NOTE: For some reason this edition seems to be a repeat of Issue 12. Sorry about that. Please go to Issue 15 HERE.

These are some more small everyday stories resulting from wandering around locally with a camera always close to hand. Nothing that rates highly on the tourist scale of interest but hopefully these posts continue to give you an insight into what life can look like for a farang living in this part of Thailand. These are a compilation of posts I publish on my Facebook page and cover a period from early May 2016 starting with the oldest and moving on:

May 12 – Happy Birthday Gaun

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Birthdays aren’t a big thing in Thailand. Gaun doesn’t even know when her family’s birthdays are. I only found out Yuan’s birthday, Gaun’s younger sister and best friend, when I was copying her ID card one day. Since I turned up with my odd farang customs they are taking more interest. Yuan forgot her husband’s birthday this year but when I arrived with gifts she threw a party the next evening.

We were up early on this morning to give food to the monks for Gaun’s birthday. Gaun does it regularly but I less so as it is at 6:00 am! There are two local temples supported by the village. One is the big one in the moo ban itself, which is a traditional Thai wat and the other a Pha wat (pha = forest), which is a more pure line of Buddhism practice. This temple is just being built maybe 3 kms outside the village. The monk from this one walks in every morning, collects his food and walks back.

Feeding monks is a part of normal morning ritual here. You will see many houses set up with food early and people waiting for the monks to come around. No food and the monks don’t eat. The monks have two meals a day – a breakfast and then one late morning. They can only take liquids after noon.

Interestingly because there are two temples people set up on the left side of the road for the forest wat donations and the right hand side for the local temple. Monks from a pha wat won’t give a formal blessing, the one’s from the traditional temples will. Only two monks today, one from each.

We collected Gaun's traditional sarong from the dressmaker yesterday. Photos were in order to mark the occasion. Flowers from our garden.

We collected Gaun’s traditional sarong from the dressmaker yesterday. Photos were in order to mark the occasion. Flowers from our garden.

A special lady.

A special lady.

This photo taken opposite Gaun's family home. The monk from the pha wat doing the rounds. Note the three attendees - Gaun, her daughter Peng and a small dog.

This photo taken opposite Gaun’s family home. The monk from the pha wat doing the rounds. Note the three attendees – Gaun, her daughter Peng and a small dog.

Always barefoot to collect food and always slightly shocked to see a farang.

Always barefoot to collect food and always slightly shocked to see a farang.

Heading off down our soi (road). The orange monk robes and lush tropical greenery are the colours of Thailand for me. Our house is just past the monk on the left.

Heading off down our soi (road). The orange monk robes and lush tropical greenery are the colours of Thailand for me. Our house is just past the monk on the left.

Everything moved over to the other side of the road. This is the abbot from the moo ban wat.

Everything moved over to the other side of the road. This is the abbot from the moo ban wat.

Peng making merit.

Peng making merit.

And the monk heads off down the main road of the moo ban.

And the monk heads off down the main road of the moo ban.

The monk gave a special blessing as it was Gaun's birthday, which involved Gaun pouring water into a bowl. Once the blessing is over the water is then given to a plant with a Buddhist prayer. Gaun doing that here. If in Thailand, although easier with a Thai speaker, do ask a monk for a blessing if you visit a wat. They are usually around and happy to do it. It allows you to touch the culture and gain some Buddhist merit points as a bonus! Tag photoAdd locationEdit

The monk gave a special blessing as it was Gaun’s birthday, which involved Gaun pouring water into a bowl. Once the blessing is over the water is then given to a plant with a Buddhist prayer. Gaun doing that here.

If in Thailand, although easier with a Thai speaker, do ask a monk for a blessing if you visit a wat. They are usually around and happy to do it. It allows you to engage with the culture and gain some Buddhist merit points as a bonus!

In the evening the local family came over to our place for dinner. Beef is a luxury here so you will only see it on the table (or floor) for special occasions like a wedding. I get Aussie mince from Udon Thani so it was an incentive for everyone to come over. Not much left at the end. A few beers provided as well.

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The family over for a birthday dinner.

Gaun's older sister Paed and Yuan try on high heels. A bit more difficult to manage from the everyday gumboots.

Gaun’s older sister Paed and Yuan try on high heels. A bit more difficult to manage to the everyday gumboots.

Yes. They make birthday cakes in Si Bun Ruang.

Yes. They make birthday cakes in Si Bun Ruang.

I am not sure how I became so lucky. Maybe those merit points paid out. Happy birthday Gaun.

