Month by month: latest news and jottings

2021-07-03 The dark underbelly of society and the bright light of nature

The recent physical harassment of Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, death threats and vile online attacks on him are just the latest evidence of the frightening fragility of civilised living and of the constraints that make society possible.
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2021-06-17 Sunshine, food and a new hero

We’ve had several days of wonderful sunshine. I’ve been sitting in the garden and on the balcony, watching the busy life of birds and squirrels, butterflies and bees in the one, and from the other, my own species buzzing about on and off the w
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2021-05-15 Contemplating the natural world

Being more or less confined to barracks for months on end does focus one’s attention on the natural world
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2021-04-10 The florescence of the year

Towards the end of last year, we planted two or three hundred bulbs. They’ve been flowering for a few weeks now, snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils...
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2021-03-07 A hint of spring

Drifts of snowdrops and daffodils in the local woods; primroses and crocuses in the garden; catkins on display; leaf-buds appearing on shrubs and trees – and some bright sunshine, all promise more cheerful days ahead.
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2021-02-14 A bunch of daffodils

Marks and Spencer, my favourite lockdown shop, have been selling one-pound bunches of English daffodils for some weeks; I have had them round the house more or less constantly.
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2021-01-11 Reasons to be thankful

I have just come back from getting my Covid jab at a local health centre.
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2020-12-11 Reasons to be cheerful

Our twinkling Christmas trees – small and artificial inside, tall and fresh outside – raise my spirits every time I see them in these gloomy times.
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2020-09-03 Nothing much to report

I don’t remember a period in my life when so little seems to have happened in my private life, while so much – and such drama – is playing out in the big world outside: the pandemic, Lebanon, Belarus, Hong Kong, climate change, refugees,
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2020-07-04 Sunny intervals and showers

Much of June was quite wonderful – sunshine and blue skies with temperatures not far off what they were experiencing in Chiang Rai. We walked by the river, sat in the garden or on the balcony, and, well distanced, entertained friends to coffee or dr
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2020-05-23 Back home in Oxford - for good now

The last few days We have arrived in Oxford. There’s a great sense of pleasure and achievement. In the end, it was a safe and trouble-free journey. This first week back home has been sublime – sunshine and blue skies the entire time.
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2020-04-27 Managing in strange times

Amidst all the disruption and tragedy, the political dishonesty and ineptitude, there’s been a flourishing of great human qualities – compassion and generosity, creativity and humour, selfless commitment among key workers, and the most astonis
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2020-04-15 Short update

Our plans to return to the UK on 1 May have been scuppered by the suspension of almost all international fights from Thailand (and elsewhere). Turkish Airlines have offered us a rescheduled flight on 20 May, but I have doubts about even that operating.
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2020-03-30 Troubling times

Like so many people, I am deeply troubled and disoriented by the crisis. The fragility of everything we have taken for granted has been exposed – the ability of governments to protect the people, the preparedness of healthcare systems, the robustnes
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2020-03-10 Repatriation ahead

The great news for us is that Raymond got his entry clearance for the UK. He is now permitted to stay and work for the next thirty-three months; after that he’ll have to apply again for permission to stay permanently. We are booked on a celebratory
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2020-01-29 Change ahead

It’s 29 January and I am cozily wrapped up at my desk in Oxford in the house by the river, while the sun shines outside and the temperature stays at something that stings the skin. For the first few days here, it was dull, grey and chilly – ju
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2020-01-29 Bruce's presentation to UMC staff 22 Jan 2020

This presentation was made to about 70 UMC staff on the morning of 22 Jan 2020, to mark the 25th anniversary of Bruce's starting to work for UMC in 1995. It was filmed and there is likely to be a link to the whole presentation in due course.
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2019-12-28 Winding down and new beginnings

Raymond’s exams are finished, his degree course has ended; he’s having farewell parties with his friends from all over the world; he’s clearing his room on campus; in a day or two he’ll move back to our home in Chiang Rai town and
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2019-12-07 Christmas on the horizon already

It’s early December and pretty much astonishing that yet another year has flown past. The sun is shining and it’s a lovely Thai winter day, though actually rather chilly. Raymond is in class on campus and preparing for his last set of exams at
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2019-11-01 A fine summer past

I have been reminded by a loyal and persistent reader that there’s been a long gap since my last post. I am disappointed in myself at such neglect of both text and, especially, photos, of which there have been none at all in recent months. I’m
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2019-08-10 A rewarding and busy month

At the end of my last post, I was on the point of setting off from Oxford for a short trip to Chiang Rai, forced upon me by the need to renew my annual retirement visa for Thailand and to have the truck tested and taxed for another year. Given the limited
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2019-07-03 Migration West: Oxford

When I last wrote, then in Chiang Rai, we were having a period of extreme heat (upper thirties); now, here in Oxford, we have just had the hottest day of the year (34 degrees, I think), while places on the continent are sweltering in even higher temperatu
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2019-04-25 So much happening, so much at stake

It’s difficult to keep abreast of the huge events – both uplifting and terrifying - happening across the world – Libya, Sudan, Algeria, Syria, New Zealand, Venezuela; destructive storms in the US and Africa, drought or flooding on every
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2019-03-30 The theatre of life

In theatres or cinemas or between the covers of books, one expects, even seeks, the drama of the absurd, or wildly improbable plots or characters or extremes of tension, tragedy and comedy. One always knows that one will return to something called ‘
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2019-02-10 Peaceful spot in a chaotic world

Life in Chiang Rai has been unusually peaceful and uneventful for me since the beginning of 2019, and now, since the arrival of the Year of the Pig.
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2019-01-15 The Festive Season

It’s been very chilly in the mornings recently (15 degrees), but we’ve had many days with bright, clear blue skies, sunshine, gentle breeze and temperature in the mid-twenties.
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2018-12-10 Late posting for Christmas

A number of visitors to the site have justifiably remonstrated with me about the unconscionable gap since my last post; I can do nothing but admit to culpable unreliability and incompetence. My sincere, festive apologies!
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2018-09-23 Thoughts turning East again

It’s the day of the autumn equinox, that point in the year when you realise that British winter is not so far off and a whole new wardrobe has to be deployed. It dawned grey and wet and windy as if to emphasise the loss of summer; there are patches
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2018-08-21 A bright new era

Friday, 10 August 2018, Raymond and I made our civil partnership in the Oxfordshire Register Office, in the presence of a couple of dozen friends. We exchanged pledges and rings and are now well and truly – and legally - hitched. On Saturday, we wen
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2018-07-09 Summer in Europe

I’m writing the first part of this post on a cool, dull day in Oxford in early June. We’ve had some sunshine in the few days I’ve been here, but nothing compared to the glorious three weeks I had in Sweden – an exceptional period o
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2018-05-10 High temperatures and lots of rain

Back in Chiang Rai it’s the hot season merging into the rainy season. We’ve had temperatures in the lower to middle thirties for some days and lots and lots of rain showers and storms. I have resisted switching on the air-con in my study but given way
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2018-04-25 Long days of sunshine

Returning a couple of days ago to Oxford from Venice– where the sun shone in blue skies for four whole days - I was thrilled to wake up to bright spring weather here too by the Thames. The daffodils are mostly gone, but the garden is full of blossom, so
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2018-03-27 Drama on the towpath and news of the first quarter of 2018

Drama on the towpath On the evening of Wednesday 4 January, when Nana Yaw and I were entertaining a group of lovely friends at home in Oxford, we were visited by plain-clothes police at about 10pm. They said there had just been a murder on the towpath
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2018-03-19 Catching up: Christmas and New Year

A word of apology It’s been far too long since my last posting and I owe my loyal regulars an apology for such a terrible delay.
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2017-12-15 A white Christmas?

