I got a headache, like a pillow – 12th December 2019

If you got nothing to talk about then there’s always the weather.  Over the last couple of years though, the weather has become a major conversation for most people.  Extremes are getting hit everywhere.  And now having said that……

It’s not just a surprise to me that it’s so cold here in North Thailand at the moment, even the locals say they’ve never felt anything like it.  We all probably forgot what it was like last year.  It’s a bit of shock to the system though and apparently this ‘winter’ cold will be over within the week.  It’s actually a nice temperature but I can’t enjoy because everyone got sick and thought it best to sharing it with me, so I’ve been rugged up and sleeping it off for what feels way too long.  Hanging out daily with hundreds of sick kids doesn’t help much either.

Another annoying thing is that the temperature had just become appropriate to crack open the bottle of Malt Whiskey I’d been sitting on since last year.  After a couple of nights of enjoyment the sickness took a hold.  Maybe it’s related?  When it’s not school holidays I’ve pretty much stopped drinking now, so I’m a bit out of practice.  This has had some positive health effects in that I’ve lost a little bit of weight without having to do any exercise.  I would like to do some exercise though but……I’m fucking sick.

Anyway, in between working and coughing I’m also in the middle of planning a ten day or so South East Asia tour for Worlds Dirtiest Sport from France, which is basically Kevin from Trumans Water and his one man band.  I’m very excited about this.  It’s a great excuse for me to get to see some other parts of South East Asia that I haven’t visited yet, to enjoy watching Kevin play each night and to discover the local scenes and bands there.  As well as catching up with some old (and newer) friends.

Whilst doing this I also have to arrange myself a new UK passport, as that is what my Thai visa is attached too.  I got this Australian passport that I’ve never used and not sure when I’ll be able to!  This will mean having to make two quick trips to the British Embassy in Chiang Mai on working week days.  This is my opportunity to use the word palaver.

those days

Dealing with the moving targets of Thai bureaucracy has hardened me somewhat to the bullshit bureaucracy I had to deal with in Australia and the UK with all the visas, passports and information requirements. This time should be a cinch.  Famous last words.

these days

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful to be around the kids at school. Even if they are shitbags they never fail to make me smile many times a day. I can go home with those smiles and forget about how little they actually learned.

*Shutdown, Thirst!, Flaming Katie – Joiners, Southampton, Hampshire, UK – 16th April 1994

Rich Levine: This was an emotional night. Steve’s memorial gig (there was also another remembrance gig around the same time at our old school Alderman Quilley in Eastleigh) saw his old band THIRST! continue with Philip Beevers from CHICKEN-BONE CHOKED joining. If we didn’t love the SHUTDOWN guys (Neil Cox, Christian Burton) already then them coming from Worcs to play this benefit gig for pretty much nothing cemented that feeling. FLAMING KATIE (Russell Pataki) played too & it was a night of both tears but also togetherness in friendship when this very close-knit scene came out to show their love and commemorate. Prior to his passing, Steve had planned to put out a poetry zine. In the aftermath, Rob & Shaun put this out as a tribute to Steve under the name ‘40,000 Reasons For Living’ (the title came from a line in the R.E.M. song ‘Texarkana’ which was played at Steve’s funeral) & the cover of the zine used the burning house photo that was on the sleeve of fIREHOSE’s ‘Ragin’ Full On’ LP. The same photo was used as the backdrop for this gig flyer.

*Chicken-Bone Choked, Older Than Dirt – Joiners, Southampton, Hampshire, UK – 18th December 1993

Rich Levine: “THIRST! were due to play but had to pull out late on as Steve was ill……Initially, it was thought that Steve’s illness meant THIRST! couldn’t play the gig was pleurisy. Tragically & suddenly on the morning of December 28 1993, Steve died from a heart attack resulting from an undetected congenital condition. He was 24 years & left behind his wife Chrissy & daughters Amanda & Bex who was only 3 months old. Steve’s death left a big hole in the local scene.”