Pathology

Since my return to Oz, I have had a heap of pathology tests done. The results were mainly acceptable.

My HbA1c was 7.1. This is a measure of how well controlled my diabetes has been. While a little high, the physician thought the result was reasonable, given my age and the amount of time I have had diabetes.

Some other tests were

Cholesterol 2.3 mmoll/L (desired range  3.6 – 7.3)

Triglycerides 1.9 mmol/L (desired result < 1.5)

HDL 0.47 mmol/L (desired result <1.00)

LDL 0.89 mmol/L (desired result > 2.0)

While some results were not in the desired range, the physician regarded them as reasonable. My cholesterol was very low and my HDL (good cholesterol) excellent.

The only result of concern was my serum vitamin B12 which was 92 mmol/L. The normal range is 162 – 811. This is a side effect of long term taking of metaformin, a diabetic drug, I use. I was given a vitamin B injection and I will require regular injections of this vitamin. I guess I can arrange this at Chiang Mai Ram hospital.

My iron studies show some anemia and the physician said I should resume taking iron tablets.

Next Friday I see the cardioogist who no doubt will do an echo- cardiogram.

The dentist check up found no cavities.

Lunch at Pablo’s

Eating Al Fresco at Pablos

Today we went out for lunch. Sue, my next door neighbour, young Jack (aged 87) who lives at the end of our cul-de-sac and me. We went to Pablos’s in Brunswick Street New Farm where Sue’s son, Rob, is an apprentice chef. Food is modern Australian style with great plate arrangements and the freshest ingredients.

It is a small trendy restaurant in a trendy area. Sue ordered antipasto, I ordered bubble & squeak with chipolatas and eggs, and Jack, who has had facial surgery ordered plain scrambled eggs. For afters we shared some baked cheese cake served with strawberries and whipped cream. The restaurant has an open kitchen, with 3 guys working. It is amazing what they achieve in such a small work area.

It was good to be home, receive pleasant service from young people, enjoy good food, all with no expectation of a tip!

Read Trip Advisor reviews here http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Restaurant_Review-g255068-d3169977-Reviews-Pablo-Brisbane_Queensland.html

 

Rob Preparing a Meal

Jack & Sue

Reception Counter

 

 

Antipesto

Baked Cheesecake

Bubble & Squek, Chipolatas and Eggs

Mum ( Sue ) & Rob

Home Sweet Home

Arrived home on Monday morning. Roger and Mel were there to pick me up. Roger drove my car to the airport.

It was good to be home but I was very tired after being ill in Singapore.They put me on board in a wheelchair and deplaned me in Brisbane the same way. Singapore Airlines were fantastic. They made me a bed using four seats and set me up with pillows and blankets. During the night they checked that I was OK.

I am feeling much better now.

 

Theerit Kanyarong

Last night I attended a cello recital by Theerit Kanyarong at the CRK Recital Hall, Payap University, Kaew Nawarat Campus.

Featured works were by:

Julius Klengel, Concertino No. 2 in G Major, Op. 41,

Pyotr Liyich Tchaikovsky, Andante Cantabile, from String Quartet No. 1 in G Major.

 Karl Davydov, Romance sans paroles, Op. 23.


Gabriel Faure, Pelleas et Melisande, Op. 80.

 Sergei Rachmaninoff, Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14.

Antonin Leopold Dvorak, Humoreque, No.7 Op 10.

Theerit was born in Tak (about 200 km south of Chiang Mai) in 1991. He is now in his third year at Payap studying for cello bachelors degree. He has a pleasant modest demeanor. It was obvious that he was popular from the reaction of other students in the audience.

He was superbly accompanied by Japanese pianist,Atsuko Seta.

For Tchaikovsky’s Andante Cantabile, he was joined by the Payap String Ensemble. This is a beautiful piece of music and for me the highlight of the concert. It is said that Tchaikovsky based it on a a folk song the composer heard whistled by a house painter.

An outstanding concert by a talented cello player. It is a wonderful instrument.

