Author Archives: talkingthailand

My Two Perfect Days

I’ve been thinking about what my perfect day would look like and I actually have two kinds; one where I stay home and one where I go out and about.

The One Where I Stay at Home

My perfect day starts early in the morning, usually on my day off, once I’ve dragged myself out of bed. I love to exercise and whether that’s a session in the gym, which is what I did this morning, swimming a few lengths of the pool, or running round the park or reservoir, I feel energised, most of the time 😉 and ready to indulge in my day.

Things to Do in Bangkok
Running at Nong Bon Reservoir, Bangkok

The next part of my perfect day is to have breakfast of cereal and coffee, while I catch up on emails and blogs that I follow and once that’s done, I sit done to write. Whether that’s for this blog or working on my book or writing up a course for work, I write, something. I love writing, and if I don’t do it, I feel kind of guilty, especially on my day off.

Things to Do in Freetime in Bangkok
Writing and Writing (not always with wine!)

When I’ve finished writing, I’ll potter around my apartment, making lunch, or deciding what to do next and I’ll listen to music. I try to listen to music every day and since I have iTunes on shuffle I am getting to hear songs by different artists, some of which I love but have forgotten about, like Pink Floyd, Simple Minds, and Prince. It’s a great pick-me-up and sometimes I’ll sing and dance along. I am a terrible singer, but it makes me happy. 😉 This is one tune I loved in the past, but had totally forgotten about it until recently..

I usually have more than one book on the go at any one time and there’s nothing I love more than to kick-back and read. I spend just an hour or two relaxing on the sofa reading my favourite books. At the moment, I’m reading River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh. He’s a really fabulous writer and I have a few of his books in my collection. I’m also dipping in and out of a few travel books, and Jaya, a retelling of Indian’s greatest epic; The Mahabharata.

Things to Do in Freetime in Bangkok
Perfect days reading

My perfect day ends with an evening out with a friend for dinner or drinks. I usually go to my friend’s house, here in Bangkok, for cocktails, or we’ll venture out to any of our favourite places to hang out. We always have loads of fun together and it’s great to spend time with my little partner in crime! There are a few more people back home that would fit this bill, and whenever I go home for holidays, I get to have perfect evenings with them too.

The One Where I Go Out and About

My perfect day out and about happened just last week. I started the day much the same, exercise, breakfast and catching up with emails and blogs, but then I left to go to an art exhibition at the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre, a huge building full of art exhibits and one I go to regularly. The exhibition was called ” Opera Omnia” and it displayed 40 masterpieces by Caravaggio, only they were HD reproductions of the incredibly detailed originals, which are currently housed in museums across the globe. Having just been to Italy, I wasn’t going to miss out on this. It’s a fabulous place to wander around and it’s one of my favourite places to spend time.

Art fix satisfied, my perfect day continued with a spot of lunch at a restaurant I was introduced to a few weeks ago by a friend. I had two favourite lunch places, both of which have since been closed to make way for new hotels and condos. I prefer going out during the day and I was struggling to find a place that opened all day, and one that had a 6-hour happy hour! Most places don’t open til 5 pm and they’re a little expensive to go to all the time, so I was thrilled when I found Monsoon. I’ve only been a couple of times so far, but it’s my new place to go for my perfect days out.

Things to Do in Freetime in Bangkok
Perfect days out

After lunch, I headed to Emquartier, one of Bangkok’s glitzy malls. As a rule, I hate these places, too many people and overpriced shops that you find anywhere in the world, but I by-passed all that and browsed around Kinokuniya, a Japanese bookstore that I like to go to for travel books. I love browsing around bookstores and, usually, I go to a much smaller one that has 4 floors with shelves and shelves full of second-hand books, but I wanted to buy The Rough Guide to Spain and I like those all shiny, new and up to date. I found what I was looking for, plus I made two extra purchases, a beginners guide to Spanish and a book about the history of art. Perfect!

Things to Do in Freetime in Bangkok
Kinokuniya, Bangkok

I arrived home and spent the rest of my day, watching TV, with a glass of red, or two, and chilled out before work the following day. A perfect end to a perfect day!

