Spent this evening with our friend Craig from Auckland, who was at the end of a short stay at Cambridge for work. He hand delivered some lovely Steiner Ceramics from New Zealand (see below) which are presents from him and Steven for our Civil Partnership. Photo’s below. Two are traditional fern shapes which are very NZ, but I don’t know anything about the third (star) shape. We went to the Cambridge Blue for dinner, had some beer and bumped into Danny and Malcolm, who were there for a ringers meet-up at 8.
Went to the The Urban Farm Shop last night for a food tasting. We’ve passed the shop by lots when we’ve been walking to the Cambridge Blue but had never been past when it was open. The place was pretty busy. It really is an urban farm shop: there were four local, organic, free range farmers there with their produce (bread, pork, smoked fish and poultry, apples). I was particularly taken with Heron Farm – Organic and Free Range Pork, which we could buy fresh or frozen at the shop, or direct from the farm at Waterbeach. There were also free range chickens from Sutton Hoo, which I’m keen to try. We’ll return soon for a shopping trip.
Michael spent two nights in Durham for a UK UUG (Unix User Group) meeting. I went up to join him on Friday night and visited Chris, Emma, Eve, Fin in their new house in Witton Gilbert, near Durham.
Congratulations to them both for 40 years of marriage: the bad news for me is it that this means that 40 can’t be far away!
David arranged balloons and ’40th Anniversary’ glitter, and got their wedding photograph framed in silver. The rest of us sent flowers, champagne and chocolates. To celebrate. Mum & Dad went to the Rogano in Glasgow, which is a long-established, and very smart, restaurant. To start with the table was booked for a romantic dinner for two, then they increased it to three to add David, then to four to add Nuala. I’m sure it was a great night out.
Last post for our Thailand Holiday. Left the Andaman Coast and the lovely Emerald Resort and flew back top Bangkok. We have a final day exploring the shopping and sights of Bangkok before heading back to the (chilly) UK.
Finished Saturday, by Ian McEwan. It had a similar feel to Enduring Love. The characterisation of the main character was great and there were a couple of heart-stopping moments when I had to put the book down because the suspense was too much. McEwan did this so expertly at one point that I started to get really cross and bothered by the delay in the action. Excellent. It’s set over the period of one day, which I also enjoyed.
“Saturday” (Ian McEwan)
An exciting day learning how to cook a Thai feast with Miss ya Chop Chop! at a cookery school in Krabi.
Left Phi Phi for the mainland near Krabi and three fantastic days on the best resort of our trip, The Emerald. One day sea kayaking and another mooching around on the beach: a perfect way to end our Andaman Coast section of the trip.
Finished “The Sluts” (Dennis Cooper) while lying in a beach hammock at The Emerald at Nopparatthara Beach, Thailand. It was one of Cooper’s easiest to read books (and was as dark as the others). It plays on truths and lies, and is set in a web discussion board for escorts, involving an escort who wanted to be snuffed. It took me four days to read this, bit by bit. Michael borrowed it and then read the whole thing in four hours flat.
“The Sluts” (Dennis Cooper)
Breakfast at the hotel was the worst so far: cold buffet selection (which should have been warm) and the watermelon had garlic overtones. Met up with the rest of the group and we went across to Phi Phi Leh in two longtail boats for a day touring the smaller islands. It took about 10 mins to get over the island. Passed by the Viking Cave (Tham Phaya Naak), where swiftlets nests are collected for birds nest soup, using bamboo ladders that look barely capable of supporting their own weight. We went into a lagoon North of Maya Bay, that was almost surrounded by limestone cliffs and quite full of tour boats. It seemed like too busy a place for snorkelling, but we had some of our best snorkelling here at the mouth of the lagoon. The tide was out and the water shallow, so we were very close to the sea life. There were lots of black sea urchins. We snorkelled twice here and it was great fun, we all enjoyed it. Snorkelled for a third time before lunch and saw some black-tip ref sharks, which was very exciting.There were four swimming around in one area. Judith had better luck seeing them than I did, but I did manage to take this photograph (squint to see the shark!). We then moved on to Maya Bay, which is the famous setting of the film The Beach. The Beach was stunning and we had a lovely lunch there of chicken fried rice with the usual fish sauce and chilli. We had a wander around the place, which is a nature reserve, for 20 minutes.