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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
Family Money: Making it on your own
Snap Shots: Pin-ups. The Edwardian Cartophiles
Modern Medicine: Break Bone Fever

Heart to Heart with Hillary
Social Commentary by Khai Khem
Women’s World
Shaman’s Rattle
Animal Crackers
The Computer Doctor
A Slice of Thai History
Antiques, are they genuine?
Guide to buying a large dog
Down the iron road
The Message In The Moon

Family Money: Making it on your own

By Leslie Wright

Many expatriates have set up their own businesses in the Pattaya area. Some trade in goods; others provide services. All of these are entrepreneurs.

No matter whether the business is a beer-bar, restaurant, beauty salon (the most popular alternative for many local lasses to working as a go-go dancer), travel agency, real estate firm, or investment brokerage, there are a lot of risks associated with setting up one’s own business.

Over 40% of all new businesses fail within the first two years - and this is not only in Pattaya (where the failure rate may well be higher), but in developed markets also.

The question then arises: Why?

Fundamentally, the success of any business depends on making more money than it spends. Many entrepreneurs get a bright idea, scrape together enough capital to open shop and hope that they’ll be successful.

Others want to take their latest paramour out of the ‘miserable’ life they’re forced to lead working in a beer bar or go-go den, and give them a ‘honest’ living.

Often, these budding entrepreneurs know little if anything about accounting, cash-flow analysis or budgeting. They leave these matters to others and get by somehow, often living from hand to mouth, day to day. They have no idea whether their business is financially sound, or even where the money is coming from or going to.

Business runs on numbers

Any businessman who doesn’t know the state of his company’s finances is not a businessman. (He may be a superb salesman, or engineer, or technician - but he’s not a businessman.)

And any business that doesn’t make a profit isn’t a business.

Many of the chief executives of the world’s largest corporations are accountants. They know that any business runs on the numbers.

They may also have a good understanding of marketing or engineering or other areas relevant to their own businesses - but the common thread is a good understanding of money and corporate financial planning.

Interestingly enough, the same basic understanding of cash-flows and accounting for where the money comes from and goes to applies equally to very large and very small firms, and all sizes in between.

Speak of demographics’ analysis to many entrepreneurs and you get a blank look. They have no idea of their target market, who their customers might be, where they are, or how to attract them. Their marketing strategies are often ill-planned - if they even have one. In some cases they might like to increase their market exposure through a marketing campaign or advertising, but simply don’t have the money to spend.

Of course, beer-bar owners will say that they don’t need all this technical nonsense - they just sit and wait for the customers to come in - and a trip along Second Road or Beach Road any evening might lead you to think that this is a business that cannot fail.

Why then are there always lots of bars and restaurants for sale?

“Location,” you might say. “That’s the only thing you need worry about in the bar or restaurant business.”

Okay, location is indeed a very important factor to the success of such a venture. (And the proposed new zoning laws may have something to do with this in the future.)

But why then does one establishment do well and stay in business year after year and another right across the road never have any customers and close up after just a few months?

Similarly, why is it in Pattaya that within a few months of one small business setting up, a plethora of competitors open up in the same soi? Then they all complain that they’re losing money. There seems to be a lack of original thought here: finding a business that serves the needs of the community which no-one else has thought of.

The first guy on the block is the one most likely to succeed - provided he’s thought his business through carefully. All too often, however, this is not the case.

Many failing entrepreneurs would tend to put the blame solely on external factors, and be unwilling to consider factors somewhat closer to home which would be more painful to accept. But this is not the place to go into those reasons.

I know how tough it is to run one’s own business - tougher than managing someone else’s. Having been an entrepreneur myself, then working with a substantial international organization for several years, and then choosing to become an entrepreneur again, I have had the opportunity to look at both sides of the business coin, and learned a few valuable - and sometimes expensive - lessons along the way.

Ingredients of success

From what I’ve seen and learned, the main ingredients - from ‘A to F’ - for successful entrepreneurship are: Attitude; Belief; Courage; Determination; Effort; Finances.

Courage is what one needs to get going in the first place. Many would-be entrepreneurs simply don’t have the courage to leave their relatively safe salaried position to risk their families’ future on what may or may not be a successful business venture.