What’s your idea of a perfect day? 🙂

Reflections

A few years ago, I spent a fabulous day tramping around Dovedale in the Peak District of England. Along the 3 km route, we passed caves known as the Dove Holes, used the stepping stones to cross the river and meandered along the path until we reached Milldale, a village of beautiful stone cottages with gardens full of brighly-coloured flowers. It would be so lovely to live there! From there, we turned around and retraced our route and ended the day, back at one of my friend’s houses, with a BBQ and beers. It was such a great day out, not only for the green and glorious countryside, but I spent the day with some very good friends.

Things to do around the world
Dovedale, UK

In Cyprus, my friend and I and my mum and dad visited the Paphos Archaeological Park. I love these kind of places, I’m fascinated with the history and this one didn’t disappoint. There were ruins galore, remains of beautiful mosaics, and an ancent amphitheatre. I was in my element. I remember it being so hot that day, but it was nice to get out into the countryside with three of my favourite people.

Things to do around the world
Paphos Archaeological Park, Paphos, Cyprus

I arranged to meet my friend in Adu Dhabi and, one day, we took a trip to Dubai. We went up the Burj Khalifa, a real treat with phenomenal views for miles around. We stayed up there for a couple of hours and we were glad we did because the views became even more spectacular when the sun went down and the neon lights of the city came on. It was a trip to remember.

Things to do around the world
Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Wat Po in Bangkok reminds me how much I love exploring my city. I love just going out, with my camera, and visiting my favourite places and there are plenty of new places that I find all the time. There is a never ending source of things to see.

Things to do around the world
Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand

I spent seven weeks in New Zealand and at first I really didn’t want to be there. I had just come from Thailand and I missed everything about it, but thank God I got over that because I ended up having the best time there. I did so much and saw some wonderful things in that short space of time, including these Mirror Lakes. The water is so clear and still, it created some gorgeous reflections.

Things to do around the world
Mirror Lakes, New Zealand

Whenever I used to go home, I always made the trip to Scotland to see my Nana, who is, sadly, no longer with us. This day, my mum and I had taken a trip to Edinburgh and we had lunch in the Halfway House. I spent the first 12 years of my life in Scotland, so I never really got to enjoy the city as an adult. It’s a beautiful place, and, although I wouldn’t choose to live there again, it’s nice to go back to my roots.

Things to do around the world
Edinburgh’s Smallest Pub, Edinburgh, UK

New Zealand again, this time in Bluff. I’d rented a car, from Dunedin, and taken a road trip down to the south coast. It was New Zealand’s winter time, so I had the place, almost, to myself. I took the Bluff Heritage Trail, through wind-worn forests with brilliant views out to sea. I was also treated to a couple of seals playing in the surf. On the way back to Dunedin, I spent a very cold night in a little cottage in Owaka, so cold that I had to wear five layers, all under a blanket. Brrr! I can still feel the cold. It was in New Zealand that I acquired a love of walking and sightseeing.

Things to do around the world
Bluff Heritage Trail, Bluff, New Zealand

In 2013, I graduated from The Open University with a Bachelor of Science with honours. I can’t tell you how proud I was! I wasn’t even going to go to the graduation ceremony, but a friend suggested I go, otherwise he thought I would regret it. I was glad I did. It was in Manchester and my mum came with me. The ceremony was a little nerve-wracking, but everyone there had all done something that was really worth this grand occasion. Afterwards, my mum and I took to the town and enjoyed a lovely meal and drinks in a Thai restaurant.

Things to do around the world
Manchester, UK

Another day out in New Zealand and this day took me on a jaunt along the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. It was on a day when I was supposed to be going whale watching, but it was cancelled due to bad weather. So I wrapped up and went off in exploration of the local area, through farmland and forests, until I reached the black-pebbled beach, and sea. I did loads of other stuff in Kaikoura, like horse-riding, wine tasting, cave exploring and having a Thai meal in a restaurant that didn’t have a liquour license, but not to worry, I had two lovely bottles of wine in my hand that I had bought from the winery. How’s that for good luck?

Things to do around the world
Kaikoura Peninsula, Kaikoura, New Zealand

Whenever I’ve visited my rellys in Adelaide, they’ve taken me out and about to see stuff and we’ve gone to Granite Island a couple of times. It’s a small island next to Victor Harbour, small enough so you can walk around passed huge boulders, plants dancing in the sea breeze, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll spot the cute fairy penguins which live there. It’s even better when you’ve got Ernie by your side telling you about all the different plants and animals there.

