Taking a break

This will possibly be my shortest post yet!

I’ve recently taken up a new project, one that focuses on improving my health and well being. As part of this, I have decided to take a break from my blog writing, as it’s become something of a chore at times, and I want to dedicate my time to being happy, spending time with the ones I love, and doing things that bring me joy.

I will still keep my facebook site open, and post bits and bobs when I’ve got the time.

I leave you, for now, with this all-time favourite of mine (albeit not the version I know). This song has so many happy memories for me, mostly of standing in a cold field spinning balls of fire around my head (Poi stars I love and miss you a LOT!)
A little bit of Faithless goes a long way….

Thank you for reading, enjoy your life, live each day to the max, say “I love you” more, and be happy!

With love, now and always,
Almost Frutarian x

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Jackfruit Babies, Goats, and Learning to Share

And so it has been yet another couple of jam-packed weeks for me. Lots has been going on, with school activities, trips into nature, and also a few days of quiet time at home. To keep you up with where I’m at, here’s a selection of short snippets detailing my adventures:

There is such a thing as a free lunch! I’ve posted a couple of times (on here and on facebook) that I’m a big fan of the Organic Coffee Bus in SanSai (Chiang Mai), also known as Ohkajhu. Recently, the cafe/restaurant has had a bit of an overhaul, and whilst the building was under construction, the place was closed for a few days. On one of these days, I went with a colleague to grab a quick lunch, only to find the place packed full, and the main entrance off limits (in fact it was non-existent as it had been temporarily demolished). Anyway, we quickly realised there was some kind of communal party / group lunch for the staff going on. One of the waitresses came over and apologised, explaining the place was closed for the day. But rather than herd us back out the way we came, she invited us to share in the sumptuous buffet that was laid out. I realised it was all meat dishes (the restaurant serves a wide selection of meat alongside the salads), but I eventually took a few pieces of watermelon and sat down with my friend. Just moments later, another member of staff came over and proceeded to serve an alternative dish, prepared just for me. I’m not sure exactly what it was, but it tasted a bit like Penang Curry with tofu. The guy also brought over a plate of rice with some salad to go with it. I was pretty bowled over by the kindness and generosity shown to us that day. Of course the staff recognised us when we had turned up, as we do go there quite a lot, but to be invited to share in a private buffet with them, not to mention cooking up a sepaarate vegetarian dish for yours truly, was well beyond any of my expectations. What can I say, Organic Coffee Bus (staff!) I love you! Here’s a pic of what I got:

Free lunch

(I say it was free, of course we did leave some money with them, which was at first refused, but eventually was accepted as a tip.)

Oh and here’s another example of the wonderful salads I keep banging on about:

Salad

Goats!

Another favourite spot of mine is the Dairy Goat Cafe in Doi Saket. It’s about 5 minutes from the house, and whilst I have been gradually moving onto a fully vegan diet, I have been making an exception for these lovely creatures and the delicious milk they produce.

Having visited a few times, I have seen that the goats are very well cared for and looked after – they seem very happy to me! I know that this kind of attitude will upset the “vegan / raw police”, but hey this is my diet, my choice – after all, I said when starting out on this blog that I’d be honest, so there you have it.

I particularly enjoy the goat milk version of “Cha Yen“, a truly delicious cold sweet tea. The use of goat milk instead of the usual sweetened condensed cow’s milk gives it a completely different (and much better in my opinion) taste to the regular stuff. On my last visit, I also enjoyed going and feeding the goats (for all of 10 Baht), something I’d seen several smaller human beings enjoying and I just couldn’t resist. Needless to say they were incredibly enthusiastic, and my only concern was them straining their necks to come over the small fence separating them from me. Have a look at these cuties:
Goats

 

