Friends on Facebook will already know all of this and seen the photos, but for my friends that are not on Facebook, here we are:

After months of protracted negotiations with solicitors and the freeholders, I finally completed the lease extension and subsequently, the sale of my flat in London, I boarded a BA flight to Bangkok the next day and arrived there at 10.00 am on Friday 16th October; my friend Pach, met me at the airport and we spent a lovely day in Bangkok which involved lunch at “Cafe Chilli” …….. a wonderful restaurant in my favourite shopping mall “Siam Paragon” and after a few hours of shopping, we had dinner in the excellent and very well located Amari Watergate Hotel (a short walk to Isetan store, Central World Shopping Mall and Siam Paragon) ………. our regular and very reliable taxi driver Mr Niwat ferried us to Cha-am the next morning where I was reacquainted with the other lady in my life ………. my Vespa Sprint 150; I had disconnected the battery on my Vespa and bought a fitted Vespa cover for her, but she needed to go straight to the local boutique for a wash and blow dry.

It has been great to get back to my condo in Cha-Am and once again embrace my routine of an hour’s swim every morning in the main swimming pool before breakfast. I shall now set about having a new kitchen fitted, because although it is a lovely big condo, it was fitted out originally for holiday letting and the kitchen is hardly that at all, just a sink, an old two ring hob and a free standing fridge, so watch this space !!

Last weekend Pach came down again from Bangkok and we had a lovely day on Saturday ……… a morning browse around the shopping mall  “Market Village” in Hua Hin, followed by ice coffee and then back to a lovely part of the beach at Cha-am for lunch (somtum of course) and swimming ……. and in the evening we took one of her friends to the excellent beachside restaurant “Chom Talay” at Hua Hin (^∆*)


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Above and below ……… the main pool where I take my early morning swim every day


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My beloved Vespa getting the treatment

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Pach …….. posing by the beach

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Somtum for two ……….


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Back in Isleworth

I have now been back in Isleworth for a couple of weeks after my winter break, and I am just about starting to readjust to the climate and the pace of life here; I’d forgotten that drivers here, blast their car’s horns at each other in a declaration of war, and gesticulate wildly at each other for what appears to be an act of total trivia ………. hey ho.

On a far more relaxing note, I went to a race meeting at Kempton Park on Monday afternoon, to meet two dear and faithful friends, Martin and Curly Jeff ……. it was a beautiful warm, and sunny spring afternoon, so apart from a couple of loosing bets, I wandered around soaking up the special ambiance that is always prevalent at National Hunt race meetings, taking a few photos of the magnificent horses …………


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This winter has passed so quickly for me, I find it remarkable to think that I will be back in Isleworth in a few days time; tomorrow (Monday) I leave Cha-am and travel to Bangkok, and then on Wednesday morning, I board a westbound British Airways flight to terminal 5, Heathrow ……………. so all being well, I will be back in London on Wednesday evening.

Which means, apart from many other things, that I will be available for luncheon and dinner invitations from Saturday 11th April 2015 onwards, until further notice …………..

So, just a few snaps from my last couple of days on the beach and around Cha-am ……….


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Above …….. “What’s with the long face”  ……… and below ……… “Are you really a cowboy mister ……………. cause I’m ready to draw, and my big sis is backing me up”

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…………. another six months and I’ll be able to reach those stirrups ………….

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I might need a year or two ……………

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It’s that bloody drawbridge again …………….

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When yo buy a new vehicle in Thailand, it comes with a temporary registration plate; you then have to apply for a permanent registration, proving ownership, and in the case of a farang (foreigner) proof of a residential address, which entails acquiring a letter from the nearest immigration office.

I was agin fortunate enough to have the help of Get and Len (the agents that I bought my condo from) to organise this for me ……….

My permanent registration duly arrived a couple of days ago, and it coincided with the arrival of the chrome side bars that I had ordered ………….. so my Vespa Sprint now has some shiny new chrome to frame her petite and pert derrière.


I am now also in possession of a full Thai driving licence, or rather I should say, two Thai licences; in Thailand you have a separate licence for car and motorcycle, there is no combined licence ………. and once again, the help from Get and Len was invaluable ……….

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I have to try and memorise this registration plate ……………. doddle …………


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Above and below …………… my new Thai driving licences ……….. new licences are only valid for a year, but successful renewals receive a 5 year licence.

On production of my UK driving licence, I had to take a couple of tests; one was a reaction / reflex test ………… you sat in a chair with a weird accelerator / brake contraption at your feet, and using only your right foot, you pressed hard on the accelerator pedal until a green light directly in front of you turned to red, at which time you had to hit the brake pedal …… easy-peasy, although I know a few people that might struggle with this test !!!!!!

