Lake Mabprachan, East Pattaya, (The ‘Darkside’), 20th March, 2011

2 Months, 21 days – still sober.

Pick of the day (1 of 4)

On Saturday after completing and publishing chapter five of my novel, I went to see my friend at his customary place at the Lakeside bar, a short distance around the lake from where I live. We had our usual 3 hour or so chat, with him slowly getting pissed on scotch and soda and me having a coffee, a diet Coke and a bottle of water. As I have written before, I really do enjoy these weekly chats, as they constitute a majority of the conversation I have from week to week with a fellow European. We hit it off pretty well; have the similar career backgrounds, have both spent many years in Thailand and seem to share the same views on many matters and have the same, somewhat twisted, ironic sense of humour.

The only problem is that he is gets pissed and I stay sober – which isn’t a problem per se, but of course the drunker he gets, the less sense he makes, and frankly I’m not sure that at this early stage of sobriety I should be mixing with someone who is clearly bordering on alcoholism – if not a fully blown alcoholic. I don’t have any urge to drink when I am chatting with him, but I know how easy it is for the urge to suddenly overcome me. I think I am at risk when I am with him so I may try to curtail these Saturday afternoon ‘get-togethers’.

Pick of the day (2 of 4)

I reckon I am through with CD’s, DVD’s and CD/DVD players forever. The other day I tried to play one of my DVDs. It was a live concert and it got half way through before it decided to freeze – such a common and very annoying occurrence. I remember when CD’s and DVD’s first came out in the late 70’s – early 80’s – they were hailed as indestructible and you could scratch them and kick them to your heart’s content and they would still play perfectly. Well you could with the early ones – they were made in special factories, but not these days – especially the stuff you buy in Thailand – be they genuine or pirate.

At least with the old VHS tapes you had a fighting chance of taking the cassette out and manually winding it past the damaged part of the tape and you could still watch the remainder of the movie. But once these DVDs start to play up, and in my experience it only takes one or two plays for this to happen – sometimes even on the first play, then you will spend the next hour or so, cleaning them, rubbing them with toothpaste, or whatever your favourite cure-all is and you will still be lucky if you even manage to get through to the end of the movie, the enjoyment of which in any case will have been ruined by the constant interruptions, to say nothing of putting you in a thoroughly mad mood.

Sometimes you find that the DVD will stick on one machine but will play on another, so you spend endless hours , running round the house trying to find a machine that will play it, and then moving that machine to the place where you were watching it. What a bloody pain the backside!!!

Anyway, I decided to see if I could download the particular concert I was trying to watch and the net result was that less than an hour later I had a high quality copy on my hard disk, together with HD sound and perfect lip-sync, which often leaves a lot to be desired on  DVD’s. The picture quality was also far superior to that on my DVD. That set me going and I am now downloading all my favourite live concerts that I currently have on DVD, and in time will probably do the same with any DVD movies that I might wish to watch again. Buying and playing DVD’s is a now completely redundant exercise, as far as I am concerned. I can get anything I want from the internet and it always plays perfectly. Even if I have a faulty download, I can easily download again.

Pick of the day (3 of 4)

Hip, hip, hooray! I finally got off my fat arse and went for a walk yesterday evening. I had been telling Noo for days, weeks even, that I would do this but every day, often at the last moment I would change my mind and tell her, ‘Tomorrow.’ It had become a joke between us and I don’t think she ever expected me to change. Yesterday, I was sitting on my sofa watching the news and as usual, I said, ‘No, tomorrow.’ She asked me if I was sure. I said ‘yes’. Then I looked at my Cookie, my golden retriever who is badly overweight, largely due to lack of exercise and realised how selfish I was being. A fifteen minute walk couldn’t hurt me and would do her a lot of good, provided we went out every day.

So out we went, the three of us, and I’m not sure who was the most unfit – me or my Cookie. All I know is that after ten minutes’ walk round the lake, Cookie was looking a bit weary and I was badly out of breath and felt some of those tell-tale angina pains in my chest. We both have a lot of work to do and this time I must stick at it.

Cookie and I walked, while, Noo – huge, shiny kitchen cleaver in hand – followed on behind, looking for all the world like she was following me in order to remove my head from my body. Thankfully, she passed on that and made her way into the long brush next to the lake and cut herself 5 long saplings, and after stripping them bare, tied them together with some binding  she thoughtfully brought for the purpose and toted them back home for use in the garden.

Here’s a recent pic of Cookie.

And now for something completely different…..

Pick of the day (4 of 4)

Today I also finished reading my first book since I started my ‘daily reading’ again. I admit to struggling for a few days to concentrate, but  now I seem to be getting back into the swing of things. Tomorrow I will start a new book.

Although I still  feel that I should be doing much more with my life, I suppose things could be a lot worse. Maybe I’ll give myself a ‘6 out of 10’ for achievement but only a 5 out of 10 for effort….

Butt of the day.

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