The Darkside Blogger is home at last – and too saucy by half!

8 Months 18 Days, still sober…

 

Mobi- Babble

Yes, it’s been over a week since I blogged – I do hope I haven’t lost too many readers; its been a hectic few days and I just didn’t get around to it. For the next few months I will endeavour to post two blogs per week. I think that is about right; they will be longer than they used to be, (although lately they have all been getting quite lengthy) as this way I will save quite a lot of time.

The actual writing is in many ways the easy part. It is all the rest of the work; the text editing, the sourcing, sorting and posting pics and generally dealing with the technical side of publishing each blog that seems to take so long. So fewer, but longer blogs will the order of the day.

I will then hopefully  be able to free up some time to get back into my novel, which of course will also be published in my blogs as it progresses.

So where was I?

My last few days in sunny England were somewhat overshadowed by the  brooding presence of my sister, who despite all my mental efforts to the contrary, succeeded in putting me into a bit of a depression and caused me to have a few sleepless nights.

However, Friday and Saturday passed peacefully enough, and on Saturday night we, (my sister, her husband and I), took Sid and Jane out for a farewell meal to thank them for being such wonderful and kind hosts.  So yet again I was slightly lulled into a sense of well-being and tried my best to be polite to her, whenever the occasion demanded.

On the Sunday, many of the family re-traced their steps to Tonbridge and we all had a nice roast dinner together, ably prepared, as ever by the magnificent Jane. The meal was at an end and it was time for me, my sister and brother in law to depart to Heathrow.

We were both leaving that evening, but from different terminals, so it had been arranged that my brother would take me to terminal 3 for my Thai Airways flight to Bangkok and my sister would be taken by one of her sons to terminal 5 for her British Airways flight to Johannesburg.

We all gathered in the front yard, where the cars were parked, to say our farewells. I had said goodbye to everyone except my sister who was nowhere in sight. I told her husband that I was waiting for her to come out so that I could say goodbye and he looked at me in a strange way and said:

 ‘Mobi, I don’t think your sister is coming out…’

I took that to mean she didn’t wish to say goodbye so being somewhat taken aback, I quickly got in Sid’s car and we sped off to Heathrow, with all those feelings of hurt returning to haunt me.

The flight was on time and, as with the trip out, I was well pampered, both in the business lounge, before departure, and on the flight home. I also enjoyed a rare piece of luck, when I found that the window seat next to me was taken by a gorgeous young Thai lady who was travelling all alone!

She was wearing some quite sexy shorts and when she lay back in her seat, the shorts rode up her lovely thighs and she displayed so much delicious creamy-white flesh, that it was all I could do to stop myself from permanently ogling her ‘goodies’. After all, I had seen nothing but fat, ugly farang women for the past month, (Mobi’s daughters excepted).

However, after an excellent dinner, she solved the problem of where to put my eyes by going to the WC and then returned wearing long baggy pyjamas! Oh well, at least I was no longer in danger of being held on a rape charge.

I later surmised, (as I couldn’t sleep a wink, what with my sister’s behaviour and those terrible temptations of the flesh just a few inches away), that she probably brought the pyjamas along for just such an eventuality. If she didn’t have an ageing pervert sitting next to her, she probably wouldn’t have bothered to get changed…

Landing on time, I was whisked through immigration on the Thai Airways ‘Fast Track system’, found my huge bag already on the carousel and I had barely emerged into the arrivals area, when my darling little Noo suddenly appeared along with a pre-booked taxi driver and before I could gather my breath, we were on our way to my beloved Darkside home in East Pattaya.  It was a difficult 90 minutes journey, as she was looking so beautiful and sexy that I could barely keep my hands off her.

One week has passed and I still can’t….

The first two days I was experiencing sleep/jet lag problems; waking in the early hours and having to get up and watch TV so that I didn’t disturb the enticing brown body lying beside me and then sleeping half the day away; but I now seem to be back into my old routine.

Soon after I got back I received an email from Sid, my brother, to the effect that my sister was very upset that I hadn’t said goodbye, so I had presumably misread the situation. This news prompted me to write her a letter, partly to apologise for my misunderstanding, but also to explain to her how upset I had been and what she had done to cause it.

