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Uncle Edward by Mike Bell

Mary was the rock on which Edward Tyson’s marriage was built.  When she died it was assumed he would founder; his children thought within two years.  Mary had taken all the big decisions; when to have children; their names; which schools they would attend; the family holiday destinations.  All Edward had to do was provide the money which he had by his work as a teacher.  When his wife became terminally ill, Edward took early retirement to care for her.  When she died he discovered his pension had been severely diminished.  It left him precious little to live on; in truth, he had precious little to live for.

He could have given up the ghost.  He could have resigned himself to a short slide into an early grave.  He didn’t do either.  Showing a remarkable resilience of character, he decided to emigrate. He could not have said how Thailand popped into his head.  He and Mary had once spent a fortnight in the sunshine of Samui.  He had never even heard of Pattaya until his decision had been taken and he began to research his possible destinations.

He knew he would have to teach again.  He had lost his spark in the grey classrooms of a northern Comprehensive.  Increasingly his thoughts turned towards primary education: the students were more easily moved to laughter; more grateful for his efforts.  With his academic qualifications and considerable experience, he quickly found his way to the Regents School , the premier International school on the outskirts of Pattaya.  Here he re-discovered the zest that had once made him an inspirational teacher.

As the years ticked by, he became increasingly altruistic and determined to give more to the underprivileged of Thai society.  He gave up teaching the children of wealthy parents and turned to those without; wealth or parents.  He volunteered his services in local state schools; at orphanages; even in children’s wards in Government hospitals.  For a while he felt fulfilled.  He had always been quick with languages and quickly learned enough Thai to make his lessons rewarding.

The realization that he was friendless and lonely came to him at lunchtime one Tuesday.  He could pinpoint the day exactly.  After a working lifetime regimented by lesson bells every forty-five minutes, he lived his life by routines.  On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, he taught at Father Ray’s Redemptorist School.  At lunch time he would indulge himself with a treat.  He would sit and eat a plateful of pastries, sip a nutty coffee and read a Pattaya paper.  That Tuesday, no paper had been delivered.

He gazed about him.  His family rarely communicated with him as if he had gone into self-imposed exile.  He had had friends when he first came but they died with alarming regularity.  After Mary he had had little interest in women.  Only his teaching offered him any consolation.  His reverie was interrupted by a movement at the corner of his eye.  He became aware that he was being observed or perhaps it was the two remaining cakes that drew the intent stare from two pairs of brown eyes.

Gazing in, their noses literally pressed against the window’s glass, were two little girls about six or seven years old. They were obviously sisters; they had the same severe haircut; the same serious expression; the same hungry gaze.  He turned away and finished his coffee.  He could not, as was his habit, finish off the cakes.  Instead he had them put in a bag, paid his bill and went out into the bright sunshine.  As he passed the girls, he shyly offered the bag to the older sister.  She hesitated but the decision was made by the smaller girl who snatched the bag and began to devour a cake.  The older girl stammered a thanks and gave in to her appetite.

They were waiting for him on Thursday.  He vaguely wondered if they had observed him before. They stood outside and watched as he ordered his coffee and opened his paper.  When he peeped round the corner of The Pattaya Times, he drew a smile from the younger girl.  It became a game of peek-a-boo.  When his coffee arrived, he put down his paper and, pointing to the cakes, beckoned them inside.  The little one tore herself from her sister’s restraining hand and came in.  She took the offered cake and was halfway through it before her sister sidled in next to her.

Edward invited them to sit and asked if they would like a drink.  Again the young one answered for them both.  He ordered two cokes.  Nee was the older; Joy her confident partner.  He got their life story between mouthfuls of cake.  Their mother pushed a food-cart round the sois of Pattaya.  They went to school locally, sometimes.  There was no father.  They ate only if there was any food left when their mother came home.  Their eyes darted to the two remaining cakes.  He chuckled to himself.  ‘I needed to lose some weight anyway.’  And he pushed the plate across the table.

This pattern was repeated over the following weeks.  He varied it by letting them order stuff from the menu.  He found himself looking forward to their company.  Their shyness was gone and they were totally at ease with him.  After eating, Joy would snuggle up to him whilst he talked with Nee.  He noticed they wore the same grubby shirts each day.  One week he bought them a new yellow dress each and was delighted when they showed up the next week wearing it.  He realized the girls filled some long dormant need in him.  Only on Tuesdays and Thursdays did he feel truly fulfilled.  In the deeper recesses of his mind, he wondered how easy it might be, with their mother’s permission, to formally adopt the whole family.

