Dig In – 27th November 2022

The roots have grown
The longer you stay
The harder it is to leave

Now time has shown
That along the way
You’ve found what you believe


The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.

Voltaire

Today I’m feeling:
Relaxed and lazy
Today I’m grateful for:
The fisherman who caught the prawns I ate, somewhere far away. Shipped them to shore, then the factory workers who prepared them and packaged them and the drivers who delivered them.
The best thing about today was:
Enjoying ice cream and snacks after a weed gummy. It’s hard to stop eating!
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
I could tell Amy was getting a little irritable around lunch time so I just laughed and joked a little and not getting sucked into an argument over nothing. She quickly lightened up and everything was normal again. These situations can quickly go out of control when I don’t handle them well.
In what ways have you observed balance in nature or in the universe?
Looking at mountains, staring at the sea. I see balance in nature when there are no humans around and I become a ghost, an observer but only as a memory. Looking up at the stars and the moon, being grateful for this very specific role I have been given.

I took this picture because Jet made this nice drawing of me and my nice shirt! This picture is a throwback to a couple of weeks ago. No pictures again today!

Frank’s Dream – 4th October 2022

When Frank died his soul flew up high
And ended up in a powerful war machine
He screamed ‘ANNIHILATE’ but didn’t know why
But then it turned out it was all just a dream

Inspired by Armoured Gideon, 2000AD


It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched for they are all full of the truthless ideal which has been instilled into them, and each time they come into contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded.

W. Somerset Maugham

Today I’m feeling:
Happy and satisfied.
Today I’m grateful for:
The front wheel of my motorbike. It took some hard knocks on some tough roads today and I was worried I would have to limp down the mountain with a flat tyre but it held up and got me home.
The best thing about today was:
Riding around new mountains and discovering some beautiful villages and amazing scenery. It was blissful.

What daily habit do you do that improves your quality of life?
For 24 years now I’ve been taking sertraline and that has made an incredible difference to my life, keeping me stable and less prone to depression. I still have bad moments but in general, I am much happier than a was in my first 30 years.
Brushing my teeth. Sad to say that I didn’t look after my teeth well for my first 20 years or so. They are just hanging on since starting to care about them more.
Making my bed. A small habit I only acted on since moving to Thailand. I actually don’t care if my bed is made or not but I do it so as to include it in a series of morning habits and to feel, no matter how minor, to have achieved something already, right at the beginning of the day.
Exercise….if I do it every day it will definitely improve my quality of life. Now I just have to do it every day!

I took this picture because Bruno and I met these kids after a long muddy ride and they were so happy and inquisitive to see two muddy white men in their mountain school at the end of the road.

Roundhouse – 24th September 2022

This is the house that time built
The 60s are just through the door
Another world, another lifetime
What were the billions gone all living for?
This is the house that time built
Educated to a level capability
Flexing muscles of hidden thoughts
Exercising a great mental agility
This is the house that time built
Once glorious yet now decrepit
All shall one day return to earth
No matter how amazingly intrepid


Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.

Edward Abbey

Today I’m feeling:
Happy
Today I’m grateful for:
The chef at the shop next to Utopia for preparing me a delicious lunch to my requirements with yummy fresh tofu and crispy noodles to make lard na.
The best thing about today was:
Getting so many little things done but in a relaxing manner. Sometimes I struggle with motivation but today I managed to push through without feeling like I was forcing it.

I took this picture because I was walking home from Utopia and thinking about how to make an interesting picture. The three contrasting colours of yellow, green and blue along with the lines as seen from the ground level give this picture a more complex feel. I thought about straightening the picture but kind of like that it is a little off.

Brand New Day – 17th September 2022

Are you awake to the stirrings of the earth?
A bright day is born every morning
If you don’t give it the value that it is worth
The kingdoms will start to issue forth their warning
Save me now so you may save yourself
Sun is shining somewhere no matter what you say
The noose is getting tighter, not for anyone else
But they all wish to see the same brand-new day


You become what you give your attention to…If you yourself don’t choose what thoughts and images you expose yourself to, someone else will.

Epictetus

Today I’m grateful for:
Dasa Books having another sale. I picked up a couple that got delivered today.
The best thing about today was:
Riding around new villages and discovering new places and paths. There were also fresh smells to enjoy on the cold damp air.

I took this picture because, despite the dullness of the light, the green of the rice amongst the brown water against the mountains and cloudy sky stood out to me as a picture of a beautiful day.

