So sorry folks, but it looks like I will be putting my blog on the back burner until September.
I had hoped to do a blog this weekend, but events have conspired against me, so I haven’t been able to put anything together. The format of my blog means that it takes the best part of two working days to knock it into shape. One day (Saturday) to write it, (including research) and one day to edit, format, add all the pics and generally get it into a half-way decent state to publish.
Just lately I have been so busy with my contract writing work that I have had little time to do anything else. I have tried to keep the odd weekend free to write my blog, but it has been a struggle, and a few weeks ago, I just ran out of ‘creative energy’.
Then there is my latest novel which I am still trying to keep moving on the odd day when I have a few free hours.
If that wasn’t enough, I suffered bereavement in my close family last week, when my dear sister passed away, which has thrown me all out of kilter.
Add to all this the fact that my daughter and family are coming to stay with me next Friday for 3 weeks holiday – and also the need to find a new place to live as I will not be renewing the lease on our current place when it expires in September – you can see that I don’t have enough hours in the day.
And then I upgraded to Windows 10 as the free offer was about to expire – and that caused me a more than a few hours of vexation before I managed to get everything working again – but is still an ongoing process.
So please bear with me – I am planning to be back in the Mobi-blogosphere on Sunday 4th September when I hope to publish my next blog, hopefully, jammed full of news, pics and all the stuff I normally do.
In “Mobi-Babble”, we have: Sonny having a wash; Lek buying pizzas; Snakes Alive – Lek finds a baby python next door; Chinese whispers – can you believe what you read on the internet?; and Guest Blogging – my future career?
In ” What The Hexit”, we have: A poem from Juli B followed by Mobi’s take on Brexit.
In “Notes from a Tainted Paradise”, we have: A Snake Swallowed my Cock – Almost…(Part 2), First a snake – now a giant water monitor,Miss Thailand Universe – A national costume too far?, and “What a shame for the poor girl – Getting married to that old snakehead.”
In “A Mobi-Movie-Review”, I review Mike Leigh’s sumptuous and delightful movie – Topsy-Turvy (1999).
Not a great deal to report, as little has happened worthy of note in the past two weeks.
Sonny Boy the Bulldog had a wash…
Lek celebrated losing 3 kilos by buying a slice of pizza…
…and Mobi’s few remaining investments dropped in value by over 10% following the UK Referendum….
There is a lot about snakes in this week’s blog. (See my Notes from a Tainted Paradise)
So it was about time that we joined in the fun of snakes turning up in unusual places. Lek has been terrified that one would turn up in our loo, and I couldn’t convince her that even the smartest snake finds western-style loos a bit challenging.
But she sort of had the last laugh when she discovered a baby python in our neighbour’s garden. Not in the loo, but near enough the house to give her the willies. (Also see my snake article …)…..
Earth’s residents derided those fools Who were unschooled mules unable to have foresight Unable to see the destruction ahead That they’d all be dead, they were led Down the path of stupidity.
Out of nowhere appeared this Ludo Von Storm with charisma and promises to this world so torn “We are starving!:- We a need a solution: Relocation! To the Red Planet we’ll build a new population! This world of passion will give us everything we need The equipment’s ready to be built at speed……
My last tongue-in-cheek article with the above headline, (HERE) didn’t involve the sort of cock everyone was thinking of. But this time, it does.
There has been a spate of stories about snakes appearing in toilets, but nothing quite like the poor young Thai man who got the shock of his life when a Python rose up through the squat toilet and put its teeth around his dangling organ…..
It is not the film you think it may be – hunt it out, and spend three enjoyable hours getting away from it all.
I have long been a huge admirer of Mike Leigh’s films – the brilliant, award-winning English director who eschews the Hollywood system and refuses to make films that will uplift you or tells stories with conventional happy (or sad) endings.
He makes films that show us ‘slices of life’ in England, mainly working and middle-class people – sometimes good people – often bad – but always with gritty reality. He never holds back, and occasionally he makes us feel very uncomfortable as he peels away the layers of quasi-polite behaviour and we see the real people underneath.
In “Mobi-Babble” we have: “Reflections of a Septuagenarian” in which I celebrate reaching this incredible milestone and reflect some other significant ‘decade-milestones’ in my incident-packed life.
In “Farewell to the Greatest” – I write about Ali’s passing and the accompanying media circus that is truly out of control.