Things to do around the world
Granite Island, Adelaide, Australia

I love going to Adelaide and the last time I went was for Christmas in 2014. I wanted to do some exercise, so my cousin suggested we hike up Mount Lofty. So, at 6.00am we started our day, along with my other cousin and his daughter, Amy. When we arrived at Mount Lofty, we stopped at this map which showed the different routes available to the top. I asked “Where are we?” Amy burst out laughing. She pointed at the map to show me a large, red “YOU ARE HERE” sign. She giggled “We are here!” I didn’t live that down for the next thirty minutes, she couldn’t stop laughing! It was a fabulous morning out in the sunshine, followed by a well deserved coffee afterwards.

Things to do around the world
Mount Lofty, Adelaide, Australia

A few years back, I spent a month on Koh Tao with friends. One day, I said I was going to visit a resort called Mango Bay. The best and easiest way to get there is by boat, but I wanted to walk across the island and my friends jumped at the chance to come with me. It was such an arduous journey, slowly going up some very steep hills with nothing on our feet but flip-flops. When we finally made it to the top, dripping in sweat, we took a well deserved break at the Mountain Bar. The views from our vantage point made us forget how hard it was getting there.

Things to do around the world
Views of Koh Tao, Thailand

Another day out in Adelaide with my two cousins, Scott and Craig. We walked along the Torrens River before heading back to the city through the botanical gardens. I love trees and this Eucalyptus camaldulensis, or river red gum, was worthy of a photo. It was thought to be living between 1,500 and 2000 years ago and it died when it was 500 years old! Imagine the things it has seen in its lifetime. We finished our walk at my favourite bar in Adelaide, The Austral, somewhere I try to visit whenever I’m in town.

Things to do around the world
Ancient Tree, Adelaide Botanic Gardens, Australia

Vachiratharn Waterfall is located in Doi Inthanon National Park, near to Chiang Mai, in the north of Thailand and I went there when I first came to Thailand in 2008. Throughout the day, I did bamboo rafting and stood on the highest point in Thailand. In the evening, the tour guide asked me out for a few drinks with him and his friends. We didn’t go anywhere fancy, just a little roadside bar, but we had such a fun night and it made me realise that, as a solo traveller, there may be times when you feel lost or lonely sometimes, and I certainly felt that throughout my travels, but things happen that always have a way of making you feel good again.

Things to do around the world
Vachiratharn Waterfall, Doi Inthanon National Park, Thailand

I like to be reminded of some of the things that I’ve done. I wish I had a photographic memory and remembered everything I have ever done, which is why I love to take so many photographs! 🙂

What makes you remember some of the things you’ve done? 🙂

The Changing Seasons-April 2018

The Changing Seasons post, inspired by the lovely Sarah at Secret Art Expedition and hosted by Su at Zimmerbitch. I must say, I am loving writing these posts, it reminds me of everything I’ve done during the month, from the big things right down to the small. So, without further ado, here’s what I got up to in April.

I started the month with a visit to one of my favourite drinking dens, Le Cafe des Stagiaires, with my little partner in crime, Chris! It’s a lovely little bar in Sathorn, with happy hour deals, always good in my book, and a nice atmosphere with seats on the pavement, canopied by the trees that line Soi 12. You can really imagine that you’re in Europe somewhere! 🙂

Things to do in Bangok
Le Cafe des Stagiaires
Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

I work really unsociable hours and my hours don’t match Chris’s, so when he’s off, I’m not, and vice versa. But, Sundays are a good day for both of us, even if Chris is meant to be working, he gives in sometimes and we enjoy our “Sunday Sessions,” as we’ve fondly named them.

Things to do in freetime
Sunday Sessions
Photo Credit: Chris Wotton
Things to do in freetime
So uncouth!!! It was a non-alcoholic drink that we put to good use in our Mojitos! Actually not bad!!
Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

There is an abundance of different colours and many different species of flowers and plants at my local park, so I always stop mid-run to photograph a few.

The best thing I did in April was to visit Italy to celebrate my birthday (35 AGAIN!!!) I met my mum and dad there and what a wonderful week we had together. Honestly, I took SO many photos and I plan to write about my visit there, but these are just a few of my favourite places.

