Archive for May, 2013

Loving Gordon Ramsey this Morning!

May 31, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog got this latest Gordon Ramsey photo from Namibian correspondent Leonie. The timing could not have been more perfect.

I decided that it might be fun to open a small cooking school this evening. Tacos. I selected the recipe because it involves lots of different things to chop, cheese to grate, a few things to fry, a jolly bit of mutual fixing and eating and mess and if it doesn’t work perfectly then at least everybody covers their shirts in salsa.

It started well! I taught the kids how to fry mince without setting fire to their hair. Or setting fire to the kitchen.

We moved to the chopping boards. Tomatoes, lettuce, fresh coriander, all lined up and they were dutifully chopped and I stepped back with a feeling of pride! Mince? Done! Nicely spiced!

Time for the avocado and, of course, the taco shells! The salsa!

Here was where I began to enter Gordon Ramsey territory. The Taco kit had vanished! My taco kit was there on my counter awaiting this culinary spectacular. It was! I put it there this morning! Gone!

My kitchen isn’t huge but it does have hiding spaces. And our maid, Khun Mee, likes to move things to make life interesting. My taco kit had gone walkabout.

I checked cupboard after cupboard but taco kit there wasn’t! I spent forty minutes trying to find the bloody thing! No joy!

Where the f****k and what the f?????k

And what the “f????” are you kids doing?

Making cheese sandwiches with freshly chopped tomatoes and lettuce. And raspberry jam. And peanut butter.

“Ah f***k” I’m going to fire her!”

I found the taco kit. It was behind the cornflakes. Khun Mee had assumed they were a breakfast cereal.

It was a useful discovery! I’d wondered where all our breakfast cereal had gone.

Over to Gordon!

From: Leonie Lubbe []
Sent: Friday, May 31, 2013 7:49 PM
To: undisclosed recipients:
Subject: Loving Gordon Ramsey this Morning!

PEW RELEASE: Sharks Ecotourism Could Double in Next Two Decades, Study Says

May 31, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog likes this!

Whales move over! We have all watched you into a safer state of grace. And the whalers are in decline as a consequence. Bring on the sharks! Let’s save the sharks!

Cheers! Hugh

From: Kymberly Escobar []
Sent: Friday, May 31, 2013 7:10 PM
Subject: PEW RELEASE: Sharks Ecotourism Could Double in Next Two Decades, Study Says

Sharks Ecotourism Could Double in Next Two Decades, Study Says

Pew calls for shark sanctuary designations based on the new findings

WASHINGTON (May 31, 2013) — According to a new global analysis led by researchers at the University of British Columbia and other scientists, shark watching is a major economic driver for dozens of countries, generating $314 million annually. Citing the study’s projections that shark-related tourism could more than double within 20 years, generating over $780 million annually, The Pew Charitable Trusts is calling for greater protections for sharks through the designation of sanctuaries around the world.

Shark-related tourism is a growing business worldwide, with established operations in at least 83 locations in 29 countries. Although places such as South Africa, the United States, and Australia have typically dominated this industry, shark ecotourism is becoming an economic boon to countries across the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean regions. The study finds that shark watching attracts 590,000 tourists and supports more than 10,000 jobs each year.

The increase in shark ecotourism and its economic value can lead to interest in establishing sanctuaries for sharks, which play a critical role in the health of marine systems. In recent years, nine countries—Palau, the Maldives, Honduras, Tokelau, The Bahamas, the Marshall Islands, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and New Caledonia—have created sanctuaries by prohibiting commercial shark fishing to protect the animals in their waters.

“It’s clear that sharks contribute to a healthy marine environment, which is paramount to the long-term social, cultural, and financial well-being of millions of people around the world,” says Jill Hepp, director of global shark conservation at Pew. “Many countries have a significant financial incentive to conserve sharks and the places where they live.”

