Michael Eisner and Portsmouth FC

Michael Eisner and Portsmouth FC

Hi All

First of all let me congratulate Portsmouth FC on their winning of the division 2 Championship. It might have been down to the wire, but you did it and in front of the perspective buyer too! Quality!

Ok so this is an update to my first blog about Michael Eisner and the Pompey take over.

Since the last blog about this i have been reading, listening and watching all i can on this from here in Thailand.

One of the things i like, is that he and his family and the group and prepared to outline to the fans their ideals for taking over the club and moving it forward. As fans in the club no matter how we feel about the take over, we at least like that we are not being kept in the dark and being fed crap like mushrooms.

IN the Q and A at the guildhall he was honest enough say that he understood that some fans would not want or like the take over and if this was the case to vote no.

With him having been to a small number of matches now he has gotten the idea of what our fan base is like and how passionate we are about our club. i think it was because of this that they felt it was the right idea to open up and be honest and clear about what they have outlined for the take over for the club

Another thing i liked was that he was honest enough to say that right now not all the plans were in place. OK so he has said what he will pay for the club. what he will invest in the club too, but other than that? hints that investments to expand Fratton park and or build a new stadium as and when the time was right, but to try and do this in a sustainable way or as much that way as is possible in this day and age. He did make it clear that he is not just going to throw money at the club like confetti and hope for the best.  They realise that the club needs to be nurtured like an acorn of the mighty oak as used in the building of HMS Victory, one day it will grow to be big and strong, but this does not happen overnight.

So for that i feel that he is understanding about the club and fans and the future.

They also said about it being about all aspects of the club from the academy through to the community program this is all good.

OK so they say that they have looked into the history of the club and from the sounds of things they have done that, but i would like to know how much they have looked into the history of the city. Only us Pompey fans realise that when you love Pompey you love the city and its history. the two go together like a Pompey fan and their Pompey shirt. and i am sure some of you actually have your shirts tattooed on or had a surgeon attach it permanently. HAHA  I know i would wear mine morning noon and night if given a chance.

The Eisner family for me is the right way to go. Now, i have  been watching and reading social media to see what people are saying about the potential take over. Most people are being favourable towards the bid and some naturally are a bit cautious about it and i get that. I am sure i am not the only one who is a bit at least a bit nervous about what could happen if the take over is voted through, but then to be honest we should feel that way about any or all take over bids. We have been bitten bad by previous owners, so now when a new potential one comes along we should listen but at the same time not be completely suckered  in.

Having said that i am not the same as the haters out there. its lucky there is very few of them, but what they are saying is beyond reasonable. I went through the tweets of one. He, and i will keep him nameless, was saying in his tweets that If the take over goes through then he will be looking for a new club, but also said that the money from the Eisners would be well needed and used. I thought that he should make his mind up. you either want their money and to move forward or you dont want them at all.

The choice is down to the limited few of Pompey fans and we that dont have a vote must trust them to do the right thing.

One thing i dont appreciate is those shareholders who are intent to belittle those who for what ever reason could not afford to buy any shares. Everyone who  put anything into the collections or absolutely anything in a positive to help the trust to get and save the club.   Everyone did their bit to save “OUR CLUB”.

To sum up i think the Eisner family would be a great addition to the Pompey family. if it happens, then maybe we need to show them not just how important the club is to us but the city too, from HMS Victory to the traffic jams getting into the city at the start of the work day and again at the end of the day going home again. Its all a part of the whole that is Pompey

 

 

 

 

 

 

My football team

My football team

When i was about 11 or 12 i went to see my first football game at Fratton Park, home of Portsmouth football club. This was back in the late 70s.

Previously i had seen Reading FC play and had the great pleasure in early football fandom days of seeing Bobby Moore play at West ham and even the European Cup between Liverpool and Brugge at Wembley stadium. It was the later that showed me a lot of what being a football fan is all about. Everybody together more like family and friends than strangers. I remember on the way out there was getting to be a bit of a crush. The Liverpool fans were helping younger fans and women to get over the fences to safety. they did not know us from Adam, but it was about being together and helping each other no matter what.

So when i went to Fratton Park i found this again. not only that but to say we were close to the action is somewhat of an understatement. I remember stretching my arm out and being able to just about touch the turf. The singing the atmosphere the whole thing. Including a guy with a bugle even though he could not play it.

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John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood. Complete Portsmouth crazy man, but talk to him and you will fine that he is so nice to know. Most children are scared of him, but once they talk with him they like thousands of others just love him so much.