Over the long weekend without them, he began to make tentative inquiries.  His condo in Jomtien was far too small and on a high floor: too dangerous for young children.  For the same rent, he could have a three-bed roomed bungalow on a nice estate on the East of Sukhumvit.  He had an agent show him one on Perfect Homes estate.  It had a lovely swimming pool with a children’s safe area.  There was a good school close by. He needed to meet their mother soon.

He knew something was wrong on the following Tuesday.  Ordinarily they would be waiting for him, bubbling with life and excitement.  He sat down at their usual table.  He put the bag with their new shoes in it on the floor, ordered his coffee and waited.  He did not wait long.

The two men were unmistakably police.  The farang even wore his Tourist police uniform together with an expression of undisguised contempt.  Without preamble he blurted out the reason for their visit.  ‘What are you, some kind of pervert?  What you doing with them two little girls?’  The Thai was more reserved, even shocked at his colleague’s outburst.  He explained they were acting on a tip-off that two little girls were in danger of being exploited.  He accepted that nothing untoward had happened, yet.  He felt it wiser that Edward discontinue his relationship with the girls.

Edward’s face burned with shame and his eyes pricked with unshed tears of indignation and loss.  In vain, he tried to explain about adoption; the house with a garden close to a school; the joy the girls brought to his empty life.  His voice faltered in the face of the farang’s curled lip.  He rose abruptly and blundered from the café for the last time.  His head reeled at the injustice done to him.  In the lift going up to his condo on a high floor, he tried to cool his fevered brow on the cold metal walls.  He knew what he must do now.  There was a benefit from having a condo on a high floor.

Turning the key, he welcomed the cool rush of air from the permanently opened door to his balcony. Like a sleepwalker, his feet took him across the room towards the edge of mercy.  He thought of Mary: she would never have let him come to this.  He felt his body falling forward towards oblivion.  And then, and then, through eyes blurred with tears of self-pity, he caught a flash of yellow; two tiny figures waving and shouting in the road below, their voices tinkling like cool water on his fevered brow.

Within a minute he was down at their side; their arms about him, pulling him towards a third figure who waited in the shadows.  Her face was that of her children’s; more careworn, fatigued but somehow composed.  ‘The police came.  They wanted my girls to say bad things about you.  They would not and they left angry.’  She paused as if it was something she had to ask even though she knew the answer.  ‘Your thoughts about my daughters are entirely pure?’

As Edward nodded, hardly daring to speak, she continued in a rush.  ‘The lady in the shop told us where you lived though I do not think we would have found you if you had not come out when you did.’  She stopped and, realizing she was babbling, covered her mouth with a hand.

He smiled and through dry lips, he murmured, ‘Yes it was pure luck, I came out on to the balcony when I did.  Would you and the girls like some cake?’  He smiled again when she nodded their assent.

 

 

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SEEING OLD SIAM FROM A SKYLAB

SEEING OLD SIAM FROM A SKYLAB

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Jaybee’s

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Billed as “A Music and Sports Bar with Good Priced Cold Beer”, Jaybee’s is rapidly gaining a reputation as the place to be on the Darkside.

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Hawker Chan Open Their Second Restaurant in Thailand

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DINING IN DETAIL - LINDA’S

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Entries are now open 2018 Top of the Gulf Regatta

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Ocean Marina Yacht Club crowned Best Marina Development in Asia  at 2018 Christofle Yacht Style Awards

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TR Motorsport Recruits Danish Wonder Kid

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So far it’s all been about the cheesy gifts, romantic walks, overpriced dinners and crowded bars. Valentine’s Day is so commercialised that it is now all about luxury, showering each other with expensive presents or cuddling at home with a pizza and a bit of Netflix.

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10 Fishing New Year’s Resolutions

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2018 WILL BE A BUMPER YEAR FOR SPORT !

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2018 looks set to be a bumper year for sport with the usual annual set pieces being added to by three major events that come along only every 2 or 4 years.

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Our fishing section has brought you stories of catching fish and methods on how to cool your beer while waiting on the big one to bite….But what about ghostly fishing stories for Xmas? Tales of the sea, pond or riverbank that will have your fishing tackle trembling in your hands…

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The Ashes 2017 / 2018

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Once again the oldest and most competitive cricket series in the world is about to take place, as arch sporting rivals England and Australia come head to head in five test match thrillers.