Nana Yaw got his visa for our trip to the UK; we fly on 19 December. Now there’s extra excitement for him – maybe his first ever taste of snow. For the last few days, the UK has been under a white blanket - 20 centimetres even in Oxford - exceptiona
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2017-11-22 The warm pleasures of the cool season

The warm pleasures of the cool season In my study today, the temperature is about 25 degrees C, while outside the sun is shining brightly in a blue sky with white cottony clouds; there’s a mere breath of breeze. On days like this, the light has a cla
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2017-11-05 End of a long stretch in Oxford

It’s my last day in Oxford, after a couple of months here. It’s been the base for travels to Panama, Seoul, Liverpool and Sicily, but there have been long, lovely periods here by the River, and mostly bright, clement weather too.
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2017-09-21 The leaves are turning in Oxford

It’s just the beginning of the second week in September here by the River Thames and there are already hints of scarlet and gold on the leaves in the garden. The apples and five enormous pears are all but ready for picking
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2017-07-29 Glorious days in Oxford

It’s Saturday 8 July as I begin this record (29 July when I finish it), and I am off to Thailand early tomorrow morning, via Stockholm. It’s another of the glorious, bright, warm days we’ve had here in the last month – everything looking sparkling
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2017-06-08 Last days at home in Sweden

[18 May] In a couple of days I shall be leaving my Swedish cottage for the last time. While I have been sorting through the accumulated possessions of twenty-two years in two rural homes here,
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2017-04-25 The first rains are early this year

Early April, and we’ve had some quite fierce storms and impressive rain. The storms rarely last more than an hour, sometimes much less, but the rain can go on for hours. The rains don’t usually start until the middle of the month around the time of th
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2017-03-05 Searching for reasons to be hopeful

A very small, more or less invisible, footnote to the huge events of 20 January was my 72nd birthday. That day, on the other side of the Pacific, the world, as we have known it, continued the seemingly trans-continental process of falling apart, as a new
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2017-01-15 Whizzing through December into 2017

Early December in Chiang Rai was a busy time for Nana Yaw and me. He had seven end-of-term exams to revise for and sit through (he did very well); I had mountains of UMC website revisions and page-reviews to work on. We were both holding our breath for t
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2016-11-29 National grief in Thailand and latest diary

The death of King Bhumipol, Rama IX of the Chakri dynasty, plunged Thailand into deep and extravagant grief. At 88, he had been ill for some years and spent much of his time in hospital, and his death had long been feared. He became king in 1946 after the
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2016-10-13 The King is dead


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2016-10-08 Moving freely about Europe – but for how long?

After a busy time in Sweden during August and early September, it was off to Heidelberg and a healthcare communications conference. I was presenting my poster on risk communication for women.
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2016-09-04 Busy days in summer Sweden

There’s been a lot of UMC work this summer, and much of the three weeks since I arrived in Sweden has been taken up with projects in the office in Uppsala or at home at my desk.
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2016-08-13 Happy times in Oxford and back home for a month

I was in Oxford primarily for the Evidence Live conference at which my poster on risk communication for women had been accepted for presentation. Rafe attended the meeting and stayed with me for a few days before travelling south west to his sister and br
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2016-07-06 Spring and summer pleasures and travels

After returning from Eritrea, I had a fortnight at home. Nana Yaw was busy with his studies and a variety of cultural and academic events on campus but we managed to have a couple of weekends together. It was a great, but frustratingly brief time together
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2016-05-25 A week in remarkable Eritrea

It was a remarkable ten days in what I now know to be a remarkable country. Around seventy of us from sixteen countries, including Afghanistan and twelve in Africa, were gathered for the week-long East African Advanced Course on Pharmacovigilance (PV) a
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2016-04-04 Long stretch in Chiang Rai coming to an end

After nearly four months in Chiang Rai, I’ll be travelling to Eritrea in a couple of days, and, thereafter, shuttling about to various destinations in Europe during the rest of the year - Oxford, Sweden, Heidelburg, maybe Erice (Sicily). I’ve got into
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2016-02-16 New horizons in Chiang Rai – and a great film in Bangkok

The big news of the month for me has been Nana Yaw’s arrival and both of us settling into our new lives apart and together.
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2016-01-25 Chilly Days in Chiang Rai

It was around 12 degrees Celsius when I woke this morning (25 Jan), probably the coldest day I have experienced in Thailand since I arrived. In Bangkok it was about 19 yesterday, which is unheard of.
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2016-01-22 The Future Maps Out

After a long and frustrating wait, Nana Yaw finally heard (on my birthday) that his Thai visa had been approved. The next day (yesterday) he received the visa and flew home to Ghana after sixteen days of frustrating hanging around in Abuja. Next Wednesday
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2015-12-30 Christmas in Chiang Rai

Good wishes to everyone at the end of the year! Back home in Chiang Rai for a couple of weeks now, and South Africa and its delights and miseries all seem a long way off. Nana Yaw and I had the best possible Christmas present when, on Christmas morn
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2015-12-11 Delight and disaster in South Africa

Highlights of our first week In Johannesburg: The Apartheid Museum: a vividly presented account of South Africa's dark and tragic history; a visceral journey through a grim story and a stark and dramatic building.
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2015-11-18 The long trail east

I’m back in Chiang Rai after nearly ten weeks away and a journey that brought me eastwards home from Oxford via Sweden, the Czech Republic and India. Ui was waiting for me in the dark outside my house when I arrived from the airport and seemed pretty da
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2015-10-07 Autumn comes to Oxford

Autumn comes to Oxford I arrived in Oxford from Chiang Rai on rainy Monday 31 August, the last day of what I gathered had been a grey, wet Bank Holiday weekend
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2015-08-27 Out of Bounds update

The first professional, online review of the book has just appeared on The Bookbag site:
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2015-08-26 Writing, chatting and smoking

Does joined-up writing matter? News that Finland was abandoning teaching children joined-up writing, and that many US states had already done so, caused me a good deal of reactionary head-scratching and some serious doubts about consequences. I think t
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2015-08-17 Bangkok bomb 7pm Monday 17 August