Nature time

Of course I’ve also been enjoying some much needed down-time. Last Friday, I picked up a spicy SomTum (papaya) salad for dinner, and rather than eating at home on the sofa with a movie to pass the time, we set out on the bike in search of somewhere more interesting. We ended up turning off the main highway (just behind the Goat Farm!) into some empty fields, and sat down on the grass with our bowls (which we’d brought with us from the kitchen) in our laps. The views were pretty stunning, and it turned out to be such a simple yet beautiful way to share some quality time together. We got there just before the sun went down, beaming wonderful rays across the fields before setting behind the mountains in the distance. Check it out – not bad for an impromptu picnic eh?!:

Picnic

Jackfruit Babies

I’ve shared with you before a few of the delights to be found in our garden – the latest addition has been an abundance of jackfruit. This is without a doubt one of my favourite fruits, as it is one that I had never tried or even heard about before I came to Thailand. Having it grow right outside our door is a real blessing, and I am truly thankful to mother nature for providing us with such wonderful gifts.

I of course did not climb up the 10 or so feet to reach this beauty, but I did however stand and pose for photos with it afterwards. It was really quite heavy, and possibly one of the biggest jackfruits I have ever seen. The only comfortable way to hold it was by cradling it like a baby, and even that was challenging given its size, weight, and prickly skin! Just have a look:


Jackfruit

After waiting for it to ripen fully (you have to wait for the smell, which you absolutely cannot miss!), we broke it open and started the fairly tricky process of separating the fruit pods from the flesh. Jackfruit is actually full of a super-sticky white liquid, a bit like rubber, that oozes out as soon as you start to cut it open (you can see a little starting to come from the stalk at the top). Having learned our lesson before when opening one (and getting covered in the stuff, and not being able to clean it off for some time!), I had researched the best way to deal with this stuff. The solution is surprisingly easy – cover your hands and knife in oil! We used coconut oil, which proved to be pretty effective, though you need to use a fair amount for it to work. It also works really well to remove the sticky stuff from your knife, worktops, and hands after opening.

We also kept the seeds that are inside the fruit pods, as I’d remembered reading somewhere that they were edible too. To my (slight) disappointment, they are not edible when raw. However, they can be boiled (sorry raw foodies) for around 30 minutes, which produces a potato-like consistency. Never one to let things go to waste, I decided to try the seeds in a curry, and ended up boiling, mashing, and mixing them with a little coconut milk to make a very tasty mash. I also used some the next day in yet another curry, though this time I mixed them with the curry itself and served it up with rice on the side instead. Both dishes were delicious, but here’s a pic of the one with the mash:

Jackfruit Mash

Love & Share Activity at School

And finally on to something that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

For a few weeks, the school has been collecting all sorts of donations (toys, food, household items) as part of a “Love & Share” project. As a foreign teacher, I missed what was going on somewhat, as all posters, messages etc. were communicated in Thai. Though for my part I didn’t push too much to find out…. Anyway, eventually I was told that some of my lessons on a particular day would be cancelled, as part of the Love and Share project. The morning came, and I was invited to come and watch the proceedings with the rest of the school. What I saw, and later learned, was truly heart warming. After a short (but oh-so-cute) performance by some of the kindergarten kids, a group of Thai students (of various ages, and in different uniforms) took to the stage. They performed a few songs (in Thai) with some great dance routines, and got the whole school involved with one of them (see below = I was dancing along with the actions, completely oblivious of any lyrics or their meanings!). There were also performances from a group of blind musicians, who belted out some of the more popular songs (a few of which I recognised, but again have no idea of what was being sung) much to the delight of the students. After the performances, there were some official photographs, and eventually we headed back downstairs to witness the giving of all the donations. It was at this point that I learned who these other students were. They came from a school not far from ours, set up to educate orphans in the area. These were children who had been abandoned / given up for whatever reason. Due to lack of funds, their school was struggling to provide them with such basics as daily milk cartons (something that I am led to believe most schools get automatically from the government, so I’m not sure why that was not the case here). I felt a real warmth in my heart when I saw the very students I teach passing along things that they themselves had given up in order to improve the lives of another, someone who was perhaps less fortunate. The biggest highlight was seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces. Students and staff alike were swept up in this wonderful wave of love, each person feeling truly grateful for what they had/have.

