Recognition Of Reality – 22nd December 2022

Am I sitting down yet?
Are my feet touching the floor?
No recognition of reality
Is it worth existing anymore
Am I breathing air?
Is blood pumping through my veins?
No recognition of a life itself
No usefulness remains

*inspired by a story from Seneca

You determine the quality of your mind by the nature of your daily thoughts.

Robert Greene, Daily Laws

Today I’m feeling:
Happy but a little on edge
Today I’m grateful for:
Our air fryer which nicely cooked the Hainan ginger fake chicken I ate for dinner with rice and cucumber (to counter the hot chilli sauce dressing). Amy has made me 3 servings to freeze for when she has gone too. I suppose I could learn to use the fryer too but I just don’t bother cooking by myself.
The best thing about today was:
Undoubtedly, both my classes which I took a very relaxed attitude towards whilst still having the kids semi-engaged with activities. Even the kids that get annoyed with me did some work and seemed to enjoy what we were doing. Some days I love them all. Today was one of those days. Tomorrow should be too. One class making Christmas cards and another two just doing online quizzes and then it’s the weekend again (finally – last night I thought it would be Friday today until I realised it wouldn’t and felt the energy drain out of me!)
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
Amy is grumpy today, maybe PMT, so I’m trying to not bite at her and let it pass. I’m not always successful and she got angry when I misheard her about something and reacted badly. I let it blow over and apologised for misunderstanding and just tried to carry on as if nothing happened. I don’t think we’ll have good communication for the rest of the night, so let it lie and wake up tomorrow to a brand new sunny day, or at least we get to start again.
Something I learned today?
Hayden has Covid again. Hopefully, it’s not as bad as the first time and he recovers soon. I messaged Ellen too, who I haven’t been in contact with for about six months and since China relaxed their lockdown policy a couple of weeks ago, she and many of her clients got Covid too. I think China’s tough covid policy was the best way to deal with it and hopefully, now the virus is weaker there will be fewer deaths from infections. It’s amazing to me that other countries didn’t take it as seriously.
What tattoo do you want and where would you put it?
The next tattoo I get will be some Cardiacs lyrics on my right calf. I also want to get a Boognish tattoo but not quite sure where yet. Still thinking about the weird Trumans Water Spasm Smash cover too.

I took this picture because there’s spiders living in the trees!

The Slip – 20th December 2022

Between one form of consciousness
And another
Hold no fear for this deathlike sensation
Meditate on it, let it inspire
See it for what it is
Explore it with your full imagination

*inspired by Robert Greene’s Daily Laws

The whole world is a series of miracles, but we’re so used to them we call them ordinary things.

Hans Christian Andersen

Today I’m feeling:
Happy and relaxed
Today I’m grateful for:
Working at a stall where Christmas party gifts were available to students and I could swipe extra swag and be a little Santa myself and deliver candy to students of mine that I came across.
The best thing about today was:
A pleasant relaxing drive up to Doi Mae Salong, this time, finally, with Amy. It’s a good time of year temperature wise but with rainy season a memory, the views were quite obscured with smoke. Still, we got some nice pictures of the temple up around the back of the town, which our little car struggled to get to but I had faith.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
With the Christmas party at school today I was suddenly asked yesterday to help at one of the stalls. I was hoping to be able to quickly leave and go and chill with coffee before heading home early but that became unlikely. So, I kept a good attitude and had a lot of fun with all the kids. Time went quickly and I enjoyed it so much that it was easy to transition into driving up into the mountains rather than complaining to stay home and relax.
Something I learned today?
Today feels like only a minor software update. I’ve been trying to think for the last 15 minutes but struggling to find anything new that I learned, just additional pieces of information to add to existing knowledge. I guess through listening to the Oh Brother podcast I did learn some early 80s Manchester punk scene trivia. It’s probably not life-changing at my age.
Who are your favourite artists?
Musicians and comic book artists are numerous. When it comes to traditional painting art though I really don’t know anything. I do recognise paintings that attract me but never enough to identify with a specific artist. I think I don’t hold painting in the same regard as music and comics. It doesn’t take me on a journey and my thinking is not skilled or deep enough to contemplate.

I took this picture because I didn’t recognise my student Noah, on the left, with this wig and dress. I also haven’t seen her face for a long time as she usually wears a mask. At the school today was a Christmas Party in the morning with performances and stalls and many of the kids, even those not performing, decided to dress up. The girls particularly look different and try to show themselves off. I’m happy their school uniforms are frumpy and unsexy!

