Dead Skies – 9th May 2023

No movement, no promise
Woke up tired again
The sky has gone grey
Dead and uninspired

Today I’m feeling:

In the morning I was feeling pretty happy. We had a Songkran ceremony blessing the director (or he was blessing us, I don’t know) and folks were having fun splashing water around. I got home around midday and, despite three coffees, I’m starting to feel sleepy as these early mornings are catching up with me already. I must resist the urge to sleep though.

Today I’m grateful for:

My former teenage self for reading books. For some reason, I never really thought of myself as a reader. When I was young it took me a long time to finish a book. On going through my diaries from 1983 and 1984 though I can see that I was reading a lot more than I thought. I can even remember the feeling of reading certain books though the story has long gone. I always saw my mum reading so I guess that influenced me more than I realised too. I surprise myself – when I think about it.

The best thing about today was:

Feeling pretty good at school with all the other teachers for the ceremony. I was able to do some online searching for lesson ideas on my phone whilst they did all the Thai speeches. The atmosphere was pretty positive despite the heat. My shirt was wet with sweat even just sitting still.

What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?

This was actually last night though the result was this morning. Last night was the roughest storm so far and it ripped up another sheet of our roof over the entertainment area. It rained so hard and heavily that the gutters overflowed and in the garage, the water was overflowing into the underside of the roofing though thankfully not into the rooms (from what I could tell anyway). There were even hailstones pounding against the windows. I found the damaged roof this morning and wondering how we can fix this.  There’s nothing much that can be done about the weather except to know that it will happen again one day. Thankfully not much was damaged that hadn’t already been in last week’s storm.

Something I learned today?

I watched a video arguing that English shouldn’t be compulsory in Japanese schools because very few students succeed in learning enough of it. They were arguing that it wastes time for those students who are more interested in learning something else. It made me wonder about Thailand.
My friend Fui,  who I often see in House, always talks about education here. He has sent three of his four kids overseas to study knowing just how bad it is here. He agrees that students should be failed and be held back a year as other countries do rather than just passing everyone. Thailand must look good on paper but the only people it is fooling is themselves.

What is going well in my life right now?

In general, I can’t, or shouldn’t complain except right now I don’t feel particularly enthused about anything much. That will change I’m sure. So, really, everything is going well. I’m very lucky.

Pavlov’s fish. I took this picture because these fish are in the pond outside the cafe at school. Were they there before? I don’t remember. Their reaction to me leaning over to take a picture was to beg for food. Sorry fish.

Phobia – 3rd May 2023

What are you really afraid of
When you’re afraid of what you’re told?
Are you really afraid of
These things you can’t even touch or hold?
Or are you afraid that your dreams
Will crumble at the lies that you’ve been sold?
Keep those dreams beside your bed
Unable to sleep on your mattress of gold

Today I’m feeling:

In the morning I was tired from getting up too early so instead of an afternoon nap I went for a morning one instead!

Today I’m grateful for:

All the artists and musicians I’m currently working with on upcoming releases for tenzenmen. Things have slowed down but I’m still happy to be helping musicians make music that I really enjoy.

The best thing about today was:

Wanting to play guitar. I just haven’t had the feeling for this past month though had been forcing myself every couple of days even if just for five minutes. I did about ten minutes in the afternoon but then felt compelled to pick it up again in the evening.

What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?

Eating lunch at the restaurant I was happy with green curry salmon and a side dish of cabbage in fish sauce. I was enjoying the spicy sauce and went for a spoonful of the cabbage which I happily chewed up like the cows outside my kitchen window, grinding the vegetable into a swallowable pulp. However, the chilli suddenly induced a sneeze which I managed to catch with my hand without too much damage. But then I felt another coming and I stupidly tried to hold my nose which didn’t have the desired effect of killing the sneeze. Instead, the sneeze manifested and forced air out of my mouth along with its contents! Chewed cabbage pulp hit my hand and sprayed in a wide arc over the table and onto the floor. I quickly tried to clean myself and the table, thankful I don’t think anyone saw what happened. I picked up pieces off the floor after finishing eating trying not to show any guilt. I think I got away with it though I’m giggling and embarrassed at the same time.

