The Narrative – 26th November 2022

Is this narrative true
Or just what you want to hear?
If everything is obscured
It surely can be made clear
Is this narrative a lie
Or what you choose to believe?
When lies are lies and lies are truth
It’s manifest to deceive

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.


Today I’m feeling:
Pretty good. A little antsy but not for any particular reason.
Today I’m grateful for:
The new 100-watt light bulb above me that means I can read a bit more comfortably again. The last one didn’t last for long.
The best thing about today was:
Riding my pushbike to Utopia this morning. Nice temperature, cloudy and little traffic.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
Amy needed some money to buy wine at the shop as she couldn’t pay by card so she came and asked me to get some cash out for her. In the evening the same thing happened at 7-11. We share our money so it’s not that big a deal but it was something that we couldn’t control at the time though because we were together the solution was quick and easy so Amy didn’t have any frustration.
What are you most thankful for?
This seems obvious but I’m most thankful to be alive. I wouldn’t be anything otherwise.

I took this picture because I find this building incredibly interesting. It looks like it’s from a Ghibli movie. I’m not sure if it’s a hotel or a student dorm. I took this a couple of days ago up by the stupa. No photos at all today!

Youthful Idealism – 10th October 2022

Where’s my youthful idealism?
I fucking want it back
Now I’m old and tired
I’d rather just hit the sack
Why am I not shouting?
Thinking to make change
Wanting the best for everyone
Surely is not so strange
When did I give up?
Did I just get distracted?
Now I’ve got what I want
And I’m no longer impacted
Where’s your youthful idealism?
Why aren’t you complaining?
My life is almost over
But yours is still remaining

How to stop time: kiss.
How to travel in time: read.
How to escape time: music.
How to feel time: write.

Matt Haig, Reasons To Stay Alive

Today I’m feeling:
Happy and on holiday
Today I’m grateful for:
The men who cleaned my bike. I know I could have done it myself but I wouldn’t have been so thorough.
The best thing about today was:
Getting some more blog stuff done whilst listening to music. Also finishing another book. I still look at my bookshelf with joyful anticipation for future reading.

Do you owe someone money? Does someone owe you?
I don’t owe money to anyone or any institutions. I am debt free.

I guess some people do owe my money but it’s in the past and doesn’t amount to much in the scheme of things.

I generally live by the rule that if you lend someone twenty dollars and never see them again then it was probably worth it.

Of course, I loaned out much more substantial amounts to bands in the past and mostly managed to chase down outstanding amounts.

If I loan or lend anyone money now, which is rare, I don’t expect to see it again but happy if it does get repaid. This is only because I am now financially secure. Let’s hope it stays that way.

I took this picture because this is the cleanest I have seen my bike since buying it. It was worth the 45 baht expense!

Favourite Trick – 19th September 2022

I forgot my brain
Left it on the train
Picked up legs
And off it ran
Driving me insane
I lost my head
Getting out of bed
Overthinking, thinking thunk
Overdrinking, dranken drunk
Nonsense that I said
Myself found lost
Paying the cost
Apple core
With nothing more
Than being tossed
I cut off my dick
When I was being sick
Flushed it down the bowl
I’ll never tell a soul
It was my favourite trick

…an ocean of salt tears could not melt the resolution of the statues.

Danforth, The Crucible

Today I’m grateful for:
Ploughing on and finishing reading Gormenghast. Excellent. Just one more in the trilogy to go and I can send them back to Sharon. Slaughterhouse 5 first though.
The best thing about today was:
Champ buying me a coffee at House, where I took him because he wanted to get out of school for a break. He seemed really happy with my teaching, or at least with my bloody-mindedness to try and get these kids disciplined to enjoy studying. It was certainly nice to get positive feedback.

I took this picture because I’d never seen this fruit before. It was growing alongside a mulberry tree at House. Apparently, it’s not edible, which is surprising because it’s an attractive colour.

The New Conversation – 16th September 2022

Now preoccupied where once just occupied
Satisfaction for a second is hardly satisfied
Amusing ourselves to death for what?
A triumph of the trivial is all that we’ve got
Contestants fall as they forget about moderation
Convinced that each click is a real conversation
Expert calculations fix the algorithm of fame
And every Tom, Jane and Harry happily does the same

Inspired by a blog post at Oxford Sour

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.

W. Somerset Maugham

Today I’m grateful for:
Bruno messaging me and asking if I wanted some hummus that Nut has made. I’ll drop around tomorrow and pick some up. Haven’t had hummus in a long time.
The best thing about today was:
Enjoying my class with 1/6 where they were able to relax and have some fun for my last class of the week. It rounded out my week well and takes me nicely into the weekend.

