I am going to be including the following standard introduction to these posts for those people who come across them for the first time as it gives some background as to why they read the way they do. For regular readers (a huge thank you to you all) you can skip this bit and get stuck into the new happenings. Well actually they are a bit of a catch-up so not that new but as of this week with three months off doing anything physical after some minor surgery they will become newer the more bored I get with being inside 🙂

Introduction

My posts “Living in Isaan” are a series of small stories I have recorded that make up my everyday life in a small rural village in the northeast of Thailand, a region called Isaan/Isan/Esan. You will find many expats writing blogs about life in the coastal centres and places like Chiang Mai but fewer make the effort to record what living out this way looks like.

None of my stories is spectacular and will never be found in the search results of tourists looking for adventure. However, most of the readers who follow this blog, and there are some who have become “virtual ” friends over the years, are people who have a much more committed and personal connection to Thailand and have moved well beyond elephant riding, zip-lining and bar hopping. For them, these little insights help maintain that connection to village life if they are living elsewhere, and for those who are newer to the scene maybe help with understanding what a life in rural Thailand might look like if that ever happens for them.

I used to call these updates of life in Thailand “Isaan – the Small Stories”. I felt it was time for a change in name although the scope of content is the same. This edition covers early to mid-December 2017. These stories are extracted from my Facebook page, which I use as a mini-blog to give me an everyday outlet for my enjoyment of words, photography and of course the wonderful lifestyle I am privileged to enjoy. They are very day by day accounts as a result. I hope you enjoy them.

9 Dec 2017 – Family Photos

I thought we’d capture some photos of the family getting vegetables ready for the markets this morning so took the motorbike out to the farm a bit after 8:00 am (early for me!). Needless to say, Yuan and Lud had completed six hours of work by then and the ute was fully loaded. Not to worry because they offered to unload some baskets so that their odd farang family member could get the photos he wanted  Mind you Thais never refuse a photo opportunity so it wasn’t all selfish on my part.

This is yet another part of the farm where spring onions and dill are being grown.

The onions have a little way to go but the dill was being harvested this morning (actually “live” while I was there!). Yuan, you recognise and the other two are Tham and Paed who run the other half of the farm. Paed is one of Gaun’s older sisters and Tham her hubby.

These trees were cut back to their trunks so that this crop could be planted and get the full sun.

The family always think it funny because I say to Gaun that they have definitely killed the trees this time. However a few months later out comes new growth and in six month’s time, we’ll be sitting under them in the shade! Lud is actually laughing in this photo because Gaun had just reminded them of my comment on dead trees.

All the vegetables are washed in the farm pond. Yuan here washing the dill you saw being picked in the previous photo.

Tham isn’t a smiley Thai, in case you hadn’t noticed 🙂 This is one of the baskets that had been unloaded from the ute for my photos.

And here’s the end result – the three sisters.

A joint photo with the hard-working farang included. That’s Paed and Tham’s farmhouse in the background.

Me heading in for a coffee break after another big morning. We are all rugged up because it is a chilly 25 degrees 🙂

Lud is a character in case you hadn’t noticed if you are a regular reader.

The ute loaded up with freshness. What a sight. Yuan takes such care with her presentation. She and Lud never stack their veggies in case they get flattened or damaged.

What a great photo of this delightful pair.

They are carrying the leaves that had been cut from the broccoli and cauliflowers and this ends up feeding the fish in the pond.It’s 9:00 am and they’ve been on the go since 2:00 am. Yuan is wholesaling many of these vegetables but will also be sitting on a stall at the markets all day selling some as well to make extra money. These are not lazy Isaan farmers.

I never knew fish ate vegetables (duh) but they do and must be very happy this time of year. The leaves are eaten first and the pond ends up covered in the stalks. They do go eventually but the fish head for the best bits first as we all do.

Gaun pushing the leaves out into the pond.

The new growth behind that mound is sugar sprouting on a cousin’s land next door.

This is a first-year crop of land that was cleared of trees recently. I only add the photo because since the sugar was planted we have only had one brief downpour of rain and that was weeks ago. What other crops would flourish in a no water situation especially when getting established. You can understand the attraction of planting such a water-wise crop in a part of the country that has six months of almost absolute dry each year.

Turning around and looking the other way this may require water but what a sight.

Along the top of that mound separating the family farm from next door, Gaun has planted these cuttings.