For anyone checking on my safety, I was at home in Chiang Rai at the time of the explosion, so entirely safe. No news about perpetrators or those claiming responsibility, but it seems several people died and many are injured.
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2015-08-16 Cause for hypertension

There is no mechanical sound I hate more, here in Thailand, or anywhere in the world, than the ominous, penetrating buzz of chainsaws. To cause me the maximum emotional harassment and the deepest spiritual distress, just start one of these dire machines w
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2015-07-26 Good books

Just a short note on two terrific books I’ve read this week. Blackout by John J Nance Private Screening by Richard North Patterson
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2015-07-16 Breakfast coffee with added protein

Nothing in the way of animal intervention in my life will probably surpass the shock caused by the one-metre cobra in my cutlery drawer last year, but this morning provided some new and surprising reptilian entertainment.
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2015-06-25 Down by the riverside

It was lovely to be back in Oxford, though it was pretty cool with a chill wind much of the time. There were one or two glorious, sunny days and I sat in the garden reading and enjoying the late-spring flowers, especially the old outdoor orchid, roses and
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2015-06-01 Getting down to work in Sweden

The month in Sweden started with a fair stack of work, mostly communication skills training sessions, delivered in partnership with my boss, Paula. The first three days were all for UMC staff. We covered the basic stuff (how does communication work?); emp
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2015-05-14 A bright, chilly month in Oxford; on to Sweden

I arrived in Oxford on April Fools’ Day, and felt that I had been taken for a bit of a ride by the weather: dark skies, rain, low temperatures. It took a week or so for the sun to show itself, and then three weeks of bright sunshine – some quite splen
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2015-04-17 Out of Bounds

I now have copies of the printed editions of Out of Bounds. They will soon be on Amazon, along with the Kindle and POD versions (available now).
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2015-03-30 A week in Ghana

Ethiopian Airlines offered the best deal for my trip with a few hours in Addis Ababa airport on the way there and back. It was a long journey, with transit hours in Bangkok and Addis and about sixteen hours' flying.
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2015-03-17 The season of books and other stories

I've just received my author's copy of Medicines for Women. It's smart, bound in glossy blue, just over a kilogramme. and surprisingly slim for its 627 pages.
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2015-02-14 An apology and the latest diary 6 February

An apology and the latest diary 6 February First, I am so sorry about the dreadful problems we have had with the site in the last few weeks. It's all to do with hosting and time-expired servers and other technical stuff. In short, when the site was tra
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2015-01-04 Travels and adventures in November

Conference in Amsterdam Returning to this great city after several decades was a delight, not least because of my accommodation: not quite knowing what to expect, I had booked a houseboat on the Amstel
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2014-11-22 Oxford and Sweden late summer

I am ashamed that it is such a long time since my last entry in this diary. I apologise to any of my friends who have visited the site and found nothing new for so many weeks. I have a heap of photos to upload as well, and I must reform my sluggish act!
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2014-08-25 A Book and a Riverside Idyll

This entry includes events from the last few days of my time in Chiang Rai before setting off for Oxford and then the story of my amazing new home in the UK.
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2014-07-13 Happy times in Phuket

On 2 July, I set off for three nights in Bangkok for my quarterly rheumatics check-up and a meeting with the lawyer handling my plot of land in Phuket, prior to five days on the island with my old friend Mr Bui.
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2014-06-30 A quiet June at home

A quiet June at home The end-of-May diary entry put Marie and me on our way to Arlanda airport, she to fly to the UK, me on my way home.
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2014-06-08 A good day in Chiang Rai

I woke up rather late, feeling a bit dislocated and achey. Coffee, quick snack, daily steroids, some emails and off to the farm for some reflective time by the pool.
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2014-05-31 Busy May and a slow spring in Sweden

I left Oxford in euphoric mood, having secured the lovely River House for my future home, and set off for my second stint in Sweden.
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2014-05-25 The current situation in Thailand

Following the coup on Friday, Thailand is under military rule, with all elements of democracy and the constitution suspended, except for the article that declares the King to be Head of State.
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2014-05-07 Earthquake in Chiang Rai: bulletin

Earthquake in Chiang Rai On Tuesday evening (Thai time, 6 May) there was a significant earthquake in the province of Chiang Rai.
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2014-05-04 A productive month

After arriving in Sweden on 11 April, I had a busy few days at UMC with meetings and teaching. We were doing some staff training in communications skills, and had some profound and interesting discussions.
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2014-04-27 Riverside Rhapsody

I have found what seems to be a dream house for my retirement home in Oxford.
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2014-04-09 Long expedition ahead

It's Monday 7 April and just two days before I set off for Sweden and the UK for a total of two months, two trips to both countries.
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2014-04-07 Eric Sainsbury's Guardian Obituary

Social scientist who championed user-centred social work Alan Walker The Guardian, Sunday 30 March 2014
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2014-03-22 Domestic purge and improvement

My profligate purchase of real books (alongside a substantial Kindle collection) has meant that I have lived for years with books piled on chairs, tables and the floor in what began to look more like a second-hand bookshop than a home.
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2014-03-12 Eric Sainsbury dies

This short note is really just for those who knew Eric and may want to know the sad news that he died yesterday (11 March 2014).
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2014-03-03 More quiet times in the sunshine

More quiet times in the sunshine The month of February has flown past with no obvious great highlights or low points in Chiang Rai at all. I have had some quietly euphoric days at my desk when...
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2014-02-11 Just a few items of news

The Oxford flat has fallen through as my friend pulled out of the purchase when the owner refused to reduce the price after damp was found during the survey.
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2014-02-01 Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year! It's the first day of the year of the Horse, Saturday 1 February; the sun is shining, the sky is blue and the long, unusually cold season seems to have passed.
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2014-01-21 Newsflash from Bangkok Tuesday 21 Jan

Newsflash from Bangkok The imposition of a state of emergency here today (Tuesday 21 January) may have alarmed some of my friends. Just to reassure you that I am safe and much of the population of the City is going about its usual business while avo
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2014-01-18 On to Oxford and Sweden

I was sad to leave the family but, knowing that I was not well adapted to living with a four year-old, a baby and a big dog, I continued my peripatetic journey with happy expectations.
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2013-12-27 Family Christmas and wild weather

Chiang Rai to Pembrokeshire, in the far south-west of Wales, was set to be a long journey. I had a complimentary upgrade to Business Class from Bangkok to London, so the twelve hours passed comfortably and quickly.
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2013-12-21 A happy day with visitors

Yesterday (20 December) was one of those memorable days, full of happy moments and good times with visitors from afar (Bangkok, in this case).
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2013-12-16 Adventures in rural Ghana

Rafe and Nana Yaw did not get back from their gold-hunting expedition in the north until about 2am the next morning, with me fretting in Accra about their welfare.
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2013-12-03 The Pleasures of West Africa

It was a long trip in the last week of November: Chiang Rai to Bangkok and on to Dubai and Accra; about twenty-two hours from door to door.
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2013-11-15 Largely surgical with the odd Rolls Royce thrown in

After the battery of tests in Bangkok and being declared fit for the operating table, I returned to Chiang Rai for four days and had a busy time catching up with a surprising amount of work and personal admin.
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2013-11-01 Where did October go?