Something I learned today?

Today I learned that it is Cap that pees on the folding mattress as I caught him in the act. All this time blaming Tigger; though I had my suspicions. Amy was concerned when I told her as this behaviour is often a cat’s way of saying there’s something wrong. After coffee, I can back and set up the litter tray and stick him in it and he started peeing immediately. I put a tissue under him and could see that there was no blood which is usually an indicator of some problem. Then he went and sat at the sliding door and looked out at Tangmo who had come into the garden when I came home. It was then I realised that yesterday Tangmo had chased Cap into the house and so maybe Cap was reluctant to go outside to pee and decided that the mattress was the best replacement. Recently I’ve been leaving the gate open overnight so it’s possible Tangmo has been here during the night and maybe chased our cats inside from time to time and made them afraid. I noticed Tigger being indoors more recently and I thought it was just due to the heat but perhaps it’s all connected with Mo. I wish he was a calm dog and could be friends with our cats, but we don’t have much choice as he’s not ours. I’ll be keeping the gate shut more now though.

What is happening around me right now?

I’m sitting in Tid Doi Tid Din having just finished some lunch. I needed a full food hit to keep me going today so ate green curry salmon with rice and cabbage in fish sauce. Not sure if it’s enough to buck my energy up but at least it’s a fresh range of vitamins and minerals.

I’m sitting at a corner table next to the window and near the door. Outside, cars and trucks speed past on the highway only about ten feet from where I’m sitting behind big plate glass and in the cold air conditioning. Outside looks hot and I can’t decide if I want to go to Daytripper to see if they have banoffee or not. I’m enjoying the aircon as I see students on motorbikes (3-up) at the U-turn burning their bare exposed legs in the sun or on the bike’s exhaust.

There are not many customers here but enough to keep the staff on the move. This restaurant is kind of attached to the hotel behind it from which it draws most of its custom. I haven’t been here for about three years though do very occasionally order delivery from here. It’s expensive for the students and across the highway I can see a plethora of white shirts and black pants and skirts in the local food shop with 30 baht plates.

The environment inside is appealing, a mix of modern with traditional wood finishes and floors. The wall opposite me is lined with rows and rows of bottles of wine and beer and by the door the clunky PC and keyboard that controls everything.

I took this picture because I’m treating myself to lunch today.

Obsolete – 2nd May 2023

Made to be broken, a businessman’s dream
Failure point unspoken, a money-making scheme
Shiny new things, a feeling that is funny
A bottom line sings when rolling in the money

Today I’m feeling:

Reasonable. I’d like to go for a bike ride but it’s so hot with high UV plus the air is still a little hazy so views from up the mountains aren’t so clear. I feel like these April holidays are kinda useless.

Today I’m grateful for:

The step ladder that I use around the garden. Today, to cut back the vine and fold back part of the roof that got messed up in the last storm. It seemed urgent as the skies darkened and distant rumbling approached but then just as quick the clouds disappeared and bright a scorching sun came out. Looks like I’ll have to water again this afternoon.

The best thing about today was:

The neighbour’s kids all came into the driveway to ride their bikes whilst I was watering the garden and they all laughed and played when I sprayed them with water. They’re all between 6 and 9 years old. Full of life and energy, full of hope.

What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?

Came back for morning coffee to find that Cap had thrown up on my old 1984 diary and songbook. Perhaps not too much damage, though a lot of the diary was written in tiny felt tip which is already hard enough to read so there may be even more illegible writing there to strain my eyes. What can I do? It’s one of the reasons I’m working to get all this digitised as quickly as I can.

Something I learned today?

The 2nd biggest bank in the US has gone under. I don’t really know what this means, like what happens next or why it happened in the first place but it seems to be occurring often right now.

What has keeping a journal taught me?

