better living, Life, Uncategorized

Inefficient – Daily post prompt

Hmmm.  I think it is inefficient that there are few people with lots of money in this world and lots of people with none.

If there were more people with money. More people could buy more things. The economy would boom.  But with the mega rich keeping it to themselves the prospect of this boom is minimal.


But the rise in the need for million pound homes, cars, boats, aeroplanes for personal use is rising.  Few people getting the benefit. It is highly inefficient for these people to use this money in this way when their fellow countrymen, continental cousins or citizens of the world are suffering.

If you are getting lots of money for what you do. Please ask the question. How much do I really need to live well and happy.  The answer from research is – not very much. The more you give, the more happier you will be.  This is a very efficient use of resources.



age, carers, Dementia, Life

I am now an Orphan

Def: Orphan A child whose parents are dead. Oxford English Dictionary.


Sorry not been writing for a while.  I had to process, a lot of changes in my life. But as you might have gathered via other media,  my mum is now in heaven. She has left this mortal coil. I have apparently lost my mum.

It is funny the expressions we use when someone has died. But I contest I have not lost her. I know where she is. She is in my heart.  Which is where she will remain. If it suits others to think of her in another place, so be it. I do often joke that I now have another person on the “other side”. Someone to have a word in God’s ear if I need something. But not sure I really believe it.



Close to when my mum died a few other famous folk followed her. Sir Roger Bannister he of the 4 minute mile. Stephen Hawking major physicist, and finally Ken Dodd.  He was a comedian/singer my mother loved. If there is an “other side” he will be there making her laugh and she will enjoy hearing him sing again. Many childhood holidays,  were spent watching Ken Dodd and his Diddy men on stage doing summer season. If true, she will also be with my dad and her daughter Anne. Some people find this very comforting. Again, if it is true, I am sure my mum will be happy. It is nice to think of them all together. Not sure I want them as a greeting party when I go though.

But now I find I am an orphan in the world and I feel it. It is a dramatic turning of the page where I am now that generation in my family with other members below me. My aunty realised at 80 that she is now the matriarch. Not sure this appeals to her. No parents. No one to go to, to share things with or keep things from. It feels odd but oddly releasing. I am now free to do what I like, when I like, with whom I like without the sanction of my parents wishes or feelings getting in the way. It is indeed freedom. Freedom at age 56.

The funeral was the funeral. A catholic ritual complete with a number of priests, hymns and incense. My mother would have loved it and that is the important bit. One hymn did get to me and I did cry, but that is acceptable at these things. Although not sure my nephew, sat next to me,  knew what to do with me.

On to the crematorium and while we waited my great nephew aged 6 entertained all by asking the funeral lady all about cremations. “So, will grandma get burned then?” “Why wont the whole building burn down?” “Where do you put the ashes?” Bless the lady she answered him honestly and with respect to the occasion. But he did lighten the mood and my mum would have smiled.

So we move on. I returned home to Somerset and live my life with doggie Lola who arrived at just the right time. I am an orphan but I now have a really good friend.



Life, travel

Christmas in Chaing Mai 7

Travel to Chaing Rai

We travelled by red truck to the bus station after lovely breakfast yet again at the Ninety Nine Gallery Hotel.

We were on the 10.30 bus to Chaing Rai. This was a first class bus with toilet. There is a 2nd class without.

The journey took over four hours as it was raining hard. We saw three accidents on the highway. Apparently this is the highest cause of death in Thailand. Thank goodness we had a good driver.

Then after some help from satellite navigation we arrived at our new hotel. Baan Suan Jantra Home Stay.

I can only say this was a delightful surprise.

We had our own little house on stilts with two separate bedrooms and bathroom. The view to die for despite the rain.

There was Art everwhere. Sculptures and installations. Every piece special in its own right.


And Nee the lady of the house was very special from the start.

Liong had a lesson in how to make fried spring roll. We completed the evening with a home cooked meal and shared it with a family from Sweden. They became very special friends.

Off to bed to the sound of rain and insects and Thai countryside.

Life, travel

Christmas in Chaing Mai 4

This morning we decided to have a quiet day after yesterdays exercise. Late breakfast then out to see Wat Soundork

Beautiful temple so stunning!


Lunch menu nearby 40 Bhat ? 1.50 Then back to hotel. Liong went for a sleep.

I went for a full Thai Massage across the street. 250 Bhat.

First she scrubbed my feet. While I drank green tea. Then upstairs she dressed me in cotton top and trousers. Very modest. Then she began to massage. First my legs and feet. Using her body. At one point she had her foot in my groin while she stretched my leg. Uncomfortable but bliss at the same time.

Both arms were treated to same using her elbows for point pressure. A head massage. Then onto my front.

She literally knelt on my thighs whilst elbows were in my back.

Like I said uncomfortable but felt she released a lot of pent up tension. Will go back before I go home.

Bliss utter bliss.

After a nap we went out to the Black temple WAT lok Molee. Old siamese soldiers at the gate.

Under reconstruction but stunning again.

Outside in the courtyard was a lot of cross cultural/religious understanding. With Hindu and Bhuddist icons together.

Then the rooster king with all his roosters. Fascinating.


Finally we went to the sunday street market. A big event for tourists. Lots of music, people and great street food. The best ever spring rolls.

