Lake Mabprachan, East Pattaya, (The ‘Darkside’), 11th March, 2011

Pick of the day

Still sober – 2months, 11 days.

I’m feeling OK.  Since I stopped taking my anti-depressant medication, every day I wake up and worry about my mood, trying to determine whether there are any signs of a depression on the horizon. I have had one or two, very brief, panicky moments when I wasn’t feeling on top of my game, but the panic soon passes and I feel Ok. The ‘zombie-like states’ and the very bad moods that I used to have when I woke in the morning seem to have gone completely.

I know that I am nowhere to being a properly functioning, sober, well-adjusted individual, as much about my daily existence leaves a lot to be desired; at least I think it does. I worry about what I am doing with my life and I particularly worry that I spend too much time on my computer and not enough time doing other things like doing my share of work around the house, and in particular, after a promising start, my plans to take any form of exercise have been an abject failure. Every day I resolve to take a walk with my dog as soon as the sun starts to go down, and every day I just stay at home in the early evening and think – ‘tomorrow, I will start tomorrow.’

Then I have yet to curb my instincts to stop by places with ‘girls for sale’ and spend a few hours having a nice grope. Every time I do it I feel guilty about Noo. So far this week I have been to such establishments twice for a couple of hours or so on each occasion. Both times I have also had a bite to eat and my twisted thinking is along the lines of: ‘If I’m going to buy something to eat, I might as well have some pleasant company while I am eating…’ I am a bit torn on all this as these brief adventures do make me happy and I am not doing any real harm to Noo, so maybe it’s just a case of ‘what the eye doesn’t see….’ and I should stop worrying about it.

On the plus side, I am continuing to make progress with my novel, as I am with my blog and for the last few days I have finally got myself back into the habit of reading for an hour or so a day. For some strange reason I always feel guilty if I go for long periods of time without reading a book. I have always loved reading and I always get something of value out of reading, be it fiction or non-fiction. The last books I read were way back last year by Eckhard Tolle the modern day mystic and philosopher and apart from a bit of bed time light amusement with Jeremy Clarkson’s observations on life, I have completely stopped reading for many months. So I resolved to put reading back into my schedule and now I reading for an hour or so when I get up in the morning, while I am having my first mug of coffee. The book I have started off with is a piece of rubbish, but it has been sitting on my book shelf for almost 5 years, so I decided I would either read it or dump it.

There is a story behind this book.

When I celebrated’ my 60th birthday, just under five years ago, I was still living with my wife, Dang, at our house in Pattaya. It so happened that at that time, I had a long term house guest from Australia staying with me.  I won’t say anything except that the house guest, in my view had outstayed his welcome. I knew he had very little money and was relying on me to provide free accommodation until he ‘got back on his feet’ but I couldn’t help  wondering when he would be moving out so that I could have my privacy back.

My 60th birthday duly arrived and no one remembered it – not  my wife, nor my family in the UK, none my friends, not a soul. Now I don’t usually get to carried away about my birthdays and for most years they have passed with little or any acknowledgement from anyone, except the odd card. But turning 60 was a bit special and I did think that at the very least that someone would remember that I had reached, what was for me, a significant milestone in my life. Well nobody remembered – or cared (or so I thought), so from early morning I decided to celebrate on my own in the time honoured fashion –  with one very long binge. It was one of the few occasions that I started drinking beer before breakfast and by late afternoon I was absolutely plastered. Somehow I managed to drive home and there was my houseguest ,who I now decided, had definitely outstayed his welcome. Once home, I gathered up some ‘Dutch courage’ and told my house guest that Dang had told me that she wanted him to move out. It was a lie of course, because Dang didn’t really give two hoots whether he stayed or went. Anyhow, the dirty deed was done and he went to his room to pack up his stuff. As he walked out to the road to catch a Baht bus into town he handed me a small gift wrapped parcel.

‘Happy birthday, Mobi,’ he said with a smile.  I didn’t know what to get you so I hope it’s all right.

I unwrapped the gift. It was a paperback novel.

I looked at him and thanked him, wishing that I had never asked him to leave. He was the only one who had remembered and he had spent some of his ever dwindling funds to buy me a little present.

I felt like a total heel and for the past four years and nine months that book has been burning a hole on my book shelf, unopened, reminding me of what a bastard I had been.

Butt of the day

The book was ‘Dead Famous’ a novel by the English comedian and comedy writer, ben Elton. Elton has also had the dubious distinction for writing book and lyrics for a West End musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and he also wrote the book for ‘We will Rock You’, a stage musical featuring ‘Queen’ songs which has been running in the west end for over 10 years and still going strong.

Although Ben Elton is most well known as a stand-up comic he has also enjoyed considerable success as a novelist and I think at least 2 of his novels have been made into movies. So he is no slouch, but personally, I find his style of writing patchy and occasionally amateurish. I feel that the content matter has been ‘dumbed down’ to attract a wider readership. Maybe that’s why he is successful…

I am now half way through it so at least my long departed friend’s birthday gift didn’t go to waste and it has kicked started my long dormant reading habit. So thanks mate and if you are out there somewhere reading this, I’m really sorry for my churlish and selfish behaviour, ….

So my mind is getting plenty of exercise, but not my poor old, creaky body.

2 thoughts on “Lake Mabprachan, East Pattaya, (The ‘Darkside’), 11th March, 2011”

  1. Hey, I am 65 too. I thought you were younger. I am going to impose a book recommendation on you. Here is the Amazon link.
    I found it a book that helped me get a useful perspective on living.
    In a sense worry, anxiety, and concern are good things, they become the guide and motivation for change. I have been exercising every morning for the last two years. It is another one step at a time process, but I primarily do it because it makes my dog happy! Sharing my dog’s happiness makes me happy. The only time I have not gone is when it has been -20 or below or blizzards. I feel restless when I do not go. For most of my life I hated to exercise. Anyway anxiety is not a failing it can be a guide for insight and change, sounds simple, but it isn’t.


    1. Thanks for the book recommendation. I will look out for it.

      Yes, I think you have a point about being anxious. Anxiety, or shall we say ‘concern’ about what I do with my life is probably a good thing – if I wasn’t concerned then I wouldn’t make any efforts to improve it. As Long as I’m not anxious about being anxious….

      As for exercise, well I started exercising when I was the grand old age of 54 and over the next 5 years or so achieved a remarkable level of fitness, having been totally unfit and lethargic for my entire adult life. I used to jog most days and that kept my weight under control and was good for my general health. But I guess it all started to go west as my alcohol intake and personal problems increased and now I am 10 kilos over weight and back as unfit as I was 10 years ago.

      It seems to be a bastard to start again but I will keep trying. I know once I get into it I will be fine – it’s just making that initial effort.


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