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  • Debra Palmen

Rummaging about in Bangkok


A short sojourn in Bangkok was just the ticket for getting over Jetlag Stage 1. We made full use of the hotel upgrading us to a suite to lounge about, eating good food and enjoying the view down the river. We did a bit of antiques shopping, and have already sold the pieces we offered on FB, except for one last piece because I forgot to photograph it.

The final piece is cool an antique American herb cutter, bought from what might be my favourite shop in the world (so far) – Machine Age Workshop. It sells drop dead cool American semi-industrial pieces, and if I could remotely afford their prices I could shop and shop and shop there all day long. But, alas, drop dead cool American semi-industrial pieces sell in Bangkok for huge sums. But I did find the herb cutter at a very reasonable price.

Then it was off to visit Chatuchak Markets, the largest markets in Thailand. We spent three hours there and only saw a fraction of what’s on offer. Almost none of it was of interest to us, although it turns out I have a thing for beautiful fabric shops. And the fabric shops at Chatuchak offer beautiful, beautiful embroidered silk for ridiculously low prices. I bought a small amount and if I like the top I plan to have made, then I’ll return on our next visit and stock up on some more lovely fabric.

I also found a lovely young woman who offers lovely, individually hand-tie-dyed blue and white t-shirts, again for a stupendously low price. So I bought a few. Plus one other top. But then I promised to stop shopping. Until we get to Sunbury Market in London, next Tuesday.

The only thing I really, really wanted to buy at Chatuchak Markets were the many puppies, all kept in appallingly small cages with wire floors, so uncomfortable on every level. And many of them were in those cages before the shops were open, so clearly they’d been there all night. Some were clearly excited because it was breakfast time, but there were many sad eyes there too.

Doug told me not to look because I’d be upset, and he was right. But I don’t see any benefit in looking away from terrible things, or ignoring bad behaviour, or closing your eyes to injustice – you have to know about these things before you can help stop them. The only upside was that they were all pedigree breeds, and the shops were surrounded by many upmarket dog accessory market stands, so clearly these bebes were intended to be sold to people who would love and care for them. More than the shops were doing, hopefully.

So that was Bangkok. Until next time.

Meanwhile, I have now employed Anticia J.K., a terrific Hungarian artist, to be the illustrator for Calypso’s books. We're already having a lot of fun collaborating on how Book 1 is going to look. I've included here some of Anticia’s very early trial sketches of Calypso. They've been refined a lot since then but they were an excellent initial attempt, don't you think? How I wish I could draw like that.

And I've put out a Casting Call for Book 2 in the series.

Can you see yourself as a villain in a children’s book? Or do you think your spouse or your best friend is suitable villain material? I’m looking for one last man to be turned into a famous international art and jewel thief. If you’re selected, we’ll play around with your name to turn it into something suitable for an international cat burglar, but your real name will be revealed in the Acknowledgements Page. Hey, it could be a bit of fun.

If you’d like to be considered, or you’d like to nominate your friend or spouse, just go to our French & Vintage Facebook page and leave a comment. Or if you'd prefer to be all shy, PM me. How many people can tell their friends and family they're a famous (cartoon) villain? It could be you.

Now we’re about to jump on a plane to London, so Jetlag Stage 2 will commence. But after a few early nights we should push through it. It looks like it will be cool and wet for the first big antiques fair of the trip, Sunbury Market at Kempton Park in London (also my birthday) but we’re prepared.

More updates after we’re done with London and have headed north into Yorkshire.


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