Having decided to take that step - which is in fact a giant leap into what is often uncharted territory - they have to have Belief in themselves, the product or service they will be offering, plus the Determination to succeed - the will to win.

The Effort they put in will go a long way to determining the growth and success or otherwise of their venture. Sitting on the beach watching the world go by will probably not produce much business - unless you’re in the kao pat, deckchair rental or ice cream vending business.

Most successful entrepreneurs work harder and longer than when they worked for someone else. But working for oneself brings its own rewards, both spiritually and financially, and one keeps the profits of one’s efforts.

Attitude towards one’s business and one’s customers or clients will also have a great bearing on an entrepreneur’s success.

People are generally turned off by a couldn’t-give-a-damn attitude and second-rate service, and are unlikely to become regular customers. Negative reports to others on poor attitude or service can also lose potential customers.

Those entrepreneurs who “try harder” (to borrow Avis’ motto) and set high standards of service - especially in a locale where mediocrity seems to be the norm - are more likely to thrive and become successful.

A positive attitude towards the place helps also. It is difficult to have continued confidence in an entrepreneur who is constantly bemoaning his situation, running down Pattaya, Thailand, and the people, and cannot wait for the opportunity to sell out and get away to yet another greener pasture...

But who forced him to set up here? One doesn’t have to look at the situation through rose-coloured spectacles (which some entrepreneurs were evidently still wearing when they originally decided to stay here) and pretend everything is perfect.

Those of us who have chosen Thailand as our home may enjoy the many benefits this place has to offer more, and tolerate its negative aspects better, if we keep in mind those wise words of St. Francis: “To pray for the courage to change what one can, the patience to accept what one cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Last but not least...

The area which many entrepreneurs neglect is Finances.

Surprisingly few entrepreneurs that I’ve met have any real idea how to plan their capital requirements realistically. Many set themselves up with insufficient capital to last long enough to establish the business on a firm footing, and provide a cushion during an unexpected economic downturn or cyclical lean period.

Perhaps they imagined that the revenue generated by their new business venture would provide sufficient income to keep the business going as well as provide them with a comfortable living from the first day they opened.

Very few businesses (legal ones, that is) are so instantly profitable that they are able to do that.

Sometimes the venture was set up with borrowed capital. This is probably carrying a high burden of interest, which may then drain off a significant proportion of the profits - if there are any.

Sound financial planning involves setting aside a proportion of the revenue to pay off this loan eventually. But because all too often there is too little revenue coming in, nothing is put aside to pay off the capital loan, so the debt remains on the books.

That’s fine if the lender is content for that situation to continue indefinitely - which he may be if the interest is paid regularly and it’s producing a good return on his highly risky investment. (It’s a high-risk investment because the entrepreneur who borrowed it may default on the loan, or disappear, or die, so the investor may never get his capital back.)

An even worse scenario is when there is insufficient revenue coming in even to service the interest, which then gets added to the principal, putting the business inexorably deeper into debt.

Eventually the business goes bankrupt, or the entrepreneur who is unable to repay the loan disappears overnight... Again, the investor who lent the money to the entrepreneur with the bright idea is the biggest loser.

Polonius said it first

The character Polonius in Shakespeare’s Hamlet warns his son: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.”

It’s amazing then how many investors are willing to lend hard-earned money to friends or people who have no track-record of success in business simply on the budding entrepreneur’s word.

Often, because it is to a friend, there is no formal agreement covering the capital loan - so the lender has no legal recourse if things go wrong. (And then, as Polonius points out, he’s probably lost a friend as well as his money.)

Sometimes, again because it is to help a friend, otherwise shrewd people will lend this friend money at a beneficial rate of interest out of all proportion to the risk that is inherent in the situation.

These same investors look very carefully at the return they can expect from secure offshore investments made through a reputable broker and placed with internationally-recognised institutions who have been successfully managing billions of dollars for decades - but will blithely lend a considerable portion of their life savings to a friend who has a bright idea which he hopes will make both of them rich (which indeed it may, but statistically is unlikely to).

