Lake Mabprachan, East Pattaya, 6th April 2011

3 months, 6 days – still sober.



Happy Birthday Noo


Noo is 31 today and is one of the reasons why she went out with her friends a couple of days back. This morning, I offered to take her anywhere she wished to go for a meal to celebrate her birthday. She considered this for a few minutes and I waited with baited breath, to find out how much my reckless offer would end up costing me. Would she choose ‘Hard Rock Café’, or some upmarket sea food restaurant, or maybe one of those Thai pubs with live bands, or who knows, maybe some upmarket farang restaurant – after all she does enjoy her farang food more than most Thai ladies I have been with.

After a long deliberation, she looked at me and said: ‘Can we go to MK?’

‘MK?’ Are you sure?

‘Yes, I am sure. That’s where I want to go.’

I smiled at her, partly from relief that the meal won’t burn a hole in my pocket and partly from the ever increasing affection that I feel for her. She really is a little gem.

So MK it will be.

Happy Birthday, Noo….


The truth the whole truth… (Follow up)


In my April 5th blog, I posted a piece about a guy called The Realist and in case you haven’t read his response (which he made under a new nickname and which is now published) I publish it below.

“Dear Mobi,

I’m the blogger formerly known as “The Realist”. (TBFKATR) My apologies for my remarks. Simply put, I was wrong. I’ve been hurt in my life by Alcoholics / addicts and have my own addiction(s) I’m dealing with. That’s no excuse for my behaviour, of course, and on reflection I see now that my remarks however clever I thought they were, were not at all in a spirit of good will. They were more than anything coming from jealousy and some dark side of my personality. I’ve had to take a pretty big step back and try to look at where this bad side of me comes from. It’s not in the spirit of kindness and does nobody good. I don’t wish you harm and do wish you success.

I will now commit my blogging ID to the ethers and no longer use it.”

Sincerely,

TBFKATR


There is not much for me to add to this thoughtful and well meant ‘retraction’ except to thank him and assure him that, as a true recovering alcoholic, I bare him no resentment.

There is a possibility that this is a wind up, but I prefer to believe that he has written it ‘from the heart’ and not with his ‘tongue in his cheek’. Only time will tell if I am correct.


Sugarfly

While I am on the subject of nasty comments, I have now trashed and blocked Sugarfly from future comments which from now on, will all go straight into the bin. While I am quite prepared to post his extraordinarily pedantic comment about bcc meaning blind CARBON copy, I will not tolerate the nasty and disgusting insinuations, nor the filthy language that you used against my girlfriend, who you have never met and about whom you know absolutely nothing.

As regards your correction of my definition of bcc, I stand by what I wrote. If I had written that bcc STANDS FOR blind copy, then there might have been some merit to your criticism. But that is not what I wrote. I said that bcc MEANS blind copy. The acronym is itself anachronistic. Carbon paper disappeared decades ago except in the countless bars in Thailand where it is still used by cashiers to make their own copy of bar bills issued to punters.

I wonder if anyone has succeeded in using carbon paper with a computer?

Anyway, Sugarfly, you are history as far as Mobi’s blog is concerned. Have a good life, mate.

I reiterate that I will be happy to publish any comment, no matter how critical, provided it is written in a civilised manner and is not insulting or abusive to myself, or my loved ones.


Pakistan

Barely a few days have passed since two explosions hit a Sufi Muslim shrine in central Pakistan, killing 41 people. Then, just a month ago, the sole Christian government minister in Pakistan, was shot dead in Islamabad Wednesday after being threatened for opposing laws that impose the death penalty for insulting Islam. He was the second Pakistani politician killed in two months over the matter, and his death underscored the perils facing a government that is increasingly too weak to govern well in the face of rising Islamist extremism. Even as he was being mourned, a bomb blast at a mosque in a north-western village, killed eight people, yet another sign of the militants’ strength. Even in safe, civilised England an exiled Pakistani politician was murdered outside his home in September last year.

Also last year, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron said of Pakistan that the world could not “tolerate in any sense the idea that this country is allowed to look both ways and is able, in any way, to promote the export of terror”. That led to an effigy of the British PM being burned in the street in Karachi, and to Pakistani intelligence officials cancelling a visit to the UK in protest. Sticking to his guns, Cameron again defended his claim that Pakistan must not “promote the export of terror”.

Well done and well spoken, Cameron.