Once again I am amazed because she literally just roughly cuts branches off the adult tree with a machete, chops them into bits and then sticks them in the ground. No way I say! But give them a bit a water and a few weeks later new growth appears as you can see here. I don’t know the shrub’s name but they produce the small white flower buds that are used for those garlands you see everywhere especially involved with temple offerings – see next photo.

Yuan and Peng making garlands. The white flowers are what comes from the shrubs Guan has recently planted.

Oh dear. The boat has a continual problem with that right-hand barrel so it will be replaced today. I am also adding some truck inner tubes underneath to give cheap extra buoyancy.

Gaun wanted to take my photo with all the different coloured bougainvillaea but I will only bore you with one of them.

This is Gaun organising Yuan and Paed to get them in place for their photo moment!

The farm hoses don’t get to some of them so here Gaun is hand watering. This will be a wall of greenery in a couple of years and I will use this photo to compare. The extension of the pond will come into this area on the right next year.

Back home the bougainvillaea has been slower to start but it is getting going now.

We are in what passes as winter here in the north but with a view that looks like this, you wouldn’t know it.

That disk on the wall is actually a clock. It is broken, which is good because I have set the time at 6:05 (p.m. of course) so it’s always just the right time to have a drink 🙂

11 Dec 2017 – A Mix

The big excitement of the day was the refurbishment of our garden sala (hut) but I will keep you in suspense until the next post for that. Here are a few other photos taken over the last couple of days that may or may not interest.

We drove past the demolition of a house that was underway on the outskirts of Si Bun Ruang and there was something about it that caught my eye.

Are there termites in Thailand? Well maybe 🙂

This is a structural column that was “supporting” part of the front veranda. For those of you who watch Restoration Home on TV, this is the sort of thing those wonderfully optimistic people discover (wood worm or dry rot in the UK) just before they double the budget and revise the moving in date from Christmas 2017 to Christmas 2018!!!

Who said there’s no Christmas in Isaan. Si Bun Ruang is showing the way. We added a few of these to our already slightly over the top Christmas decorations.

And another shop getting into the theme.

Personally, these four manikins look slightly spooky to me. The sort of thing you might find in a horror movie at midnight all with Isaan machetes.

Gaun ordering flowers in the local markets for my birthday party later this month.

They are delivered in bulk every week to stall holders who split them into these small bunches, which are mainly used for temple offerings. The concept of using flowers for decoration is a foreign one in Isaan. Why spend money on something you can’t eat?

I showed you a photo in my local markets post recently of any eggs that were for sale….see next photo for a reminder. See the mango leaves that have been pulled together? This is one of those ants nests and inside are the eggs.

Ant eggs and some ants. I think they are mostly used in a soup but can appear in a larb dish such as Larb kai mod daeng.

A closer view. You can see the orange ants on the left.

These will bite you and you need to keep an eye out for them if brushing through tree branches especially if they are mangos. The bites don’t inflame though unlike say fire ants who pack a punch for their size and can cause a tickly red patch to come up (on farang only of course), which lasts for ages.

The guy who is working on the sala is called Yah. He also repainted our house recently. This is his work transport parked in the driveway of what will be our land as of tomorrow, which is settlement day. We have a little bit of work to do but I have a plan!

11 Dec 2017 – Wat Pa Sila(wa)

We spent the evening at our local temple Wat Pa Sila(wa) for a session of chanting and meditation which ends up about 2 1/2 hours long. The meditation part was held under the stars (if you could see them this overcast evening) and the monks set up a small insect proof tent for me, which was funny. I wish I could have got a photo of that!

The wat is situated in a heavily treed setting, which makes it very peaceful and the abbot is delightful. We used to go regularly and have had a break so it was a pleasure to return and see many familiar faces. Something like this isn’t for everyone but if you have a curiosity then the forest wats (the ones with Pa in their names) are pretty organised in offering regular sessions and they are open to anyone. Give it a go.

Wat Pa Sila(wa) is here on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/A62U84VqNtj

Local kids get sweets from Pu Yaw the abbot.

And they seem quite happy about that.

We always bring a contribution of drinks.

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The Buddhist chant is in a language called Pali, which is only used for specific practices much the same way Sanskrit is in the Indian spiritual culture.

The Thais get a phonetic translation but it’s in Thai script of course so not too useful for me. Early on in our visits the abbot phoned around and found an English phonetic version for me, which I have used ever since. I still struggle but I did with Sanskrit too back in the day.

