For those who’ve slept…

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So I guess I am a morning person. Here I am enjoying a beautiful early Sunday morning.

The lovely thing about Thailand is that when the sun rises, it rises very fast, so it’s always bright and sunny at about 6-7am. I like getting up at that time, and enjoying the few precious hours to relax before I feel like I should do anything. It’s still early, there’s no rush. I’ve had a long week. I can do everything later on. 

This morning I’ve climbed around drying washing to water my orchids on the balcony, which made me think about how I should post some pictures of my new ones. The purple one (Denrobium), I’ve actually had it for at least a year now, but it’s only just flowered. And so many flowers! I’m very happy.

Now I’m eating breakfast, drinking ‘Sweet Chai Yogi Tea’, and listening to BBC  Radio 4. I enjoy listening to voices sometimes, instead of music.

Having said that… here is a wonderful song from Sia Furler, one of my, if not my favourite artist. I always think of this song on Sundays. Video. Live.

Happy Sunday :)

November

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During the past month I have:

– Started teaching at a new job where the classes are rather large,

– Bought a sofa,

– Bought 2 orchids, one with flowers that look like octopuses,

– Bought a fridge,

– Celebrated 1 year with my gorgeous girl,

– Written 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month!

(See my posts about NaNo last year here and here.)

It was my third attempt, and my second time at winning. Big thanks go out to the group of writers in Asia who I met with on Skype for word races :)

To explain: NaNoWriMo is a challenge to those people who say they could write a novel, or a book, or something but say they never have time, or keep putting it off, or whatever. Or for people who are slightly barmy and just want to see if they can do it or not (aka me). The challenge is to write 50k words of fiction (though I suppose you could write anything) in November, so that’s 1667 words a day average. If you reach the end you get a certificate, and a lot of personal satisfaction. It doesn’t have to be 50k of good writing, no, that’s not the challenge. Just words that form some sort of coherent something. Editing comes later.

For me, this works so well. If I were to write 50k of good stuff straight off the bat, it would take me f o r e v e r. I get disheartened when I have, what at Nano is called, an ‘inner editor’, constantly telling me that every word I write isn’t good enough, or doesn’t really fit, or doesn’t make sense or is just plain awful. And so I don’t write. I write a bit and then I delete it or I give up because I don’t give myself a chance to just write.

Not only that, but I fail to get excited about a plot that is just scrappy bits of information and nothing real.

Writing nearly 2000 words a day, means I don’t have time to let the bad stuff in. So what if there is a gaping plot hole, if the character isn’t really rounded, if I’ve jumped about and missed out a connecting link, if I change my mind about something half way through. My story is a living breathing real thing. I get inspired, I get excited, and I create.

There are days when I get annoyed too, of course. Days when I wish I had never taken up the challenge. But it gets remarkably easier the third time around. The first time I got about half way and gave up. Second time I finished and third time I felt like I could have written more – my story is no where near finished.

I am not a writer either. What I mean is that, Nano is the first real go at writing something fictional I’ve ever had. I believe that this turns off some people who do deem themselves writers. They see it’s just for amateurs as a way to say they can write, and as a way to dumb down the art of storytelling. I don’t see this at all. Writing takes time and patience, and being good at writing really takes learning, and more patience. But most of all, of course, writing takes writing. Nano is just a starting point. What you choose to do with your words afterwards is up to you.

And… never mind adults like me, but Nano is inspiring lots of children to write and want to write more in the future. This can only be a good thing!

This year for me, it was like a puzzle, where I was creating the shapes of the pieces and the picture on them, but I had no idea of the overall picture. I had a lot of fun trying to tie everything together. I also learnt that I find it really hard to write dialogue, decide on character names, and that even when I think I don’t have anything to write, I do.

I’m taking a break at the moment, I will be continuing to write it… I can’t have an unfinished story! Then the editing will begin later. Ahhh!

For anyone considering taking part next year, do it, I urge you. It feels really good to accomplish something, even if it’s just for yourself. :)

How to be… cheerful

Pretty necklaces-pola delicious cakes-pola

I’ve been feeling a little down since coming back from my Russian adventure. I think there are always times in life where I feel a little lost, but I have to remember that it’s not just me, and I’ve been through times like this before and come out fine the other side. I feel a little homesick, I suppose, I feel like I’m a bit out of touch with what’s going on in England and my family, and that saddens me. Plus, I’m without a full-time job right now, and it’s scary not knowing what will happen in the future, and feeling out of control with applications. But – let it be, right? I can’t control what I can’t control.