I am not sure how I became so lucky. Maybe those merit points paid out. Happy birthday Gaun.

May 14 – A bike ride to the family farm

The farm is only a 10 minute bike ride for me from our home (less for anyone even semi-fit – Ian G I am thinking of you here). On this evening I took the camera along and as always there were a few little scene to capture.

Another simple low-mortgage extension happening across the road from us. They brought in soil to raise the level for this structure, which will put the ground level of the main house underwater come the rains. Do you like the satellite dish. Got to get your priorities right.

Another simple low-mortgage extension happening across the road from us. This ended up being a noodle shop but no one came so it is empty now (Aug 2016).

They brought in soil to raise the level for this structure, which will put the ground level of the main house underwater come the rains. Do you like the satellite dish. Got to get your priorities right.

I spotted this lady working a weaving loom on her front veranda. Some of the old crafts are still practiced in the moo ban although they will die out in time. You can still get hand woven silk here with silk worms raised at home and fed on mulberry leaves. Note the rainwater jar in the background. Every house has a few.

I spotted this lady working a weaving loom on her front veranda.

Some of the old crafts are still practiced in the moo ban although they will die out in time. You can still get hand woven silk here with silk worms raised at home and fed on mulberry leaves. Note the rainwater jar in the background. Most houses have a few.

Our house from the next door neighbours place. They obviously aren't as keen gardeners as Gaun. I like our almost white roof as it blends into an often gray sky here.

Our house from the next door neighbours place. They obviously aren’t as keen gardeners as Gaun. I like our almost white roof as it blends into an often gray sky here.

The next door neighbour on the other side getting ready to plant vegetables using one of those multi-purpose tractor engines I have written about before. It can be taken off the plough and then put into a farm truck or used to pump water. This guy is usually a taxi driver in Bangkok and only comes home to family a few times a year.

The next door neighbour on the other side getting ready to plant vegetables using one of those multi-purpose tractor engines I have written about before and cover again later in this post.

It can be taken off the plough and then put into a farm truck or used to pump water. This guy is usually a taxi driver in Bangkok and only comes home to family a few times a year.

A government funded dam built on the edge of the village. If you can see the motorbike on the far right you will see this is a serious pond. No water of course but maybe I can show you a photo of it full later this year.

A government funded dam built on the edge of the village. If you can see the motorbike on the far right you will see this is a serious pond. No water of course but maybe I can show you a photo of it full later this year (wet season such as it is passing and not much water yet in the pond – Aug 2016).

Another stimulus package project. Built late last year it has yet to be used. I think it is supposed to be a storage shed for some community farms that sit behind it but no one asked them if they had anything to store! They obviously don't.

Another stimulus package project. Built late last year it has yet to be used.

I think it is supposed to be a storage shed for some community farms that sit behind it but no one asked them if they had anything to store! They obviously don’t.

And one more. It seems that every school in Thailand has had new classrooms built during the last year. This is part of the primary school that is located in the moo ban. I presume it is being used but wouldn't put money on it.

And one more. It seems that every school in Thailand has had new classrooms built during the last year. This is part of the primary school that is located in the moo ban. I presume it is being used but wouldn’t put money on it.

This sign stands at the entrance to the village's community farms area. The farms are part of the royal family's commitment to self-sustainability, and the concept came as a result of the Asian financial crisis, which hit Thailand very hard. The lady on the left is one of the princesses who is much admired by many Thais. She is a tireless worker for her country whatever you might think of royalty.

This sign stands at the entrance to the village’s community farms area.

The farms are part of the royal family’s commitment to self-sustainability, and the concept came as a result of the Asian financial crisis, which hit Thailand very hard.
The lady on the left is one of the princesses who is much admired by many Thais. She is a tireless worker for her country whatever you might think of royalty.

The farms are small plots of land given to people who don't have their own and they are used to grow crops for sale or for their own use. The workers are mostly elderly women.

The farms are small plots of land given to people who don’t have their own and they are used to grow crops for sale or for their own use. The workers are mostly elderly women.

You get an idea of the width from the positioning of the two women talking to Gaun. Very narrow but quite long. Enough to provide for a family plus maybe some left over to sell at the local markets. Every bit helps.

You get an idea of the width from the positioning of the two women talking to Gaun. Very narrow but quite long. Enough to provide for a family plus maybe some left over to sell at the local markets. Every bit helps.

Thai basil being grown on one of the plots - this is the one with an aniseed smell that you will taste if you order a Thai coconut milk based meal.

