Mobi-Babble – 30th November, 2014

Mobi-Babble

Yet another week in the life and times of Mobi has slipped by.

In some ways, Lek and I are still re-adjusting back to a more ‘normal’ existence after our lives were thrown into disarray by running a bar for the past 6 months.

Certainly there are no regrets that we sold up as neither of us had imagined just how much work is entailed in running a bar, and the extent that our daily lives would be subsumed by our myriad bar duties.

I hasten to add that many folk who open bars never spend anywhere near the amount of time and energy that we did at Mobi’s.

Once the bar has been bought and staffed, most owners more or less let the bar run itself, nominally putting their cashier in charge. The obvious consequence of this that the bar enjoys sparse  business and becomes a  constant drain on the new owner’s resources.

Sometime, in the not too distant future, I will allow myself the luxury of writing a piece about my six months as a bar owner, warts an’ all, and reveal a few secret thoughts and truths that hitherto have remain hidden.

*

In the meantime, I am back at my computer on a daily basis, sorting out all my published creative writing and preparing for the big push when I finally start a new novel, which will happen, hopefully, within the next few days.

I now have four works published as eBooks on Amazon, namely: “A Lust for Life”, “Madju-Raj”: “The Messenger of Death”, “From Thailand with Love”, and “The Bahrain Incident”.

The first three books all run to an excess of 100,000 words, (‘Lust’ is over 200k words), and are all now on sale for US $3.99, or the local currency equivalent.

(This price does not apply to Thailand, and possibly some other ‘third world’ countries, as for some reason, two dollars is added to the set price of my books in Thailand).

The fourth book, my ‘whodunit/novelette, “The Bahrain Incident”, (which also contains long ‘tasters’ of my other work), is also now on sale at Amazon-Kindle for the ‘token’ price US $0.99.

I want to sell ‘Bahrain’ for free, but unfortunately Amazon does not allow me to do this on a permanent basis; but I am working on it.

In the meantime the book is available for free download on Smashwords at:

 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/495783

I have also succeeded in getting Bahrain onto the Smashwords’ ‘premium distribution list’ so they will be also distributing it to the likes of Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and even Amazon, and many other on-line retail book outlets. All these other outlets will be selling my book free of charge.

Finally, you can still download it directly from my blog website in PDF format by clicking on the ‘The ‘Bahrain Incident‘ menu item at the top of my home page and then follow the links.

*

Back here at Lake Mabprachan, the water level of the lake, (which is actually the main reservoir supplying water for Pattaya city), is still worrying low and we seem to have all but moved on from the rainy season.

During September and October we had a few heavy rain storms, but not nearly sufficient to replenish the lake’s water reserves. Now we are almost in December and every day seems to be sunnier and drier than the one before. Although we still get the occasional rain squall, they rarely last longer than few minutes and then the clouds disappear and the sun comes back out and we soon forget that we had any rain at all.

*

I have resumed my late afternoon daily walks around the lake with my labrador, Micky, who walks on a lead beside me. We walk for around 40 minutes and I’m not sure who is more exhausted when we get back home. Certainly Micky starts off pulling and straining at the leash, but he soon settles down. By the time we return to the housing estate, he trots along so obediently that I can let him off the lead for the final 100 metres. 

There is little doubt that Micky is a highly intelligent dog, (much smarter than my poor, late departed Cookie), and every day, at around 5 p.m. he walks over and bothers me at my computer table, nudging his head on my lap and licking my arms. He knows it is nearly time for his daily walk.

With a dog like Micky around, you don’t need a clock. He tells you when it is time for food, time to wake up, time to go to bed and yes, time to take him for a walk.

How he knows this is anyone’s guess, but know it he does, and he won’t leave me alone until I stop my work, get up, put my shirt on and walk out into the garden to get his lead.

Micky then leaps up in the air in a manic state of high frenzy, and  makes the weirdest sounds from deep inside his throat that I have ever heard from any dog. They are clearly sounds of unbridled joy. It has to be seen (and listened to) to be believed.