As a daily habit, it has helped me get thoughts out of my head, whether good or bad and into paper. When I review these over time they give me an idea of my long-term growth.

I took this picture because I think it reflects my disorganised appreciation and annoyance with living in Thailand. It’s messy and uncoordinated yet looks appealing and attractive. This little stream runs at the back of the shops and market on the university side of the highway. The other side to home.

Great southern land – 26th January 2018

No dreams to report today.  I got home this morning and chucked down a couple of tablets and quickly fell into a codeine coma.  Woke up 9 hours later feeling totally refreshed.  The day of Australia Day is over and now I’m just working through the double-time overtime night.


Amy has been picking through catalogues of tiles as we start thinking about the details of our house.  There still feels like a lot of work to be done but the contract is to have it finished in the next two months.  In those two months, I will eventually have quit my job and left Australia.  It still feels less than real.  I’m not as stressed as I should be!

I continue to write up the 1994 diary entries, up to the end of March so far.  I had a habit of writing with no paragraphs or breaks and when typing without capitals too.  It’s a pain to keep track of where I’m up to in the text.

Each entry brings back evocative memories and it’s interesting to compare those times with these.  Do I not feel stress this time because I have some idea of what I’m getting into this time?  When I moved to Australia I would say it took me a good 18 months to feel settled.  I missed all my friends and the things we got up to before I left, knowing that it would be a long time before we would be able to do those things again.


This time is a little more detached.  It’s like we’ve already done the move but I’m not quite there yet.  As I’m just quietly beavering away in Adelaide I’m not thinking about partying my way to the last day.  Australia is a great country to live in really.  It has its fair share of problems but it had greater potential possibilities too.  I may be tipping my rose tinted glasses somewhat.  Either way, the future is now.

Could it be that I’m peeling? – 11th August 2003

I feel like I’m getting more and more insane! Everything means so much today – why so serious? Why can’t I relax? Feeling disconnected from my body – wonder if it’s something serious or just my stupid self hurting me?

Feel like getting everything completed – wrap it up. Where do I belong now? What am I running from? Where am I running to? What’s the big plan? Why has it missed me?

Am comforted by the thought that probably millions of others feel isolated in the same way. I want to live a simple life – how can I do it knowing all the comforts I have around me? I feel guilty for the world’s burden!

I hear voices that don’t make a sound – 14th July 2003

Freaking out in my head again – feel like my brain cells are disappearing – information is leaking away. I seem to spend my time wishing for better days, wasting the ones here and now. I find myself in conversations not knowing what is being talked about – my mind snapped to elsewhere. Everything feels fatigued or full of potential fatigue, stopping me from starting anything. Where is this coming from? Where is it going to end up?

Spoke to Mum on the phone – I didn’t have much to say. Felt like throwing up. Felt like crying. She keeps her life going along.

I feel like my major aim in life should be to try to ensure that Hayden doesn’t go through these feelings – help him overcome this despair – but I can’t even help myself!

Following around to see a life that’s never in – 30th June 2003

Chinese exam tomorrow – pretty much too exhausted to study much tonight though – it feels like information is flowing into my head and right back out again!

Called Echo in Beijing – I love to hear her voice when she speaks Chinese. It’s like music. Wish she could teach me more and be here – that would be an ideal way to learn! Anyway, hope to catch up with her in the next 12 months or so.

Wake up tomorrow and study hard just before the exam!

There’s no feeling bad without feeling fine – 19th June 2003

Well, today was different – feeling relaxed, talkative, confident… Even struck me while it was happening and then I tried to work out what it was that I was feeling and figure out how I could draw on that in times when I need it.

I see people on the train miserable and grumpy and I wanted to shout at them that everything is ok… But I know how they feel – I’ve been there often myself.

Anyway, I couldn’t figure out what the hell the difference was and how I can draw on it when required… oh well… Maybe it’s just the overall general well being… Everything’s going along ok – no diff to three weeks ago but I just seem more positive. Hopefully got over this sick feeling for the last two months – if it is an allergy though I guess it could come back pretty much anytime.