Thai basil being grown on one of the plots – this is the one with an aniseed smell that you will taste if you order a Thai coconut milk based meal.

This is what Gaun calls Isaan basil, which has quite a strong lemon smell to it. Quite a different flavour.

This is what Gaun calls Isaan basil, which has quite a strong lemon smell to it. Quite a different flavour.

A yai or old lady working on her plot. She told Gaun that she wanted to talk to the farang and wished she could speak English. One of the other yai asked Gaun if she could find her a farang that wanted an old Thai lady :-) The elderly are respected here and have important social and family status. Good news for me :-)

A yai or grandmother working on her plot.

She told Gaun that she wanted to talk to the farang and wished she could speak English. One of the other yai asked Gaun if she could find her a farang that wanted an old Thai lady 🙂 The elderly are respected here and have important social and family status. Good news for me 🙂

We met the guy who owns a manaw (lime) plantation next to the family farm when we arrived. Gaun asked him for a kilo of limes as we were running low. He jumped on his motorbike and returned ten minutes with a bag of them just picked. $2.00 for the kilo.

We met the guy who owns a manaw (lime) plantation next to the family farm when we arrived.

Gaun asked him for a kilo of limes as we were running low. He jumped on his motorbike and returned ten minutes with a bag of them just picked. $2.00 for the kilo.

Back home here's me working hard in the kitchen. Truthfully an illusion as I am one of the most spoiled men in history.

Back home here’s me working hard in the kitchen. Truthfully an illusion as I am one of the most spoiled men in history.

Those manaws are not just for cooking but this evening they are being used for a Mojito cocktail to help me recover from that bike ride. This is a Thai rum called Sang Som. Very tasty as a mixer and only $10.00 a bottle. Not a bad way to finish a hot tropical day.

Those manaws are not just for cooking but this evening they are being used for a Mojito cocktail to help me recover from that bike ride. This is a Thai rum called Sang Som. Very tasty as a mixer and only $10.00 a bottle. Not a bad way to finish a hot tropical day.

May 14 – Peng’s Buddhist Retreat

Mini monks on broom duty. Most of these guys will be back at school and out of the orange next week. The deciduous trees are only now starting to get new growth.

Mini monks on broom duty. Most of these guys will be back at school and out of the orange next week. The deciduous trees are only now starting to get new growth.

We dropped my stepdaughter Peng off to the Si Bun Ruang temple yesterday to join a three day Buddhist retreat with other classmates before school starts on Monday after the long Songkran (Thai New Year) holidays. BTW Thai kids only get two formal holiday breaks a year in April (around six weeks) and October (two weeks).

It shows how important the Buddhist connection still is, although I suspect it is breaking down with young people along with many of the other traditional cultural beliefs in Thailand as elsewhere.

Despite the incredibly early hour I was awake enough to take a few snaps that I thought I would share.

Booking in. Lots of kids and one mum (Gaun).

Booking in. Lots of kids and one mum (Gaun).

This is where they sleep. No phones allowed for the three days. Counselors on hand to help with the withdrawal symptoms and panic attacks

This is where they sleep. No phones allowed for the three days. Counselors on hand to help with the withdrawal symptoms and panic attacks

Most of the group in attendance.

Most of the group in attendance.

You know a Thai meeting is happening. We were always going to start a no shoes in house policy in Canberra but it never happened. Now I never even think about taking my shoes off and on the very occasional times I go inside with shoes it feels really strange. Don't bring lace-up shoes to Thailand. They will drive you crazy!

You know a Thai meeting is happening.

We were always going to start a no shoes in house policy in Canberra but it never happened. Now I never even think about taking my shoes off and on the very occasional times I go inside with shoes it feels really strange. Don’t bring lace-up shoes to Thailand. They will drive you crazy!

Part of the temple. This is the ordination wat and isn't open to the public.

Part of the temple. This is the ordination hall (ubosot phra ubosot or bot for short) and isn’t normally open to the public.

If you want your ashes and a few lucky bones to sit in Si Bun Ruang than I have just the spot. Be quick. Thai driving will ensure this space is taken soon.

If you want your ashes and a few lucky bones to sit in Si Bun Ruang than I have just the spot. Be quick. Thai driving will ensure this space is taken soon.

Like gravestones everywhere you always wonder about the stories. Quite a spread of ages here.

Like gravestones everywhere you always wonder about the stories. Quite a spread of ages here.

A Thai version of tombstones. You won't find a living Thai person anywhere near this area at night. Gaun isn't even that keen in the daylight. Too many stray spirits (Gaun calls them ghosts!).

