The not so secret life of Richard Read

hello i'm richard, i'm just feeling my way through life as I take pictures and generally figure out what I'm doing here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

up's and downs

hey, its been a while I know...i went to Toronto to see the gorgeous Ashley, I love it there...great city. She's due move here in March thats only 7 weeks away...scary! and the time will fly by...scarier! but I am looking forward to it so much. The daily goings on of a long distance relationship are NOT fun, timezones suck, MSN leads to misunderstanding and if it wasn't for Skype I'd never speak to the girl! I'm counting down the days till she arrives (it's 48 in case you were wondering).

I finally started to realise that my current "career choice" isn't actually what I want at all and the fact it's been a big part of my education and life since I was 16 makes it very hard to let go sometimes. However I am now 22 and my life has changed alot, I have new goals and dreams i want to follow, I dont know all of them yet, but as many people have said "You're still young" and although I dont always believe it...the fact is they are right. So now I enter a rocky period of change....I have to bite the bullet and say "I'm leaving" then find something called "a job" to keep a roof over my head and food in my fridge while I find out what "it" is.

I'm not going to say the prospect fills my with joy all the time, because to be frank...I'm scared shitless.

Ashley is my lifeboat though...she keeps me focused and makes me so happy when I am with her that with her as my sidekick (I secretly call her "CanadaGirl") that I'll be just fine.

Last weekend I went out and took some pics...for the first time in months I felt the creative sprit in me jump out and I ended up with some pictures I'm really happy with. Take a LOOK

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

ch-ch-ch-changes

what is going on? really everything is changing and i seem to be getting dragged along......i just read that my favourite breakfast DJ has been poached from my favourite station the wonderful XFM and now i'm left to decide what i'm gonna do. Do i follow the DJ to (in my opinion) a less good albeit national station or do i stick with London based XFM which (again in my opinion) plays the best god damm music of any station i've heard.....maybe i'll just be a fickle bitch and learn to use my presets?

OK, i know this isnt anything major in the whole grand scheme of things but since i got back i feel like so much has changed and i always depended on the little things that never change to just give me a little reasurance.....like good music and a good host.

since i started back at uni and joined a new year group i've made some really great new friends but i feel a little cut off from those i used to know.....some i've just grown apart from and after my summer away i can see that some people were never going to be "life-long" friends, but there's still a few people i know i wont see as much anymore and that kinda makes me a little sad.

Another big change is Ashley starting her new job this week, which is good, but it also means that we wont be speaking as often as we used to....the time differance and the fact we both have busy days now are both to blame and its just another obstacle in our relationship (its bad enough shes in another country!), but i know at the back of my mind that if we can get through this period until she moves here in feb/march 2006 that we will emerge a stronger couple and thats already starting to show.

This week the new freshers arrived at Southampton and as i walk around i see their bright little eyes and fresh livers all keen to start the new uni adventure.....that seems so long ago now for me...i've changed in many way, inparticular since returning from thailand and i'm starting to see a bigger picture.....it looks exciting.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

a sad day

hi, i was planning to write a new blog recently....a lot has been going on lately, i'm back at uni now and loving it....despite the huge workload i have, i'm going to canada at christmas to spend it with Ashley and she is planning to move here in feb/march next year but that has all be totally blown away by the news that Ronnie Barker had died.....i'm really upset. those who know me know i have a passionate love for all things comedy and in my opinion one of the greatest comedy performers was Ronnie Barker and now i'm totally gutted. a excellent writer and wordsmith my childhood is full of memories of watching repeats of the Two Ronnie's on UK Gold and u just have to watch an one of those "top 100....." style shows about comedy to see how great he was and the infulence he has had on today's comedians. i dont really have much else to say except i'm really sad that britian has lost one its greatest performers.

R.I.P RONNIE BARKER 1929 - 2005

Monday, August 29, 2005

back in blighty

so i've been back just over a week and a half now and sometime thailand keeps slipping away into a dream like memory. my flight back was 11 hours of uneventful eating, drinking (thank god EVA air provide as much free booze as you want.....even when landing!) and watching films.....cant remember what they were but one had bernie mac and that guy who's in there with demi moore and it was ok.

i will admit that i totally over slept the morning of my flight and woke up 30mins before my taxi was due.....hence a quick spray of AXE and a swig of mouthwash and i was on my way out of the door.

arriving back was a surreal experience.....London (a city i love) seemed strangely dull and boring and nothing for the next 5-6 days seemed right....i slept funny hours, played a lot of PS2 and watched my pirate DVD from KSR.....not to mention going cold turkey over my cravings for street meat at 3am.

so now i'm just wondering what i'm gonna do?....well ok so i know what i'm doing....back to the bank on the 30th for a month or so and then back to uni to finish my nurse training...dont get me wrong i'm excited about my return to uni but i think i left a bit of me behind in Bangkok during my rush to the airport (if anyones in Rm 408 at the four sons village have a look for it, ta) and i realise i wont be the same again.....i spent almost 3 months in a sensory daze.....my time in Asia has truely been amazing and so have the people i've met along the way.....especially Ashley as well as putting up with me for the entire trip she's crazy enough to want to put up with me longer - Xmas in Canada is already on the cards for my next trip - for me she enhanced this experience so much by letting me share it with her. I love her very much for that.

to end this part of my journey i'd thought i'd list a few of my own personal highlights in no particutular order:

- khao san road - love it or hate it....i did both....but in the end i couldn't have more love for that strange mixed-up road by the river it has everything you need and everything your trying to leave behind.

