Monthly Photo Challenge

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.

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.

 

 

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.