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31 December

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 7 months ago

31 December

New Year's Eve Phuket gig

 

Jess's last morning and we are not working till this afternoon, so she and I spend the morning at the beach after a large and delcicious breakfast over at the hotel.

Diet and breakfasts

The breakfasts at this hotel really cannot be faulted - there are wonderful different smoothies called "Stress Relief", "Energy Lift" and "Fat Buster" (impossible to decide which I need most!) There are huge plates of colourful fruit, including very attractive yellow water melon, with yoghurt and honey. There is hot gammon with beautifully cooked baby tomatoes, there are Chinese breakfasts, Thai breakfasts, vegetarian breakfasts, all the normal "English breakfast" stuff cooked to order, as well as smoked salmon, salads, French toast, waffles, pancakes and a great bakery. Because I am trying to be good with my diet, and because the restaurant is so far from our villa (a 15-minute walk or 10-minute bike ride) and because I can't bear to rush something so lovely, I usually only have breakfast here on the very few days when we are not having to make an early start at schools - if I ate this sort of breakfast every day, my weight would balloon, as the food is really delicious and irrestible! Really these huge free breakfasts as well as the beautiful free villa the Laguna Grande have given us here are an absolute boon to our very tight budget - we are very grateful!

 

Today Jess and I munch our way through a very satisfying selection of goodies - certainly no need for lunch today! As we are not doing a show till this afternoon, and as we are currently up-to-date on badge and beanbag preparation we head towards the beach for a couple of hours. The beach (which we have previously been too busy to enjoy) is lovely - comfortable sun loungers, wonderful sand and a clear, blue sea the temperature of a tepid bath. The sun is very hot today, so we try not to overdo it - though we do overdo it a bit, naturally, and are glowing and very colourful when we head back to the villa in preparation for this afternoon/evening's show.

Street show

When we arrive at the huge square just before 4.00 pm there are virtually no people there, except for a few stallholders getting their wares ready. Will people come? At what time? Nobody seems to know! The main stage, with its enormous sound system, will be opening at 7.00 pm, so if we are going to do a "street show", we need to be finished by then, so we need to start the show by about 6.00 pm. It doesn't look as though people will have arrived by then - is it worth the bother of unpacking the whole van and setting up the show if there is going to be no audience!? Not only has Linda gone off to see her son until the 4th, but Somchai has flown up to Bangkok - so we are completely translater-less. San, our lovely "man with the van", is great, but he speaks absolutely no English. Now that he knows our shows and workshops so well, we can usually use mime to work most stuff out, but how do you ask whether people are likely to arrive by 6.00? We try miming, with very limited success - actually I don't think anyone knows the answer anyway!

 

We decide to go for a show anyway, despite the worry that if we do get a crowd we might be drowned out by the horribly noisy sound-checks from the main stage and the "doof, doof, doofing" of what we suppose will be a "rave" area in the car park. We set the show and blow up some modelling balloons and make hats with which to waylay children and hopefully keep them with us as the start of an audience. Then we turn up our PA really loud with our "Big Bad Wolf" music and hope for the best! Luckily, once we push the performers out onto stage, children and adults appear from nowhere and we soon have an appreciative audience of more than 300 (which is probably every single person on site except for the technicians who are manning the main stage and the stall holders who can't leave their stands).

 

A good show - "Geoffrey" was particularly silly and was much enjoyed by the audience - the Thais really do like a good bit of slap-stick. (Some of the audience were children we had worked with at Phuket schools during the week, who remembered us well, which was nice). Darkness started falling, but we pressed on and finished with a fairly chaotic but hilarious fire routine just before 7.00 pm.

Chicken and sticky rice

We pack up the van and have grilled chicken and sticky rice from a stall - 35 baht each - about 50p, and delicious! We watch a little bit of the dancing on the main stage - we are not clear what is happening later at this event, but there is hardly anyone there when we leave. We hope that lots of people will come later in the evening and that they will have a happy New Years Eve - more importantly, we really hope they have a far happier 2006 than they did 2005 - it has been a very sad and difficult year for people here after the Tsunami - but people really are looking to the future now, and we hope it will be far rosier for them.

 

Back to our lovely villa - Jo, Jake and Rooben head off to the beach (and don't return till after we go to bed at 1.30 - hope Rooben won't be tired and grumpy tomorrow from lack of sleep - he is a really lovely little boy, and a joy to be with most of the time, but he gets very grouchy when he doesn't get enough sleep.

Sorting presents

Jess and I sort out presents I bought here for my wonderful secretary Chris for Christmas, New Year and her birthday on Tuesday, for my neighbours Frances and Jamie, my over-the-road neighbour, Jetske, and my lovely 90-year old aunt Eleanor, all of which Jess is taking back to England and delivering for me. She is all packed and ready for tomorrow morning's flight (with longish stops in Bangkok and Bahrein poor thing) and then we lie on the bed in my luxurious bedroom, watching Friends and then The Prisoner of Azkhaban - at midnight we can see wonderful fireworks coming from

2 hotels out of the window without evern rising from bed. What luxury! Set the alarm to be sure to wake at 6.30.

 

1 January

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