The “Home” page is my daily blog. The remaining tabs contain previously blogged, episodic ‘stories’, which are now re-published in chronological order.
I haven’t blogged since last Sunday.
I can’t honestly say I have been that busy, but I have kept myself occupied, and to those of you who have told me to stop writing my blog and do something more useful with my life, no doubt the less you see of me in the blogosphere, the happier you will be!
However I can’t help feeling that the absence of my blog will leave a hole in your otherwise dull lives so it could be a case of my gain is your loss.
Only joking, of course.
But to continue on with this theme, it does appear that some of my readers think I spend my entire life getting into traumatic situations with an endless stream of women of barely legal age, and rush to my computer to write all about it in the hope that I can find an understanding and sympathetic ear out there.
While I wouldn’t for one moment deny that ‘wine, women and song’ are always at the for – front of my thinking and are essentially ‘what makes me tick’, I don’t spend my entire life chasing girls, bedding girls and getting drunk.
I am probably to blame for creating this false impression as it is usually my escapades with women and booze that occupy a great majority of the pages in this blog.
Even “Mobi’s Story” and the subsequent “Mobi Vignettes” that I write on my blog from time to time are centered around the various women in my life, but again – although these wives and girl friends have played a crucial part in my life, they have not been the “be all and end all’ of my existence. I simply find them a useful ‘literary tool’ to hang my memoirs around, and hopefully make the content a little more ‘spicy’ and entertaining to my readers.
To those of you who have read “Mobi’s story, you will know that in spite of my alcoholism and sex addiction, I have managed to be successful in three very varied careers.
In the first, I rose to be a senior financial manager in the oil business at a very young age; the second, I held down a very successful career in Thailand in the music/ concert/ entertainment business and the third I had an extremely successful career in international insurance. It was in my third business career that I was able to accumulate my ‘pot of gold’, which is still sustaining me, to this day, despite all the attempts of so many women to relieve me of large junks of it.
I am the first to admit that my life has spiraled downhill since I was obliged to take early retirement some ten years ago, and this downhill slide has accelerated since I divorced my 4th wife and moved permanently to Thailand.
Nevertheless, in between the emotional crises, the drunken accidents and all the other self destructive events that have occurred in the past eight years, I have still managed to do a few other things – mainly pretty boring things, which is why you will find scant reference to them in my blog.
During the first two years of my retirement, I took up golf, I became very fit with daily jogging, I wrote a volume of short stories which were published, followed by a full length novel which , unfortunately has never seen the light of day.
I spent a lot of time working in the new house that my wife and I bought in East Northamptonshire ; in particular in the garden and supervising a whole mass of rebuilding work, and last but by no means least, planned and executed the great move of the “Mobi household” from Essex to the Midlands, which necessitated no less than three removal trucks.
I am, and always have been a vociferous reader, my favourite books generally being the classic novels of the 18th, 19yh and 20th centuries, although I have enjoyed some more recent writers such as John Le Carre. In recent years I have increasingly ventured into non-fiction where I have a very catholic taste, ranging from Eckard Tolle to Jeremy Clarkson, who just cracks me up.
I play the piano badly, and it is only since I left my house a year ago that I have been without my favourite musical instrument, having had a beautiful, antique Steinway in England and an 80 year old Yamaha upright in Thailand, which on occasion, can give the Steinway a run for its money.
Also, since moving to Thailand, I have improved my computer skills substantially and have embarked on a number of computer projects that still occupy much of my time to this day.
As most of you probably aware, I am a member of a very active internet forum here in Thailand, which used to occupy much of my time, but these days I just dabble in now and again.
I download a lot of music, music videos and TV series and movies.
I have developed a little system that enables me to rip individual video tracks from DVD’s, and these, together with clips downloaded from U-tube and the like, have resulted in me accumulating over 3,000 video song clips, ranging from 1950’s classics right up to the very latest 21st Century hip hop and so on.
My music video library has been catalogued by artist/song/genre etc and I can select any clip at the drop of a hat.
I have a computerised media player which enables me to select a playlist from my video libarary and play the clips on any number of TV screens ( I have 3) while controlling the media player, (music selection, volume, EQ etc). from a separate PC screen.
