Monthly Archives: August 2007

Pin-Up of the Week

This week’s pin-up is the lovely Louise from Hertford. Louise is James’s cuddly canine companion. She enjoys food, strolling through town and sitting in the car (with her seatbelt on) chatting to James who is her best friend.

Bolly’s Toyboy

Introducing Jess, who lives nearby in a wooden house and visits Boll most evenings for a chat. It’s been a bit on-off. At first, Boll hissed and growled at him. But she’s mellowed and they now sit near each other in the garden and exchange smalltalk and pleasantries. However – I feel that Percy the Persian, who lives in a cottage by the river, may be a more Bollinger-friendly match. Percy has blue eyes and looks like a cross between a lion and a poodle. I’ll keep you posted.

Bollinger Grooming

Boll enjoys her daily grooming routine and often leaves her tongue sticking out afterwards by mistake. This is a pic of her grooming today.

Great Cosmic Nothingness

Apparently, scientists have found a great cosmic nothingness.
It’s a big hole – devoid of normality – and they’ve no idea why it’s there.
Good to know that Stevenage is finally on the cosmic map.

Beach Bunny

My next door neighbours went to Clacton on Sea today – to a ‘no dogs allowed’ beach. But, despite the restriction, they noticed a large fluffy creature on a lead running round a deckchair and occasionally taking a drink from its water bowl. On closer inspection, it turned out to be … a rabbit.

Severed Foot in Water Tank

The water tank developed a small leak when I was in Thailand, so I got a plummer in.
After a lot of fumbling, he emerged with a grim discovery. A human foot, fossilised by limescale.
‘Don’t worry boss,’ he said. ‘It’s a woollen hiking sock. Someone must have bunged it in the tank a long time ago to stop it dripping.’
He said this was the first sock he’d ever encountered in a water tank in a 20 year career and appeared to find it very amusing. I was relieved that it was a good quality sock and have put it on display in the porch. Friends have variously described it as ‘disturbing’ and ‘downright spooky’. But I quite like it and may enter it for the Turner Prize.


Hi (Sawadee Crap). I’m now back from Bangkok, where I was doing TV interviews with diplomats at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Being August, it was the rainy season, but the sun was pretty fierce most mornings. Temperatures hovered, as usual, around 33° C and I had to wear a suit and tie. Marvelous.

One of the highlights was a 12-course Chinese banquet hosted by one of the ambassadors, with shark’s fin soup, abalone snails and a whole suckling pig.

I learnt a few new Thai phrases this time, such as: ‘yin dee don rap zu studio’ – welcome to the studio.

Kop Kun Crap.

Room with a View

the view from my 16th floor bedroom – over the hotel pool (6th floor) and the rarely-used helipad (10th floor) where the staff played football most evenings

River Cottage

We spent our one day off in a rainforest visiting a traditional ‘homestay’ house on stilts.
It was made of ancient teak. Because teak trees are so wide, it only had seven floorboards.

Down The Haunted River

In the evening, we took a trip down the river which the house was on. The river was allegedly haunted and had spirit houses (mini temples on stilts) for the local ghosts.

This stretch of river was also famous for fireflies. Our mysterious guide seemed to know exactly where they lived. Most of the fireflies flashed on and off completely in synch. But some hadn’t quite managed the art of synchronised flashing and lit up in sequence like a Mexican wave.

Our boatman also shone his torch up to the top of the trees so we could see the egrets sleeping.

It was quite cool on the river – plummeting to a mere 30°C by 10pm.

setting sail

an old lady on her way home from the floating market