The Tallest Tree – 25th February 2023

The tallest tree is afraid of lightning
And forever wants to stand tall
To rise above the rest is so frightening
But one must look over them all
Competition begins at the very roots
Fighting for glimpses of the sun
Cooperation only required when it suits
Until the race can be clearly won
The tallest tree, with its deep shade
Stunts both the weak and the good
The forest succumbs to death man-made
And all becomes the finest wood

Today I’m feeling:
Tired and dizzy. Unenthusiastic. I’ve been reducing my sertraline dose to half a 50mg tablet a day and it had been on until today. The feeling is so disorienting that I don’t feel inclined to push through. I’ll go back to my regular dose tomorrow.
Today I’m grateful for:
Netflix and British TV. I’m really not in the mood for anything today and whilst on other days I usually hate to waste time with watching TV shows today I’m finding numbing satisfaction in not thinking. I think I’m gonna be ok.
The best thing about today was:
Cute Noey at Utopia making my coffee and trying her best to improve her skills. We didn’t talk for a long time as she is quiet and maybe intimidated in a work environment of boys. She has a kind of endearing ditzy attitude like she doesn’t take anything too seriously but obviously, deep down has a different personality lying in wait to be discovered by her intimates. Anyway, the coffee tasted good despite the lack of foam that I like.

What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
My feelings and emotions are a little out of control today but I’m well aware of it. I hate to waste a weekend day but know I need to get to the other side of this feeling so I’ve handled it by sleeping and TV.
Something I learned today?
I watched an edited version of a debate with Matt Taibbi, Douglas Murray and Malcolm Gladwell and was quite shocked to hear a usually smart guy like Gladwell resorting to straw man arguments. The topic was about trust in mainstream media in the USA and I was quite surprised that Gladwell sided with the idea that we can trust it. I’ve been watching Chinese news (CGTN) to get news from the States. They just report the facts as they know them. No opinion no debate no analysis. Just like news should be. Most of their reports are less than two minutes long. USA news sources are 24-hour verbal diarrhoea and for all the talk nothing is achieved.
What do I enjoy doing?
Today the only thing I enjoyed was sleeping. Most days I actually enjoy almost everything I do.

I took this picture because I liked the look of this mini cactus at House. It could serve well as a model railway cactus.

This Is Your Fuel – 20th February 2023

Suck up all the art
Fill yourself with beauty
Become a state of being
Admit yourself this duty
We need you here
You’re needed now
Your inquisition
Inspires somehow

Within enrichment’s search
Potential will be realised
Corrosive forces negated
Leaves creatives satisfied
This is your art
Your appreciation
Forever fuelling
Fires of inspiration

Today I’m feeling:
Surprisingly ok despite a lack of sleep last night.
Today I’m grateful for:
The traditional Thai brooms that I used this afternoon to sweep leaves off our paths and terrace. I’ve grown to like them over time. I used the prefer a hard sweeping brush but that wouldn’t be so useful for these leaves.
The best thing about today was:
Finishing my first class with about 30 minutes spare so I let the kids go and some invited me to play volleyball with them. Later some of my students from my second class seemed in a jovial mood and happy to come to my lesson when usually they have other things on their minds. Both classes were quite raucous but I was able to eventually guide them through and maybe even one or two of them actually learned something.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
I’m still playing catch up on household chores and want to vacuum and mop the floors but I can’t get everything done. Or perhaps I’m just a little too lazy to knock it all off in one night. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll have some extra time but I’m already thinking to go to Daytripper and chilling there! When I’m thinking about things getting out of my control for this question I’m usually focused on emotional control and in general that has been quite stable recently.
Something I learned today?
I found out about a group of women called Codepink who have been protesting in the US against the war in Ukraine and against the sabre rattling and machinations of the war machine towards China. Good on them. Now they need to get the rest of the American people on board to convince their government against further escalations.
What am I thinking about right now?
The smell of cat pee! My students. Cat pee. Making the bed. Washing my hands. A snack? The smell. My own pee. My aching back. Today’s journal entries. A whole lot of thoughts about nothing in particular. My version of ignorance is bliss.