Now, some 8 months later, Cameron has vowed to hand over hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money plus vital military secrets to Pakistan to make amends for offending the Muslim nation last year. He pledged to invest £650million in Pakistani schools at a time when the education budget at home is being cut. Britain is also to give highly sensitive military technology to combat roadside bombs to the Pakistani security services, which are widely blamed for funding and arming the Taliban.

WTF Cameron!!!!

Let me make myself clear. I wish no harm or ill to anyone in this world. I get no pleasure out of anyone being hurt, mutilated or killed, be they Moslem, Christian, Fascist, Communist, atheist  or whatever. It saddens me every time I hear of a suicide bomb going off, wherever it happens and whoever gets killed or maimed. Indeed it causes me no end of distress when I consider what the direction the world seems to be going in. The decades of the ‘cold war’ were a positive Walk in the Park, by comparison.

But it is a clear as night follows day that the militant extremism in places such as Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan have reached the point where the west is helpless to change the course of events. The only thing we could possibly do is nuke them and we ain’t about to do that.

So, as I wrote a few days ago, we have no choice but to leave these terror-ridden lands and leave them to it. I don’t know what will happen but at least we in the west can sit on the side lines and watch and hope that the fall-out doesn’t reach our shores.

There is an interesting documentary running on British TV entitled: Civilisation; is the west history? This is a fascinating programme and I will comment further when the series is over. In the last episode, the presenter was dealing with the rise, fall and semi-rise again of the Ottoman Empire. It is a history lesson that the militant Muslims would do well to heed. In brief, the Ottoman Empire crumbled and died because of their rulers’ dogmatic insistence in running their empire in accordance with Sharia Law and in stifling all initiative, scientific innovation, and democratic aspirations. It was only in the 20th century, when Turkey became a secular state that they started to embrace western science and western democratic principles, that the nation started to develop into a reasonably well-off, modern society.

So Mr Cameron, take your money home and leave the Pakistanis to it. The hard earned money of the British tax payers will only be squandered in corruption and in feeding terrorism.


Poetry through music.

I have always been an avid reader of literature and have appreciated and enjoyed well written, even lyrical prose, which is one of the reason I generally prefer literature written from the 17th to the early 20th century. Despite this love of words, poetry, on the whole, generally leaves me cold. I did read a lot of poetry when I was at school, much of  it as part of my literature classes and while I can appreciate the  beauty of poems such as Thomas Grey’s ‘Elegy in a Country Church yard’ it took a clever teacher to help me understand the nuances of this poem and many others. I don’t know why I struggle with poetry;  through the years I have tried to comprehend and appreciate this art form, but for the most part, poems go over my head, in a similar way, I suppose that art (painting) also does.

I have blogged on several occasions on how important music is to my life. When I’m at my lowest, I can always derive comfort and inspiration from good music, and when I am not so low, I still need a lot of music in my life to keep my spirits up and to stop me from getting low. Well written, well performed and well-arranged music is very uplifting.

I have to confess that for a goodly portioned of my most beloved songs, I would struggle to even decipher, let alone be able to recite the lyrics. This applies mainly to songs that I have added to my collection in the past 20 years or so, as when I was younger, I had no problems in hearing, and in many instances remembering the lyrics. Certainly, I can recite almost verbatim the lyrics of many of my favourite songs from the fifties, sixties and early seventies. I don’t know if my failure to connect with lyrics in more recent music is an ‘age thing’ or simply a ‘hearing thing’. My hearing has certainly deteriorated sharply in the past 15 years and it is not only song lyrics that I can’t hear, it is also much of the dialogue in movies and other TV programmes. At home, I have to turn up the volume incredibly loud, and even then I am lucky if I can hear maybe 80% of what is spoken. For American movies, where so often, incessant mumbling seems to be the accepted way to act, I doubt if I can hear more than 60% in much that I watch.

Anyway, back to my subject. Despite the fact that I do struggle to hear many song lyrics, some of my all-time favourite songs are favourites because the lyrics, in one way or another, ‘blow me away’.  I don’t know why, but for me an exception to my poetry disconnection is the poetry contained in some song lyrics. I suppose about 90% of song lyrics are fatuous, pretentious rubbish with little in the way of originality or inspiration to commend them, other than they probably fit the tune pretty well. There’s nothing wrong with this, particularly when for me, all that usually matters is the melody, the singer(s) and the arrangement/orchestration. (I can listen to Andrea Boccelli for hours and never understand one word of what he is singing). However, thankfully, there are quite a few exceptions to this ‘rule’, so from time to time I would like to share with you some of my favourite ‘poems in music’.

