Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 The year that was

Over all 2010 has not been a bad year, the high was finding out that I had Type 2 diabetes, I know people may think that this is a strange high to choose, but finding out what was making me depressed, tired and unwell in one stroke was great and since then I've felt a lot better about life.

The low wasn't loosing my job back in October like most people may think, but it was having to take Elizabeth out of full time Nursery and because of their intransigence having to find her a new Nursery. Luckily I have a very stable daughter and as usual, she as taken everything in wake.

Rather than go through the year month to month, I'll talk about the things I remember. April saw Elizabeth and I go to Mallorca. Mallorca is one of my favourite destinations and I haven't been there since April 2005. We stayed in customers Apartment (Which got me in a load of shit at work, but that's another story). The weather was OK, Elizabeth was great on the plane and she was happy just to be on the beach all day. I will definitely be going back next year.

It was also this time of the year when the latest round of political troubles began in Thailand. They very nearly resulted in a revolution. Sadly it culminated in the deaths of nearly 100 protesters and today the problem hasn't gone away. We plan to go to Thailand next year, but we shall be monitoring the situation very carefully!

Facebook has played a big part in my life this year, this social network means I have been able to keep in touch easier with Friends and family. Also the ability to find friends from my distant past. Like this photo sent to me from Karl Gamble, a guy I went to school with. This photo was taken in 1981 up at the High School. I love it. I also went on a ride organised by my old bike club in memory of one of our mates who was killed out on a bike whilst I was in Thailand.

In August Elizabeth and I went away to N. Wales, this part of the UK is one of my favourites, Alot of my childhood and a big percentage of my adult has been spent in Snowdonia. It was great to get back to some of the old haunts and camping with Elizabeth was a blast. In september we went back to Barmouth, this time Nuch came with us. I'm not sure Nuch appreciated the outdoors, but me and Elizabeth will be going back in 2011.

It was whilst I was on holiday that I was informed that I was being made redundent. In all fairness I had been expecting for some time, so it didn't come as a shock. This meant that I had to pull Elizabeth out of full time Nursery. She loves Nursery, especially the social side of it. She still see's some of her old friends and in the new year will be starting back full time at a different Nursery. In 2011, we'll also find out which Primary School she will attend.

In August I found out that I was a Type 2 Diabetic. No real surprise, the life style I lead means that I'm a ripe candidate. It something I have to learn to live with. It as made me change my lifestyle and hopefully it will be more controllable.

Overall this year as been OK, I'll give it a firm 7/10. Last year I rated the year 6/10 just.

I don't look forward anymore, because if I do, then things never happen the way you want them to. In fact the further I think ahead the more wrong things seem to go. I have set three goals for next year.

  • Definately get fitter and cope with Diabetes
  • Visit Thailand
  • Find a job that suits me
Lets see.....

New Year Traffic Horror

The run up to New Year in Thailand always involves an incredible number road accidents, usually averaging out at 45 a day over the period. Nothing to unusual in that because due to the lack of safety enforcement across the whole of Thailand and the poor way vehicles are driven then this number is pretty low.

This week a serious accident on the Tollway going towards our house as made front page news across many parts of the world, not because of the tradgedy of 9 people being killed in the crash, but because of the driver who caused the accident.

The driver was 16 year old girl called Orachorn Thephasadin Na Ayudhya was driving a new car given to her by her very rich and powerful family. She had no license, no insurance and by the looks of the crash, not alot of driving sense either. Her Father is a top man in the Police or something and the family is part of the HI-so brigade, A group of super super rich Thai's who are above the law in thailand. They run the country through big business and political clout. A photo taken after the crash shows the young girl using her mobile phone, there are alot of rumours going around that she was updating her facebook page! I hope for the sake of human spirit she was calling or texting for help.

Another major factor in the crash was the minibus that she hit was carrying medical staff from a local Hospital including several doctors who are royal scholars. some of the poor victims were ripped from the van on impact and landed 20m below on a busy road. This loss of brain and experience as shocked Thailand. Within hours a Facebook page had been set up demanding justice (Lynch Mob). All the girls Facebook, Myspace and internet pages have been taken down and her family has asked for public calm.

The girl didn't turn up at an agreed meeting with the police yesterday and as been officially asked to report next wednesday. If she doesn't turn up, a warrant for her arrest will be issued. Probability is that she is already in the US were she is studying. Even if she does face the law, which I doubt! She won't have to face any responsibilty for what she as done. A case from the other year when a Hi-so boy had a disagreement with a bus driver and then drove his car into a que at a bus stop killing one person. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, however bail was posted and he has never seen the inside of a jail. Probably a bit of blood money will be paid out and everything swept under the carpet. Even the press are scared to report any details. In the latest case, The Nation newspaper hasn't even printed the girls name!