In “Mobi’s Bargirl checklist” I re-publish an article I first published 5 years ago as my own guide on what to watch out for when shacking up with one of Thailand’s cuties. Family friendly warning: There’s some naughty pics here, but no naughty bits….
In “Mobi-Movie Reviews”, I review two outstanding foreign languagefilms – “Mon Roi” from France and “Mia Madre” from Italy.
Not too much has happened on the Mobi-domestic front over the past two weeks, except that we’ve been having a fair bit of rain, and for the past few days, another dry spell which has been accompanied by an unwelcome return to high temperatures. The A/C is back on in our bedroom, but so far the kids are still in their own rooms with their fans.
Reflections of a Septuagenarian
The only thing of note that has happened in the past fortnight is that by some miracle, poor, chronically sick, alcoholic Mobi has reached the grand old age of 70. As many of my contemporaries are dropping like flies, I guess it’s something to celebrate.
I’ve always been reluctant to acknowledge the advance of old age, and indeed in my late fifties and early sixties, I still had the appearance of someone much younger. People would be genuinely surprised when I told them my age. It had nothing to do with me or my lifestyle – but everything to do with genes, as my late father still looked to be in his forties when he was in his seventies.
But the vast volumes of alcohol that I had poured down my gullet for much of my life eventually caught up with me in my early sixties. I’ll
Farewell to the Greatest – but for God’s sake let’s keep a sense of proportion…
Mohammed Ali was a man of my generation. I was eighteen when he floored Sonny Liston and the world of boxing found a new hero. But he wasn’t an instant hero – many thought the fight was a ‘fix’ and even today, some people still question that punch.
At first, nobody liked this brash, outspoken, vain young man. This was a time when everybody – especially young black American boxers – spoke in polite respectful tones when interviewed. It was unheard of for any sportsman to speak how Ali was speaking. And we liked it even less when he changed his name and his religion. It was as though he was denying his American cultural roots – which of course he was.
A few years ago I was quite amused when I heard that Stephen Leather’s novel, “Private Dancer”, was required reading for young expat teachers taking up teaching positions at Bangkok’s international schools.
The reason? – Because it tells the sad, sordid tale of what can happen to a young testosterone-filled Englishman if he becomes embroiled in the Bangkok nightlife and falls in love with a beautiful bar girl.
It is a salutary story, for sure, with a bad end – and much of it is based on fact. The book was written in the nineteen-nineties – at a time when mobile phones were not in common use, so the story is a little dated – but for all that, it still holds true today.
Then the other day, I was browsing back through my old blogs, looking for my old movie reviews to add to my collection on the Internet Movie Data Base, (IMDb), when I came across an interesting article I had written in June 2011 on the subject of foreigners marrying Thai bar girls.
In registering my preference for remaining in the EU, despite my animosity towards the EU bureaucracy for decades, today I will review two wonderful movies from our continental friends across the channel.
The first is from France and the second from Italy – two countries that rarely fail to produce outstanding and original films that are such a refreshing change from the Hollywood franchise crap, and also, I’m afraid to say, much of the English output.
These days, my main choice of dramatic viewing on TV is from the Scandinavian countries (who also produce good movies) and from the cinema, it is usually the French and Italians that lead the field.
The very best TV drama that I have seen this year by a mile was, “Trapped”, an Icelandic production, written by, produced by and starring Icelanders and set in their beautiful country.
These days I struggle with British TV dramas. Even some of the best, such as Line of Duty, and the Night Manager are quite watchable but not as great as many would make out.
Most of it is just rehashed rubbish, with badly written, cliché-ridden plots and not always particularly…
In “Mobi-Babble” we have: “Someone stole my tree!”; Kids! – who’d have’em?; and “Mobi-Babble follow-ups.”
In “Notes From a Tainted Paradise” we have: “Brand-new bike lane becomes street food hub and a parking lot.”; “Lo-So’s” are banged up for stealing a coconut; “Hi-So’s” kill with impunity.”; “Moving House in Thailand takes on a whole new meaning!”; and “Renta-Fans cheer Leicester City during Bangkok victory parade.”
In “It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world” we have:“The new religion is Football.”
In: “A Mobi-Movie Review” I review “Cold in July (2014)”
Mobi-Babble -29th May 2016
Someone stole my tree!
