picture taken a while ago
Artists: Brassens, early Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Una Ramos, Miriam Makeba, John Lee Hooker, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Jelly Roll Morton, Toots and the Maytalls, Beach Boys, Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson, Dwight Yoakum, Carlene Carter, Benny Goodman,
Songs: Wagner operas, Brahms clarinet quintet, symphonies, piano and violin concertos, Bruckner symphonies, Strauss Tone poems, St Matthew Passion, Watermusic, Fireworks music, Messiah, Chopin nocturnes and piano concertos, Beethoven piano and violin concertos, Schubert chamber music, Mozart piano, clarinet and horn concertos, Rigoletto
Films: Duck Soup, Le Placard, Brutti Sporchi e cattivi, Woody Allen, Bunuel
Dislike most Hollywood films especially action
Sports: mostly horizontal
Athletes: Thierry Henry, Wayne Rooney, Russian women tennis players
Activities: reading obituaries, preferably other people’s, looking after pets (currently four cats), walking in forests, taking photographs of insects and torn posters, recording birds, insects, traditional music and any other interesting sounds, being on my own
Places: London, Algiers, Bucharest, Edinburgh, Toulouse, Bogota, Aix en Provence, Kuala Lumpur, Nice, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Katmandhu, Luang Prabang
Other interests:languages, ethnic music, Thai hill tribes (especially languages and music), good food and wine, moths, butterflies and other insects, bird songs, espionage and conspiracy theories
people whose favourite song is “I did it my way”, politicians, dentists, missionaries and religious fanatics of all perusasions, macho men, wimps, nurds, snooker, feminists, Rotarians,people who talk too much, who are complacent or condescending, people who say “Take care”, golf, aftershave, ballroom dancing, boxing, globalisation, tofu, sleeveless vests, people who put ‘Child in car’ stickers in their car, boxer shorts, eating other animals, body piercing, -ists, isms and ologies, political correctness, violence on the screen or anywhere else, British Airways hostesses, hats, washing the car, cliches and stereotypes, double entendres, hot dogs, dishwashers, speed bumps – these are just a few.
People who should not read this blog: politicians, purists and pedants, the Pope, feminists, extremists of any religion, fans of Steve Irwin or Mel Gibson, God, my ex-wives, transformational grammarians, people allergic to cats and many others
My character: reclusive, self-centred, cantankerous, cynical, indecisive, lazy, stubborn, disingenuous and I can’t stand people who are any of the above.
I am …
…ex teacher, ex linguist and ex speaker of several languages, ex project manager, ex bureaucrat, ex consultant, ex player of the flute, viola and bassoon, ex cross-country runner, ex husband, ex historian and soon to be ex human being
..currently retired and living in a village in Northern Thailand. Used to be cluttered with possessions but since I arrived here a few years ago with just a suitcase I have been pretty minimalist. I have things to take photographs, record and listen to music and other sounds, use the internet and open wine bottles and that is about it. I have no interest in clothes apart from having a few really comfortable ones, or anything decorative. I can live comfortably on half my pension so give the rest away. Selfishly, as I only give to people I like and think deserve it.
That’s more than enough.
Except that a number of ‘friends’, suspecting no doubt that I was spending my time in the flesh-pots of Asia, have asked me to describe my day. So here goes.
4am Rise, drink a bottle of water and surf/blog for an hour. Feed the 4 cats, let the ones that are in out and the ones that are out in, then let the ones who went out in and the ones who came in out.
5.30am Drive half an hour into the mountains and record any birds, squirrels, frogs I find.
8.30 am Home for breakfast of muesli or porridge. Play with the cats, who have lined up waiting for me to dangle a piece of string for them to chase.
9.30 Back to the forests to photograph butterflies and other insects and record the music of any hilltribes people I meet
12.00 Home for a salad lunch, watch the news on French tv.
1 pm Do my language practice of one of the hilltribes languages I’m learning
2 pm Have a snooze.
3.30 pm time for any shopping, taking cats to the vet, doing translations for friends, answering emails
5.30 pm back up into the hills to take photos of moths
9 pm dinner (either spinach canneloni or fish) with a glass of Chilean wine from the local supermarket
9.30 pm Cycle or walk round the village with the cats
10 pm watch the news on BBC World, grumble about it trying to be like CNN then bed.
The rest of the time I’m in the flesh-pots of Asia.