Banjo Paterson’s 150th Birthday Anniversary

Banjo Paterson

Banjo Patterson, the Australian bush poet was born on he 17 February 1864.

His poetry is well known and loved by all Australians. He wrote iconic poems like Waltzing Matilda, The Man from Snowy River, Clancy of the Overflow, and many more.

Banjo's $10 Note

In 1988, The Reserve Bank of Australia issued a polymer note to celebrate the bicentennial of Australian settlement, which featured a picture of Paterson and the poem, The Man from Snowy River.

 Here is a link to the top 10 iconic Banjo Paterson bush ballads. You’ll need to love Australian bush poetry and plenty of time to listen to all these! My favourite is No. 10, The Geebung Polo Club.

Ant’s Eggs

Ant's Eggs

Prime Ant's Eggs

Toy regularly buys ants eggs from the Chiang Mai Gate morning market. Like many Thais he regards them as a delicacy! By Thai standards they are not cheap. Those in the photo on the left, which are from trees, were 30 baht, whille those on the right, from underground sources, were 100 baht.

Hunting for the eggs is not easy and requires skill and patience. They are usually available during February and March

Ready for Eating

Toy Cleaning up the Eggs

Toy cooks them up with chilli, shallots, garlic, and lemon grass and garnishes the dish with Thai celery.

Yum! I think not!


The King of Thailand

The King of Thailand, His Majesty  Bhumibol Adulyadej, is the longestest serving monarch in the world. He is much loved by theThai people and has had a stabilising effect on this country for many years.

The embedded western made 45 min video is the story of his life.

Some wish he would step in again now and address the “leaders” (???) of Thailand and utter the same words that were spoken so many years ago. Perhaps, because of his advancing age and health reasons, he is not capable of doing so.

Thailand deserves peace!




Canada Promotion at Rimping

Don on the Right, Honorary Canadian Consul, second from Left

 On Saturday afternoon my Canadian friend, Don, and me, went to the Rimping Supermarket at Promenada Mall for the official opening of the Canadian food promotion, CANADA Taste the Difference.

Last month, Rimping Supermarket and Austrade presented, Australia Unlimited, at the same mall. There were cooking demonstrations and special promotions for Australian produce.

Live lobsters

Ice Wine

Whistler Water

Canadian foods promoted included lobster, maple syrup, chilled beef, breakfast cereals, ice wine, and Whistler mineral water.

Prior to the Opening Ceremony lemon grass drink and canapes were available.

It was a fun afternoon. The Thai girl compering the presetation of products was entertaining and the cooking demonstrations included plenty of samples. I made sure I got my share of lobster and strawberries coated in maple syrup.

Strawberries Coated in Maple Syrup and Sesame Seeds

Maple Syrup

Dining Out Group – Noi Cuisine No. 2

Nop Snapped this Guy Lurking Outside the Restaurant

Noi Cuisine has operated for many years in a condo building in a soi off Canal Road.

About a year ago he opened a second restaurant opposite the main entrance of the Furuma Hotel, which he called Noi Cuisine No 2. He uses the same menu which is predominantly Italian cuisine.

On Thursday night the Dining Out Group ate there. We had a very large group of 23. Initially the service seemed OK, but after a while  things bogged down and some diners waited a long time for their meals. Fortunately the standard of the meals remained high. We shared chicken nuggets and our main course was Dory fish. I took a bottle of wine for which there was no corkage. The checkbin for Toy and myself was 440 baht A$ 15.70.

Table 1

Table 2

Now, the Ritz Hotel it is not. This little local eatery is not grand, not even slightly grand, but the prices are cheap and the food good.

Chicken Nuggets



Dory Fish with Lemon Sauce



On Tuesday night, The College of Music, Payap University presented a Guitar Recital  at CRK Recital Hall  Payap University Kaew Nawarat Campus by Kla Rerkkriangkrai. He titled the recital “My Music My Inspiration”

Augistin Barrios

The music ranged from Baroque (Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring) to contempory. While classical guitar is not my favourite music,  I particularly enjoyed Vais Op. 8 No. 4 by Paraguayan composer Augistin Barrios.

Kla During his Performance

Kla was born in Chiang Mai and started playing the guitar at the age of 10. He studied at the Prince Royal’s College here and more recently in the for a Bachelors degree in the Performance Programme of the College of Music at Payap University.

An appreciative audience enjoy the recital.

In the video Denis Azabagic plays the third movement from Agustin Barrios’ most well known work: La Catedral,

Expats Club Meeting – February

This morning the speaker at the Expats Club meeting was Derek Higgs, ex UK police force forensics Officer.

He discussed the case of “Roberto Calvi”, known as Gods Banker

On the 18 June 1982, a postman found a body hanging from scaffolding beneath Blackfriars Bridge on the edge of the financial district of London. The body was later identified as Roberto Calvi.

His iidentification lead to international intrigue involving banking collapses, money laundering, the Vatican, an illegal Masonic lodge the Italian mafia, and politics.

The story has been made into a novel. A heavily fictionalized version of Calvi appears in the film The Godfather Part III

If you want to read about Calvi look here.

Derek Higgs Taking Questions after his Presentation

A facinating talk by a forensic officer who was involved in the case!

In the Garden of the Dragon

This is a philosophical visual essay and worth watching.

Filmed in and around Bangkok, Pai, Mae Hong Son and the Thailand / Myanmar border region in late July 2013. This edit is an attempt at re-creating the visceral nature of my experience there.

Shot and Edited by Justin Heaney
Equipment used: Canon C300 / GOPRO Hero3 Black Edition / Small HD DP6

Shot in July 2013.

Travel Club – Southern Africa

Michael Speaking and Lisa on the Computer

On Monday night, at the Travel Club meeting at Sangdee Gallery, Michael Shortland and his wife Lisa, related their experiences on a holiday to the eastern part of South Africa and Livingstone in Zimbabwe.

Before leaving they were concerned about violence. They found however that their were no racial tensions and most violence was black on black. The multi racial groups seem to exist in harmony under the Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s vision for the “Rainbow Nation“.

Highlights in South Africa included,

The cheap cost and good quality of food and wine,

The friendliness of the people,

The Big Five

Mangrove Crab

Kruger National Park. He said that while the main tourist focus was on the big five, they were more interested in the small Four and the ugly Three!



Dung Beetle

Now I can’t remember them all, but I know the mangrove crab and the dung beetle were included on the small list and the vulture and Hippopotamus on the ugly list.

Food in Livingstone

Michael and Lisa then visited Livingstone in Zimbabwe, to visit the Victoria Falls. Here they found food prices to be higher than South Africa.

After the Rainy Season

In the Dry Season

He show two interesting slides of the falls, one during the wet season and another in the dry season.