Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday's Windows

Not strictly a window, but an interior display, courtesy of Gaysorn Mall in 2008. (I told you I'd always taken pictures. They're visual references for something I don't yet know about! Maybe. Or something.)

Gaysorn has a vast atrium, spanning five or six floors and it's worth visiting simply for the beautiful installations.

And these pictures show why I love multiples. From the humble butterfly...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

One of my adventures

My notebook is full of little sketches of maps that I’ve made after glimpsing something exciting from a taxi. I will have scribbled down shop names or soi numbers as landmarks and made cryptic notes like ‘basket shops’ or ‘red Chinese drum things’ to remind me what I’d seen from the taxi that I’d thought worth going back to explore. My Thai doesn’t stretch to ‘Ooh, can we stop for a second? I want to take a picture/see what’s in that shop but I'm not doing a runner and will be back a minute.’

The other day I was intent on going to Mega Bridge to take photos. Mega Bridge is, well, it’s mega; huge so there’s no mistaking it but it’s not a destination in itself. ‘I want to go to [destination]’ is part of my every day Thai but equipped with the new phrase ‘I want to take photographs’ I set off downstairs to find a taxi.

Taxis are plentiful but it’s a lottery what sort of experience you’re going to get. They’ll often refuse to take you (either because they don’t know where it is or because they don’t want to go that way (wtf?) or because your pitiful Thai hasn’t worked.) We have a family tactic to get into the taxi before telling him where we want to go: a sort of ‘bums on seats are nine tenths of the law’ attitude.

Astonishingly the first taxi didn’t tell me to get out. Our conversation (in Thai) went something like this:
Me: I want to go to Mega Bridge.
Him: *disbelief* Mega Bridge?
Me: Yes, Mega Bridge. I want to take photos.
Him: *Grunt*
Me: *squinting, placing imaginary camera in front of face and clicking*
Him *Grunt* Sort of assent.

We set off in silence and I began to doubt that it was a result. As soon as I spotted the bridge, I began to take pictures so he’d get the idea. Very slowly, he began to thaw. He asked me would I like him to go over the bridge; we did and then we came back over to the starting shore. We stopped at the side of roads, in the middle of the bridge (yikes) and under the bridge. When I thought I was being dropped at a destination and I tried to pay him. No, no, he said, not finished.

When I got back into the taxi, he was on the phone. He passed the handset to me to speak to a Thai man who spoke perfect English. “He wants to know where you’d like to go next.” We agreed a route, winding up alongside the river, taking in two more bridges and I passed the phone back to the taxi driver. We set off again, stopping at a park that was shut and he got out and asked the guard if I could go in and take pictures…

He was wonderful. I had the best adventure.

(I'm under no illusions that I'm a photographer. I take pictures for reference only.)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday photo

I love the telegraph poles here. You see the street vendors tapping into the street supply in some random, Heath Robinson manner.

I love the swooping lines, the hodgepodge of wires and the knots but I often wonder how it's possible that the electricity gets from one place to another or how many more miles it travels than it should.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday's Windows

Wednesday's Windows is my new regular blog slot. I've always taken photos of window displays and sometimes I've blogged them but mostly, I've haven't, wondering why anyone else would be interested.

Now that I'm moving my interests back towards the visual, I've decided to establish Wednesday's Windows. They might be window displays, or they might be interiors; we shall have to see. (I'm making this up as I go along.)

So here's the first one: I hate macaroons but I love playing with scale!

CPS Chaps Emporium

Cloud9 at Gaysorn

Cloud9 at Gaysorn

Monday, May 21, 2012

On Tea (mine) and Tenacity (Liz's)

Yesterday I did a guest post over at Liz Fenwick’s blog. I was talking about tea; actually I was talking about life in a foreign country but channelling the tea theme. (And do go and look at my sister’s beautiful teapot, which has a starring role in the post.)

Liz and I met online as early Novel Racers. I think I’m going to make her blush but have a huge admiration crush on Liz. She was already taking her writing seriously when she joined the novel race but she has shown such tenacity through those years of learning the craft, that… well, I just really admire her. I know a teensy tiny bit how difficult writing a novel is and I hadn’t even got to the rejection stage!

So this month, Orion is publishing Liz’s first novel, The Cornish House. I cannot wait to read it.

Liz was always a great support to me when I was writing and I am enormously grateful for that. It leads me to thinking about my own experience and of my recent giving up status. Have I given up? Have I stopped just for a bit? My good friend, P – of the ‘total strangers for Christmas’ episode…. (Gasp! I don’t think I’ve ever recounted that story on this blog. There’s a post for this week, then.) Anyway, P asked me yesterday on skype about my writing and how I feel about not doing it. I’m still very happy with the decision. I often have ‘mmm, that would make a good story’ thoughts and I think regularly about the non-fiction book, which I think has real potential if someone else hasn’t already written it by the time I get my act together. In fact, I’m pretty sure I will write fiction again but right now I’m happy because I'm still creating: I've returned to my art roots for the time being. More on that another time.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hello? Is there anyone there?

A pretty but irrelevant lotus from Khao Yai

What shockingly bad manners I have. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

This time – not that it makes a blind bit of difference to you – it wasn’t because I hadn’t got anything to say but because I’ve been SOOO busy.

First it was migraines, then I fell over and gouged out a piece of ankle, followed by tonsillitis (really? I’m not ten anymore…) and then the exams! All the while I’ve been doing a course. So, no time to tell you about any of it.

The exams are going relatively smoothly. Not the actual exams, of course: we won’t know how smoothly they’ve gone until D-Day. Gulp (One child tells me in luxuriant detail how the paper was; what marks were dropped, and where. The other child responds to the ‘how was the exam?’ question with a declaration of: ‘good’ which invites no further response from the parent enquirer. If you know my children, it’ll be clear to you which is which!)

Having two teenagers doing exams at the same time could have been stressful and I won’t pretend there haven’t been tears (they were mine) but mostly there’s been an atmosphere of slight hysteria. It’s probably not terribly responsible or kind to laugh at anyone going stir crazy with revision but Daughter, in particular, has been first class entertainment.

Anyway, I plan to prioritise poor old Tea Stains because I miss her. I’ve a new theme planned for Wednesdays and to reinstate Friday Photo. If I’ve any readers left AT ALL, do please pop back again in the coming days.