Just a reminder that both of my novels are available for download onto your Kindle or similar eBook reading device at the bargain price of $2.99 each (or local currency equivalent)
A LUST FOR LIFE is available for download on Amazon-Kindle…
and MADJU-RAJ, MESSENGER OF DEATH, can be also be downloaded from Amazon-Kindle in addition to Kobo books and from this website as a pdf file.
Why don’t you give one, or both of them a try? I promise that you will not be disappointed
I had a very quiet Christmas and New Year turned out to be more of the same.
Noo and her son arrived back home late on Friday 27th December to ecstatic welcomes from our four dogs who had become somewhat bored with Mobi’s lackadaisical attention.
I had nothing planned for New year but felt a little sorry for Noo and son for imposing my ageing lethargy and lack of excitement on welcoming in the New Year, so I suggested that they might like to go into Pattaya city and see the countdown and New Year firework display.
After humming and hah-ing for a couple of hours, they eventually decided to take me up on my suggestion so off they drove to join the throngs and jam- packed roads of Pattaya and left me to see in the New year all on my own-some. I really didn’t mind. I was content that I hadn’t deprived the youngsters from enjoying themselves and dreaming of their futures.
Unfortunately my dogs didn’t appreciate the New year celebrations. They weren’t at all happy with the incessant explosions from nearby fireworks. In fact, it is no exaggeration to state that they were all scared shitless.
I had one shih tsu shivering on my lap, the second was shaking even more violently on my shoulder, my 40 kilo golden retriever, who normally never leaves the floor, jumped up onto the sofa and snuggled up to my left-hand side. Mickey, my fearless young labrador retriever also climbed up lay to my right with his head on my lap. I was obliged to sit like that for an hour or more until all the fuss started to die down.
I know that I am a grumpy old bastard and that I begrudge the world their moment of fun; but ever since I was a kid, I have really struggled to understand the vicarious pleasure people seem to derive from setting fire to gaudily wrapped cardboard packages crammed with gunpowder.
We used to call them ‘bangers’ but the mighty explosions that emanate from these giant, home-made monstrosities that are sold by itinerant bomb salesmen on the streets Pattaya surely give the word ‘banger’ a bad name. These explosions are so loud and ear-splitting that you might be forgiven for thinking that the civil war in Syria had finally reached the shores of Lake Mabprachan.
I am sure that the ENT specialists, (with a particular emphasis on the ‘E’), do a roaring trade in patching up burst ear-drums in the New Year and I dare say that the local A &E departments also do very well in ministering to a proliferation of firework induced accidents.
Maybe the medical profession is in league with the rocket and bomb peddlers.
I have nothing against professional, properly organised firework displays, but all these crazy, homemade fireworks that are set off by people who seem to have no regard for the safety of themselves – or their friends and family – to say nothing of the well-being of terrified animals, is totally beyond me.
But at New Year, I just have to grin and bear it, I guess.
I was going to report with much pleasure that I had succeeded in chalking up 3 whole weeks without a single pain attack, but unfortunately on Friday night, just when I thought I was home and clear, I awoke at around 2 a.m. with that all too familiar pain in my mid-riff. I immediately took a maximum does of pain killers and was relived to find that the pain had subsided within an hour, so I can assume it was a mild attack, but maybe my prompt dosing of meds prevented it from becoming major one.
A side effect of these powerful meds is insomnia, so even though the pain slowly disappeared, I spent most of the night sitting on my sofa, barely managing 2 hours of sleep.
Despite this minor set-back, I do feel I have been making progress and I believe that my pancreatic condition is slowly becoming more stable. Maybe it is simply that I have perfected the art of eating the right amount and right type of food to avoid the pain attacks, but whatever the reason, I do feel happier in myself. The diarrhoea continues unabated – usually 4 times a day – but it is not quite as virulent as before, so I take that as another positive.
I did have an appointment to see the specialist last Friday, but due to the ‘troubles’ in Bangkok, I chickened out and postponed it until next Friday. Hopefully, I will manage to keep this one, and even more hopefully, I will get some useful, informed advice.
