T(ha)ime for a break

Yes, lovely blog readers, if you’ll forgive my newspaper-like title, I am taking a break and visiting my brother in Thailand.

It’s been a busy few weeks up until now, and not least last weekend, when 4 gigs in 2 days (3 of them with Jon Chamberlain) left me feeling rather weary!

The first, with Voices of the Day was on Saturday afternoon, in the Piece Hall in Halifax.  It was a marvellous affair!  We sang outside on a festival-type stage, and everyone loved it.  Not least the choir!  They are now preparing for Limetree Festival, which unfortunately I won’t be singing at..

Then it was off back to Leeds for Harvey Nichols.  The following day saw me at my new residency, Lounge Bar and Grill on Merrion Street, where we (Jon and I) played outside on the terrace in the sunshine.  Lovely!

Then, in a last minute dep, fellow Solaris member Jenny asked me to cover her City Vaults gig in Bradford, which I duely did.  I really enjoyed it – and got to play with drummer Steve who I’d not seen (nor heard) in about 6 years!

The audience, as ever, were attentive and friendly and Jon excelled himself at the piano.  Then it was straight off to Northumberland (arriving in the wee small hours) to fly the following afternoon!

I’m having a great time in Bangkok.  I managed to find a Jazz Club (‘Saxophone Club’) and despite the luxury tax that means champagne is almost impossible to afford, cocktails are found with relative ease, and at a much lower price. 🙂

Tonight, most bars are closed for the local Bangkok election, but our taxi driver today informed us there should be no problems with protests and things – they’re saving themselves for the general elections I am told.  We went up to the Bridge on the River Kwai today, in Kanchanaburi where I learned of the horrors endured by those who worked, and died, building the railway line joining Thailand and Burma.  Chilling stuff.  Then we rode part of the line (known as the ‘Death Railway’ as so many people died during it’s building) before stopping off to meet and ride some elephants before going back to Bangkok.

Bangkok itself is a city full of contrast.  On one hand you see designer brands, rich residents, ex-pats, huge and elaborate buildings – both modern hotels and incredible gold-leaf temples and palaces, then, right along side, rundown houses, shanty-type towns and limbless people begging on the streets.  All in this colourful, humid, friendly, set of streets, each of which are lined with seller after seller of amazing smelling cooked food and incredible looking fruit and vegetables.  Incidentally, the food here is beautiful too!  Colourful, ornately decorated and incredibly tasty!

I’m lucky to be able to experience it here – I only hope my camera has enough memory space to last the next few days!  There are a few things I’ve still yet to do: visit Soi Cowboy (so named after the American’s frequented it during the War.. And you can guess what charms it offers if it was the regular haunt of the troops 😉  ) get a Motorbike Taxi, head to the largest Outdoor market in Asia (that’s tomorrow) and celebrate my sibling’s birthdays on Monday. But despite all that, my mind is still stubbornly clinging to the people and places in Leeds (and York!) so I am looking forward to being home in a week, which I guess is a good position to be in really. 🙂

Tessa x

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