I took this picture because I’ve had to cover my mattress with Snake Brand Prickly Heat Cooling Powder in an attempt to cover up the smell of cat pee. I’m not sure how well it’s going to work or what side effects I might experience once laid down in bed.

The Slip – 20th December 2022

Between one form of consciousness
And another
Hold no fear for this deathlike sensation
Meditate on it, let it inspire
See it for what it is
Explore it with your full imagination

*inspired by Robert Greene’s Daily Laws

The whole world is a series of miracles, but we’re so used to them we call them ordinary things.

Hans Christian Andersen

Today I’m feeling:
Happy and relaxed
Today I’m grateful for:
Working at a stall where Christmas party gifts were available to students and I could swipe extra swag and be a little Santa myself and deliver candy to students of mine that I came across.
The best thing about today was:
A pleasant relaxing drive up to Doi Mae Salong, this time, finally, with Amy. It’s a good time of year temperature wise but with rainy season a memory, the views were quite obscured with smoke. Still, we got some nice pictures of the temple up around the back of the town, which our little car struggled to get to but I had faith.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
With the Christmas party at school today I was suddenly asked yesterday to help at one of the stalls. I was hoping to be able to quickly leave and go and chill with coffee before heading home early but that became unlikely. So, I kept a good attitude and had a lot of fun with all the kids. Time went quickly and I enjoyed it so much that it was easy to transition into driving up into the mountains rather than complaining to stay home and relax.
Something I learned today?
Today feels like only a minor software update. I’ve been trying to think for the last 15 minutes but struggling to find anything new that I learned, just additional pieces of information to add to existing knowledge. I guess through listening to the Oh Brother podcast I did learn some early 80s Manchester punk scene trivia. It’s probably not life-changing at my age.
Who are your favourite artists?
Musicians and comic book artists are numerous. When it comes to traditional painting art though I really don’t know anything. I do recognise paintings that attract me but never enough to identify with a specific artist. I think I don’t hold painting in the same regard as music and comics. It doesn’t take me on a journey and my thinking is not skilled or deep enough to contemplate.

I took this picture because I didn’t recognise my student Noah, on the left, with this wig and dress. I also haven’t seen her face for a long time as she usually wears a mask. At the school today was a Christmas Party in the morning with performances and stalls and many of the kids, even those not performing, decided to dress up. The girls particularly look different and try to show themselves off. I’m happy their school uniforms are frumpy and unsexy!

Lazy Princess – 20th October 2022

Princess Amy, she’s so lazy
She will never become the queen
Made her teacher really crazy
Because she lives inside a dream

Princess Amy still never learns
But all her friends are growing
They are all taking their turns
Off to bright futures going

Will the princess ever see
The wisdom of work instead?
Will the princess ever be
Able to get out of her bed?

a poem for one of my students

The laws that govern circumstances are abolished be new circumstances.


Today I’m feeling:
Today I’m grateful for:
Amy’s parents bringing me food again. I was out at the time, at Daytripper, doing more lesson preparation and dropped by the market to pick up some dinner. A stall was selling pla duk foo which I hadn’t seen there before so I grabbed that and some bananas. When I got home I saw that Amy’s parents had left some food and when I checked the bag it was pla duk foo and bananas! I’ve got a lot of eating to do!
The best thing about today was:
Reading some random text from a teaching English book and being able to add an idea to make my lessons more interesting for my students next semester. Doesn’t sound too exciting I know but I was inspired enough to update all my lessons immediately.
Another thing was coming across a KLS video from 2016 that was fantastic to see and got my little brain running again about organising a tour for them here. I think it would go really well. I need to start looking into this more.
If you started a sports team, what would the colours and mascot be?
I suppose I might pick blue after my childhood soccer passion for Ipswich Town and Italy. The red and white of Sydney Swans would perhaps remind too much of Arsenal. As for a mascot, I don’t know. I must admit I would not be a good person to make these decisions as I consider them to be irrelevant though I understand their purpose, it’s just not something I’m interested in.