Yesterday, Micky and I were walking along the left hand hard shoulder of the road at around 5.45 pm when we were assailed by the sound of a loud car horn, blasting away at us from an approaching vehicle.

As it passed, I could hear the manic screaming of no lesser personage than my drunken nemesis, Singha John, yelling expletives at me from his open car window. He was making his drunken way home, after his customary afternoon diet of a dozen or so bottles of Singha beer at one of the lakeside bars.

He never seems to give up…..

*

My health has been ok-ish, but my stomach problems still dominate my life. Sometimes I get constipation and I can’t empty my bowels for several days, but all the time I  feel more and more uncomfortable, with stomach pains and wind.

When this happens I have to ease up on my anti-diarrhoeal tablets, and then eventually my bowels explode and I revert back to having chronic diarrhoea. So then I start the pills again, and I’m OK for a few days….except that I’m never really OK and my stomach is always rumbling and playing up.  It’s just one, long, vicious cycle.

Since I sold the bar, I feel I am in  a better state of mind, but I suppose these things can’t be hurried, and I have yet to see any substantial knock-on benefits for my health.  I’ll see how it goes over the next month or so.

I was due to see my specialist earlier this month, but didn’t see much point seeing him until the benefits of my change of lifestyle had started to manifest themselves.

So I have postponed the appointment until January and in the meantime, I will see if my health starts to improve. I have also made a long overdue appointment at the same hospital to see a cardiologist  for a check-up on my replacement heart valve. We will have to stay over-night as I cannot see both doctors on the same day.

Yesterday I made a very rare incursion into our kitchen and cooked up a delicious beef mince stew in my slow cooker, the first meal I have cooked in months. In fact it was so tasty that Lek keeps stealing some of it for her own meals….

*

The other day I came across an article in ‘The Mail on Sunday’ which was all about the dreadful investment scam which effectively relieved  me of all my savings back in March last year.

I haven’t written much about the ‘who’ and the ‘what’ and ‘where’ of my financial misfortunes, but for those who may be interested in the background to this disaster click below:

How Mobi Lost his Savings

The Mail article relates how thousands of pensioners, many of them British, lost hundreds of thousands of pounds in the scam, in which it is estimated the total amount ‘stolen’ is in the region of £400 million. By any measures, it is a scam of mighty proportions.

We, foolish and naïve investors, were persuaded to put our hard earned savings into an investment that was ostensibly ‘just like a bank’ , and was regulated and guaranteed by the Australian regulatory authorities. After all, what could be safer than a regulated  investment in Australian property?- or so we all thought.

For many of those who lost everything, including ‘yours truly’, our investments were made via our QROPS , (‘Qualifying Overseas Pension Scheme’),  and the actual investment was part of bond portfolios issued and approved by financial giants such as Royal Skandia.

So this wasn’t some obviously ‘fly by night, get quick rich scheme’, it was a ‘safe as banks’ investment, approved by the Australian government and accepted as a bona fide investment by renowned international Bond Providers, that would provide us with a steady but not particularly spectacular interest income on our investments – or so our financial advisers told us.

The truth is that the investment was little more than a glorified ‘ponzi’ scheme. The swindlers used new investment money to pay interest to old investors, while the capital sums quickly disappeared into a large black hole.

And just in case you are wondering – the bond providers have refused to discuss the matter with us, and the Aussies have effectively said ‘sorry but eff off’. As for our investment advisers who recommended this investment in the first place; well, ‘Run to the hills’ ,springs to mind.

So far, not a single person has yet been brought to book for perpetrating this massive fraud and for leaving thousands of hard-working pensioners destitute.

Personally, I lost in the region of £400,000 – pretty much my entire life savings…or what remained of it, after ten + years of profligate spending and a very avaricious ex-wife… but it was still enough to see me through… or so I thought.

I try not to think about it too much.

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