Where did October go? It's the last day of the month, the year flying towards its end and winter has arrived in Chiang Rai (this means the daytime temperature doesn't go much above 25C and mornings and evenings might be a chilly 15C).
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2013-10-03 Pembrokeshire and back home

Onward to Dyfed One other event in Oxford stimulated my imagination and some feeling of nostalgic attachment to the City.
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2013-09-24 A wonderful time in Oxford

Oxford and a feast of friendships and memories It was grey and cool on my arrival in Oxford, but day by day it improved, with some lovely summery, sunny periods lighting up the early-autumn City. Today, my last day, has been simply enchanting.
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2013-09-14 Chiang Rai and travels

Nagged into action... One of the many loyal and generous visitors to this site grabbed me in a corridor in Uppsala last week and pointed out that it was too long since my last diary update and that I should get my skates on.
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2013-08-07 Quiet month in Chiang Rai

Quiet month in Chiang Rai Time has flown past since I returned from Sweden, with no dramas and little happening. There have been lots of rainy-season showers and downpours and while some parts of Thailand have had serious flooding, up here in the north
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2013-06-26 Back home and a big endorsement

It was a comfortable and quick flight (less than ten hours from Stockholm to Bangkok) with a splendid wild game stew and herby mashed potatoes for dinner.
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2013-06-19 Quiet times in the Swedish countryside

After five happy weeks here, just another five days and it's back to Chiang Rai. With lovely spring weather most of the time, the urge to return home is less compelling than it was in early April when it was still deep, chilling winter here.
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2013-06-04 Tales from Sweden

Swedish idyll It's 3 June and we've just had the most wonderful early summer weekend - blue, sunny skies and temperature in the upper twenties.
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2013-05-11 Getting ready for Europe again

It's the middle of May and I'm off to Sweden on Monday for six weeks of work and holiday. For once, it's long enough to really settle in and not feel like a transient.
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2013-04-26 Excellent medical care in Thailand

Great private medicine in Thailand Yesterday, I had my rheumatologist appointment in Bangkok. It was at what is probably the premiere international hospital in Thailand, Bumrungrad.
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2013-04-23 A quiet week at home

Domestic life I've been at home in Chiang Rai for a week now; it's been quiet and productive. I'm getting used to being a bit stiff and achy in the mornings...
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2013-04-18 The Charms of Kent

From my sister-in-law's house in Northamptonshire, I travelled to London by train from Milton Keynes and from the new St Pancras station on a high-speed train to Canterbury.
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2013-04-04 Health bulletin

Just briefly: after the blood tests, the GP believes his diagnosis of polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is the most plausible.
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2013-03-31 The terrible freeze!

Shivering in Sweden, Oxford and Northampton
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2013-03-05 Last day in the tropics for a while

It's Tuesday 5 March, my last day before flying to Sweden for a fortnight and then on to the UK for three weeks. It appears to be a bit chilly on that side of the world!
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2013-02-19 An appeal for readers: first volume of Bruce's autobiography

This is an appeal for any kind person who has the desire, time and commitment to read and criticise the current version of the story of the first thirty years of my life.
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2012-12-26 What a splendid Christmas!

Busy and somewhat excessive Christmas It's Boxing Day; my friend Pravich and his friend Mr Nu took the last flight back to Bangkok yesterday after three days here.
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2012-12-19 Part-time fatherhood and full-time writing

Ui, my plump sixteen year-old, part-time foster son, who is subtly edging himself towards permanent residence in my house, knows that I have reservations about him playing computer games or updating his Facebook page for hours on end
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2012-11-17 Brasilia, Rio and and the longest flight

First time in Brazil and along time on Emirates...
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2012-10-11 Travels and big changes abroad

This entry covers a long period (a couple of months or more) and I must apologise for keeping my readers waiting so long.
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2012-07-27 Indulgent Thai holiday, drama in Dubai and serious work in Ghana

After returning from Sweden in June, I had only about ten days before my long-planned holiday with Roy in Bangkok and Phuket and the working trip to Ghana
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2012-06-17 UK and Sweden Diary

Busy and interesting times in Europe It's Monday 4 June as I start this diary, and I'm tucked up in my Swedish cottage safe from the howling winds, pouring rain and chilly temperatures which have suddenly swept over the country.
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2012-05-05 New highs for temperature and blood pressure

It's been exceptionally hot recently, mid to high thirties most days and not much less at night. In Bangkok, when I was teaching last week, we had an exceptional forty-one degrees one day...
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2012-04-21 April diary: cobras, earthquakes and an anniversary

A passing moment of horror The possibility of an Indian Ocean tsunami after the huge Indonesian earthquakes on 11 April chilled the hearts of a few tens of millions of people, including mine
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2012-03-04 Tales from Ghana

First week in Ghana The trip to Ghana on Thai and Emirates (via Dubai) went well, though the oddities of time zones meant that we had two breakfasts in what, to me, seemed like the middle of the night
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2012-02-14 A busy and intense month

Hazy sunshine on a rocky beach. It's Friday 3 February and I'm sitting under the grass roof of the balcony outside my little bungalow on the beach in Angsila, Chonburi.
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2012-02-03 Seeing in the New Year

After a happy time at Christmas with Pravich and Nu, I settled back into a daily routine of writing, wanting to make progress with the autobiographical material before my friend Phil, my new literary editor and mentor, arrived on 10 January.
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2012-01-07 Christmas and New Year diary

We've just had about four minutes of tentative, unseasonal rain - not enough to do any good for the parched ground, but quite enough to send the villagers here scurrying out to rescue their racks of drying clothes.
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2011-12-12 A tough month all round

In the last post before my brother's death, five weeks ago, I left you as we climbed the mountain road above Dubrovnik on the way to the airport after the lovely few days of the WHO meeting.
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2011-11-22 Sad family news

My young brother, Iain, died peacefully in his sleep, age 61, last Saturday, 19 November.
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2011-11-05 Ancient cities and meeting the world

It's 4 November and my last couple of hours in Dubrovnik before returning to Sweden after a week here and a week previously in Istanbul. I'll finish the entry when I'm back in Utmyrby.
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2011-10-20 Travel to Sweden, Ghana and UK

A cold, wet autumn in Sweden It's 20 October, and I'm now back from my week in Ghana, which was sandwiched by two visits to the UK to see my brother.
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2011-09-20 Happy times in Chiang Mai and India

A packed and stimulating schedule It's now 19 September and I'm sitting in my wooden house in Utmyrby, Sweden, at the beginning of seven weeks away from home.
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2011-08-30 Business and indulgence in Chiang Mai

