Tattoos, Dodgy Jungle Bridges, Bruce the Beetle and the Rat with no Name

When I turned 50, I was awarded ‘Awesomeness Points’ by my daughter for getting my first tattoo in a bamboo hut, down a dirt track, in the jungle of Chiang Mai, North Thailand, surrounded by elephants. Rather a proud moment really, earning said points. Then, a few days ago and three years on, I repeated that journey, from New Zealand to Bangkok to Chiang Mai to an hour north of Chiang Mai then through the elephant park to see Jodi Thomas, artist and elephant activist extraordinaire in her new bamboo hut down another track, still surrounded by elephants, and requested some further tattooing. As you do.


The rickety bridge. Step carefully on the centre planks…

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Elephants Don’t Surf! Pass it on…

An elephant frolicking in FRESH water - as it should be. Note the lack of surfboard... "Watch this Ellie. Just one more push and we got us a waterhole!"

An elephant frolicking in FRESH water – as it should be. Note the lack of surfboard…
“Watch this Ellie. Just one more push and we got us a waterhole!”

Seriously, have you ever been out surfing and had an elephant glide past you on a wave? I’ll bet all six of my toe rings that you haven’t. That’s because elephants don’t surf.

There’s a series of photos and videos that have been making their way around the net for far too long. They feature a baby elephant ‘playing’ in the surf. It looks all very cute, but it is a very wrong picture. So very wrong! The Mahout Foundation have put out a video that shows what goes into the training of baby elephants – the ones you see in these ‘Have you ever seen anything so cute?’ pics, the one’s that are still unfortunately left in circuses, the ones you buy bananas for on the streets in Bangkok and the ones apparently frolicking in the surf, amongst others. Continue reading

Geotagging Could Help Poachers! Please Read This.

I’ve never been on safari myself, nor lucky enough to visit a country where you could do so. But I know a lot of people have, or will some time in the future. So please read this and spread it around as much as possible. Chances are, it hasn’t occurred to most people that they could be inadvertently helping poachers. The main points are:

  • If you are taking a photo of an animal that is at risk of poaching, TURN OFF your Geotagging feature
  • If you post your photo onto social media, DON’T Tell people exactly where you took it

Please Read This Article

Thank you, on behalf of all animals.

Photo courtesy of:  Arno Meintjes Wildlife

Photo courtesy of: Arno Meintjes Wildlife


Experimenting can Lead to Excessive Caffeine Consumption – The Gallery Experiment

I can pay you...

I can pay you…

I’m trying something new on here – galleries. I’ve created both a Gallery page up the top, and a Gallery widget at the side. It would seem that the galleries on the Gallery page can’t be named, and the gallery in the widget on the side can’t show just a few pics that lead to the full gallery when clicked on.

This is not what I want and it has led to excessive caffeine consumption. Continue reading

Tiny House Living – Life Without a Television. The Ice – It comes!!

P1040449 72A lot of people gasp with shock when I tell them we have no t.v.

“Did you see blah blah blah last night…?”

“Nope. Haven’t got a television.”


I do caregiving for a living, so I stay for two days and two nights in a house each week. But even then I’m still not tempted to stare at the goggle-box. Unless there’s a good documentary on, or Bones – about the only drama I like to see regularly, because her autistic-type personality has a train-smash sort of fascination to it, and the other characters make me laugh. The other exception being America’s Next Top Model, but that’s because I like watching the photo shoots that they come up with. In between the shoots (when they’re bitching at each other about who should be doing the dishes or what a cow so-and-so is) I usually wander off and hand out meds or empty catheter bags or something else so much more fascinating.

It’s no hardship though, having no t.v. We do have the internet, after all, which can keep us amused for hours. Any question you can possibly come up with, Google will find an answer to it somewhere. Which is how I know that steam rollers don’t roll steam… Continue reading

Photo Essay – A Week of Volunteering at Elephant Nature Park. (Contains Many Photos and Much Waffling.)

A baby banana-hoover learns how to do it.

A baby banana-hoover learns how to do it.

September 2013 and I was at it again. I traveled back to Thailand and instead of wallowing at beach resorts and quaffing drinks with little umbrellas in them, returned to Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary North of Chiang Mai, and volunteered my sweat and gave myself some blisters to remember. This time I went for two weeks instead of one, and also hauled my partner along so he could see what I had been rabbiting on about for the last year or so. Here’s a photo essay on being an ENP volunteer.

Firstly, this is where we slept. We were surrounded by Australians, so we dug in, marked our territory and guarded it fiercely. It was a great spot – it had a huge veranda outside, complete with guard dogs and several cats, and our room had a bed with mosquito nets, an open-walled ensuite, a tiny frog and a gecko. Unfortunately, it was situated up some stairs. Fourteen steep stairs to be exact. I know this. I counted them at the end of each long, hot day. Fooouuurrrteeennn of them…

NZ territory - right smack in the middle of Australian territory.

NZ territory – right smack in the middle of Australian territory.

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