The second test was for colour-blindness, you had to sit looking at a large board covered with different coloured circles; the tester then pointed to different ones in quick succession and you had to call the colour ………… not suffering from colour-blindness,  this was very easy, apart from trying to remember the Thai words for the different colours, this combined with my pronunciation raised a few sniggers from the rest of the people taking the tests ………. the tests are conducted in groups of about thirty, so everyone else becomes an audience as you take your turn …….. but good fun and I got my licences

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Above and below  ………. wouldn’t you just know it, when I went to the Vespa dealership in Hua Hin for my registration plates and chrome side bars, they had just had a delivery of new tee-shirts and key neck-straps !!


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This weekend just past, saw the celebration of the annual Cha-am kite festival; fortunately, this lovely little seaside town was embraced for the whole weekend by an energetic onshore south easterly, which ensured that the clear blue skies above the beach were littered with dancing, billowing kites of many different shapes, colours and imaginative design.

It was an uplifting (pun), cheerful and happy occasion that brought even more colour and fun to this already vibrant little seaside town ……….. I LOVE CHA-AM


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Above …………… these ladies are on the beach every day selling their kites, not just at kite festival weekend ………….. and below, these little hand made and hand painted aeroplanes  are still my favourite kites ………….. the kids adore them and are mesmerised by them, as am I …………. 50 baht each (£1.00)

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A Trip To Bangkok


I have recently made a trip to Bangkok for a weekend, in order to change the routine of everyday beach life in Cha-am; and of course, to spend some time wandering around in the wonderful air-conditioned shopping malls there.

I took a private taxi there and back, 1800 Baht (circa £36.00) each way, great value for a journey of about 175 kilometres, especially as it meant that I could, and did, request the driver to take the old coast road from Cha-am to Bangkok, which is perpetually bereft of traffic, and allowed me to see the amazing and enormous salt farms that fill the gap between the road and the sea for many miles.

The private taxi service also allowed me to take an entirely different route back ………. in order to visit 3 temples that I had not seen before, all of them different by design, a remarkable old temple built within the roots of a very old banyan tree, a temple constructed entirely of wood on the banks of the Mekong river, and a temple built into an enormous cave in a huge rock face that was home to a huge troop of monkeys .

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above and below………….. the wonderful salt farms on the coast north of Cha-am

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Loverly roadside tree with many different coloured blossoms

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above and below ………. loads of these fantastic life-sized combat statues in the grounds of this wonderful old temple …..

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above …… I bashed him up, he didn’t have a chance ………… and below, the temple built into the roots of the banyan tree …..

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Temple on the banks of the Mekong ……

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amazing old temple built entirely from wood ….

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above and below ………. temple built into a cave ……… in a huge rock face, which is the natural home for monkeys in Thailand ……..

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Huge and spectacularly beautiful reclining Buddha in the cave temple

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A couple of days ago I took delivery of my new Vespa Sprint 150cc from the dealership in Hua Hin; after 2 months on a rented Honda Scoopy 125cc, it is difficult to express what an incredible pleasure it is to be riding this beautiful example of Italian engineering and styling…………. I could have bought 3 Honda Scoopy’s for the price I have paid for this wonderful machine, but hey, no contest, this is a Vespa, and as such, it cannot be held in comparison to anything else in this world………….

At an age when some unfortunate soul’s are ordering a mobility scooter, I am truly fortunate and privileged, to be able to buy and enjoy this fantastic and aesthetically beautiful Scoot.

I have put 400 kilometres on the clock in 2 days of sheer unadulterated pleasure, just riding up and down the almost deserted costal road that leads from Cha-am to Bangkok. This new model, the Vespa Sprint is available with either a 125cc or 150cc engine, and it has been a wise decision to shove my mitt deeper into my pocket for the 150……….. with just my 65 kilos on the seat, the acceleration is awesome, and with new 12” wheels, the largest ever on a Vespa, the scoot is incredibly surefooted without loosing any of the agility and nimbleness that are the very essence of a scooter.

Oh, happy days, I am riding around all day wearing a lottery grin, and now only taking lunch and dinner at restaurants where I can park her within sight of my table, so that I can drool over her beauty while I enjoy my food………… what a lucky man I am …………. ieieieieieieie

So here she is ……………………………. (*^*)


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Above … collection day, and below, with Apple, the manager of the Vespa shop in Hua Hin

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The  narrow bridge in question provides a very convenient short cut for me on the ride from my condo to the main part of Cha-Am; it is only wide enough for pedestrians, bicycles and small motorbikes / scooters, and I have crossed it hundreds of times.

Last Monday evening, returning from dinner, as I rode onto the bridge, an unseen wet patch caused the front wheel of my rented scooter to slide sideways, crashing the right handlebar against the side of the bridge. I did not fall off, but my right hand got in the way of the altercation between the handlebar and the bridge………. ouch ouch and friggin ouch………

It was 11pm so I rode home, wrapped an old tea-towel around my hand and went to sleep. When I examined my hand the next morning, I realised that the steri-strip’s and plasters that I had in my first-aid kit were not going to be much use; so I rode (back across the bridge) to the little hospital in Cha-am, where a lovely young nurse sewed my little finger back together with 13 stitches, and put 4 stitches in the next finger……….. they were the only parts of my hand to be damaged.