Life’s too short….
There were many violent, unnatural deaths across this troubled world of hours during the last few days of December.
A quick review of my news sources reveals that there were 35 deaths from bombs in Iraq, 31 deaths in Russia, 17 in Egypt, 6 in Beirut and 3 in Kabul. That adds up to over 90 and I’m sure that I’ve missed quite a few. So let’s double it and say that maybe 200 people were killed in terrorist and other tragic incidents across the world during in the last week of December.
Even at a time when the world has become inured to such daily death tolls, these incidents still received wide media coverage as we can never get used to such wholesale slaughter and the deaths of so many innocent people, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Then a couple of days ago, I noted that UK’s Sky News devoted about 20 minutes of their hourly bulletin reporting the single death of a woman who was mysteriously murdered while house sitting at a friend’s home.
There have also been literally hundreds of hours of newsreel in the UK devoted to the deaths of a few cyclists on London’s streets, and nobody would suggest for one moment that this was in any way over the top. After all, even the needless loss of a single life on the streets of London should receive maximum attention to ensure that something is done to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
In Thailand, On 28th December, a bus carrying New Year travellers plunged off a bridge in the northeast of the country , leaving 30 people dead, and many others seriously injured. The local police commander suspects the driver fell asleep.
This was a horrendous loss of life by any standards yet you would have to struggle quite hard to find any mention of this tragic accident in the Thai news media, let alone the international press. When it did appear at all, it was small item near the foot of the Thai news pages, with very few details.
Why should this be?
Well, for starters…..
Thailand ranks third in the list of countries that have the highest road traffic deaths worldwide.
In 2010, Thailand had 26,000 road fatalities, which equates to a death rate on Thai roads of 38.1 per 100,000 of population. Putting it another way, Thailand has 120 road fatalities per 100,000 vehicles.
In the entire world, only Libya and Eritrea have a higher death rate. But whatever you do, please do not dare to suggest that The Kingdom of Thailand is still a third World Country. Anyone in Thailand making such an assertion would be in grave danger of being locked up for twenty years or more on criminal charges of defamation of the Thai nation.
However, in a refreshing and remarkable display of openness, Thai authorities recently admitted that enforcement of road safety laws on such risk factors as wearing crash helmets, drunk driving and speeding has not been tough enough.
They confidently stated that that during the upcoming New Year period, road users would see stricter enforcement of traffic laws on violators, in a serious attempt to reduce road facilities, with particular emphasis on the wearing of crash helmets while riding motorcycles, drunk driving and speeding.
Great news….so what happened?
Over the seven day New Year holiday period from December 27th, 2013 to January 2nd,2014, there were a total of 3,174 accidents on Thailand’s roads which led to 366 deaths and 3,345 injuries.
A majority of the accidents were due to drunk driving and flagrant disregard of the rules of the road by thousands upon thousands of road users.
The laws to prevent all this unbelievable carnage have been on the statute books for decades but nothing will change in the foreseeable future because of endemic corruption in the police department and lack of will by the politicians.
There we have it. While as many as 200 people around the world were killed in terrorist incidents during the past week or so, this number has been once again been dwarfed by the amount of carnage on Thailand’s hi-ways and bi-ways, where no less than 366 Thais have been slaughtered. Also, let us not lose sight of the fact that 366 deaths in a single week, is only slightly higher than during any bog standard week on the Thai roads.
Is it any wonder that a bus crash that killing 30 poor souls barely received a mention in the national press?
Is it any wonder that millions of ordinary Thais are massing on the streets of Bangkok and demanding something a bit different from their so-called elected government?
The realisation has grown from all walks of life that Thai politicians, of whatever hue, are only in power to line their own pockets and couldn’t care two hoots about the welfare of the people they are supposed to represent?
The Queen of Nuts
Most of you must know by now that this humbler blogger has always been a fanatical royalist.
