24/12… Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve and those sleigh bells are still jin jin jingling too, coz its just fabulous weather for a sleigh ride together with you. 35C and somewhat crowded in the sleigh with the 150 Malaysian Lions Club members now over running my otherwise excellent hotel. I am a grumpy old fart really (farts not to be trusted or loo opportunities missed,)

Getting a bit frustrated with these full day tours that are finished by lunch time but I guess on the bright side that leaves me free time. Maybe this is what normal people do on holiday.

You will be pleased to know that The Blue Pumpkin cafe at which I am eating lunch and using free wifi has an Argentinian Malbec that is by all accounts (the menu) unctuous, fresh and with notes of cheery. Gotta be happy with that really. Me I’m sticking to iced coffee. What is unctuous when at home? And cheery wine? Continue reading “24/12… Christmas Eve”

25/12… Best Christmas ever

Well today will take some beating for best Christmas Day ever. What a great day 🙂

I met Mr Bun (long uu pronunciation not short u like fun, don’t know that we have equivalent in English) at 630 just as it was coming light and we headed off to Ta Prom in our open air Christmas Took Took chariot (sleigh) Mr Bun’s red motorcycle helmet shining out front like Rudolph’s nose. (Pls keep all comments re my resemblance to Mrs Clause to yourself, thank you!)

Well devoid of all but a handful of early rising tourists Ta Prom was just magic and utterly engaging, even offering time for a brief solitary Namaste at the shrine set up in the middle. Much better photos (racing a bit to stay in front of a bus load of Russians who arrived later, and succeeding courtesy of the first Cambodian older than me that I’ve met to date. He wanted a $5 tip, I gave $2.) After an enjoyable, mystical hour there I felt reconciled with Tomb Raider and even had a brief chat with one of the Indian archaeologists doing restoration work on the dancing girl’s hall!

Then back to Angkor Wat and a lazy two hours climbing more steps than I’d ever care to count.

Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat

Continue reading “25/12… Best Christmas ever”

27/12… Mr Bun, my hero

Having sacked Sok yesterday and sent the redoubtable Mr Bun an email, swum, drunk, showered and grown impatient, I went in search of Mr Bun and found the poor man emerging from his afternoon bath! Poor love. At least he was dressed.

Reunited we made a plan for tomorrow. Then I lamented aloud that I needed a book so he drove me to a bookshop – 6 secondhand books later I asked him about traditional shadow puppets. So where am I now? At a buffet ($12 all you can eat) with beer (bottle for $3) in a front row seat for shadow puppets! Well done Mr Bun!

The tension is building ladies and gentlemen, but so far I am the only patron present. I’ve seen the stage constructed. I’ve seen the electricity connected – mind the water feature with that extension cord! I’ve seen a million insects make their stage debut. I’ve finished my beer! The band is now playing a little tune some of you know well – Tiu Ning. And so with tension aplenty but precious little action I am eating, waving for another beer and marinating myself in DDT. Continue reading “27/12… Mr Bun, my hero”

29/12… Departure time

Not sure how long I’ll have to write this but since I’m also not sure when I’ll connect again I’ll try 🙂

Well I’m all checked in for my Mekong River cruise and waiting for the bus (4 hrs to the boat from here apparently ugh). Bit nervous actually 🙂 as guessed I’m the only person here so far under 60. There are quite a few walking sticks and at least one white cane. Oh there’s a younger couple. Wave!

Yesterday Mr Bun took me out through rural rice paddies and villages on a bone crunching trip to Lake Tonle Sap. I had discovered that being dry season my cruise wasn’t going there. So off I went, intrepid, not wanting to miss a thing, boarding a boat down all that’s left of a river (dried drain really), then meandering out through one of the villages that in the wet sits floor level just at the water line, but now they are 6 m above dry earth like stalks on massive legs.

Lake Tonle Sap on Stilts
Lake Tonle Sap on Stilts

Continue reading “29/12… Departure time”

Celebrating Women

This International Women’s Day I think of women I have loved and we have lost. Women who continue to inspire and whose memory we continue to honour by living in their style and with their bravado.

They are a vital part of our history but they wouldn’t have us look back, rather they impel us into our future. And so today I also think of the women I love who still walk, dance and play with us. Women who inspire me, hold my hand, laugh and cry with me. Drink with me, philosophise with me, are real with me.

Today I’m thankful for the women in my life, for the men who encourage us to be the best we can be, and for all those people the future holds in store as surprises along our way.

PS This logo is from what looks to be a fabulous session at a Hindu Temple next Saturday, if only I was in London… who knows maybe one of you can go and let me know what it was like 🙂

International Women’s Day 2015// //

Sartre and Sacher torte

Every so often I will share my thoughts on the Parallel Truths I find in movies, song lyrics and books that I read.  Today’s is a confluence of existential mystical magical angst and love laden thoughts.  You see, at the same time that I was reading Jean Paul Sartre’s Concrete Relations with Others I read Laini Taylor’s e-novella Night of Cake and Puppets.  An inspired combination. Like chili and dark chocolate.

So I read the dark, convoluted Sartre straight after enveloping my senses in an e-novella about a shy tiny girl luring a violinist to dare to love her. Enticing him on a journey to experience her by following a bespoke treasure map and magic puppets, a journey to love and Mozart and sacher torte in Prague, in the dark, in the snow: pure seduction, pure for-itself anxiety desperate to know how the for-other was seen by the Other and whether she/he could find freedom in being known, being seen and being loved.  Oh the agony of fear, the angst when all is inverted and the observed twists the trap and lures his puppetess with music and desire.

A Night of Cake and Puppets had a happier ending than Concrete Relations with Others, but it is fiction.  Delectable fiction, black chocolate, dripping fiction.  Back to Sartre. Continue reading “Sartre and Sacher torte”

Birthday…. Blues? Bliss? Nah work for that gin girl!!

I was so determined this birthday was not going to have a repeat of last year’s crying all over Life of Miss B on returning from India and leaving my heart on the beach.  And with all my friends gainfully employed or travelling, the day loomed long and lonely.  But we all know there’s nothing like a little productivity and sweat to kick in the protestant work ethic’s feelings of purity at the end of the day.  So focused on earning a sunset gin and tonic, with lime, and propelled by well-wishing sms’s arriving from 630 am (god I love daylight savings) I attacked the day.

With Bombay Royale grooving out of the stereo, a load of washing in the machine, and, feeling a little like I was in a warped Sorcerer’s Apprentice remake, armed with a broom and a bucket of warm water I attacked the outdoor furniture.  Who could have imagined so many Daddy Longlegs spiders could live in four chairs and one table?

Well the spiders were eradicated (oops bad karma) and the outdoor setting cleaned just as the Korean chimes signaled that my smalls were ready for pegging on the line.  That done it was a trip to the eager young man at the hardware store for a brush and a drop sheet – this furniture was going to get oiled.  Sadly an unlikely eventuality for the eager young man at the store who one might have liked to imagine lightly oiled, peeling grapes and draped in a toga.

But I digress.  And this is not that kind of blog.  Maybe.  Continue reading “Birthday…. Blues? Bliss? Nah work for that gin girl!!”