A Thai version of tombstones. You won’t find a living Thai person anywhere near this area at night. Gaun isn’t even that keen in the daylight. Too many stray spirits (Gaun calls them ghosts!).

May 20 – An Isaan Burger

Thai takeaway as an end of week treat back in Australia was wonderful but I have to confess that on an everyday basis it is not my favourite style of food. I tend to be more mediterranean biased given a choice. A good lamb roast and veggies goes down well too. I cope with this in Thailand by eating about 50/50 Thai/western food.

The downside to living in a small Thai town as we do is that for obvious reasons all the eating places cater for the Isaan diet. There are so few of us in the area that the business to support a farang or mixed Thai/farang restaurant just isn’t there yet.

The next town to us 30 minutes drive away called Nong Bua Lamphu (Nong = lake, Bua = lotus, Lamphu = long hill – so a town with a lotus lake next to a hill) we are lucky to have a few western choices for when the munchies hit. There is an Italian pizza place run by two Italians, a sports bar owned by a New Zealander and a small pizza shop established by an Aussie called Chris.

I have only discovered this place recently and it has become my lunch stop for a top burger. The location is typical streetside but the food is fresh and tasty. The beetroot is homemade by a local guy. It isn’t a vegetable you see in the local markets. Bread baked on the premises, Aussie beef, local veggies, pineapple, egg and of course the beetroot served with a cold beer makes for a good combination.

A typical open shop front location. Not much in the way of atmosphere but good food by local standards.

A typical open shop front location. Not much in the way of atmosphere (well zero actually) but good food by local standards.

To help you with conversion 100 baht = A$4.00 roughly.

To help you with conversion 100 baht = A$4.00 roughly.

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Gaun and a friend of ours visiting from Australia.

Gaun and a friend of ours visiting from Australia.

I can't tell you how happy I was to find a burger that looks like this :-) The Thais have no idea.

I can’t tell you how happy I was to find a burger that looks like this 🙂 The Thais have no idea.

May 20 – Bun Bang Fai

We are in the season of Bun Bang Fai which is an Isaan rocket festival held in May/June. Normally split over two days with a procession and dancing one day and then the launch of the rockets and more music the second.

We called in briefly to Gaun’s eldest sister’s moo ban to join in their very small celebration mainly because we had an Aussie friend visiting and wanted him to experience this very local tradition.

The formal dance troupe, in this case a group of young schoolgirls, started off performing for the spirits at the san phra phum or spirit house area on the edge of a small lake before a short walk through the village and joining up with the less formal and more inebriated section of the party.

Although hardly spectacular I get so much enjoyment from observing and joining in with these local festivals. These are not people dressing up and doing stuff just for the tourist buses as you find in the more popular destinations. These are everyday Isaan people enjoying the day and just being themselves.

The dancers just finishing by the time we arrived.

The dancers just finishing by the time we arrived.

San phra phum or spirit houses. You see these everywhere in Thailand.

San phra phum or spirit houses. You see these everywhere in Thailand.

Even in drought this lake had water. Unusual.

Even in drought this lake had water. Unusual.

This yai (Thai for grandmother) wanted her photo taken.

This yai (Thai for grandmother) wanted her photo taken.

Gaun with a niece who was all dressed up for the dancing. Gaun's handbag called "my dog" has been part of our family ever since I meet her.

Gaun with a niece who was all dressed up for the dancing. Gaun’s handbag called “my dog” has been part of our family ever since I meet her.

A hot procession through the main street. Note the iced water bucket left out for the dancers. These are always provided by households for any festival and quite often the water gets thrown over people rather than consumed!

A hot procession through the main street.

Note the iced water bucket left out for the dancers. These are always provided by households for any festival and quite often the water gets thrown over people rather than consumed!

The sight of a farang always stops them dead.

The sight of a farang always stops them dead.

A group of four ladyboys travelled to the village to do the makeup for the dancers and then got involved in the party, as ladyboys tend to do :-) One of them lives in our moo ban and I included a photo of her in a previous post. In this photo you have the one dead centre and a larger version on the left.

A group of four ladyboys travelled to the village to do the makeup for the dancers and then got involved in the party, as ladyboys tend to do 🙂

One of them lives in our moo ban and I included a photo of her in a previous post. In this photo you have the one dead centre and a larger version on the left.