It is along the lines of systems that can be found in the few bars that play video music, (Pattaya Beer garden is a good example), and is by no means my own invention. But for me, the pleasure was figuring all out for myself and bringing the project to a successful conclusion.
In fact it is so impressive that a colleague asked me to install a similar system in his bar, which I did with great pleasure, and he also has access to my vast video libarary, which I am adding to all the time.
Then there is my even bigger library of music. I have over 10,000 songs in my collection, ranging from classical music, to musicals to jazz to any pop ‘standard’ you can think of, to virtually every major hit of the past 60 years, which again, I am constantly adding to and updating.
From this collection, I make music MP3 CD’s and dvd’s which I play in my car.
I have a great love of music; it plays a very important role in my life I and have an incredibly catholic taste, enjoying many of the latest Billboard hot hundred releases, along with Beatles, Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and so on.
I like GOOD movies and TV series. These days I find that some of the better TV series, (Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire, Madmen, House etc etc) are superior to most movies, but I will watch movies, that in my considered judgement, are worth watching. I can’t stand formulaic, mainly American nonsense.
Then there is my photography hobby. I do admit that it has taken a bit of a backseat in the past twelve months, but I still do take occasional snaps with my wonderful digital Canon Power Shot G7 which is a compact, but I also have a wide angle lens which effectively brings it into the heady realm of SLR’s.
I started to acquire a keen interest in photography when I first came back to Thailand in 2002, when the advent of digital photography was starting to take hold. This I found as a Godsend, as to this day I still struggle with the technical gobbledygook of traditional photography.
I am essentially a ‘family snap ‘ photographer and during the six years I was with my last wife, I have taken an incredible number of photographs from all over Thailand, as well as trips to the UK, Australia and other Asian countries. Most of the best pics have been sorted, printed and put into albums which provide a remarkably graphic account of my life and times over the past six years.
I still continue to take pics, but it has been quite a while since I sorted and printed any.
In the last year, since I have been alone I have actually started to cook a little. I will never be a great cook, as I really don’t have that much interest in food.
I appreciate a well cooked meal when it is served up to me, and I certainly savour gourmet food when it happens to come my way, but for the most part I just eat to satisfy my hunger and that is reflected in my choice of food to cook. Easy and quick is the name of the game, but at least I can survive, which is more than many are able to do when living alone.
I love all sports and will read avidly about them as well as listen to commentaries and also watch the occasional telecasts of live events at home or in a sports bar. To be honest, I invariably enjoy reading and listening to discussion programmes about sport than actually watching it live.
From the above some of you will have gathered that I listen to radio on the internet . I am English and I listen to BBC Radio 4 and 5 on the internet on most days, which for much of the time is playing in the background while I am attending to other matters.
This enables me to keep in touch with my home country and hear about all the local issues and events that never see the light of day of TV news channels such as BBC World.
However I do also watch BBC World News, Channel News Asia, and the wonderful Fox News, which provides me with no end of mirth on a bad day.
I am sure there are a few activities that I have missed, (oh, one would be corresponding with my family and friends by email and chat lines), and I haven’t even mentioned one of my main activities, which is of course, this blog.
Depending on the amount I write, my blog can occupy anything from 2 to 6 hours per session, from the original, rough drafts, to the final copy which I publish. An average session would be around four hours from start to finish.
I have mentioned before and will now reiterate that I always publish the same day as the original drafts. This is a good discipline for me as otherwise a draft would hang around for days while I touched it up to make it perfect and would inevitably involve making major revisions which would take away the ‘essence’ of the original blog.
By following this ‘publish today’ rule, the resultant blog is often a little substandard or at the very least in the need of further editing for grammar, spelling, re-phrasing etc, but overall I feel it is better this way. Hopefully it tends to make my writing ‘real’, ‘edgy’ and honest, rather than me ‘sleeping on it’ and then having second thoughts and maybe rewriting it all.
With all this constant activity and interests, you may well wonder how I find the time to get pissed and ‘bed’ all these women.
Sometimes I wonder myself, but one way or another I do get through the day (and night) and quite often I end up with a lovely little thing beside me much to the chagrin of Mick et al.
So what has been happening to me since last Sunday.
Wan was here and she is just as nice and considerate as ever. She couldn’t do enough for me and we had a lovely time together.