John is like many of us who have seen Pompey through the various divisions and competitions. Also watching in all weathers, from the warmth of a May afternoon, heavy rain and even freezing cold evenings on the terraces watching the Anglo Italian cup wearing more clothes than you believe possible and then wondering how the heck you will go toilet at half time. haha

Fratton Park is an old lady of a football ground and we love her very much, mostly for watching the games, but at times watching people like Madness giving a concert there. Special memories for sure.

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Fratton Park back in the day. Like a favourite granny well loved.

 

Over the 40+ years i have followed Portsmouth there has been several owner ships. some good and some almost a complete disaster. I wont go into details as for some its as interesting as watching paint dry. The problem is that the last private owner almost cost us our club. spiralling debts among other things. We got lucky and were allowed to do a fan based buy out and save the club. Through agreements and hard work the debts have been cleared and this year we gained promotion to division 1. To most not a huge achievement but when you consider that the club was within hours of going out of business this is a pretty big deal for the fans.

A few weeks ago there was talk of someone wanting to buy the club and return it to the glory days. The fear returned! then i heard the name. Michael Eisner. now ok i could not remember where from but i knew the name.

Nickelodeon Upfront Presentation 2009
Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images 

I read on and found out or was reminded that he was a big cheese at Disney and also Paramount studios. OK so both of those are not a football club, but to do what he did the business acumen has to be there.

Over the next few weeks i heard various things. not always easy from several thousand miles away, but still. One of the things i liked is that he had been to a game, but chosen not to sit in the directors box. Have since found out that he has been to 2 more games too.

He likes Portsmouth FC the atmosphere, the history, the smell of the place? and generally everything about it. Even when in the states he follows the games on the club radio. Then tweets about it too.

TRAVELER DIGITAL CAMERA Whats not to like. I remember when the ticket office was a pub haha

 

The club are in exclusive talks with Mr Eisner and on what i believe to be May 4th, he will go in front of of a meeting of the supporters trust and some fans too. There he will outline his plan for the club and its future.

In an interview he has said that in the short term he would do the work needed to bring the stadium up to the standard required. this is said to be around about £5 million. He went on to say that in the short term at least he wants to stay at Fratton park and develop that to some degree. Then when things get real good again he will look to a new stadium, but has promised that this should be no more than 15 miles away from Fratton Park.

I say this, So far what i am hearing i like, but i have heard things to a degree like this before, but before the words were meaningless. That is not to say that Mr Eisner’s ideals are meaningless, but I like many others are cautious, but once bitten twice shy.

I wish Michael Eisner luck with his bid and i hope together he will work with the fans to make Pompey the club it once was, but do this without the crippling debt. I hope that he understands the caution of the fans from what has happened in the past and that he shows us that actions will mean a lot to ease the nerves.

Good Luck to Micheal and Portsmouth and the future of our club. May this turn out to be the way to bring us back to the bigger stage and that be good for us all.

 

 

Thailand floods 2011

Thailand floods 2011

When i came here to live in September 2011 i had a shock. Firstly as i flew in i noticed what looked like snow as we started to descend in the plane. it was only when we got much lower that it became clearer that it was water an a lot of it.

OK so it was towards the end of rainy season so i did not think so much of it. When we got home and i started watching the news that i got more of an idea. Let me give you some basic information. Thailand slopes from North to south, so when it rains a lot in the north in Chang Mai and the like, then people that live between there and the sea, just the other side of Bangkok, then you need to know its gonna come your way.

Thing is pretty much every year there is flooding to the north, but in 2011 it was worse, much worse. from what they said after it was the worst for 50 years!

One of the first jobs i did here was to help with the village plan to sandbag the place. Yes 37 degrees and making sandbags. remember that i can not speak the language, but for sure it was well thought of me helping. One Thai military man helping asked me why i was doing it. I explained that its the way of the Thais to all chip in for the common good or goal. he then said to the others, for which i am guessing he told them what i told him. After that lots of smiles came my way, 6 years on it has not been forgotten.

I am sorry to say that the sandbags were not enough.

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When the house started to flood it was very scary for us with a nine month old. Basically there was no choice we had to evacuate. our family member to the south of the city gave us a room to stay in. When he came to collect us the water was up to my waist and i am 6 feet tall. We moved away for nearly 2 months.

