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.
Here comes the difficult part of being alone again.
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.
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.
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.
A friend asked my opinion on something last week and it made me smile.
It seemed that her Father in Law was on his longish annual visit and had washed out his underpants. They were then hung for all and sundry to see in the warm sunlight.
They didn’t have holes in them,neither were they “long Johns”. No ,they were very sexy thong type trifles favoured by some men and their partners, and certain to cause raised eyebrows or winks from the neighbours if put on view.
Now my friend had a bit of a problem with this, I must note that she is at least twenty years younger than I am which made me think a bit.
Her Father in Law is a scientists, over seventy,and with a figure that would make a lot of young men envious.
He is rather withdrawn and lives on his own, so his choice of underwear was rather unexpected for her,and what did I think?
I told her.
I wonder what you would have said.
I am still struggling with my watercolour painting. After almost a year of weekly classes I don’t see a lot of improvement in my work,and I still seem to make the same silly mistakes. With watercolour it is difficult to amend them once the paint is on the paper and I don’t want to cheat and use white goache. So I thought I would go on a painting holiday where I could paint without interruption ,and have tuition too, once the weather improved.
So I contacted a very helpful lady at creArtive,Rhodes explaining what I wanted and that when considering different groups I fitted into what I think is known as a senior citizen, but my eyesight still enables me to paint and my hand doesn’t shake. I felt almost ashamed to admit that I wasn’t young any more, even though my generation of war babies had done more than many to alter the course of the world. But then I thought of the Rolling Stones and said what the hell.
Somehow the names given to people having reached the age of 55 seem to me discriminating, and does nothing to make us feel better on having reached retirement age in the first place. OLDIES, PENSIONERS even WRINKLIES. !!
Why can’t we introduce a more acceptable name for the old hippies, 68ers and war veterans.
I would suggest,
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.
But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning”
Winston Churchill 1874-1965
I am exhausted. Physically and mentally.
I have just come back from my line dancing class. Now don’t laugh, I know line dancing went out with the Charleston
Two weeks ago I saw the announcement of a beginners class and I thought it couldn’t hurt if I toddled along to take a look at the company I might want to make a fool of myself in.
An Aunt and Uncle of mine , have been line dancing for the last ten years, they are extremely agile and alert and are now over seventy.They blame it on their weekly meeting.
My music appreciation covers many forms, good country is one of them, although I believe it’s considered bad taste in some circles in the United States, and here for that matter.
I thought I’d give it a try anyway seeing as it looked as if I definitely wasn’t the oldest in the group of sixteen women and two men.
Of course they don’t always dance to country these days. The music is very mixed which makes it all a bit more difficult.
In fact it really isn’t as simple as it looks, but that is what I wanted. It really needs a lot of concentration to keep in line,there are steps to be memorised and when and in which direction you should be turning. Chaos prevailed today because nine of the class were turning right when they should have been turning left. so it was all good fun too.
An hour of dancing was really quite strenuous so I felt at least after my second lesson this evening I was doing something for my physical fitness too.
I did make the pilgrimage to the home of country once. But I don’t have a hat, and I should have bought a pair of cowboy boots.
Three more lessons and we will be able to perform at the next Country and Line Dance Night she said.
Don’t say I get paid for it too.