I attached the letter to an email I sent to her husband and he has since confirmed that he received it, printed it off and handed it to his wife to read. I wasn’t sure if he would do this, but he said that he had, and also told me she would be responding in a couple of days. As yet, I have heard nothing.

So to put an end to this little episode in my life in this blog, I will set out below what I wrote to her:

Dear Sister,

I am writing firstly to express my apology for the little misunderstanding that occurred when I left Sid’s house on Sunday to go to the airport.

Despite the upsetting situation between us, I had every intention of saying goodbye to you before my departure, and indeed I rose from the dining table with the plan to offer my farewells to each of the family in turn, before going outside to Sid’s car.

However, as I got up, your husband also stated that you and he would be departing with your son, so everyone started to assemble outside in the front garden so that we could wish each other goodbye.

I assumed that you would also be following us all outside.

I said goodbye to everyone, and told your husband that I was waiting for you to appear so that I could say goodbye to you before leaving for the airport.

He looked at me and said: ‘I don’t think that your sister will be coming out’.

Still feeling pretty upset from what had transpired between us earlier in the week, I immediately took this to mean that you did not wish to say goodbye so decided to get in Sid’s car and head off for the airport without further ado.

Now, after having received a note from Sid to the effect that you were put out that I had not said goodbye, I apologise for my rash action, and my misunderstanding of what your husband was saying to me.

I hope you will understand, especially given the unfortunate exchanges between us that led to this misunderstanding.

 

I do have to say, even though nearly a week has passed, that I still find it very difficult to understand your behaviour and attitude towards me.

It is very evident that you know little about my life and about what I have been going through over the past few years, but given your own problems with ill health, there is no reason why you should have done.

I have written to your husband from time to time about what was going on in my life and certainly Sid has been kept fully informed in more intimate detail, so I find it difficult to believe that between them they have not appraised you of my situation, albeit it only briefly.

I do recall having a telephone conversation with you some time ago when I told you that I was writing about my life on a blog and you immediately sneered at my project in the most dismissive manner, stating that you had no desire to digging up old stories about our father, as though my father was the only thing that had ever happened in my long, eventful life!

Of course, you have every right to be totally disinterested in my life and my welfare and that is not a problem. I can live with that, even though I can assure you that such feelings have never been reciprocated from this side.

But when  you choose to take me to task and make hurtful, critical remarks to me – time and time again – at our family reunion, then that is quite another. By what right do you have to criticise me or my life? You have shown no interest in me and clearly do not care, and by so doing, you have abrogated any filial rights, if indeed you ever did have any, with regard to my behaviour.

If you had taken any interest in me whatsoever, you would know that I do not: ‘Live in a flat by a river’, (as suggested by you); that I have been a hopeless, desperate alcoholic for many years; that barely 20 months ago I was at a very dark place in my life and completely suicidal and that if it hadn’t been for a wonderful psychotherapist who took me in hand I very much doubt I would be alive today; that it was touch and go if I would come to England at all as I hadn’t had any social interaction for a very long time and I was actually terrified of making the journey and meeting people; that I had made the biggest effort I have ever made in my life to stop drinking from January 1st this year as I was determined to stay sober for Samantha’s wedding and that every day I have to go through my own private hell to stay away from the bottle. I could go on and on… but I think I may have made my point. (I believe there have been a few alcoholic relatives in your own life, so I would have thought you might have had some appreciation and understanding of the sickness.)

As it turned out, Sid, Jane, Samantha , Natalie , my friends from Barnwell, and my long lost friends up in Northumberland were so wonderful and kind to me that it that all my fears vanished and my UK trip became very a happy occasion. Happy, that is until you started to have a ‘go’ at me, accusing me of being antisocial and all that other crap you were throwing at me.

Even if it were true, I feel very strongly that you had no right to make any comment, but given that I actually was doing nothing wrong, it simply serves to compound how you behaved towards me.

You accused me of texting continuously for two days, whereas in point of fact I had not sent a single text since I had been in Tonbridge. I was simply browsing the news headlines, in the same way that you read a newspaper and your husband reads a magazine or a book. I was still joining in the conversation and was in no way behaving any more antisocial than others reading newspapers or magazines.