Things to do in Rome
St Peter’s Basilica
Things to do in Rome
Ponte Sant’Angelo
Things to do in Rome
The Colosseum
Things to do in Rome
The Roman Forum
Things to do in Rome
Piazza Navonna
Things to do in Rome
The Duomo, Florence
Things to do in Rome
Piazza Del Popolo
Things to do in Rome
The Pantheon
Things to do in Rome
The Spanish Steps

When I got back to Bangkok, I still had a few days holiday, so me and Chris when to Escape, a new roof top bar located, strangely, on the fifth floor of one of the monstrous shopping malls here in the city. It was glitzy and glamourous and the drinks were fairly pricey, but we were making the most of a rare weekend off, for me at least.

Places to go in Bangkok
Creativity in wine!!
Places to go in Bangkok
Decorated bar

Good old Facebook 😉 reminded me of one of my all time favourite tunes; Tiesto’s Adagio for Strings. It stirred up a good few memories from the past and it gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it!

I was introduced to the Mark Steel lectures by a friend earlier this year, and I finally got round to watching one of them. He takes famous people from the past, like Freud, Aristole, and Napoleon and tells their story in a way that is informative yet hilarious!

And finally, it was my 50th birthday! God knows how I got to be 50, I am still 18 in my heart and head! (Not so in body- it takes me days to get over a night out!) Still, they say life begins at 30/40/50/60/70…!! After a few months of actually freaking out about it, I have accepted this fact, after all, it’s only a number !!! I stopped counting at 35 anyway!!! 😉

If you would like to join me and the others in this challenge, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

A Treasure Trove of Roman Memories

One of my dreams came true last month, I went to Italy. I studied mythology in the Greek and Roman worlds as part of my degree and ever since then I have been fascinated by the history of these two places and have really wanted to visit Rome. So, not only did I get there to celebrate my birthday, but I got to spend a wonderful week with my mum and dad. I took so many photographs and I can’t wait to share them with you, but, for now, here are some memories we made as we enjoyed our week together.

Things to do in Rome
St Peter’s Basilica
Things to do in Rome
Mum with St Peter’s Basilica in the background
Things to do in Rome
Castel Sant’Angelo
Things to do in Rome
Piazza Navonna
Things to do in Rome
The Colosseum
Things to do in Rome
In Florence
Things to do in Rome
Using the Metro
Things to do in Rome
Walking from Piazza del Popolo to Piazza di Spagna
Things to do in Rome
Piazza Di Spagna
Things to do in Rome
In front of Santa Maria Maggiore
Things to do in Rome
Having a rest on Via Nazionale
Things to do in Rome
Ristorante Taberna Patrizi e Plebei
Ponte Palatino
Things to do in Rome
Walking from Isola Tiberina to Piazza Campo di Fiori
Things to do in Rome
Piazza Rotunda
Things to do in Rome
Mum and Dad
Things to do in Rome
Off to our local

We really had such a fabulous and fun time together and this was a trip I will never forget. My mum and dad have been to Rome a couple of times before, but they said they saw so much more this time. I’m not surprised, we must have walked a good 5-7 km most days and my poor mum didn’t give up, even though she was in pain from walking so far. I can’t thank mum and dad enough for making my birthday so very special.

 

 

 

Parks and the City #2

My favourite park, and possibly my favourite place to go, in Bangkok is King Rama IX Park. It’s not far from where I live and I go there to run most weeks. Sometimes, I go there just with my camera because, around every corner, there is so much to photograph and I never get tired of taking photos of the same things, but I always manage to find something novel.

There is plenty of wildlife to encounter. Here are a few of the birds and animals that I regularly see there.

Parks in Bangkok
Little Egret
Parks in Bangkok
Water Monitor, looking at me, looking at him (or her)!
Parks in Bangkok
Chinese Pond Heron. I love the light on the water, it looks like it’s been painted using thin strokes
Parks in Bangkok
Green Bulbul

There are so many beautiful flowers in the park too.

Once a year, in December, there is a flower festival called The Magnificent Plants that Beautify the Suan Luang Rama IX Flowers Festival. Fantastic name, don’t you think? It really is a great time to visit because they make a special effort to plant new flowers, so there is an outburst of colour during the festival.

During the festival, many people have stalls where they create beautiful displays of flowers for people to buy.

There is more than just flowers and plants to buy, there’s also Thai food and handicrafts.

King Rama IX is a huge park, covering around 200 acres and there are 2,300 plant species and loads of trees for shade on a sunny day, which is usually everyday here.

There are 6 different areas to the park.

Parks in Bangkok
International Garden with a Roman temple
Parks in Bangkok
The Garden of the Great King with the Ratchamangkala Pavilion
Parks in Bangkok
The Romanee Garden with flowers and plants that have been taken from other parts of Thailand to recreate the different environments from across the country.