When it comes to evaluating risk on a scale of 1-10 (where risk-rating 1 is hard-currency cash deposits in a stable bank, 2 is a basket of international bonds, 4 is investing into a single developed stock market such as the UK or USA, 5 is investing in a single-country emerging stock market such as Thailand), it may come as a surprise to some readers that going into business for oneself - or lending someone else the money to do so - is rated by those of us whose job it is to consider such matters, at risk level 10+.

Thus it is regarded as more risky even than playing the commodities & futures market (risk-rating 6) or the forex market (7) or mineral exploration (8). Venture capital is regarded as risk rating 9 on this scale - but this applies to large firms, not small businesses in Pattaya.

Of course, no entrepreneur accepts that his business is that risky - that’s why he became an entrepreneur: he has the Belief, the Courage and the Determination to succeed!

But if you are considering investing in an entrepreneurial situation, especially here in Pattaya, it might be prudent to weigh the risks of this against alternative forms of investment; and if you accept the inherent risk (which equates to potential loss, remember), ensure proper paperwork is put in place to protect yourself - just in case.

As has been quoted many times before, to make a small fortune in Pattaya, you’d better start off with a large one...

Leslie Wright is managing director of Westminster Portfolio Services (Thailand) Ltd., a firm of independent financial advisors providing advice to expatriate residents of the Eastern Seaboard on personal financial planning and international investments. If you have any comments or queries on this article, or about other topics concerning investment matters, contact Leslie directly by fax on (038) 232522 or e-mail [email protected] Further details and back articles can be accessed on his firm’s website on

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Snap Shots: Pin-ups. The Edwardian Cartophiles

by Harry Flashman

Ah, Cartophiles. Was this some new perversion? Of course it was! After all the laced up corsetry of the Victorian era, Prince Edward VII took the throne of England in 1901 and a new age of permissiveness took hold in the photographic industry, and the naughty postcard made its way into society.

Little Egypt

One could have easily predicted the new lewd, or perhaps that should have been the lewd nude, as towards the end of the 1800’s a certain relaxing of the previously strict laws regarding the showing of female anatomy was becoming evident. Take for example, the Chicago Fair of 1893. None of us were around, but photographs and reports of Fahreda Mahzar Spyropolos’s naked navel still exist today. In fact, her anatomical bit managed to change the fair from downright flop to financial success. She was the famous “Little Egypt” who did her belly dance in front of amazed (and outraged) clerics, whose reports of the lewd behaviour brought the crowds in their thousands flocking to the fair. Ms Spyropolos certainly knew that sex sells, even if it were only a belly button.

The newspaper business also knew that a bit of female anatomy helped an otherwise staid selection of newsprint to become wanted items. This was not something that Rupert Murdoch and his page 3 girls started, no matter how much the Murdoch publicity machine would have you think. The New York Police Gazette (now there’s a catchy title - sorry about the pun!) began publishing illustrated supplements of actresses and dancers in the 1890’s and even offered “cabinet-sized finished photographs” described as the snappiest of all girl pictures.

And then there was “Photo Bits” - an English magazine started in 1898, which became Photo Fun in 1908 to run double page pin-ups, copies of which could be purchased for nine pence (including postage) and were advertised as being suitable for billiard or smoking rooms.

However, it was the “feelthy postcards” that really brought the pin-up to pride of place on the locker room wall. Once again it was the French who did all the running. Seeing the success of postcard pictures of the Eiffel Tower, enterprising photographers began in earnest that most noble of artistic pursuits - persuading young ladies to pose in their pink one-buttons.

They were successful too. In 1910, more than 100 million were printed in France alone, and by that stage the rest of the world was producing theirs as well. The Cartophiles were being very well catered for!

The large postcard had only one problem - it was difficult to carry around. The Cartophiles were not to be denied however - enter the cigarette card. These so-called “stiffeners” of soft cigarette packets very quickly realized the collectible value of continental actresses and others eager to return to nature in return for cash that could allow themselves to purchase expensive dresses to cover up again.

But beauty lay in the eye of the beholder, and the Edwardian Cartophile beholders were fleshy (fleshly?) fat persons, who consumed large dinners and showed their wealth through an excess of avoirdupois. Their ideal female was then the same - big hunks of women with large bellies and legs that looked as if they would hold up billiard tables. Strong and well rounded, to say the least. However, although the modesty was starting to disappear, the neck to knee flesh coloured “tights” were still de rigeur for anything other than the true ‘nude study’ which was paraded under the title of ‘art’. A bit of chiffon and a rose was all that was needed to elevate the naughty nude to an artistic study; incidentally, both props are still in use today!

