Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The wall :-)

Dear Matt and Mar,

Building wall pageAfter the usual long and busy Saturday, your mother decided to go to The UP (Rama 3) for supper, supper was uneventful (just the way I like it), because we were at The UP you two wanted to go to ‘Monkey and Me’, quite a small place with a couple of trampolines and a few smaller play areas.

Because the place is so small, you two were left to your own devices, finally we were the only family there, and you two were busy building with huge lego type blocks (I mean huge, at least a foot for each piece of lego type block).

By that time I’d also had enough with just sitting around, so I’d decided to join in. This play area sits below another mezzanine play area, meaning there was a rectangular opening of around 8 or 9 feet, after using the few whole and half bricks, it was clear that I was going to be able to block off the opening perfectly with the bricks, and we had more than the bricks needed to achieve this awesome wall, haa haa haa.

After talking over the plan with Matt, you were absolutely up for it, haa haa haa, the pattern was a simple one, so Matt to charge of the left side and I took charge of the right, half way through we came to a conclusion that we needed a window... lol.

Building it up was fun, but knocking this down while pretending to be The Hulk was even better, haa haa haa haa haa haa.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Wrinkled fingers – day four.

Pattaya day 4Dear Matt and Mar,

Day Four - Swimming anyone?

The evening before we went to bed, Matt mentioned that before going home he would like to visit ‘Art Paradise’ (I was just glad we don’t have to go to another sheep farm, haa haa haa). Art Paradise is a large-ish indoor illusion art works display (sorry that is the best description I could come up with, lol), where the visitors can be part of the painting.

Of course the first thing we did after breakfast was to head to the beach (one last time before leaving), this time we were there quite early and the tide was way up high, in fact it was as high as the deckchairs, the next couple of hours was nothing but fun overload for the both of you, I did manage to snap off a few shots but I just couldn’t resist jumping in too, haa haa haa.

Pattaya day 4Copying yesterday successful formula, so off the the pool we went as your mother managed to get a late checkout, so we were in no hurry, accept my stomach was rumbling, haa haa haa. We’d checked out around noon and soon we were off to Art in Paradise (literally 2 minutes away from the hotel).

Now looking back at the photos, you two were having way too much fun, lol. The last time we were here, was at least 3 years ago, Mar had just learnt how to walk and was way too young to understand what was going on, but now both of you were in full Oscar performance mode, it was brilliant!

No need to say, lunch was taken late once again at the usual place before heading home... it was a tiring drive but you two wouldn’t know, both of you were in dreamland for the entire journey home, lol.





Pattaya Art Feb

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Wrinkled fingers – day three

Dear Matt and Mar,

Day Three - Nice to be by the seaside.

In all of our trips to Pattaya, we had never once went to the beach. So for our final full day (after breakfast) we’d decided to do some scouting at a piece of beach just beyond the hotel, and unbelievably it was quite alright... Pattaya has never been known for its beach, but rather for its nightlife, if it has legalised casinos it would be our version of Las Vegas.

Pattaya day 3 pageSo rushed off back to the hotel we went, changed into your swimsuit faster than Superman, then ran faster than Flash back down to the beach. The beach was full of deck chairs for rent, and non stop walking vendors would be coming up to us, offering anything from body painting, steaming hot seafood, ice creams, children’s toys and all the way to a legs massage (which your mother took, haa haa haa).

The sea was more pleasant than I had expected, but by the time we’d arrived the tide was going out, nonetheless we were there for well over an hour. Along the beach were huge sandbags, it was fine, but it was obvious that the sandbags had been there for a very long time, many of them had already burst and the remaining (million lol) were covered by algae, which of course Matt loved, as it was more slippery than oil covered ice rink, much to your mother’s despair.

Pattaya day 3After all the fun you had on the beach and in the sea, do guess what you wanted to do after... back to the (very cold) pool we went... Lunch was taken, way, way, way late (around 15:00), at first we were supposed to be going down the road to Central-Festival Shopping Mall, but after almost reaching the destination the road was suddenly blocked off by the police, something was happening (although we’d never found out what).

Due to the mind boggling one way system, we found ourselves driving further and further away from the mall, and by chance came past the Central Centre (which was the original Central Festival). It was old but remained very charming, there is a running joke in our family that all you wanted to eat (whenever asked) was always MK... and to be frank your mother and I literally feel sick at the slightest mention of that brand, lol.

