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

Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Thai Dawn

The dawn comes up early in Thailand.

The hills take on their misty silhouette and a cooling breeze pushes it’s way through the mosquito screens.

Then suddenly, as though observing a conductors baton the birds twitter and sing in unison,hundreds of them.

Depending on your mood and at what time you found sleep the night before you might call this early morning chorus a God awful din, or the most beautiful sound in the world.

It lasts perhaps eight minutes,then as suddenly as it began it stops.Silence.

A new day has begun.

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Painting at Baan Sillipin

You won’t believe it but I am going to Art Lessons here in Thailand.

I had read about an art exhibition of Impressionist Paintings and Watercolour in the local paper.

By the time I got around to visiting it the actual exhibition was over,but one morning a friend and I drove over to see what the small Art Gallery where it had been held looked like.

Six Kilometers over a pot holed road full of gravel on the back of a motor bike wasn’t really fun,but the lovely woods and hillside overlooking the sea made up for it.

We eventually came to Baan Sillipin,which actually means Painter’s House in Thai.

It was idyllic.

Set back from the road, a large old traditionally built Teak house greeted us.

It stood alone in the wood ,surrounded by tall tropical trees,their hanging branches and liana giving shade and a feeling of tranquility. Orchids of various hues had been planted in baskets hanging from the tree trunks and on the pond a couple of ducks swam contentedly.

We spent a while looking at the paintings in the gallery. Many very vivid with Buddhist motives,others paintings of western scenes looking somehow out of place here.

My friend being naturally more inquisitive than I am, wondered what was down the wooden staircase leading round the back of the building. We went down and found a large hut,of which the openings for windows and door were covered with mosquito mesh so we could see quite clearly there were people in there painting.

“Lets go in” he said

“No we can’t do that” I answered,knowing how painters don’t like to be disturbed.

In we went.

And that’s how I found Nang,my Art Teacher.A wonderful lady who is teaching me to paint in Watercolour Thai style.

It’s a different technique to the wet in wet method that I had got used to. It’s very bold for water colour,and in the beginning I was a bit sceptical,but it seems to work,especially here.

Last week I finished my first painting at Nang’s,and if I do say it myself I think it’s brilliant.

Larger Than Life

It has been raining on and off for the last four days.We had a break in the clouds late this afternoon so I decided to wager the walk down the half flooded road towards the beach. With a bit of luck the rain would hold off for a while and I could enjoy a long walk along the seashore before it got dark.

And now I must write this down,because tomorrow I might think I imagined it.

There were only a few people on the beach and they were busy drinking beer or trying to get a sun tan despite the weather.

The sea had taken on the colour of the sky, grey. Mixed with the churned up sand it looked dirty and uninviting. The trees and bush bordering the wide beach had also been washed with a grey green paintbrush,and had I not needed some exercise I would have called it another day.

I had left the last sun bed about a kilometer back,and apart from a lot of washed up jellyfish and busy little crabs I was completely alone. Looking at my watch I saw I had about fifty minutes before the pitch black of a tropical night descended so I kept on walking.

Khao Tao Beach as it is known as, is wild, and it reminds me of beaches that I have seen in Viet Nam. No white sands and palm trees here, but it has something about it that I am beginning to treasure.

On I went but the further I went the more uneasy I felt. I told myself not to be silly, just a case of seeing too many thrillers on the TV,but I decided to turn back anyway.

And then I saw it, something huge,and brown ,camouflaged perfectly amongst the tree trunks and gracefully plodding towards me through the thicket.

An Elephant.

My heart missed a beat. I mean I would have expected a stray dog or two but not an Elephant!

With a sigh of relief my eyes then focused the red shirt of the man straddled over its neck holding on to a large chain. He waved at me, and they carried on through the woods.

They still use elephants for labour in Thailand, but I had only seen them in the north. Unfortunately they are clearing a lot of the woods around here for building purposes so I presume that is where he had come from.

They say Elephants bring good luck.I hope it’s enough for both of us.

A Teacup In A Storm

I had just made myself a nice mug of Twinings Earl Grey Tea, and was sitting on the balcony considering whether I would wander down to the village “pub” later.

It had been a bit cloudy during the day,but no real signs of a thunder storm, in fact with the off sea breeze I found the temperature comfortable for once and had just come back from a visit to the beach.

Then the clouds seem to get darker and as I looked south over the woods I noticed something that for me was quite new.

In the distance was a wide band of fog, like London in November, and it was rolling towards us.

I sat drinking my tea and watched. Had it been coming up over the sea I don’t think I would have been so calm. But it was an incredible sight. The fog, as I could now make out was a belt of rain coming quickly in our direction

Suddenly a clap of thunder and it was upon us.

It rains hard in Switzerland during a Summer storm, but this was somebody up there emptying a huge bucket. I sat, still drinking my tea, completely awed by this phenomenon of nature.

Within seconds everything was so under water that ducks would have felt happy, and then within five minutes it had all moved on,and the pinkish evening sun was shining through the clouds.

It was time for a second cup.

A True Friend

I am not lonely living here in Thailand.In fact I have already found a really true friend.

He is rather shy,so he doesn’t like to be around much during the day,but as soon as it gets dark,which is about sixish he visits me.

I call him Alexander.

He doesn’t dare to come into my apartment,but enjoys being on the balcony,and I let him stay there, because at the moment he doesn’t seem to have any other friends.

Alexander is a 5cm long black beetle.

My first thought was to get out the spray that gets rid of things that creep,and fly around in the night. i did aim it around the edges of the balcony,and thought that would deter Alexander,but it didn’t.

Now,if I am home I rather look forward to his visits.

He reminds of a poem by A.A Milne,that I read as a child,and later read to my children.

We all loved it,and that is why I keep Alexander.

” I found a little beetle,so that beetle was his name.

And i called him Alexander,and he answered to the same.

I put him in a matchbox,and kept him all the day,

And Nanny let my beetle out,

yes Nanny let my beetle out,and beetle ran away.

She said she didn’t mean it,and I never said she did,

She said she wanted matches,and just took off the lid.

She said she was sorry,but it’s difficult to catch,

An excited sort of beetle you’ve mistaken for a match…………………

From the poem “Forgiven” by A.A Milne

Khao Takiab Hill

It’s been there since i moved into this little apartment. Every morning I sit drinking my coffee on the balcony and it stares menacingly down at me. If I am up early enough,-and I usually am, because it’s the only time of day when the temperature is pleasant in Thailand,- I see the sun rising directly behind it, silhouetting it’s rocky outline in the Turner yellow light.

Khao Takiab Hill.

It sits,daring me to draw it,paint it or Heaven forbid climb it.

A mini Eiger in the Bay of Siam. On it’s lower tree covered left flank,a Buddhist Temple glitters. The rest is a rock climbers paradise. The expressions on it’s face seems to change with your mood. Daily It beckens me, me like a lost Sirene.

Draw me,paint me.

Today, knowing how difficult it would be I took out my sketch book.

Stupid Cows ?

I have often wondered wondered why cows can’t be more individual. Have you noticed too, how they all like to stand in the same direction when grazing? Probably the herding instinct I thought,or maybe like a veterinary professor once told me, because cows are just plain stupid.

Nothing of the sort,I have now learned,they posess a geomagnetic sixth sense.

Google Earth photographs of 8510 cattle on 308 pastures scattered over the globe showed that the tendency of all was to stand or sleep on a north -south axis,with their heads pointing towards the magnetic North Pole.

That is indeed individual.

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