New House

What a week it has been. The move went well. With me doing most of the small box packing the packers were way ahead. All packed and left by 2pm. Problem was they still were not going to give me a bed to sleep on for the night. I thought with helping them get a head start that at least they would have gone to our new house and unloaded some of the bigger items. Nope, not a chance!!!

Hua Mak-20130802-00154(1)

This is the sign at the entrance to our compound/village. I believe it says Perfect Masterpiece Village….

Its very good security. No one can come onto the compound if you don’t know where you are going and who you are going to visit. They give visitors a ticket and to get  out you must have your ticket stamped by the house were you are visiting. Without this, not sure what would happen.

I have noticed if a Taxi is coming to pick people up the guard comes on his bike in front of the taxi until they have picked people up. Very very good, I think.

The guard patrols every 15 mins from what I can make out.

Everyone is so friendly and there are lots of amenities here. I will cover these later

night view new house

This is the first photo of our house that evening.

This is looking up to our bedroom. The house looks big from outside but I can assure you it is no bigger than a lot of UK homes. It’s just aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

OH says its called Perfect Masterpiece Village because he can’t find any flaws in the decor or structure.

 

 

guest room

 

This is a photo of the guest room and car port.

We are going to use the car port as a seating area. When its all free from boxes and rubbish from our packing or should I say unpacking I will take a photo. Hopefully it won’t look so much like a car port.

 

The first thing I notice is the lack of flies of any shape or size. What a difference to where we have come from. Where we had space and views and couldn’t sit outside to enjoy it all. Ah, I can leave my doors open now.

 

So here we are in the new house on the evening of the 3rd August 2013. No furniture, nothing. Luckily had had made chilli and rice in advance and brought some biscuits.

first night coffee tables

This is OH and our Stella, enjoying our new coffee tables!! improvise is the word to be used when moving to a new house. Improvise all the way. Deck chairs to sit on and card board boxes upside down to rest  your feet on.  Stella seems quite happy too. Making herself comfortable on the side of the box.

first night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is exactly how we all spent the night. On the floor.

OH and I realise that we are way to old to be sleeping rough on hard tiled floors anymore. Sleeping bags and a padded sleeping mat. I don’t know how the Thai people do it. It was so uncomfortable. Mind that fact that I had let the packers take the pillows as OH thought there wouldn’t be room left in our truck to take them!!! oh how we missed those pillows. Folded towels, don’t quite feel the same.

Well, we didn’t get much sleep, Buddy and Stella walked the floor most of the night!! they couldn’t settle either. Bless, Tess, never any bother, slept through the whole thing. What a star.

One and a half weeks on and we are all sorted and OH is back to work. All the boxes are unpacked and everything is in its place. Now I can not put off the ironing much longer!!! Here is the pile!!!! It took me 3 1/2 hours. To someone that is not used to doing her own ironing and hates it with a passion, it was a hellish 3 1/2 hours!!!! Oh for the laundry around the corner near where we used to live.

3+hours ironing

I guess I will have to go out and find a nice organized friendly laundry service nearby. Its not that I don’t have the time to do it. Its just I hate it so so much. Even when I lived back in the UK my mum used to come and iron for me. I do so hate it so much.

I got through it and I am still alive so I guess it wasn’t so bad. nice to see it all hanging on the clothes horse ironed

The packers came back today to collect their boxes and papers. So I have cleared the area outside now too. Just a few nice flowering plants and the place will be more homely.

The house was really clean when we arrived. Not Julie clean of course but clean enough. It meant I didn’t have to start cleaning before things could be unpacked. The landlord’s brother is looking after us and he obviously did a really good job of getting the place clean for us.

The team were still varnishing the stairs when we came to inspect the day before we moved in.

Buddy and Tess are getting used to having neighbours. The first few days were driving us crazy. Everytime anyone made a sound they barked. Glad to say now they seem to have settled down.

Stella has been out a few times now and its great to be able to leave the door open. I can’t believe the difference in the lack of flies. Its wonderful.

We have invested in a new slim line oscillating fan too. Its very quiet. As OH says I live with a fan all the time but that way I can do without air con and have the fresh air.

Can’t wait to be able to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. I think this weekend we might even get to the pool

stella hiding on the bed                 stella asleep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, one relaxed cat. I just hope she doesn’t wander to far. She is far to confident for her own good. There are lots of dogs on the compound. Only a couple of strays though but there is a big ginger tom. Don’t want her to get lost. Most of the houses look similar so I don’t want her to get confused.  Mind she makes plenty of noise, I am sure I would hear her but I don’t want to tempt fate.