Parks in Bangkok

Parks in Bangkok
Mangrove Forest walkway

The trunk of this tree reminds me of a giraffe setting out on a walk! Can you see it?

Parks in Bangkok

Then, there are the people who, like me, enjoy this beautiful green space a great deal. It depends on the time of day I visit as to whether there are many people about. The park gets busier as the sun goes down.

Parks in Bangkok
Sleeping
Parks in Bangkok
Chatting
Parks in Bangkok
Catching up on social media
Parks in Bangkok
Playing
Parks in Bangkok
Taking photos

And last but not least.

Parks in Bangkok
Getting married!

I hope you enjoyed our little jaunt around King Rama IX Park. Just one of Bangkok’s parks in the city! 🙂

 

 

 

The Changing Seasons – March 2018

The Changing Seasons post, inspired by the lovely Sarah at Secret Art Expedition and hosted by Su at Zimmerbitch. Here is my round up of things I got up to during March.

As I hadn’t been out exploring much since I got back from Sri Lanka, I took myself off to Chulachomklao Fort in Phra Samut Chedi District, around 29 km south of Bangkok. Getting there was fun, I only knew that I had to take the 145 bus to Pak Nam Market, then take a boat across the river, and, finally, a truck to the fort. It always seems a bit of an adventure when you don’t really know the way. I had to ask a couple of people to find the market and once I had located the truck, it dropped me off, right at the fort.

First up, the gun park which tells you the history of the guns, although the information was all in Thai, so I just had to wander around and imagine.

Things to do in Bangkok
The Gun Park

This proud statue of King Rama V stands at the front of the fort.

Things to do in Bangkok
King Rama V Statue

The disappearing guns were used only once in 1893 when the fort protected the sovereignty of Thailand from French invasion. They were designed to be hauled up by their hydro-pneumatic system for firing and lowered again afterwards.

Things to do in Bangkok

Things to do in Bangkok

Things to do in Bangkok

H.T.M.S Maeklong was in service for 60 years and deployed during WWII. It was fun to scamper about on her decks!

Things to do in Bangkok
H.T.M.S Maeklong

There’s a mangrove forest there too.

Things to do in Bangkok

 

Things to do in Bangkok
Mangrove Forest

I forgot that I had heard about the resident monkeys that live there until this one started walking towards me! I was a little nervous!

Things to do in Bangkok
Just strolling!

But, thankfully, they didn’t pay me any attention and continued to play or groom each other, oblivious to my presence.

Things to do in Bangkok

Things to do in Bangkok

It was a great day out and, although the sea looked far from the usual images that you see in Thailand, it was good to get out and about.

Things to do in Bangkok
The Gulf of Thailand

I made a video of all the beautiful birds that I saw in Sri Lanka, and, the best bit, I didn’t even have to leave the confines of my friend’s garden to see them. They greeted us with their song in the morning and it was just fabulous to hear them and see all the different species that visited throughout the day.

 

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Nilla at Image Earth Travel for the work I do here on Talkingthailand. It’s always a joy to receive these nominations and it makes me feel happy and honoured that someone takes time out of their day to acknowledge me. Thank you again Nilla, it was very much appreciated.

At last, I picked up my sketch pad and drew something. Whenever I do this, I mean to do it more regularly, but I never get round to it. I should do it more because I love sitting down and creating something. This drawing is a copy of a painting I saw in an art gallery, but it has my own twist on it! It’s a combination of pencil, charcoal, and pastel crayons.

Things to do in free time
My Art

As well as showcasing my photographs on morrisophotography, I also upload my best shots to Viewbug, and I sometimes enter their free photo challenges. In March, I found out that 2 of my photos had been ranked in the top 50 and 1 in the top 80! When you consider the amount of people that enter these challenges, I was thrilled with this result!

Photography challenges
Artistic Wildlife Photo Challenge-Ranked Top 50
Photography challenges
Animal Families Photo Challenge-Ranked Top 50
Photography challenges
Legs Photo Challenge-Ranked Top 80

I started watching Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, presented by Neil deGrasse Tyson. His passion and knowledge of the universe, evolution, science and much more just oozes through his silky voice. Everytime I watch it, it (he) makes me want to learn all that he knows. It really is a fantastic and mind-blowing show. I thoroughly recommend watching it, if you haven’t already!

