Category Archives: Essays & Short Stories

How to teach a bird to fly!!!

It seems inconceivable that a mere earthbound creature can teach a budding aeronautical genius to fly. But that is one of the tasks allotted to me following a chance encounter with a stranded fledgling Common Myna bird.

A shoulder to cry on

Storm damage

In our need to protect ourselves from the damage storms can inflict it is easy to overlook the plight of helpless wildlife that lives with us in our daily lives. Trees provide refuge and homes for many creatures and like our own homes they are subjected to the ravages of wind and rain which can tear them limb from limb. This is, of course, all a part of the natural world and unless you accidentally come across a stranded creature, as I did, you will likely be unaware of the loss of wildlife in a big storm. Continue reading How to teach a bird to fly!!!

How to live life one day at a time.

I have been experiencing a little too much stress recently and so I wrote some notes to remind myself that while I have long been a proponent of mindfulness I have never found it easy to achieve. So once again it was time for me to put my money where my mouth is.

I then thought that maybe I should share my, far from comprehensive, notes and thoughts on the subject and write a short blog post.

So here goes.

Continue reading How to live life one day at a time.

The Eighth Day

Marius was closed so Jake strolled on down from Heritage Square in search of a friendly looking coffee shop. He enjoyed his early morning heart starter almost to the point where it had become compulsory. Marius had provided the near perfect quirky environment. An eclectic mix of battered old leather sofas, rickety tables and chairs from a bygone era and moth-eaten crimson velvet curtains seemed quite at home in the dimly lit lounge. Somehow he had managed to acquire a vast collection of artwork, mainly prints of old masters. Degas, Monet and Renoir featured prominently. Continue reading The Eighth Day

Who are masters of the air?

The Red Arrows in Apollo formation (2010)
The Red Arrows in Apollo formation (2010) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every evening around 6 o’clock I witness an aerial display that would put the ‘Red Arrows’ to shame. Man has tried for years to dominate the skies but thankfully will never match the speed, agility and stealth of the swallow. I sit in awe every evening and marvel at how these tiny birds hurtle through my garden airspace at supersonic speed devouring even the tiniest of flying insects on their incredible trip. They don’t even stop to re-fuel. Continue reading Who are masters of the air?

Who are you?

“We come from nothing, we are going back to nothing-In the end what have we lost? Nothing!” ― Graham Chapman

The old man
The old man

When I look into the mirror I see what everybody else sees when they look at me; an old man. But when they look at me they can’t hear, feel or smell the same things that I hear, feel or smell. Others, then, can only view me in a one dimensional form. They think I am an old man because that is what their eyes reflect. So they will feel no need to ask; “Who are you?” Continue reading Who are you?

Where can you get all the Spudsulike?

It’s dry, dusty and hot by day and cool at night. Chiang Mai hasn’t seen a drop of rain for 3 months and very little wind, just gentle breezes from time to time. Luckily we have ample water from the mountains to sustain us and our crops. Continue reading Where can you get all the Spudsulike?

Flower Power

One of my neighbours either had, a flash of creativity or a heartfelt desire to cheer us all up for 2014 when she decorated her old pedal cycle with this most colourful flower arrangement.

Flower Power
Flower Power

I don’t know if the flowers give her more power when she is pedalling around the village. She doesn’t seem to be going any faster but she attracts a lot more attention and she seems to be ‘happy as a sand-boy’.

The world is a much happier place with people like her. How I wish there were more.

Off the wall

Singer Britney Spears was one of the best sell...
Singer Britney Spears was one of the best selling female performers of the 2000s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My name is Leffney and I have a twin brother Riteney. We’ve had a tough sort of life on the end of a demanding master. On the other hand our two sisters Britney and Whitney have had it pretty easy really being lucky enough to be on the end of a sedentary lady now in her sixties.

In fact my brother Riteney is much stronger than me and although he went through it a bit as well he never gave up the ghost, like I did on a couple of occasions. I must say looking back I feel pretty bad about it now as I caused severe anguish and pain for the boss on both occasions. I was not able to withstand the extreme pressure and the stress he put me under and, well, I just couldn’t take it and collapsed both times. And in fairness to my brother Riteney he took on the extra load without complaint.

Left knee-joint from behind, showing interior ...
Left knee-joint from behind, showing interior ligaments. (Lateral meniscus and medial meniscus are cartilage.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You see, I can’t feed myself so I am as totally reliant on my Master’s support as he is on mine and maybe at the time he didn’t quite know what I needed in the way of sustenance. After all he is made of many parts whereas I am basically just a connection between the femur, tibia and talus. I hold them all together with a rather clever collection of connectors. Underneath my cap which I always wear and call my little patella I have two diagonal ligaments which cross each other in the joint. They are absolutely crucial which is why I call them cruciates.  The anterior is in the front and the posterior is obviously behind. Then there is the medial collateral ligament and the lateral collateral ligament on the outside. I have a few other bits and pieces like cartilage and meniscus but I don’t want to go into technicalities here. Of more concern is that, having let the old boy down badly twice I am doing my very best to support him until he ‘drops off the perch’, which, between you and me, shouldn’t be too long now. I’m not talking weeks or months but maybe years. Not too many, I hope!!

I Look to You
I Look to You (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Look, he’s not a bad old fart and he did go through hell when I folded on him. A good year it took him to recover both times, a lot of rehab physio and pain. I remember the second time I made a right mess of myself and fair enough he did pay for a complete refurbishment job so I can’t complain. And when it was all over I felt like a dog with two dicks and a bit of a limp. So I suppose the least I can do is hold him up for a bit longer and make sure he doesn’t need a wheel chair before they gift wrap him for the bonfire.

Are Microsoft deliberately driving PC users to Apple?

Windows 8 Presentation
Windows 8 Presentation (Photo credit: Michael Kappel)

I have used Windows since the first launch and never had a problem of note until now when I purchased Windows 8 assuming, rather stupidly, that the transition would be as easy as before. How wrong I was. I can’t honestly say it was my worst nightmare but it’s a close call. I’m not a techno genius like the MS boys but then PC’s and laptops are built for people like me to make our lives easier; aren’t they? Continue reading Are Microsoft deliberately driving PC users to Apple?

Don’t be alarmed, excited or offended

During my life there have been many unusual and often strange occurrences so nothing really surprises me any more even though it may be shocking. Every young man dreams of being asked by a beautiful woman if he would like a fuk. In fact every old man probably dreams about it a lot more as his chances are pretty slim. The first time I was asked if I would like a fuk, in Thailand, by a pretty lady I was taken aback but thought ‘maybe this is the way they do things here’. Then I realised that as she was about to cook me a meal there could be another meaning to the word ‘fuk’. Continue reading Don’t be alarmed, excited or offended