Well that’s enough for now, The sun is shining and Tess needs a wash. She still has the fungus and it doesn’t seem to be improving much.

A bit thanks you to Nita from Bangkok Serenity for helping me in our house search. Her details are below for anyone wanting a great agent.

Thanyaluck Boonchom (Nita)

M: +66(0) 8-3541 4161
F: +66(0) 2- 169 1655-7
Fax: +66(0) 2- 169 1657

E: nita@bangkokserenity.com
W: www.bangkokserenity.com

=======================================

Serena Property Co., Ltd
299/9 Sukumvit Living Tower
Sukhumvit Soi 21 (Asoke)
Klongotey Nua
Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Thailand

 

Bread making and improvisation

I hate being beaten. My bread maker sits in the cupboard abandoned due to the fact that it doesn’t make bread properly any more. It was an expensive gift from my brother in law and sister in law when they stayed with us at Baandangmow a couple of years ago. This is the bread that it made in the early days.

Huai Yai-20111227-00119

Delicious, well risen, although a bit heavy. Then after a few months the bread stopped rising. Back to Central Department store we went. I think I have already told the story way back but for anyone new, they sent the machine back to the manufacturer who had a base in Bangkok. Now bearing in mind we were jut 1 1/2 hours away in Pattaya. They kept it for over 2 months!! said they had had to move offices bla bla. Anyway 2 1/2months later the machine was returned and its never worked properly since. The bread doesn’t rise. It did for a week then it stopped working properly again. Oh for my bread machine from the UK that is in storage. Don’t buy a FAGOR bread machine. Each person that I know that bought one says their bread machine doesn’t work properly any more.

However……….It does mix the dough and lets it rise to the first stage only. So yesterday I tried this. Then took it out and let it rise in the warm kitchen. It took  well over and hour – hour and a half but it did rise. So I took it out and kneaded it and popped it in the oven!!! WRONG. I should have put it on the tray and left it to rise a 3rd time. Still here it is. Its not bad just really heavy. You can see my baby banana’s in the background.

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If I had left it to rise a 3rd time it would have risen again and been much lighter. Luckily I have another packet of bread flour so I am going to try again later today.

Anyone  who has lived in another country other than the one you called home will know it can hard to find some of the same products or similar that you got at home. Improvise, improvise should be the motto for any expat. There is bread flour, wholewheat, dark rye but trying to find it unless you live in the center of Bangkok is hard. Foodland in Pattaya had a good selection along with dried yeast. Foodland near us stocks none of this except basic bread flour for white bread.

The lack of crusty bread anywhere close by us is why I have to try again to make bread. Wish Eileen was here to show me again how to do it. I remember the Saturday morning spent having coffee at Eileen and Franks.

Frank always made the bread early on a Saturday and it was just out of the oven when I went for my coffee. Lashings of butter and jam. Delicious. Eileen showed me when they came for their holidays how to make bread buns,but I quickly forgot. I am going to write another post about the time Eileen and Liz came for their holidays. I never knew anyone could shop so much………and I have pictures as evidence.

Well, wish me luck for later. I will update with today’s picture of bread when its made.

 

One week on and adjusting to our new home and area

One week on and we are adjusting to our new home, surrounding areas and having neighbours in close proximity.

When you are looking for a house in and around Bangkok you won’t get everything you are looking for unless your budget is high. So we had to adjust to neighbours close by. I forgot about screaming babies,children having tantrums, dogs being allowed to bark for what seems like hours on end. People coming and going. These are all things we will have to get used to after over 3 years of neighbours being way way away from our front door.

Did I mention I had cleaned out the  black rubbish bin and the bin storage cupboard. It was very smelly. Washed out the whole thing with bleach only to find it had been taken the next day. I was left a broken, sellotaped up, dilapidated bin in its place. The landlord replaced it and this time we spray painted the number of the house around the bin’s exterior. Today the bin men came and put it back in next doors cupboard………HOW can they get it so wrong. There are only 2 cupboards next to each other!!!!

The old lady from over the way was watching me take the bins out and swap them. I am sure she thinks I have taken the neighbours bin!!!! Honestly, even if they can’t read you can see it has something on it and its huge writing. I will have to check this every time they come to empty the bin I think. I suppose one consolation is that at least I didn’t have to go searching for it.

I still have not seen any western women on the village/compound but I have been told they are here.

We checked out the pool last weekend.