Love & Share

And on that note, I thinks it’s time to end this post.

What could you give up to help another? Do you “believe” in charity? Perhaps you regularly donate to such causes. Regardless, there’s no getting away from that sense of well being when you see the difference that can be made in other people’s lives, by something as simple as giving up a “luxury” of your own.

With all my love, and wishing you all a wonderfully happy week/month/year/lifetime,

Almost Fruitarian x

 

Mindfulness in every moment

I went over a month without posting, now it’s 2 in under 1 week! Anyway, thought I’d share this while I’ve got time (and a story to tell):

I had a somewhat challenging day yesterday, which started with the motorbike refusing to start for my normal journey to work. Having picked it up from a garage just 2 days ago (where it had been for almost a week getting repairs because it had conked out on the way home one night), I was less than impressed, and the usual frustration and despair started to set in.

“I’m tired of this” I said to my boyfriend, who promptly replied “Ok, be tired”.

He wasn’t being harsh, he was simply reminding me that it was my choice to feel that way. Deciding to move on, I made a quick wardrobe change, took my laptop out of my bag (to save my shoulders!), and got set to start the long(ish) walk to the highway where I’d be able to pick up a taxi. 25 minutes of walking through the local village got me lots of funny looks (not for the first time either, when the bike had broken previously I’d been in the same situation and after one or two looks I was offered a lift home by a helpful stranger!), most of which came from a procession of beautiful Thai ladies on their way from a temple with offerings.

I managed to hail a taxi down the highway, and hopped off at a junction where I was sure I’d be able to pick up another one for the next leg of my journey. Thinking I’d walk a little bit to keep the blood pumping, I set off down the next road, glancing behind me occasionally to check for one of the yellow taxi buses that serve around Chiang Mai. It took me a few minutes before I realised there weren’t any – the taxis run specific routes from the outskirts of the city to the center, but not across the outskirts (which was the direction I was heading in). As I had sent some messages to the school to let them know what was going on, I decided to just keep on walking, and embraced the challenge that lay ahead of me.

It’s funny sometimes to observe the thoughts and ideas that come to us – as I was walking along, I started thinking about a friend who had stepped on a rusty nail back in Koh Phangan. I thought to myself “wouldn’t it be even worse if I did the same….”, and lo and behold, I felt the sharp sting of something piercing through my sandals into my foot! It wasn’t a rusty nail (thankfully!), but it was an aptly shaped stone which I carefully retrieved from my foot. “Lesson learned” I conceded, and continued on my way (I had no medical supplies with me, so opted to grin and bear it and sort it out at work later).

Changing thoughts

Another 25 minutes later, and I got a call from a concerned teacher asking where I was – the messages hadn’t gotten through to anyone! My lovely colleague jumped straight in her car to come and pick me up, saving me an extra 20 minutes to add on to my already long journey. I arrived at school at about 9:20, 1 and a half hours after I’d set off, and well over an hour late for work! A quick wash in the toilets and a change of clothes was just enough to reset my mind for the day ahead, though I’ll admit that I felt less than fresh for the rest of the day (walking at 8a.m. in 30 degree heat, in the sun, is pretty exhausting – I didn’t smell great when I got in my friend’s car!).

Anyway, why am I sharing this all with you? Because, despite what at first seemed like a “doomed” situation, I had an absolutely fantastic day. I got 45 minutes of power walking in, I’d started the day with a 10 minute meditation, I ate only raw food, had some great lessons with the kids, and an awesome “Sing and Dance Superstars” club in the afternoon. The cherry on top was being presented with this amazing creation from some of the students (only one stuck around for a photo!):

Proud Teacher & Student

I love my work. I love life. Every moment is an chance to enjoy the things around us, so when things start to get you down, change your attention. Find something to bring you back to that state of joy. For me, it was deciding to walk, and relish in the fact that I was (finally) getting some much needed exercise! Just that seemingly small change of mindset was enough to change my entire day, from one of harsh challenges, to one of easy opportunities.

With love, as always, from

Almost Fruitarian x

A quick recipe!