Get Used To It – 11th September 2022

Get used to it, it’s not going to change
Settle on down til it’s no longer strange
Culture shock, not worth fighting against
It’s upsetting but not worth taking offence
Getting used to it, going along for the ride
Hiding in the open is the best place to hide
Running away or kicking against the pricks
Means never teaching this old dog new tricks


Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Today I’m grateful for:
Receiving some comfortable new sandals that at least attempt to give me some arch support.
The best thing about today was:
Walking home from Utopia in the light drizzle. It was just the right rain not to get too wet and to keep the temperature down. The air felt supremely fresh and reinvigorating. I really enjoyed the walk.

I took this picture because the clouds amongst the mountains looked amazing and reminded me of windswept moors of England.

The Honey Pot – 6th September 2022

Good fortune can be a great deceiver
Life’s lottery may bring returns of gold
But the devil is in the details
Of the glittering lives being sold
Ants will gather at the honey pot
Desperate hands grabbing for a share
Fighting for a way to get out
Before realising it’s all still there


The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

George Bernard Shaw

Today I’m grateful for:
My little motorbike surviving the stupid journies I take it on. I rewarded it with a quick shower and wipe down ready to go again another time. Maybe I’ll wait until it’s a little drier though.
The best thing about today was:
Realising that I needed to get outside and see the sun, breath the air and dive deep into the jungle. My mood had totally altered by the time I returned home scratched up, aching muscles and covered in mud.

I took this picture because it will remind me of my bike ride today that got me out of my funk. I love the angles and depths though my phone can’t capture the magnificence as the human eye. I particularly like the clouds in just half the sky here.

The Week That Was – 25th November 1979

Planting Seeds – 1st September 2022

As my mind opened so did the world in front of me
Even as a child I sensed things were not as should be
So it is now I look up to the biggest sky I ever saw
Where love and cooperation must trump violence and war

“the biggest sky I ever saw” is taken from a Robert Plant interview used in the Led Zeppelin biography by Mick Wall, hence the title.


The brain and the tongue are so far apart.

Prunesquallor from Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake

Today I’m grateful for:
Champ asking me if I’d like to teach in the new building where the rooms will have aircon! That could be nice. I’m sure there will be teething troubles in there and maybe Champ has some other motive for me being there but all the same, it is nice to be thought of.
The best thing about today was:
Momo coming and telling me that she wished I was still teaching her. When I asked why she said that my classes were more fun. I think she and Porpieng feel that they are not being challenged enough now. I felt good to hear her say this, making me remember the impact, no matter how small, I’m having on her life.

I took this picture because the clouds rolling up the mountain like this really caught my attention. I was struggling to find anything to take a picture of on this walk as the sky was still quite dull and grey but then seeing the sun hitting the mountaintops and this cloud really stuck out. I stood and savoured it even if only for a second or two.

Garden Haiku – 30th August 2022

Passionfruit flowers
Precede overabundance
Jam jars are ready

Ripened or not so
Papayas can be eaten
Until sick of it

The rambutans red
Are all infested with ants
Inedible now

Avocado trees
Why do you never give fruit?
I want to smash you

My chillies just came
It was a surprise to all
Conditions perfect


Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

Today I’m grateful for:
The cookie I ate at House with my lunchtime coffee. It wasn’t particularly tasty or big but somehow it staved off any afternoon hunger so I ended up only needing yoghurt for dinner.
The best thing about today was:
Being able to talk to different students on a more personal level about more serious topics such as behaviour and respect. Even with the difficulties we have in communicating I feel as if I have their confidence in some ways.

I took this picture because I’d never seen the light on the lower mountains like this before. The sun was only just over the horizon to the east.

The Week That Was – 11th November 1979

Bury Me High – 8th April 2022

Racing to the rooftops
Why is it colder closer to the sun?
All around there’s silence
As if this day had never begun
Shattered constructions bleached
Ghosts tread lightly long forgotten
Every wheel that’s turned
Cycles from beautiful to rotten
All the dragons sleeping
And here the lady forever lies
Buried high on the earth
Reaching toward the skies


That something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Life To Rise – 28th May 2021

I love to watch the mountains in any season but in the breaks of rain, it’s fantastic to watch the clouds drop down into the valleys to give more depth and definition to the peaks on the horizon. It’s lovely to watch the rain out of the window.

The mountains advance from their cover
Mad swirling whispers rise and grey
Filled to dripping with lumps of water
The jungle climbing up trees to sway
The streams are full, crabs are caught
In plastic buckets and crowded net
Paddies complete for more life to rise
First came the sun and now the wet