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.





Yesterday was Christmas Day.

I've now lived in the UK for nearly seventeen months. I've had two visits back to see Ploy and another is booked for mid-January. But Christmas and the New Year was to be spent alone, and therefore I chose, rather than just sit at home watching crappy TV, to work. Except by noon on Jesus' birthday, I was waiting to see a doctor at Irvine General hospital. It turned out to be haemorrhoids, or specifically one of the little buggers, that had caused the panic (from me). So after some generous probing by the doctor, who gave me the all clear in other respects, I am spending Boxing Day relaxing (instead of working) and updating this website for the first time in fourteen months (to the day).

I was 61 this year.For the first 12 months since moving to the UK I didn't have enough money to go and see Ploy and the dogs in Thailand. Everything I had was put into getting the business established. It is difficult to explain why. Ploy has her own business in Thailand that is doing quite well. If I moved back to Thailand it would be enough money for us to live on. I could perhaps find some contract work to give us a few luxuries. But no, here I am working seven days a week (barring time out for anal probing), eating off a tray every night and going to bed before 8 p.m. But here is the reason I do this.

SingMai premises

This is yours truly outside our factory. SingMai is now 10 years old but this is the first time we have had proper premises. I can't explain how it feels to go to work every morning and unlock the door. It is sense of achievement, a sense of having actually done something. Of course all you have to do is pay a landlord rent every month and anyone could the same. But most people don't. For me it is symbolic. And it was justified by a contract we won from the Scottish government. Phase two of the contract is decided in March next year. If we win that we are really set fair. But we have other orders, mostly from China, and lots of ideas for new products. We have an exciting new project which we are working on with a Yorkshire company.

I blame my mother. But also Ploy, who drives me on. I may be at the age when I should be thinking of pipes and slippers and prostate glands, but I can't. My work on this planet is unfinished. Apart from my plans for Armageddon which I hope SingMai will eventually fund, I have this sense of unfulfillment. And Ploy shares it with me. That arbitrary million pound turnover awaits. And then 10 million. And then...

So what is the point, you cry. (OK, by we, I'm presuming more than one person is reading this. Well someone is, this year this website has had over 150,000 hits, albeit most cribbing my art history thesis.) Relax, switch off, sit on a beach with your wife and dogs, he or she cries. But after the second, or maybe third day, both of us would be fidgeting. Ploy doesn't need to work, but she does, and I completely understand why. It is not the money, it is the sense that you are making some tiny little mark on history. The books are written, the PhD is probably out of reach, but the business - well I can still make some success out of it.

And if it does allow me to fund Armageddon, well I really will have made my mark (well to any aliens who stop by, assuming I've made a good job of it. Maybe they will like my books too.).






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