 Here is an orchestral version of Andante Cantabile played by an unnamed orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy

 

Going Home

Tomorrow afternoon,16th of September, I return to Brisbane Australia for 5 weeks. While away I will be lodging my Income Tax return and having my health issues reviewed. I fly Silk Air to Singapore and then Singapore Airlines to Brisbane.

Queensland Australia

Brisbane is the capital of the State of Queensland in Australia.

I return 26 October.

There will probably little, if any, activity on my blog while I am away.

Morning Walks Tuesday 11 Wednesday 12 Sep

Scratch Lottery Ticket

Despite the threat of rain on both mornings, I ventured out on my morning walk yesterday and today.

In Australia there is a TV commercial for scratch lottery tickets. It shows someone scratching a lottery ticket with a music fanfare and the voice over which says “there’s a little bit of excitement in every one:. Well, living in Chiang Mai is a bit like that “it’s a little bit exciting everyday”. I experience many of these moments on my morning walks.

Here are some examples.

 

 

Monks with their Begging Bowls

Each morning I see the ritual of monks walking the streets with their begging bowls. Technically they are not begging, but offering the opportunity for lay people to make merit by offering food (or money) for the temple  Monks receive alms without a thank you or comment, but recite a prayer or blessing. Women must be careful not to touch a monk. Monks always walk in pairs in single file, with the eldest leading. Note that they are bare-footed.

They usually walk with their heads bowed and looking devout. I try to catch their eye an say “sawadee khap” which normally brings a smile.

 

 

Restaurant Owner and Granddaughter Offering Alms

Householder Offering Alms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I see a lady on a regular basis taking her daughter to school. We always acknowledge each other and the daughter always wais me. This simple act of respect not only gives her merit but also makes me feel great!

Security Guy at Holiday Garden Hotel

I always say hello to the jovial security guard at the Holiday Inn hotel.

Mother and Daughter

Boys at Honda Shop

The guys at the Honda motor bike shop were out the front as usual mopping the footpath and fooling around. It must be the cleanest footpath in Chiang Mai.

Family Setting up Food Stand

A three generation family were setting up a food takeaway stand out the front of their very humble abode.

The spirit house below, outside a restaurant, had been spruced up and new flowers added.

 

 

 

Spirit House

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Harbour Community mall is starting to take shape. Construction is well underway and they have started landscaping outside with instant trees.

Transplanted Trees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Model of The Harbour Community Mall

Instant Trees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening 3rd Quarter 2013!

At the multi storey mall (Maya) at the Rincome Intersection construction is up to the first floor. Despite this they are advertising opening third quarter 1913. I’m offering 10 to 1 that it won’t be ready by then!

 

The Pub

 

 

 

I called into The Pub to see Graeme to tell him I was returning to Oz for 5 weeks. I was planning to have a cup of coffee with him but he was off to the hospital for some blood tests.

 

 

 

Kan

I also passed Kan (the gardener at Green Hill Place) on the way back from the shop). She had obviously bough some fuk tong (pumpkin) amongst other stuff.

Walking in Chiang Mai can be a bit hazardous, especially when the footpath is used for parking motor bikes.

 

Motor Bike Parking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tibet

At last night’s meeting of the Travel Club, at the Sangdee Gallery, Gabriella told us about her t trip to Tibet last April..

She travelled with her two children and her parents. They were there for over 3 weeks and they travelled by train into Tibet and travelled onto Kathmandu in Nepal.

Dorothy - Convener of The Travel Group

“The Qinghai-Tibet Railwaystretches from the ancient city of Xining in Qingha Province to Lhasa. This stretch holds claim to being the highest railway ever constructed. It traverses unbelievably harsh terrain and utilized some of the most complex technology available to overcome particularly difficult constructional challenges, a combination of factors virtually never encountered in the history of railroads, either in China, or across the world.”

She said that the train trip was very long and not all that comfortable. Oxygen was provided, if

Tibet Train

required, to help passengers cope with the high altitudes traversed.

Gabriella

At the outset she posed the question – Is what is happening in Tibet progress, or is it a form of cultural genocide. Of course there is no answer. The information and data coming from the Chinese government is very different to that provided by the Tibetan government in exile.