After 6 weeks the wife came back to the house to see what it was like. there was still some water in the street, but no longer in the house. It was then the damage for us was clearly visible. I had moved as much as we could to upstairs things like washing machines and fridges and the like. only thing is we have a small house so some things we had no room for. also the word was that it would not be so bad.

What we know now is that as it was we got off very light. more than 5000 people lost their lives in the floods. more lost their homes and everything inside of them. The flooding was not just in a small area it was basically half the country from the mountains to the sea.

Even in our village 2 people died. a man turned on the electric while the water was still around. When his wife saw this she went for help. She was unlucky when she came face to face with a snake. Most snakes here swim and they were on the hunt for food. she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. So very sad.

The following is some of the photos from our house and road at the aftermath once all the water was gone.

P1000698 outside home

P1000701 Thick toxic sludge coated the roads and everything it touched.

P1000688our kitchen

P1000685living room you can see the high water mark

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P1000691living room after the clean up

P1000704 Sister in law helping with the clean up.

The clean up took several days, but again we were luckier than most especially those who lost everything.

The village as soon as it could started to clean the streets. rucks to take away all the salvageable items. another for all the sand bags and then finally came the street clean. this was water trucks spraying all the sludge and people from the village then would sweep it down to the end of the road. some went into the drains which later got a good power hose clean out too, but some was shovelled into trucks and taken away.

When it rains in Thailand it really comes down. during the rainy season, June to end of October, we get the tail end of monsoon from one direction and the tail end of Typhoons from the other direction. When it gets to September we start to watch the river levels. our is less than 100 meters away. since 2011 nearly every year the river has got withing a few inches of coming over the top of the river again and this is considered normal!

One thing that concerns me is the building going on in our area. Firstly the BTS, Skytrain, is building and it will be in our area within a couple of years ish. This will give better and faster access into the city. So because of this people are building everywhere to cash in on the house prices going up. thing is for me they are building where a lot of the flood waters were. It leaves me wondering where the water will go if it ever floods again.

Goodness forbid this ever happens again, but i am sure at some point it will.

If you want to see more of how bad things were search YouTube Thailand floods 2011. there are so many of them and they will give you more of an idea.

If you have been effected by floods or the like, i feel for you. Stay safe as always.

 

Lucky to be on TV

Lucky to be on TV

I want to start by saying that i am not crowing that my kids have been on TV. We feel lucky and blessed.

Over the years on “Kids Day” we mostly go to our local TV station. Thai PBS. To be honest we always watch that station. Its commercial free, paid for mainly by taxes on Drink and cigarettes and for us the programming is less blood and guts and more on a moral level. The kids programs are entertaining, factual and appeal to children in many ways.

By being one of the few non Thais that go i have become recognised by the presenters and producers alike and they often come up and talk to me and the kids.

Last year the presenter of one of the shows that our kids happens to like. Fun Milk Movement, said that she would like the kids to go and sing and dance with her at the display of her program.

To fill in the blanks, “Kids Day” is a national day where special events are held to show the kids what their futures could be and teach them at the same time. At the TV station they have each program set up with the presenters there. each program with have an activity for the kids to do with anything from colouring a picture to doing a screen test for reading the news . the kids normally walk away with a bucket full of free things and things they have gained during the day.

Anyway the kids went to join in the activities of their program. The children could join in and leave as and when they wanted. My 2 went on for 40 minutes and were only 2 of 7 that did that long. I noticed they were asking parents to sign the kids up for the possibility to be on the show. So naturally we did this and kept our fingers crossed.

A couple of weeks later we got a call to ask us to go to the studio. We thought this would be a screen test or something. WRONG! this was a full filming for tv. Not just that but they got paid too! we were not expecting that. Then on the way out after, one of the production team approached us for Lin to do a solo bit one a separate program. I have a simple rule when it comes to activities for the kids, we dont say no.

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Lin at front in yellow and Alex by the character in yellow too.

Having seen the first program on tv i chose to thank the program makers and the presenter who i did not know there was also the boss of the program makers. I explained what a good experience it was for the kids and us and how much it was enjoyed once it had been on TV.

A short while later and we got another call from the studio to film again. We felt very blessed to get a call back.

One thing we noticed this time around was how different the parents. some very stuck up and or pushy parents, but we have a simple mantra. Try your best and have fun. what was always funny is that Alex was always at the front of the line when it come to having the make up put on. Strange boy haha

One day i got a message from the Presenter and now a friend too. She said that her friend had invited us to be on another program. This one is called Kids Club and they deal with a different subject every week. We as a family, not just the kids, all of ushad been invited to be on the show about organic farming.