12 Dec 2017 – Sala Upgrade

Our sala (bamboo garden shelter) was the first purchase we made on Day 1 of moving to Isaan on 1 December 2014. Three years later it was in need of a new roof and some extra reinforcing in the floor. All done in the day.

This is the delivery of the sala to Gaun’s mama’s house, our home for the next five months while our place was being constructed. Great excitement as it heralded the first step in our new home project.. A somewhat younger Peng centre.

As you can see the roof had rotted through in three years and it was overdue for replacement.

Recycling Isaan style.

New roof supports were cut by Gaun from bamboo at the farm and transported back home.

The view from inside out. Total cost for materials and labour under 2,000 baht (A$80.00). Would someone tell the owner of this place that the grass needs a trim.

The reed roofing was sourced mostly in the village. This is the raw material that is then woven onto wooden supports.

And they end up looking like these shaggy dog panels about one and a half metres wide.

The macho advertisements have the Nissan loaded up with 600 kilos maximum weight in the tray. A slightly less dramatic effort today. Each panel costs between 20 and 25 baht, depending on width (A$0.80 – $1.00). We ended up using 60 of them.

This is Yah who can do tiling, build walls, paint and now fix sala roofs for $20.00 a day. The panels are attached to the roof supports using strips cut from bamboo at 20 baht a pack.Yah has some ready to hand.

Gaun helping out. The panels are a shaggy dog on the outside and smooth inside. You can see the smooth part facing Gaun, which overlap to give a nice finished look.

Half finished.

And the end result. Yah is one of the few Thais who really cares about their workmanship. You will note that the bamboo strips have all been tied at the same angle. Neat job.

The way the panels are overlapped gives a thick covering that is waterproof and according to Yah should last up to five years. There’s a wonderful smell of freshly cut dried hay inside.

13 Dec 2017 – Yet More Vegetables – Sorry

I don’t know how this ends up being a daily post of small village events. You’d think that the topics would run out but if you keep your eyes open and a camera handy it is surprising the things that one sees. I know there are some people reading who have a close connection to Thailand but are living elsewhere so I hope these snapshots into life are a reminder of why you will be making your home here at some stage. WARNING – this post does have a couple of vegetable photos but I promise that these are coming to an end. There’s only so many veggies one can take in a day!

Not only is there excitement in Facebookland about the growth of my Aussie garlic but my four lemons are progressing nicely.

We have friends arriving in a couple of weeks staying for a few days and they don’t mind a G&T or three but I don’t think the lemons will be ready 🙁 A very small lemon mousse maybe next year.

The family are working flat out harvesting vegetables as the demand is building for supplies at the markets. This is a photo taken at 8:30 am so you can imagine the effort that’s gone into getting it all ready before sunrise.

This is Paed, Gaun’s older sister who runs the other half of the farm. Some of her bulk vegetables go to market on Lud’s pickup but she also carries heaps on her motorbike.

I offered to buy her a saling, a sidecar to the bike, which I thought would be a safer way to get deliveries to market.

In the typical honesty, I now expect of my family she said that she wouldn’t feel comfortable driving one so no thank you. She mentioned this to someone at the markets who was amazed that she didn’t take something offered for free to which Paed said: “why when I don’t need it”! A refreshing outlook for sure.

The pickup passing our house. Note that Yuan insists that the vegetables are covered even though it is only a few km to the markets.

The family rent two spaces for their market stall, which costs 1,500 baht per month per space.

Yuan and Paed sit here until all the stock is sold, which is usually after the evening rush. They both wholesale as well so this is to maximise income during a time they have bulk vegetables to sell. Yuan, Puk (Paed’s daughter) Paed and Gaun of course.

Don’t think all vegetables at the markets are sourced locally.

Farang items like potatoes and carrots may well come from China or Vietnam, and even some of the more standard supplies are brought in from bulk wholesalers in Udon Thani. They are probably reasonably fresh but certainly not picked today like Yuan’s.

Yuan was telling Gaun that there is a stallholder who buys from Udon and a little bit from Yuan and then puts Yuan’s veggies on top of the Udon vegetables to get people in and then gives them the older stock!!!! Grrrr but what a treat to be involved in all this insider information.

I couldn’t resist these colours.