Wind Up – 16th November 2022

It’s a crowded room full of screaming
And I’m feeling out of control
I wish I was only bad-dreaming
As I’m sinking into this hole

I gotta leave here quick
Or something’s gonna blow
Not sure what’ll do the trick
I don’t know, I don’t know

Temperature rising to the max
Smoke coming out my ears
Gotta face up to the facts
Or it’s gonna end in tears

Ran myself out the door
Before I got to blow
I can’t do this anymore
I know, I know

How you confront difficulties with determine your fate.

Robert Greene, Daily Laws

Today I’m feeling:
Happy and satisfied
Today I’m grateful for:
Working for most of the day. Some days I’m happy to only have two classes (4 hours) and can relax and then sometimes on days like this with three classes (6 hours) I can feel happy and achieving something too. It helped that I’d planned well and that the students were in pretty good moods.
The best thing about today was:
Taking time to be one on one with some of the poorer or quieter students in my last class and seeing them start to understand more about what I’m asking them to do. It’s a little frustrating that some students get left behind in the melee of the full class especially when they can do the work if they take the time to understand. The pull of the crowd is strong though.
Daily thought
Do you have any hopes or fears?
I do but I don’t put much stock in them. For instance, I hope Amy can come back here and find some happiness and something to occupy her time effectively and I have some fear of packing up and moving back to Australia (fear of the logistics and effort) but at the same time I know that whatever happens everything will be ok. So I would downgrade fear and hope to preferences.
What do you think of the idea of living forever?
Just about everyone ponders this idea at one time or another. I first did after watching the first Highlander film or reading The Sandman and was quite into the idea. I once thought aloud that I would live to 300 which seems a little more reasonable. But to live forever means to live beyond the existence of the universe and forever would not just be a long time but would make our universe’s existence like just a pinprick in time. That does not seem amusing. Perhaps the joy of our lives is knowing that they will not last and why I enjoy the excitement and wonder of my students with whom I can still share in their dreams. I hope they can all find some satisfaction in their own lives.

Praewa took this picture because we were having fun in the classroom today and I was pretending to be angry. It’s funny to see this because I guess this is what I must look like sometimes when I am actually angry. Even my ‘bad’, ‘difficult’, and ‘annoying’ students were ok today.

All About The Underdog – 4th September 2022

Sometimes bad weather seems better
Maybe you’ve got no coin in the game
A baby born without hope to survive
Maybe rooting for us just the same
Take a shot at the moving target
And it becomes the best you’ve ever done
Everyone has forgotten your name
But to us, you’re the one that won

Run in the opposite direction of any expert or guru proclaiming to possess a secret formula for success of power.

Robert Greene, the Daily Laws

Today I’m grateful for:
A weekend of being able to watch the AFL. Four amazing first-round finals. All of them were fantastic thrilling games and they reminded me of weekends of drinking and hangovers in Australia. Winters of football and summers of cricket.
The best thing about today was:
A big drink of cold water at about 8pm. Today has not been very eventful but that water sure made an impression. No doubt I will be reminded of it at about 3am too!

I took this picture because it represents hope and growth. Many of our pumpkin flowers don’t turn to fruit or fall off quickly before having chance to take. I don’t know how far this one will go but it’s looking good right now.

Unambitious – 20th May 2022

Boris knew he was the one
But refused the offer many times
Only when it was insisted
Did he fall in with the signs
And George, he was the same
Saying he didn’t want to lead
He kept saying no, no, no
Until he finally agreed
It’s a thinking man’s game
So be most suspicious
It’s a clever way to play
To seem so unambitious

paraphrasing Robert Greene’s Daily Laws for 20th May

Education is an imperfect shield against custom and tradition. In some ways, you may judge us still to be a little backward.

Kukrit Pramoj

The Week That Was – 5th August 1979

Memories Remain – 17th January 2022

A bloodied book lies open
On stained sheets
A laptop locked from prying eyes
A still-warm seat
The dank smell of cigarettes
Hangs on the curtains
A tumbler of gin spices the nose
A rusty brown-edged mirror
Reflects the world inside
No moving pictures
Memories remain quiet here
A silent overwhelming
A sharpened pencil
Two elastic bands and a comb
Knocked to the floor
A story happened here
That’s happening no more

If you yearn for power, quickly lay honesty aside, and train yourself in the art of concealing your intentions.

Robert Greene, Daily Laws List