Nothing is more likely to cheer me up than reading an uplifting account about the latest exploits of my beloved Queen and her hard-working, much maligned royal breed of privileged hangers on.
But much as I love to read about the latest screw-ups, gaffs and blatant wasting of her humble subjects tax revenue by the likes of Randy-Andy, Sex-mad-Harry, Tree-hugging Charlie, baldy Billy, Kiss-Me –Kate, Pippy-bummy and the Daddy of ‘em all – Phil-the Bankrupt Greek – it is the inspirational tales about dear old Granny Lizzie ‘erself that always sends me into paroxysms of patriotic fervour.
It seems that our cherished monarch of the glen has a sweet –tooth, or maybe we should say a salty-tooth. We are told that her magnificence has a liking for mixed nuts – much like the assortments that many of us plebs delight in dipping into, when we sit in our local take-away, waiting to pick-up our Indian curries.
I’m talking of course about the infamous nut mixture known as: ‘Bombay mix’.
Maybe Lizzie has access to the recipes of the late Abdul Karim who had the honour of poking Queen Vic, (the real one, not the one in Albert Square), after Och-ai -and-a noo scotchy Johnny Brown expired on the job back in the nineteenth century.
‘How do we know that our Lizzie has more than a wee penchant for the mouth-watering ‘Bombay Mix’? I hear you asking.
It’s thanks to the now expired News of the World, and in particular, thanks to those dastardly NOW reporters who master-minded the hacking of royal voice-mails, no less.
It surely was a stroke of sheer genius to break the default codes of mobile voice mail settings and uncover the amazing fact that the magic code numbers consisted of four zero’s. It deserves the Nobel Prize for chemistry at the very least.
During the ongoing court case involving Re-Bekk-Kah! Brooks and a wide-ranging miscellany of NOW villains, (including the flunky of Mr Big Society ‘imslef, selfie-Cameron), we heard that Grannie Liz was “furious” when she discovered that royal protection officers had helped themselves to the Bombay mixes that had been left out for her at strategic locations around Buckingham Palace.
Crying into her diamond encrusted, right royal nose ring, our poor demented imperial treasure instructed her palace officials to send a memo to the royal protection officers warning them to “keep their sticky fingers out” of her Bombay mixes – or else!
The jurors at the Old Bailey court house were told that ‘her preciousness’ had noticed that the snacks were slowly disappearing, and Gollum-like, she became so incensed that she even began marking the bowls with her royal sealing wax to check if the levels were dropping.
No folks – I am not joking – this story is absolutely kosher….
No wonder her oldest son is as nutty as a fruit cake and the other two are venal, money grabbing, arrogant, lazy bastards. (And by all accounts, pretty stupid to boot… no doubt the result of thin, incestuous blood running through their upper class veins…)
Maybe she is right; maybe we should all take our lead from the top. Maybe I should start marking the levels on my packets of pot noodles in case one of my visitors decides to have a quick dip….
These extraordinary facts were revealed during evidence at the phone hacking trial, in which jurors were shown a memo sent by News of the World’s former royal editor, Clive Goodman to its then editor Andy Coulson, (the aforementioned flunky of Mr Big Society ‘imslef, selfie-Cameron).
But in my humble opinion, I tend to believe that the joke is on ‘er majesty. ‘Nuts in bowls’ are one of these things in life that Mobi ‘imslef studiously avoids.
I’ll let you into a little secret. A few years back some scientists carried out tests on bowls of nuts put out for customers in pubs, Indian ‘take-aways’ and the like.
Do you know what they found?
I must warn you to finish your breakfast before continuing…
They found that such bowls of nuts left in public or semi-public places for the common folk to snack on, contained, amongst other things, an alarmingly high concentration of male urine! It’s true – I swear it is.
Because most men are too fucking lazy to wash their hands after having a jimmy riddle, and their piss-stained hands are rubbed all over the luverly, tasty nuts which sit, virgin-like, in the pretty little Bombay Mix bowls; all untouched by hand – or so everyone thinks.
