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Today, I spent several hours chatting to friends and family over different video-calling platforms. In a way, I count myself lucky that this is all happening at a time where we can stay connected through the wonder of technology. It also goes to show that the internet should no longer be considered a luxury – it’s a utility!
So, the plan is to keep communicating regularly, and I’m slowly creating a list of family and friends to call at the same time every week. Where we would have planned to go out for lunch or coffee, we now get that coffee at home, plant ourselves comfortably and spend time chatting, as though we are side-by-side.
After feeling a calling for quite some time, I finally took a few minutes to conduct some Metta Meditation for all the people of our world, offering love, solidarity, strength and peace.
Today’s highlight was meeting my good pal Graeme and going for a nice walk in the rain round Kelvingrove Park.
I took it all very seriously – no hugs or handshakes (even though this was the first time I had seen him in over 6 months) and I didn’t go into any buildings.
We walked with at least a metre between us and I kept my hands in my pockets as much as possible. It’s quite a challenge to avoid touching anything at all!
The thing that gets me is that people think I’m doing this because I’m scared. That I’m taking it way too far and overreacting.
Honestly, I wish I had done it sooner.
I’m devastated for all the bars, restaurants, pubs, musicians and companies in the events and tourism industries because this will be the end for so many. They’re torn between staying open to save their livelihoods and closing to save lives, and that’s a sickening predicament to be in.
Without a definitive lockdown, and forced closure of establishments by the government, these businesses can expect no compensation from insurance companies and will be left to fail.
Please see this post on financial assistance during Covid-19 lockdown, for some up-to-date information.
Support your local business:
This situation will change, but let’s do everything we can to promote local businesses and protect our vulnerable citizens, while we can.
It was an interesting birthday. Shout-out to my parents for cooking the perfect meal and providing my favourite Caterpillar Cake to top it off!
Thank you for the lovely messages and calls, from friends and family around the world.
It’s been a most uneventful birthday, but that was to be expected.
One thing is for sure…millions of strangers were singing Happy Birthday for me today, and they didn’t even know it!
After 6 months without playing a Playstation, I’ve been making up for lost time. I know I’m a bit late to the party, but RDR2 is top notch!
I played that for a few hours, spoke to my Grandma over a video-call for a while, took a walk around the neighbourhood and picked up a couple of things from the Co-op, all the while maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres from anyone around me.
At one point on the walk back, I thought the handles on my bag were going to snap, that my shopping was going to fall out all over the street. There was a man nearby and the whole scene unfolded in my head – he walks over to help, we both look at each other cautiously, yet apologetically, he falters and I say I’ll manage by myself.
None of this actually happened, but I do imagine that our compassion for strangers may wane during this time. Will we be so likely to help another human out, this time next year?
I hope this whole thing actually brings us closer together within our communities. Wave 1 will be difficult, but we can regroup and plan for how we deal with the next few waves. I’d like to see some permaculture food production in local areas. The sun, water and earth can provide much of we need, and thankfully, those resources are still available to us.
Today I did just that – I sat and played Red Dead Redemption 2. I drank 6 cups of tea. I make a Thai green coconut curry because I’m having withdrawal symptoms. I read some good articles on COVID-19, including the daily situation update from the World Health Organisation.
The truth is… I feel guilty. It felt weird going out in public yesterday to all these restaurants, knowing full well the best thing I should be doing is hiding myself in my bomb-shelter and not being a potential link in the chain.
I’m frustrated because I’m only here for 1 month. I came here to see all the people I love and miss. I came here to give hugs, to go out and eat delicious food, to celebrate my birthday and see my friends and family. I’m also aware that none of that matters in the grand scheme of things.
I will need to think seriously about whether I continue socialising, because I’m beginning to believe it’s not the right thing to do. If I’m being brutally honest with myself, I know it’s not. I should really stay the fuck home.