 You admitted that you know nothing about computers and have never used one so what gives you the right to criticise someone who does, and to say things like; ‘so without a computer, you have no life?’ in such a mocking, patronising and disparaging tone?

And on the subject of using smart phones and computers in public, let us just look at the evidence. When I stayed with Samantha and Rod, they both continuously used their phones/computers when we sat down in the evening to watch TV and chat. Ditto at Natalie’s house – both used their ‘machines’ while chatting and watching TV. Then to Tonbridge, last Sunday. If you had come into the sitting room when we were all sitting there you would have seen no less than six people all busy on their smart phones while joining in the general chit chat.

You may not like it, and that is your choice, but to single me out for your withering criticism is completely out of line, when all I am doing is joining the technological age with the rest of the world. I wonder – if I wasn’t your brother – would you have dared to say anything?

You will have probably gathered by now that I feel extremely upset by your behaviour. Quite frankly, you completely ruined the last week of my holiday – I even offered to leave Sid’s home after our last ‘spat’ but he and Jane would have none of it.  I have barely had a decent night’s sleep since, as I simply cannot understand why someone, who I always held with the utmost affection, should choose to attack a vulnerable member of her own family in such a way. I feel deeply hurt and it will take a long time for me to get over it.

But I cannot change what has happened, no more than I can change my family, so I will revisit the advice given to me by another therapist a few years ago and try to put it behind me, in much the same way that I am now completely free of, and never dwell on, my dead father’s influence.

I have never wished you any ill and as I have learned in recent years: if you have nothing good to say about someone then it is better to say nothing. So I will try to let it go and wish you well in your life; you have much to be proud of in your life, with your wonderful, caring husband and your fine, two sons and their lovely wives.  So I will try to ensure that this ‘black sheep’ keeps clear of your path for the foreseeable future. That way, there will be no future incidents of a similar nature occurring between us.

So a belated farewell,

Take care

Mobi

 

That is that. I will put it all behind me and get on with my life, and if she chooses not to respond then that is fine by me – in fact, a nice silence from the Dark Continent will probably be better than her taking further issue with me.

I have had a lazy, indolent week; quite a lot of sleeping, sitting around, watching TV and a great deal of ‘how’s your father’.  

Noo, Cookie and I have resumed our evening walks and I am pleased to report that I am now able to take a much longer walk around the lake, which currently lasts about 40 minutes. Someone – I know not who – has created a wide track in the grass and undergrowth  just off the road, next to the lake and it seems to run right around the Lake northwards towards Pong village. 

I am guessing that it has been done for off-road motorbikes, but it also makes a wonderful path to ramble along without any fears of being knocked for six by a wayward passing vehicle. Or indeed being stung by snakes and insects that may lurk in the bushes, weeds and gorse. As the sun sets, the temperature drops and it really is a very pleasant form of gentle exercise, especially now, as I am starting to get a bit fitter. As for Cookie – well she is definitely losing some weight – she looks a lot trimmer.

I also admit to having a little wayward ‘stray’ to a new bar that has recently opened up just at the western perimeter of the Darkside. It guess my sojourn back in England had affected my judgement, as the place seemed to be full of the most delicious looking tarts I have seen in many a month. I confess to having a number of tasters – mmm very sweet and sour – before I started to feel rather guilty and returned to my darling Noo, who was waiting at home so patiently, and looking so delectable.

What a poor, weak fool I am…

And now for something completely silly…..

Along with booze and sex, I confess to being a lifetime brown sauce addict.

Now I‘m not talking here about A1 Sauce or Daddy’s Sauce or any of the multitudinous varieties of American –type Barbecue sauces that also have a similar colour.

No, I am talking here about the most esteemed and revered of sauce products ever to be invented by the human brain– the one and only HP Sauce, so called because the inventor, one Frederick Gibson Garton, a grocer from Nottingham, heard that his sauce was being served in the Houses of Parliament. He registered the name in 1895 and sold the recipe and brand for 150 pounds to settle some unpaid bills. The new owner, Edwin Samson Moore, launched HP sauce in 1903.

