A new life at 67.Can a woman start all over again?

Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

A Good Read

There are some really positive things about being single.Especially if you are lucky enough like me to be to be living in a luxury apartment in Thailand until the UK throws off winters grips.

I “reside” in a two bedroom,two bathroom apartment.That means I don’t just have one cleaning lady,I have two.They come with the place.

Monday morning 0900  is my allocated time,which means anything  between nine and ten o’clock.That is the only thing in my agenda the whole week.

Invitations are all very last minute so there is no need to note those.

In this paradise I have time to call my own,and can read again without getting a bad conscience because I should be doing some household chore or cooking dinner.

Not that you can attempt any heavy literature in this heat, so I enjoy just a good book that can also accompany me to the beach or down to the pool.

I have now discovered Jeffrey Archer who fits my requirements perfectly.I know he has been around for quite a while but if you haven’t read anything by him and need a book for a long journey or holiday he is your man.

 

Last week I finished “Paths of Glory”,a story about George Mallory,the English mountaineer that led the first attempt to climb Everest.
Based on fact it poses the question of whether history should be rewritten.
It is exciting,interesting and yet most amusing reading, written in a W.Somerset Maugham style,and in fact at times it is difficult to say who the writer is.

Now I have advanced to a collection of short stories by Archer.”A Twist in the Tale” Just as entertaining but enabling you to get up and do things between them.

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Should I do Bali?

Here comes the difficult part of being alone again.
Diminished funds.
Forty years of not having to consider very much whether I could afford it or not gets to be a habit.
Of course if I had considered it then,I might not have had to consider it so much today, but that is beside the point now.

A friend of mine asked yesterday, if I would like to join her when she went to Bali in January,her husband would be away and she would enjoy the company.

A lovely idea I thought.It would also combine with my having to make a “visa run” (one of the rusty bits where staying in Thailand for more than a few months is concerned)

But now I can’t just say,yes,which I would have done before.
I now have to consider many things,the main one being,can I really afford this,even if I get the cheapest available flight,and basically I am a 5* girl.
Is Bali really worth it.

I suppose I could fast for a few weeks.
Cut out the gin and tonics,which of course I only take for their medicinal benefits in the tropics.
Not send Christmas cards,which I won’t get back anyway out here.
Not start my art classes again,which are an added luxury and I don’t practice enough.
Forget the hair dressers, even though it does only cost 100 Baht.

Yes,I will really have to think about it.

Saving Money

You might ask what I am doing in Thailand for the winter months.

Not exactly the place for a single woman to go if she was looking for a western man,much too much competition from young Asian women.

No,I am certainly not looking for another man,I am  here for several other reasons;

I hate the cold

I love South East Asia

Most of my new friends are here too.

But most of all, because I now have to look after myself with not all the money in the world to do it with,and here you can definitely  live  more cheaply than in Europe

This money thing,is of course the  stumbling block.

I am sure there are countless women of my age,who might like to get up and leave, start a new life,and try and find happiness and satisfaction in the days that are still granted them, but they are frightened.

Frightened of loosing their security,frightened of being alone in old age,frightened of not being able to pay the bills.Frightened  full stop.

I was too,still am,but I am confident that things will turn out well for me.

I am confident it could also turn out well for you.

Happy Thanksgiving

Yesterdays Roses

Yesterday was my 40th wedding anniversary.No that is not completely true.It would have been, but then I was divorced on September the 7th,so I suppose I will have to start again from that date.Yes,I think I will do that because I like celebrating things. What do you think?

Of course there will be no red roses anymore,I never really liked them anyway,so grand,so overpowering.So shall I buy a rose for myself, one  -seeing as I will be paying – of those lovely round pink ones with the tinged green edges. Fragonard would be an appropriate name for them I think.

Yes,I am sad,memories don’t die so easily,but I have many things that make me happy and they are what count now.

The 18.11 from Hua Hin

It is stormy here in Thailand.

In Hua Hin,we don’t notice it much, except everybody seems to know somebody that is stuck at the International Airport in Bangkok.

I went with a friend to the Immigration Buro early this morning to make sure I wouldn’t have trouble leaving or getting back into the country again if I had to.

Afterwards we lashed out on breakfast western style in the beautiful grounds of the Hyatt Hotel,celebrating nothing except that he had managed to withdraw a large sum of money from his Thai bank account and changed it into gold in China Town.

That’s how it is here right now.

The train to Kuala Lumpur and beyond leaves Hua Hin daily at 18.11

Pour yourself another cup of tea, and let’s sit out the storm.

Full Moon Festival

One of the most beautiful festivals celebrated in Thailand is that of Loy Krathong.

It falls on the November full moon night.

Loy means float and Krathong leaf bowl or wreath.

All over Thailand people make these wonderfully decorated floats out of folded banana leaves and artistically arranged jasmine,orchids and chrysanthemum flowers. Candles and sticks of incense are placed in them as well as a few coins as offering to Buddha and they are then lit and placed in the canals and waterways where they float away,perhaps bringing the wished for happiness and appeasement to their makers.

My Thai friend invited me to the festival.She had been helping the children in her daughters school, to make their Krathongs and I had watched and even tried the complicated folding of the leaves myself. Obviously it would have been insulting to refuse her,even when she told me that the three of us would go of course in the national costume. Have you ever seen the national costume!?

I was taken along to a shop where the beautiful heavy silk dresses and ornamental jewelry and tiaras could be hired.They are very expensive so few people have their own. The chosen dresses were then fitted,the bodice so tight we could hardly breath,and the long narrow skirt definately not designed to walk quickly in. We were to return on the afternoon of the festival to be made up,and our dressed in the traditional styling.

It took three and a half hours for them to turn us, into unbelievable looking china dolls,with a flawless make up,not only on our faces but on our arms and shoulders as well. We hardly recognised ourselves afterwards. Our hair was sprayed until it was so stiff that the sea breezes couldn’t harm it, put up and crowned with a gold Tiara and Orchids. Gold Jewelry was fitted around our waists, arms, neck and ears.

At last we were ready. My friend in a dress of burgundy and gold,mine the colour of the moon with gold,and her seven year old daughter in a lovely peach.

I soon got used to the nudges and stares, smiles and thumbs up. We were the absolute center of attraction.Everyone wanted to take my photo and the flashing cameras of the hundreds of Thai who weren’t in a costume made me feel like a Hollywood star on Oscar night. It certainly isn’t usual for them to see a blond “Farang” in the costume of old Siam.

Carrying our Krathongs we finally arrived at the canal and lowered them into the water.Slowly they floated away,the candles flickering in the moonlight.Our wishes going with them.

Will they come true? I hope so.

Christmas in Thailand

A lot of water has flown down the Chao Phraya since I last wrote a post.It doesn’t mean that I didn’t think about writing but I was experiencing so many different things,meeting interesting people and feeling a little like a Thai. No news is good news.

With the help of new friends I was lucky enough to get to know Thailand a little,from the side that the average tourist doesn’t see, and learn to love it for all it’s faults.

We Westerners mustn’t come to Thailand and try and teach them our ways,we must accept how the East is, and not try and change it, with time they will teach themselves. In so many things they are light years ahead of us and we could learn from them.

Today I saw my first Christmas tree outside the next shopping Mall.

Tall,and plastic and blue.

The Thai of course don’t celebrate Christmas.

It was for us.

Khob Kuhn Ka

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