Snippets of news from Dai

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Dai's dinner

I was quite proud of my salad creation yesterday evening so I took a picture. It was nothing too exciting although I did enjoy it and Kumar was full of praise for it.

Raw spinach, tomato, olives, black-eyed beans, carrot & lemon with mayonnaise, hard boiled eggs, taboule, cheese and ham. Of course we had glasses of white wine with this.

It has been hot here in Lisbon and sometimes uncomfortably humid too. I need to paint the entrance hall but it will be a nightmare in this heat.

My computer seems to be in the final stages of life. It’s painfully slow now. It has served me well and for about five years, running day and night. I think I will take over Kumar’s old machine which is in excellent condition. He is going to buy a new one for himself tomorrow, his day off.

My eyes have been better recently but I am still staying away from my laptop as much as I possibly can.  I just thought I should put in a brief appearance this morning.

I wish all my friends a happy weekend.

Falling off the stepladder

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Cristo Rei

This magnificent scene is thirty minutes walk from my home in Lisbon. It’s quite a stunning view I think. That’s Lisbon City across the estuary. All our visitors walk there to enjoy the scene and to take pictures. We have a lot of guests but because the apartment is so small, we have to let them come one by one or two by two maximum.  Kumar is always very happy when the pretty young ladies visit us hahahaha. He’s working as hard as ever and comes home late at night and goes back to work early next morning.

Two days ago I had a nasty fall. Wow that did give me a big shock. I was coming down the stepladder and suddenly I fell, bringing off my wardrobe door and damaging my bedroom wall. I was actually okay but I was shocked so I rested on my bed for about an hour to get over the shock.  Getting old is sure no fun. I will be much more careful when using the stepladder in the future.

I’m thinking of having a few days in the Canary Islands, just for a change.  It’s close to Portugal….  Tenerife is one of my favourite places and I’ve been there many times. I have several old friends there:- Imeldo and Lola, Teleforro and Candy, Fernando and Maria Carmen and a few more. Maybe this time I’ll go alone because Kumar and the girls have to work. Let’s see what happens in the next few days. I’ll probably stay for a couple of days in La Orotava in the interior and a couple of days near the sea in the south of the island at Playa de Las Americas.

Well it’s time to take my eye drops now and then relax for a while and listen to Sky News before sleeping.

Boa noite everybody.

Portugal is burning


Well I’m not supposed to be sitting in front of a laptop, I should be resting but I’m trying to take my mind off this heat.  As if the London tower tragedy wasn’t enough, Portugal is now in shock over the sixty two people who died in the forest fire northeast of Lisbon yesterday. Most of them were burned to death in their cars as they tried to escape the flames and heat. Most of Portugal is reeling under a severe heatwave with temperatures around 40c and above. It’s little consolation that in the southwest USA, temperatures are even higher. Here in Portugal most people don’t have any airconditioning. It’s out of reach for people on Portugal’s low salaries. I must say that after sweltering through the night I’m tempted to go out to buy an airconditioner this morning. I might leave it until tomorrow after our guests have left.

Yesterday the weather forecast was spectacularly wrong. Our rainfall forecast was 0% all day long but I could see the sky darkening. I was forecasting a storm. At about 6 pm we had wonderful rain and thunder. Well it was more hailstones and thunder and it brought down the temperature for a while. I couldn’t enjoy the cool wind and rain as much as I wanted because I had to close the window shutters. The wind was driving the hailstones into the kitchen.

I’m trying to strike a happy balance between resting as much as possible and doing essential things at home. I’m reading as many blogs as I can but unfortunately I can’t send out many comments at the moment.  I’ve almost abandoned facebook and I’m sure many friends will think I can’t be bothered. It’s nothing like that though.

Have a nice weekend, everybody.  I hope you are much cooler than we are here.


Prawns & potatoes from Kumar and Oksana

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Oxana and Kumar cooking the prawns

A blog after a long time. My friends will know the reason.

Take a peek into the kitchen to see our dinner being prepared. We’re having potatoes and prawns a la Oksana, the Leningrad way. Oksana comes from Murmansk but lives near to Leningrad these days. We’re having super cold beer right now because Lisbon is hot these days. I’m starving so I can’t wait for the food to be ready so I can get my teeth stuck into those large prawns hahaha.

We’ve been sitting here trying to remember the name of those delicious Russian chocolate coated candies which we used to buy in Bournemouth and Tbilisi. I think they are filled with dairy something, maybe yogurt (it’s actually curds)

Today Kumar and Oksana spent the day at the nearby Caparica Beach but I opted out.  I hate sitting on sand.  Caparica Beach goes on for mile after mile and it’s white sand. It’s very famous and popular with Portuguese families and foreign tourists alike. I took the chance to catch up with some things at home and do some relaxing in front of the fan.

These days we’re getting only one sort of weather and that’s blue sky and strong sunshine. I would love some cool rainy days for a change.

Coincidences and regrets

Latest picture of garlanded Flocky edited

Just look at our silly dog celebrating the Holi festival in Kathmandu.  I am missing Flocky more than I can say but now she has a new role in life.She is inseparable with Rasmi in Kathmandu and is her protector and guard dog. I must say that she does a magnificent job and only a seriously foolish person would dare  to enter our home  uninvited.