Of course we had lunch at MK, haa haa haa, can’t really complain, as there were always plenty of vegetables. After lunch Mar was pining for a Doughnut, and Matt wanted to visit Mario World as he saw the playground whilst we were walking around the mall. Sadly Mario world was nothing but a pile of rubbles, so we changed our focus to find Mar’s doughnut instead...

Pattaya day 3 page 2On the way out Matt saw one of those ‘Fish Spa’ and of course he begged to have a go, we welcomed it as it gave a chance for us to have a cup of coffee (or 2 coffees in your mother’s case, as a bird pooped into her first cup, lol). Mar was loving it too, seeing her brother in pain was always enjoyable (extremely ticklish), lol.

Supper was a bit of a nightmare, haa haa haa, as it was super late and not really knowing the lay of the land I’d lead us to McDonald (even that was an accident), one McFish and Fried Chicken later we hopped on to the so called ‘minibus’, basically a pickup truck with to row of seats at the back, covered by a thin roof for our short journey back to the hotel.

Wrinkled fingers – day two

Feb Pattaya day 2-05753Dear Matt and Mar,

Day Two - Turtle Power.

You two were super excited that today we were going to meet up with Gun and Jun again, Uncle Chat wanted to show us a new place for lunch and as a second destination we were going to the  ‘Sea Turtle Conservation Centre’ (in the Royal Thai Navy).

We were up quite late, but by 10:00 the wheels were turning, and we found ourselves heading further east away from Bangkok, driving through Pattaya and deeper toward East, deeper and deeper into Cholburi province (42 Kms from the hotel), the traffic was heavy at time, but eventually we’d met up with Uncle Chat at the entrance of our Royal Thai Navy base.

Pattaya Feb day 2 pageDriving around the Navy base was a bit difficult, security checks were rife, but that was expected, lol. Apart from being a Navy base, there were a couple of great beaches sitting right inside the base, which are extremely popular with the locals. We took our early lunch at one of the restaurant ran by the Navy (fantastic), then we drove deeper into the base, to the Sea Turtle Conservation Centre (STCC).

STCC wasn’t big, there were a couple of small exhibition buildings, just to give you the backgrounds, then we were allowed to walk right into the working zone of the STCC, whilst we were there a couple of seamen were treating a bunch of injured young sea turtles.

Matt and I had an eye opening moment too, luckily, whist Matt and I was walking around the shore, they were about to release one of the turtle back into the sea, both of us rushed to the release zone (just a piece of sandy beach). Slowly the young turtle pushed itself awkwardly along the beach towards the sea, suddenly once it reached the sea, it changed from being a 1 cylinder 5cc Unicycle, to a quadruple Turbo + Sextuple Superchargers, Nuclear injected 1 Billion CC swimming machine, lol. The speed to which that young turtle swam (just beneath the surface) was mind blowing... We never knew how fast they can go in the water.

We were back at the hotel by the mid afternoon, and please guess what did you two wanted to do... To the (very cold) pool we went once again. Supper was taken next door to the hotel, as Mar wanted Fish and Chips, I had a great time as Arsenal and Leicester were having a cracking match (last minute winner, would you believe it).


Friday, February 19, 2016

Wrinkled fingers – day one

Dear Matt and Mar,

Your mother has been planning for this half term break for quite a while now, and for the longest time you two wanted to go back to Mercure in Pattaya, and of course that was where we’d ended up, instead of the normal 3 days 2 nights, your mother added another night into the mix, allowing us to do so much more... haa haa haa.

Feb Pattaya-05626Day one - Pool focus.

By the time Saturday morning came most of the bags were packed, but this time your mother wanted to keep up with her training program so even more bags were added to the list, haa haa haa. Time was on our side, the wheel turned around 10-ish, the traffic was quite light and luckily the drive East was uneventful, lol.

Of course the first thing you two wanted to do was to get change and jump in the pool, haa haa haa, we had to force you two to calm down and take lunch prior to the pool, it was not easy, it was like trying to calm down a nuclear fusion in full swing, haa haa haa.

Lunch was taken by the beach, and the prices reflected the location, haa haa haa, (definitely not going there again), but we needed something quick and convenient, really no choice, lol. I have never seen you two take lunch this quick, lol.

