Happy 70th, Glynn!

Last Sunday (Columbus Day) was Glynn's 70th birthday. We started celebrating on Saturday evening with a dinner, at The Duke's Restaurant, with Frank, Becky and Richard. There was much hilarity and great discussions centred on old movies. Richard, who was involved with the movie industry for many years in America, told us countless anecdotes about well-known films. As a result I will never watch the likes of Cassablanca again without laughing! Richard told us that the movie, Cassablanca, was shot entirely in the studio, and, to make the ending have the right perspective, (that is where Humphry Bogart is saying farewell to Ingrid Bergman and uttering the imortal words, "We'll always have Paris!") they used a reduced sized aeroplane in the background and had midgets running around dressed as ground crew!

On Sunday we drove out to Tharnthong Lodge for lunch with David, a member of the choir, and Aow, a delightful Thai lady. To get there we drove up into the Mae Kam Pong Mountains to a beautiful wooded area. The lunch was excellent and Glynn's birthday was celebrated in style!

Yesterday I went to the Chiang Mai Silverware Factory, where traditional craftsmen and women produce sliver jewellery, together with silver artefacts, that is produced using the same methods they used in ancient times. Naturally, I couldn't resist buying some silver jewellery for myself!

Thai silversmith at work.


Surprise! I'm in Thailand!

Surprise, surprise! I am in Thailand! I flew to Bangkok last Friday (a week ago) and stayed overnight in the Alexander Hotel before flying on to Chiang Mai on Saturday. On Sunday, David left Turkey for an IB Heads' Conference in Marrakesh, and is now in Cassablanca. I've asked him to say hi to Sam!

The weather here is a change from Turkey, where it was beginning to get cold. Here, of course, the weather is also cooling as we are going into winter too, but the temperatures are vastly different. Today it is 18° and raining in Istanbul (according to the BBC weather centre) , but here it is 33° and sunny.

As always, Chiang Mai is a very busy place. I arrived at lunch time on Saturday and that evening we went to a concert at Payap University, where the final year music students were giving a recital. There was all kinds of music, from Mozart to Dizzy Gillespie, played on a variety of instruments, culminating in the Madrigal Choir that every music student is required to join. It was a most impressive performance by all!

This week I have been to Glynn's madrigal choir rehearsal; a Thai massage; a Broadway show rehearsal; a Chiang Mai Choral Society rehearsal; out to dinner every night and watched the DVD of Mama Mia!

I also said, 'Hi and Bye' to Barbara and Peter, long standing friends of Harry and Margaret, who have been staying with them, This was the last leg of their world tour, before returning to New Zealand. The photo is of their farewell dinner.

I couldn't resist taking a picture of this rice in the shape of a teddy. I was quite enchanted to be presented with it at the 'See River Restaurant' in Chiang Mai! ...and just in case you ask, yes, we could see the river, we were right on the edge of the River Ping!


Recession? What Recession?

When Marilyn and Dick were here, we often sat on the balcony overlooking Bagdad Street and marvelled at the expensive boy's toys passing by. Ferraris, Corvettes, a Bentley, a Rolls, Porsches (rather common!!) and top-of-the-range Mercedes and BMWs, not to mention the jaw-dropping Harley Davidson motorbikes and other gleaming chrome machines. Yesterday there were two Ferraris parked just across the road (see photo of the nearest). Dick was a fund of knowledge and was able to give detailed specifications of most of the vehicles passing by, now we are just reduced to oohs and aahs!

Many of the cars and bikes belong to clientèle of the restaurant next door - The Mid-Point Restaurant. It's there that the beautiful people go to see and be seen. The recession has definitely not come to our street. Especially as many of the toy-owning boys are accompanied by females dressed in designer gear and toting the latest accessories and bedecked with glittering jewellery. Ramadan or not, the restaurant has been full every day with merry patrons eating and drinking. The strange thing is, most of them eat, drink and smoke incessantly while talking endlessly on their mobile phones. Quite fascinating.

I would have more photos but the battery in my camera will no longer hold the charge - oh well, time for a new camera! Surprising news soon - watch this space!

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I couldn't resist this one!