May 22 – Wat Tham Sang Tham

The arrival of a friend from Canberra for a few days prompted a return to one of my favourite local temples Wat Tham Sang Tham. A massive construction built halfway up a cliff it is only partly finished but even so is an impressive sight.

Great views from the top, which makes the climb worthwhile. Difficult to find as it is literally in the middle of nowhere and well off the tourist route. If you want more details and lots of photos go here: http://tonyinthailand.com/wat-tham-sang-tham/

A sort of alien construction. Starwars?

A sort of alien construction. Starwars?

Only two workmen on site so don't expect completion anytime soon. Adding detail and painting.

Only two workmen on site so don’t expect completion anytime soon. Adding detail and painting.

Making clay moulds for the relief statues.

Making clay moulds for the relief statues.

The things us photographers do to get the ultimate shot. Phillip, my Canberra friend here.

The things us photographers do to get the ultimate shot. Phillip, my Canberra friend here.

Looking down on the temple area currently being worked on very slowly.

Looking down on the temple area currently being worked on very slowly.

Fields being prepared for new plantings.

Fields being prepared for new plantings.

A large thunderstorm building on my left shoulder..

A large thunderstorm building on my left shoulder..

Rain in the background. A great landscape.

Rain in the background. A great landscape.

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Six weeks later I visited the temple again and this photo shows what a bit of rainfall can do to a landscape.

Two cool dudes. No safety railings and a drop pretty well to the bottom with a couple of bounces. Most Thai kids seem to survive.

Two cool dudes. No safety railings and a drop pretty well to the bottom with a couple of bounces. Most Thai kids seem to survive.

The rainstorm hits just as we get to ground level. When it does rain here it REALLY rains. Wonderful to see after such a long period of dry.

The rainstorm hits just as we get to ground level. When it does rain here it REALLY rains. Wonderful to see after such a long period of dry.

May 22 – More Bun Bang Fai

We have been busy following the small Bun Bang Fai festivals being held by the villages in our area all designed to encourage new rainfall at the beginning of the rice planting season.

This will be my last post on the subject (although I will write a post on the rockets next post) as we have covered it before. However the procession for two of the moo bans (villages) on the South side of Si Bun Ruang are always worth a visit as the locals put in an effort to present their dancing groups. The street party of a moo ban across the road from us is also great fun.

In mid-June all the villages combine under their Amphur (town) and put on a big main street procession. Si Bun Ruang town is made up of 12 moo bans so it is a big affair lasting several hours.

Some of the dance troupe arrive in bulk.

Some of the dance troupe arrive in bulk.

Each dance troupe is often lead by these couples on a horse - beautifully presented.

Each dance troupe is often lead by these couples on a horse – beautifully presented.

Lovely girl, lovely outfit.

Lovely girl, lovely outfit.

Believe it or not the dancer on the left is a ladyboy. Hard to tell sometimes. Ladyboys are often the artistic power behind events like this. You will see them leading the dancing and they most likely will have been central to makeup and the costumes too.

Believe it or not the dancer on the left is a ladyboy. Hard to tell sometimes.

Ladyboys are often the artistic power behind events like this. You will see them leading the dancing and they most likely will have been central to makeup and the costumes too.

Stunning.

Stunning.

They are up there to make sure the speakers get through low hanging power and internet cables. Another mini sound system.

They are up there to make sure the speakers get through low hanging power and internet cables. Another mini sound system.

Powered by this!

Powered by this!

A more low key event at a local moo ban. Here you can join in with the dancing but I won't embarrass myself with any photos of that!

A more low key event at a local moo ban. Here you can join in with the dancing but I won’t embarrass myself with any photos of that!

Gaun on the left with friends and her sister Yuan, third from the left.

Gaun on the left with friends and her sister Yuan, third from the left.

I bet the monks wish they were out of robes and having a beer with the rest of the party.

I bet the monks wish they were out of robes and having a beer with the rest of the party.

The procession ends up at the temple.

The procession ends up at the temple.

May 23 – Old Aussie Muscle car

I see this car quite often as it seems to do a regular run between our home town of Si Bun Ruang and the next place 30 km up the road called Nong Bua Lamphu. I missed the opportunity to talk (well getting Gaun to talk) to the owner this time to see if he knew how a 1972? Aussie XA Ford Fairmont ended up in the wilds of Isaan. Maybe next time.

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May 23 – A few miscellaneous photos from the farm today with stories attached:

The farmhouse lounge room! Three hammocks, a bit of shade and a fan and what else do you need. All that carpet and leather furniture is totally overrated.