I won’t be sharing this blog with facebook because it’s sort of personal and only to be shared with my few WordPress friends.  I’m writing my book about my life and of course I’ll be talking about where I’ve lived around the world and about the people I’ve met on the way. This morning I was writing about two amazing coincidences I had in my life with the same person. I had a wonderful girlfriend from Switzerland. I will change her name to Sandra.  One day I was going to meet Sandra in Richmond (London), about twenty miles from my home.  On  the way there, for some inexplicable reason I felt compelled to stop my car at Twickenham Railway Station. I walked into the station and was totally gobsmacked to see Sandra walking up the stairs towards me. God only knows why I stopped in such a place and thank God that I did because I was able to take Sandra with me to Richmond.  Fast forward two years when I was driving to Sandra’s home in Wynigen, Switzerland and again for some creepy reason I felt compelled to stop at Burgdorf Railway Station on the way between Bern and Wynigen, and when I walked into the station, there stood Sandra. We were both  totally gobsmacked at this amazing coincidence.

I’ve never believed in ghosts but many years ago I had a weird and unexplained experience in west Nepal. It sure was scary. It will be in my autobiography and possibly I will write about it here one day.

The biggest regrets of my life ?  Well there have been quite a few but I will list just three or four:-

I have always regretted starting to smoke when I was in school. I stopped twenty years later and can only hope that the damage done has completed healed by now.

When I was in my early teens, my mother was dying of leukemia.  She asked for my help one day and I didn’t give it because I wanted to meet my friends somewhere. I was young and stupid and never realised the serious of the situation. She died soon after and I have regretted my action all my life.

I had a wonderful Hungarian friend. I will change her name to Judit. She married one of my nephews. She came to Nepal but something went wrong between the two of them. I desperately wanted to get them together again in my own peculiar way which meant pretending to take the side of my nephew, so that I could gradually influence him. But the reality was that I wanted him to realise what a wonderful person she was and I always hoped they would settle down together in the end. It didn’t work. The woman turned nasty towards me and I lost one of the best friends of my life. I have always suspected that a mutual Russian ‘friend’ had a lot to do with the break in friendship. The last I heard, she was working in Germany. I should have gone to try to explain.  I suppose everything happens for a reason.

My father suicided himself at the time when he was planning to visit me for three months in India. It’s a long and complicated story but in a nutshell, after getting a distressing letter from my grandmother about my father’s depressed condition, I flew back to the UK as soon as possible. I was too late.

When I was living in Thailand I had a gorgeous German Shepherd, also called Flocky. I took her to stay at a friend’s home while I was away for a few days. She was free to run around on the large piece of land there. We had a phone call from the friends to say that Flocky had been bitten by a cobra. I rushed to  collect her and took her to the Rajabhat Animal Hospital but seven days later she died.

I’ve also compiled a list of some of the best moments of my life but let’s save that for another day. Right now I have to shower and then go out.


Typing mixed thoughts at 2:28 am

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I must be mad, sitting here typing at 2:28 am. My mind was too active and I couldn’t sleep.

It was great to get back home yesterday. I love home, the place where I can relax best. I also love going away sometimes but coming home is always best.

I am sorry that I haven’t been able to comment so much on WordPress and facebook. Time is so difficult to get sometimes and this last week has been crazy for me. These days I  tend to comment to friends who also bother to read my blogs and make comments. That’s fair. The big problem in WordPress is that we must have a WordPress ID to be able to make comments. And most friends don’t have a WordPress ID.

What can be better than getting emails from family and friends ? I love getting them and the pictures  of Flocky which Russ sends me sometimes from Kathmandu. Wow the big news for our family last week was that Moti will go on a Korean sponsored healthcare course to South Korea. That probably doesn’t sound like any big deal for many people but it sure is something big for a healthcare worker from a high Himalayan village. I wish I could be in Nepal to go with Moti to Kathmandu Airport to see her on her way to Incheon. I am so excited for her.

Last week I has messages from Keiji in Germany, my cousin Frank and an old Thai friend called Jiem. I have answered everybody and hoping to hear back soon.  I will never stop appreciating the magic of the internet and instant communication with anybody around the world.

One of my highlights of last week was that Bournemouth drew 1-1 with Manchester United.  I was expecting Man Utd to wipe the floor with Bournemouth but it didn’t happen. Bournemouth is where I have my UK home so it’s natural that I should support their football team.

Yesterday I spent some time after getting back, thinking of friendships old and new. Friends come and friends go but the real ones are there forever. In my thinking nothing is worse than having a fake fair weather friend. Maybe we’ve all had them. They never stop thinking about themselves.  They disappear as quickly as they arrived and of course after gaining as much advantage and help as they can. I have always taken friendship very seriously.  But in general I’ve had many real and fantastic friendships in my life and I have many friendships which go back thirty, forty years and more. I love such friendships that are not  based only on money, advantages, university enrolments and visas.

Well now it’s 2:43 am already and time to sleep. Today will be a busy day and I have much to do and to think about.

Turmeric, immune system boost, anti cancer, anti-inflammatory, super for your skin problems, great for your arthritic joints, a wonderful antioxidant

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I guess there are many people who will think my turmeric and coconut breakfast is disgusting and to be frank, so did I at first but as with so many other things, we get used to them and start to like them. Now I am almost addicted to this simple but AMAZINGLY HEALTHY breakfast of coconut with turmeric which has dramatically improved my health. Oh I almost forgot to mention that turmeric is supposed to kill cancer cells too. I wish I’d known all about the health benefits of turmeric many years ago.

It takes just two or three minutes to prepare and I do it this way.

Two or three tablespoons dedicated coconut

1 level teaspoon turmeric powder

Quarter teaspoon black pepper

Half teaspoon ginger powder

Quarter teaspoon cinnamon powder

Half teaspoon EV olive oil

1 teaspoon honey

Enough soya milk to mix everything into a smooth paste.

If you are diabetic, leave out the honey and use a little more milk. It doesn’t taste nearly as nice but it is still palatable.

That’s the remains of my breakfast in the above picture. I also had toast and banana and a mug of tea