Back in 2009, after I left my last wife, Dang, I went to stay in a luxury condo for a year or so – my little hideaway. The condo had a glorious view of the Gulf of Thailand, but I didn’t really appreciate the views, as for much of that year I was either drunk or badly hung over.
One way or another, it was one of the worst years of my life. I was still crazy about Dang, but I knew I could never be happy with her. It was a time when I reached my personal ‘rock bottom’ and I came very, very close to calling it a day. You can read all about those terrible months on the archive pages from my blog; which are still available to read online.
(Go to the sidebar and select the months from the drop-down menu – October 2009 – October 2010 more or less covers it. Go to the month of October 2009 and scroll down to the 24th Oct. The narrative is in the green text. Of course, you can go back even further if you want to read about the build up to my departure.)
During that period, a maid came in 3 times a week to do a bit of cleaning and washing-up, but it was many months before it finally permeated my alcohol riddled brain that she was robbing me blind. All manner of things started to disappear, including money from my wallet, and infuriatingly, even the remote control for my TV……
Brand-new bike lane becomes street food hub and a parking lot.
You gotta laff…It could only happen in Thailand.
The Thais’ famous entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the Chatuchak area of Bangkok. The caring local authorities recently entered into the green spirit of our times, by constructing a beautiful bicycle lane to protect Bangkok’s intrepid cyclists from almost certain death on the city’s dangerous roads.
But it was not to be. No sooner had the lovely lane been completed, than street vendors set up their stalls, and tuk-tuk and cars used the remaining space as a car park.
Local opinion was in favour of the street vendors, who had been operating there long before the green trend in cycling became the latest craze.
“They don’t need their own lane,” said a local vendor, “there’s not that many cyclists.”
I venture to suggest there will be even less if they are forced to fight with six-wheeled trucks, swerving, manic bus drivers and hi-so budding racing drivers in their 4 by 4’s and Lamborghinis….
Following my diatribe on the “Leicesterisation“ of England, are you – like me – sick to the back teeth of all the hoo-ha over who manages a bloody football club?
Press speculation about Manchester United’s manager Louis Van Gaal being fired, and who his replacement may be, has been grabbing the media headlines for months.
There seemed to be no end to it; yet, I wonder, who outside the Manu supporters really gave a damn? I mean it’s only a game of football for God’s sake, yet more column inches are written about Van Gaal and his likely replacement, Jose Mourinho, than is devoted to the fall of a national government.
A brand new Blog Theme for 2016 – Yes, I know it’s 5 months late, but better late than never. I hope you feel it is an improvement over my last theme which I have been using for many years. Enjoy…
In “Mobi-babble” we have: “Laughter AND dogs are the best family medicine”, and “Woe is Work.”
In my general musings on world-shattering events, we have: “Transgender Bathrooms – whatever next?”, and ” It’s Only A Game… Really!”
In “A Mobi-Movie Review” – we have “Youth” (2015) Starring Michael Caine .
Mobi-Babble – 16th May 2016
Laughter AND dogs are the best family medicine
The other night I watched a programme from BBC on the subject of how to choose the right dog. The dog expert went through all the attributes of different breeds, how much each one may cost, which dog would suitable for different dog owners, how much exercise they needed, whether they were good with kids, and so on.
The bottom line was that potential dog owners should take time and great care in selecting their dog – after all, they will be responsible for it for 10-15 years – maybe longer. One elderly couple had the bright idea of getting not one but two puppies – to the utter horror of the expert who talked them out of it. Another guy wanted a German Shephard, but he was away half the time, lived in a tiny house, and would leave the dog with his father every time he went away. Not a great idea…
You could imagine what I thought – as not one of my four dogs was chosen with a view to how they would fit in with my living circumstances. The two Shih Tzus were chosen by my ex-wife, who promptly dumped their daily care onto a servant, the Labrador was given to me by a desperate dog owner who was going back to England, and we rescued the bulldog from a home where he had been abandoned by his owner.
I don’t know – all this hullabaloo over who can use whose public toilets. I haven’t been in France in many a year, but when I worked in Paris, many places had multi-gender toilets, and even if they didn’t, there was always a ‘toilet lady’ around to keep the place clean and take your tips.
I confess up front that I am a lifelong Tottenham Hotspur supporter. I first went to see them play some sixty years ago in the mid- nineteen-fifties and have followed their fortunes for good or bad – mostly bad – ever since.
