ozI am in Australia at the moment where I have been too busy to do any posts.

I returned for routine medical reasons.It is a short trip. I left Chiang Mai on14 March and will return on 02 April, in time for Songkran.

As a result of doctor visits, two bcc’s were removed from my face, one near each eye The dressings are being removed on Monday, when the pathology results will be available.

Normal postings will resume on my return to Chiang Mai.

La Divina : The Last Interview of Maria Callas


La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas is one-woman show written and performed by , Shelley Cooper, Mahidol University, Voice Teacher. It is inspired by the life and work of the Dramatic 20th Century Opera Singer Maria Callas. The show runs 60 minutes, contains stories of Callas’ life and famous iconic arias that Maria Callas is known for singing. The show premiered at the Orlando Repertory Theatre Black Box Space on October 29 and 30 2010, later performed at the International Performing Arts Institute in Bavaria, Germany, and most recently was performed to 2 full house audiences at the Bangkok Theatre Festival. This performance was the Asian premier and La Divina’s 3rd Continent! The production is directed by Mahidol University Classical Voice faculty member and native Greek opera singer, Mariangela Chatzistamatiou.
It was performed last night at the7th floor Studio theatre at Kad Suan Kaew, and will be repeated tonight.
It was in a word – brilliant. What a pity there was a small audience. It was not publiced very well.

“She so completely embodied the life and work of Callas that for most of the performance it was hard to tell it was Shelley performing and not the real Maria Callas.”

Travel Club – Rift Mountains

ATT00001There is a place in the valleys of the Rift Mountains where the meeting of 4 African Tribes are keeping their customs alive through dancing, singing and lots of love and smiles. We were joined at the Travel club last night by Anna, Anahit, and Joyce.The area is said to  be the birthplace of humans and animals. Many scholars believe that the valley is the cradle of humankind.

The main speaker was Anna Kari. Her grandfather founded the Haydom Lutheran Hospital in 1955 in northern Tanzania. It is the largest hospital in the area and today has over 400 beds.

A foundation exists to help the tribes co-exist. Anna helps tribal elders make their own decisions about their future.The  ‘Haydom Cultural Festival’ which takes place during the first week of September each year. This event is staged at Haydom Cultural Centre; bringing together the four main language groups, who participate in singing, dancing, and sports such as archery. The presentation was richly illustrated with photos.


Part of the Large Audience


Anna During Her Presentation

Gate Theatre – I Hate Hamlet

hamletI Hate Hamlet is the Gate Theatre’s latest production. We saw it yesterday at the matinée at 3 o’clock, in the 7th floor Studio theatre, of Kad Suan Keaw Shopping Mall.

A  fine cast played this hilarious comedy. In particular, Don Coffey, who played the ghost of John Barrymore, and our friend, Mathilde Vehaar, who played Lillian Troy, one of Barrymore’s ex girl friends, were excellent. The play was directed by Steve Meyer.

Unfortunately this is the last play in Gate Theatre’s current season. We will have to wait until later in the year for new productions.

This was an excellent production and maintains Gate’s record for great local theatre.


Dan Coffey (left) as John Barrymore’s Ghost and Matthew Daly (right) as Andrew Rally



Christina Meherg, Marisa Mour, and Mathilde Verhaar


Jim Thanks the Audience and the Actors Take a Bow



Dining Out Group – Vulcano


Entrance to Vulcano Restaurant

Last night 11 members of the Dining Out Group had a pleasant evening at the Vulcano restaurant. Yes the spelling is correct. It is located at Nimmanhaemin Soi 17 and consists of a hotel, wine Bar and a pizza – Italian Restaurant. Reviews were mixed but I went with an open mind.

Staff were excellent and attentive. I ordered one of the specials, minestrone soup and lamb cutlets while Toy ordered a whole grilled sea bass. Toy declared the fish to be OK but not excellent. To me his plate seemed bare and needed accompaniments. My soup was excellent but the lamb was too rare, although I asked for medium. I asked them to cook it a little more. The cutlets were small but very sinewy. Too chewy for my liking.

For dessert we shared a Panacotta and a Tiramisu cake. Yum! Good diabetic food!

Most other meals looked OK especially the pizzas, which were very reasonably priced.

I enjoyed the ambiance of the restaurant, the pleasant service, but I was disappointed with the food.


Minestrone Soup


Grilled Sea Bass


Lamb Cutlets




Tiramisu Cake


I Look Happy Enough!


Wine Tasting Party

wineOn February 28  The Wine Club, Chiang Mai, conducted it’s first event, 7pm until 9.15pm at Rose’s  Oregano Home Cooking Restaurant, Canal Rd.

We tried eight wines with sandwiches, garlic bread, and pizzas. There were 2 whites, 2 roses, and 4 reds, which were sourced from Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, and Australia.The wines are pictured above. Great value at 500 baht (A$20.50) per person.Wine connoisseurs and happy amateurs were welcome The event was for all Thai and expats who love wine

The evening was well organised by Poonthip Andersen of Poonevents. Everyone seemed to have a good time.


Who Is the Lucky Guy Getting a Prize From Poon




Poon and Wine Pourers At the Main Table

Expats Club Meeting February 2015 – Bangkok Bank – Banking Myths Dispelled


Khun Waraporn Brand-Srinaka

bankAt the Expats Club Meeting on Saturday morning, at the Le Meredien Hotel, the speaker was Khun Waraporn Brand-Srinaka, Bangkok Bank’s Senior Specialist – Foreign Customers Segment, whose subject was “Banking Myths Dispelled”. It was a good power point presentation  well supported with slides.

It was very helpfut for local Expats, especially in regarding to witholding tax on bank accounts but of little interest to blog readers.

In the general part of the meeting the formation of an “Aging” Outside Group Activity was mooted. This is likely to receive strong support.