Well…its been a long time since I posted anything, and while I have been drafting a lovely post catching up on everything I’ve been up to, it’s just not coming together right now for some reason! So, instead of a lengthy rambling, here’s a few things I’ve enjoyed recently, and a quick and easy recipe I whipped up last night for dinner (ok so it’s not raw/vegan, but it is vegetarian and very yummy!);

50 Baht DIY Salad at the Organic Coffee Bus, SanSai (Chiang Mai)

I’m a big fan of this place, not least of all because it’s close enough to the school that I can just squeeze in a lunchtime visit. The salads are put together based on your personal choices from a pretty comprehensive selection of leaves, nuts, beans, veggies, dressings, and additional items like meat, eggs, or more prices nuts. Here’s one I had recently with asparagus, pumpkin, almond flakes, and a super combination of balsamic vinegar and raspberry dressings – YUM!

Lunchtime Salad

Paneer Masala

So this is not raw, not vegan, but absolutely delicious and a bit of a “guilty pleasure” of mine. The Royal India Restaurant in Chiang Mai Old City is one of my favourites, and their curries are really darn good! I particularly enjoyed this Paneer Masala with rice and naan bread.

Paneer Masala

And now for one of mine:

Peppered Veggie Scramble

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 4 Eggs (you could substitute these for tofu or another meat substitute to make this recipe vegan!)
  • 1 Small Aubergine
  • 2 Cucumbers
  • 1 Onion
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • Black Pepper (I used a mix of ground and whole pepper corns, and I put in a lot… Adjust to suit your tastebuds!)
  • Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil (used for frying)

Instructions:

  1. Chop up all the veggies.
  2. Grind pepper as required.
  3. Crack open the eggs and whisk in a cup/bowl to mix the yolk and white together.
  4. Heat coconut oil in a saucepan over a low-med heat.
  5. Add veggies and fry until golden brown, adding pepper and paprika to taste (about 5 mins should be enough).
  6. Pour in the eggs and mix well.
  7. Cook the mix until the eggs are done (I hope you’ll know what scrambled eggs should look like when cooked!).
  8. Serve immediately (we had ours with some fresh seaweed on top, which happened to taste fab)

And there you have it! Super easy, fast, and tasted great! I like a lot of pepper in this kind of dish, but of course you could put less in, or swap it our for another seasoning of your choice (I’ve made something similar before with masala spices which worked well).

Peppered Veggie Scramble

Perhaps I’ll have something a bit more comprehensive on the next post, but for now that will do (at least you know I’m still here!).

With Love,

Almost Fruitarian x

Songkran, birthday celebrations, and a wedding!

I had typed up a post last weekend, anticipating a productive photo editing session that somehow didn’t come to fruition. One week on, and I’ve got so much more to cram in, that I’m going to have to reduce the original (massively) so that I don’t end up boring you! So many wonderful things have happened over the past few weeks, that I want to shout about them all, but I will try to keep it short and sweet – here goes!

As you may know following my last post, I am currently enjoying the holiday season. Last weekend, I had the pleasure of joining 19 other staff members from the school on a trip to the picturesque town of Sattahip, just a stone’s throw from Pattaya.

Leaving on Friday at around 8pm, we arrived to a quiet dorm-style guesthouse right on the beach the following morning. Being in a shared dorm with 19 other teachers, admin, and kitchen staff felt a bit like being back at the Girl Guides – it turned out to be a lot of fun, and definitely helped the group to bond.

We managed to fit in a whole host of activities including a visit to some naval ships, which unfortunately for the farangs were still in use so an on-board tour was limited to Thai nationals only. Never mind – we had good fun looking around the gift shop instead! We also visited a turtle sanctuary, two beautiful beaches, a giant Buddha image lasered (with real gold!) onto a huge rock face, a vineyard, a floating market (which I didn’t really go in to due to the 200 Baht entrance fee!), and Pattaya Walking Street (why not?!) although going in the early evening mean that it was considerably quieter (and more “tame”) than my last visit! Our journey back to Chiang Mai also included a stop off at some kind of factory outlet selling Thai sweeties, mainly Daifuku (a delicious “squidgy” desert containing beans and fruit).

