A year of smiles

So I have been remarkably slack at keeping this blog up-to-date. Fortunately the readership consists primarily of Russian and Chinese spambots, so the future of mankind has been relatively unaffected.

I’m starting again as yet another reboot has begun. Hardy Hemmingway 3.0. Or is that 41.0? Can’t be sure, but the fact is I’m on another mission, and this time I mean it….. no, really….

The next nine months are dedicated to self-improvement. Physically and mentally. I am limiting myself to three paid clients and four charity projects as far as work goes (I’ll reveal all later). Other than that I shall be learning and training. Simple as that.

Having been in Thailand for quite a while now, this is the year that I get serious about the language. I’ve been learning gradually as I’ve been here (with the help of some excellent beginner lessons early on from the esteemed Cherry and Merry), but now it’s time to take it to the next level. Hannah and I had lesson 1 yesterday with the both witty and excellent Kru Gai (“NOT GAY HARDY”!) at Lingua Plus, and are on our way to earning our Educational Visas.

The Education Visa is a necessity these days for staying in Thailand long term unless you have a business, job or family here (unless you’re of a certain age with a bank full of cash, in which case you can spend a little “retirement” time here). The application process is quite simple; fill in a form with your school, provide a copy of your passport and copies of all stamped pages therein, then just attach 10 photo’s, give them to your school and await an invitation from the ministry of education. Simples.

Work and education are taken very seriously here, and all correspondence is to be considered formal. This means that while you may spend 99% of the year dicking around in tank-tops, flip-flops and shorts, you’d better wear a suit for any application photos! Hmmmmm. A suit.

Why didn’t I think of packing one?

Perhaps it’s the fairly consistent 30° heat.

Or the high humidity.

Or the fact that I’m always on a motorbike.

Maybe it’s because it isn’t the best attire for Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

..or swimming for that matter…

Anyway, the fact remains that I don’t possess a suit in Thailand. The closest I have is a black shirt, which has absolutely no idea what an iron looks like, and has frankly seen far better days.

It is said shirt I was wearing when I went to have my photos taken. It is the miracle of Photoshop, Thai ingenuity and healthy “We’ll get around it” attitude to ticking bureaucratic boxes, that resulted in the pictures I attach. I’ve never looked so smart. Again, REALLY. I have ACTUALLY never looked so smart. Or white. Evidently having a healthy tan isn’t best at the ministry of education. Thanks for the new skin tone guys!

Anyhoo, thought I’d get into the swing of writing again. Been meaning to all week, so much to say…gotta start somewhere! Forgive the disjointed missive, things will improve…

Right, off to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in an hour. First time training in MONTHS. I’m sure the lovely crew at Phuket Top Team will look after this old codger though. Second session of the day incidentally @GarethBowen! Dived in the pool for the first time today. Adored it!

If you’re interested in watching my fitness journey, a more detailed account is available on my (open) myfitnesspal account.

Ciao for now, oh, and nice one Scotland!

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