It’s Grandpa Mobi!
Yes folks – its official – I’m now Grandpa Mobi
My youngest daughter – Samantha – gave birth to her first child, Benjamin, on 14th December in England. Mother and son are both fine, as is Granddad. It seems difficult to believe at my time of life, but as far as I am aware – this is my first grandchild.
I wonder what kind of a world the poor kid is going to grow up in. Well he has a good start with a wonderful mum and Dad, and a reprobate for a grandfather, so maybe between us we will be able to provide him with the ammunition to survive and succeed in this mad, crazy 21st century world of ours.
Anyway, Happy Birthday Benjy, may all your days be happy and may you have a wonderful life.
I don’t know whether it was because of my relief that it all had gone well with my daughter’s delivery, but I must say that this weekend I feel refreshed and energised to return to my blog after a two week break.
But I haven’t been idle.
I have written 13,000 words of my new novel, and….
…. every afternoon I have been taking a 30 minute walk around the lake with Micky, my Labrador. I think both he and I are starting to reap the benefits – Mickey a bit thinner, and me a bit stronger and fitter.
In spite of the walks, my health is not great. I still have daily stomach problems, but I am soldiering on regardless.I must come to terms with the fact that it this IBS is just something I will have to live with for the rest of my life.
I know it is a bit trite, but I could be a lot worse off. I still have all my faculties and I can still get about unaided and I still function as a normal human being. (well.. more or less…)
Contrast this with one of my new found friends, courtesy Mobi’s Bar. He is an Aussie, (ex-English), in his early 70’s who up to recently, was very fit.
His life in Thailand revolved around playing several rounds of golf a week when suddenly, a few weeks ago, he was struck down by crippling arthritis – in both wrists and even in his knees. Incredibly, it all happened overnight. One day he was fit and strong – the next day he woke up suffering from a chronic disease, which has since been confirmed by specialists.
Now, not only he is unable to play his beloved golf, but he is in daily agony from arthritis, and has severe problems in performing the simplest of daily functions, such as getting dressed or cleaning his teeth.
So there is no doubt I have much to be thankful for. How many old soaks like me can boast a lovely young wife who takes care of me like baby and is a positive joy and inspiration to be around?
Unfortunately, sporadic bouts of depression continue to bother me.
At the moment, my depression is at a low ebb and I feel quite cheerful and optimistic about things, but my moods change very quickly. Some days, I wake in the morning with a severe ‘melancholy’ – an old fashioned term, which has since been replaced by the modern term, ‘clinical depression’, but there is something softer, kinder in the term ‘melancholy’ – don’t you think so?
My wakening ‘melancholy’ states are often accompanied by anxiety attacks. It is usually several hours before I slowly snap out of it and poor Lek often gets the brunt of my grumpy moods.
There is little doubt that financial worries about my future are a major cause of my depression. That bastard in Australia who stole all my savings has much to account for. As of now, as far as I am aware, he is still as free as a bird in sunny Queensland, living in the lap of luxury and no doubt planning more scams.
I can’t help feeling that the Australian authorities have not only have let me down, but also thousands of bankrupted pensioners like me – all over the world.
On the bright side, I’m getting stuck into my new novel, and it seems to be therapeutic, along with the interaction I have been enjoying with my friends at the Pattaya writing group.
I can’t tell you how good it feels to be able to share my writing efforts with people of a like mind. Not only are they kind enough to praise some of my work, but when they find it less than perfect, they are not shy in providing me with sensible and constructive criticism.
This is something I have been lacking, ever since I first started started to write, some 14 years ago. It has always seemed like it was ‘me against the world’ when I was trying to get recognised as a writer – even a very mediocre one.
At least now I have found some like minded people who don’t mind reading my stuff, as opposed to friends and family, most of whom are simply not interested in the kind of stuff I write about.
How I beat the Amazon pricing system
I wrote recently about the problems I was experiencing in trying to put my recently published crime story – The Bahrain Incident – on Amazon, free of charge.
They refuse to publish any book free of charge, (except for brief promotional periods), while at the same time, they guarantee they will match the price that any book is sold at by a rival eBook publisher.
So I carried out my plan. I arranged to publish The Bahrain Incident free on ‘Smashwords’ and ‘Barnes & Noble’ and then went back to Amazon and complained that they were not matching the free price offered by their rivals.
Before I could say ‘Mobi D’Ark is a clever little boy’, they whipped an email back to me, assuring me that my book was now available on Amazon free of charge. They further provided me with a link to a US proxy server, so that I could see for myself.
I have to use a proxy because my IP address is in Thailand, and Amazon Thailand seems to have different pricing policies to anywhere else in the world. Usually, at least two dollars is added to the price of every eBook sold here. Quite why this is, I have no idea. Anyone?
So sure enough, my book is now showing $00.00 on the Amazon.com website. but I am not really sure whether the book is also being sold free on Amazon UK, especially as all the UK prices are being adjusted from 1st Jan to include UK VAT on the sales prices.
Maybe someone living in the UK can check it out and let me know?
Christmas is a-coming….
Christmas is almost upon us, and this year, like previous years, we will not be doing anything special. I might look around for a place to have some Christmas lunch, but the odds are against it.
We know the festive season is upon us, as every night around the lake we hear the annoying bangs of fireworks being set off. Our dogs hate fireworks. The two Shih Tzus are terrified and jump up on our laps for safety, shivering uncontrollably, and the Labrador thinks we are under attack and rushes out into the garden to repel all comers.
Either way, it is a mighty pain in the neck, and it will only get worse as New Year approaches. I hate fireworks. I can appreciate and enjoy a professionally organised display, but this inane habit by ordinary, often drunken people of setting off ear-splitting bangers and giant rockets all around the lake that contain enough gun powder to blow up a house is totally beyond me.
Maybe they will blow themselves up….
But to balance the negative with the positive, we are enjoying a welcome drop in temperatures and are now well into the annual ‘cool season’. Day time temperatures are in the mid 20’s and drop much lower when the sun sets.
As this will be my last blog this side of Christmas, may I wish all my friends a very merry Xmas and please don’t get too drunk, and if you do… don’t drive.
Take it from one who’s been there and done it – it ain’t a good idea.
All being well, I will squeeze another blog in before New Year, but on 2nd January we are all off for 5 days in Nong Khai, followed by 2 nights in Bangkok to see my medical specialists so I am not too sure how many blogs will be posted during this period. Either way – I’ll try and keep you posted.
By the way, for those of you who do not follow me on Twitter, (and why should you?), my latest Twitter posts, which provide details of my pending blog posts – or lack of them – can be read on the right hand side-bar of my blog, under: @mobithailand (Twitter).
Even when I haven’t made a new blog posting, the Twitter posts in the right side-bar are automatically updated.