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All in all, it was a fantastic weekend, and I got to spend some quality time getting to know the people that I see every day (but often don’t find the time to stop and have a chat with).

Moving on to last Friday, it was my birthday! I had the pleasure of spending the day with some beautiful souls, including Mel from Not your normal 9 to 5 who we had the pleasure of hosting this weekend. After a relaxed morning, we met up with some friends and headed to the spectacular Mae Kuang Lake (one of my Chiang Mai favourites!) for a sunset dinner at the cafe there. It was then back to ours for a movie and eventually bed!

Mae Kuang

Saturday was spent cleaning, an important part of the preparations for Songkran in Thailand (often referred to as the Water Festival)! In the afternoon, I headed into town with Mel to drop her off at her guesthouse for the next few days – what a crazy amazing decision that was! Of course, Songkran is a huuuuuge deal here in Thailand, and Chiang Mai is by far no exception! The celebrations were well underway by the time we hit the old city, and after a quick stop to hide electrical items inside the bike (we’d already been forced to stop by a group of locals who proceeded to “bless” us by pouring buckets of ice cold water all over us), and an even quicker debate as to whether or not we should keep going, we headed right to the epicenter – Thapae Gate! Driving through the crowd was absolutely incredible! Hundreds upon hundreds of people (lots of them quite merry!) shooting and throwing buckets of water every which way. Stages with dancing girls (reasonably covered up, although most people on the streets were taking the festival as an opportunity to flash the flesh, something that I’ve not seen since leaving Koh Phangan!), booming speakers, and a lot of noise made for one hell of a party. We ended up “walking” the bike through the throngs, getting thoroughly soaked in the process (hence no pictures – you think I’d get my phone out?!). I think the fact that Mel had her backpack with her made us an obvious target for those around us – we looked like we’d arrived in Chiang Mai at the wrong time, or perhaps the right time?! Either way, by the time we reached the guesthouse, a thunderous downpour of rain had almost cleared the streets, and we were relieved to be greeted with dry towels and a warm room!

Then came Sunday. Having seen Saturday’s shenanigans, I was well prepared for the festival. Minimal clothing (shorts and a perhaps unwise choice of cream vest top!), a water gun, and some flowers in my hair ensured I blended in to the mix of Thais and farangs who were already out in force at 9am as we made our way to Wat Phra Singh, the temple in the heart of the old city. We’d been invited to spend the day with one of our Thai friends at his guesthouse, and I am so glad that we took him up on his offer! We spent our day eating grilled bananas (jungle style!) which tasted heavenly, having all out water battles with passers by (and the kids who were stationed outside the guesthouse), listening to live music, and relaxing with good friends both old and new. We also had a tuk-tuk adventure to another guesthouse close-by, where there was more “commercial” dance music thumping and a younger, mainly farang-based crowd. Word of advice people – if you don’t want to get wet during Songkran, DON”T GO OUT!!! (shying away from people with buckets/guns will serve only to increase the likelihood of getting very very wet!)

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The difference in atmosphere at the various locations was interesting – each one was good fun, but I was quite glad to return to the more “traditional” celebrations by the temple. We even got to see and participate in the procession of the Buddha statues along the main street from Thapae Gate to Wat Phra Singh. I managed to wash a few of the statues in the customary manner (chucking a bucket of water and trying to reach the statue without drowning those in close proximity), and was honoured to collect some of the scented water for good luck! The whole day was filled with such amazing energy, I can really see why people get hooked on this festival – Chiang Mai is definitely the place to be!

And so that brings me to today. The festival is still going on – today is a time for (more) cleaning, blessings at local temples, and preparing for tomorrow when there will be more big celebrations. It is the new year, a time for washing away the past mistakes, and having good feelings for those around us. Today in particular, it is customary to think only good thoughts about ourselves and the world around us, although my advice of course would be to do this everyday!

