Best and Worst of 2011

 |  November 30, 2011

A memorable moment? – Regina Coeli school reunion in January with over 30 old school friends (23 years after graduation!) So much shrieking and gossiping I haven’t dared show my face at the Goodview since.

Best book you read, or film you saw? – Rediscovering my granddad’s memoir dedicated to me which he wrote over 20 years ago when he was in his late 70s.

What made you laugh? – My exercise buddies who I cry, sweat, laugh and swear with most days…before congratulating one another with a chilled glass of wine.

What made you cry? – Pretty much everything from watching a commercial on television with a puppy rolling in toilet paper to watching the news, but most of all three months of my mum fighting against, and beating, her brain tumor…

Personality of the year? – My incredible, beautiful, inspirational, graceful and wise mother.

Villain of the year? – The doctor who told me my mum was dying – over the phone – then later said, “woops” he’d misdiagnosed, but never apologised.

The best meal you had? – It’s always my first bowl of chicken noodles when I come back from a trip abroad.

Best night/day out? – Night on the town when mum got the all clear…ending with cocktails at The Van at dawn.

Best thing to happen to Chiang Mai? – Why, the publication of a certain English language magazine, naturally!

Worst thing to happen to Chiang Mai? – Well that is easy. Floods. Oh, and scummy politics.

A memorable moment? – Sitting alone in my living room with microscopic bird mites crawling all over my body, having recently broken a leg and lost about a year’s worth of my unfinished fiction, scratching madly, and thinking that I had eventually, mentally, broken down.

Best book you read, or film you saw? – A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks (a satire based on heartless hedge fund managers, a Polish football player, Islamic fundamentalists, Oxford educated book critics and train drivers.)

What made you laugh? – Capturing a bird mite…and subsequently trying to contain it. I thought, “I’m not mad (delusional parasitosis), but then I thought, “Shit, maybe I’m hallucinating.”

What made you cry? – Constantly having to edit, expunge, excise text for the fear of being sent to jail, and even death by ‘angry mob’…surely we’re too late in history for this kind of thing…but I don’t really cry, I just drink and watch porn. [Ed. Charming, thanks for sharing.]

Personality of the year? – Deceased philosopher Richard Rorty for his ‘social hope’ and continually pointing out the injustices in our hierarchical systems, and rightly attempting to bring philosophy more into mainstream thinking. “We should help our students understand that social justice in America has owed much more to civil disobedience than to the use the ballot.” I think a lot of people are now realising this.

Villain of the year? – The web of vermin that wittingly created, and profited from, the banking collapse…and my fibula.

The best meal you had? – I had beans on toast just the other day, with real Heinz beans…beans have been my ‘staff of life’.

Best night/day out? – Pissed, on crutches, during an earthquake.
Best thing to happen to Chiang Mai? – I think the city planner came back from his 28 year sabbatical…or so I heard.

Worst thing to happen to Chiang Mai? – Condos barely fitting into soi…again…trees disappearing. Smash and grab development, again.

A memorable moment for you? – Being asked to write for Citylife was a genuine honour for me.

Best book you read, or film you saw? – Best book was ‘Pagoda, Skull & Samurai, Three Stories by Koda Rohan’.

What made you laugh? – My first paycheck from Citylife.

What made you cry? – My first paycheck from Citylife.

Personality of the year? – George W Bush. So wonderful to witness his complete disappearance from the world stage.

Villain of the year? – Rupert Murdoch, oh to see his head on a spike on Westminster Bridge.

The best meal you had? – On June 25th, my boyfriend cooked me a traditional Christmas dinner; roasted turkey with all the trimmings and steamed plum pudding with Cointreau butter.

Best night/day out? – Best day out was visiting a friend’s adobe house in the jungle slopes of Doi Suthep; the peace, the nature and the company was divine.

Best thing to happen to Chiang Mai? – Maybe Yingluck’s election win, will the city benefit from Shinawatra’s largesse?