The farmhouse lounge room! Three hammocks, a bit of shade and a fan and what else do you need. All that carpet and leather furniture is totally overrated.

One of those all purpose diesel engines in action. Here being used by my brother-in-law Tham to plough the field for new plantings. If you apply what looks like a brake level on the handle it disengages the traction to that wheel. The other wheel still has power so the whole thing turns. Once you are back in the right direction you release the handle and both wheels engage. Still hot heavy work but better than buffalo.

One of those all purpose diesel engines in action.

Here being used by my brother-in-law Tham to plough the field for new plantings. If you apply what looks like a brake level on the handle it disengages the traction to that wheel. The other wheel still has power so the whole thing turns. Once you are back in the right direction you release the handle and both wheels engage. Still hot heavy work but better than buffalo.

The Thais are usually a lot better with their intake of water than us Aussie in a hot climate. There is always a bucket like this one around usually with iced water inside and a single metal cup shared by everyone. You will note that both Yuan and Gaun are well covered up, another thing we farang doesn't do well. How Thais work in the heat with balaclavas is beyond me. Most Isaan farm workers look like potential bank robbers.

The Thais are usually a lot better with their intake of water than us Australians in a hot climate.

There is always a bucket like this one around usually with iced water inside and a single metal cup shared by everyone. You will note that both Yuan and Gaun are well covered up, another thing we farang doesn’t do well. How Thais work in the heat with balaclavas is beyond me. Most Isaan farm workers look like potential bank robbers.

Daily watering is part of farm life. The family farm has a large bore/well so there isn't a shortage of available water. The cost of diesel to provide the water is an extra cost over what comes naturally from the sky. The farm is currently growing spring onions, coriander, dill and lettuce. The planting of rice will start in the next couple of weeks.

Daily watering is part of farm life.

The family farm has a large bore/well so there isn’t a shortage of available water. The cost of diesel to provide the water is an extra cost over what comes naturally from the sky. The farm is currently growing spring onions, coriander, dill and lettuce. The planting of rice will start in the next couple of weeks.

Storm clouds building over the farm's pond as we head home. The rain is happening as I type a big difference from the last two years when it never even looked like starting a wet season.

Storm clouds building over the farm’s pond as we head home. The rain is happening as I type a big difference from the last two years when it never even looked like starting a wet season.

 Flowers at the farm

These photos may not look much but they represent a unique event happening in Isaan. My dear in-laws Yuan and Lud have been getting so many farang visitors they have decided to beautify their farm by planting flowering plants along the driveway to the farmhouse.

Now this may not seem much but to get any Isaan person, especially a farmer, to expend energy doing something that is for show and not for eating is a world first.

A full day was spent clearing the area and getting the plants in. Perfect timing as the rains have started in a minor way and it is relatively cooler (36 instead of 42). These bougainvilleas (3 for $4.00) will be bursting with colour in no time. They will stop local traffic as the villagers have never seen anything like it. Many will think Yuan and Lud are crazy but they will enjoy the flowers anyway.

The first batch of plants arrive for planting at the front of the farm thanks to Yaun and Gaun.

The first batch of plants arrive for planting at the front of the farm thanks to Yaun and Gaun.

Some farang have Thai partners that are what Gaun calls "madams". They sit around watching TV, painting their nails and live a lazy life on a farang's income. Gaun also paints her nails at night, as you can see from this photo, and I have no idea why because by mid-morning they are almost gone! No sitting around for my lady - unlike me!!!!

Some farang have Thai partners that are what Gaun calls “madams”. They sit around watching TV, painting their nails and live a lazy life on a farang’s income.

Gaun also paints her nails at night, as you can see from this photo, and I have no idea why because by mid-morning they are almost gone! No sitting around for my lady – unlike me!!!!

The first row finished along the road that ends up at a small forest wat (temple) I will report on soon.

The first row finished along the road that ends up at a small forest wat (temple) I will report on soon.

We provided a carload of plants this afternoon. Wonderful to see a real sky after such a long period of smoky haze.

We provided a carload of plants this afternoon. Wonderful to see a real sky after such a long period of smoky haze.

And they were in by evening. It doesn't look much now but in 12 months time I will show you what a tropical climate can do to a few small bougainvilleas!

And they were in by evening. It doesn’t look much now but in 12 months time I will show you what a tropical climate can do to a few small bougainvilleas!

A sneak preview to a later post. This is what the driveway looks like today.

A sneak preview to a later post. This is what the driveway looks like today. Making progress.

Lots more stories to come so stay in touch.

Thanks for reading.