Here we are in the middle of another outbreak! From Thailand doing really well to having a surge in cases that is growing day by day. The vaccination is slow, only 5% of the population has been vaccinated, mostly with Sinovac which is not effective against the Delta variant. There is a sense of when will this end, it just goes on and on…. Anyway, we are again in a place of not knowing. When will schools open, will they open. When can we travel to see friends and family?
We decided to stay put once again this Summer and spent 2 weeks in Kho Phanghan and Kho Tao to get away from the Monsoon in Phuket. Kho Phanghan was incredibly restful and quiet and it was a truly relaxing break. We stayed at Haad Salad and went over to Kho Tao for a couple of days – beautiful water and snorkelling over there. We were meant to dive but Geoff perforated his ear diving at Sail Rock and I am not well enough to dive so snorkelling it was.
Recently, I had a Ulcerative Colitis flare up which left me in hospital for 2 weeks and it really got me physically and emotionally. I have been quite blazé about this illness but it is now time to take it more seriously and start learning to live with it. It is not going away and I have been reading and learning more about it and trying to connect with others who are going through the same. I have been through so many emotions, anger, despair, depression, anxiety, fear, denial… It feels so unfair but life is random and shit happens. It feels as if my life has changed although in many ways it is still the same. So, any support is greatly appreciated!
In the meantime, life goes on. I got offered a full time school counselling position here in Phuket and have left my job in Bangkok. I have also closed my private practice so that I can dedicate myself to the school. Not an easy decision as my practice was doing really well but doing both is just too much. I can now stop travelling to Bangkok every week and just be based in Phuket which I am looking forward to.
I always tend to feel that I am not doing enough, not sure what that is about… We fostered that most adorable kittens which needed feeding every 3 hours and got them onto solids so that they could be adopted. It was ridiculously tiring but amazing to know that we gave these tiny creatures a chance at life. Here they are in all their cuteness:
Here are some sunsets – we get a lot of those over here, keeps us busy in the evenings as there is not much else to do and some random beach finds. Life is pretty quiet here in Phuket. Most places are closed as there are no tourists to keep businesses open. Some areas are like ghost towns, completely deserted. The economic impact has been horrendous for the local people; we, the expats, are the privileged ones with jobs and money and there is a lot of charity work on the island to help people feed themselves and help them survive through this crisis. In the first six months of 2020 amid the first wave of the pandemic, Thailand’s suicide rate rose by 22% and it continues to rise. There is very little mental health support and it is not something that is spoken about. Let’s hope that things are looking up next time I post my next blog!
If anyone would like to make a donation to One Phuket, here is the link to the Facebook page with details on the initiative and how to make a transfer. Any amount will help to feel people who are struggling without jobs of government assistance. One Phuket.
Oh, and some really massive lotus that you can stand on.
Another amazing thing that happened! Marianne graduated and has now finished school. She has a place at the Royal Vet College in London to do a Vet Nursing degree. Very happy for her. She is taking a year out and staying put in Phuket with Blaze until they work out what to do next year.
For those who are Breaking Bad fans, look what I found… It appears to be closed, maybe they were raided!
In April, we spent 3 days on a boat, diving in the Similan Islands. It was stunningly beautiful and really relaxing. We were not sure if we would get bored being on a boat and diving everyday but we didn’t and are looking forward to doing another liveaboard at Christmas. We were lucky to have had a professional photographer on board – she took the most beautiful pictures. Thank you Allie Vautin!
Some photos of the Similans and the view from our little cabin…
During my weekly stays in Bangkok, I did some exploring. This is in Chinatown in the evening when it comes to life with food stalls and people coming to eat outside.
Not much else to report… Life goes on, we hope for a better year ahead, being able to see family and friends and being healthy. In the meantime, here are a few more photos. Until next time, stay safe and well.