Worst thing to happen to Chiang Mai? – 2011 saw the city increasingly eclipsed by my ever expanding waistline.

A memorable moment for you? – Buying my first gun.

Best book you read, or film you saw? – Super 8, not quite The Goonies II, but nice to see Mr. Spielberg making an effort.

What made you laugh? – The international wailing and gnashing of teeth from grown ups after a couple of kids dressed as Nazis for their summer parade.

What made you cry? – The election poster featuring a very angry looking man, with a moustache, holding a baby. I’m not sure what the point was, but I wept anyway.

Personality of the year? – Tricky. It’s a toss up between Aung San Suu Kyi and Yingluck Shinawatra. If only Daw Suu could make the effort to cry a bit more.

Villain of the year? – Rupert Murdoch and all his wizards, witches and minions. What a bunch of [insert expletive of your choice].

The best meal you had? – Two 7-eleven hot dogs. Al Fresco. Sur la 7-eleven terrasse.

Best night/day out? – Bangkok hotel, watching Lord of the Rings, in my underpants, drinking a beer, about to see Eric Clapton, having just been phoned and asked to write a wine column! Golden moment.

Best thing to happen to Chiang Mai? – Some genius deciding to put bleach in the toilets behind Zoe in Yellow. Thank you.

Worst thing to happen to Chiang Mai? – Personally, when all there was left to say was: ‘Look! There he isn’t…’

A memorable moment for you? – The Arab Spring.

Best book you read, or film you saw? – Bangkok Tattoo (John Burdett) (Thai related), All the Pretty Horses (Cormac McCarthy).

What made you laugh? -Watching a flying squirrel glide from tree to tree behind my house.

What made you cry? – No comment, I’ve had a pretty good year.

Personality of the year? – Not connected enough to comment.

Villain of the year? – Everyone who throws trash out of their cars.

The best meal you had? – Thanksgiving Day buffet at the Holiday Inn.

Best night/day out? – A weekend on a houseboat in Mae Rim with friends.

Best thing to happen to Chiang Mai? – Tourism seems to have picked up again in Chiang Mai.

Worst thing to happen to Chiang Mai? – Continued lack of city planning.

A memorable moment? – When Mrs. D had to admit that I was right. Doesn’t happen very often.

Best book you read, or film you saw? – Film – Hangover II, especially as it was filmed in Bangkok. Me? Shallow? Well maybe, just a bit…

Book – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Oh yes.

What made you laugh? – If you haven’t seen the TV series ‘The Inbetweeners’, then you are missing a treat. Watched it several times during the year. Rather naughty but very funny, schoolboy humour. Mrs. D had to ask whether that was what I was really like at the tender age of seventeen and the sad but true answer is no. I was far worse.

What made you cry? – Seeing the devastation in Japan after the Tsunami. I don’t think that I could have been as stoic in that situation. Horrible.

Personality of the year? – We would have to say the late Mr. Jobs this year wouldn’t we in honour of his technological vision? Although you just have to admire the balls of the Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi don’t you? To survive all those sex scandals whilst leading the Italian economy to ruin AND having time to complete an album of love songs. Like Nero fiddling while Rome burns. Bunga Bunga baby.

Villain of the year? – Can it be villains rather than one? My vote would be for Rupert Murdoch and his sons who are currently being investigated across the world for irregular news gathering practices such as phone hacking. Shame.

The best meal you had? – If I mention the restaurant does that mean I will get a free meal?

Best night/day out? – This year, I flew back to the UK to surprise my father on his 90th birthday. That was pretty special. Although Thai Airways really need to upgrade the flying shed that they use on the Bangkok to Heathrow route. Plane was half empty and not surprising when you consider their pricing policy. Passengers are down so we will have to put our prices up. Oh dear. There are even fewer passengers now so we will have to put up the prices more. And so on.

Best thing to happen to Chiang Mai? – Early rains meant that the air in the spring was clearer than it has been for many years.

Worst thing to happen to Chiang Mai? – No doubt the floods. Still the best place to live though. Period.