I will start off with the incredible Tom Traubert’s Blues, written by the unbelievably talented  Tom Waits. I first heard this song sung by Rod Stewart, who has done a pretty fair job with it, except that he commits the most grievous of crimes – he omits some of the verses. At the time I didn’t realise it had more verses and it was a pleasant revelation when one day I heard it performed by its writer, in all it’s ‘7 minutes, 19 seconds’ glory.

There’s no need for me to explain why this song – especially the lyrics- connect so magnificently with someone like me. It is after all, an anthem about a down and out alcoholic.

Enjoy…

Tom Traubert’s Blues


Wasted and wounded, it ain’t what the moon did

Got what I paid for now

See ya tomorrow, hey Frank can I borrow

A couple of bucks from you?

To go waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda

You’ll go a waltzing Matilda with me

 

I’m an innocent victim of a blinded alley

And tired of all these soldiers here

No one speaks English and everything’s broken

And my Stacys are soaking wet

To go waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda

You’ll go a waltzing Matilda with me

 

Now the dogs are barking and the taxi cab’s parking

A lot they can do for me

I begged you to stab me, you tore my shirt open

And I’m down on my knees tonight

Old Bushmill’s I staggered, you buried the dagger

Your silhouette window light

To go waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda

You’ll go a waltzing Matilda with me

 

Now I lost my Saint Christopher now that I’ve kissed her

And the one-armed bandit knows

And the maverick Chinaman and the cold-blooded signs

And the girls down by the strip-tease shows

Go, waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda

You’ll go a waltzing Matilda with me

 

No, I don’t want your sympathy

The fugitives say that the streets aren’t for dreaming now

Manslaughter dragnets and the ghosts that sell memories

They want a piece of the action anyhow

Go, waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda

You’ll go a waltzing Matilda with me

 

And you can ask any sailor and the keys from the jailor

And the old men in wheelchairs know

That Matilda’s the defendant, she killed about a hundred

And she follows wherever you may go

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda

You’ll go a waltzing Matilda with me

 

And it’s a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace

And a wound that will never heal

No prima donna, the perfume is on

An old shirt that is stained with blood and whiskey

And goodnight to the street sweepers

The night watchman flame keepers and goodnight to Matilda too

 

Watch Tom performing the song  here:

Tom Waits live


4 thoughts on “Lake Mabprachan, East Pattaya, 6th April 2011”

  1. I should say. After reading what I just read, you sound like an fantastic author! Really, you use proper grammar, proper use of pronunciations, proper everything! I might additionally like to add and say that I think you pin pointed my style of writing as well which I enjoy! What I also like about your blog is that you give an opportunity for a larger variety of an audience to unravel the immense storyline of your writings. And with that, I think you will definitely continue succeeding in flourishing an exceptionally well written piece 🙂

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  2. I am enjoying your blog more each time I read it Mobi. It appears that more facets of your personality are emerging the longer you remain abstinent. Not that your weren’t entertaining in earlier entries, the depth of you as a person was not as apparent. The music by Tom Waits was also a nice touch, I had never heard of him before.

    I concur with most of your politics and opinions. As you noted before I’m not as tolerant as you are, I would handle the Muslim extremist on an eye for a head basis. Not that I’m a barbarian, I just feel that you fight fire with fire as we say in the trade. The pain they inflict should be returned to them ten fold in order for them to feel the depth of their actions. Eventually they would see the error in their tactics as the conflict escalated and we pushed more buttons. Of course that will never happen and we will continue down the same road long after my time on this planet.

    Keep up the good work, I get the sense that you are enjoying what you are doing. I enjoy reading about your past and present escapades, as I have led a rather stable but uneventful life in comparison.

    Peace Rebel

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    1. Thanks for your kind comments.

      I do hope that my X-Files in today’s blog (9th April) will not be considered a ‘reversion to type’. We are entitled to a bit of fun now and then and I can’t be serious all the time. In fact little Noo thinks I’m far too serious for my own good.

      Peace to you too

      Mobi

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  3. On a related topic. A few years ago a very highly respected gentleman from Spain went to Baghdad to head up the UN mission. The jihadis wasted no time in blowing him to smithereens. Now lets remember the UN is in there on a humanitarian misson to basically help out the least fortunate. That is why I believe there is no compromise with them. Ditto Hamas in Palestine.
    They will lie to get in a position to reneg on their promises treatys etc. And then the rockets will again target civilians.

    So all you “good” Muslims. We have no quarrel with you. But unless you want to face Armegeddon you had better get the 2% lunatic fringe under control. Because it will be a law enforcement issue if we non-Muslims have to police it.

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