I still remember taking the number 144 red double-decker bus from Gants Hill in Ilford, and travelling around the North Circular road and dropping off near White Hart Lane.
So obviously I have been pretty chuffed this season when Spurs has enjoyed one of their greatest seasons for many a long year.
But when we came to the run in, I knew that we would fall short. Leicester were too far in front and it would have taken a terrible fall in fortune had they not managed to win a single one of their last 3 matches whereas Spurs had to win every one. I knew what would happen – Spurs would crack, not the Foxes… par for the course.
I am still very proud of them – they will end up either 2nd or 3rd, depending on the result of their match today – and that is quite something to celebrate.
Leicester have my heartfelt congratulations for their astonishing achievement. What a season – and it wasn’t luck – it was a great team playing at the top of their game. I am quite sure they will be ‘there or there-abouts’ next season.
But to hear and see the fuss on radio and television – you would think they
Yesterday afternoon we had one of the most fearsome storms I have ever experienced. Bolt after bolt of lightning came straight down at us from the heavens, and the thunder was so loud that I thought my eardrums would split.
One lightning bolt made a direct hit on the Internet junction box down the road from my house, and all I have is a very flaky 3G connection via my mobile phone.
So, although I have prepared all the material, there will be no blog today. Hopefully tomorrow, or whenever the telecom engineers get around to de-frying my broadband.
In “Mobi-Babble” we have: “Hotter than a whorehouse on nickel night!” , “A dog’s life”, and “Everything goes in threes…. I hope not!”
In “Notes From a Tainted Paradise”, we have: “Crime and Punishment – Songkran style”, “Superstition is still alive and hissing in the land of the tainted paradise”, “Trapped souls are haunting the living”, and “Thai knicker-nicker nicked 4,000 knickers in a ten-year knicker-nicking spree.”
In “Two Mobi-Reviews”, we have: the movie ” Danny Collins” (2015) and the book “Doctor Thorne” by Anthony Trollope.
Hotter than a whorehouse on nickel night!
Back on 2nd April, I wrote that the weather seemed to have taken a turn for the better, and temperatures had dropped a little. Hmm I should have held my pen, as a few days later the temperatures started to soar and we have been suffering in heat of over 40°+C ,(105°F), for at least three weeks now and there is no end in sight.
Strangely, it is hotter out here in Pong than in Pattaya City where the afternoon temperatures are only in the low-mid thirties; but it is cooler here overnight with lows at 24°, but in Pattaya they only drop to around 29°-30°.
The high humidity makes it feel even hotter, so 40° feels like around 45°. At these temperatures, electric fans don’t make any difference as they simply blow hot air at you, and I have been finding it very hard to work in the afternoons. Everybody is suffering – including the poor dogs, who seek out the coolest place in the house, (usually the downstairs toilet) and lay there, panting away.
The master bedroom contains the only air conditioner in our house, and a few days ago I gave up the unequal struggle and the whole family, including our 4 dogs, decamped to the bedroom in mid- afternoons and we all luxuriated in air-conditioned comfort for a few hours until dusk blissfully arrived.
We are still going out every day for a walk with the dogs across some nearby fields. We do this just before sunset when the sun is very low in the sky and the fields and roads are cast in shadow. It’s about a five-minute drive from where we live, and for the past week, I have been walking back home by myself to get more exercise.
I am really pleased with this, as I am now walking for a good 30 minutes a day. It isn’t much fun in this heat, as you can imagine, and by the time I get back home I’m dripping with sweat and pretty exhausted…..
It is disappointing to learn that during the 7 days of the 2016 Songkran Festival, the road accident statistics showed a substantial increase of 24.1 % in deaths over 2015. All told there were 3,447 road accidents in which 442 people lost their lives and 3,656 were injured, many very seriously.
Sadly, the number of daily deaths on the road during Songkran is not a lot higher than it is on any normal day. As I have written on several occasions, the death count on the roads of Thailand is second only to Libya in the entire world.
This mayhem continues unabated, year, after year, after year, despite the fact that every year the Thai government and the police department announce all manner of measures and punishments designed to reduce the number of accidents.
In a new 2016 initiative, a programme to educate drivers on the error of their ways was mounted across the country. Large groups of drunk drivers were given tours of morgues, to see what happens to those who paid the ultimate price; and to prisons where drunk drivers had been incarcerated, and then to hospitals where they heard the harrowing tales of accident victims. I hate being a pessimist…