Archive for the ‘57 Varieties’ Category

The Beach or Not The Beach

Sunday, January 27th, 2019

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the loss of the notes I had been making in preparation for this post. I had been spontaneously scribbling thoughts down on a piece of hotel notepaper, capturing the atmosphere and sounds of the beach as they happened.

You would have felt as if you were there, the sun on your face with the sounds of racing longtail boats a short distance away, sharing with me the joy of snorkelling alongside exotic yellow tailed fish in the warm blue waters of the Andaman Sea.

I do have plenty of inspirational photographs and videos to which I could refer. You did not need to know that my notes were lost. I feel however that this is an issue of creative integrity. I would have known and I would have known that the piece is not what it could have been. The sound of the American singer in the bar as we drank chilled bottles of Singha beer would not have felt the same.

The visions of coconuts washed ashore on the palm fringed pristine white sands will have to be left to the colourful travel brochures and exotic magazines of your dentist’s waiting room. Ditto the fresh barbecued fish, the satay skewers and the newly tapped coconut juice.

The hotel pool, long guarded by early rising tourists, was a sanctuary when the sweaty heat of the day called for a retreat. The visions of us sipping exotic cocktails in the shade of the wet bar will unfortunately have to remain firmly in the recesses of your own imagination.

I will leave you now, subdued and resigned to never writing the post. It is time to move on…

Deep frozen midwinter

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Notes from the home country upon return from the Orient

We land back in UK to a feeling of a divided country in turmoil before the start of a war. The ground is appropriately frozen and inhospitable. Parliament is in a frenzy with nobody being able to agree on the best course of action. Stockpiling of food and medicines. Bunkering down. Kids being sent to stay with relatives in the country. Talk about the reserve being called up – soldiers on standby to patrol the streets? Anticipation of huge congestion at channel terminals. Lorries back up from the coast to the M25 London circular. Late nights watching events unfold on tv. Those who can secure the escape route provided by an Irish passport. Commerce flees to Europe. There is no Plan B. The world looks on in disbelief.

Kelly’s Eye Chiang Mai

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

palm fronds shift listlessly in the light breeze

grass grows underfoot

motionless Gardener occasionally changes direction of hosepipe

crisp white waiter moves silently between tables

occasional splash from pool reminds me that volume is on

straw hat tossed carelessly falls on floor

a flash of colour, birdsong

wake up to no change

empty tennis court

long, slow breathing


strawberry and banana ice cream with jasmine green tea

banana leaves collect dripping condensation

Back on the oriental slow boat. Sleep is a plentiful commodity. Red flowers contrast with variegated greenery. Luxury living at a bygone pace. Tomorrow we move on to Krabi. THis is not without excitement as tropical storm Pabuk is currently battering the area.

Someone just flicked a switch. I jolt to some loud funky music. I don’t mind. It’s just different. Probably good not to be soporific all afternoon. Will give the pool a miss and perhaps take a shower before heading to the spa with Anne for a his and hers foot massage. A plane passes noisily over head. The palm fronds have stopped moving.