Hua Mak-20130818-00221                Hua Mak-20130818-00220

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wow I had forgotten how to swim I think. I only did about 15-20 lengths and I was pooped. I have vowed to go everyday, well except Tuesday when everything is closed at the club house for their day off. Then on Monday, what did I do….. I didn’t go. I kept thinking I will do one more job, then one more job and then before I knew it I had run out of time. excuses excuses eh?

So today, I have to make the effort.

We also tried the club house restaurant. As the American’s say “Awesome” food. I had missed our favorite restaurant Baan Na in Huai Yai. This lady has the same style. Beautiful food and the best is that they sell  a good selection of ice cream. So here are pictures of what desserts we managed to eat. Absolutely stuffed afterwards.

Hua Mak-20130818-00223      Hua Mak-20130818-00222

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday was my fist proper jaunt out in the car by myself. OH had drawn me a map to get to Tesco’s. It’s the nearest supermarket without going onto a motorway. Piece of cake. Only I couldn’t get everything I needed. I bet folk back in the UK, can’t believe you could go to a Tesco’s and not get simple things like crusty bread, bisto, coriander or mint. The list goes on and on.

I also managed to find the vets again. The Syrian lady I had met suggested I go back and ask if they had a similar product for Tess’s fungus. So I managed to find my way there and back but alas nothing to substitute. Don’t know what you would do if you went there with a fungus condition on your dog or cat…….beats me.

They have however very kindly suggested an animal hospital at Thonglor. He gave me directions but it is quite a way and I am not sure I would find it but I think I have to have a go today. I have directions how to get back from OH, which was my worry. Might be able to pop into Paradise Mall to get the missing items from my shopping list from Villa Market Supermarket.

Paradise Mall. I think its called Paradise Place certainly has some great shops and food outlets. For us it was much better than Seacon Square which is only about 100 yards nearer to us on the same main road. I am sure like my new friend from Syria that in 4 months (the time she has been here) I will know my way around. Its just hard to drive and try and see what shops  you need.

I checked out a small deli I had seen yesterday down near the Oasis Center in Hua Mak but it turned out not to be a deli at all as we know it. It was however a haven for wine lovers. I know where to go back to if I am looking for some nice wine. I think they must do Italian ice cream too but no olives or cooked meats or crusty breads.  A huge menu for food too.

I felt my jaunt out had been disappointing so I parked the car further down the same street and went on a wander. This seems to be a very  very busy street.  I think its a short cut for people coming of Pattanakan Road going to the motorway.

Lots of food vendors and small restaurants all doing a roaring trade on this street. For some reason they nearly all seemed to be selling lovely bottles of honey and honey combs. I know where to go when our supplies run low. I stopped for mango’s (much more expensive than in the villages near Pattaya) and some banana’s. The lady was old and I tried my Thai, only to find she spoke good English. The next stall was making what looked like dim sum dumplings. In for a penny in for a pound. I bought some. Now I wish I had taken a picture for  my blog. Maybe I will go back and ask if I can take a photo. They were good. There was a selection of 6 @ 35bhat. Around 70-75 pence at today’s exchange rate.

Now I have sampled them I know which ones I liked the most. The lady had a selection of dishes that you could choose from for the fillings in your dumplings. Then she swirled the mixture onto a round hot plate and proceeded to fill and wrap. Expertly done and so quick. Into a box with a little packet of hot sauce (have to leave that for OH). Yes, writing this I realise I would go again.

 

Stella, a.k.a – HRH.

I know not everyone love cats or dogs but I had to share some of these poses. I usually take them on a daily basis for my daughter. I send the photos on my phone so she can see Stella when she wakes. Sometimes I just can’t resist snapping her as she sleeps or poses. She is just too cute for words.

In reality H.R.H Stella is quite aloof. She certainly has me around her little finger. Spoiled rotten. absolutely

OH got Stella and her sister Daisy when they were only tiny. Abandoned by their mother under the office. From Bahrain they came to Thailand. I think I have told the story about Daisy going missing, never to be seen again on the ‘Pets in Thailand’ page. So I won’t retell it now. Just that we miss Daisy very much and I still pray that she is alive and living happily with someone somewhere. I dread to think what may have happened to her with the amount of stray/wild dogs and cats that are everywhere in Thailand.

So here is this mornings photo, after I made the bed, she just climbed back on and in and snuggled down.

Pong-20130801-00151Is she so cute or what? I love her. In reality of course the only person that can cuddle her is her daddy. When he comes home she crys and crys to be picked up and there she sits in his arms. Looking at me as if I am muck!! Doesn’t matter that I am the one that loves her to bits, I am the one that feeds her and makes sure she is safe….oh no, eyes for daddy only when he is home.