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Get Your Tackle In, and Tear Those Boys (and Girls) Apart

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Our sporting attention for this month’s article in The Pattaya Trader magazine sees us turning our attention to rugby.

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Sport Point Tenerife Pattaya

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Whether you have moved to Pattaya on a permanent basis or are just here on vacation and looking for a gym to train at, you should head over to Sport Point Tenerife.

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The World Ironman Championship 2017

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Do you know what the World Ironman Championship is all about? Perhaps if you are aware that it is run and organised by the World Triathlon Corporation you might be able to take a better guess.

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In this month of romance with Valentines, hearts and all matters to do with love it’s time we started loving our planet, our oceans and the creatures that live therein.

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IDEAS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

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OCEAN MARINA PATTAYA BOAT SHOW 2017

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After a week of sudden downpours it was great to enjoy such wonderful weather at the Pattaya Boat show.

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The “DARKSIDE” of fishing

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Like many of earth's creatures, fish are becoming endangered and sport fishing is being re-examined around the world.

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Mother’s Day

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On the 12th August 2017, Thailand will celebrate Mother’s Day which is of course the day that the whole nation celebrates the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, who is widely regarded as the Mother of all Thai people, and hence the name of this auspicious occasion is Mother’s Day.

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It was a great honour when on Thursday May 25th as President of Rotary Club Eastern Seaboard I had the special honour to pin Ms. Kamala Skol, president of the Sukosol Hotels and Sukosol Group as our “youngest” Paul Harris Fedllow.

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The Perfect Pair: Shards from the Mirror

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Shards from the Mirror is the third and final part of the Perfect Pair trilogy, detailing the often horrific story behind professional dolphin training.

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KAAN

From the moment you enter the auditorium as you are shown to your seats by friendly smiling uniformed ushers it is impossible not to be swept along with the general air of enthusiasm. The music is rousing, the stage massive and the custom built tracking which provides the technical support for the overhead spectacles, impressive.

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eSports - Pro Gamers?

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“Pro-Gamer” a term that is becoming better known of late refers to people who play games on the PC or console.

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I have always liked the Pratumnak Hill area and even though there were ominous grey clouds overhead when I last visited there recently it was even more of a treat to go as I was on my way to meet a young lady I had never met before.

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National Elephant Day

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Almost twenty years ago the Thai government declared that the 13th of March should be Chang Thai Day or National Elephant Day. This annual day of celebration was created in order to promote awareness in the conservation of Elephants and to reinforce the act of 1963 by the Royal Forest Department naming the white elephant as the national animal of Thailand.

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In a grim year when far too many talented artists were snatched from us I was saddened to read that “George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period.” With the voice of an angel who some may have considered fallen.

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Pattaya Personality - Khun Gio - Take Care Kids Thailand

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A recent visitor to the Pattaya Trader at Chaiyapruek Towers was Khun Gio from the Take Care Kids Foundation Thailand.

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RED IS THE COLOUR OF CHINESE NEW YEAR

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Red is the colour of Chinese New Year from the lanterns adorning streets, restaurants, shops and houses to the red envelopes given to children by their parents and grandparents.

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The Residences at Dream Pattaya

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A VAMPIRE FACIAL !

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If one of your new year's resolutions involves looking after yourself or a loved one perhaps with a bit of pampering or a beauty treatment then I would recommend plucking up courage to have a Vampire Facial.

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The History of Making New Year Resolutions

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Why is it that every January people bore you with their New Year’s resolutions that you know that they are never going to keep to? Ludicrous ideas about eating more vegan salads, not stepping on the cracks in the pavement, or perhaps only going to work when there is a Z in the day.

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NTCC

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The Athenee Hotel, recently elevated to a Luxury Collection Hotel, in Bangkok – was the venue for the NTCC Innovation Awards.

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Pattaya Personality - Simon Peatfield Retox

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Pattaya Personality this month focuses on one of the most well known names in the Pattaya hospitality business. Simon Peatfield is the man behind the popular Retox sports bar empire as well as other favourite Pattaya leisure institutions.

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BeNeat

BeNeat

The first thing that impressed me about BeNeat was their online booking service which rather reminded me of the Grab Taxi service of which I am also a big fan.

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So what makes Gio Kitchens So Special ?

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Gio Home Kitchen began in 2003 although the parent started back in 1981. The parent company produces gas stoves and electrical appliances.

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Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets - School Travel Manager

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A brand new software system has been released, and the Pattaya Trader were the first media partner to be contacted with the hot news.