Unfortunately, horror upon horror, and to us Brit’s consummate shame, the brand eventually ended up in the hands of a French multi-food conglomerate, Danone, but mercifully, at least it was continued to be made at the HP factory in Aston.

Then in 2006 an even a greater horror occurred. The mighty American Heinz conglomerate bought the brand from Danone, promising faithfully to keep the Aston factory open. But as everyone knows, nobody is more duplicitous and deceitful than corporate America, so within months they had closed the factory and switched production to Holland.

I have to say that this really isn’t cricket – a British sauce with over century of tradition, with the famous picture of the Houses of Parliament on its label, is now being made by Johnny foreigner. (And let’s not forget that the Dutch have already registered a famous win in that same game of cricket on the field of play. How many times do they have to rub it in??)

I must have first tasted this wonderful brown concoction at a very young age, as for as long as I can remember, I have always been reduced to a state of apoplexy whenever I have been unable to locate and put this incredible concoction onto my traditional British food.

In particular: fish and chips, sausages and mash, sausage sandwiches, bacon, fried eggs, and even cottage pie are almost inedible if they are not generously garnished with the legendary British HP Sauce.

I use HP sauce sparingly these days, partly because it is so effing expensive in the Land of Smiles, but also because I don’t often eat the above mentioned traditional British dishes; but when I do, I always make sure there is a liberal dose of the world’s finest sauce on my plate to whet my whistle and help the vittles on their way down my gullet.

So on my recent trip to the old country I acted on a whim and decided to buy a couple of giant plastic bottles of the magic stuff and bring them back to Thailand with me. I reckon they will last me at least a year – possible two.

But can you imagine my dismay when I read in the news the other day and discovered – to my horror – (yes this time it is real horror – not faked horror), that the owners have been tinkering with the recipe.

TINKERING WITH THE HP RECIPE!!! HOW DARE THEY!!

Yes, it’s true I’m afraid, to all you HP lovers out there. The fucking Yanks at Heinz have decided that the celebrated concoction that includes tomatoes, malt vinegar, molasses, dates, tamarind and secret spices isn’t healthy and have altered the recipe in response to join the Coalition Government’s effing ‘Responsibility Deal’, a programme of targets for reducing the level of fats and salts used by food manufacturers.

Now let’s get this straight. We have all lived with the nanny state for decades; it has been difficult enough to comply with their laws to curb smoking, wear safety hats on building sites, and fasten seat belts in cars and countless other infringements on our individual liberties as human beings.

I could even go along with castrating rapists, and sterilising under-age, promiscuous, feral teenage girls, but tinkering with the recipe of HP Sauce is a crime EVEN more grievous than… than…than… banning the X-Factor!

This, ladies and gentlemen is truly the end of the British Empire. From here on in, we Brits are in terminal decline and within no time at all we will have virtually no influence in world affairs along with such minnows as San Marino –actually, probably even less than San Marino when it comes to matters of football.

I can do no better than to finish my tirade with a little anecdote about a certain British gentleman by the name of Marco Pierre White, a celebrated 3 star Michelin Chef.  (Yes he is British, despite appearances to the contrary; well, he would never have received his 3 stars without a furrin-sounding moniker!)

He said recently that he sent back a meal of sausages and mash at Piers Morgan’s Kensington pub, The Hansom Cab, last week.

‘I sent the meal back, because I thought it was off,’ he said. ‘At first, I thought it was the sausages, but it wasn’t. It was the HP, which tasted disgusting. It was definitely dodgy. I had no idea they had changed the recipe.

‘I was brought up on HP Sauce in Yorkshire. My old man used to say ketchup was for Southerners and HP was for Northerners. My father would turn in his grave if he discovered they changed the recipe.’

So from now on I will have to cry into my bangers and mash and in the near future I am planning to hold a ceremonial incineration of my two giant plastic bottles of recipe-adulterated HP sauce – vintage 2011.

I wonder if Wat Pong crematorium will oblige?

BUTT…BUTT… BUTT… I don’t give a hoot!

It’s back to a Time Warp in the heart of Olde England.