I believe the explosion of hatred on social sites (Which can't be controlled in Thailand) is the frustration that Thai's feel at the moment. These social sites are giving Thai's more of a view of the outside world. One they don't normally see!

Diabetes and Me Day 148

This morning I received the results for Retina exam. Thankfully everything came back as normal! This means that I won't have to go for another year.

Happy New Year every one......

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas this year was a very quiet affair and very organised. We were ready for Chrishmas a good week before the day, which meant the whole lead up was a bit boring.

I had to work Christmas Eve up until about 9.00pm, in bed for 11pm. Elizabeth was already in bed when I got home, she had left some mince pies and milk for Santa and a carrot for one of the reindeers. In the morning we got up around 6.30am. Elizabeth had loads of presents to un wrap and this year she went at it with gusto. Although its amazing that people wrap the presents up so tightly that she needed help to take the paper off.

Elizabeth had a Nintendo DSi and games, loads of cloth's and shoes, two Barbies, books and a zuzu pet. Nuch recieved a G Star and Hollister Hoodie, a Super Dry T Shirt and some money. I got a new Netbook, a really excellent pair of Timberland boots.

Only New Year to go now.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Diabetes and Me Day 143

Warning - Contains frank discussion of bodily functions......


As part of the treatment for my Diabetes, I take Metformin. This drug lowers your blood sugar and helps you to regulate your condition.

Unfortunately one of the side effects is severe flatulence and or diarrhoea! In the time I've taking it the effects have been mild. However I have noticed that the more rich the food you eat the more severe the end result. Unfortunately at Christmas you tend to eat a lot more rich food, and after a day of Christmas dinners, Christmas pudding, cheese and biscuits and dips my insides began to bubble just before I went to bed. During the night the noise and smell woke everyone up. Despite minus temperatures outside, I had to sleep with a window open just to get some fresh air in the room.

Then the runs kicked in! I can honestly say that I thought I was going to suffocate on the smell of my own body!! About an hour later I emerged from the toilet a lot lighter than when I entered and a can of air freshner lighter.

Today I'll take it more steady on the rich food!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Diabetes and Me Day 140

A picture of a good retina

Yesterday I went for a Retinal Scan at the DRI in Derby. Because of the effect that diabetes can have on your eyesight, you need to have a detailed photo taken of your retina at the back of the eye.

First of all you have to take a rudimentary eye test, something that I will deal with later in the post. After the test the Technician puts a special drop in your eye. She told it would sting a little and then I would have to wait for twenty minutes for the drops to take effect. Well the little stinging sensation turned out to be more like having diced Spanish onions put under my eyelid!

The pain did wear off a couple of minutes and slowly my vision began to get blurry. It turns out that the drops dilated your pupils, when I looked in the mirror it looked like I was in the effects of a morphine trip, very weird. Anyway the picture was taken and I'll know in a few weeks out it as turned out.

Earlier in the day, I had been to Babington Hospital for blood test, the test was one that shows an average for your blood sugar levels over the last three months. The reason why I had to test was that since September 2009 I have been wearing glasses full time, this was when I believe the diabetes started to kick and with the rise in the level of sugar in my blood, your eyes expand and this effects your vision. Once my diabetes had been diagnosed in august this year I went back to the optician because my vision had become worse. I was given stronger glasses and told to monitor the situation. This last few weeks, I've noticed that my eyesight is getting better and I'm currently trying out a new set of contact lenses at a low strength. My reading sight is no better, maybe worse but my distance vision is outstanding. The Doctor as said that this is probably due to my diabetes starting to control itself and that is why I went for a blood test.

I've been a little bit better on the diet and have been out on my bike a couple of times, despite the shocking weather. The pin prick tests are averaging out about 9mmo/l which is still a little high. I really hope that when I get the results it is positive news. I'm still taking 80mg of Ziclazide and 200mg of Metformin a day.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thai Bureaucracy

I've had several run ins with Bureaucrat's in Thailand, from the Immigration Department to Banking through to the local Umpur Office (Like our Registry Office, but with power).

We are currently trying to sell our house in Thailand and we have come up against an unusual amount of red tape. This as resulted in Nuch having to go down to the Embassy in London. First time she had to get some paperwork signed, obviously it's something that can't be done at the time and she was forced to go down again last week to collect the paperwork. Now we have found out that the local Land Registry office near the house wants even more paperwork meaning Nuch will have to go down on Christmas Eve to the Embassy, not a day you want to be travelling!