Home to bed. Its xmas eve. Tomorrow we go to the Elephants.

Life, travel

Christmas in Chaing Mai 3

Saturday 23rd Dec We had arranged to be picked up by our very own Red truck. A great way for regular Chaing Mai travel. You hail them like a taxi. But we hired one for half a day to go to 3 places. 1000 Bhat. First to Doi Pui a mongolian village. Tourists ++++++ I was a little overwhelmed at first with the small streets and shops. I also thought I had lost my money for the trip. I had it ready in my pocket. Then it was gone. I was afraid I had been a victim of tourist theft. But we went on to the gardens where people were wearing Mongolian dress. With a beautiful waterfall and flowers. Then back to the bus and there it was. My money safe in the floor of the bus. I was so happy. I gave it straight to our driver for his safekeeping. Then on to Doi ping and the Bhu bing palace. The Rose garden , beautiful flowers at this time of year in Dec. I found a giant Bamboo tree to hug. A lovely view for lunch With real Thai fish cake in Thailand

Lastly we move onto DOI SUTHEP 300 steps. The way of the mountain

Yes I made it all the way up. The temple at the top was spectacular.

What goes up must come down.

We lost our truck as there were so many but another Thai driver helped us out to get him to come to us. Very nice people.

Not too sure about the small children in Mongolian dress dancing for money. Their “mother” or chaperone sat in the back. Not sure how long they had been dancing. Sign said collecting money for scholorship. Hmmmmmm. We went back to the hotel for a short siesta then out to dinner via Tuk Tuk with reluctant small Santa.

Met up with some of Liongs university friends. All Cambodian. Thank goodness they all had a little english. The table was filled with food but soon finished. Tomorrow we will need a rest.

Life, travel

Christmas in Chaing Mai 2

Fri 22nd Dec

First day proper in Chaing Mai. Lovely breakfast in the hotel. Omelette made fresh for me. Good coffee.

Then we walk to discover the city. The weather is warm and sunny. Traffic busy. Memories of walking in Phnom Penh come flooding back. Lots of Motos (scooters). Lots of big cars and what look like red buses. The cheapest local transport.

Onto the temple. Big famius Chaing Mai temple Wat Phrasingha. Small meditation with lots of people. Weird life like monk statues.

Then onto smaller less touristic Wat Prasat

Then we spent time at Chaing mai University. My friend Liong showed me where she studies, where she eats, where she spends her time. Had proper thai food in thailand. Student life


Then onto the beautiful University lake where I did some yoga/thai chi.

Back to the hotel for a snooze.

Then out to see Christmas in Chaing Mai.

We had drinks at the Roof top bar in the Maya shopping mall

We eat in the market. Lovely authentic soup Mokathak. Not an english white person in sight. Great.

Tomorrow I have 300 steps to climb

better living, Life, shopping, Uncategorized


This morning I was charmed by something being shared on Facebook.  A cuddly bear playing peek-a- boo.  It was holding up a sheet in front of it’s face, then putting it down.  The child laughed.  It was very cute. According to the comments everyone apparently loved it, wanted it, recommended it.

I then began thinking. Why did the people commenting not want to play with their child themselves?  Why did they want to buy a bear to do it?  Or, was it just a sad marketing ploy to put all those different positive comments? Were those comments real? Hmmm


I do recognise that if we don’t buy lots of “stuff” the commercial world will collapse.  The world runs on the creation of products and services that we buy.  We are purchasing to support jobs, the economy etc, but really!!!! Who is getting rich with our money?  Manipulating us to buy products we really don’t need and stop us from interacting with our children.

Why don’t we use our buying power to encourage them to make stuff we really need.  Things that are useful to society as a whole. Big business won’t make as much money out of us.  But maybe we won’t have bought useless rubbish that is good for no one.

Is it not about time that we recognised that the discovery of eyebrows was yet just another marketing ploy. The development of one more section of the huge cosmetic industry to sell us yet more stuff. To entice us to buy products we just don’t need.  We apparently “want” them, because the companies have cleverly told us we do.

Advertisements do work. Isn’t it weird that suddenly wallpaper is in fashion again! So off we go and buy it.  That we need a new sofa “before xmas!”  That we really must have something in “check pattern” to wear, because that is the latest thing. No, no, no we don’t.  Please think. If you have money to spend in this manner how could you use it to help someone else. Buy someone else a new sofa who hasn’t got one.


The thing that children need most is time with people who love them. Ask them they will tell you.    To show them how to live in the world. How to be kind. How to have fun.  I promise you, you do not need to buy a toy to occupy them with something you can do together. Time is free.   It is a lovely feeling to know it is you that have helped them smile and giggle


Oh, and just because the “Kardashians” have it, does not mean you need it too. Really you don’t. Whatever the product is it won’t make you happier or more beautiful, whatever the advert says.

We as humans are better than this. We know when we are being manipulated; exploited; used. Your children will still love you and appreciate the things you can give, without bankrupting the family.

Look around your house at all the “stuff” you have. Does it make you satisfied?  Look at the people you love. How does that make you feel?

Please don’t buy the peek-a-boo bear.  Interact with your child yourself.  The smile you get in return will stay with you longer than the “flashing light glow headwear” you just had to buy for halloween/bonfire night.