Today is also the day that two of our friends got married. Seeing a simple traditional Thai ceremony, at our local Doi Saket Temple, was a beautiful moment. I had not actually met the couple (Dima and Tatiana – congratulations!) before, and so felt even more lucky to have been invited to share in their special day. I also got to finally visit Doi Saket Temple, which bowled me over with its beauty and absolutely amazing murals inside the pagoda – well worth a visit for anyone in Chiang Mai, I know I’ll be going back for another look!

Well that was my “short and sweet” version. There’s a whole lot more I wanted to put in, but I think I’ve waffled on for long enough. Suffice to say that I am completely in love with life. Thailand has opened up a world of oppportunites for me, but my greatest enjoyment is that I have met so many amazing individuals during my time here. Each and every person that I meet has such warmth in their heart, that it is impossible to feel anything other than love. Every day gives me such joy (when I choose to acknowledge it!!!) – I hope that everyone can find such happiness and appreciation for the people and environment around them.

Wherever you are in the world, Sabai dee pi mai (Happy Songkran / New Year) – may you be blessed with good fortune and joy!

With love, as always,

Almost Fruitarian (Rach) x

Update: I’ve just got back from a trip to the market, and managed to get absolutely soaked once more! Does Songkran have to end?! 🙂

Holidays!!!

Aaaaaaah………..I am pleased to report that I am, officially, on holiday, and it feels wonderful! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still a fair stack of work to prepare before the start of term, but the hard slog is done. It’s been tough, but knowing that we’re that much more prepared for the new year (and new class of incoming students) is a really great feeling. All the things that I expected when I first started are finally falling into place. I’m actually starting to feel confident that I can teach(!) and I at least know my way around the (sometimes quirky) school policies, resources cupboard, and even a bit more Thai lingo!

Last Friday was a great day. We finally finished making a set of workbooks for the school, for four levels (Pratom/Grade 1-4) which is a great achievement. Lots of resources this time around meant we were far better prepared than this time last semester – I’m a great fan of the free Phillip Martin illustrations, and worksheets from some sites like Super Teacher and Sparkle Box (thanks everyone for recommendations!).

I also managed to finish a reasonable weekly plan (for the same four years of students), based on the curriculum I helped write for English. Now it’s just Lesson Plans and materials to think about ahead of next Semester.

The day was topped off with a wonderful Thai massage, along with some of the other lovely teachers from school, at Borsang Thai Massage, San Khampaeng district. 2 hours of pressure points and energy channels being prodded and pulled left me feeling pretty damn good!

Saturday continued the good vibes, with a small coffee (I’m still allowing myself the occasional one, but no more daily caffeine injections!) at an equally small, quaint cafe in SanSai. Catching up with good friends was really great, and didn’t stop there! I also had the pleasure of joining some of my other fellow teachers (old and new) for a delicious dinner, impromptu singing performances (which were fab by the way!), a lot of laughs, bizarre “would you rather” questions, and an unexpected jelly-bean-induced sugar overload. But hey, there’s nothing like a good fit of the giggles to heal the mind and body.

I’ve also seen a few movies recently. I particularly liked “Saving Mr Banks”, which tells the story of the making of Mary Poppins (the movie) – having grown up watching it, I did feel quite nostalgic, and finding out the story behind the story was fascinating, albeit a little sad!

I’ve had a few overloads on junk food recently (due to having time off and deciding to “treat” myself, which is totally the wrong phrase as really a healthy diet would be a treat!) but an equal amount (I think) of healthy alternatives. There’s an organic farm close to the school with a restaurant / coffee shop attached (Organic Coffee Bus), and a few of us teachers ventured there for lunch one day to say goodbye to one of our colleagues. Although most of the dishes were quite pricey by Thai standards (150 Baht up to 3/400 or so), they did have  50 Baht Salad option, where you could choose from a whole host of fresh organic produce grown on site. I opted for Red Coral and Butterhead Lettuce, Rocket, Almonds, Asparagus, Bell Peppers, Pumpkin, Walnuts, and a Vinaigrette Dressing – YUM!