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MOVEMBER

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It’s that time of year again and Movember is upon us. Movember is the annual event which involves the growing of a moustache during the month of November.

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Pattaya Personality – Candyland

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If you are a frequent visitor to Thepprasit Road, then you might have noticed one of the most popular residents has been dispensing the finest candy for the last four years.

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When people come and live in Thailand one of the things that is often neglected is medical insurance. In their home country they are so used to rolling up at their doctor or hospital and not having to pay anything out of their own pocket

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MEDICAL INSURANCE

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When people come and live in Thailand one of the things that is often neglected is medical insurance. In their home country they are so used to rolling up at their doctor or hospital and not having to pay anything out of their own pocket

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Back to the roots.

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A look at why traditional models of finance are increasingly inadequate at explaining stock market movement and why the fledgling discipline of behavioural finance may hold some of the answers.

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Beware the scam artist brokers in Thailand.

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For many years I have been an advocate of using a locally based offshore adviser who has roots here, and has been living here for at least a decade, owns property here, has a Thai wife or partner and who has committed his future to living here.

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Pattaya continues to be rebranded.

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The Thai Tourism Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, plans another rebranding exercise for Pattaya and four other destinations, with the aim of making it widely known that Pattaya is a family friendly quality beach resort as opposed to one known for its nightlife.

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Growth rate in Thailand

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Thailand's economic growth rate is likely to be less than one per cent for 2014, while the 2015 target of four percent looks increasingly difficult to attain, due to a weak global economy according to Kasikorn Research Center. The think tank's managing director, Charl Kengchon, said, "What we are most concerned about is next year's growth figure since 4% is challenging and it is still uncertain whether we can achieve that growth rate."

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Bringing money in to Thailand to buy a property

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When buying a property in Thailand, one of the stipulations is that you will need to bring the money in from overseas. There are plenty of ways to do this but getting the best rate is key. Since you will bring in a large mount of money for the purchase of a property, every percentage point of exchange rate change will cost or save you a good deal of money

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Business news in brief

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Due to an improving economic recovery that will undoubtedly spur spending, Thailand's household debt is expected to rise next year and possibly for the next few years. Credit card use will be one of the factors behind the expected increase according Kasikorn Research Center (KResearch).

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GrabTaxi Beta Launch in Pattaya at the Royal Marina Pattaya

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Investing in Oil and the Energy Markets

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Dealing in oil and energy markets may seem like an unusual investment to make, but oil is a commodity that tends to have fairly volatile prices and, as compared with precious metals, has a much more direct-use feature about it. It is a necessity for all car owners, airlines, and for a large part of the industrialised world. Unlike gold or silver, for example, that are bought to hold or to be admired for their ornamental qualities, oil is most commonly bought, in the end, to be burned!

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Baht goes down and the Baht goes up

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I well remember when the Baht collapsed in the late nineties. One week I was getting 35 baht for every pound sterling I proffered to the bank. The following week I was getting 70.

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LETTERS FROM READERS

LETTERS FROM READERS

Hi Pattaya Trader – Thank you for an always very interesting read. Is there any way you could publish this – I would dearly like to help the Mabprachan Animal shelter – I know they are not the only ones looking after stay and abandoned animals, but they have my undying gratitude for the way they helped me Yours very sincerely, Rick Walton Soi 11 Thappraya Road Jomtien 0892 465 210

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How to achieve 2018 interior design trends

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An increasing number of developers are kitting out their new condominiums with modern interior design trends. There is a move away from plain white walls and simple interiors.

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INTERIOR DESIGN COLOUR TRENDS FOR 2018

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Black Flame has also been proclaimed the Colour of the Year for 2018 being more of a Charcoal, Mat Grey in my opinion – but you get the idea. Used sparingly as a highlight wall colour or on accessories it can give a edgier feel to your décor.

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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS DÉCOR

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When living in “The Tropics” it may seem a little unseasonal to do the whole “Christmas-at-Home-Decorations” thing.

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5 lighting ideas for your home

5 lighting ideas for your home

Light up your home with these different styles of lighting to complete your interior style.

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Tangaro

Tangaro

Tangaro is the home of beautiful bespoke furniture. Tangaro is a furniture manufacturer with a simple concept, to deliver quality furniture on time at a value for money price.

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“The Best Camera is the one you have with you!” the saying goes! That is very true but let's take a look at another scenario: images for a condo advert etc.

