Saturday, February 26, 2011


Yesterday we were freshwater fishing at Phuket Fishing Park....which isn't a 'park' but a nice lake surrounded by trees and with little bamboo shelters to relax and have lunch in.

We were honoured to have Mr Roger Bazand in our company. Roger, a legend in his own angling lifetime, had heard about the lake fishing here whilst lazing about in his Australian retirement home and popped over to Phuket to join us for a few days ...that's the sort of chap he is. And, of course, he caught the first fish....a nice carp...which he tells us are considered vermin in Australia and are responsible for killing off many of the indigineous species over there. Thus, when caught, they are removed from that particular stretch of Aussie water and made into Castlemaine XXXX and exported back to Europe (or Asia!).

Ace angler Derby retaliated immediately with a catfish. In fact, sad to tell you all, Derby hammered the fish and caught more than anyone else has this year. He gathered an audience of adoring fans around him, watching in awe as he banged in a steady supply of carp and catfish....and they were of a Good Stamp of fish too! One of Derby's admirers in in the final photo of this Blog entry.

Derby's papa, Graham, had never fished before but after catching the surrounding scrubs and nearby small children several times, he got the hand of actually getting the bait into the water and in one piece. And then the Derby genes took over and the fish started coming. Here's Graham with his first ever hard fighting Siamese Carp. You never forget your first ever fish!! Congratulations, Graham.

Doesn't matter where Roger is....the fish recognise a true master of his art....these catfish are very aggressive fighters all the way to the net but no match for Roger's consumate skills.

Pleasant scenery, colourful plants, sunny weather, bit of a welcome breeze, great company, plenty of Mr Caines often says 'We're pissed off being so happy!'

Aha, the Derby with another carp.

....and with another catfish.....

And here's Whittall...doing the usual thing...running round after his demanding customers and netting their fish for them...this was a nice catfish coming to Graham's rod.

Here's Graham with another finely conditioned carp...I am convinced the pellets they feed the fish in this lake are actually steroids....these fish are manic when they fight....

And Derby gets the most fish and the biggest fish...even beating King Roger. How does he do it????

Derby's fan club gathers round him....see how impressed this water buffalo is? That's the effect our Derby has.
Just read and admire, and admire!


To celebrate 44 years of married bliss...June and Graham Elvy took us all out to the famous Gang Eng restaurant in Chalong.
June, a perfect example of British decorum at its very best.....
Graham.....a shining specimen of an English Gentleman....

Jai...doesn't care what we say about her as long as she's got a mouth full of spicy stuff....
Netty....carefully inspecting her noodles incase something has fallen out of the tree into them....

Chloe...anxiously looking around to spot the next would be romancer....she's endured some real classy chat up lines this holiday from the Thai chaps who seem to think she's an 'angel fallen from heaven'. Bless. Not Angles, but Angels...

Our waiter was a bit of a scamp....he wanted to clout Derby round the ear'ole for mucking him about....but was a bit wary as we told him Derby was European Muay Thai Champion..
And here's Cody on the left....Cody doesn't appear in too many pics as she's the one running around with the camera.... and here's the Ladies of the Family....three generations celebrating our illustrious June and Graham's lengthy achievement.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thailand...Land of Smiles

Apart from being a naturally gifted scuba diver and fish identifier extraordinaire, our Cody is a pretty ace photographer too. Trouble is everywhere in Phuket is sooooo photogenic you just can't help HAVE to keep taking photo's!!

The family hired Captain Ta Wan for the day to take them sight seeing to a couple of offshore islands, lunch on one of them and plenty of snorkling in calm waters with great viz and stacks of fish.

Yep, this really is the sea...and it is genuinely flat calm. Just reach over the side of the boat and feed the fish!

Look at it!!! It is all just so scenic.........lovely islands, lovely beaches, crystal clear water, hot, sunny.....I mean, what ARE you doing back there in UK???? This is too good to GOT to come here for some time in the winter....

The islands above are just screaming out to be dived....there's so many dive sites to explore. And because we have our own stuff for you to borrow at the house, we can just charter a local boat and go anywhere without lots of PADI divers jumping on your IS paradise.
Chloe (left) and Cody (R) have been great. They are smashing young people....a great credit to their mama....and just look at the smiling Elvy's just couldn't wish for a nicer family to have on holiday...a real pleasure to be with.

And here we are at the end of another perfect day....down at one of our favourite restaurants at the water's edge...waiting for the prawns and lobsters to be served up...and they're all still smiling away (yeah, even the lobsters are smiling).

Thailand is known as the 'Land of Smiles''s certainly worked its magic on our happy holiday makers!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Diving with Cody and Chloe

After several training sessions in the pool, some theory work and the PADI video, we were ready for our first shore dive.

Here's the ladies in the sea doing the Buddy Check......and now we're dropping down!

Coming to the bottom.............

The very first sights are the first dive are never forgotten........

Nice reef edges, drop offs and colourful individual creatures like this sea urchin

Many kinds of different corals...........

Tiny fish set against a background full of little nooks and crannies which are packed with life...

Loads of different speices of fish to delight our trainee Marine Biologist, Cody.

More corals and various coral eating fish hiding amongst them

Impressive how gals use so little air......this, the very first dive, lasted 65 minutes with plenty of air left in the tanks.

We aim to repeat this later in the the Team have gone kayaking up in the north east of Phuket.............

Monday, February 21, 2011

Derbies on Hols (Part 2)

Chloe decided that all this lazing about was no good for a finely tuned gymnast like she purchased the nearest thing she could find to do that hoola hoop type stuff gals like doing.

Cody was extremely impressed with her younger sister's eagerness for physical activity and joined in with the highly strenuous old 'thumbs up' routine.

After the morning's aerobics on the beach, it was back for a quick shower and photo session on the house (great how the plants are all getting a grip now all around the lagoon) before leaving for the Big Buddha trip and elephant riding.

Lagoon surrounding looking very nice now.

Mahoot Michael impresses with Cody on the way to handle an elephant.

Neti and Chloe took a more leisurely approach to the ride....Mahoot Mike and Circus Trainer Cody completed three laps though the jungle to Neti and Chloe's one..

Here's Mike and Cody re-emerging through the bush after their final circuit which included a couple of jumps as well.

After the was on to the Big Buddha project.

The Big Buddha project is coming on very quickly. Every trip sees statues, new buildings...

The scaffolding has all been removed now so the Big Buddha is starting to look very splendid.

The various Buddha images are becoming more artisitically placed for visitors to see.

Chloe has decided she's not leaving Thailand and is going to buy the house next door. Seriously, the World Economy is in such a dire strait that many building projects have ground to a halt and there are some drastic price reductions to clear bank loans etc etc.

The house next door to me was priced at 20 million Baht. We are currently getting about 50 Baht to the £ 20 million is serious money...£400,000. But, I was told today that one house must be sold for the Company's immediate financial needs and will drop next door to 12 million Baht....£240,000!! Big drop of 160,000 and the house is massive (4 double bedrooms, five bathrooms) with a great swimming pool.'s a golden opportunity to grab what is a very good bargain. No, I can't buy it.....the Jai and I are involved in another little two house building project near to the new marina being built in all those thinking I am a lucky lucky bugga, now's your chance to become one too!!!!

And how have our action loving family managing to do so much whilst we were scurrying around Grunteb?? They cleverly hired Gai as their chauffeur and she took them all over the a big thankyou to Gai!!!!!!!!