7 Months, 15 days, still sober

UK trip – Day 4 and still sober

Yes it’s 4 sunny August days since I arrived at Heathrow and I’m still in one piece. This is my first trip back home to more temperate climes for 6 years, so there is much to be experienced.

I have to say that my long trek home started extremely well when I was picked up at my home near Mabprachan Lake in the middle of a thunderstorm by a beautiful young chauffeur driving a state of the art Toyota Camry. 

It was obviously the ‘luck of the wicked’, as the last time I had booked a taxi, through this self-same company, I had been collected in an antique, rusty old Mercedes Benz, driven by an ancient geezer who looked as though he would drop dead at any moment. He had then  proceeded to drive me all the way the Suvarnabhumi airport at about 50 kilometres an hour!

We had barely hit the Bangkok expressway, when the lovely young creature at the wheel informed me that there were two major accidents ahead and that she was going to divert across to the Bang Na Expressway as the motorway was blocked! Upon enquiry, she told me that her mother, who was also a taxi driver on the self-same road had received the information and that she too, was diverting to get around the accident black spot.

Sure enough, before long another white Camry appeared out of the stormy gloom in front of us flashing its emergency lights – it was my beauty’s mother, and the two of us made our way to the elevated Chon Buri / Bang Na Highway, our lights flashing, forging a trail to the airport to ensure that two VIP’s made their flights on time.

As you would expect, I had fanciful visions of my driver’s mother and wondered if there was any way I could cancel my trip home and have a weekend ‘two-some’ with them in Bangkok, (for that is where they hailed from).

In all, it took over two hours to make the 70 minute journey but I still arrived with plenty of time to spare and although I never got to see my driver’s mother, I was more than happy to discover that the entrance for Royal Silk Class passengers was right at the start of the departures terminal, and after much wai-ing, bowing and scraping, I was whisked through check-in, security and immigration ; and before I knew what was happening I found myself in the arms of a deeply piled armchair in the club class lounge. This was even better than a ‘mother and daughter chauffeur two-some’ with my erstwhile drivers. Believe me folks, club class is worth every stang to avoid that stress filled night mare of the regular check-in and the subsequent tortuous route through to the departure lounge.

This was the life, surrounded by free booze, (that I couldn’t drink!), but also by plenty of soft drinks, coffee, sandwiches and other snacks to fill my empty belly before embarking upon my long journey.

From the Royal Silk lounge it was but a short stroll to the departure gate where I was ushered straight to the front of the passenger queue, (eat your heart out – economy class plebs!), before being guided to the upper deck and my aisle seat a couple of rows down from the cockpit.

There may be better and more modern aircraft that ply this busy route from Bangkok to London, but I have to say I couldn’t have had a smoother or more comfortable flight  – this despite the fact that my stewardess was a fat old goat, who insisted in embarrassing me by showing me how to incline my seat, even though I assured her I was fully conversant with such seating technology,  (I was lying of course and she only came to my aid after seeing me going up and down like a yo yo!).

Anyway, if you’re over sixty and are starting to creak a bit at the joints, then club class is the only way to travel. It’s worth the extra bucks – or in my case the air miles….

My older brother, Sid, God bless him, was dutifully on hand  to greet his errant brother at the unimaginably early hour of 7 a.m. and he soon had me ensconced in his car and was haring around the infamous M25, and thence to his lovely home of over 30 years, in Tonbridge, Kent, the garden of England.

Since I have been here, Sid and his wonderfully kind and generous wife, Jane, have been taking care of me and pampering me as if I truly was the prodigal son. I know that Sid and Jane’s marriage hasn’t always been a bed of roses – what marriage has? – but they have been together over 45 years and are a true testament as to how a marriage can really work and how it can last a lifetime, if you put your mind to it. Maybe I can learn a trick or two while I am here.

Anyway, the weather has been pretty good and on the day I arrived, Friday, we all had tea in their lovely little garden, along with house cat and all the in the world was calm and at peace.

Sid’s beautiful little garden

Sid’s garden, again…


Sid’s cat – an incredible 17 years of age…

On Saturday, Sid and Jane drove me down to Ferring, a little resort just down the coast from Worthing on the South Coast, where we were royally entertained by one of my cousins, Eric, who is a few years younger than me, the son of my mother’s younger sister.

