Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Good bye blog!

After trying to use blogspot on my phone and crashing several times I read there were issues with it. Well, I need to be able to update the blog on the phone when we are away, so I took the plunge and started a new blog.

To follow our adventures, go to:


See you soon!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

2016 -shed

Finally, once the paving and boundary fence were completed, John started work on his shed, moment he had waited for eagerly so that bikes and tools could be stored safely...

2016 - outside kitchen, front door and along the road

Whilst the shenanigans of the boundary with neighbour's works were going on, we attacked ourselves on the area just outside kitchen.
This is what we found on our return in March. Pretty much a building site!
We first limewashed the wall (with our special mixture of ferrous phosphate - turning a lovely rusty colour), prepared an area of soil on the right hand side of door for various plants and then John R decked the area. Wonderful! Just ready to enjoy many balmy days in the sunshine!

John R then decked outside the front door and we were able at last to enter the house without bringing in grit and dirt

John in the meantime dug enormously deep holes for the enormously tall gate posts

And we erected (lengthily) a bamboo screen for some privacy on our patio...

Lastly, the pile of wood was cleared and the ground rotivated. It took John a whole weekend of wrestling a flying machine and digging all kind of interesting debris...

2016 - garden, flowers

Fence and paving were completed by the end of September but Spring and Summer were a non-stop
series of jobs.

By April, the rainwater harvest tank piers were completed and tanks ordered.

In May we eventually got the house signed off and sent all our VAT invoices for refund. We received £14'000  six weeks later, which allowed us to repay a loan from Tom. Big sigh of relief!
Most Sundays we visited different gardens (all interesting, some stunning) to get some ideas for our own (pocket handkerchief) one, well that was John's excuse for going out and having a bit of distraction from the relentless work...


Saturday, 14 January 2017

2016 - works rear of the house

Here we are, already past Epiphany 2017 and we haven't recorded the works on the house for 2016! We have worked hard and achieved much outside, in the garden and around the house...as well as enjoying our comfy home, our bracing swims, our beautiful island and our lovely family and friends.

 On our return from Burma we were faced straight away with our neighbour's "problem" or should we say our "problem neighbour"? In our absence he had asked yet another engineer for his advice (at our expense) on the subject of his collapsing veranda (allegedly because of the excavations we conducted near his boundary...) We were still jet lagged when we were asked to discuss what we proposed to do to remedy this.
To cut a long story short, after hours of negotiations to come to a fair arrangement it was agreed Attrill would commence works at the end of July, building a retaining wall and renewing the said veranda and steps.
Despite the large gaps under the veranda and steps (which is what caused -in our view the settlement in the first place, we agreed to pay for nearly all of the works. Attrill in their usual efficient way took a week to complete the retaining wall, new veranda and new steps. our neighbour had gone away by then.
Before the works
Attrills at work

angle irons bolted to sheeters
Concrete footings
Blockwork retaining wall

Blockwork complete
Once the wall, veranda and steps were completed we turned our attention to the rainwater harvest tanks and the fence. We had agreed with our neighbour that it was to be 8 feet high at the bottom of the garden and follow the boundary. Luckily, Anna's boyfriend Tj is a fence erector and did a grand job.

Putting cant rails on

Finished work
George inspecting the works
   With the fence completed  it was time to finish the paving slabs (with the help of Tj) 
Fort Knox!

Saturday, 19 March 2016


Time to go home! This trip was certainly a kaleidoscope of experiences, stunningly beautiful, incredibly challenging and frustrating, inspiring, freezing cold, sweltering and unbearingly hot, bucolic, urban...it certainly stretched us!
We have been privileged to be invited in the home of lovely and vivacious Tharee (whom we had met in Dan Sai) and her specially inspiring and generous husband Wichai. 
It has been quite an experience living in her lovely home (a quiet oasis in the midst of traffic and tall skyscrapers) and finding our way around using local buses and boats. We ve become experts at finding our way around...

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Koh Bulon

We met Rositha again!
We had met her first at Chiang Khan, then twice at Sang Khom and while we were in Myanmar she travelled in Cambodia and Vientiane. And here she was again, on Samsen road! After sharing our mutual needs for relaxation, she mentioned Koh Bulon, a small undeveloped island with jungle and beaches off Trang, nearly in the border with Malaysia. 
So we spent 4 days there...a little paradise