IMG-20130116-00651Its a pity the flash catches her as she has to shut her eyes.

IMG-20130324-00789She is one confident cat. In fact most of the time we think that she thinks she is a dog!!!! the way she lies about

IMG-20130509-00029Here she is behaving like a dog. With Buddy on the mat and Tess at the back. What a life eh? Never seen a cat lie about like she does. Normally cats snuggle in bed or on the sofa.

Nong Prue-20130624-00089This is “I am warning you about taking any more flashy photos” look

Nong Prue-20130727-00141Here is a snuggle photos. In the evening if she isn’t sitting on the chair outside she jumps up on the sofa and sits near me. Never on me, ever just near me. This is why my friend Eileen named her HRH when she stayed with us last year. Stella is such a madam.

Nong Prue-20130710-00117This is one of Stella’s normal poses. She loves to have a cushion over her face. Is it because its too bright or is it because she thinks she can’t be seen. Or maybe she thinks she is modeling and this is the pose of the day??? not sure

Nong Prue-20130625-00093Cushions over her legs this time

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This is were she used to sit at our other house. On the front porch. I think this day I had all the dogs beds on the chair while I was cleaning, so she just hops up and snuggles in. See lady muck

I think these have to be the ultimate in posing photos for the moment. Again taken at our old house. How many people could say there cat sat on top of an elephant?????

Must have been cold for her to go inside your cat box. Snuggling in again I suppose. So a small selection of poses from HRH Stella.  Hope you like them.

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Moving date almost upon us and some advantages

Well, is it 3 days to go or only 2?? depends on which way you count the days. Anyway Saturday is drawing near. The boxes that the agent dropped off the other day are way to small. I at least thought when I said I needed more boxes that they would be of a decent size!!!! NOT.

So I am out of boxes and still have some of the kitchen cupboards to empty. Well actually quite a lot and then there are still more big ornaments, lamps, bedding, clothes, oh dear the list goes on. There is no chance of any more boxes before the move. I really am concerned that they have cocked up big style. Am I allowed to say that???

I am sure they have undersized the job.

Nong Prue-20130730-00148

 

So today I am going upstairs to strip the guest bed, dismantle the lamps, wrap the few ornaments etc., hoover and wash floors and OK I might just attempt the windows!!! Then there is the upstairs terrace to wash down or should I leave that till Saturday. mmmmm not sure.

We are taking the deckchairs to sit on but I notice the mud bugs are in. I hate those things. I will try and remember to take a photo to show those folks that don’t know what I am talking about. Well that’s what we call them. They build cement like mounds and when you break them they are full of bright green caterpillar like bugs. YUK.

All this extra walking with Tess and Buddy, dropping the sugar in my coffee and packing has dropped me 1 1/2kilos since Monday.

Moving has also made me decide not to keep left over food in the freezer because when it comes time to eat it you think “what on earth did I keep that for”!!!! yuk…. I have not enjoyed eating out of the freezer this week. Especially as some of the containers ended up being a surprise as I hadn’t labeled them. How stupid is that. One container I defrosted which I thought was curry, turned out to be gravy for the dogs???? guess what I had for my tea that night……..apple and peanut butter. The gravy looked awful so it went in the bin.

Its just after 7pm and I still never got out to get those mud bugs. I caught up with Paul from Cats4youinPattaya and handed over the old cat scratching posts. He mentioned that ‘Mr Tibb’ has been unwell. Something wrong with his blood last week. He is up and about and all is well. Bless him. I just so wish I had been able to find him a home myself. He certainly was a character. Reminded me of Sammy, my very first cat that I had for 16years. Into everything and very vocal.

I spent the rest of my time wrapping up lamps, glass vases and more ornaments. Then I stripped the spare bedroom. Hoovered rugs and rolled them up in readiness, to go. Still can’t seem to see the end. I still have 2 cabinets of spare plates, bowls to wrap yet. I only packed my UK clothes. Still got the ordinary wardrobes to do. That was my plan for this evening but I had a lovely call from my sister. We had a good catch up and a really good laugh. We have a good moan and then laugh it off. Best way otherwise things would get you down. …..

I went to watch the TV but True Vision had suspended the service already. The engineer is coming tomorrow to take away their equipment and they will install a new set of equipment on Monday as arranged. I just never thought that they would disconnect tonight. I hope  he comes in the morning as I have to go to see the new house tomorrow afternoon. Do a check to ensure all is well.

Ah well, I suppose I better go and tackle some work then. Just what to do first is the question.