I was rather nervous as for me it was only ever about the children. I could already see them gaining in confidence which was a good thing, and has continued to be a good thing. So here we were about to go on tv and shall we say that if i ever went to the beach, Greenpeace normally turn up and try and drag me back in the water haha.

The whole experience was wonderful. ok so no pay for that one but the free gifts that both kids got was amazing.

On return i penned a thank you and about the whole experience and that if ever again we were needed we would be happy to help.

We were again asked a few more times to be on the first program. The kids bank accounts were getting very healthy. Then one day i posted on their Facebook page how much we enjoyed a program. Having done this i suddenly got a message from the TV station from another program called “Open House”. the British version would be Points of View. a program that want viewers to openly voice their thoughts on different programs. We had to make a video and send it in to say what we like about the programs , but also if we thought they could make changes to make things better. As the station had just cut all kids programs on school days before school i explained that i thought 30 minutes would be good for the kids as 2 and a half hours straight of news was a bit much for kids to deal with. This program was aired a while later and we got good feedback about it.

The presenter of the Fun Milk Movement program had been working with a university in a study about children’s tv. Our children were 2 of the 6 used in a special program made, but never to be shown. When all this had finished we got a call to do another filming, which was to be the last or at least for now. We were given dvds of the special program made and the children got certificates for their part in the study signed by the head of the University and also the head of National TV broadcasting in Thailand.

When we returned to the TV station on “Kids Day” this year, it was more like visiting friends with so many miles, hand shakes and hugs. A wonderful time for us all.

We feel so blessed that this happened and hope at some stage we can do some more. The main thing is the confidence the children have gained is special. before they were quiet and shy, but now out going and confident. Out of all of it this means the most to us and is helping at school.

Weddings Anniversaries

Weddings Anniversaries

Yes you read that right “Weddings” our weddings to be precise.

Ok so let me give you some basic information. We wanted and had a Buddhist wedding to keep with family tradition. Problem! Buddhist weddings do not register weddings nor give a wedding certificate. For Thais not a problem, but to keep international law and immigration happy, we had to have a government office wedding too.

The government office wedding was so unlike a wedding. After all the paperwork for the British embassy, then translation and legalisation. this took its time. but then the translators said they were almost finished. We then got a phone call from them to say come quickly as we were getting married there and then.

We got to the office where it was more like interrogation more than anything else. this was not helped by the translators making a complete “alls up”, sure there is a missing letter there. anyway after about 30 minutes we were given a certificate and basically told to sod off as we were married. No do you or i now pronounce you, none of that at all. Although by international law this is our wedding date, we do not consider that as our wedding.

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The Buddhist wedding is the one we consider our official wedding date and this took place 4 days after the government office thing. It is very traditional and ceremonial. OK so i am still to this day lost for all the different meanings of the things, but can i just say that it felt right to do it and i tried my best to do everything right.

 

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One of the things is about half way through and the ceremony lasts at least a couple  hours, ours nearly 4 hours starting at 6.30am. so about half way we need to give food to the monks. We had to give a main meal and desert to them. i can just give and they will take it, but for women they must place onto an orange cloth that each monk has. this is to avoid direct contact between women and monks.

Until the monks have gone no one else is allowed to eat. Actually with all that went on in the day me and the wife had next to nothing to eat all day. think i had 4 spoons of fried rice and that was it. Lets be honest a person of my size was not exactly going to starve to death. haha.

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After the Monks left then stage 2 of the wedding begins. This is a little more relaxed.

During this time the payment, that is previously agreed between the parents of the woman and the groom is paid. this is called Sin Sod, basically translates as mothers milk. dependant on her importance within the family depends on how much is paid. In modern times most of this is given back to the bride and groom as a wedding gift.

The Payment is laid out for all to see and then when it has been by all then it is wrapped up and the mother of the bride then makes out to run away with the money.

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After that and before everyone gets to eat, comes the joining of the man and woman. no you dirty minded lot i dont mean like that.

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the joining is the 2 rings of string with an adjoining string. Then after that starting with family, blessed water is poured over the hands ending up on the flowers below. this is to cleanse the past and bless the couple. words along the lines of wishing a long and happy married life.

After this we had to go and greet all of the wedding guests. always a strange time in Thailand. this is because you invite some people and it is highly unlikely you will get a reply, but then others will just turn up, but you cant say no you were not invited. the more that show up means the more popular you are. We invited about 70 and nearly 130 showed up.