Ancient accommodation on the banks of the River Ping I had to go to Chiang Mai to apply for my visa for India (and return the following week to collect it). I decided to take a short holiday in the great city
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2011-08-10 Villains and civil disorder: thoughts on UK troubles

Who are the villains then? To listen to the smug and blindly misdirected outrage of the Prime Minister, members of parliament and other prissy commentators, youíd think the villains were the youthful mobs causing mayhem around the country.
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2011-08-08 Curiosities and the English language

A recent Oxford Word of the Day was the surprising ëpolliwogí
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2011-07-30 Small miracle

Thrilling was news of the recent discovery of a new species of butterfly in Northern Ireland and stunning the fact that genetically itís 70,000 years old.
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2011-07-30 A seriously decadent holiday

A seriously decadent holiday Roy and I had been planning this ten day trip to Phuket and Bangkok for a very long time. It was with immense, pleasurable anticipation, after a pretty uneventful few months in Chiang Rai, that I packed my bags and set off
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2011-07-16 Mid-July update

Off to Phuket Just a brief entry as I prepare to zip up my suitcase and set off for Phuket for a week.
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2011-07-08 Weekend rant: revenge and injustice

Weekend rant Have you seen the American people today (8 July)? Filthily angry and hostile that a woman, accused of murdering her child, has been found not guilty by a full jury.
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2011-07-01 Pre-election jottings

Word stream Every day I receive a Word of the Day from Oxford Dictionaries Online which is a free and entertaining service.
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2011-06-29 Severe weather update

Weather update: Flooding in Thailand We have had several days of persistent rain, but here in the north there has been no serious impact, though the fields are full of water and the river is high.
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2011-06-27 Thoughts on state-sponsored wickedness

State-sponsored wickedness In a world where there is so much suffering and wickedness, where feeling proportionate anger and disgust would drive one crazy, the usual self-protecting mechanism is to wince, curse and move on.
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2011-06-22 Half a million and moreÖ

Half a million and moreÖ Itís a matter of astonishment to me that the counter on this website has now reached over 500,000 hits in the nine years the site has been up and running.
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2011-06-13 Mid-June in the rainy season

Mid-June in the rainy season We have alternating periods of bright sunshine and blue skies; sudden, quite short, intense tropical downpours; overcast skies; and occasionally heavy rain for hours.
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2011-06-11 Teenage birthday and women's rights

Two unrelated topics from the week's issues: Ui is 15 and how do we react to the threat of alien values?
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2011-05-14 Mid-May and itís sunny in Sweden

Mid-May and itís sunny in Sweden Itís nearly three weeks since I left home and set out for my training session in Bangkok and the trip on to Sweden.
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2011-04-24 Will imprisonment help?

My Thai lawyer phoned me the other day to say that Chaiís troublesome sisterís appeal against her 4-month prison sentence had been denied and that she was now serving it.
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2011-04-20 Good news and a hot, wet summer

The good news is that my brother is doing well.
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2011-04-08 A week in Northampton, UK

A most English experience As I walked into the centre of Northampton this evening (5 April), seeking some light sustenance for my supper, the bells of All Saints church were in full voice:
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2011-04-01 Urgent UK trip and diary update

STOP PRESS: since I started writing this diary entry my brotherís condition has deteriorated seriously and the family have said I should go to see him. Today (1 April) Iím flying out and will be in the UK for a few days at least.
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2011-03-25 Myanmar earthquake

I am safe and well. Currently in Bangkok and slept through the night with no effects from earthquake in the north. Yet to check with friends in Chiang Rai, but damage and problems appear to be very small. SHORT NEWSFLASH: no text follows
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2011-03-18 Battling the cold and eating prodigiously

The minus 26C we drove through on my first evening in Sweden was mercifully far and away the coldest it was going to be for the whole of my stay, but it was been very close to zero most of the time and that was quite cold enough for me.
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2011-02-25 Plunging temperatures; grey skies

Plunging temperatures; grey skies The trip to England, via Stockholm, went well, though the three flights and the coach trip to Northamptonshire took nearly 30 hours in all.
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2011-02-19 Goodbye Thailand for a while

Goodbye Thailand for a while At 6.30pm, in a couple of hours, Iíll be picked up by Mr Katai in his ancient Nissan and taken to the airport for my first flight of the weekend:
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2011-02-01 Quiet weeks at the keyboard

My plans to go into town this morning to have breakfast and visit in hospital the elderly mother of a good friend were derailed by the unannounced arrival of a couple of technicians from my internet service provider.
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2011-01-14 English winter and home to Thailand

Itís another grey, drizzly, chilly day in central England when the spirits are depressed and thoughts turn to the pleasures of warmer places.
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2011-01-06 2011 launched to fireworks and grey skies

We didnít have any fireworks in deep rural Northamptonshire, but I did watch the celebrations in London on TV (Mayor Boris put on a very good show at the London Eye), with glimpses of Sydney and (I think) Singapore, where they take these occasions very s
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2010-12-24 Best wishes for a happy holiday and a bright New Year!

I am now settled in my rural accommodation in Northamptonshire after a journey from Chiang Rai which took something over eighty hours (instead of the usual twenty or so).
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2010-12-19 Stuck in Copenhagen

Travel bulletin from Copenhagen Copenhagen was not on my Christmas travel plans, but I have now spent one night here in the Danish capital, and will have one more, at least.
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2010-12-18 Notes from Abu Dhabi

Back from the Emirates Itís been a busy and thoroughly exhausting three days in Abu Dhabi, but exciting and productive too.
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2010-12-09 Preparing for the Middle East

Tomorrow, Friday 10 December, I set off for Bangkok on the first leg of my trip to Abu Dhabi.
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2010-12-01 Exhilarating WikiLeaks

I cannot restrain a grin of satisfaction and a yelp of excitement at the avalanche of recent WikiLeaks documents that have astonished the world.
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2010-11-26 Visitor dissatisfaction and getting my act together

I am very touched today at receiving a protest from a dear friend in Switzerland, complaining that itís been a month since I last posted anything here, and sheís impatient to hear whatís going on.
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2010-10-24 Farm, Sweden, UK, farm and off again!

Back in Thailand after travels (Posted, disgracefully late on 23 October) Itís 9 October, and I am back in Thailand at my favourite hotel in Bangkok, before flying home on Monday.
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2010-08-25 Whopping rainstorm and a race back home (25 Aug)

Iíd had my breakfast in the grass-thatched gazebo on the island at the farm, and was sitting quietly doing my vocabulary revision, after a chat about the work-plan with the farm manager and the new worker.
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2010-08-09 On the road home after sunshine and sailing

Itís 25 July and tomorrow I take my Thai Airways flight from Stockholm Arlanda and return home
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2010-07-12 Despatches from Sweden

Despatches from Sweden A whole quarter in Chiang Rai Foreigners who wish to stay in Thailand for periods of more than 90 days, even those, like me, who have annual visas, are required to report their presence to the Immigration Office before the end
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2010-05-30 Quiet life and a good review

Quiet life and a good review Iíve been back in Thailand now for nearly three months and, with the exception of my trip to Samui with Roy, have spent the whole time here in Chiang Rai.
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2010-05-19 Security update for Chiang Rai

Security update for Chiang Rai We, along with 23 other provinces (just under one third of the countryís 76), are under curfew tonight
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2010-05-15 Horrors in Bangkok but upcountry is calm

The situation in Bangkok gets worse by the day, as I think visitors to this site will be well aware.
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2010-05-08 Hot island holiday

Itís early May, and Iím just back from a week on Koh Samui with Roy, my good friend from Balham.
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2010-04-16 Sawasdee pee mai!