In contrast to the growing ecotourism industry, the value of global shark catches has been declining, largely as a result of overfishing. Approximately 100 million sharks are killed every year primarily for their fins, which are used to make shark fin soup, a popular dish in Asia.

The University of British Columbia research, supported by Pew, was published in the academic journal Oryx today.


Kymberly Escobar

Director, Communications

The Pew Charitable Trusts

Washington, DC
p: 202-887-8814 | c: 202-441-9995

kescobar | skype: kymesco

Thai Days: The Phantom delights!

May 30, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog first attended The Phantom of the Opera in London and bought a cheap ticket. The view of the show was less than visible. A pillar kept most of the stage to the imagination and there was a French woman with a beehive hairdo in front of me blocking the rest. I managed 15 minutes of pillar and beehive and thought screw this! I’m off for a pint and jellied eels.

I tried it again a few years later and for some reason again opted for a budget seat. I slept well. The singing was distant and soothing and the were no visuals to disturb my slumber.

The Phantom is now in Bangkok and I thought, “Hugh, get it right this time! Reach for your wallet! Get a proper seat! See the thing! Over 130 million other people have seen it in 145 cities and 27 countries. You can’t keep going to see it without actually seeing it. ”

A little more research confirmed my resolve. Brad Little, the actor who plays the Phantom has peformed the role more than 2,250 times. And he says he still finds it exciting.

I went for tickets – front seat, right in your face tickets, no more beehives and pillars and a need for opera glasses or a telescope – and although a miserly little bit of me thought fachrissakes Hugh for this we could be flying to Singapore I dismissed that thought and decided to enjoy the show.

After the first ten minutes I decided that Singapore could definitely wait.

It was pure spectacle! I won’t bother you with the plot. But the sets are extravagant and change so swiftly that one feels as if one is witnessing magicians at work. There are explosions, a boat punting through the Paris sewers, magic mirrors, lots of pretty girls twirling around and not tripping over each other, costumes that dazzle, a one ton, 6,000 beaded chandelier that zooms around the theatre before crashing, a tremendous sense of energy. Candelabras rise and blaze, curtains go up and down, people, lots of people run around screaming and singing.

Great fun!

It’s currently playing at Muangthai Rachadalai Theatre (big place, seats 1,800 and occupies a floor in a department store in downtown Bangkok).

If you are in town check it out. And don’t be cheap! Splash out and see the show properly! The Phantom will be vanishing in a puff of smoke on the 9th of June.

Cheers from Hugh in Bangkok

















Thai Days: Bruce Shoots Black Panther

May 29, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog suggests checking


Thai Days: Bizarre sexual behaviour

May 29, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog occasionally thinks of sex and things get a little bit unusual. Fantasy. Imagination. To take one example I thought about having an intimate encounter with Michael Jackson’s nose hole.

BLOG ED NOTE: No you didn’t! Can we be sensible?

Hugh: Not in this story. There is nothing remotely sensible about it.

BLOG ED: Oh Gawd! This is going to be a Hugh Paxton Blog believe it or not. Readers under the age of death are warned against going further.

Hugh: This isn’t believe it or not. I have police confirmation. An ex- NASA scientist was found decomposing after tying his genitals to a doorknob and hanging himself at the same time. He hung around for three days before police broke down the door to find a scene. And I mean a scene! Sex toys, drugs and Paul Milford Muller (76) who apart from being a NASA advisor was also a novelist specializing in romantic and erotic thrillers.

Thai police are trying to contact relatives to reclaim his body (they will be thrilled I am sure). It is supposed and presumed that he had a heart attack while on drugs and attaching himself to his doorknob.

BLOG ED NOTE: An inspiring story and thanks for sharing.

Hugh: Always a pleasure!

Brigitte’s Pick: GREAT SIGNS

May 28, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has concerns about the mental health of my female Namibian correspondents. They are wild women and therein lies their appeal. What is annoying is that their submissions seem to be more popular than my posts!

