Mary Elizabeth Coughlan 1920 - 2008

In memory of David's mother

Her soul was gently borne away,
In the early hours of the day,
To where the angels take their rest;
A place of comfort for the blessed
Who lived with goodness, faith and love,
And pleased our Heavenly Lord above.
She was a mother, wife and friend
Who thought of others to the end.
We loved her gentleness and grace,
Her kindness and her smiling face.
Now we say, "Goodbye, Dear One,
Your life's complete, your journey done."


Back in the UK

We are now back in England, staying with Clare, John and Jessica. On arriving from Bangkok, we had one night at Clare's before hurrying on to New Walton in Lincolnshire to see David's Mother, who is seriously ill after a series of heart attacks. We were joined there by his four brothers and three sisters, who had flown in from Zimbabwe and South Africa, plus seven grandchildren - one from Australia, one from New Zealand and the others from here. It was an amazing effort from the family and is the first time the Coughlan siblings have been together since Kevin and Shayna's wedding in Zimbabwe in 2004! Full marks to Margy and Bernard for managing everything so well and fitting everyone into their home - and still staying calm! With all the excitement, David's mother rallied somewhat and was able to enjoy all the attention as all seventeen of us raced backwards and forwards to the hospital in Hull to where she had been transferred! She does, however, remain very ill.
Now back in Hockering I am trying to get fit. I am power-walking to the newsagents and back to collect the newspaper in the mornings and I have set aside some time in the day to use Clare's 'Lateral Thigh Trainer' - a sort of stair-walker that swings from side to side - at the same time using 4kg dumb-bells. I think 4 kg is a little too heavy for me as the weight of them keeps making me fall off! I think I will have to buy some lighter ones.
We still haven't made any long-term plans and have decided to take each day as it comes - for the moment - although we are toying with the idea of going to see Suzi in Australia some time soon. I will keep you posted!


Another Busy Week in Chiang Mai, Thailand

As well as taking part in two water aerobics classes and going to three choir practices, I have shopped with Margaret, attended three concerts, trekked on the mountain twice, visited an Elephant Conservation Centre and, of course, dined out frequently.

The concerts were fun. The first was a potted version of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, performed by a group of home-schooled students as part of their drama credits. The second was an excellent performance of ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ by the students of the American Pacific International School; and the third was a very fine recital by Book Kitavadhana, a Thai baritone, at the Payap University.

For our first mountain trek, we were joined by four others. Harry had assured us that the route was fairly flat and wouldn’t involve any up-hill work. Harry’s ‘flat’ and mine differ somewhat in interpretation. My flat is Norfolk Broads flat, Harry’s is anything that is not vertical – so long steep inclines are in!

For the second trek, David and Harry climbed from the bottom to the top of the Doi Pui mountain (1,685 m), while Margaret, Glynn and I drove to the top to collect them!

The Elephant Conservation Centre was set up to look after sick and unwanted elephants after the cessation of logging activities in Thailand. When this ended, many elephants were left uncared for as there was no longer a role for them and their owners could no longer afford to feed them.

We visited the elephant hospital where elephants are nursed back to health, and the nursery for elephants with babies, before watching the bathing of the elephants, followed by a demonstration of their skills. We found the elephants very entertaining, but the most amazing thing to see was the elephant that painted a picture. I was very impressed by the end result (see last photo).

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Chiang Mai. We had a wonderful time there, thanks to Glynn’s efforts to show us as much as possible. He has been a wonderful host, and, together with Margaret and Harry, has made every moment memorable.

Now we are in Bangkok and are following the nail-biting suspense of the Zimbabwe Elections. I can only think that the MDC must have won by a landslide for ZanuPF to have to admit that they haven’t won outright! Aluta continua!

Press Centre

Press Centre
I couldn't resist this one!