Salad bowl

Today I enjoyed an amazing mix of salads at one of my favourites, Free Bird Cafe. They do a fab taster dish where you can choose 3 salads from their menu for just 110 Baht! I had Burmese Tea Leaf, Ginger, and Green Tomato. I’m afraid there’s no picture because by the time I thought of taking one, all three were almost gone. But I will vouch for the fact that they all tasted wonderful, super healthy, and quite spicy (the ginger one in particular)! All this was washed down with a  tasty Lavender Latte…

I was also chuffed to pick up some awesome hippie trousers, a skirt and a vest at the in-store charity shop – all proceeds go to Thai Freedom House, who provide education to refugees from Burma and Thai minority groups. A very worthwhile cause, and somewhere I’m happy to shop (almost) guilt-free!

So there you have it, despite some ups and downs over the past few weeks, I am feeling truly blessed, and appreciative of all that is around me. People, places, experiences, emotions – I am thankful for it all. Special thanks go to all those I had the pleasure of speaking to and/or seeing throughout the past few weeks – you guys all rock!

A bit thin on food pictures, or any pictures for that matter, so here’s a little gallery of some I took in our garden, including the mangoes growing outside my front door – they started off the size of bottle tops! I’m told it’ll be 3 more months until they’re ripe!

Flowers 2Garden FlowersMangoes

I love Chiang Mai! 🙂

With love, as always,

Almost Fruitarian (Rach) x

Beauty is all around…(no really, it is!)

After a particularly exhausting week at work, (and a Saturday spent with a caffeine-withdrawal induced migraine -no more super-duper coffees at work!!!) I had ideas of writing a rather in-depth catch up covering what I’ve been up to, but have decided instead to take the beautiful (and somewhat lazy) option and post a load of photos from a trip this morning to Thepsadet Waterfall in Doi Saket District (near “Jungle Flight Adventure”) – enjoy!

ThepSadet Waterfall (or somewhere close to it!)

We’re not actually sure if we made it to Thepsadet or not, so forgive me if these are photos of some smaller, unnamed site, but as is usually the case around here the signs leading to the waterfall were confusing (was it 2km or 20km – who knows, but two signs within about 100 yards gave conflicting instructions!). One road trail took us up to a small Buddhist Temple which was facing this slightly bizarre waterfall that appeared to be half natural / half man-made.

Mountain Temple WaterfallI got to spend the day wading through streams of crystal clear waters, and gazing up through impressive canopies to a beautiful bright sun (and the odd white fluffy cloud!).

Clear(ish) skies

There were lots of pretty flowers too:

Sunburst flower

FlowerFlowers

As well as these “noodle” trees (I have no idea what they’re actually called, but they looked just like trees with a bunch of noodles thrown over them!):

Noodle Tree

One thing I’m really looking forward to right now is teaching art at the school. With so much focus on nature and the world around, I’ve been thinking of different ways to make the lessons interesting and educational for the students (I guess that’s the whole point right?!).

One very simple thing I’m thinking of starting with is shapes in nature – the students are getting to grips with the English lingo when it comes to circles and squares, but I want them to see beyond the printed black and white colouring pages, and have a look around them.

There are so many recurring shapes in nature, which require no careful calculations or compasses to make – the blueprint is simply “realised” over and over, producing the most beautiful patterns. These pretty heart-shaped leaves are just one example of how mother nature gets it right:

Beautiful heartsOk just a few more pretty pictures and then that will do!
Jungle

Aaah life is good!

Jungle 2I got a bit trigger happy with the old phone camera, but there really is just so much beauty all around that I wanted to share as much of it as I could (without becoming so focused on taking photos that I forgot to look with my eyes!!!). I particularly liked this small shelter that was situated in a small clearing at the foot of the falls – so peaceful!

Light 2Ok I think that’s enough.

My ongoing mission is to seek out more natural beauty, to appreciate what is all around me, and to share it with others. Thanks and love to all those who make this reality what it is!

Love and light,

Almost Fruitarian x