I took this picture because I was surprised to find Kim here on Amy’s pillow. I also find it cute to see cats sleep in this position. In fact it makes me envious. Unfortunately, rockets from the funeral next door sent her off hiding behind the bed again soon after I took this.

Derelict – 18th October 2022

Smashed windows and roof decayed
A place where memories were once made
Now hidden to the exploring eye
Possibilities came here now gone by
One day the love in my own home
Will be left to explorers unknown
Pondered upon with little idea
Of all the things that happened here
The tiles will crack and ceilings fall
Jungle vines will creep up the wall
The once-pretty garden overrun
Plastic disintegrates in the sun
The roaming ghosts of our happy cats
No longer worry the scurrying rats
Body broken as the irons rust
Will all be blown away as dust

I think perfection is ugly. Somewhere in the things humans make, I want to see scars, failure, disorcer, distortion.

Yohji Yamamoto

Today I’m feeling:
Chill chill
Today I’m grateful for:
A long catch-up sleep with interesting but forgotten dreams. I also woke up with no pain in my neck but that didn’t last for too long.
The best thing about today was:
Its simplicity and feeling contented with a day of non-excitement. A little bit of this and that counters any possibility of boredom. I feel free!
In what ways are you “just like your parents?”
I am just like my mum now. It’s scary how much I look like her. Right now I live by myself (practically) and love to read books, much like she did. I don’t need to be around people often and happy in my own company, just as I saw her. I don’t think I can be much like my dad as I have no idea if he had any influence over me in my first 18 months before he died. I wonder though if there was a residual sadness that brushed on me in that short time…?

I took this picture because it just looked idyllic as I was speeding by and had to turn back to take a quick picture. This one is from yesterday. I didn’t really do anything today.

Watch out for me now cos I’m alive – 8th March 2021

Damn, it’s cold in the morning. Have been sick, this is the first day back.
Amazing long sleep – feel good. Body weakened – need exercise, need discipline again.
G.I.on brainbox. Can’t stop reading – so good, so happy. Tattoo ideas formed.
Write 1994 and ideas coming – found more old writing. Is it important – no – is it interesting to me? Yes.
I’m running out – is there nothing to do except document my life? Should I be living a life still? What is it?
I love my home – my comfort here.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful to have access to YouTube and to have an internet connection. Having internet means it is easy to live anywhere in the world. If I didn’t have it I could probably still manage but life would be a lot different – time would have a totally different meaning. The things I use the internet for are thought-provoking and thinking makes me alive.

No other prisoner shall enter and get through – 16th February 2021

Finish ab workout and yoga stretching – feels good, a little tired – less than seven hours sleep – dump thoughts and meditate.
What thoughts now? With pain in hand thoughts are difficult – when trying to meditate thoughts come easy.
Sat by the river with George yesterday – not much time tho but was pleasant, talked about how different countries have different cultures. When it comes to community, family and sharing things. I mostly recall the sunlight on the river.
Anyway highlighted some of our differences in behaviour which we all have to accept and understand – sometimes forgive.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful to our neighbour’s dog Tangmo who came to visit yesterday morning before I went to work. He was running around full of energy and ran away from Tigger. I tried to get him to follow me out so I could close the gate but he kept running back inside. It made me smile for the whole day.

It’s a sad affliction causing me restriction – 9th November 2020

6 am wake up – dark – get back into it. Almost cold enough for a shirt.

Lots of dreams – enjoyable with unexpected people but I forget them now.

Neck cracking. Study more, learn more. Work. Play. Things to do – fill my time.

Plod along. Be happy.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful for a good sleep with interesting dreams. Did my new mattress topper help? I don’t know. My neck and shoulders are still sore but they remind me I’m alive.