And so starts another year, our last in Thailand!

After a full on summer in Europe, we were finally back to Thailand and in need of a holiday. Time to start job hunting, scary time, have to hand in our notices before we have jobs but hey, that is part of the adventure, you never know where you might end up. So exciting but scary and nerve racking all at the same time. We are currently in the process of doing paperwork for Mozambique. Great school and package, fingers crossed it all gets accepted. In the meantime, we are enjoying our last few months in Thailand.

Starting with sunsets or was it sunrise from the plane.
Back on our local beach – Bang Tao, will miss this place!

Due to my ulcerative colitis, we spend a lot of time in Bangkok but before that, here is something at the traffic lights in Phuket!

Selling small bottles of Yakult. No idea….
Rainbow Phuket to Bangkok

Whilst in Bangkok, we decided to explore places we had wanted to visit but for some reason or another had not got round to it. One of those places is the Golden Mound temple. Apparently it is the only hill in Bangkok and 344 steps take you to the top. It was built in 1467, quite old then.

Geoff is still at it!
Bells, bell, bells!
Golden hearts with messages, representing the shape of the leaves of the bodhi tree, the most sacred tree in Thailand

We did a fair bit of walking, Bangkok is great around the old part and the old streets. It really takes you back in time and it is such a contrast to the new skyscrapers, shopping malls, huge advertising billboards, concrete skytrain….

Benjakitti Forest Park – 72 acres!

In September, we added another cat to our family. Sadly, Sherlock Holmes went walk about and there was a kitten in need (isn’t there always…). He was too cute and we couldn’t resist!

Monsoon season starts around end of April and as expected it brings rain and big storms. 2022 was a particularly fierce year for rain. Phuket and other parts of Thailand suffered the worst floods in 30 years. Never seen so much water in my life! It was horrendous, mudslides, floods, roads collapsing… No idea how only 1 person died. There are obviously many photos but these document some of my drives home. There were various floods over a period of a few weeks, so it came and went but the rain seemed to go on forever, months and months.

Our road
Our pool, we flooded 3 times, once it came into the house, then we got sandbags!

We had a glimpse of sunshine and ran to the beach for a sunset, it was not to last but it was a ray of hope followed by another trip to Bangkok.

Bang Tao beach
Jack’s Bar
Bangkok sunset

Bangkok walkabout around the Portuguese and French Embassies. I just love walking around the old streets, away from the concrete jungle and shopping madness.

France meets Thailand at the French Embassy in Bangkok
The river was so full from the floods!
Hindu Temple, Bangkok

Great area for walking about, some good vegetarian Indian eateries and shops and a beautiful temple, always full of life, colour and smells.

All handmade out of fresh flowers! So beautiful.
Christmas lights! Some quite odd ones…. Bangkok goes crazy with Xmas, so many lights everywhere and massive trees.

And it was time to fly off to Portugal for Christmas! Had not been there for Christmas for over 20 years, we were so excited to be spending it with family. Even better to be together with Mazzie, Joshua and Sandra. I really don’t like the long plane journey and the jet lag but it was worth it. We had a lovely airbnb with lots of space and plenty of places to walk to.

Lots of Father Xmas on bikes in Lisbon, no idea…

We had a fabulous Xmas at Leonor’s house followed by another at brother Jorge’s house! So much amazing food and wonderful to be with family. I’d forgotten how much food is eaten in Portugal. Leonor’s Xmas was a feast followed by one at brother Jorge’s house where we had over 12 desserts. This was after eating various starters and main courses! Oh, and a massive Bolo Rei.

Brother Ze Pedro e Dulce

Pre Xmas sunset in Sesimbra! Sesimbra is usually packed in the summer so it was really weird to see it deserted and shut. We struggled to find a cafe to warm ourselves up with a hot drink. The sunset was beautiful and the walk along the beachfront blew the cobwebs away,

We spent an afternoon at the Botanic Gardens in Belem. Peaceful and quiet, met a cat, plenty of birds and wandered about watching peacocks…

We love Lisbon! Our plane was cancelled so get got a bonus day and night to potter around and have another drink with brother Jorge. What a treat. Saw the Xmas lights and watched the sun set over the bridge.It truly is a beautiful city.

The oldest cathedral in Lisbon

Off to England to see friends and family. We stayed in Brighton and just chilled ; literally as it was quite cold although not as bad as we expected. Lisbon was quite balmy and we didn’t even wear coats but the UK was windy and drizzly. We didn’t do much and tended to stay in and snuggle.

I have only one photo of Anne and Grammy! Can’t believe there are no others. Very poor show… Maybe the cold froze my fingers and sadly there are no photos to show.

And so, 2022 draws to a close. A year of ups and downs! Marianne left home to go to uni, my illness flared up again, we decided to move, had two amazing trips to Europe to spend time with family and friends. Lost one cat, got another cat, had many trips to Bangkok, witnessed some awful floods, and so it goes on… We are grateful for our friends and family and for the experiences we continue to have. A new chapter awaits and with it some different blogs and scenery. Let’s hope 2023 brings everyone lots of joy and happiness. Miss you all!

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