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Ten tips to keep your home secure

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CCTV is an increasingly popular security feature, both inside and outside our homes. Externally it can be an effective visual deterrent for opportunist thieves on the lookout for empty homes and a useful way of checking that all is well at home.

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How Secure Is Your Dwelling?

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Modern condominium developments have excellent building security, normally with a manned foyer and twenty four hour security guards. Entrances to units is often keyless by using a fob type smart card and communal areas are constantly monitored by CCTV.

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Five important things to know before buying or building a swimming pool at your house in Thailand

Five important things to know before buying or building a swimming pool at your house in Thailand

Thailand is one of the top countries in the world where expats go to find an easier, more fulfilling life. One of these reasons is the tropical climate, which enables constant outdoor relaxation that’s simply not possible in many other parts of the world.

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TRENDS FOR BEDROOMS IN 2017

TRENDS FOR BEDROOMS IN 2017

More and more the master bedroom is seen not just a place to sleep but almost a home within a home. An all-in-one space where you can enjoy a calm,serene retreat.

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TRENDS FOR BATHROOMS IN 2017

TRENDS FOR BATHROOMS IN 2017

Bathroom designers tell us that 2017 is going to be marked by the return to the organic and all-natural. Bathroom style”s direction will be: super clean colours, seamless lines and useful, simple arrangement of space with the dash of natural coziness and elegance.

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TRENDS FOR 2017

TRENDS FOR 2017

This is the cheery shade of green you'll see in home decor, fashion and commercial design in 2017. Named the 2017 Pantone Colour of the year "Greenery" is meant to represent refreshment and revitalization.

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Beachfront Launch Party at The Residences Dream, Pattaya

Beachfront Launch Party at The Residences Dream, Pattaya

Located in Soi 4 Na Jomtien Eric Lai Frank Satarand and their team hosted an excellent evening of entertainment buffet and free flow Guests were also invited to view the Luxury Beach Condominium of their dreams!

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Managing Your Online Reputation

Managing Your Online Reputation

It's fair to say that more business than ever is conducted online. People use Google and the other search engines as a matter of course.

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Off-plan condos VS re-sales and pre-owned apartments

Off-plan condos VS re-sales and pre-owned apartments

The Property market in Pattaya has always been driven by new developments, with off-plan and under construction condos offering payment terms over the period of time of construction.

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Copacabana Beach Jomtien held a great Pre Launch Party

Copacabana Beach Jomtien held a great Pre Launch Party

Copacabana Beach Jomtien held a great Pre Launch Party

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Pattaya Market 2017 Overview

Pattaya Market 2017 Overview

In my opinion, this year was very important for the Pattaya Property Market. As a property practitioner and certified specialist, working here since 2008, I have seen many ups and downs in the market.

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How does your business fare in China?

How does your business fare in China?

With Chinese New Year nearly upon us on the 16th February I wonder how many look up their fortune and see how their animal horoscope will fare in the year of the dog ?

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The (Ever) Changing Face of SEO in 2018

The (Ever) Changing Face of SEO in 2018

The digital landscape moves at a frantic pace. Stand still and you are likely to be overtaken by others that…. Aren’t!

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The Day AFTER Pattaya Real Estate Prices Bottomed

The Day AFTER Pattaya Real Estate Prices Bottomed

As a Certified International Property Specialist with my own real estate business it would seem that I am locked into the position of always maintaining a positive outlook on the real estate markets in which I work.

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Mentoring – A concept worth implementing

Mentoring – A concept worth implementing

Mentoring is a voluntary process where a generally more experienced person helps another prepare for future growth by advising on developing relevant skillsets.

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Marketing Wrap Up - 2017 - Driving More Online Business

Marketing Wrap Up - 2017 - Driving More Online Business

As we reach the end of the year it is time to review some of the key points that we looked at throughout 2017. Those who have read this regular feature will recall that we have covered a variety of topics aimed at driving more new business your way. In this article we will recap on the main areas and (attempt to) reinforce the benefits of marketing in this way.

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Huntsman IndiaThai Co., Ltd

Huntsman IndiaThai Co., Ltd

Huntsman IndiaThai Co., Ltd is a name which many people trust in regards to Property/Business Management in Pattaya.

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Bright Ideas for Retargeting your Website Visitors

Bright Ideas for Retargeting your Website Visitors

Retargeting isn’t new. It’s been around for a few years now; however, I am always surprised that more business owners don’t take advantage of this power advertising mechanism.

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