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Greetings from my shed...
If you are new here, I’m Christian Payne, professional over-sharer. I’m also a photographer, writer and in these posts I seek out novelty, explore what we share, how we share, and where we might be going.
I’ve spent eighty five percent of this last week writing. Mostly deciphering and typing up old travel journals. I’ve felt pretty productive. The rest of the time I was test riding and haggling.
The mission to replace my motorbike with a smaller, better one came close to being sabotaged by my two baby teeth. After decades of service they decided they want out. I listened with interest to the masked professional telling me that I should spend thousands of pounds on two implants and have instead decided to seek facial repairs elsewhere. Should you have experience of adventures in dentistry in far off lands, please tell me more. I don’t want to hear about when on holiday in Burkina Faso you lost a jaw. Only happy stories please.
My determination stands and by hook or by crook come the spring I’ll have long distance transport in the shape of a motorbike. [First world problem warning:] Of course that will mean all my writing funds will be gone so I’ll need some paid work. Writing currently earns me a little over £100/week and all of that is spent keeping the kids alive.
If things start going downhill I will of course share our rapid decent in the subscriber feed. Mostly in the hope I can get a handle on things and a stalled life can pull up at the last minute. Undercarriage brushing the treetops as we glide to safety.
[Please let me know in the comments if I milked that enough. Also, don’t forget that new supporting subscribers get a shoutout to the thousands of lovely people who tolerate these missives.]
Our first closeup image of Mars was a data driven paint-by-numbers pastel drawing.
Three years ago This video was posted of someone riding three skateboards at once. It reminded me of a photo I took (of a Dave?) maybe 20 years ago.
I made a little photo book. If anyone has leads as to where I can get a few printed cheaply (a fiver or less each) please let me know.
I posted a diary extract from the time I was holed up on the Thai/Laos border. Supporting subscribers can read it here.
As exciting as it sounds I have more than enough books in my to-read pile to ever get round to this one. (I’m currently reading Sapiens.)
I found some recordings on minidisk I forgot I made. Dating from the diary entry shared in the previous post, one disk captured me and my Thai host and friend Thé (or Té as I sometimes wrote it) sitting on a porch overlooking the Mekong at night. He was playing a battered guitar and with a strong Thai accent, singing ‘Return To Innocence’ by Enigma.
Like a flash as I listened I was back there. I feel audio does this so well. In my journal on that day (Sunday 15th November 1998) My late night scrawl says…
There are some places where you really feel as if... this is it. I sat with Té and a few others under a crystal clear sky. We recorded a couple of bits and pieces to my MiniDisc recorder. As I listen to it right now, I'm hoping I can some day listen to it in the future. This rough recording has caught a moment. I might never be able to return to this place. But at least now I have this, I can return to the moment.
Now, almost 25 years later, I also remember that creative, sensitive host that made friends very easily. Now lost, our friendship was fleeting. Like many, I was in his tiny border town to arrange a crossing. How many people did he connect with, who like me never returned. I will extract this song and pop it on cassette to leave in an audio cache somewhere. This is probably only really for me, my refreshed memories… and maybe one other.
Here is a totally unrelated but similar version of the song on guitar.
And if you want to watch the original video by Enigma you can see it here.
On the topic of discovering new things to listen to, my friend Dan sent me this podcast by David Bramwell called Adventures in Nutopia. Also, check out Dan’s new Substack called Dan Sumption's Mycoleum Mind. I think you will like it.
This week a page of a notebook I filled in Thailand reminded me of a drink called Ya Dong. A local herb-infused fiery moonshine that never seemed to taste the same. After mistakenly buying a bottle of the raw ingredient ‘Lao Khao’ (a rice whisky) I was shown where to find the proper stuff.
In a small bamboo hut stood a row of pink labeled jars with names like Elephant, Tiger, Horse and Buffalo. Every jar contained the base spirit which was Lao Khao aka the rice whisky I had previously bought that came in an actual bottle thinking I was being fancy. But Ya Dong means Medicine (ya) Pickle (dong), so each individual jar contained a separate concoction of herbs, and who knows what else. The ingredients would have been left to steep for at least three months.
One jar called ‘Horse’ promised to help with your blood circulation, ‘Elephant’ was for your nervous system and another cured headaches. You’d pick what you needed and it would be filtered into either a shot glass to drink at the counter or a bottle or plastic bag to take home.
Trying to be cute I asked how the one marked ‘Love life’ might help. At first I thought the lady behind the counter was telling me it would be good for an election. Before I had a chance to state my disinterest in politics, I twigged, and asked for a 60 baht (£1) bottle to take away.
Interesting thread following the copy of the Warner Bros cafe menu
Although I’m not totally sold on the health benefits of infusions containing 30-60% alcohol, (apart from the one I bought that definitely worked), I did return to the little bamboo bar/pharmacy with a mad hangover. I asked for a shot of the headache cure and I can happily say (although I couldn’t back then) similia similibus curantur "like cures like". I know it’s only a case of ‘hair of the dog’ but it certainly felt like it saved the day.
Released in 2000 the Panasonic SJ-MR200 was advertised at the time as the world's smallest and lightest portable MD recorder.
I’m just working through some recordings I made in 1998. Some journal type recordings and some recordings I’d send home. Back in the late 90’s before RSS and podcasting was born I had a few clumsy ways to share audio. Manually I’d post micro cassettes and minidiscs in the hope hope they got there. Or online I could clumsily share audio via FTP, as a file transfer in ICQ, or via Audio Galaxy. It was a pain. Imagine how happy early audio bloggers were when podcasts hit the scene.
I never knew there were so many names for shoes… Click on the thread to see them.
I must thank the paying subscribers that pay $5/month to get all the content I share into this feed. If you are able, please upgrade to become a paid supporter. Or if you prefer you might like to send a tip via PayPal. Either way… Thank you for reading.
Amateur archaeologist helps crack Ice Age cave art code
I couldn’t help but notice there is nobody from Burkina Faso on the Documentally community map.
Goodyear has the capability to make a tire with 90% sustainable content.
Illustrator banned from Reddit for having art that looked too much like it was AI generated.
I’ve updated the To-Live-List I posted previously so there are 52 checkboxes per line and therefore each line represents one year in your life. Download here.
How to crash a hotel system. My reply to this went fungal.
You did well to get this far. I raise a glass to you. I really am.
A like on this page is a high five, a re-share is a hug, and taking out a supporting subscription earns my undying love.
Next week I’ll be ‘working’ overseas. Have a great week, then tick it off ;-)
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” ~ Helen Keller,
See you out there.