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Those pesky pigeons and a plastic owl

Roger Crutchley, Published on 21/07/2024

» Fond as I am of our feathered friends I admit to getting in a bit of a flap over the rapidly increasing number of pigeons (nok pilab) that have been descending on our residence in recent times. Some people call pigeons "rats with wings", others more generously "doves without the PR". I must confess to be leaning towards the first of those opinions.


A perfectly British public paradox

Roger Crutchley, Published on 14/07/2024

» Much has been made of the "working class" background of the newly-elected government in the UK and how very few of Sir Keir Starmer's Cabinet attended posh "public schools". This brings us to one of the paradoxes of British and particularly English culture. The institutions which are called "public schools" in England are anything but public and are actually elite private fee-paying institutions.


We can always live in a dollhouse

Roger Crutchley, Published on 07/07/2024

» Thai tourism authorities are always quick to make the most of any new fad, which might explain the appearance of a life-sized Labubu doll on the front page of the Bangkok Post this week. Apparently, the mascot is part of a promotion to attract Chinese tourists. I confess to not knowing anything about the Labubu craze although the Post's doll correspondent informs me the designer doll is a "kind-hearted monster with pointed ears and serrated teeth". Hmmm.


A country full of Eastern promise

Roger Crutchley, Published on 30/06/2024

» Watching the current Euro football championships has served as a reminder that the official name of the country known to most of us as Turkey, is now Turkiye, pronounced "Turkiya". This name was approved by the UN in 2022. The change was believed to have been made partly to disassociate the country from the large bird of the same name and other negative interpretations of the word "turkey". You can understand why Turks could be irritated by silly newspaper football headlines such as "England roast Turkey".


The art of rolling out the red carpet

Roger Crutchley, Published on 23/06/2024

» Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to enjoy the red carpet treatment he received in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang this week. Over the years the Russian leader will have become quite familiar with walking on such plush carpets, but one wonders if he knows why they are red.


Are tourists ready for Thai ghosts?

Roger Crutchley, Published on 16/06/2024

» The latest inspiration from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is to promote "Ghost Tourism" to spice up the experiences of visitors who may be a little weary of bars, beaches and the usual bunkum.


Asterisk more than just a footnote

Roger Crutchley, Published on 09/06/2024

» In the ladies golf major tournament last weekend one of the top American amateurs was 15-year-old Asterisk Talley. I don't recall ever coming across Asterisk as a name before. Apparently her mother is Greek and the word asterisk in Greek means "little star". So it would seem quite an acceptable name for a baby.


Lop Buri before the monkeying around

Roger Crutchley, Published on 02/06/2024

» One of the first towns I visited in Thailand in the early 1970s was Lop Buri, about 150 km north of Bangkok. Its main appeal was its convenient three-hour train journey from Hua Lamphong. It offered a chance to escape Bangkok for a couple of days and experience a taste of life in a small town.



Telling fortunes 'a nice little earner'

Roger Crutchley, Published on 26/05/2024

» A recent Thai news story concerned a man nabbed in an online fortune-telling scam. He would inform customers suffering from misfortune that their situation would dramatically improve if for a small fee he made a few prayers on his "direct line" to the deities in heaven.


Those acronyms can be bit of a pain

Roger Crutchley, Published on 19/05/2024

» One of my pet peeves with newspapers around the globe has always been the proliferation of acronyms, especially in headlines. Apart from the fact that no one really has the faintest idea what they stand for there's something about them that's just plain ugly.