Archive for December, 2006

Postcard from Thailand

When I lived here, I thought Bangkok at Xmas was nice and cool – and would wear a long-sleeved shirt instead of short sleeves. Actually, it’s monstrously hot and humid. So, after a day seeing old friends and getting our bodies used to the time zone, it was off to Hua Hin to the beach and some cooling sea breeze.

We’re in a lovely hotel that we always used to stay in; it’s impeccably clean, with a lovely pool and it’s a five minute amble to Hua Hin beach.

The days go like this: get up, 7.30. Breakfast by the pool at 8. Kids in pool at 8.30. Join kids in pool at 9.30. Drag kids out of pool for lunch at 12. Lie down in room 12 – 1.30 (sun too hot) then down to the white-sand beach. Showers at 5pm, then out to eat spicy seafood dishes at 6 (the food here is enough to make a grown man cry in happiness).

Then, to help recover from the exhausting schedule, we go out for massages (both Marina and James fall asleep during theirs) and finally put the kids to bed at 9.30, after which Nongyaw and I drink beer, read, chat and watch the moon above the mountains from our balcony overlooking the pool.

Darth Vader down the chimney

It’s midnight on Christmas Eve, and a five year-old Luke Skywalker is fast asleep, but suddenly awakened by a crash and a cloud of soot coming from the fireplace. From down the chimney stepped … not Santa, but Darth Vader!

“Luke”, breathed Vader. “See that gift over there under the tree? That’s a cuddly Ewok, that is.”

“Stop!”, cried the infant Luke. “You’re spoiling the surprise!”

“Luke, that one there is a brand new light sabre”, Vader continued.

“Don’t tell me”, said Luke, clamping his hands over his ears.

“Luke, the really big one is a replica of the Millenium Falcon”, Vader concluded.

Luke tearfully asked, “How do you know what Santa’s brought me?”.

Vader replied, “Luke – I have felt your presents”

See ya next year!

Anyway, I’m off to Thailand for a no-Xmas holiday. Gotta love Buddhism. All the best.

Christmas is coming. The bastard.

Last year, I sent no Xmas cards – and friends kept talking to me, clients kept hiring me, and gorgeous women kept admiring me. The reason wasn’t pure humbuggery , but a dislike of the waste of money sending a small piece of paper, often by highly-polluting air travel, so the recipient can look at it once and throw it away.

This year, I’m giving the dosh I spend on cards to Amnesty International. When I was a lad, and a lot more politically active, I did quite a lot with Amnesty, but rather got tired of their mission-creep into protesting against the death penalty and for abortion rights.

But these days, when there’s a Shhh-don’t-use-the-word-“genocide ” in Darfur, detention without trial in the USA, organ-harvesting in China, and Mr Putin feeding nuclear sushi to critics, it seems Amnesty is needed more than ever.

So, please accept my apologies for not sending you a card – and please don’t send me one, but send a quid to Amnesty on my behalf. Or just have a beer and think nice things.

Designers still wanted

The client hired designers who don’t understand Web. I can see the horrors, but can’t do better designs. If you can design, it’s not too late to send some samples to pitch for a couple of days work.

Friday joke

Let’s have Christmas jokes throughout December!

It’s late at night, and Good King Wenceslas has had a hard evening doing good and helping people. Being too tired to cook, he goes to his favourite pizza restaurant.

“Young man”, he says to the waiter who shows him to his Royal table and takes his order, “I’ll have my usual pizza. And fast, please.?”

The waiter runs into the kitchen, frantic with worry. “I’m new,” he stutters to the cook, “so I’ve got no idea what His Majesty’s ‘usual’ is!”.

“Good King Wenceslas? He always has it deep pan, crisp and even.”