What better to cheer me up than cake, and new necklaces? Haha ;)

Words of encouragement appreciated! :)

My new orchids

Yellow orchid Polaroid Frosty Dawn Polaroid 2

Frosty Dawn Polaroid  Yellow Orchid Polaroid 2

I bought these outside the Robinson in Trang. There were so many orchids – lots of Cattleya orchids too. I could’ve easily bought more… but stopped myself. I managed to get these ones back to Bangkok safely… it’s a 14 hour drive…

The little yellow-orange hanging one is an Ascocentrum of some sort, possibly ‘garayi’. The white/orange one is a Denrobium hybrid. I’ve got to weigh the pot down because it keeps falling over! Though, the girlfriend cleverly tied it to the railings on my balcony. Denrobiums get so tall, and any kind of wind knocks my one flat.

I love the different types of orchids here :)

Move out of the way! I’m climbing up! – Weekly Photo Challenge

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In the park, watching the terrapins/turtles (which ones are they?) climb up, out of the water to sunbathe…

(To find out more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.)

เกาะช้าง – Koh Chang (2)

As I approached on the ferry, I didn’t really know what to expect, or how to get to where I wanted to go…

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…but that’s half the fun.

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Such bright colours in Thailand…

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…and lovely sunsets on the beach…

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I love the sea so much. I love looking out and thinking about how far I’ve travelled to be here… :)

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…and I also love taking random pictures of rocks.

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:)

เกาะช้าง – Koh Chang (1)

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I have quite a lot of pictures, so I will post them over several posts :)

It’s rainy season from March/April until about October in Thailand, so in Koh Chang that means no tourists and a hellalot of clouds in the sky. I went to Koh Chang last July, right in the middle of rainy time. I stayed in far corner of the beach, on some rocks, and could have probably fallen out of my room into the angry sea had I wanted to (… I didn’t though…). At times it was hard to sleep because of the noise from the waves… romantic… huh. Annoying. Yes…. but still incredible.

I love the sea. Sure, it’s great to be on a beach when it’s hot and sunny, but I love it when the weather’s not so good too. I lived in Brighton for the last few years I was in England, and spent a lot of the time on the beach whatever the weather was like (you can’t allow the weather in England to control what you’re going to do every day – you’d never do anything…) In bad weather the whole character of the sea changes. Same landscape, completely different emotion behind it. The beach was desolate when I went, it was warm and humid too. I read so much while I was there.

While I was… cloudbathing and reading my book, pretty much alone on the beach (can I just add, honestly, it was a perfect holiday) I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked up… and saw nothing. Just sea, sand.. I carried on reading my book. Movement again, I looked up and something small(ish) zoomed across the beach in front of me.

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After waiting patiently, I got some pictures a bit closer.. but still hard to see… look in the top right hand corner.

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They hide in holes…

DrawingCowsinBruges…and some of them are tiny!

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I’ll be posting some more pictures of my trip over the next couple of weeks!

Under frozen soles

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Woops I haven’t written a post in an awfully long time. Sometimes life just runs away with me. I have no idea what I’ve been doing in the time to be honest. Working and sleeping mostly. Life can get kind of mundane sometimes, even in Bangkok.

Come to think of it, I have moved apartments, which I suppose is a pretty major event. Just over a year ago I found a cosy apartment on Sukhumvit Road, and moved in with 1 suitcase, and 1 back pack. Moving out I used 3 suitcases, 3 backpacks, and numerous other plastic bags of bits and pieces.

I’ve collected a lot of ‘stuff’. Oh stuff. How I wish I didn’t need you, yet I always seem to want more of you. I suppose it’s not too bad, though. Most of my acquired ‘stuff’ is books, bottles of wine… fairy lights, water guns and orchids.

November is fast approaching, and I’ve been reflecting on how much I miss autumn – even though as my friends and family in England point out to me ‘it’s cold!!’. But I miss the (ok I think this is pretty clichéd …) colours of the leaves and stuff. Plus I get to wrap up in a coat and scarf and drink gingerbread lattes and think of Christmas.  And make apple crumble. And I make a ruddy good apple crumble.

The main thing I miss is the sea. Living in Brighton, the seafront was my thinking spot. I often paced up and down, sometimes walking vast stretches, emptier – apart from the odd runner – with the onslaught of winter approaching. The waves’ mood became unpredictable, changing day by day from calm and pleasant with reflections of cobalt and an amber sun, to heavy and crashing, the colour of a dull, mottled sky. I often associate music with memories, and ‘Foals’ is my music of choice for this one, specifically ‘Total life Forever‘. It helps me recreate narrow streets and very steep hills, crunchy orange leaves on the ground against a backdrop of white terraced houses, pebbles, seagulls, and relinquishing the achingly long days of summer sun.

In Thailand, people look forward to less rain, less humidity, slightly cooler weather, and clear blue cloudless skies. It’s refreshing, and weather I look forward to immensely. Inevitably though, I will be caught wistfully thinking of gloved hands and cold noses, being given hot cups of tea by friends, wearing fluffy socks and going inside because it’s warmer, not cooler.