Welcome to Sunday Summary, the meme in which I attempt to summarize the week that came before.
Unfortunately, not much happened this week that I wish to try and summarize. Monday was yet another holiday (National Teacher’s Day), various classes were cancelled on Tuesday so we could do science experiments with the kids (not what it sounds like), and my Lovely Lady returned from Bangkok quite ill which curtailed our Chinese New Year plans.
In fact, the only thing that the Year of the Rabbit has done so far was to cause headaches. Traffic was a NIGHTMARE as I travelled from Kata to Phuket Town Friday afternoon to teach an hour-long lesson. It took nearly two hours to make what is normally a 45-minute at most journey. I ended up arriving at the teaching agency offices just five minutes before my students walked in the door.
I had to stay in Phuket Town Saturday and into Sunday while Kanchana stayed at my apartment (her roommate is extremely ill as well) as my scheduled students for the two days confirmed they would come. Alas, they never showed up either day so I am getting ready to head back to Kata to resume taking care of my sweetheart. At least the near-constant fireworks celebrating the Lunar New Year have tapered off; I don’t know what I dislike more — the ten minutes per set of extremely loud booms that echo off of the surrounding buildings or the twenty minutes of dogs barking that follow every set of fireworks. That went on all night Friday and most of the day yesterday. Every hour!!
Monday was a day off for National Teacher’s Day and we returned to school on Tuesday. It turned out to be another activity day with different grades doing different science experiments at different times. Most of these times coincided with my classes with each particular level so I got to spend most of the day downstairs in the “assembly hall” taking photos. The K1 students were first — using baking soda and some kind of soap to inflate balloons stretched over bottle necks. An hour later, it was the turn of K3 for baking soda-erupting volcanoes. Most of these bubbled up in spectacular fashion to the delight of the kids.
The K3 students earned some sort of certificates for doing the volcanoes and, of course, there was a series of group photos just before lunch.
I missed the first half of the K2 students’ science session but they put Mentos mints into Coke bottles. I think they had duds because during the 30 minutes I watched, not a single Coke bottle exploded. A non-event and a waste of perfectly good soda (I was offered a bottle but declined since a third of it was filled with Mentos thrown in there by unwashed little hands).
The only other photos I took at school all week were in a K1 lesson Friday morning while the kids were doing a flashcard matching game. These short lessons find me so busy that it’s rare for me to take a photo during the 30 minute period.
Other than travelling to Phuket Town to teach Friday evening, I didn’t go anywhere or do anything since last Monday. I had dinner that afternoon at New York Burger Co. in Kata and then got a long overdue haircut. It wasn’t a very good haircut (told the barber to take more off the top at least twice) but only cost 150 baht which is less than half of my last one.
Kan flew back to Phuket mid-week, feeling under the weather (and had to show vaccination certificates before she was allowed on the plane). She headed to her shared home in Karon only to find out that her roommate has tested positive for COVID-19. Luckily, she was able to catch the last Smart Bus down to Kata Beach that night and came to stay with me. LL does not have the virus but I put on my mask as soon as she arrived and slept on the floor Wednesday and Thursday. I had soup and rice delivered Thursday and have arranged for that to happen again since I have had to stay in Phuket Town over the weekend. I am anxious to get back there later this afternoon as Kan says she isn’t feeling any better.
I didn’t listen to very much music this week — especially with Kan staying with me battling illness. I did play some Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young yesterday in tribute to David Crosby who passed away this week. I met him once — at the Youth for Vietnam Veterans concert in Kansas City in 1986. In fact, I got all the artists who performed that evening to sign a poster for me — Stephen Stills, Mike Finnigan, George Thorogood, John Fogerty, and even the MC — Peter Fonda. Crosby was a late addition as he had only just gotten out of jail in Dallas. We spoke for a few minutes after he signed my poster and he struck me as a very kind, soft-spoken man who felt that music could heal the world. He will be sorely missed.
I did a lot of reading each evening, finally finishing Stamping American Memory by Sheila A. Brennan (started last August) and starting to read Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in 80 Days. I have seen a few movie versions over the years but I don’t think I have ever read the book. I was inspired to do so upon finding out that the Channel Island of Guernsey is issuing a set of stamps making the centenary of the book’s publication. The stamps are quite striking and it would be nice to add them to my collection. However, for the time being, I am collecting “digitally” since Thailand — once again — seems unable (or unwilling) to deliver the mail. They are blaming the floods of last year for severe delays (I have items I won on eBay back in November that I am still waiting for!).
I watched a couple of episodes of Tulsa King early in the week and one last night.
The week was another blogtastic one as I haven’t lost steam with the Stamps of 2023 series. I haven’t missed a single day and the only difficulty is deciding which country I want to highlight on any given day. I think today will either be Algeria or Finland but I haven’t made up my mind. I will put the entry together when I return to Kata.
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But the biggest blogging news for this week is that I finally “rebooted” my Philatelic Pursuits blog. Now, this is the original WordPress-hosted blog that became dormant in early 2020 when I moved over to the PhilatelicPursuits.com domain. I have since lost the content on the more recent site but the older one was just sitting there, waiting for me to figure out what to do with it. All it took was a new coat of paint (new theme) to motivate me (much as happened with Postcards to Phuket late last year). I like how it looks now and found a much less-cluttered way to handle the stamp schedules (previously, you could access them through a very unwieldy drop-down menu but now I have buttons on a single page).
The reboot is all about simplifying things. The schedule pages are the “meat” and I finally have a template that makes their creation — not to mention updates — quick and easy. In less than one week, I have added schedule pages for 42 different countries and territories (some of these are for the entire year to come). There are links to those issues that have an accompanying “Stamps of 2023” article. For now, I am continuing to post those articles here — on my personal site — but will eventually move most (if not all) philatelic content over to the rebooted blog. If all goes well, I will also purchase a domain once again which will remove the ads that pepper the site right now.
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This is the space where I usually post photos of my darling and she has often chosen which photos I use and often sends me photos specifically for the “Sunday Summary” when we are apart (she prefers that rather than me using screenshots from our video-calls). I was forbidden to take any photos this week when she arrived back in Phuket as she has not been in the best of health. She says that I have “enough” to last a thousand lifetimes but she is usually the instigator for additional pics. I just realized that this is the first week since we have been dating for which not a single photo exists. That is okay but it does feel a little strange.
I mentioned this to the Lovely Lady during a short call a few minutes ago (she wanted to know what was taking me so long and then answered her question herself: Blogging). She suggested using an older photo and then sent me two of her and her mom. These were taken at her mom’s home in Buriram Province about two or three years ago.
Now…back to Kata Beach to take care of my honey. Hope she gets better soon….
And that is my Sunday Summary for January 16-22, 2023. I hope the week to come is just how you want it to be. Cheers!