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News Bulletin

 

SKI and BRIDGE 2023

Join us 16 to 21 April in Sierra Nevada

 

SIERRA NEVADA 22/4/22
SIERRA NEVADA 22/4/22

Non skiers can enjoy the views in the warm spring sunshine.

(Picture below taken same day as the one above!!!)

Beautiful views above Granada 21/4/22
Beautiful views above Granada 21/4/22

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The King and I

TWO UNEXPLAINED MIRACLES in THAILAND

Thailand (formerly known as Siam) has been cropping up in my life since 1956. That was the year that the Rodgers and Hammerstein award winning film first appeared. That was also the year when I remember I first got to grips in a Banbury hospital with the diseases I was born with. Asthma and eczema.

I loved the film when I first saw it which would have been around five years later. And I loved the stage version which I went to see in the West End in 1979. Same King of Siam, but different co star. Virginia McKenna.

I explained on another page how, when I was plucked unconscious from the sea off Pampellone beach on the 8th June around 8 years ago, the only person with a possible explanation of how I came back from the dead was a local Thai restaurateur. She was the one who persuaded me to then go to Thailand. The story of the exhilarating, happy and fulfilling voluntary work I did out there for the following five years is recorded on the various pages of this site.

During that lovely stay, I met a Swedish bridge player at a club in Hua Hin. His name was Don. Both of us were learning to read, speak and write Thai. He said he wanted to go and stay at the Temple in Nathon on Koh Samui and asked me to go along to the Temple to book him in for a stay. When I went there, I was not shaken by what I saw and did. I was instead immediately inspired by the tranquillity. I wished I could stay there myself. But I was pragmatic enough to know then that it would be impossible for me to do that. Because my asthma and eczema conditions meant that changing my home environment and strict dietary routine would not enable me to survive even a five day stay in the temple without me ending up in hospital.

However, I was invited to stay for a few hours and eat with the monks and their "pupils" at what effectively was a school for adult Buddhists. Like anyone else who wants to visit the Temple, I was allowed to wander around it`s beautiful grounds and encouraged to talk to many of the people on their short term stays. Nurses, teachers, restaurant staff, bank clerks, bar staff. In fact normal people from all walks of life who found the experience uplifiting.

For that reason I said to myself a short time afterwards, if I could have two wishes in life it would be these. To have a Thai passport and then regain the state of health to enable me go and stay for five days or even ten days in that lovely Temple.

But at the time I said that I was having tests for suspected lung cancer at the Nathon hospital which is only one kilometre from the temple! When you think your number might be up, you tend to think the impossible. Not a joke, it is a fact of (my) life

I have never been religious. Due partly to the way I managed my diseases myself. Through logic and speed of thought, and by using my mathematical brain. Helped by a simple philosophy that, if you help others, they will help you when you need help. Which, as you can see was quite frequently.

I am saying all that because what has happened in the past three months is a miracle I cannot explain. In the same way that Buddha is the only one who can explain how those Thai cave boys got out alive and well, I am now coming round to thinking that he is the only one who can explain the miracle of what has happened to me. Because what has happened means I can now go and stay at the Temple in Nathon.

In fact, despite being an inpatient at all the hospitals of which the list is too long to put here, despite those lung cancer tests, despite being force fed in May 2017 a cocktail of neuralgic drugs which is again too long to list here, today

 

I am fit as a fiddle 

I have not used one inhaler, one tablet, nor any other medication or health supplement for more than a year. Since 18 December 2018***

A true miracle which will bring hope to sufferers of all manner of diseases and handicaps

 

Not only that, but I have been inspired to write all the articles on this website in record time and in the best Queen`s English. Worthy perhaps of the award of a posthumous GCSE in English language that I never could achieve at school. Plus an honorary posthumous award from Stirling for this thesis. i.e from the University that (to use another Immigration term) refused me entry.

 

Which all goes to show that mistakes do happen. Some can`t be rectified and some can. Most that I make nowadays can`t be rectified. Especially the many that I now make at the the bridge table.

Article originally written by Trevor 12h25 on 15/3/19

***updated on 22 Decmber 2019 

 

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We would like to extend our condolences to all of our Thai friends on the passing of their beloved king in October 2016. He was revered especially for the 70 years he spent

 

tirelessy helping poor and underpriveleged Thai children.

 

It was fitting therefore that, the day after he passed away, the Samui Times published an article detailing the extraordinary achievements of Samui`s bridge youngsters in Bangkok the previous weekend. The article was particularly timely given that the national bridge competition in which the children were competing was sponsored by 

 

his Majesty`s eldest granchild,  HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha

 

Having broken many records in a very competitive bridge world, they and other very young Thai bridge boys and girls will undoubtedly continue to break records**

 

Something of which his Majesty would have been very proud

 

 

More on this remarkable story where Thai youngsters set no less than five world records in the company of a President of the World Bridge Federation will follow in the coming weeks.  

In the meantime, let me reveal that Princess Bajeakitiyabha`s father not only knows all about bridge.... 

 

the recently crowned 

King of Siam

(as their beloved monarch was respectfully called when Yul Brynner played the part in the wonderful musical "The King and I")

can play golf, rugby and cricket

He is also a cycling champion - and a person that champions the same good causes as his father

Which surely means he deserves our appreciation of his own achievements 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrcGzLIEsAU

 

Trevor 2/3/19 

**FOOTNOTE

Every bridge player in Europe will recall how they were transfixed at home as the story of the cave boys unfolded last summer on TV. A brilliant rescue operation successfully conducted by the Thai authorities. With, of course, a little bit of specialist help from a few very brave European divers.  

All the many expat European bridge players currently living in Thailand will have also witnessed how the whole Thai nation was similarly transfixed. Helping Buddha get the boys through their ordeal.

Not just through determination and bravery on the part of the boys and their coach. But because of their joie de vivre, camaraderie and optimism. That was apparent even in those moments captured on TV when they were first found. Their situation seemed desperate but, as they always do, those Thai youngsters were still smiling. It is in their genes to stay happy at all times.

Now you know why, since the days when the country was called Siam, all the British, Scandinavian, French and German bridge & chess players out there refer to Thailand as 

The Land of SMILES