I have raised the issue of "How much does the official want"? Sadly things tend to get done a lot quicker in Thailand if palms are greased or crossed with silver. Anyway the question as been asked. When a foreigner is involved, the illusion of lots of money are like pound signs in the eyes.

Thailands Bureaucracy is very much paper based, sometimes seems that it is a job creation scheme, why put information on a computer when three people can type it!

Like all bureaucracy, you have to grin and bear it!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Can it get colder?

Since the beginning of November the UK has been in the grip of some serious cold weather. Looking at the long range forcast things aren't going to get any warmer!

At the same time Thailand is also being gripped by an ice age. Temperatures are set to fall right down to 19C, I think the concept of cold weather as been lost somewhere in translation.

The UK is really struggling in the cold weather. All day today the highest temperature outside as been -6C, thats a good 12C below the normal average temperature. Obviously this means that the country has groud to a halt! All the London Airports are struggling to keep open, the railways are freezing up and the M25 is one big ice rink! The Bookies have stopped taking bets on a white christmas for obvious reasons.

Yesterday alone, I had to defrost my car three times, this is something you will never hear of in Thailand! Over there the cars don't even have red on the climate control!

I hope things warm up soon, My bike needs cleaning, work is very uncomfortable with the sub zero temps. Roll on summer!!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Thaksin's Back!

Former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra has been asked to address the US Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe about Human rights issues in Thailand.

This has caused a big too do in Thailand, mainly because It's put Thaksin back in the news. He has been conspicous by his absent in recent months. The Thai government is desperate to get Thaksin back to face justice with regard to a dodgy land sale to his wife whilst he was in power.

It's also interesting that no member of the current Thai government as been asked to attend the human rights meeting, the reason for this is any one's guess? I don't think the US is happy with Thailand regarding the Military coup in 2006 or the direction Thailand is headed down the democracy route (Going the wrong way). There is also talk that this all an elaborate plot to get Thaksin into the US so he can extradited back to Thailand. I can't see this being the case, some of the people that have invited him to the US are congressmen, they wont stand for stuff like that. (or will they)?

The Thai foreign minister "Kasit Piromya" said he will request the extradition from the US should Thaksin step foot there.

I find it strange that Thaksin has been asked to sddress this committee, his record on human rights whilst he was in office was the best, so why he is going to give a talk on the current state of affairs is strange.

Lets wait and see.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


I've finished watching the movie "Inception". To be honest it as got to be one of the best movies I have ever seen!

The general plot is easy to keep up with, what isn't are the finite plot details. The story evolves around trying to gain or in this case plant thoughts into the minds of people you are trying to influence. At the end of the action the plot in a dream of dream of a dream of a dream.

The effects and music are outstanding and much as I hae to admit, Leanardo de Caprio, who I associate with the dreadful "Titanic" is outstanding.

A must see DVD!

The cold!

For nearly two weeks now the temperature has been below freezing. This morning our thermometer read -11.5C. This is very cold!!!!

The inside of the car was frozen and the roads and pavement are covered in snow and ice. The forcast for the next few days is to get warmer. I hope is does because I just can't get warm.

This morning Elizabeth and I went with Nuch by train to Derby, Nuch was going down to London to the Thai Embassy. Predictably the train we should have caught back to Belper was cancelled so we had to walk into Derby to catch a bus. The bus we caught was one hour late and the countryside we came through on the way home was very snowed up and icy.

My bike is still covered in ice, I haven't a clue what it will be like to ride once all this cold weather has gone. Hopefully it will still be rideable.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

England World Cup Bid 2018

England much publicised bid for the 2018 World Cup has come to a tradgic end.

In Zurich on thursday, England received only two votes despite the English bid coming top of the technical and security risk assesment by FIFA. The country that came bottom of both lists was Russia, bizarelly won the competition!!!

It got even more wierd when Qutar were named as the host of the 2022 World Cup, a country with a population of a few million and summer temperatures into the 50'sC. What both of these bids have in common is oil money, obviously I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

England has begun to retaliate, their proposed friendly with Thailand next year as been cancelled, the Thai delegate promised his vote to England and being as he didn't deliver that vote, England have recipricated. He isn't worries, his money is in the bank. The Thai football fans now won't get to see England.

England and other nations that felt cheated in the bid are now circulating messages that they want the voting proceedure changed. Rather than 25 rich men vote every time and make their pockets bigger, they believe the vote should go out to all 208 member associations of FIFA.

We'll see, FIFA think they are beyond reproach...