Sawasdee pee mai! A happy new (Thai) year to you all! Itís that mad season when Thais abandon work and restraint
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2010-04-11 Troubles in Thailand: update

Political unrest in Thailand: foreigners safe
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2010-03-08 Brass monkey weather in Sweden

Global chilling Sweden has had one of the most prolonged, intense winters, with more snow and deep-freeze temperatures than anyone I have met here can remember.
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2010-02-05 A glorious 65th (20 Jan 2010)

It was a bright, sunny day, and the three of us set off from town for Elephant Mountain (Doi Chang) at eight in the morning.
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2010-02-03 The day I started flying again

The day I started flying again. Itís now one week since the end of the court case. I have been feeling just great, and am surprised to discover how disabling an effect the whole process and the threat it represented must have been having on me for two y
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2010-01-26 Breaking news...

The bloody court case was concluded once and for all this afternoon: the land and buildings have been sold to new owners, the threat to the farm has been lifted, the bitch is out of my life.
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2009-12-31 Stunning holiday in Phuket

Friends and reunions in the sunshine Happy times in Phuket
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2009-12-18 First prison visit

Somewhat relieved, I have returned safely from Chiang Rai Remand Prison, after visiting a young friend who has been banged up for 45 days after traces of methamphetamine were found in his urine.
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2009-12-15 The court case is over: loose ends to tie up

Summary: Chaiís sister finally capitulated today, and accepted a sum of money slightly increased from last time, in exchange for conceding everything else we had been fighting for.
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2009-12-11 The Chiang Rai Judicial Soap Opera: todayís episode, 11 Dec

I am not sure that I can do justice in mere prose to the utterly bizarre developments today. Chaiís sister is, I think, digging a very deep hole for herself, and she seems to have no understanding of the hazards she is creating for her case.
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2009-12-01 Tales from India Part 1

Back from India and under the weather Itís four days since my two short flights returning home from India, and Iím suffering from a stinking cold and cough.
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2009-12-01 Tales from India Part 2

Tales from India Part 2 Over-medicated Following an afternoon sleep, having uploaded Part 1 of this story, I went to the doctor with my streaming nose, agitated chest, airy head and partial hearing.
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2009-12-01 The John Autian Oration by Bruce

Delivered at the ninth annual meeting of the Society of Pharmacovigilance India, Sirsa, Haryana, Nov 2009
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2009-11-30 Report from the court 30 November

Weíve now had two further visits to the court, the first on 16 November, for formal negotiation in relation to our suing of Chaiís sister for breach of contract, and the second today to apply for her case against us and ours against her to be heard simu
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2009-11-09 Despatch from Casablanca and Chiang Rai

On my last night in Morocco, Iím in a large, bustling hotel near Casablancaís Mohammed V airport awaiting my flight to Abu Dhabi at 9.15 tomorrow morning.
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2009-10-31 Bulletin from Rabat, Morocco

My flight from Bangkok to Morocco for the annual WHO meeting in Rabat took me to Casablanca, via Abu Dhabi, with Etihad airways.
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2009-10-26 Court appearance Monday 26 October

First, the bad news: Chaiís sister refused the offer arranged last week by the judge. She stuck to her demand for Baht 1,500,000, making no concession to the judgeís suggestion that she should reduce her requirement and that we should increase our offer
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2009-10-19 Monday 19 October: court case

This was an informal hearing in front of the civil court judge, requested, I think, by the plaintiffs, anticipating the main case in December. We have progress of a sort, but it may be at some cost.
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2009-10-17 Settling in back home

It took me some days to find my feet and get back to normal after my month in Europe. I was upgraded to Business Class for the return from Stockholm so had a really lovely, restful trip, but my Thai cogs took a while to start meshing smoothly again.
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2009-10-04 Despatch from Sweden

The time has flown since my return from Ghana and the UK. I had about three weeks in Chiang Rai and, since then another three weeks in Sweden.
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2009-08-23 The pleasures of England - August 09

In the cab to Balham from Heathrow, coming from the colour and excitement of Ghana, I wondered how I was feeling to be back in London after more than a year: nostalgic? Content and relieved? At home?
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2009-08-20 Great times in Ghana and UK

At the end of July, I set off for Accra, Ghana, via Bangkok, London and Amsterdam.
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2009-07-20 Report from the court 20 July

It has been a frustrating and, at the same time, uplifting couple of hours in the civil court this afternoon.
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2009-07-13 Report from the court: Monday 13 July

Todayís hearing was expected to be for the court to receive the Land Office survey map of Ban Rai Arun (my farm), and to decide what fee Chaiís family would have to pay for their case in relation to their claim for my farm and the student dormitory
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2009-07-11 En route for home from Sicily

En route for home from Sicily Itís Thursday 9 July, and I am in Bangkok on my way home from great times in Italy.
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2009-06-21 Home to a transformed landscape

Home to a transformed landscape Iím told that rain was falling more or less every day during the three weeks I was in Sweden and its effects are dramatically evident: what was a brown, thirsty, parched landscape when I left, is now verdant and flour
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2009-05-20 Goodbye to Thailand for a while

IN A couple of hours, I shall be leaving for the airport and my trip to Sweden. Apart from the weekís teaching in the south, itís been a long, settled period in Thailand, and I have enjoyed it very much.
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2009-04-25 Sweltering days and irrigation systems

Sweltering days and airless nights Weíve had a succession of very hot days, with temperatures in the shade in the mid to upper thirties, with the usual very high humidity.
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2009-04-23 Book progress and a new website

www.BruceHugman.com is now launched and live. Itís exclusively concerned with my book and everything about communication in healthcare ñ for professionals and patients.
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2009-04-14 Tuesday update: signs of an end to the current turmoil

Tuesday update: signs of an end to the current turmoil It looks as though the government is well on the way to re-establishing order in Bangkok.
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2009-04-13 State of emergency extended to Bangkok

Youíll probably have seen on your TV or in the newspaper that the situation in Thailand is worsening by the day.
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2009-04-12 Latest news: Thai politics; the book arrives; farm; what's next?

Tragic civil disorder derails the country
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2009-04-04 End of March: ill health and a flat battery...

