Z and I waved farewell to J’s plane from the pool this morning as he left for a quick sailing trip to Cairns, Australia.  (It may be a lot quicker if they don’t let him board his connecting flight in Singapore due to a slight visa stumble on our part)).  Thus, it is just me and Miss Z for the next 5 days so loads of opportunity for mother-daughter bonding (I see some manis and pedis in our future).

The last few days have been filled with beach, pool, beach, pool, work, further exploration of the island (went to Bang Tao Beach and Cape Panwa) and (most importantly for me!) steady progress on The Count of Monte Cristo (fabulous book, but one on which I’ve made frustratingly slow progress during this trip).   Am now at 85% on my Kindle!

A few nights ago we introduced Z to the world of Bond with Skyfall, at a Central Phuket cinema.  The Thai royal anthem played to a video montage of King Rama IX’s life before the film started and we stood along with the rest of the audience (failure to do so can result in criminal charges of lèse majesté)!  J informs me that the playing of “God Save the Queen” also used to be de rigueur before every movie in the UK–seemed strange to me initially, but it really is no different than our mandatory Pledge of Allegiance in public schools.  Some quick Wiki research informed me Rama IX is the world’s longest serving head of state (at 66 years 150+ days he has six years on QE II).   Z’s verdict of the movie: She likes the “spy who never dies”.

Other excitement for the week involved J erupting in a severe first case of hives two nights ago. Cause unknown. Primary suspect–shrimp.  Fortunately, Thai pharmacies here freely dispense predisone without a doctor’s prescription so we are hoping that does the trick.  And we thought we only had to worry about mozzies and jellyfish.

Finally, am thrilled that we don’t have to spend the next 10 months of world travel justifying a President Romney.

Some random photos from the past week:

Baby elephant on Bang Tao Beach

The Thais aim to please

Zara teaching her class

Thai sundresses