Life in Thailand is Fascinating

Last Thursday, a new restaurant, La Gondola, opened, virtually at the end of Harry and Margaret's drive! It is attached to an hotel, but is independently owned by Stefano and Jim, the owners of La Girasol Restaurant, in which we frequently dine. The day began with a blessing, of the hotel and restaurant, by nine monks. The ceremony was quite new to me and I was honoured to be allowed to be present. I found the chanting of the monks very calming, and, although I had no idea what they were saying, I could feel a definite spirituality about the proceedings.

The nine monks seated ready for the ceremony. The one on the extreme left is holding an enormous ball of string, which played a part in the ceremony. The monks' chanting was quite hypnotic.

Everyone taking part in the ceremony was connected with a length of string.

Here the monks are winding the string up again, with which they 
bound everyone together during the ceremony.

The proprietors of the hotel and restaurant were blessed by the monks.

A delicious buffet lunch was served to celebrate the opening of the restaurant and if the food served was an indication of the standard in the restaurant, we will definitely be going back, it was excellent. There was both Thai and Italian food on offer, in great abundance, and everything was quite delicious. We found it quite difficult to drag ourselves away and go back to the office! (The photo shows Margaret, Harry and me enjoying the buffet lunch.)

Stefano (on the right), with his wife, Jim, are presented with flowers at the opening of their restaurant.

The Montfort Boys' Choir performed on Friday at Payap University, and what an excellent evening that was! The boys sang in English, French, Italian, Zulu and, of course, Thai. Montford is a very large Catholic boys' school here in Chiang Mai and we were really impressed by their performance. The music ranged from John Rutter's 'The Lord Bless you and Keep You' to an enchanting medley of nursery rhymes, sung by the junior choir and a rousing rendition of the African song 'Shoshaloza'!

The Montfort Boys' Choir was joined by their Junior Choir for some rousing numbers.

FERC (the Foundation for the Education of Rural Children) held a gala charity evening at the Shangri-La Hotel. There were raffle prizes and a silent auction to raise more money, and our show 'Let Me Entertain You', for which we had been practising all this time, finally came to fruition. The evening was a great success and I hope lots of money has been raised for this worthwhile cause.

Mark bidding for the Buddha. I would have bid too, but I thought I might not get it onto the plane home!

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