It’s a rather strange time, right now. There’s no doubt that my life on Koh Tao is a little bubble – we’re far away from the mainstream British media, and far from the fear. There’s definitely still enough toilet paper on that tiny island to last a lifetime.
Even if we did run out of bog-roll, no-one would panic. Almost every toilet in Thailand comes with a bum-gun, as standard!
Today was a pleasant day of catching up with friends. A lunch at Stereo for Monty’s birthday. Tea and cake with Andie at Glasvegan, a lovely little cafe at St Enoch Centre I had the pleasure of visiting for the first time. A couple of pints of soda water with my old architecture pals at The Lab. Finally, a delicious dinner, thanks to Saska’s incredible home-cooking.
I’m grateful to have such lovely friends around me and, although there’s a lot of stress in the air, it’s so nice to see people’s smiling, happy faces.
Well, after 20 hours of travelling, it’s only reasonable that I’d feel exhausted!
I got back to Glasgow late last night, and my Dad came to the airport to pick me and my mum up. I headed straight to bed and woke, bright as a button at 8.30 this morning! Not bad!
I ran a few errands today, made a couple of phone calls and generally got myself together, which was nice! It feels good to be productive [as I then spent about 3 hours playing guilt-free PlayStation…].
I also took myself for a lovely walk around Kelvingrove Park this morning, though the weather was pretty dire and very cold – my wee fingers were red raw! The temperature will take a bit of getting used to, I reckon.
In the evening, my lovely friends Eleanor, Matt and Dave had me round for veggie chilli and it was so gorgeous. I was so impressed by Eleanor’s cooking until I found out that her brother, Euan, had arrived on the fly and cooked it for us! I did wonder…
Today is the last full day that Mum and I have in Thailand…
For breakfast, we took a little drive out to Baan Ton Mai Cafe which was a lovely treehouse style restaurant between Ao Nang and Klong Muang.
It was definitely worth the visit for the incredible work that had gone into the place, but sadly the food was nothing to write home about. I was also pretty disappointed that such a natural looking restaurant served its drinks in plastic cups…
We then drove out to another part of Klong Muang beach for a dip in the sea and some beachside relaxation. I may have taken in a bit too much sun, between the bathing and the motorbike rides, but at least I got an Instagram worthy shot out of it.
We flew from Krabi to Bangkok this evening and have an overnight stay in a nearby hotel before our flight to London tomorrow morning. It’s going to be a long and boring day of travel, but tomorrow night’s update will be coming to your from the other side of the world!
Klong Muang is a lovely little coastal town situated about 10km north of Ao Nang, Krabi. It came on the back of a recommendation from Karen, the lovely lady who runs Silver Cliff Resort, where we stayed near Khao Sok National Park.
The morning started with a gorgeous breakfast at Cafe 8.98 where mum and I had a pricey, but delicious feast. It definitely lived up to the high expectations and recommendation from Elle (thanks!).
We hopped on our rented scooter from Mr Kord and proceeded to take several wrong turns on our scenic route, before finally stopping at Pan Beach. It was tucked at the back of a resort and initially I was worried we might be trespassing to get to it, but as long as you buy a drink from their bar you’re good to go!
I sat around for half an hour and listened to some music, but when mum returned from a short walk on the beach to tell me that there’s litter everywhere, I couldn’t help myself. I had to take a long walk up the beach to pick up everything I could manage.
We could spend every day of our lives picking up litter, but if we never document what we’re collecting, then the manufacturers of these products will never be held to account. It’s vitally important that the information is documented so that legislation can be implemented – on the back of data collation – to cease production of these products and plastics in the first place.
Based on my experience today, I formed a new mission.
I want it to be natural for people who spend time at the beach to take a short walk together to collect and document any litter they can.
We have so many dedicated teams of people doing this on a monthly or weekly basis around the world. Perhaps we could all work together to do it, daily? There are people sitting on beaches literally every single day, we just need to encourage this behaviour to become more commonplace!