TV Recomendations
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Photo Credit: http://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/tv/cosmos-a-spacetime-odyssey/

So, that’s my March done and dusted. I’m already having an awesome April, I hope you are too 🙂

If you would like to join me and the others in this challenge, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

 

 

Parks and the City

I love going on jaunts around Bangkok and, invariably, I’ll find myself in one of the parks in the city.  Sometimes, I plan to go there, but other times I’ll wander through on my way somewhere. It’s so lovely to see all that green hidden amongst the concrete, and, even though you can still see the buildings all around, it really feels like you’re miles away.

So, let’s take a wander through Lumphini Park…

Things to do in Bangkok

In 2016, park officials removed some of the 400 water monitors living in Lumphini Park because they have been damaging plants and scaring people, some of them are over 10 ft long!

Things to do in Bangkok

Jogging anyone? Lumphini Park, just like most others in Bangkok, is a popular place for people who wish to exercise once the sun starts to sink and it gets a little cooler! Although, these enthusiasts were out enjoying themselves at 3.40pm!

Things to do in Bangkok

Things to do in Bangkok

What a fabulous way to spend an afternoon, canoeing on the lake, right in the middle of the city!

Things to do in Bangkok

Things to do in Bangkok

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” Deepak Chopra

Things to do in Bangkok

There aren’t many people around, it’s far too hot yet, but this means I get the place, almost, to myself!

Things to do in Bangkok
Things to do in Bangkok
I hope you enjoyed today’s wanderings. Join me for the next one soon! 🙂 In the meantime, check out my Top 6 Parks in Bangkok!

The Liebster Award

It’s always an honour and a lovely surprise when I receive an award like this, and this time is no exception when I received The Liebster Award from Nilla at Image Earth Travel. Image Earth Travel is a wonderful blog full of Nilla’s adventures in the many countries she visits. I always look forward to reading about where she has been to, and I know you will too! Thank you so much Nilla for this, it’s very much appreciated! 🙂

The Liebster Award is given to bloggers by bloggers and it was first awarded way back in 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

Awards from WordPress

Questions from Image Earth Travel:

What are your blogging objectives for 2018?

My blogging objectives for 2018 are just to continue writing about the things I love to write about. My experiences that come from living abroad, especially in Bangkok, my home for the past three and a half years, there are always plenty of things to see and report back on. Not only in Bangkok, but I have many stories yet to tell from travels to other countries, in the past, and in the future.

How often to you post a blog and why (daily, weekly, monthly)?

I go through phases of posting once a week, to twice a day, then nothing for a few weeks. It really depends on what other personal projects I’m busy with and what my work schedule is like. At the moment, I am working almost full-time hours, so it’s difficult to find the time to write or do anything else for that matter.

What inspires you to write?

Pretty much anything! When I go out exploring, I usually have an idea in mind and that’s my inspiration for writing about it. But, sometimes, an idea will just pop into my head and I think it would be good to write a post about it. For example, I have been going through old photos and, instead of just posting them, I find inspiration to write about where I was, when I took the photos, and what I was doing.

Have you set any definite travel destinations for 2018 or is this an earning year?

It’s both! I am going to Rome in April for my birthday celebrations with my parents and I am planning to go to Chiang Rai, in Thailand, in June. Those trips are paid for, apart from spending money, and afterwards I am saving to travel to Australia, India, Sri Lanka, and Europe at the end of the year.

Where is your most desired travel destination?

I have wanted to go to Italy for years because I just love the history and architecture there, so my dream will be fulfilled next month when I go to Rome. I want to see other places in Italy too, but there are so many other places on my list that I want to see; India, Spain, Morocco, Croatia, Pakistan, South America, Turkey.

Do you get any exposure from award nominations?

Only from the beautiful people who follow my blog, who leave lovely comments and congratulations messages. It’s such a nice feeling when I read some of the things people say.

Have you considered advertising on your site? If so, does advertising help to give your blog site more exposure?

I have in the past, but I have never gotten round to doing anything about it, other than a couple of affiliates that I have on my site. To be honest, it’s not about getting exposure for me, I just love writing and blogging about my life.