I have been returning every day to the hospital to have the wounds cleaned and the dressings changed, and tomorrow they will remove the stitches if they are sufficiently happy with the healing process.

I must say that the service has been excellent, and although I have been stitched-up, it has only been literally and certainly not metaphorically; the first days treatment cost 775 Baht (about £15.50) which included the stitches, a course of antibiotics, a pack of pain killers and lots of smiles and laughter from the lovely young nurses……….. and wound cleaning and dressing changing has been 140 Baht (£2.80) per day.

Determined not to give my mishap more than a frowning hour, and searching for a silver lining, as you really have to at such times, I found a wonderful fruit stall on my way back from the hospital that I was unaware of before; I now stop there everyday for my Papaya’s, Mango’s, Bananas et al………. and you know, one of the things I really love about this wonderful country, they (most of them) don’t try and charge you a Johnny foreigner price, they are just happy to serve you and are pleased that you want to buy their lovely fruits………


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Above and below……….. the offending bridge……………..

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Above and below………. ouch (^*^)

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Above……… it was my little finger that bore the brunt of the unprovoked attack from the bridge……………fortunately I will not be taking tea at the Ritz in the near future !!

And below, from my new fruit supplier, a lovely papaya, 2 succulent mango’s and a bunch of sweet bananas…….. 85 Baht (£1.70)  ………  happy days (^∆*)


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I have just completed the purchase of an apartment (condo) in a small condominium development in the charming seaside town of Cha-Am on the western side of the gulf of Thailand…………It is a good sized condo (101 sq. meters) with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a large balcony with a lovely outlook.
The condominium has 2 good sized swimming pools, a small kiddies pool and the grounds front right onto a quiet beach.

I moved in a couple of weeks ago and feel immediately comfortable here, which is just as well because I intend to move here permanently; I will return to Isleworth in April to sell my car, scooter, hi-fi and other possessions that are not viable to ship out here………….. Thailand has a crazy system of import duty, to import my Alfa Romeo into the country would incur a whopping 300% import tax

As for my lovely flat in Isleworth, I will probably rent it out, which will give me a very healthy monthly income, or I may consider selling it and reinvesting in a smaller cheaper flat in the area, which will still give me a nice monthly income and will also release a nice chunk of cash for me to splash around out here…………

My condo is a ten minute ride on a scooter from the main beach at Cha-Am, where I like to go for a swim and a lunch of somtum (green papaya salad, as I am sure you all know by now)……..I am renting a scooter at the moment, but I have just placed a deposit on an order for a new Vespa Sprint 150, in white (see publicity photo) and when I return next year, I will buy a new car……….Alfa Romeo not available here, so maybe a new Mazda CX3 which is going on sale next spring………..

Below are a few photos of my apartment and the condominium grounds and pools



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Above and below, I delayed moving in for 2 days after the completion to have the condo redecorated……….every wall was pink………. nah !!

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All the furniture was part of the sale agreement and is good enough for the time being……….I will fit a new kitchen and I need to buy a decent TV and Hi-Fi and some furniture for them to sit on…………

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Above……… walls……… and below, view from my decent sized balcony

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Above……… there is a large paved sun-bathing area with steps leading down into the gulf of Thailand………and below, a publicity photo of the Vespa Sprint that I have ordered

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I took the ferry from Koh Lipie to Langkawi, which is an island in Malaysia; I was met there by my friend Chris Hedger (Hedge)………..we have been friends since our school days when we both lived in Linkfield Road, Isleworth, and eventually became members of the “Hounslow Bowl” scooter boys. It has been a long and eventful journey from Linkfield Road to Langkawi, and Hedge has bought a beautiful two bedroom, two bathroom, two balconied condo there, where he very kindly offered the second bedroom to me for the duration of my two week stay on the Island. It has been great to catch up with him, enjoy his hospitality and good humour, share a few beers together and get an insight into life in Malaysia, or rather, more specifically, on the lovely island of Langkawi. Hedge has been living in Johor Bahru, southern Malaysia, for many years but I think he will now rent out his condo there and move permanently to Langkawi; although he is yet to make a definitive decision, I can see the appeal of life in Langkawi and while he retains both properties any decision is always reversible……….

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Above……….the little immigration office on the beach at Koh Lipie………and below, the customary “long-tail’ boats waiting to take you out to the ferry which has to drop anchor in the bay because of the shallow water……………

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Above…………sunset on Cenang beach, Langkawi…………..and below, the beautiful condo that Hedge has bought…………..

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Above………….one of the balconies at Hedge’s condo, and below sunrise from that same balcony (I got up early, we did not stay up drinking all night)………….

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Above…………..sunset from the other balcony, and below, the condominiums swimming pool……….it also has a very nice and well equipped fitness centre, a spa and massage room, a hairdressers, a deli and a decent bar that serves very good grub………..

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Above and below………….Hedge took me on a tour of the island to look at some of the other beaches and places of interest……………

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As you all know, no post of a beautiful island is complete without a flower…………..