Ill-health and a window of opportunity for reform As March comes to an end, I find myself guzzling pills twice a day to deal with a nasty lung infection and a streaming nose. The serious coughing and extreme tissue-consumption began when I got off the
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2009-04-03 PUBLICATION DAY HAS ARRIVED!!

Superfast printing has put the book on the road to the distribution warehouse today (Tuesday 3 April), two weeks early, which is effectively its entry into the world and its route to the shelves of millions of readersÖwell, a few thousand, we hope, anywa
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2009-03-09 Report from the court: 9 March 2009

Today, we were supposed to report back to the judge about the result of our negotiation since the last hearing a month ago
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2009-03-01 Tales of the riverbank

Tales of the riverbank Sue and Steve Noble tell of their trip to Chiang Rai
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2009-02-26 Chaiís sister pleads guilty

Chaiís sister pleads guilty Celebrating the misfortunes of others is not a habit of mine, but I cannot restrain the gratification I feel that Chaiís sister has had to face the consequences of one small aspect of her recent immorality, admitted guilt
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2009-02-22 Back to the sunshine

Itís my last full day in snowy Sweden before I set off home tomorrow morning from Stockholm.
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2009-02-02 Court case: the end is in sight

Court case: the end is in sight Barring possible small hitches, the whole bloody affair looks as though it may soon be over. I have just returned from court with a great, unexpected feeling of optimism.
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2009-02-01 Busy end to January

Busy end to January Itís been a month of travel and adventures, and the last few days have packed in a few more, prompted by the arrival of guests from foreign parts.
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2009-01-24 Birthday trip to the top of the world (well, almostÖ)

Phu Chee Fah (ëMountain that touches the skyí), 1628m, is not Thailandís highest point by a long way (Doi Inthanon, 2565m, is), but it is much loved by Thai people for its romance and famous view of the rising sun.
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2009-01-03 Starting the new year

Starting the new year Itís 2 January and my friend Mr Bui and I are heading off into deep country to My Dream Guesthouse for a night of peace and quiet by the River Gok, about 40kms upstream of Chiang Rai, and half that distance beyond my farm.
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2008-12-22 Greetings to you all!

Wishing all you good people who visit this site a very happy Christmas and a rewarding and happy New Year!
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2008-12-19 News and updates 19 December

Latest on the court case Yesterday was the appointment with the Courtís Conciliation and Arbitration service.
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2008-12-06 Last report on Thai crisis Saturday 6 December

Last report on Thai crisis Saturday 6 December Suvarnabhumi airport was operating at nearly full capacity yesterday (Friday) and things are expected to be back to normal very shortly.
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2008-12-02 Update Tuesday 2 December

Update Tuesday 2 December It seems that the protesters are going to abandon their occupation of the airports, now the Constitutional Court has disbanded three political parties,
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2008-12-01 Thailand crisis Update Monday 1 December

Thailand crisis Update Monday 1 December The airports are still blockaded and occupied, now at the beginning of the sixth full day of protests.
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2008-11-29 Thai crisis update: Saturday 29 November

Thai crisis update: Saturday 29 November The news is depressing: even though the PM declared a limited state of emergency at the two airports, the police have been unable to take control of the situation, and the protesters, as far as we can gather, ar
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2008-11-27 Thailand crisis Update Thurs 27 Nov

Thailand crisis Update Thursday morning The situation is deteriorating with the occupation and closure of Bangkokís second airport, Don Meuang.
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2008-11-27 Thai crisis latest: Thurs evening 27 Nov

Thai crisis latest: Thursday evening 27 November 2008 This afternoon the government declared a state of emergency at the two airports and is sending in the police to clear the protesters out.
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2008-11-26 The Troubles in Thailand

The Troubles in Thailand Wednesday evening 26 November 2008 What are the issues?
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2008-11-10 Back home and the end of frozen underwear

Itís Sunday 9 November, the sun is shining, itís 25 degrees C, there is a soft wind blowing ñ itís one of those tropical, cool-season days which lifts the heart.
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2008-11-10 Report from the court

Today was the first hearing in relation to the case which Chaiís family is bringing against me and Peter.
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2008-09-25 Dashing about in August and September

Events of the last six weeks:  Royal graduation for Bui at Thammasat University  Serious anti-beetle operations on the farm  Teaching on WHO drug safety course in Manila  Start of a six week stay in Sweden  Dat
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2008-08-08 Triumph and relief!

News of the last three weeks - and the arrival of a serious pest
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2008-07-17 Mid-July update with apologies!

Release from captivity beckons: communication will resume!
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2008-05-11 Just managing to keep the old cranium above the floodÖ

Three days after arriving back from the busy time in Europe, I was off to Pathum Thani, next door to Bangkok, for the third of my annual weekís teaching of pharmacy students at Rangsit University.
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2008-05-01 Busy back in Thailand after a busy period abroad

Itís five weeks since my last entry in this diary and the start of my trip to Europe. It was an intensely busy time and I returned feeling I needed a holiday
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2008-03-21 24 hours before I leave for England: maybe the sky is clearing a little

24 hours before I leave for England: maybe the sky is clearing a little Yesterday (20 March) I sent in the more or less completed manuscript of the book to my publisher.
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2008-03-15 The misery continues

Itís mid-March and the last few weeks have been terrible. Iíve been physically and psychologically under the weather, living in constant anxiety about what Chaiís family might do next.
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2008-02-27 A truly dreadful few weeks ñ with bright spots

A truly dreadful few weeks ñ with bright spots My last diary entry ended with the prospect of the prosecuting attorney and judge coming out to my farm to spend a Sunday afternoon with me.
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2008-02-14 Downs and up of life

Downs and up of life Itís not been a switchback of emotions recently, because Iíve been feeling grim for quite a few weeks, but this evening Iíve had a wonderful series of good things happen.
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2008-02-11 Fighting back

Chai's family have now asked for 3.5 million baht (about GBP60,000) just to help me clear up the matters of the estate, including signing papers for the sale of the dormitory.
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2008-01-20 Back from Sweden for my birthday

I left for Sweden on Boxing Day, having spent Christmas Day more or less on my own, except for dinner in town with Ui.
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2007-12-04 Back from India ñ and a new disaster at home

I arrived in New Delhi at about midnight last Thursday, and left at midnight on the Saturday, two days later. A short, but excellent trip, as it turned out.
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2007-11-28 Brief update on homelife; account of the trip to China

28 November 2007: update on home-life and trip to China Itís the eve of my three-day trip to India, where I shall be doing a dayís teaching on a certificate course in pharmacovigilance (medicines safety) in Delhi.
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2007-10-31 Rebuffing missionaries and other oddments

Rebuffing missionaries Two sweetly-smiling, Japanese Christian missionary women got a shock this morning when they were sent packing from my front door.
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2007-10-23 Chai's funeral, Part 2

Itís now Tuesday (23 October), and this morning, the family and I shall be going to the village temple to collect Chaiís ashes.
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2007-10-22 Chai's funeral Part 1

In some respects, itís really too soon to be writing about the intense and emotional events of recent days (Chai was cremated only yesterday), but I feel I want to capture some of the vividness of the times before it fades. And, just now, itís a comfort
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2007-10-19 The world has changed...

