Scrabble – 1st October 2022

After a fall you may rest in bed
But those words can never be unsaid
Your actions may bring some trouble
But your words will score them double

Live long enough and you’ll learn that the people who’ll really hurt you and screw you over aren’t the obvious, overt monsters but the sly manipulators who smile to your face.

Caitlin Johnstone

Today I’m feeling:
Happy and relaxed.
Today I’m grateful for:
Being able to listen to CDs throughout the day. Marc Ribot, Half Man Half Biscuit and That Fucking Tank. To have music available to suit (or make) any mood is something I’m grateful for.
The best thing about today was:
Walking in the rain and being in the garden in the rain, with Cap watching me from the terrace and Tig curled up on the chair. Idyllic.

What is your favourite season of year? Why?
My favourite season depends on where I am in the world but I guess spring would generally be my favourite. The balance of the four seasons in England makes each of them enjoyable. Sydney, Australia mostly felt like having two seasons but a short break in between each. Thailand has three seasons with no spring to really talk of. Just winter, summer and rainy seasons.

Spring is the light after the cold dark of winter, everything renews and regenerates. A time of hope and possibility. Sometimes summer is tinged with a hint of sadness, knowing that it will finish soon.

I took this picture because despite the rain I was enjoying this walk and I wanted to show my village, with the highway running through. I no longer wonder what I’m doing here. I could be anywhere and this is just where I am right now.

The Bull Remains – 30th September 2022

The rain makes the dragonflies dance
Across the green rice field sea
Stalks quivering under droplets weight
Bent to the breeze in a quiet tango
Four rainbows beam from the mountain
Tin rooves announcing progress
Animals seek out shelter
Yet the bull remains, unamused

In recent seasons of being, I have had occasion to reflect on the utterly improbable trajectory of my life, plotted not by planning, but by living.

Carl Jung

Today I’m feeling:
Happy and relaxed.
Today I’m grateful for:
The coconut shop that makes delicious iced coconut water drinks. They are delicious but disappear too quickly like good things are supposed to.
The best thing about today was:
As I was walking to the coconut shop a school van pulled up, the door opened and I heard ‘teacher!’ and it was my student Baipad, who I found out lives next door but one to Black Smooth cafe. I think there are a couple of other students in my village but Baipad is the first I’ve actually seen around and all because I decided to walk instead of going by motorbike.

I took this picture because it was only by chance that I saw these strange star-shaped flowers on this cactus. Pretty and pretty interesting.

Happy Times – 5th September 2022

I’m grateful you’ve been spared
In some way that was my doing
If you’d have stayed here
You’d soon discover troubles brewing
Wisdom came to me far too late
I know it was wrong to make you suffer
There’s no way to go back now
I am one and you are another
I’ll watch you from a distance
Happy you are happy and content
I’ll hang on to the memories
Of the happy times we spent

All I’m saying is that the difference between humans and animals is that animals would never allow the dumbest of the herd to lead them.

The Far Side

Today I’m grateful for:
Being able to leave school early and have an afternoon snooze after treating myself to some lunch.
The best thing about today was:
The bearable temperature, thankfully lowered after a heavy rain whilst I was drinking my morning coffee at House.

I took this picture because I found these mangy pups hanging out on the street corner this morning. They were friendly enough though.

The Week That Was – 18th November 1979

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

And then you start to enjoy it, take all the plugs out – 30th January 2021

Do you find it normal that there are daily demonstrations by ________? That women in love run away from their Prince Charming? That people dream about farms rather than love? That men and women sell their time, but can never buy it back again? And yet, all these things happen, so it really doesn’t matter what I believe or don’t believe; all these things are normal. Everything that goes against Nature, against our most intimate desires, is normal in our eyes, even though it’s an aberration in God’s eyes. We seek out our own inferno, we spend millennia building it, and after all that effort, we are now able to live in the worst possible way.

– Maria, Eleven Minutes – Paulo Coelho

Certain passages just jump out at you when you read them. Resonate with your thoughts and feelings at that particular time.

In the text, the blank is ‘Kurds’ in the first sentence, but this day I’m writing, or this day you are reading, you can fill it in with anything. There are sure to be daily demonstrations somewhere in the world, about some injustice or other, and so that we have spent millennia building this reality and despite all our efforts we end up living in the worst possible way – and that is what we perceive as normal.

