23 October 2012

And This Little Antiques Dealer Went Wee, Wee, Wee All The Way Home

Hurrah we’re home!  Actually we’ve been home for a week, but I’ve been doing a whole lot of catching up of the paperwork generated while we were away.  Sales were very quiet while we were gone, but thank goodness they’ve rebounded back to excellent since we’ve been back.
Asian deserts often look better than
they taste, but these were quite nice
And how good is it to be back in our own bed?  So, so good is the answer.  I can look out the window and gaze at the night sky – and up in the mountain stronghold we can actually see the night sky, with its shooting stars and satellites and around the house hunting owls silently cruising by.  I didn’t even know what phase the moon was in until we got home.  And then to wake up to birdsong and the sound of the wind hissing through the trees is very relaxing.  Light pollution and low level cloud cover means that we don’t often get a good view of the night sky while we’re on our trips.  We always really enjoy our trips, but we also really enjoy coming home. 

Our last day in the UK was spent in Manchester, and although there were intervals of strong sunshine for the most part it was blustery and cold and raining.  So what is this Mancunian fashion for short shorts with black tights?  It was 12 degrees at best, but we saw an awful lot of buttock action going on.  Maybe the black tights were intended to cover up the blue-with-cold bottom cheeks?  And ladies, who told you this looks good?  We made our many observations of this trend while ensconced for a leisurely lunch in the front window of an Italian restaurant, so I didn’t have the opportunity to surreptitiously photograph any of the Fashionistas, so you’ll just have to believe me that it was an interesting look.
Rush Hour for the Dinner Cruise Boats in Bangkok. 
Some crews stand at attention and salute as all
the diners come on board, and we laughed over
their version of the Roman Gladiator motto:
Those Who Are About to Pay, We Salute You.

Our flight from Manchester to Bangkok with Swiss Air was every bit as bad as we were expecting, given our flight a month ago.  This time I had enough sense to reject their extremely ordinary airline food, and contented myself with tonic water until we got to Bangkok and could order a decent meal.  Nuff said – just awful, and we shall never fly with Swiss Air again.  Thank goodness we travelled with Thai Airlines from Bangkok to Brisbane, because they have a good amount of leg room, a decent entertainment system and excellent food.  Though I did question the wisdom of feeding chilli to a few hundred people trapped on a plane for nine hours ….
Caleb still loves dragging his favourite stuffed toy about the house.
The beautiful Calypso just keeps getting more beautiful. 
Caleb is also stunning, but is so different you wouldn't
know they are siblings.       
Anyway, after the extremely uncomfortable flight from Manchester to Bangkok we were far more tired and jetlagged than necessary, but fortunately we had arranged for a very late check-out with the hotel.  That meant we could have a huge sleep-in, emerge in time to enjoy a delicious buffet lunch, check the price of a large Han Dynasty terracotta horse I had admired in the window of a shop during our last visit ($A69,000 - a touch too expensive), and then retreat back to the room to recline and snooze and watch the river traffic into the evening.  Apart from having good views over the river and good room service, the thing I like about the Sheraton Orchid in Bangkok is – what a surprise – there are orchids everywhere.  The place is just brimming with orchids and there doesn’t appear to be a surface that doesn’t have mass plantings of these beautiful flowers, probably my most favourite of all flowers.

What???  If I can't sleep on the bed, the least
you can do is leave me alone to suffer on this
hard, uncomfortable, hurt-my-poor-back chair. 
The House Sitters let me sleep on the bed,
you know. 
We came home to a report from the House/Shop/Moggie Sitters, and oh dear it appears that the inmates had taken over the asylum while we were gone.  The House Sitters slept on the couch for a month because the cats wanted the bed!  And apparently they all ran about like furry idiots (the cats, not the house sitters) being raucous and massively boisterous at every opportunity.  Too bad for the moggies when we got back, because there’s plenty of other places they can and do sleep in and I expect at least some wriggle room for myself in my own bed.  There has been one wild game of 5am-five-way-chasey since we’ve been back, and that did involve bouncing off us as we tried to sleep, but they have such enormous fun it’s hard to be grumpy at them.  They positively fly about the house, clearing the bed in single bounds (unless they miss and land on you) and you can see how much they’re enjoying each other. 
Mischka guarding her current favourite toy.         
Caleb is always right in the middle of the action, and now he’s learned that the game involves chasing as well as being chased.  He even keeps up with Artemis (more-or-less), which means he’s seriously fast.  Unfortunately, he has also developed into a bit of a Klepto-Kitten, stealing pretty well anything he fancies that he can cart off.  We’ve lost mostly sink plugs and pens, although he does try to make off with an unguarded watch every now and then.  I had just him in the shop with me for the first week back, so he could relearn the drill, and he tried very hard to bite the diamond setting off a woman’s ring.  If he’s going to be a Cat Burglar at least he’s going for good stones.  I told her that I wouldn’t be retrieving her diamond if he succeeded in swallowing it so she would be well advised to not let him gnaw at her ring, but she said it was cute.  And no he didn’t succeed (because of course I would have gone diamond hunting the next day – or at least got Doug to).

It’s back to normal programming in the shop on the moggie front from tomorrow.  And by the end of the week I hope to have updated the website with some of the new jewellery we picked up in Paris.

And look who's picked up some bad habits while we've been gone!  This is Artemis - good girl Artemis! - trying to kill my hot water bottle.  This is something she learned from that ratbag Caleb, proving that they all watch and copy each other.

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