Now who would like to bet on what percentage of the male royal protection dicks wash their mits properly after having a good shake of their junior dicks in the royal urinals?
The Student Prince. Aka Billy the duncer
If he is expecting a hero’s welcome from fellow students when he begins a course at Cambridge University next week, Baldy Billy may well have to think again.
The news that Billy will spend a term studying a “bespoke” course in agriculture has prompted a backlash from other students who resent him being given a “free pass” when they had to work so hard to get there.
In its report on the skinhead Duke’s imminent arrival, the Cambridge university student newspaper pointed out that normally students need A*AA at A-level to gain entry to Cambridge University, whereas his Princely ‘airless only achieved a mediocre ABC, probably in such subjects as News of the World media studies.
Fortunately for Baldy Billy, he will be able to shrug off the pesky plebs’ protestations, as it turns out that he owns the bloody place!
Well, Daddy does, or at least the POW, (Prince of Wales , not Prince of The World), is the patron of the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, part of the university’s School of Technology, which organised the Duke’s course.
Wouldn’t have it any other way, now would we?…
The Greatest Story Ever Told
I’ll give you three guesses….
Broadcasters have been criticised for the relentless coverage of the years’ greatest news event….with little content.
Then a BBC reporter shocked viewers a few weeks ago by reporting that actually, there was no news….
In a moment of complete honesty, he stated: ‘Well, plenty more to come from here of course. None of it news …… But that won’t stop us,’
The reporter is then seen reading viewer comments on the air.
In response to the critical comments, he said:
‘We will be speculating about this …with no facts … at the moment,”
He also said: ‘Never have so many people gathered together in one place with absolutely nothing to say.’
This is no joke. The above are actual quotes extracted from press reports.
Got it Yet? Do you know what the SF it is all about?
Here’s the answer….
…by Sky News…
who on this occasion succeeded in outdoing the BBC at every turn.
All day long, people had been mocking their archaic ways when it was finally revealed that the arrival of the latest addition to the immigrant progeny of Lizzie and the Greco/Kraut Phil was to be announced not on twitter, or even by press release, but by an EASEL outside Buckingham Palace!
It made the idea of a town crier look like Facebook and what the SF were all those thousands of news reporters doing camped outside the hospital, when the birth would be announced on an easel, the other side of town, outside Buck house?
But in hindsight, any manner of announcement would have been preferable to the sight of Sky News’ demented Kay Burley running up and down, outside St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, screeching ‘It’s a boy !’ to bemused tourists, vaingloriously placing herself in the limelight as if she had delivered the precious prince herself
It’s a boy! It’s a boy!’ Burley flapped to some Brazilians outside the hospital.
‘We know! A big boy!’
No, now – Let’s not lower the tone.
‘It’s a boy,’ she told the old man standing next to them.
‘Congratulations to the parents, and the whole family’ he said, in measured tones at first. ‘And good luck to England in the World Cup.’
Both comments were no doubt spoken straight from the Brazilian heart
Kay’s complete lack of any reaction to this bizarre statement told you she was not listening to what he – or anyone – said any more, (or before).
All she wanted to do was tell people – as if the Royals had entrusted her with the news themselves.
‘It’s a boy!’ she cried, at one point running both ways at once, she was so excited.
Never have so many of the world’s press camped out for so long to catch a fleeting image of such an ugly, screwed up little face of yet another drain on the national debt in the name of Georgie-porgy-puddin’ ‘n cry.
Rumour has it that dear ol’ Bizzy Lizzie had sent over what remained of her piddle-encrusted Bombay mixes to feed the subservient, arse-licking media masses.
Here is the final collection of photographs that I took earlier this year during my youngest daughter’s visit to Thailand.
As you will probably recognise, these pics were all taken in Kanchanaburi province, and there is a strong emphasis on WW2 related events, in particular the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai, The WW2 cemetery and the remains of the Hell fire Pass railway bed.
The pics also include a visit to some extraordinary wats and a walk around the beautiful Sai Yot Yai Water Falls.
I hope you enjoy them