Gabriella said that that many permits were required to travel and a guide was compulsory. It is not possible to travel independently. Guide books are not permitted. Security was strict.

The talk was well illustrated with pictures. The over all impression was that of a harsh, cold, barren country. People are very religious and many carry prayer wheels. They wear very colourful clothing and decorate themselves with junky jewelery. Children were dirty, probably because of the lack of running water.

Grabiella made the following points concerning Tibet, Military Occupation, Limited religious freedom, No fredom of speech. Enviormental damage and exploited resources.

Here is a slide of Chinese propaganda.

Flowers of Thailand – Croton

Croton

Well not a flower actually but a colourful foliage plant. Crotons are known as The Princess of Leaves. It is native to south east asia, so it does well in Thailand.

Crotons are really small shrubs, and can reach a height of 6 feet outdoors. If grown as indoor plant, it will probably top out at 3 feet. The plants have multi-coloured, glossy, leathery leaves and have an exotic appearance.

The Croton will grow best with indirect light. The colour output of the plant is usually based on the amount of sunlight it receives, so placing the plant in an area with too much shade might make the plant develop more green foliage with less colour. Croton grows best in well watered soil.

Crotons grow well in my home State of Queensland in Australia. In fact Ihave them growing in my garden in Brisbane.

 

 

Croton at The Pub

Croton at Green Hill Place

Halal Festival 2012

As you probably already know, most Muslims are located in the south of Thailand, where there is ongoing conflict.

It is estimated that the population of Chiang Mai includes about 3 percent Muslim. Despite the diverse ethnic origins of Chiang Mai’s Muslims, it should not be forgotten that all Muslims holding Thai nationality consider themselves to be Thai first and foremost in mundane concerns. Of course as far as spiritual matters are concerned, their faith is very different from Buddhism.

Muslim Thais observe all Thai festivals and respect the King.

Attaqwa Mosque

The minaret of the Attaqwa Mosque provides a fine example of this cultural synthesis which seems to work very well indeed. Suspended from the inside of the green, star-and-crescent topped dome there hangs a northern Thai gong, used to call the faithful of Chiang Mai to prayer. As a symbol of Islam in Northern Thailand, this must surely be hard to beat!

There was an Halal Festival here from 7-9 September. As today was the last day, I decided to take a look.

Mosque in Jareunprathed Soi 1

The festival was held in Jareunprathed Soi 1 off Changklan Road. opposite The Plaza Night Bazaar. There is a large mosque in the Soi, pictured on the right.

I took my camera along this morning. Here are some pictures.

 

 

Halal Food

Cake Stall

 

Coffee Stall

Happy Muslim Ladies

Silpakorn University Brass Ensemble

Last night the Silpakorn University Brass Ensemble performed for The Friends of Music Making in Chiang Mai at Krua Siam Restaurant in San Sai. The ensemble was led by Lertkiat Chongjiajitra, a principal trumpet with the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra. He founded the ensemble in 1999.

Click here for information on the Silpakorn University.

Krua Siam Restaurant

The venue was an open sided building with a high ceiling which seemed ideal for the brass quintet. A heavy rainstorm just before the concert did not mar proceedings. It was still raining lightly as I drove home.

The Ensemble played a classical repertoire  as well as other lighter pieces. Their enthusiastic attitude was very refreshing and I appreciated the insight they gave into what they were playing, in Thai and English. Their introductory item, The Prince of Denmark’s March , by Clarke, set the tone for a great evening of music. They played amongst other items, a moving rendition of Danny Boy, and finished the programme with a suite of music from Porgy and Bess.

Silpakorn University Brass Ensemble

 

 

Fish Meal at Krua Siam Restaurant

I dined with a few other members of the Friends group at the restaurant before the concert. Unfortunately they did not have wine, only beer! The restaurant venue was quite a way out of town, a few kilometers north of Ring Road 3.

In the first video below ,Silpakorn University Brass Quintet performs during a Southern Concert Tour (October-November 2011). Lertkiat and Sasis on Trumpets, Navi on Horn, Nath on Trombone and Poumpak on Tuba.
The second video is another version of The Prince of Denmark’s March.