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Some traditions dont change no matter what the faith. for the Buddhist wedding the bouquet is only for the throwing of. sort of a waste but who am i to say.

The day was to say the least hot 38 degrees C or 100.4 degrees F and it all started at 3.30am when we had to go and do make up and get dressed and stuff.

It was a very special day for sure and very soon it will be the 8 year anniversaries

Strange times for me

Strange times for me

The photo is nothing to do with this blog really.

 

Right now i am having a bit of an emotional tug of war with myself. this has a lot to do with past schooling and the memories behind this.

Back in my early days of school, The Whitley school. Emmer Green Primary and Highdown, I have very limited memories of these schools and to say the least not always good. during 2 of the schools i was punched in the mouth 5 times. ” at Emmer Green and 3 at Highdown. Now dont get me wrong, i was a right spoilt shit back then and deserved all i got. i hold no blame or ill will against anyone other than myself.

I also have some nicer memories too and some strange ones like a boy on the first year at highdown who would think nothing of getting his meat out under the desk in class. strange and mildly amusing too. I am sure there are better ways to entice the girls, or maybe i am wrong.

As i have said in recent blogs i have recently caught up with some of my friend from back in those days, no not the meat desk man haha.

Then there was a Facebook group where some i know and some i dont know from back them have gotten together to share memories. This has been good and at times tough for me too. It has helped me to talk with and remember people i thought i had forgotten and this was and is good, but it has its down sides too. Thinking about and remembering my parents fighting that ultimately caused me to leave Highdown. Remembering the deserved beatings i got and at Emmer Green one teacher telling me to grow up after i had been punched and my lip as always split, but they all lead onto the other school i went to.

At this new school i went to i was an outsider. i come from a different place. it was claimed i spoke with an accent. i was pushed around and bullied something rotten. I have never been a strong person, nor a brave one. probably why i always came off second best in a fight. one of the low lights of  my time at the school was when i was threatened by a girl before she stuck her knee where it dont belong.

At the start of my 3rd year i decided to skip school. i wanted to go back to Reading, where although i still did not like school it was less bad than this one. i managed to get away with 6 weeks solid off of school before i was found out.

When i returned to the school, where things like the cane and slipper were still used the punishment given to me was to suffer the ridicule from the other kids. The nicer ones were impressed i got away with it, but those who had been bullying me, well they decided to make up for lost time. probably one of the worst things was when one hit me in the face and arms with the thorny stems of roses that grew in the school. When i reported it i was replied to with “and what do you expect me to do about it?”

Something else happened that was very dark in my life at that time, but i am no way strong enough to even think about telling anyone about it. Last time i tried i dived into a bottle of vodka and continued to drink heavily for months after. I dont need or want to go to that place again. on the plus side of things it would stop the blogs.

Anyway back to the bullying. one day while on break one of the bullies came up to me in the class i was waiting for. Bad timing for him. he started on me. i grabbed him by the tie, swung him round and threw him up against the windows. I then fired a punch at him, but as i realised punching his head through the glass would be bad, my punch went just by his ear smashing the glass behind him. He peed himself on the spot. Naturally and again deservedly so i got in a crap load of trouble. One thing it did was stop the bullying. the people that had been doing it would turn and go in the other direction or stay away from me. I am in no way proud of what i did, but he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

One thing that has followed me from school is guilt. Guilt at leaving Highdown without giving my friends a way to contact me. Guilt from what happened with the bully and guilt from the dark place i cant talk about. I can not shed this guilt. I am sorry for some of the things, but the guilt still follows me.

One thing has come to me this week, is from the group. I love it, but with memories being so sketchy from back then. I see the photos and listen to what people are saying from back then, but for me there is mostly a missing element. What is it? ME. ok i understand that as i was not there for long that school experiences and other experiences would not have much of me in them and thats ok, but it does make me feel like i am on the outside edge looking in. This is making me feel strange for sure.

I have had my issues down the years and now i am finding that i am looking at these issues again. I know what i need to help, but its not possible, so i have to try and deal as best as i can. my way may work, but if it is the right or the wrong way to deal with it? well i dont know. I am sure people will have their thoughts on the matter, just as long as they dont know whats going on inside my uncle ned, well they just cant know.

I am not a strong person, never way and never will be. My choice of what to do? Leave the group. I dont think its right but maybe just maybe it will be less hard for me to deal with.

