Festivities over and done with we had to start looking at schools for James. We thought we had all the time in the world to do it, how wrong we were.
Looked at three schools, first one being a big international one and you can imagine what it looked like us rocking into the big, shiny school with sand on our feet and generally boat clothes/ look on us…needless to say we didn’t fit in. The man kept drooling on and on and I felt like suffocating in the institution.
The next one was a small school with freedom and no uniform. I liked it but not right for James. The third one, which I nearly cancelled was also a international school but Thai run. As soon as we walked in there, we felt home. KIS school was perfect.
What we didn’t think of was that James had to start straight away as it was now February and they were half way through the school year. I thought he could start in the autumn for year 11 but no. Time was running out for him to prepare for his IGCSE. So the next second we are there paying school fees, buying his uniform and trying to figure out how to get him to school as we were still on the boat, at anchor in Nai Harn, south end of Phuket island. Wow!
So the first week of school was like this. Uniform on, dinghy ashore, wash his feet at the car, dry, socks and shoes on, drive 40 min there, drive back, drive over again to drive back…needless to say that was hard work.
So we had to find a house and luckily the second one we looked at was perfect for us.
At the same time we were also hassling with immigration, trying to open bank accounts, dentist and haircuts.
What else do you do in Thailand? Go ice skating, of course.
Chris needed to fly to London for few weeks and I didn’t want to stay in anchor on my own, trying to get James to school so we decided to go to a hotel. Found boat lagoon hotel, really cheap rate for the family room because there wasn’t any tourists about. Still covid times. So for us to get the car where we wanted it, Alice and I drove to the hotel one night before. The boys took Moody Finn to the north of the island to a mooring ball and we went to pick them up.
We then had lovely 3 weeks in the hotel, pool for ourselves and tv galore.
I got keys to the house and just like that everything changed. What happened to my life? Land living, paying rent, no wind in my face, can’t see the moon, wandering around the house,rattling about…hmmm
Then we moved everything off the boat. How many trips did we do with dinghy and car? How much stuff did we have? A lot!
And how empty the boat became…I felt very emotional and sad…we have spent nearly 10 years living there, laughing, crying, happy days, sad days, kids growing up, memories…
Life goes on. Kids pick up hobbies like rock climbing, drama, gymnastics and Muay Thai boxing.
Homeschooling continued, my birthday and then Easter holidays. Still hassling with visas with the result that Chris and James had to do a visa run to Singapore. Me and the other two were fine as we were flying out mid June to Uk.
So for Easter holidays we took a trip to Koh Lanta. Why? Here’s a good story!
Exactly 30 years ago I went to Uk as an au pair. The family had an Swedish au pair called Asa and I was hopping in for her for 6 weeks while she had her holiday. Through her I met Chris, the rest is history and Asa went back to Sweden.
Then Facebook came about and how easy it was to track people down. We reconnected with Asa and followed her journey around the world and finally settling in Koh Lanta. So we were to meet again, 30 years later.
What a stunning place it is.
We also helped out at the dog charity, Soi dog. Every Monday afternoon we would go and walk the rescue dogs. Blind ones, scared ones, funny ones, three legged ones and also hang out with the cats…
Alice’s 10th birthday . Biggest gathering of kids for awhile, lots of fun.
Monsoon season started and when it rained it rained. Nothing like a good old boat shower. Lucky we were leaving soon for a summer in Uk and Finland.