The next earth shattering leap forward for the pin-up was yet to come, and was heralded by the end of WWI. The world had survived the war to end all wars, and society began to celebrate and kick up its heels. The pin-up industry kicked up its heels too, discarding inhibitions as it discarded clothing. The pin-up as we know it today was nearly upon us, but more on this another time.

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Modern Medicine: Break Bone Fever

by Dr Iain Corness Consultant

This ailment is particularly prevalent at this time, the start of the wet season. Why have you never heard of this disease? That’s very simple - these days it is known as Dengue Fever.

This ailment was first described in 1780, when the name Break Bone Fever was applied, following the principal symptoms of pain and rise in temperature. The name “Dengue” did not come till 1828 during an epidemic in Cuba. The new name was a Spanish attempt at a Swahili phrase “ki denga pepo” which describes a sudden cramping seizure caused by an evil spirit!

However, let me assure you that the local brand of Dengue Fever owes nothing to spirits, evil, bottled or otherwise. Dengue is caused by a virus, passed on by a mosquito bite, from the female of the species Aedes aegypti. This little blighter is most active at sun up and sun down and breeds in standing water around your home, as it only flies 100 metres from the breeding ground.

There are actually four distinct Dengue virus serotypes, and although being infected by one of the serotypes gives you an immunity to that particular one, it does not give you immunity to the other three. This being the case, it is theoretically possible to catch Dengue four times. And that’s four times more than you want!

Dengue also comes in two distinct clinical types - Classical Dengue and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF). Taking the Classical variety - 3 to 14 days after being bitten, the sufferer (and you do suffer, let me tell you) will begin to experience fever and muscle and bone aches. Over the next few days this gets worse so that even the skin is painful to touch. The next stage is a skin rash and even a joint pain like arthritis in some cases. It is interesting to note that Dengue Fever is the cause of between 20-30% of all fevers in our national capital Bangkok. Being a virus, the treatment is just to alleviate the symptoms, and paracetamol works well in reducing fever and pain. However, despite no specific treatment, the outcome is generally fine, although the sufferer may be very weak for a while after recovery.

On the other hand, Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever can be fatal - so keep reading! It appears that Serotype 2 may be the culprit here, but for some strange reason, Serotype 2 does not usually produce DHF unless you have been previously bitten by types 1, 3 or 4. In addition to the symptoms of Classical Dengue the skin begins to bruise very easily as the blood haemorrhages into the skin. Children are also more susceptible to this than adults. This also becomes much more of an emergency and is best treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

With no specific drug to combat the DHF virus, the answer in avoiding this ailment is the plan your defence against Aedes aegypti. This is done by removing sources of standing water from around your home, flyscreen windows that are left open and wear clothing which covers the arms and legs, in conjunction with the application of anti-mosquito compound DEET.

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Dear Hillary,

Following on from Ready to Die (Pattaya Mail Vol. IX, No. 33) can you tell me what is the procedure to be followed when an expatriate dies in this country? Are the bodies automatically shipped back to their country or what? If so, who pays for this? The embassy or who?

Morbid Curiosity

Dear Morbid Curiosity,

You certainly are a ghoulish lot, aren’t you, Petal. Again, this is a question best answered by your embassy, but when a foreigner dies in this country, the embassy should be amongst the first informed, along with the police if this is a sudden and unexpected death. If the death occurs in hospital, then the hospital staff will assist in this as they will be experienced at what to do in this sad event. If it was the wish of the deceased to have a burial done in their country of origin, the body should be embalmed here before travel (for obvious reasons); however, most people follow the local custom of cremation done at the wats and the ashes can easily be shipped anywhere in the world. Finally, while all the embassies are very helpful people, they don’t pay for your final trip to the hereafter.

