Koh Phangan and Christmas in England
by Pete Adams
Saturday 5th January 2008Touran, Mum & Danny eating Christmas DinnerNana Edie, Mum, Me & DannyTouran & Richard playing on the Space Hoppers that Danny bought them for Christmas
Happy New Year everyone. It's been about 2 weeks since I last posted so I have a bit of catching up to do, but I'll try to keep it brief.
Wednesday 22nd December 2007 - Journey back to England
I left Luang Prabang at 8 in the morning and took an 8 hour bus ride to Vientiane. From there I flew to Bangkok and onwards to Heathrow. Finally I caught a train (with several changes en-route) to Thetford arriving at 6pm the next day.
Christmas, Family and Friends
I stayed at Mum's in Thetford mostly and she was kind enough to lend me her nearly brand new car. Christmas Eve I went to Norwich and met my son Danny, daughter Touran and her husband Richard in the pub and stopped off in Attleborough on the way back to see 2e and Richards new house.
Christmas day was at Mum's with Mum, Nana and the kids, followed by Boxing day at Tourans. See pictures above.
The next day, Aunty Mary and Uncle Peter came up from Surrey to stay with Nana over the new year and stopped off at Mum's for dinner. Later in the afternoon I went to see my friend's Jon and Ros at their farm in Cranworth but they were going out for the evening so afterwards I had a pint, dinner and a good chat with Michael.
On Friday evening I met up with friends Gary and Derek. Derek and I talked for quite a while about our lives. Derek has been writing a historical novel which his wife Helen tells me is very good. Along with his songwriting, occasional singing gigs and a full time job, he leads a busy but happy life with Helen and two children. It was good to catch up Derek.
Saturday afternoon I was invited to Derek and Helens for a barbeque (strange for England in December) and had fun playing games. My mate Dave was also there so we caught up a bit. In the evening I went to see Jon and Ros again as we'd arranged to go out for the evening, but when I got there Ros was lying on the sofa concussed due t an accident with her horse. So we ended up spending the evening in Accident and Emergency at the hospital. Jon & I did start an interesting conversation though which continued when we got back. Ros & I ended up chatting until 4am after I'd given her some Reiki.
On Sunday I went to see Danny again in Norwich with his friend Michael where we all had lunch. We then went bowling & finally on to the cinema. Afterwards I met up with an old friend Maxine who'd I'd not seen for nearly 5 years, so we had a good talk about what had been happening in her life and mine. I introduced her to meditaion and also gave her some Reiki. I hope this Reiki stuff is working, but both Ros & Maxine said they felt very peaceful afterwards, so hopefully it's doing some good. Lately I seem to be having some quite deep and meaningfull conversations with friends, but just don't seem to be able to with my family. Last time I saw them in Turkey, I resolved to myself that I'd put that right at Christmas, but it just didn't seem to happen. Mind you, Mum & I did chat quite a bit & I introduced her to meditation and left her with a book I'd been reading. So I guess that was a start.Cost of living
Having got used to prices in Asia, it came as a bit of a shock to be paying up to five times as much for most things in the U.K. For example, the 17 hour combined bus and boat ride from Bangkok to Koh Phangan cost £8. Compare that with the train ride from Heathrow to Thetford which I guess is about one fifth of the distance at a cost of £39 ! Yoga Retreat
After lots of searching on the internet I've finally settled on a Yoga course on Koh Phangan, an island in the South of Thailand famed for it's full moon parties on the beach. I had planned a one week course, but this course looks so good and such good value I decided to do the Agama Yoga 1 month beginners intensive course
. Voluntary Work
I'm planning on doing some voluntary work when I've finished the yoga course and have applied for Globalteer's Cambodia Kids Project
helping with under-priveledged children in Cambodia. I've not yet received a reply so am also considering working for a relief project in Bangladesh to help mainly with water supplies following the recent tornadoes.2nd January 2008 - Journey back to Thailand
The trip back was not ideal. Despite a good start with a lift to Heathrow from Uncle Peter & Aunty Mary leaving at 7am, it was eventually midday on day 3 when I arrived in Koh Phangan. I managed to grab a few hours sleep on the plane and bus but
was pretty knackered by the time I arrived.
For the last 5 hours or so of the journey I met up and chatted with Nick & Dan from Australia & Natalia from Columbia. It's Natalia's birthday today so hopefully I'll be meeting up with her and Dan a bit later to celebrate.
Anyway, a short cab ride from the ferry took me to the Ananda Yoga resort where I was hoping there was a room available for me. I'd e-mailed them a couple of times and phoned once but had not received a reply. I spoke to Vangelis, the Yoga teacher and owner of the resort who told me he had replied to my e-mails and although initially there was a room for me, I had not confirmed so he'd let it to someone else. I should have checked my spam folder! Vangelis was very helpful though and pointed me in the right direction to look for alternative accommodation and said if I didn't find any he'd find a bed for me for the night. Me in my hammockMy back garden
I was very fortunate in finding a small bungalow immediately (5 metres) behind the resort at a bargain price. I have a decent sized room with double bed, wardrobe, T.V. , fan and fly screened windows. The large bathroom unfortunately only has cold water but I can live with that. Out the back door there is a small balcony where i can cook if I wish (I'm waiting for the promised picnic stove, although I've just remembered I did bring my own :-). At the front I have a large balcony with a hammock in which I'm lying now writing this.
Until the next time......