My nominations for The Liebster Award are:

  1. Life With an Illness: Mackenzie’s blog which lives and breathes positivity and love, despite daily battles with illness.
  2. 100 Cobbled Roads: Punita’s travel stories about cities, everyday life, and natural wonders around the world.
  3. Seen Along The Trail: Join Carolyn as she ventures on walks in the great outdoors and captures images of the wonderful creatures she comes across.
  4. Chaotic Shapes: The talented Brandon’s art is amazing as he creates beautiful work via a series of colourful shapes.
  5. Ute Smile: A wonderfully positive blog as Ute spreads happiness and makes people smile with her uplifting quotes.
  6. Global Housesitters x 2: Join Suz and the Squire as they travel the world on their housesitting adventures.

My questions for you, if you wish to accept this nomination.

  1. Where is your favourite place on earth? Why do you love it?
  2. If you had £1m, what would you do with it?
  3. Do you prefer “roughing it” or do you want some level of comfort when you go anywhere?
  4. Which season do you like the most? Why?
  5. What is your favourite colour and why?
  6. Who are your heros in life?
  7. What’s the fondest memory you have from the past 10 years?

Award Rules

  1. Answer the questions that were left for you.
  2. Nominate your favourite new bloggers (not more than 15!)
  3. Write 7 questions for them to answer.
  4. Add all the rules and be honest with your answers!

The Changing Seasons – February 2018

I came across this challenge from my friend, Sarah, at Secret Art Exhibition and hosted by Su at Zimmerbitch. I was eager to do this, but, at first, I thought I hadn’t really done that much during February, but turns out I was wrong.

I started the month with an obligatory moon photo during a break at work. Not the best shot, but I liked the light that’s  emanating from it.

Moon Photography
Moon Over Bangkok

The next day was my day off, so I cooked myself a vegetarian chili, washed down with a bottle of red. Since coming home from the Uk and Sri Lanka, I vowed that I was going to try and become vegetarian, so I have been making an effort to find veggie recipes to cook. Years ago, I tried it, but I really wasn’t committed enough and got fed up with beans or eggs on toast. This time it’s different, and I’ve manged to find and cook a variety of recipes each week, some of which turn out as I expected, some don’t, but I think that’s the fun of it. I love cooking, but it’s so expensive to do in Bangkok. Most of the ingredients I need are imported, so that means they cost more, things like cheese, butter, fruit etc., my lasagne costs about 900 baht, which is around £20. If you compare that to a Thai dish on the street, which costs as little as 35 baht, around 80 pence, you see my point.

Home Made Dishes
Vegetarian Chili

The same day a proof of my book arrived, so I was feeling quite proud of myself. “Flying Solo-A Woman on the Wings of Life” is my second book and it’s full of my travel tales and life experiences over the past 13 years. I’ve already had it edited, but I am currently going through it again and, still, I am finding things to change. Self-publishing is hard, but it’s also very rewarding, knowing that you’ve had to undergo all the tasks associated with writing a book yourself. Writing it in the first place, then proofreading and editing. It really is a one-woman job! But, as I said, I find it so satisfying and I just love writing, so that’s all that matters to me.

Project Ideas
Flying Solo.. A Woman on The Wings of Life

Time was well spent with my friend, Chris, and usually we drink cocktails! To celebrate hump day (Wednesdays), Sundays, and any day we get together! If I’m not drinking wine, my second fav drink is G&T and Chris, a.k.a my personal mixologist, will add some wonderful fruits, fresh mint or rosemary with ice to go with my (our) double shots of alcohol! I think I’m becoming quite immune!

Homemade cocktails ideas
Cocktail Club
Photo Credit: Chris Wotton
Homemade cocktails ideas
Mojito Sundays
Photo Credit: Chris Wotton
Homemade Cocktail ideas
G&Ts
Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

This month also included my second photo exhibition. Actually, it was the same photo exhibition but a new venue. On The Trail of Bangkok’s European Heritage is an exhibition about a few unsung attractions in Bangkok that have European connections. I have been meaning to do an exhibition for ages, and after the first one at Dialogue Coffee and Gallery in November, I found a new venue willing to show my work. It was another proud moment to be able to display my work and for people to give me positive comments about it. I have yet to write a post about these exhibitions, so watch this space. Check out my book of the same name.

Photo Exhibitions in Bangkok
On The Trail of Bangkok’s European Heritage Photo Exhibition @ 23 Bar and Gallery

On the day we set up, we had an unexpected turn of events. Chris and I took everything over to the gallery, said hi to the manager, Mongkol, and started to put the photos up. Mongkol kindly brought a hammer and some nails in case we needed them and offered us a drink, water or beer. With a slight hesitation, thinking it was far to early in the day to start drinking (it wasn’t), we got a beer each. It didn’t take us long to finish setting up and we spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the sunshine and a few more cold beers.