I have told you before that tomatoes here are largely picked unripe because they are used partly for decoration and partly for their sour flavour. Toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches aren’t such a big item here 🙂 Even the bigger red versions are mostly hard and tasteless like the ones I used to buy from Australian supermarkets.

Yuan was eating something for lunch she bought at the markets. It looked delicious so we got a pack too. These are small vegetarian rolls with a dipping sauce to die for. They are made by the stallholder’s sister and I am going to see if I can get a jar of just the sauce. Mint, Thai basil, garlic, sugar and vinegar and maybe more is my guess.

And plated up Master Chef style with a glass of chilled white you wouldn’t turn it down as an entree or even main course, would you? 25 baht or A$1.00 makes this a steal. Gina if you are reading this one is on the menu for your visit as long as you bring the wine!

We called into a nursery in Nong Bua Lamphu, a town 30 minutes drive from us, yesterday. I told Gaun that I just wanted to look not buy. A hopeless thought as it was me that couldn’t resist some of the offerings and Gaun was pretty well behaved. I am on the lookout for groundcovers for our new garden next door and plants like this at $0.40 are tempting.

And these.

But it was these that got me started. How beautiful are they!!! Anyway, we ended up with a pickup full needless to say something Gaun won’t let me forget in a hurry.

These were 150 baht ($6.00) for three in a pot. Gaun wouldn’t let me buy any because she knows a couple of people in the village that have them and she can get them for free!!! My sort of woman.

We also bought two of these Traveler’s Palms, although somewhat smaller, unfortunately.

This is a stock image. They are actually an offshoot of a banana tree, not a palm. There is no way we would have the room on our existing land but with the new space……………100 baht or $4.00 each. Quick growers, they will be a beautiful display in a couple of years.

16 Dec 2017 – A Rice Storage Hut

I’m on the hunt for a good quality rice storage hut to convert into a woodworking studio, which will sit in one corner of our new land. For those of you who regularly follow this blog, you might remember my brief enthusiasm for buying one of the old timber houses that are regularly sold in the village because people want to upgrade to concrete ugliness. Reality caught up with me on that thought as renovating one of these places is beyond my physical capacity these days and having just bought more land, beyond my budget too.

However, if I can find a decently sized rice hut to relocate to our land I could cope with the cost and the effort required to make it into something special.

I have always enjoyed timber and have a late-in-life urge to do some simple creations such as tables, benches and picture frames using the cheap local wood that’s around if you have the right connections. I would also enjoy turning a very basic hut into something a bit unique.

We started on this project this evening looking at one hut that’s for sale, which wasn’t suitable and then got referred to several others in the village. With people moving from farm production to office and shop jobs these family rice storage huts are often empty and available for a few thousand baht.

Such a lovely rural village scene as we were walking the village.

This is the sort of thing I am after. Almost every house has one.

Originally they were all timber but these days most now have concrete supports. I would have mine a lot closer to the ground. At the end of every rice harvest (November), you will see rice being delivered to be stored in these huts by those villagers that still farm paddies.

This lady had one for sale at 3,000 baht (A$120.00) but it was too small and some of the timber had been replaced with corrugated iron.

The dog was trying to be a aggressive but when the lady came over to “rescue us” it rolled over on its back with paws in the air so I don’t think we were in too much danger.

This was her $120.00 hut. A nice home with potential!!!

A few more photos as we walked home.

This is about the size I want and it’s in good condition. Not for sale although the house attached to it is as the lady is upgrading (timber to concrete).

This is my dream rice hut 🙂 How my life has changed! It is on an unoccupied piece of land right next door to our new land.

The lady who owned this house and land has mental problems and is now living with her daughter and one of her sons has just bought her out. He isn’t a farmer so I am hoping the hut is excess to needs and can be moved thirty meters to the right! I will report back.

After all that walking and excitement a couple of beers in the upgraded sala was a good way to finish the day.

18 Dec 2017 – More Small Everyday Stories

Time to upgrade the “kitchen” benchtop at the farm.

For the last three years, this has been made from part of a wooden shipping case that brought out my things from Australia. Some reinforcing and tiles have turned it into something easier to keep clean. Here I am grouting this morning well wrapped up in a very cool wind.

My Thai family think that if I do anything I am going to have a heart attack from the exertion. My finishing woodwork was hijacked by a team of three, Lud, Gaun and Lud’s son Game.

Gaun in the sun with a cup of coffee to warm up.