I hadn’t seen Eric since 2003 so we had a bit to catch up on. So another pleasant, sunny day in the English south-eastern heartland and then back to Kent in time to watch ‘Match of the Day’ on the goggle box – a time honoured English, saturday night custom.

As if I needed any more Kentish, middle class  culture, yesterday my brother suggested that we drive down to Tonbridge Castle, (I never even knew Tonbridge had a castle), and sit in the castle grounds and listen to a brass band performance. Not having anything better to do I agreed on the day’s programme and off we went.

It was yet another very pleasant afternoon. I do quite like brass bands, and as bands go I have heard a lot worse, but it didn’t exactly set the world alight, but I guess it was as good as I was going to get on a sunny Sunday afternoon in provincial Kent. I knew all the music they played and I would say that around 70% of it was more than 50 years old, with a couple of pieces from the early eighties – only 30 years old.

Tonbridge castle – or what’s left of it…


The good folk of Tonbridge gather with their chairs….

It was almost as if I was in a time warp. The music was of the last century, and most of the people attending were from at least the 20th and maybe even the 19th! A good old crowd had turned up, all toting their trusty, fold up, canvas armchairs.

Sitting on ground sheets or blankets seems to have gone with the passing of the last century, which is probably just as well as judging by the age of many, if they had managed to actually sit on the ground I doubt whether half of them would ever succeed in getting up again – including yours truly!!


Horror upon horror – two interlopers try to dance!


Peace is quickly restored.. the band continues it’s archaic repertoire…

Looking around, I was astonished to realise that I was the only person there wearing jeans, and many of the men even had long sleeved shirts and ties! Sid, my brother, ever a man of the people, was actually showing off his ancient knobbly knees in the baggiest pair of shorts I had seen since the heydays of Scouting for Boys. I had another look around – not only was I the only attendee wearing jeans, but Sid was the only one in shorts! My God will they throw us both out, I wondered?

As if to confirm my worst fears, a couple of giant sized ‘Bobbies’ suddenly appeared from the castle ramparts, but as luck would have it, their attention was diverted by a two year old girl who was doing her best to sit on the mouth of a huge brass euphonium just as the poor musician was trying to emit his loudest oomphah pah pah.

Sid and I sat on our canvas fold up chairs with our winter jackets covering our knees and hiding our criminal disregard of the dress code, but mercifully, the danger passed as the cops attention was totally diverted by the two year old Ompah suppressing little girl, who  was subsequently arrested and carried away in manacles.

The concert finally drew to a close, despite an annoying encore which stretched my musical appreciation limits to their utmost, and we took a brief walk along the Medway tributary in down-town Tonbridge, before returning home in time to catch Dragons’ Den on the Telly.

A river Medway tributary – just off Tonbridge High street…


More  views of the river…(above and below)

The  nearby park….

Some period  houses near the castle

Looking towards Tonbridge High road….

Today, my last day in Kent for now, has been a less energetic day, if you can call sitting in a car to Worthing or watching a brass band energetic. We drove into Tonbridge to pick up my train ticket for tomorrow’s journey to Peterborough, and to do a spot of shopping in Boots.

These errands having been successfully accomplished, we decided to have a latte in a local coffee shop, but the first one we entered was so busy that we couldn’t even find a seat. We walked along to highroad to the ubiquitous Starbucks and even that was packed to overflowing, but diligent Sid, managed to steal us three seats in a distant,dusty corner.

So in answer to the question: how is the recession hitting Britain? I can respond, that in this little sleepy little country town, not an hour’s journey from London – not a lot. Monday afternoon, expensive coffee and snacks by any standards and this place, and its rival down the road, were packed to the gunnels with locals supping their café lattes, Americanos frappes and their gut busting American muffins.

Tomorrow, I take the train from Tonbridge to Peterborough, via London Bridge and Kings Cross, and thence to Stamford to my youngest daughter’s house, (the bride to be), for a few days.

More later this week, and sorry if I am boring you, but some of you asked me to keep my blog going…….

Maybe these pics below are a bit more to your taste….

 

 

 

BUTT…BUTT…BUTT….I Don’t give a hoot…