Photo Exhibitions in Bangkok
On The Trail of Bangkok’s European Heritage Photo Exhibition @ 23 Bar and Gallery

5 or 6 beers later, Mongkol asked if we wanted pizza, and as we were having such a fabulous afternoon, we thought why the hell not, we really didn’t want the day to end. I love the fact that Mongkol ordered the food from a nearby restaurant and they delivered it to the bar.

Photo Exhibitions in Bangkok
On The Trail of Bangkok’s European Heritage Photo Exhibition @ 23 Bar and Gallery

I quite like these spontaneous days out, and just going with the flow. It doesn’t happen often in my life, I am usually a creature of habit, but when it does happen I love it. And we didn’t pay for a single thing! We went home very happy that evening.

Photo Exhibitions in Bangkok
On The Trail of Bangkok’s European Heritage Photo Exhibition @ 23 Bar and Gallery

The opening night went well, my friends and I had a few drinks and I networked and schmoozed with a few folks who came along. We ended the night down Soi 4, in Silom, a fun gay street with lots of colourful signs, and people partying the night away. It’s always the same, have a few drinks with the intention of going home, but ending up somewhere unintended. Another spontaneous night, although the hangover was not so great!

Things to do in Bangkok
Silom Soi 4, Bangkok

I spent another day off writing about my trip to Sri Lanka and when I’d finished I spent a relaxing evening with my book. I always make time to read a book everyday, even if it’s only an hour. I’ve usually got 2 or 3 books on the go at once and last month was no exception.

Ways to Relax
Relaxation

First of all, I finished Glue by Irvine Welsh. It’s a really fabulous story about 4 boys growing up in Edinburgh who are into the drug and club scene, and how their lives intertwine with other people and the experiences they have.

Good books to read
Glue by Irvine Welch

I started reading Salt Creek and I’m more than half-way through. It’s a story about a Australian family who fall on hard times and end up living in Salt Creek, in South Australia. That’s all I’m saying for now, apart from it’s a really good book and I can’t put it down. I acquired this book from a lovely lady from Australia, that I met in the dentist of all places, and she recommended it.

I’m also reading Jaya, an illustrated retelling of the Indian epic, the Mahabharata. I bought it about 3 years ago, in Dehli airport, and it’s been collecting dust on my bookshelf since then, so I thought I would get round to reading it. I’m glad I did, although it’s quite hard going because there are so many characters and stories to it, but I’m enjoying it none the less.

Good books to read
Salt Creek and Jaya

I love being creative and last month I made a video of the animals I encountered in Hikkaduwa, Sri lanka. I didn’t have to go any further than my friend’s garden. I just love it in Sri Lanka, it’s so beautiful. I really look forward to my trips there. This first one is called “Beautiful Nature.”

 

The app I use for editing and enhancing my photos is fairly basic, but recently a new feature has been added and I am now able to make videos from my photos, so I hope to make more use of it in the future. I am sure there are more sophisticated tools out there, but this one serves my purposes just fine for now. The second one is called “Life on the Madu Ganga.”

 

February also saw me have a sleepover at Chris and Pond’s house, Pjs and all!  We had been planning to do this for a long time, but we weren’t able to fit it in for one reason or another, but, finally, we did it. The evening consisted of our mandatory cocktails, one of the best pizzas I’ve had in a long time, DVDS, chocolate, more cocktails, and more DVDs. It was such a fun night.

Weekend Ideas
Sleepover Mojitos
Weekend Ideas
Sleepover Pizza

Chris is not only my best friend, personal mixologist, go to person for venting and ranting (he does the same!), he’s also very hospitable and sociable, not to mention, a domestic goddess and an amazing cook. The following morning, feeling tired and a little hungover, he made this delicious full English breakfast, fried bread and all. I hadn’t had a full English brekkie for ages, so this was definitely a scrummy treat!

Weekends Ideas
Sleepover Breakfast
Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

So, that was my February! And, actually the 13th marked the 4 year anniversary I have been back in Thailand. Where does the time go? It’s positively scary and here we are racing towards April! Make the most of every day, life is so short!

If you would like to join me and the others in this challenge, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.