I Don’t Know – 28th February 2023

We’re making black and white from grey
With all the conflicting information on show
Picking a side of the fence to stay
But the smart thing is to say ‘I don’t know’

Today I’m feeling:
Happy and tired
Today I’m grateful for:
My new yoga mat which I finally unpacked and used this morning. I only did a quick workout as I woke up with a start with my first alarm and snoozed a bit after that. I’ll not be able to keep the mat out as our cats will eventually pee and puke on it which is what happened with the last two.
The best thing about today was:
A bowl of LungChom coconut ice cream with fresh strawberries, yoghurt and chocolate muesli. Damn, I’m going to have to make sure I workout a lot these days.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
I couldn’t stop myself from an afternoon nap even though as I was nodding off whilst reading and telling myself ‘getting up to exercise will stop you from falling asleep’! I’d planned to get the bike cleaned and serviced and go to Daytripper and ended up not even leaving home again!
Something I learned today?
In Denmark women are (or were in the early 2000s) encouraged back into the workforce after their children reached 18 months, sending their kids to care centres. The carers and parents all rationalised this as positive despite all scientific evidence suggesting the outcome is negative for the babies.
What were the highlights of this past month?
This month has been pretty quiet in general. It’s just been work and home. Nothing stands out but as I’ve said before I’m happy with that. No highs mean no lows. And in general, I’m riding above the median and savouring my life.

Anchan took this picture as part of a TikTok video because that’s what kids do. So, being the annoying teacher I am, I photo-bombed her, making fun of her and to her credit, she was completely unfazed and finished her mime song and uploaded it. Maybe I’ll be famous!

Tough Haiku – 2nd February 2023

Life is not easy
It is not supposed to be
Build up your wisdom

Today I’m feeling:
Happy but getting a little fatigued, maybe from pushing myself too hard with my morning exercise. But I need to keep pushing if I’m going to lose some belly fat.
Today I’m grateful for:
My tennis racket bug zapper. It’s supremely satisfying to hear the crackle of frying mosquitoes in its mesh as I wave it through the air.
The best thing about today was:
The positive response from the 4 students I sent messages to last night, telling them how well they are doing in class and for a couple of them to try and focus their friends too. Today’s class was much smoother and everyone seemed a little happier.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
If anything was out of my control today it didn’t have any noticeable effect on me.
Something I learned today?
I decided to look at the Guardian to see if there was anything I might learn that was in the news. I found very little. If each article just included facts about events they would be one paragraph long. It’s one of the reasons people only read headlines because there is little of consequence within.
What do you do to be involved in the community?
In general, due to my poor language skills, I don’t do much but I do consider that being a teacher is bring involved in the community. I hope to encourage these students to be the best that they can?

I took this picture because Cap was laying down with his tongue sticking out for some reason! He seems very happy.

Ode To The Fayre – 19th January 2023

Looking for a slice of peace
In a world going ever mad
Jumping off the bus for release
The best time those dogs ever had
Searching for a space to shit
Was as bad as it ever did get
Dug a hole with a plank to sit
Then the whole weekend was set
Finding the best breakfast of eggs
Followed by donuts and beer
With spliffs and acid, losing legs
And facing the future without fear
As the worms had turned
And rats scurried all around
Watching on as Babylon burned
Celebrating this destruction in sound

inspired by reading old accounts of Treworgey Tree Fayre in 1989

Today I’m feeling:
Happy and relaxed
Today I’m grateful for:
The primary kids having sports day today. Knowing my own students wouldn’t be interested in studying today I quickly thought to organise them into groups and sent them off to the stadium and set them a task to do a quick interview with all the teachers. It gave the kids a break and a bit of fun at the same time. They did it really quickly and I gave them the rest of the class off. There are probably only six weeks of classes left and even they will be heavily disrupted. Half the kids have given up already, it’s just one big playtime.
The best thing about today was:
As mentioned above, the change of scene for the kids was also good for me. I had a lot of fun too.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
Arriving at school to find the road blocked off and getting stuck in traffic felt a little annoying but my first class started at 10 so I wasn’t really in a hurry (just to get to that first coffee really!). I didn’t know what event was going on but then I saw all the primary kids and asked John and he told me it was their sports day which triggered the idea for my classes. There was another school sports day going on too as well as some other event for older folks dancing and singing out in the middle of one of the football fields.
Something I learned today?
Mission of Burma are one of my favourite bands and whilst listening to the End On End Dischord podcast heard mention of another podcast with all three members discussing their first album so I listened to some of that today which was immensely interesting to me. One major thing I didn’t know was that Clint Conley went into rehab just after recording that album back in 1982. This is minor trivia but because it is music that has such a deep connection with me it interests me a lot. If I learned anything completely life-changing today I’m sure it would’ve stood out.
What gives you energy?
I was just thinking today that I feel more energetic if I exercise more. Breaking out of lethargy is a battle that has a good reward. Other stimulants give me energy from medicines, drugs, drinks or food but they all have some downsides too. I also feel more energetic when there are things which I have to get done. When there’s little to do I end up doing little.

I took this picture because Tangmo didn’t come when I got home but about an hour later I found him here relaxing outside our door. He didn’t smell too bad today. Just like a dog rather than his usual smell of garbage and dirty water!