Chai died today at the farm at 10 a.m.
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2007-10-17 Latest on Chai 17 Oct

Afternoon bulletin on Chai: Wednesday 17 October
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2007-10-16 Brief news back from travels/latest on Chai

After more than 40 hours of travel from Buenos Aires, Iím back home.
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2007-09-16 Phuket air crash

Just to say that I was at home in Chiang Rai when this terribel accident occured this afternoon. I was on an One Two Go flight to Phuket from Bangkok just a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to anyone who's concerned and comes to the website here to check! That
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2007-09-05 The pleasures of August

A quick summary of the month's good things
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2007-07-25 Ghana, a new pickup and domestic doings

Itís the third week in July, and long past time I should be getting this diary up-to-date.
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2007-06-08 Latest news for May 2007

Out of the country - Iím just back from five weeks in Europe, settling back into the more relaxed routines of the East and adjusting to the hot and humid weather as the rainy season begins.
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2007-03-31 March 2007: The Ups and downs of life

March was a month of some delights and achievements, some problems, a disaster and an abiding irritation.
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2007-03-03 Latest news and comment 3 March

The hot season eases in I had a bit of a spat with BBC World last month, when, after one eveningís viewing, I was so infuriated by the endlessly repetitive flying logos and programme trails every few minutes for so many minutes, that I emailed them wi
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2007-01-25 Back in the tropics

Welcome to 2007! Regular visitors to the site will be wondering if thereís ever going to be any new material on it after all this time ñ but here it is, and thereíll be some photos within a day or two, I promise!
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2006-12-11 Healthcare communication skills: the book

Description of the project and how you can help.
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2006-11-16 A month of pleasures and troubles

Itís been a very busy few months, along with tough times in domestic relations. Things are now beginning to calm down on all fronts, and I am hoping for a relatively peaceful month before I go to Sweden for work and Christmas holidays in the middle of De
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2006-10-01 The Sino-Chiang Rai connection

The record of five memorable days in China
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2006-09-22 The military coup díÈtat in Thailand

Brief notes about the situation in Thailand, three days after civilian government was abolished.
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2006-08-28 Parting of the ways

Chai and I are separating and it's a tough time for us both.
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2006-08-14 'Tigers on the brink of extinction'

So, whatís new? Whoís surprised? Who cares? Enjoy it while we have it A few weeks ago, I wrote in this occasional diary about the maturing of my own knowledge and skills and the pleasure I was taking in exercising them. That line of thought parall
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2006-07-28 Latest bulletin

Sicily, Veneto, Aida, trees and fish; visitors, home and farm
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2006-06-16 Pause for reflection

A review of why I am such a fortunte chap
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2006-06-10 The largest class of my life

A chance encounter with the Dean of the Rangsit University Faculty of Pharmacy at a meeting in Bangkok some months ago, led to an invitation from her for me to teach communications skills to her third year undergraduates. The course was to be a whole unit
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2006-05-27 Brief notes on recent happening

I'm so far behind with the diary that I'm ashamed. Here's a glimpse of what's we've been up to.
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2006-03-12 Catching up from January and February

Lots has been happening here and abroad...here's the latest
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2006-01-15 Diary for Sept-Dec 2005: Welcome to the much-delayed account of the last four months!

For recipients of the Tropical Telegraph, some of the events will be familiar, but there's more detail and new material as well...so read on!
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2005-12-25 A happy Christmas and a peaceful and enjoyable 2006/2549

Best wishes to all of you visiting this site. Thanks for cards and greetings and renewed friendships. Keep in touch!
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2005-09-08 Notes and jottings June to September 2005

It's been too long since the last diary entry, but, at last, now here's the lowdown on Sweden, the UK, Chiang Mai, weddings, barges, zoos, travels and lots more!
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2005-06-21 Back home from Sweden to rain and mangoes

Some very lightweight reflections on recent times in Europe and Thailand. See also Picture Gallery Diary 2005/May-June Sweden and Thailand (to come)
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2005-04-06 Roman reflections

Iíve had some difficulty in keeping my patience in the face of the largely uncritical and sycophantic stuff written about this significant event.
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2005-03-25 Latest news from Chiang Rai and the trip to Ethiopia


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2005-01-22 Latest domestic news

Little drama to report, but life is agreeable, even though taking place in slow motion...
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2005-01-14 A short account of the tsunami experience

You'll find the text of my emails in the aftermath from the link on the homepage. This is a short version written more recently for friends who were asking for the story.
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2005-01-10 Tsunami disaster

Phuket Thursday 30 December 2004 Dear Friends I am writing this from Patong Hospital and Jacob has been kind enough to go out and type and send it for me. Chai and Jacob are physically fine. I have a quite small cut but deep wound in my ri
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2004-05-04 Diary Jan-March 2004 Part 2

Rather late in the day (4 May!) here's Part 2
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2004-03-20 Diary Jan-Mar 2004 Part 1

Here's the first part of the latest quarterly review of an elderly expatriate's life in Chiang Rai...
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2004-01-08 October to December 2003

A busy few months have left the diary sorely behindhand. Here's an update of India, Cambodia, Phuket, trips to the UK and much more.
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2004-01-01 The Tropical Telegraph 2003

Greetings from the north of Thailand, where it is now 'winter', and the locals are to be seen in scarves and woolly hats as the temperature plunges...
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2003-09-03 Diary August 2003

Headlines for August ◊ Chai and I had three great weeks in the UK, seeing family, many friends and lots of lovely places. We signed the Mayor of Londonís Partnership Register. ◊ We decide to buy the block of student accommodation on the
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2003-07-16 Jottings for July 2003


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2003-05-04 Thoughts in May

A quick review of the last five months
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2002-12-08 The Tropical Telegraph 2002

So, it's goodbye to the Balham Bulletin and its nineteen years of burdening your festive postperson. This new venture is borne out of actual requests from real people...
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2002-12-06 Diary November 2002

Apart from a few odd remarks at the beginning, this month's diary is largely a literary record.
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2002-10-09 Off to the rice fields of the east

Maha Sarakham, temples, a new monk, the extended family and more health news
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2002-07-01 Notes on EG Geijer

I took a photo of a statue in Uppsala and asked for info about the man. The indefatigable Dr Johan Lundquist found this for us:
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2002-05-22 Chiang Rai

It's the middle of the night and I'm writing in the middle of a pretty convincing tropical storm. The first, gigantic clap of thunder startled me...
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2002-05-05 Chiang Rai


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2002-04-08 Somewhere in the Arabian Sea

We've been sailing for three days now since Suez, and have another six to Singapore...
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2002-03-13 Musings on emigration

It was a long time coming, but I didn't really have time to start thinking about it until mere weeks beforehand.
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