The settlement for our new land has been postponed a couple of times because the bank manager who needs to sign for the release of title deeds hasn’t been in the office. He’s probably cutting sugar on his farm! Anyway, it may happen tomorrow…………or not. That hasn’t stopped Gaun starting to clear the land and make it hers.

Looking like a war zone. Like any building/garden project, it always looks worse before improving (I hope). The shack that was in this space has been demolished and Gaun is burning off the vast amount of useless vegetation left after its removal.

Isaan mulching….and yes Bob and Frank, that was us hazing Thailand’s skies AGAIN. That’s our hedge on the right.

A blank canvas. When I find a rice hut it will be located in this area. We are cutting through the hedge to give us direct access from our land here and a bit closer to the house.

Still a way to go 🙁

While we were working on the land the mobile pancake stall arrived further up the street. Chickens, dogs and food passing one’s gate is a big part of life in an Isaan village.

19 Dec 2017 – Freezing in Thailand 🙂

For those of you living in the north of Thailand, this brief post will be no surprise. The cool weather has finally arrived and by normal tropical Thai standards, it is pretty cool.

For me, the climate benefits of living in the north compared with the coastal areas further south are that we do get a real change in seasons and not just hot and wet and hot and dry like many report. I enjoy the contrast. We also get a lot less humidity in the hot season, which for me is a total blessing. I can cope with heat but not humidity.

The attached photo shows the benefit of having a highly insulated house. You not only get a 10 degree lower indoor temperature with no air con in the heat but also a 10 degree plus benefit (obviously with no heating) in the cool. For most Thais (and many farang) who live in what I call “air temperature” houses where inside is the same as outside, wrap up well. Just out of interest (or not) the house heats to 24 during the day while yesterday hit around 26 outside. It got down to 10 degrees last night so air temperature dropped 16 degrees and the house lost 2 degrees.

P.S. As I got out from under my storage hot water fed rainshower this morning my thoughts went to local villagers many who still use the bucket out of the water trough shower. I mentioned that to Gaun who told me that Isaan people were “strong” not “thin”. I am definitely “thin” and am not about to change my ways while I can afford to pay the electricity!

19 Dec 2017 – More Land in Isaan

The following stories about buying the land next door are a duplicate of a single post I wrote on the subject HERE. If you want to follow the progress in date order then keep reading. If not then you can go to the main post.

Well one week later than planned, due to delays at the bank, a settlement on our new land happened today. I have dealt with Thai government bureaucracy on just about the full range of options for a westerner and have mostly found them to be pretty efficient as long as you do your research and bring the right paperwork. Today was no exception and the transfer of land to Gaun and my name took less than an hour. Stamp duty was 4,500 baht or A$180.00 so I can still eat (and drink!).

Westerners can never own land in Thailand (some Australians might feel that should apply to us too in regard to foreigners) so Gaun is the formal owner. I was expecting and was totally happy that she has the deeds in her name only but the land title people knew she was married and called me in to jointly sign all documents. The land has therefore been registered in both our names, which means that Gaun has to get my release if she ever wanted to sell.

I was a happy man not because of the land purchase but because I could FINALLY pop the plastic cork on the bottle of bubbly I had been saving for this occasion!

Before the settlement today I set up this new sitting area with furniture bought from HomePro (for locals only) in Udon Thani yesterday.

I live by a retirement philosophy that you can never have too many areas to just sit and contemplate life with a coffee or something stronger and this gives me yet another option. My mother passed on a saying she borrowed from someone else, which recommends we all “sit in the shade of a little less to do” and if you haven’t incorporated that into your retirement plans then maybe you should 🙂 I certainly have.

Late afternoon we have taken possession and are comfortably set up on OUR land with the finest fruit flavoured bubbly money can buy.

Gaun rugged up but in a stylish way.

We have a lot of old bamboo on the land and with evening temperatures well under 20 degrees a fire seemed to be a good idea. It was only after it was lit I realised the oddity of a lovely warm fire crackling away in front of a jackfruit tree, which is only seen in the tropics!

I know it is ecologically bad but is there anything that comes close to being warmed by an open fire? Gaun suggested we needed roasted sweet potatoes and I wanted marshmallows for dessert! There are a few more cool days forecast so that could well be an option.

Yuan joined us on the way home from her day for selling vegetables at the markets. I would so miss this sort of informal involvement with my Thai family if I lived somewhere other than here in Isaan.