Judging by the amount of laughs you two were generating, I would say the afternoon pool time fulfilled all of your expectations, . As for me, the pool was FREEZING... after finishing off her work, your mother was also ready to jump into the pool... haa haa haa haa, until she reallised how cold the pool was (that was the only time swam in the pool, haa haa haa).

Pattaya Feb Page

Oly Pattaya Feb page

To end an already very good day, our friend, Uncle Chat (to you two) and his children was free for supper (you two were looking forward so much to seeing his kids, Gun and Jun), your mother wanted to go back to this restaurant Uncle Chat took us the last time, and she was not disappointed, after supper Jun and Mar dances through the night (through a huge bluetooth speaker and Youtube), whilst Matt and Gun was faced down for some serious gaming... haa haa haa. Of course the adults were having boring conversations... lol.


Pattaya Feb Page 2

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Chinese New Year 2016

Chinese New Year 2016-05614Dear Matt and Mar,

Chinese New Year had already come and gone (or ‘going’ in some countries, haa haa haa), our annual family lunch at my mother’s was exceptional this year, of course the food had and will always been first class, your grandmother was up until midnight the previous night just to roll up the hundreds of spring rolls, :-)

It was special this year because of the number of people that had turned up, the standard starting team was always our family (7), but this year my much older first cousins and a couple of first cousins once removed decided to joined too (this was possible because it happened to be a Sunday), I think the final count was 16.

Chinese New Year-05543Chinese New Year-05583I have not seen some of these relatives in over a year (or 5, haa haa haa), although we were all living in BKK, in the past while your great grandparents were alive, they were the anchor point for the entire extended family. Now that they have passed that huge anchor had splitted into little anchors, and it hasn’t been the same since.

Your grandmother has 3 older siblings (Bro/Sis/Bro), the eldest had (I don’t know) 7 children (at least, I am terrible at this), her second brother has 3 children (unfortunately none turned up this time, these three are similar to my age).


So, it was great to catch up with everyone, you two were of course the youngest ones there and I must say was a little lost at time. Mar was having a great time, a couple of my first cousin once removed were younger and were expert in braiding hair (we can not say thank you enough)... and Mar was hooked, I have not seen Mar sitting this still ever! Finally you felt like a princess, haa haa haa.

Chinese New Year 2016-05586Chinese New Year 2016-05610

Matt on the other hand was having a great time receiving ‘Ang-Pao’ (money as gift in red envelopes) haa haa haa. Your mother stepped up (her management inner soul took over) and decided what we needed was a family photo, what a great idea that was, my mother was over the moon with the result, and her tiredness disappeared at an instance to see so many smiling faces.

I was happy to see your grandmother so happy and that is the most important thing on that day (taking the huge doggy bags home came pretty close second, haa haa haa).

The Arabian Prince

Dear Matt and Mar,

This year’s play is ‘The Arabian Prince’, I quite like this year’s format where each class plays a chapter of the play, meaning there were 6 Aladdins, 6 Jafars, 6 Princesses Jasmin and so on, haa haa haa, spreading the spot lights to many children, and all of them were amazing.

Arabian Prince-05384

Arabian Prince-05321Arabian Prince-05328This year Matt was given the part of the stall keeper with only a few lines, for the past couple of years during the start of each play, your mother and I would be knee deep in sweat, because Matt was given one of the main role, not to mention the number of hours practicing the lines. This year I didn’t even know what your lines were, haa haa haa.

Although I did ask Matt which part he wanted, and he wanted the ‘Aladdin’ part, but he wasn’t too disappointed. All the main actors and the supporting actors were fantastic, everyone delivered their lines and acted brilliantly!

Arabian Prince-05416Learning from my mistake from a year earlier, using 70-200 and sitting pretty much near the front was a big mistake not to mention totally frustrated, this time I took the risk of sitting at the very back of the front section, and it was pretty much perfect for the reach of the lens.

Decided to take photos for the rest of your friends’ parents as well, of course most of the photos were of the main actors and actresses, it was fantastic fun, although I felt a little sorry for the parents sitting either side of me, the A7 was a little loud... haa haa haa (now waiting for the A7riii, and a winning lottery tickets too, haa haa haa).

I am sorry for not being able to post the pictures of your friends in action, I wouldn’t like it if someone had posted a photo of you without our consent. So instead are some of the after the show photos... including the supporting team... the mothers, haa haa haa, they were all so very proud!