just right (to me) is unconditionally pleasurable, probably the number one hobby on my list, leading photography by about a hair width.

20151223 Open Live WriterBlogging allows me to merge several of my favourite things in the world, firstly to be around you and the rest of the family, to take mundane (to others) but totally engrossing (to me) photos of you and the family, and at the end of the day tinkering with a bunch of photos on the notebook before writing it all in Google Doc, then using Windows Live Writer as a melting pot between the texts and photos.

Unfortunately Windows Live Writer (WLW) which is an absolutely essential tool to me for blogging, as it does everything so well, of course there were some quirks but one easily learns to overcome all those few minor issues. It was such a joy to use, to see the format of one’s blog on WLW whilst compiling the post is extremely useful. Ok, back to the ‘unfortunately’ bit, Microsoft has decided not to develop WLW further.

All I can say is a grotesquely huge ‘Thank You’ to Microsoft for developing WLW in the first place, it has been a real joy to use this freeware, you have made blogging such fun (for me). But as they say, all great times must come to an end (although who said it I am not exactly sure).

One evening after a having a great time compiling a post on WLW, it failed to connect to Blogger (Google free blog hosting, another fantastic service), after some digging on various forums, apparently someone, somewhere, somehow had changed some kind of protocols, and now WLW won't talk to Google Blogger, or vice versa... :-) I don't think I can be any more vague :-) can I?

So someone has moved my cheese, nothing else to do but to go out there and find an alternative, in the past I have actually tried to find an alternative to WLW but (for me) nothing else ever came close. So to my surprise when I’d found a small article on Open Live Writer! Judging by how excited I was, you would have thought I was asked to play a Seth Lord in the latest Star Wars film (red light sabers are the absolute best).

To cut a long story short... found Open Live Writer ('OLW’, www.openlivewriter.org), now I have found my 'cheese' again, well, a slightly different cheese, a piece of cheese that needs aging, and it will get better with time :-) (because so many brilliant people are behind it).

It just goes to show how brilliant WLW was, to have such dedicated followers, enough to spend their own valuable time to build OLW... I have been using OLW to post a few articles now, and it is 90% the same experience as WLW, their nightly build actually handles labels so much better!

So my beloved is back, thank you OLW.

(It has been a couple of weeks now, and for me the ‘nightly’ build of OLW is amazing, there could be an issue when connecting to blogger but the the solution is super easy.)