You might note that we have moved from bubbly to beer, which sums up my current lifestyle – champagne tastes on a beer budget (and U beer too, which is 2/3rds the cost of Leo – for locals again)

20 Dec 2017 – Starting Work on the New land

With the land next door now officially ours it was a priority today to upgrade the front fence to stop chickens, dogs and the occasional kid from wandering onto it from the road. I was originally thinking of getting a wall built straight away but have decided to wait for that and instead get all of the layout inside sorted first.

The main reason to upgrade the front fence is so that we can cut through the hedge on our existing land and get direct access to the new area without having to go out the front gate and back in the entrance next door. Stopping livestock from getting through our defences (now breached by opening up the hedge and barbed wire and chick proof fence) and into our current garden was a must.

I have also started to plan the new garden for those of you interested in that sort of thing.

It was 9 degrees when I made an appearance outside at 8:00 am with coffee. Gaun had already been up for a couple of hours so it must have even cooler then and this is reflected by her blimp appearance caused by SIX layers of clothing.

This is not a photo of Gaun but of where we are cutting into the new land.

That golden palm behind Gaun has to be relocated and the hedge and fence behind it removed. As always when renovating or upgrading gardens you take a perfectly decent area and destroy it before hopefully ending up with the desired result.

This was a mess before we bought the land but now it looks a lot tidier since we put up the new fence today plus cleared out overgrown bushes and weeds.That entrance length swings open to allow for deliveries. We have a tractor booked Saturday to clear the land of years of neglect, which I can’t wait to happen.

On a side issue, Gaun still had the energy to dig out this edible root from under one part of the side fence. You can see Gaun’s hat behind and the root in front. It was huge.

There is no greater joy than an Isaan person finding free food!

Bob Sekhon – you will know what this is. It is almost like a sweet potato and is cut up and boiled with sugar to form a dessert dish.

A very nice tropical area ruined in an afternoon 🙁

That palm is ready to move and the hedge has been removed as well as the fence. You can see why we needed to ensure animals couldn’t get onto the new land because they could just wander through this gap.
In a true relaxed Thai fashion that wire you might be able to see lying on the ground between the two posts is my fibre optic broadband cable!!!!

And the final result looking the other way. Not to worry because there is a plan! Remember this photo when reading the words about the new pergola area (second slide to come).

And this is it. Our existing land matches this and sits on the left – off plan. The total size is 40 x 40 metres.

The entrance to the new space from our current garden, the area we have just opened up today, is that pink path coming in from the left halfway down the block. It will lead into a central paved pergola area from where several paths will radiate out into the rest of the garden. These won’t be straight as shown (the downside of working in Excel) but curvy and won’t necessarily be where shown on this plan. I will set them out with gravel first and we will live with them for a while to see if the location works before doing something more permanent.

The land will be split into four distinct areas each with its own character. (1) is my woodworking area with converted rice storage hut, (2) will be a grove of yellow flowering trees called Dok Khun (Golden Rain Tree) the national flower of Thailand representing Thai royalty (3) will be a massed bougainvillaea plantation and (4) palms and tropical plants.

The bits in between will be treed and the paths will wander through tropical ferns and palms. Shady, cool and lush is what I am after with surprise destinations at the end of each path.

A more detailed plan of the central pergola area.

A path from the existing outdoor living area will take you under trees into a covered pergola 3×3 metres to start and then opening into a 6×6 metre area. This whole pergola will have flowering climbers to give colour and shade. There will be a paved area underneath the larger space with table and chairs. The paving will be surrounded by low growing tropical plants of the type I have shown you in previous recent posts. The end of the pergola will be a 6-metre wide wall with two traditional Thai house timber windows set in to give glimpses through to the other side. A water feature will sit in front of the wall.

The concept is that when sitting in the living area outside our house (the view from the last photo in this set) you will look down this passageway of greenery and rather than it just merging into more plants at the end it will have a solid “stop” but still with hints of the continuing garden beyond. All to have nighttime lighting.

And just to give you a taste of the end result, this is as it looks in march 2018.

This section has priority and will be done once we get New Year partying out of the way and the builders return to work. I look forward to sharing progress.

Thanks for reading and please take the time to leave a comment. I always enjoy the chance to hear from you and know there’s someone on the other end of these words! There is a security question to answer before you can leave a comment. Don’t be put off. You wouldn’t believe some of the automated rubbish that gets onto blogs if you don’t filter them with something like this.

Tony