The Author

Previous entries


The State of the Nation

Starting Over Again

Only the Lonely

Nine Things I will Miss about Thailand


Just Do It

Ayr on a Shoestring

Oh Lonesome Me

Tipping Point

Movie Reviews

Putting Pen to Paper

A Year to Remember

A Year to Forget

10 Reasons I Cannot Go Home

China Girl

The State of Play


Mind Your Language

New Horizons



Taxes and Death



Grey is the Colour

Beating Myself Up

Nothing More to Say

Better Late than Never

Staying Put

Musical Chairs


A Dog's Life

A Sabbatical

A Welcome Diversion

A Guide to Business Ethics

Remembering the Austin Allegro

Our Lords and Masters

In Transit - Part 2

In Transit - Part 1

Nagging Doubts

While Bangkok Burns

An Evening to Remember

Thai Business Malpractice

The New and the Old

Christmas Lights

Groundhog Day



Adventure is Out There


Grabbing it While You Can

A Few Ups and Many Downs


Pack Up Your Old Kit Bag







Ate Two Caesar

Swine Pie

The Thai Rollercoaster

Stuck in the Middle

There's no Regrets

Profit and Loss

Running on Empty

Getting it out Your System

National Mistrust

Bring in the Old, Out with the New


I am Reviewing, My Situation...

Wat Phrabhat Nam Poo

Today I will Mostly be Eating...


The Thai Experience

Wat Khaowong

Reality Bites

Wat Simalais

Amazing Thailand

He Must have a Big Wand

Right Place, Wrong Time



And it does go on


Bring Him Home



Listening to my Reader.



Diary Archive 18.

Diary Archive 17.

Diary Archive 16.

Diary Archive 15.

Diary Archive 14.

Diary Archive 13.

Diary Archive 12.

Diary Archive 11.

Diary Archive 10.

Diary Archive 9.

Diary Archive 8.

Diary Archive 7.

Diary Archive 6.

Diary Archive 5.

Diary Archive 4.

Diary Archive 3.

Diary Archive 2.

Diary Archive 1.




Starting Over Again

I've chosen red.

Although I am living in a small one-bedroom bungalow, I arrived back in the UK without a spoon or coat hanger to my name and the place looks a little bare. I sought out the shops to buy things from - Wilko's for household stuff, Co-op for food, Boots for smellies. And it slowly dawned on me that I have an opportunity afforded to very few. In Thailand our furniture and bits and bobs are what remains (after loss, breakage or the dogs having destroyed the item) from four houses in four different countries. Here I am starting over. Things could match if I think about it.

To help, money is very tight until we get paid for a couple of orders. So my furniture consists of an oak desk and a beige leather chair (it is where I spend all day working) and a bed with a bedside table (not oak, but real wood of some description). I need a bookcase, and I have cleverly found an oak one that matches the desk. My kitchen stuff has red as the highlight colour. As I go walking around the shops I identify those things I think would fit the new scheme - oak and red. A floor standing lamp here (red), a TV table there (oak). My kettle is red and so is my washing up bowl. But because I haven't been able to go and buy everything in one go, I have been able to find the smaller little shops, or the charity shops, and identify exactly what I want.

My book collection starts anew. I left almost all my books and CDs in Thailand, but there is a Waterstone's in the high street and an HMV (I thought they went bust) just a little further on. I can start a new eclectic collection.

Everything is sparkly new. New bank accounts, new business (albeit the same name selling the same things), new telephone numbers. But that fresh approach to furnishing my home has made me think more about my approach to the business. That is why I am here after all. Without the business I would be retired in Thailand; believe me, after 5 weeks of 'unprecedented' rain (which led to the cancellation of the Ayr Gold Cup horse racing weekend for the first time in living memory) - and it is raining heavily as I write this - I did not move here for the weather. And the fresh approach to soft furnishings has made me think clearer about the direction of the company. And it made me feel more optimistic because of the clearer thinking.

I am not working in my living room, because it has no furnishings in it. This is my office. It makes me think differently - maybe more professionally. When I get paid I will try and afford an office. There are some for rent just a few metres from here. But the difference in mindset is obvious. This is where I work with no distractions (aside from Radio 3 in the background). Over there, in another room is where I sleep. Once I get a sofa and a TV this room will no longer be an office, a place of work. The act of leaving home to go to work, which at the moment is a step across my hall from the bedroom, is nonetheless a psychological watershed. I need to maintain that because I am getting so much more work done working this way.

Moving to the UK was meant to be a release from all the work permit and visa issues in Thailand but also to be able to restart the company. But an unexpected outcome has been this realisation that I need to keep work and home separate. And an unexpected benefit has been I have matching spoons.






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