She slept most of Sunday and on Monday, we had a long ‘heart to heart’ on where the relationship will go from here.
We discussed the possibility of me renting a house in Pattaya and Wan would stay with me for some of the time. In October her son finishes his school term and all being well, he would come and live here with us in Pattaya and attend school here.
During the long summer holidays, Wan and her son would spend most of the time back in her home in Roi Et and I could visit for a week or so.
This all sounded a reasonable compromise and we left it at that for both of us to think about further.
On Monday I attended the morning AA meeting – my first in many weeks – and in the evening Wan and I went to the Wat where dear Hank was “lying in state” and we went through the usual rituals as required by such occasions.
I met Hank’s Thai wife and had difficulty retaining my composure. She is such a good person and his untimely death has affected her greatly.
As so often seems to be the way in Thailand, the scheduled time for Hank’s cremation was changed at the last moment from 8 p.m. to 2 p.m on Tuesday but fortunately I was advised in time and duly made it to the Wat for Hank’s last Hurrah. This time I went alone.
There was a pretty big crowd there and I recognized many of my colleagues from all the Pattaya AA meeting groups.
One of the reasons that there are three meetings a day in Pattaya is because alcoholics always have a habit of falling out with each other, especially when it comes to running AA meetings. The typical result of these disagreements is that the disgruntled members will storm off to form a new group.
That is what has happened in Pattaya, a result of which we are blessed with a choice of 3 meetings a day at different times in different locations.
So as a result of this splitting of the converted, most members will not talk to, or even know members of another Pattaya group.
There are a few exceptions to this, like myself, who wander from meeting to meeting. But for the most part, members religiously stick to one meeting group only.
So it was with surprise and pleasure that I realized that there was a strong presence at the Wat from every Pattaya group as well as a large number of people, both farangs and Thais, who I had never seen before.
Hank’s life in Pattaya had transcended all boundaries and he was widely known and acknowledged as a wonderful, caring and happy man, with great generosity of spirit.
The occasion ‘got’ to me and it reminded me very much of a similar cremation I had been to, so many years ago, when as a young man I had a attended the cremation of another man who was also widely loved and respected . I will write more of this below.
I have to admit that I got a little tipsy when the cremation was over, but I did return home in the early evening to pick up Wan and take her out for an our last meal together before she went back to Issan.
I was still feeling very melancholy about Hank, so we didn’t talk much and on Wednesday morning, at the crack of dawn, I took her to the bus station to start her return marathon trek to Roi Et in time for Mother’s day.
Wan is such a nice person and I am such a bastard. I know that if she comes to stay with me that I will not be good to her. I love her in a spiritual way but not in a physical away.
During the 3 nights she stayed with me we didn’t so much as cuddle each other in bed. The closest we came to physical contact was a touching of hands. I believe there is no physical desire on either side, and while this would not worry Wan too much, it is something I would struggle to live with.
The jury is still out but I think it is likely that I will never see Wan again. I think it will be the best decision for both of us.
The remainder of the week has been taking up with other work on my computers. I have downloaded another 100 video clips containing all the latest American hits and have also made a couple of new compilation CD’s for use in my car.
It has kept my mind off things and kept me reasonably sober.
I went to see a house yesterday that may be ‘the one’ I have been looking for. I will talk to the owner again on Monday and then make a decision.
Hank’s death has affected me deeply and it keeps going through my mind that only the good die young. If this is true I will probably live to 100!
I mentioned above that Hank’s funeral reminded me of another funeral, more than 30 years ago which was the death of a man held in high regard b the local community.
Hank’s time at the Wat lasted 3 days, which is very unusual for a farang as they are usually cremated on the first and only day.
It is a testament to the love Hank brought to his friends in Pattaya that he was given such a long farewell.
I apologise for the slow progress in my Vignette about Nid. I will pick up the reigns over the next few days and relate what happened during that hectic, traumatic and exciting period of the mid seventies when I was fast becoming ‘King of the entertainment scene’ in wild, crazy Bangkok.
I the meantime, tomorrow I shall republish a short story that I originally wrote in 2000 and was published in my volume entitled: “Tales From Thailand”
It is largely autobiographical and covers the period just after my marriage with Nid came to an end.
More on this tomorrow.