To my friends, in the group or not, this is not a mark against any of you, its just me going back to a personal restore point where i can try  and go back to a calmer place. Its not that i dont want contact from these friends from my past as i really dont want to lose you again, but i cant get my head right at this moment in time and even the writing of this blog that normally helps, well its not so much this time.

Sorry its a bit doom and gloom but feel its only right to explain myself in a way i would find it very hard to do in direct contact or even face to face.

Surin

Surin

Yes its that time of year again for the twice annually visit to the in laws. Not so bad i hear you shout. well let me explain why i find this such a wonderful time.

OK lets start by saying that I like the in laws and the family in their area of the world, but i am not really a country boy at heart and for some of us from the west this might be considered roughing it and i am not good at that.

The grandparents live north of the city of Surin. They are rice farmers and grow the wonderful Jasmine rice. it is to say the least sodding hard work. Maybe it is 2 crops a year, but the work involved means a hard year every year.

Surin is to the east of Thailand not so far from the Cambodian boarder. My in lwas are actually of Cambodian decent.

Surin is a reasonable sized city, with a large expat community, but as with most expats here unless you are in their clique you have little to no chance of them even speaking to you, but as this happens all over Thailand it should be of no surprise. Its not like i want to have their children or anything, just would like to have a little chat but even that seems too much for most British and American expats. The French, German and Australians who all to some degree dont like the British, they have no problem talking and being friendly. Oh well beggars and choosers and all that Jazz!

 

So the house is out in the sticks a bit. Very friendly people for sure and also for sure they dont have much, but they would share with you their last slice of bread, although to be honest they are not likely to have bread haha.

On of the things that always surprise me in the area is that of the local wildlife. This for me means anything from a cockroach to big spiders and even bigger snakes!

cockroaches will come into any house in Thailand no matter how clean it is. normally this happens if/when it rains as it seems they dont like getting wet. Another thing living in the houses here are Geckos. known as house lizards here. A night operator that is scared of you beyond words. they try and eat flies and mosquitoes, but in the Surin area there is more mosquitoes than you can shake a stick at. The kids and especially Alex normally get bitten a lot every night. Worst thing about that is he reacts badly to the bites but we use a stuff called Antergan and this really works and quickly.

Inside the house you will also get spiders and bugs. most of these congregate in the  bathroom, but the big spiders, and believe me i dont like them no matter what size they are, but the big ones head for the bedrooms. The in laws laugh at me as they are disposing of these 8 legged monsters!

Last time we were there i found walking down the road a small snapping turtle. I picked it up and showed the kids before returning it to near the local pond. Again the father in law laughed as he just said snake as it seems thats where they hunt.

Thailand has a lot of snakes and most of them will do you serious damage if they bite you. the only ones i have seen are constrictors but i did see one that was over 8 feet long.

for the most part the more nasty wildlife wont go into houses unless after food. No they done eat Tom Sum or things like that but frogs and mice and rats well they are fair game. What makes most of the snakes real sneaky is that they can swim so flood waters can be dangerous.

I have not seen a scorpion as of yet, but they also do live in the country areas too.

So to sum up when i go to the in laws i make every excuse to go shopping so i can use toilets that does not have all the creepy crawlies. Yes yes i know i am a wuss for being scared of these things.

Another thing i am not keen on is the drive. Basically we have to just go on 4 main roads. Highway 1,2,24 and the 214. the 24 is a very long road that for the most part is just farm fields and this road lasts for nearly half the trip. over the past 2 plus years they have been widening half of the road to 2 lanes and we hope this time they have finally finished but wont hold our breath. if they have we hope they have started on the part of the road that has potholes the size of small countries.

On the plus side is the 7/11 stores at the service stations. they are not able to put their prices up because of where they are. so in Thailand the price you pay for something at 7/11 is the same for every one of their stores no matter where they are even at the airport! British motorway service stations please take note. If you dont vastly over price things you sell a heck of a lot more meaning more profits. its quite basic. the shops on the big roads here are always jammed with people. Petrol stations are not allowed to charge more than about 2p above the normal price.

So its the first time of the year for this trip for us. 6 to 7 hours of driving excluding the stops and with young kids there are some stops!

We will leave at 4am to avoid some of the worst traffic, but when i get there it will be just the coffee keeping me awake. this is never normally helped by the wife and kids snoring in the back for the first couple of hours.

This time i will take a note book and pens and i will pre write some more blogs for your pleasure/disgust. maybe i could do more for my other writing projects, but i would not hold my breath on that front. haha

That should keep you going until next week when i come back and give you more to read haha

Stay safe