Dear Hillary,

I have found recently that I have become very attracted to a waitress in our favourite restaurant. We go there every Friday night and I am sure she stands closer to me than she needs to, brushes the back of my arm when she serves me, and is always smiling and very attentive. It is really giving me much heartache. How do I find out if she really does find me attractive too? Obviously I cannot ask my husband about this, but I need to know before planning the next move. I should add that I am 40 years of age (but look younger) and I have never done anything like this before.


Dear Sirene,

A waitress smiles at you and here you are “planning the next move.” A “move” that is nothing like anything you’ve done before. Oh my poor Sirene! Don’t you realise that service people are trained to smile and give personal attention to the guests? That is their job. The good ones will always make you feel special, but you should not take that beaming smile to mean, “How’s about a quick bit of what’s your fancy behind the salad bar?” You are eager to experiment I can see, but the place to do this is not in your favourite restaurant, Petal. That’s not heartache you’re experiencing - you’ve probably got your left breast in the ashtray while gazing into her eyes. Hillary suggests you look to the alternative relaxation places, rather than risk embarrassment in an eating place, which is quite different from a meeting place.

Dear Hillary,

My girlfriend works in a shopping centre and gets off around 11 p.m. most nights. The relationship is in the early stages, and we are not living together. She says it is difficult for her to get time off in the evenings, so this means I have to go to official functions, dinners and the like all on my own. I have asked her to try and get some time off, but she says it would be better if I found another girl to take to these functions. This surprised me a lot, but she seemed quite at ease with the idea. Is this normal for Thai girls to do, or does this mean a cooling off in the relationship? I am more than a little confused.

No Dinner Date

Dear No Dinner Date,

Doesn’t look too good, Petal. No girls, Thai or otherwise say to go to dinner with someone else on anything that might be a regular basis. If they do, it is usually a relative or close friend that can be trusted who is selected for you. Time to try another shopping centre, I feel.

Dear Hillary,

It’s me Baz the “wartman” back again and yes they have re-appeared. I hope that you have found out about the topical (did I get the spelling right?) because I don’t think I could face going back to see Mr Freeze, as you may not know “being a lady” things seem to shrivel up when you have problems and I don’t think that his aim is up to much. Is Aldara available here in sunny Thailand/Pattaya? Please help me as I am at a complete loss. Hopefully yours,


Dear Baz,

You are a worry, my Petal. I am having to run several different virus scans over your emails, because it seems you have a recurrent one. Wearing two sets of rubber gloves (industrial grade) makes it difficult to type as well. You are really asking the wrong person, “being a lady” (you may curtsey now) Hillary has no knowledge of these things. It’s back to Mr. Freeze, I fear. As regarding Aldara, you can always ask at Boots, but Dr. Iain did say it wasn’t a cure, as I wrote last time.

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Ups and downs

A confused janitor has been summarily sacked from a five star hotel after taking four days to clean the elevator. When asked by the supervisor why it took him so long, he said there were twelve of them, one on each floor. “The problem was that some of them often weren’t there,” he explained.

Embarrassing obituary

Looking over the proofs for his recently departed wife’s demise, expat Lionel Fourrier noticed that the newspaper was about to make a significant misprint the next day. The closing line read, “She was distinguished for chastity above all other ladies in this city”. Only too glad he had noticed the goof which should have read “charity”, he crossed out the “s” and put a large query mark in the margin before leaving the newspaper office. Next morning he read with horror, “She was distinguished for chastity (?) above all other ladies in this city.”

UBC decision deferred

You’re gonna have to wait several months yet to find out whether UBC TV will be permitted to carry paid advertising on its channels. MCOT (Mass Communications of Thailand) says that any revision of the ban would need a change in the law and Cabinet approval. Meanwhile the annual subscription has gone up to around 15,000 baht a year, although that includes an extra month or two if you pay in advance.

Immigration changes

Insiders say that citizens of US and the European Union have little to fear from proposed changes which would reduce visa free access for short term tourists. The Thai government’s concern is that some visitors abuse hospitality by committing crimes here, but attention has centered on African and Asian countries with a poor track record of keeping to the rules. The worst that could happen to typical farangs is that the four weeks visa on arrival could be reduced by a few days. But even that is not likely.