The picture attached is not connected with this thought in any way. I took it this morning, riding around after finishing reading Eleven Minutes at my regular weekend coffee stop. The newly planted rice looked weak and vulnerable deep in the water. Though from the angle of the photo it looks much more cohesive.

There is a cafe in the middle of the fields, working the photo opportunity whilst the rice is growing. Rice is life here. Other fields are burning off their waste, ready for the next season.

The shack at the corner, a shield from the sun for tired sweaty workers to take a breath. It is a romantic structure, though I will never find myself in need of its use.

The big tree behind the shack looks strong at base yet scrawny at height. It looks climbable, it looks liveable – build a treehouse and live above the land.

They’re living in a magazine dream – 26th January 2021

Aussie day – forgot about already. Remember Cronulla, think logically – leads to Trump. Can people everywhere understand? Do they really think it’s good?

Good sleep – forgotten dreams. It’s okay, body stronger, brain stronger. Love life. Love reading, love music, love clean air – where is it? Where is the rain?

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful for the jukebox in my head, the settings and times in there are the soundtrack of my life.

Who decides what will happen? – 8th September 2020

Quick brain dump. Bad sleep, bad tooth. Crazy dreams I forgot, will remember at some weird point today.

Good physical weekend – waterfall, fun, friends – just enough. Teaching, learning – all good.

Can I fix my neck? Can my body be free of pain? Let’s meditate.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful for the rain this morning and that I made it into school before any flooding.

Today’s not the day the sky will fall down around my ears – 30th June 2020

It’s been raining on and off for the last two weeks or more and finally, the ground has gotten soaked enough that big pools of water remain around our garden after the daily storm passes through. The frogs are going crazy, croaking across the valley. The snakes must be happy to be able to easily locate their food again. What a dangerous life. Having to call out to find your mate, only to be swallowed by a hungry snake.

Kim Chi, our killer cat, was found one morning munching on the guts of a bird in the dining room. How thoughtful. Amy woke me up to come and help clean up. There were bird feathers everywhere, strewn across the floor, table and lounge. I love our animals and I also love the birds that come to visit our garden. Leave them alone Hellcat!

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful that I have been able to adapt to the Thai style of working (so far). Disorganised, short notice, changing decisions…. It’s all good.

Brain dump

Home workout warmup – first time – just the warmup makes me tired! Start somewhere. Itchy throat – can’t get sick. Itchy leg – something always biting.

All our fish dead again. We can’t take care of them for some reason. Jukebox – Happy – I don’t know who sings it – George someone. Today we will make a video and I will hate this song even more.

Feel good – a little tired. But good. thinking about Hayden but have an idea how to help. Can I just be me? Too late to be tough on him.

Thinking of poor kids in China who walk 5 km across rough valleys to get to school. Just primary kids. Predictably they want to be soldiers. They are tough. Circumstances dictate. No one’s fault. Everyone wants to be someone else for a while. But without the effort. Like a video game.

There’s a big sky out tonight and it’s never been this big before – 18th June 2020

The mountains at the back of our house run in valleys, sometimes into the distance or in parallel ridges. In this picture, a valley running off towards the west, and its surrounding mountains were bathed in sunshine, the bright greens bouncing into the sky.

Scanning to the left, the air turns thicker and a battle is brewing for territorial dominance. The clouds are too heavy to keep their water and it drops onto the leafy jungle, turning into wisps of mist. Dark rolls around the skies, dragging the clouds down from above, stirring a big soup with deep rumbles and sudden flashes.

This one will deliver.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful to be surrounded by caring people that can help need realise my potential.

Brain dump

Drain pipe fell out – who will fix? I can try but I think needs glue – we don’t have.

Social Distortion on mental jukebox for no reason other than it matched my rhythm of lifting weights. What else can I get out of my head this morning? Noisy frogs – but none outside our entertainment area now – have snakes gone – maybe?

Sore butt sitting here yesterday for too long – back – a little ache lower left – arm feel well used.

Now! Now! Now! Not the before, not five minutes – breakfast, school, videos – but now?! Surrounded by things I love – even snakes and frogs. Beautiful grey sky! Rain rain rain – not like UK. Beeping from UPS – what happened – who knows? Okay – Thai and meditation because I don’t know what’s in my head at the moment really.