- Angkor temples - totally the most breath taking place i have ever been in my life still words cant describe the sense of awe and calm that overcame me as i entered the inner court yard of Angkor Wat....it must be a wonder of the world!

- street meat - could be chicken could be beef? who care its 100% tasty especially with a little sweet chilli sauce on top.

- pad thai and spring rolls - the new kebab! post-gullivers drinking wouldn't have been the same.

- chiang mai - my first destination after arriving in bangkok and still my favourite....very laid back and an amazing mountain backdrop....not to mention the best pineapple i've tasted.

- phi phi islands - amazing scenery, amazing people...after all they experienced in dec 2004 i feel proud to have met these people and helped the local economy in some small way with my tourist bhat.

well this is the end of my journal for my time in thailand and cambodia....a big thanks to everyone who has been reading and leaving comments.....i'll be carrying on blogging mainly for my own benefit but also for anyone interested in what i'm up to now and my trip to Canada this Christmas and New Year.....i also have many more photos to add to my albums from the islands so keep your eyes out for that in a week or so.

Richard

Monday, August 15, 2005

back in BKK for one last time

left krabi a week ago......Ashely and I forked out for 2 plane tickets from krabi to bangkok....it was so worth it....the bus down from bangkok took 15 hours - the flight back took just over an hour! which got us into bangkok just before midday a great time saver and gave us extra time in bangkok. so for the last week we've been chilling out and doing some major shopping.....we hit MBK again....twice, as well as returning to the night market near lamphini park and of course the various shops and stalls around the KSR. this time however we used bangkok's public transport system, namely the skytrain (BTS) and the underground (MRT).....both these systems are under 10 years old, in the case of the MRT its less than 2 years old....both were modern, clean, user friendly and a great way to get around...not to mention the views from the skytrain were amazing

i've also changed my return flight back to the UK bringing it forward from the 30th to the 17th this is due to a number of reasons mainly the fact i'm very low on money, i've done all i want to do and Ashley is leaving on the 16th and i really cant imagine staying in BKK for 2 weeks on my own it just wouldnt be the same......so i now have just over a day and a half left here in thailand....i have such mixed emotions right now....i'm sad to be leaving this amazing country and yet i'm looking forward to getting back to the UK and re-starting my nurse training at Southampton university. my time here has been an experience of a lifetime i've seen so much and met and seen so many people i will never forget my time here or the things i have done.

still its not over just yet so time to enjoy my last couple of days here in bangkok...............

Saturday, August 06, 2005

all at sea arounf koh phi phi

went on a boat tour the other day around the islands of koh phi phi.....after getting up rather early Ashley and I headed to the pier at tonsai bay and along with approx. 20 others we boarded a boat were given snorkeling equipment and off we went!

Our first stop was a small bay on the main island of Phi Phi Don (koh phi phi is actually 2 island phi phi don - the main island with accomodation - and phi phi ley - a smaller island with gorgeous beaches, coves and caves) here we spent 30 minutes snorkeling and we saw all kinds of tropical fish and coral reefs....some people were throwing bread to the fish and it was amazing to see so many fish converge on the food!

next we headed to Bamboo island a small island just north of phi phi don en route we heard one of the crew call us over we rushed to the front to see a small group of dolphins swimming next to our boat and jumping in and out of the water it was so beuatiful to watch. At Bamboo island we had a lovely beach...sadly we never made it to the beach! i order to reach the beach you had 2 options....swim or canoe....Ashely and i decided it would be fun to canoe but what we didnt bargin for was the fact that A) we're totally bad at paddling and B) Ashely and I dont excactly balance out well in a small canoe.....needless to say we soon capsized and were thrown into the sea! after a bit of a panic we managed to flip the canoe and get back in.......again we quickly capsized and this time we were quite a way from the main boat (the tidal current was strong).

one of the boats crew came to our aid and Ashley took the canoe on her own back to the boat.....i got a lift with the guy from the boat....we both arrived back on the main boat tired and a bit shaken. in the whole commotion I lost my towel to the ocean and one of the crew joked that the dolphins had it now (i wonder if he had read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy!?)

after lunch we were about to head for phi phi ley when the boats engine decided to stop working! we spent half and hour bobbing up and down while the crew fixed the engine and once it was fixed we headed for phi phi ley.

we arrived at a place called lohsama bay and again here we could snorkel or we could swim a short distance to a small cove which lead to a area called Maya bay.....we chose to visit Maya bay.

Maya bay was the location used in the film The Beach...based on the book by Alex Garland and it really lived up to the fictional beach in the book/film.....it has been the most beuatiful place i have visited in Thailand so far.....clear blue water and golden sand surrounded by huge cliffs to form a bay....sadly we didnt get half as much time there as we would have liked and as we had to swim there we couldnt take our cameras :(

once back on the boat we slowly passed pi-leh bay and the Viking caves in orded to get some photos.Finally we head back to the pier....we were tired and I was towel-less but overall we had a really good day.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Need to Phi Phi

hey, i arrived on Koh Phi Phi a few days ago...this island is so amazing and beuatiful.....sadly reminders of the tusnami back in December are all to apparant many guesthouses and shops are still not running as they were before....repairs are still being carried out and volunteers are still working hard clearing and helping.....it obvious that this area will take a long time to recover.

the actual main area of Phi Phi is very small indeed and everywhere is only a 10 min walk....we're staying in a lovley hotel...recently refurbished after December.....it very nice and i have TV again.....yay

the weather hasnt been too great though and are attempts to hit the beaches have twice been stopped by the rain :(.....still there's lots to do and we're trying to look into a day to phi phi lay...this is a small island with no hotels but lovely beaches.

i'll be adding some new photos soon so keep watching!