French dining

There’s a full French menu at Restaurant de Paris in the arcade on Second Road in front of Bavaria House. The portions are generous and the prices fair including the wide selection of wines. The ambience isn’t really in the same league as Mon Ami Pierrot to be fair, but GEOC (Grapevine Eating Out Collective) found the soups and steaks to be spot on. Worth a visit when you’re in the area.

Readers’ queries

HF asks how much it costs to send an express delivery letter to Europe by private courier, thus avoiding the vagaries of the Thai postal system. The minimum cost is around 800 baht for a document or two. The office dealing with DHL, TNT, etc., is in the arcade on Second Road, more or less opposite Restaurant de Paris... KE wonders where he can insure his brand new motorbike against theft. We asked around but don’t believe you can insure two wheels against thieves these days. But don’t let that stop you taking accident cover lest you lose a financial arm and a leg.

Seen in Big C

Imported products are now enlightening us on health and safety issues. Noticed on a children’s cough medicine, “Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication.” On a box of sleep aid tablets, “May cause drowsiness.” On a hairdryer, “Do not use when sleeping.” On frozen dinners, “Defrost before eating.” On a bread pudding, “Product will be hot after eating.” On fairy lights, “For indoor or outdoor use only.” On a Superman costume, “Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly”.

On insulting your friends

Missing a few buttons on his remote control

Too much yardage between the goal posts

The wheel’s spinning but the hamster’s dead

About as sharp as a marble

A few beers short of a six pack

Only has one oar in the water

A few clowns short of a circus

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Social Commentary by Khai Khem

Bankrupt and Broken Hearted? How to Make a Comeback

These two situations, shattered love and financial ruin, are not exactly subjects mired in mirth, especially if you are the one in the ‘poo’, so to speak. And yes, these unhappy human conditions actually do happen in places other than Pattaya. It does seem to me, however, that there is an inordinate number of Western men who come a cropper with ill chosen mates whom they have met here, and share a tale of woe about how their wife/girlfriend has fallen out of love with them and escaped with rather more wealth and material possessions that she personally contributed to the pot. Why Western men? Perhaps there are plenty of Japanese, Singapore and Pakistanis who have fallen into the same pothole on the highway of romance in Pattaya. I don’t come across them. And certainly, if you are one of the many guys who have formed stable marriages here, read no further. But like war, some unprepared ‘soldiers’ don’t learn the ‘rules of engagement’.

At a dinner party last week, a middle aged New Zealander was beside himself with grief at the loss of his lovely young live-in girlfriend. We shall call him John Doe, not only for conversational purposes, but it is also the name given to corpses in Western police morgues, which appears on the toe-tag. According to him, he may as well be dead without his true love, his newly purchased home in Pattaya and the joint bank account. He, in his own words, explained that she was half his age, he picked her up from the ‘gutter’, gave her everything, and now, after less than a year, she has booted him out the door. Totally ungrateful? I believe she is very grateful - that she had won the trust and affection of a man who obviously had turned off his personal mental alarm system. What we need here is a manifesto for a Come Back for gentlemen in this situation.

Coming Back: The Seven Stages

This seven stage plan can help men in transition and shape their recovery from a devastating emotional and financial setback brought on by a broken romance. Call it energy or sheer willpower, but every successful change begins with a plan.

1. Give yourself time to regroup - Now is the time to enter into that neutral zone that you should have made use of before you fell madly in love with a stranger. Pause for a while and give yourself a chance to find out where you are. Sort of like the ancient tribal rituals where men who come of age are required to wander in the wilderness before they take up their next stage of life with the tribe. Try learning the local language, or take up bird watching.

2. Understand the transition period - After the love of your life has emptied all the bank accounts and sold the new Mercedes while you were having a hard day at the office (or let’s be truthful; your favorite pub in South Pattaya), by all means, grieve for your loss. Your drinking buddies will have plenty of advice, and maybe even a little sympathy.

3. Explore your past - Make a list of major events - your successes and your failures. You don’t need to obsess about that long string of divorces and abandoned children in your home country, but certainly you need to figure out what role you played in this last disaster. And don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for things you’ve done well, like the successful business or high paying job which allowed you to accumulate all the money that your Thai lovely absconded with.