Princess Unknown – 30th December 2022

She made me dream
She made me wonder
She made me feel
I’m nearing six feet under

And she didn’t do anything
She just simply needed to be
I don’t know who she was
And she certainly didn’t know me

Across the room
She quietly sat
And suddenly
My world no longer flat

She stood up and walked around
And I followed with my stare
I lived a life in ten minutes
Of which she was completely unaware

So I give thanks
Princess unknown
To the thought
That you’ll never be alone

Make sure to live a life complete
My all your dreams come true
And if you never live another day
At least someone remembered you

I was ashamed of myself when I realised that life was a costume party; and I attended with my real face.

Franz Kafka

Today I’m feeling:
Tired and ok
Today I’m grateful for:
The parking officer at the hotel in the city, who has always been nice and helpful. Amy remembers him from when she was younger and he was always nice even then.
The best thing about today was:
A night out in the city. I haven’t been here all year. It’s different and interesting to see what’s going on even though it doesn’t excite me. The main part of the city is really for tourists and I’m not a tourist anymore.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
My exhaustion from driving yesterday knocked me out until about 5pm, knowing I had to go out for the evening. I just slept and watched tv until then when I finally started to feel normal again. Now I’m giving in to the urge to medicate with alcohol, cocktails are all this old man can manage. I hope tomorrow doesn’t hate me too much.
Something I learned today?
Some new exercises for my aching hips. The pain is getting worse and I just hope I can avoid any major complications by doing some exercises. My neck has improved somewhat since using stretch bands to work my shoulders. Pain just moves around my body from one place to the next. I need to exercise everything all day if I want to maintain but who’s going to do that?
How do you feel about video games?
I like them but I’m too old for them now. My eyes can’t keep up with the action on the screen. Modern games seem to promote excitement over gameplay which is not so interesting to me. I got into video games during their introduction and watched their early evolution carefully. If I was a kid today I’m sure I’d be sucked into them. Real life is a video game.

I took this picture because I’m here with Amy for a night out and the guy in black I’d like to see break out into some D Boon licks and bouncing around the stage. But I’m afraid Chiang Rai isn’t ready for that.

In The Hammock – 3rd October 2022

Swinging back and forth, to and fro
Watching the world progress in its daily flow
As I contemplate, does the bee wonder so?
What does the bee know, that I don’t know?

He was an older gentleman of considerable charm and culture, who had fallen, however, into bad habits of silence, having said everything he had to say before he was thirty.

Oscar Wilde

Today I’m feeling:
Happy but hungry
Today I’m grateful for:
Banoffee at Daytripper. I needed a sugar and coffee hit this afternoon and fancied a banoffee and luckily they had some available. I sat at a table in the breeze as uni students sat at other tables, eating, chatting and studying and watched rain come over the hill of the university and spooned delicious caramel, banana and chocolate into my mouth, tempered with sips of bitter cappuccino.
The best thing about today was:
Playing the guitar along to some of my favourite songs and realising that I am slowly improving in my playing. Even if I wasn’t it is still just a lot of fun to make cool screeching noises.

What’s one small improvement you can make in your life?
I need to get back into the habit of exercising somehow. I’m still feeling the after-effects of covid but I’m inputting more calories than I’m burning these days and that’s with not really eating too much.

I took this picture because this was the view from where I was sipping my coffee as the rain poured in the distance. 3 rainbows? Maybe an optical illusion of a 4th?

Walk It – 24th March 2022

Go for a walk, clear out the cobwebs
Dust off those shoes, double up on socks
Blow away at the clouds of fog
Surrounding this bridge of your mental blocks
Take in the scene, breathe deep the air
Fill in those lungs with deep gulps of joy
Think about nothing, dream bigger dreams
Walk it all out, oh boy oh boy!

We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of ignorance.

John Archibald Wheeler

The Week That Was – 13th May 1979

24th Mar 2023 – I seem to remember enjoying going for walks with Bruno, getting all dusty yet invigorated. These polluted days are not the best though. Come on rainy season! Getting covid in July really set me back with walking and exercise though.

Mail Order Monkey – 1st January 2022

Your life won’t be complete
For the girl you want to impress
Get your mail order monkey
Put it in a pretty dress
Or how about a monkey skull
Comes from the same supplier
Stick it on your shelf
For your new friends to admire
Mail order monkies and skulls
It’s the weirdest thing I’ve heard
Is there a better way to impress
Without something so absurd?

Weight: 76.0kg
Resting heart rate: 41

There’s only one age: alive.

Agnes Varda

A Madness Of The Impossible – 1st December 2021

The very essence of my soul betrayed
No knowledge may heal the wound I made
In this fog, there is nowhere to be or go
I just can’t forgive myself I’m afraid
Misery and self-loathing bedevil my days
A madness of the impossible Derrida says
The radical act of self-forgiveness so
Absolve yourself, you must find the ways

Inspired (and butchered) by a reply to a letter to Nick Cave at The Red Hand Files newsletter

Weight: 76.6kg
Resting heart rate: 47

Shadows – 1st November 2021

Within this oppressive system
The dividing line, it grows
The wealthy control the time
Whilst we’re living in the shadows
Try to climb this shit ladder
But the dividing line always grows
A blind eye turned towards
Those living in the shadows
How did it get to be
That the dividing line, it grows?
And the ninety-nine percent
Remains living in the shadows
There is no vision of caring
As the dividing line, it grows
The underclass just eats itself
Living in the shadows
The one percent destroyed the world
And the dividing line is gone
No one left to remember the names
Of the ones who claimed they’d won

Inspired by a classic late 80s Peter Milligan story ‘Shadows’ originally printed in 2000AD

Weight: 76.6kg
Resting heart rate: 52