The sweaty season is upon us!
It’s mid-March and it’s warming up nicely. Daytime highs in Pong are hitting the high-thirties, (39° C forecast today), and the humidity is starting to climb, which means it’s very hot and sweaty.
The Thai Summer will be at its peak next month during the Thai New Year when temperatures can nudge over 40° and it will remain very hot and very humid until the end of May at the earliest.
I can’t complain – we’ve had a pretty good ‘cold season’ and this year, it has lasted from mid-December until early March. Last year, it barely cooled down at all.
Our new home is surrounded on three sides by open fields and we are still enjoying a fair amount of breezes which helps to keep things a little cooler.
Along with many parts of the world, there’s been no rain here to speak of and much of Thailand is suffering from one of its worst drought in decades.
Mobi’s Trading Future
About three weeks ago I submitted a quote to do a small contract writing job for an outfit based in London. It seemed pretty straightforward – write about 800 words for a new website.
My quote was accepted; but when I read the sample websites the ‘buyer’ sent to me to work from, I immediately realised that it wasn’t for me.
The website was for a team of Traders in the Futures Market who had set up a new trading room and were using their own in-house developed software. The website was aimed at other traders to buy the software and to become members in the new trading room.
It wasn’t a website for the general public – it was for specialist traders. I read the stuff on the rival websites that was sent to me but I could barely understand a word of it. It was far too specialised and full of technical (market) jargon.
I apologised to the buyer and told him that I didn’t feel I could do justice to the job after all.
But he refused to take ‘no’ for an answer.
He persuaded me to give it a go after promising to send me some content in bad English. All I had to do was to re-write it in good English.
But it wasn’t that simple. I had to spend three days mugging up on Futures Trading – learning the terms and how the market operated – before I could even begin to write anything meaningful. The site is aimed at market traders, and it had to be professional and make sense.
So I submerged myself in websites and YouTube videos and three days later I knocked something out. I had no idea if it was any good and awaited their reaction.
They were delighted and immediately gave me more work.
To cut a long story short, I have now become a de facto member of their marketing team. I have now completed two websites with a third in progress. I have also written blogs about various aspects of Futures Trading, sales letters and all manner of other stuff.
I have held several Skype conference calls with people in London, Newcastle, New York, Texas and the Punjab. Not only am I writing the copy, but I am also coordinating the development with the website builders in India.
The money’s not great – that’s why they came to me and the guys in India in the first place. They are a new start-up group and they are trying to keep their costs low. But the head traders have a long and successful track record in futures trading and so far they are doing well.
It is early days and it might all fizzle out, but so far so good. If it goes as projected, it may provide up to 50% of my target income to allow me to stay in the Land of Smiles and take care of my family. Fingers crossed.
Hunt the Ball
We have permanently relocated our daily late afternoon walks with the kids and dogs to some nearby meadows. It now seems that dogs are no longer welcome at the park where we used to go to, so it’s the 0pen countryside from now on.
I have to say that the meadows and surrounding palm trees and the woody areas on the borders are very pretty at the moment, as you can see from the photos I took last Friday.
I think the dogs prefer the meadows as there is much more to sniff and explore, but a twenty-minute stroll across some fields doesn’t really cut the mustard as far as my own daily exercise is concerned.
The increasing rolls of fat around my midriff and a rise in my blood sugar levels is the inevitable result. I have substantially upped my insulin doses but my blood sugars are still not back in control. I really must find the time – and a way – to do more exercise. Most days, I sit at my computer for at least 10 hours at a time. Not good….
But as I say, the dogs love it. The Shih Tzus race around in all directions, sniffing and doing their business, Micky the Labrador goes crazy and chases through the meadows, sniffing and hunting for birds’ nests. There is a species of bird that nests in the meadows, and the other day we came across an bird’s egg, but to my knowledge, Micky has yet to find one.
Sonny Boy the bulldog waddles along and has the odd scamper, and by the time he gets back to the truck he is worn out. He always refuses to walk the final ten yards and we have to carry him – God, he’s getting heavy!
All our dogs love chasing a tennis ball, and Sonny has us in fits of laughter as he scampers after it at a surprising turn of speed – for about 10 yards. Then he gives up. If he makes it to the ball, he picks it up between his teeth but he can’t walk and hold the ball at the same time as it interferes with his breathing. So he drops it and sits on it.
But Micky is the one who never tires of chasing the ball. Never that is, until he found the meadows. These days, when we throw the ball for him he catches it and races off across the meadows with the ball in his mouth. When he comes back to us, the ball has gone.
This means we have to look far and wide to find the missing ball. It has become a matter of honour never to lose a ball. So every day, the ball inevitably goes missing and we send out organised search parties to hunt it down.
Sometimes we find it straight away; sometimes it takes ten minutes or more. Occasionally, we can’t find it and have to give up. But the next day we will look again and invariably we will eventually track it down – even after it has been missing for 2 or 3 days.
This happened the other day when the ball had been missing for 2 days. Eagle-eyed Lek eventually found it – nowhere near where we thought Micky had dropped it. Then, lo and behold – she also found another tennis ball which we had given up on weeks ago.
So to date, not a single ball has been lost…