4. Learn to think like an optimist - Bounce back from disaster! You were pursuing love and gratification. Is there any real reason why you cannot pursue another gorgeous Thai filly? Plenty of fish in this sea, Pal. Think positive. Everyone has a bad day now and then. Just because the land papers to the multi-million baht mansion or the deed to the penthouse did not include your name, doesn’t mean you should continue to have a bleak picture of yourself.

5. Lay the groundwork for change with small successes - Now is the time for that facelift or hair transplant. The bedroom aerobics may have come to a halt, but plenty of healthy exercise will improve your disposition. Tennis or golf, please! It’s the other kind that got you into this mess in the first place. If you are retired, temporary or part time work will boost your sense of self-worth. It will also pay the surprise charges on the credit cards when they come due.

6. Don’t go it alone - Some men put a high premium on being able to handle everything themselves. But friends are crucial when you are going through a major setback. Gather up all your buddies who have been through this very same thing. Get drunk. Compare notes. You’ll find plenty of company out there, so why suffer in solitaire?

7. When the time is ripe, don’t delay - One day, after weeks or months, or even years have gone by, you’ll notice you feel normal again. Your energy is back, the tentativeness has gone from your voice. Your old parents have sold or mortgaged their home in Manchester or Kansas City, or wherever, and your debts are cleared. Your friends have chipped into the kitty and managed to buy you an air ticket. You have made the exciting discovery that your life does not need to be limited to past experiences. Take that opportunity (and the ticket) and go back home.

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Women’s World: The best age in life

by Lesley Warner

My daughter sent me this the other day; I think it could be in place of my birthday card.

‘Beautiful Women’

Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a Princess.

Age 6: She looks at herself in the mirror and sees a Barbie doll.

Age 10: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella.

Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an Ugly Sister. Mum, I can’t go to school looking like this!

Age 20: She looks at herself and sees “too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly” - fixes herself the best she can, but decides she’s going out anyway.

Age 30: She looks at herself and sees “too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly” - but decides she doesn’t have time to fix it so she’s going out anyway.

Age 40: She looks at herself and sees “too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly” - but says, “At least, I am ‘clean’ and goes out anyway.

Age 50: She looks at herself and sees “I am” and goes wherever she wants to go.

Age 60: She looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who can’t even see themselves in the mirror anymore. Goes out and conquers the world.

Age 70: She looks at herself & sees wisdom, laughter and ability goes out and enjoys life.

Age 80: Doesn’t bother to look. Just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the world.

Maybe we should all grab that purple hat earlier!

Very few of us are perfect but we can help ourselves. For instance, body building in moderation can be good. It doesn’t have to mean ugly muscles; it can be used to firm the muscles and make the body hard and beautiful. An exercise routine 4-5 days of the week incorporating a good diet should make the difference you want to achieve.

One of the complaints I hear is, “my stomach is too fat”, especially as we get older and after childbirth. The best exercise for this problem is the basic crunch; crunches must be done properly to be effective. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on floor and pelvis tilted so that your lower back presses down. Place your hands behind your head with your fingertips lightly touching your head behind your ears. Keep your elbows out to the sides and DO NOT pull on your head. Keep your chin raised, as though you’re holding a softball under it.

Exhale and slowly contract your abdominal muscles, which will raise your shoulders off the floor. Don’t try to go high - just focus on contracting your abdominal muscles. Then inhale and release your muscles, letting your shoulders back down. For an easier version, cross your arms in front of your chest. For more of a challenge, straighten your arms behind your head. (Start slowly and increase your sit-ups as they become more comfortable to do.)

Curl downs, or sit ups, are even more challenging. Start by sitting with your knees bent, feet flat, and arms reaching forward. Slowly lower yourself to the floor to a count of 10. Sit up, using your arms if necessary, and then repeat. Do as many as you can, but don’t do this exercise if it bothers your back.

Watch you diet; to stay healthy, you need a combination of nutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat. The diets based on a single type of food may cause weight loss for a short period of time. However, they work by promoting loss of water and/or muscle, which are body components that are not healthy or desirable to lose.

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Shaman’s Rattle: Essential oils

by Marion

The role of plants, flowers and their essences has been integral in the healing disciplines of Asia for many years - in fact, thousands. However, the art and science of Aromatherapy - treating illness and emotions with essential oils was only formalized by a French chemist, Dr. Gattefosse in the early 20th century.