I took this picture because I get to stay in Thailand for another year. Hooray!

The Pudding – 9th September 2022

It’s said one reaps what they sow
And you’ve been poisoned by the fruit
Of the promised land you know
As the soil has infected the root
You wrestled for control by force
Claimed that you’d known best
The proof is in the pudding of course
Feeding a state of unrest
The future is not written in stone
But mistakes must be owned and reversed
Otherwise, you’ll end up alone
And seen as forever being cursed

Even if you think you are stuck between two impossible choices, there’s always a third way. You just have to look for it.

Marcus Sedgwick

Today I’m grateful for:
Being able to come home early and enjoy my time here.
The best thing about today was:
Spending two hours playing guitar. It was fun.

I took this picture because I was enjoying reading time in the hammock this morning when I was supposed to have been at school.

The Week That Was – 2nd December 1979

Pick Up – 8th September 2022

Stay with me, but only come when I call
Knowing you’re there is enough consolation
My pain is mine, not to share at all
I work things out in my own isolation
A quiet word whispered at the right time
I’ll ask for your help when required
When I’m alone all the time is mine
I’ll call when I feel uninspired

No matter how isolated you are and how lonely you feel, if you do your work truly and conscientiously, unknown friends will come and seek you.

C.G. Jung, Letters Vol II

Today I’m grateful for:
The salad man being at the market today as I really wanted to eat salad!
The best thing about today was:
Getting absorbed into reading more of Gormenghast. I couldn’t stop.

I took this picture because just a couple of minutes before this the sun was shining and I’d not long gotten home from a quick bike ride to get food. The wind had blown open the screen doors and blown rain in and even the garage floor had gotten wet. With a flash of lightning close by that zapped me whilst I played guitar and a second later, a huge peal of thunder and the wind was gone and the rain soon after.

The thousand nights spent on the floating ship, I wish I had another night – 11th October 2021

After reading both Stephen Fry’s books on Greek Myths and Heroes I picked up two volumes of The Arabian Nights (or One Thousand and One Nights) and I started reading the first one today.

Whilst I was reading I was conscious of the fact that I often take something in from the story and then almost immediately forget the details. For instance, I started reading a new bedtime book last night and today I can’t even remember what it is. Just being a file on my iPad doesn’t help with trying to remember things either.

So as I was reading this first story, which sets up the premise for the rest of the book, I decided I should write down a summary of the events, without too much detail, to help me remember, but also to understand more deeply.

Summary of the Story Of King Shahryar and His Brother

There were two brothers. One found his wife cheating with another man, so killed her. He was devastated by her betrayal and also remorseful for having killed her. He made himself sick.
The other brother, seeing him sick, took him in but whilst there found his brother’s wife cheating too. He realised that whilst he was suffering, others were also suffering. Telling himself things weren’t so bad he started to feel better.
His brother asked what had brought about this change and he reluctantly told of what he saw. Once the brother also saw this betrayal with his own eyes, he too, killed his wife.
They decided to get away from their betrayals and perhaps seek others who were suffering even more, a way to make themselves feel better.
They came across a monster, who kept his wife locked up. He had let her out and promptly fallen asleep, whereupon she saw the two brothers and insisted they make love to her whilst the monster slept.
They saw that the monster was suffering even more than themselves but the actions of the woman were immoral and vowed never to trust a woman again.
They returned to their lives and after sleeping with a virgin woman, killed her the following day so she would never be able to twist the hearts of men.
Eventually, virgins were becoming scarce and one brother asked his friend where to find more. The friend repeated the story to his two virgin daughters and one insisted she knew a way to put an end to this difficult situation.

These weak men, never challenging themselves as complicit in their wives actions, prefer to blame and punish what they dare not understand. Of course, women have suffered in every region and era of history yet it begs belief that if tales such as this become established amongst children they are likely to take that into adulthood and pass it on from generation to generation.

Should tales of old be updated for modern audiences and cultures? Cut the wheat from the chaff? Should they be completely replaced?

Of course, the summary ends on a more positive note as a woman is prepared to put herself in danger to provide a solution. Does it work? I don’t know yet.

I purposely left out the fact that the brothers are kings and tried to make the summary more human. The downside of this is that it is not in most human minds or possibility to kill every woman they sleep with. Being a king (or having that illusion) seems to allow for that possibility!

I used monster instead of jinn or genie as I was trying to understand what difference this makes. I feel that a human can be a monster but not a genie.

As in all good stories, I want to know what happens next.