Thai Days: cats!

May 27, 2013

Hugh paxton’s blog has two cats. We adopted them. They were flood victims. At first they were friends and then they grew from kitten to cat and decided to kill each other. They are still trying to kill each other. Their screaches and brawls attract other cats. They all want to kill each other. My hope is that our local python will eat one, or in a perfect world, all the cats. The thing that annoys me about these cats is that despite their wild nightlife and their ghastly destruction domestically by day, they come to shit and piss in their tray or pee on anything soft and cozy, bags, clothes… Makes the house stink. And you turn up to a meeting thinking “Super! I smell of urine!”

Think twice about adopting a cat!

Then think thrice!

Then don’t adopt one!


The People’s Prize for William Wood

May 26, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is guilty of helping members of my family. But it somehow feels right.

Somebody, in one of those peculiar conversations that are generated by a few pints of beer, asked me if I would report my brother or sister to the police if I thought they had committed a crime. Murder for example.

The thought was shocking! “Of course I wouldn’t! I’d help the escape!”

The next morning I woke with a somewhat heavy head and re-thought the conversation.

I thought the same thing.

My brother could be Jack the Ripper (part two), my sister could be Typhoid Mary (part two), my daughter could be the Bangkok Strangler (part one – she hasn’t started yet).

I wouldn’t report them to anybody. One is only issued with one family in one’s life

BLOG ED NOTE: That’s three “ones” in one sentence!

Hugh: You just used two “ones” in your BLOG ED NOTE so piss off! I haven’t even got to my point!

BLOG ED NOTE: Weary sigh. What is your point?

Hugh: You (not one) has a family and you help them when possible. And in this post I’m trying to help William Wood win a prize for his book.

William Wood isn’t direct family. But he’s sort of family. Father of my sister’s husband. I ordered the book but it didn’t arrive.

I like the idea of it! It sounds gentle!

Try ordering it. If it arrives I reckon it will be fun. Cheerful! We all need a bit of feeling happy!

If it doesn’t arrive, vote for it anyway!

William will then win his prize!


From: william wood []
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 6:55 PM
Subject: The People’s Prize

Thanks for voting for me. A Little Book of Pleasures is a finalist for the non-fiction prize. Unfortunately we now have to have a second vote. Please vote again before May 29



Thai days: Peace talks, war walks

May 26, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s blog was talking with a friend at theBritish Club yesterday and it was chatty and light and good fun and then, my fault, conversation shifted to the news.

No news is good news. But there’s lots of news at the momement and it’s bad news. The peace talks in Thailand’s deep south are taking place, on and off, and everybody involved issues hopeful statements to the media and while they do it their optimism is accompanied by bombings, murders and levels of violence that are sickening. And daily.

Every day, daily.

Islamic insurgents, for reasons still unclear, keep killing teachers, monks, army rangers, children buying ice creams. Anybody.

Yesterday these jihad bufoons set off a new series of bombs. The day before yesterday, they did the same. And the day before the day before yesterday they did the same. It’s daily.

This ongoing conflict has slipped beneath the international media radar. I think nobody can understand it. I can’t. My friend couldn’t. We did what Brits do when confronted with this sort of thing. We talked about the weather.

We were in perfect agreement. “It’s a bit hot.”




Leonie’s View: Golf Story

May 23, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s blog got this golf joke from Leonie in Namibia. If you follow and enjoy Leonie’s view you will not be disappointed with her latest submission!

A Touching Golf Story

Ralph stood over his tee shot on the 450

yard 18th hole for what seemed an eternity.

He waggled, looked up, looked down, waggled

again,but didn’t start his back swing.

Finally his exasperated partner Ray asked,

‘What the heck is taking so long?’

‘My wife is watching me from the clubhouse balcony,’

Ralph explained. ‘I want to make a perfect shot.’

His companion Ray said, ‘You don’t have a chance

of hitting her from here.’

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