The Author

Previous entries

Returning Home - Again

The God Illusion

Going Home


A Change of Direction

Dogs and Pandemics

The Forgotten tenors

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.



Just Do It


Just one week after I wrote about returning to the UK to ease the burden of visas and working in Thailand, I have booked my flights (one-way), my train up to Ayr in Scotland, and two weeks at an apartment there. I have found my old paper driving license (having lost my photo card), my National Insurance number and my birth certificate. And I read today of cricket returning to the BBC - it is all coming together.

And other things to look forward to:

  • I have already received offers to visit old friends in the UK - this is an end to my hermit like existence and it's probably for the good.
  • Shreddies - my favourite breakfast cereal which I have never been able to find in Thailand.
  • Warm dark beer. I'll just have to remember not to put ice in it!
  • Being able to drive on the roads without having a near death experience every 100m.
  • Assuming the Daily Mail is not correct and immigrants have over-run the country, being able to communicate freely and easily with people (although I am in Scotland).
  • Not always having to bear in mind my visa and work permit expiration dates.
  • Drinking tap water. Here I sometimes wonder if I should even shower using it.
  • Going to watch a cricket match.
  • Comparatively decent TV to watch, especially comedy without the kiddies 'ta da' sound effects that infects the stuff here. It is like watching a dumbed down Mr. Pastry - and that's the news.
  • The Prom concerts and other live classical music.
  • No village announcements (we have a tannoy belting out shit music and news announcements most days at about 5 p.m. - think North Korean brainwashing).
  • Windswept beaches (of course, I could live near the beach here, but most of the places near the sea are owned by the government, or are industrial ports, or are filthy or are very touristy). Luckily a lot of British seafront towns are shit and therefore empty.
  • Cynicism. I don't like the Thais deference to so-called superiors, given that what they have here is the opposite of a meritocracy - lousyocracy. The British know that shit floats to the surface and treat the people at the top accordingly.
  • Quiet. At least that is what I remember. Here it doesn't seem anything can be done quietly. Even a conversation between two old women can be heard a kilometre away and sounds like the aliens from Mars Attacks on acid.
  • Not having the electric cables on the outside of the walls in your house (not all houses here are like this, ours is). And on that subject, having a ground connection is nice.
  • Not having your neighbours open an abattoir and you can do nothing about it. (To be fair, they opened a hairdressers, but that means noise most days and cars and bikes constantly blocking our entrance.)
  • No road blocks. The police here are lazy. Rather than chase after the real road traffic offenders, they set up road blocks and randomly stop cars to extort their bonus. To be honest, I haven't been stopped more than a couple of times, but I still have a sense of dread going through them.
  • Workmanship. Let's say you're having a kitchen extension. You go and look at a near neighbour and see what they have had done. If it looks OK you call them and ask for a quote. They come and start work. It will be a family. The husband, for it is usually he, does most of the work, the wife does the major hauling, one daughter nurses the baby, the son sleeps all day, the other daughter goes out buying the stuff. He is quite good at building walls and plastering. Electrics, plumbing, not so good, but he'll give it a go. He is not so much Corgi registered as Soi Dog registered. That said, our kitchen extension cost about 1000 pounds for everything, about the cost in the UK for someone giving you an estimate.
  • And on that subject - small jobs. You can't get people to come out and do small jobs. It is too much effort. A little bit of tile repair - forget it, you'll just have to live with it or do it yourself or find a friendly neighbour to do it.
  • And on that subject - having people say 'I'm sorry, we can't do that'. Here, rather than admit that, they'll 'give it a go'. And no, it rarely works out well.
  • Blackberries, gooseberries, daffodils and bluebells.





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