Mobi-Babble – 31st May, 2015

Mobi-Babble

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Silverlake Vineyards

 

The rain has pretty much disappeared and it’s been getting hotter and hotter – in fact, it’s bloody hot! It’s not as bad as India, where they’re dying like flies in temperatures of 50°, but, out here by the Lake, it is as close to 40° as makes no difference and we’re all sweltering.

Mercifully, unlike Pattaya City, as soon as the sun goes down, the temperature drops to the high 20’s, which is much more tolerable.

On two occasions in the past few days, I’ve gone into my bedroom in the middle of the afternoon and turned on the air conditioner. Within a few minutes, I was joined by Lek, the two kids and three dogs. And here’s me thinking the Thais were all used to it!

So now I occasionally switch the big, energy-hungry A/C on in our large sitting/dining room. After about an hour, the temperature drops from around 39° to maybe 30°- if we’re lucky, but at least we’re not all crammed into my bedroom….

Even with this heat, we’re still going to the nearby park, just before sundown, for our walk – and even a little jog – with the dogs. When we get back home, we cool off in the pool.

So things could be worse.

The good news is that I have completed the first draft of my novel and the last three chapters, plus the epilogue, are posted in today’s blog.

I am very pleased to have achieved this on schedule, as I can now wind down and prepare for my trip to England in the knowledge that the hard work is over. It will be a nice 3½-week break as I have been working pretty much non-stop on the book since December, last year. It has taken me 5 months to write a 130,000-word novel.

(That’s approximately 520 pages of a typical paperback book size.)

When I return to Thailand at the end of June, I will review all the feedback I have received from my ‘readers’ and the PR Company, who is going to help me promote the book, and I will start the final edit. This will include breaking the book up into much smaller chapters, as that seems to be the preferred format these days.

I shall leave the entire draft novel on my blog website for one month until the end of June, 2015, and then it will be removed. So to anyone who would like to read the free ‘edition’ before it undergoes its final edit,  and is subsequently put up for sale, will need to do this before June 30th.

*

As already mentioned, Lek and  I are getting ready for the big trip back home next Thursday evening. It remains to be seen whether I will have time to make any blog postings while I am there – it all depends on how much spare time I will have and also availability of the internet, as I am moving around quite a bit..

As usual, I will be taking loads of photographs, most of which will find their way on my blog, either during my visit or, more likely, after I return to Thailand.

*

I was very sad the other day to become involved in a typical Thai problem. The following may sound quite trivial, but only goes to show how far this country still has to go before it can be considered civilised.

The issue concerns our local gardener/handyman/pool maintenance man who has been fixing and maintaining things for us ever since we moved in, some 4½ years ago.

Khun Paiboon is a little gem and he is one of the few honest, hard workers I have come across in this country. Nothing is ever too much trouble for him and he will come out at any time of the day or night in an emergency.

He is as straight as the day is long and we have become firm friends with him and his family, who are all lovely people. They have helped us with many things for free which are totally unconnected with his work for us.

He works all hours to put his kids through school and pay his household bills.

Paiboon also works for a number of other houses in our village as well as doing work for the ‘manager’ of the village, mainly in maintaining the community pool.

Unfortunately, our village manager is not quite in the same league of integrity as our maintenance man. The manager hasn’t paid Paiboon for several months for his maintenance and cleaning work at the communal pool and owes him a fair amount of money.

The manager refuses to pay him, but still insist that he continues to maintain the pool and repair the pool pump at Paiboon’s expense. When Paiboon refused to carry out any more work at the pool until he was paid what he was owed, the manager summarily banned him from our village.

We were outraged by the news and told Paiboon that the manager has no right to ban him. All the residents pay a monthly service charge, which includes pool maintenance, so there should be no problem in paying him the outstanding money for the communal pool work.

The plain truth is that the manager has been pocketing the service charges from residents and trying to strong-arm our man into maintaining the pool for free.

Well, poor Paiboon is refusing to go along with it and would rather lose all his work in the village rather than give in to such demands.

It is a very typical Thai situation. Thais who are lucky enough who are a little higher on ‘life’s ladder’ sometimes treat those below them like dirt, and there is little anyone can do about it. Nobody is interested in such conflicts – not the police, not anyone.

At the moment, as we live very close to the entrance to the village, so we are smuggling our man in to clean our pool when the security guard isn’t looking, but it’s anyone’s guess how long this can continue.

Last night, just before midnight, we saw the security guard talking to residents who had just come home from a night out, informing them that Paiboon had been banned from the estate and that the manager would offer the a new ‘pool man’. He would, wouldn’t he?

Sad, ain’t it.

*

I was going to  write about the Sepp Blatter/FIFA scandal, as some you may recall that through the years it has been one of my ‘hobby-horses’. But millions of words have already been written about it, so I’ll leave it to the experts.

I just hope and pray that the corrupt, power-mad despot gets his comeuppance at long last. For once I must say a very big THANK YOU to our American cousins for doing what no other country was brave enough to do.

I don’t know if the Yanks have realised it yet, but taking the initiative in this appalling scandal is turning into a bit of a propaganda coup for them, and will win them many new friends around the world. (Except Russia of course)

*

On that hopefully happy note, I’ll wrap up my blog for this week as I have many things to do today. Lek’s mum has just arrived from Nong Khai to look after the kids and the house while we are away and there are many arrangements to be sorted out.

Below, are some pics taken recently when Lek and little Song visited Silverlake Vineyards, a few kilometres south of Pattaya.  It’s a nice place to take the kids for an afternoon out – when it cools down a little.

 Silverlake Vineyards

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