The royal family in Thailand is both highly revered and greatly respected and no one more than the late King. King Bhumibol worked tirelessly throughout his life on projects to help support his people and his work is much appreciated. The King died in October 2016 and the country is currently in a year long period of mourning for him. Many Thai still wear black and everywhere you go you find pictures and shrines to honour him. In this shopping mall people are making floral symbols in the shape of a number 9 as they are in the ninth month of mourning. There will be an official funeral in October and I understand that the school has changed the dates of half term to allow all staff to be off for the state occasion.
The children in Shrewsbury are lovely. They are so cute and largely well behaved and always immaculately turned out. And best of all they are voracious readers. Keeping them OUT of the library is the biggest challenge (although the air con might be part of the attraction!)
On the subject of occasions the little children in the school are allowed to bring in cake for their class on their birthday. Shrewsbury as a fee paying school attracts the wealthy and often the parents seek to out-do each other by bringing in not only enormous and lavish cakes but also goody bags for each child too. This week one child brought goody bags where the contents must have valued £30 each. It made me think of some of the children in Lebanon or even the west end of Morecambe who sometimes don’t arrive at school having had a decent meal.
In other news we visited Jim Thompson’s House which is a beautiful oasis in the heart of this busy, bustling city. Jim was responsible for reinvigorating the Thai silk trade but his associations with the CIA meant that he disappeared in in 1976 and the mystery remains unresolved to this day. He was a collector of fine porcelain and Asian antiques. The headless statue of the Buddha in his garden is 1000 years old. We were treated to some beautiful Thai dancing.