Here's where the long road of good intentions is put to the test..........

                                                                  UPDATE 11/3/11

 I was going to keep amending and adding to the MCA plan but it doesn't quite seem relevant any more. A friend visiting my site for the first time commented on the page, and when I saw it I realised how much it was generally out of date and out of phase with my thinking.

                     So where are we then on the whole midlife crisis then?

I left UK aged 39 pretty browbeaten and low  from a job that I had grown to hate ,and a girlfriend who'd become a sister to bicker with. I didn't know much other than I had to completely start my life again, find a new career, a new place to live, and redefine the things that I considered important.

This page contained an action plan, a list of things that I'd said I'd do. I thought by putting them in print it would be like an extra impetus to put my money where my mouth was so to speak. So what did I achieve in 5 years:

1) I found a place to live in a nice area. A huge 3 bedroom apartment with a roof terrace..lucky!

2) I got my PADI open water diving certificate

3) I became initially an English teacher, and laterally an Assistant Manager at the biggest single language school in the city  within the most prestigious university in the country.   I have a lovely office on the 19th floor. My weekdays are filled with  music pouring from my ipod, my weekends managing Sam Yan school alone and teaching kids and weekly doing corporate classes.  I am learning lots of new stuff.  I've helped out at summer school language camps, developed curriculi  and  have been teaching government and corporate classes all sort of targetted language. I think I've effectively changed careers for the better.

4) I've travelled extensively over Thailand  and have visited Laos and Vietnam too.  Palm lined sun-kissed beaches whilst not part of my everyday ,feature a lot more in my life.

5) I've been playing in a Punk/New Wave band for over 3 yearsall over the city. I've learnt a lot about playing rhythm/lead guitar and playing music in general. It's been a very interesting and quite disciplined approach to actually get good as we have become, especially when there are some extremely poor quality bands out there. I still get a buzz and joy from the whole process of playing live, even if we haven't exactly made the Earth move with our music. But that's why we wanted to play Joy Division, the Jam, The Clash etc in the first place, to be different. We may be at a crossroads with the band line-up. I think the bassist may finally leave and the drummers other music project is taking off, but I've said that before, we'll see. I still want to play, but i also see the amount of time , energy, and commitment required to keep this sort of thing going. We've had a couple of great nights playing live and a couple of pretty dead nights too. It's finding an appreciative audience that's the trouble.

6) Although a little bit less of late , i've also been playing a lot more sport. tennis, golf, and football , though after 2 seasons and 3 broken ribs I've decided to knock 11 a side football on the head....in fact since a back operation in Oct 2010 where titanium pins got fitted and discs removed I'll be curbing a whole lotta vigourous movement where sport in concerned,

7) bowing to pressure from my lovely girlfriend I got cable in.. I still watch more from downloading onto flashdrives though. I still CONSUME books. If I don't have a book in reserve to read on the bedside table I get antsy.

8) Whilst still painfully slow (as I'm not really straining myself) I'm getting better at speaking and communicating in Thai.

                                             SO WHAT'S THE SCORE THEN...?

I get occasionally lonely. Thing about BKK is that friends tend to leave all the time.  This past year has seen 5 leave. Good new friends are hard to find. The effort required and distances that you have to cover to get places and meet up with potential new "friends" can get irritating. I don't think going to a noisy pub in a big group as the best way to make new friends but then i'm getting middle-aged. I find  I miss good intellectual conversations with western women the most. They've always got the best patter and most insighful thoughts.

Yup, no doubt about it , I'm fighting all the way down the slide into middle age but it's happening. I still feel like a teenager but the face in the mirror and the photos I see of me confirm a grey haired bloke with the start of wrinkles haha! As a result  I'm vaguely aware of my own mortality a bit more..

I really need to focus on writing the book I've been dallying with. Loads of people are always telling me how well i express myself and the breadth of depth of my vocabulary (not that that makes for good writing). I guess I should just write like I think: in some osrt of free form and sort it out in the draft later.

I've found a business opportunity to invest in. As it has the potential to clash with my day job I won't mention it here. But a small 5% stake is a nice start in what could be very big. I have a few other ideas and some freelancing camp style teaching  on my days off has cropped up from time to time. I'd like to expand on this potentially lucrative loophole. www.englishpowercamps.com is the name of one of the other sidelines of mine.

All in all I've very little to complain about, except for my back injury/operation: but definitely no need to reach for the prozac. I'm grateful for the life I currently lead, and whilst a lot of my western nurtured  ethics and morality values have gone out of crisp focus into a morass of grey pixels and general shapes, I still think I'm leading a worthy life.........a worthy life..there's something I'd never had really thought about back home where 'I'm all right Jack" is the default mode. Living in a buddhist country certainly changes you if you want it to.

NEWSFLASH:

Decided to let my heart rule my head. Moved to Nürnberg , settled down with a ready made family..4 boys. been living here a year. Scratching out an existence...Very different life to what went before, but it terms of family and feeling I belong somewhere its all very good. Still early days in career and new social circles, but now the renovations are complete I hope to be doing more.