“True” essential oils are produced by a process of distillation - a long and tedious chemical and physical process. The oils are extracted from the leaves, flowers, roots or berries through a steam distillation. These are the expensive essential oils, not just fragrances added to a common vegetable oil such as avocado. For example, in the famous perfume “Joy” by Jean Patou it is said that more than 10,000 crushed heads of Jasmine are used to produce one ounce of the perfume.

Essential oils sooth and relax

The essential oils are best absorbed through the skin or by inhalation and this is how the art of Aromatherapy massage came into being. It should be understood that mankind has been rubbing plants on skin and wounds for thousands of years, with just the same process in mind. The distillation of essential oils just gives us a more powerful healing tool, one that can restore body balance to promote health and harmony in today’s busy lifestyles. There are eight essential oils in common use in SE Asia, some of them being from items made available in Europe following the spice traders who visited Asia.

The first is Clove, from the small evergreen tree from Indonesia. The flowering buds, when dried become the familiar brown cloves and these and the leaves are used in the distillation process. Oil of cloves is a powerful antiseptic and anaesthetic. How many of you have soaked some cotton wool in oil of cloves and plugged a painful tooth? Cloves have a property of also aiding digestion and are rubbed into the abdomen to produce this effect and can relieve the stomach pains and diarrhoea.

Ginger, which came initially from India, has been dealt with many times before, with the oil produced from the tuberous roots. Ginger is considered to be an aphrodisiac when mixed with a base oil and massaged into the lower spine. It also relieves menstrual cramps and will help reduce fevers and chills.

Jasmine is grown all over Asia and its essential oil is known to uplift the soul. This is one of the reasons that jasmine is used in Buddhist practices. This oil also relieves pre-menstrual mood swings (PMS) and will soften dry skin and reduce stretch marks and will help you release your innate compassion and stimulate your artistic side.

Nutmeg, another mystical tree from the Spice Islands, gets the oils distilled from the kernels of its fruits - the nutmeg itself. Nutmeg aids the digestive system by breaking down starches and fats, but in essential oil massage it relieves muscular pains and stimulates circulation.

Patchouli comes from Malaysia and Indonesia. During the Flower Power ‘60’s this oil became known for its ability for arousing sexual passion and psychic awareness. Patchouli is used for many skin conditions, mixed with a base oil to treat acne, eczema, burns and scar tissue.

Sandalwood comes from India and the oil is extracted from the roots and trunk of the tree after it is 50 years old. Sandalwood is used in Eastern religions to symbolize spirituality. It can be used in massage to treat dry skin and when added to a bath will relieve the symptoms of cystitis. It is a good grounding and balancing oil.

Vetiver grass is not as well known and comes from India and Indonesia. The oil is distilled from the roots of the grass, and is known as the oil of tranquillity in India for its relaxing effect. This plant will keep insects away when used in oil burners and in massage will relieve muscle tension. It is beneficial for anxiety and insomnia and helps your ability to cope in times of stress.

Ylang-Ylang, originally from the Philippines, is variously known as the “Crown of the East” or the perfume tree. In Indonesia, the marriage bed is scattered with Ylang-Ylang petals for luck, harmony and fertility. The oil has quite a reputation as an aphrodisiac, best when a few drops are added to the bath water. Ylang-Ylang is said to restore harmony between partners. It is excellent for nervous and stressed or distressed people and when added to base oils is effective in treating skin conditions and as a sun-tanning adjuvant.

The eight Asian essential oils are natures assistants towards a calmer, relaxed and more healthy you.

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Animal Crackers: Bufo marinus - a toad and not a buffoon

by Mirin MacCarthy

Bufo marinus, otherwise known as the Giant Cane toad, is a fine example of what happens when scientists get it all wrong. These horrible looking toads were introduced to Florida in America and Queensland in Australia in the belief that they would biologically control the Frenchi and Greyback cane beetles, two bugs that were destroying the sugar cane industry.

The concept was simple - Bufo marinus would eat the beetles, the sugar cane would flourish, Bufo would then begin to run out of food as the beetle population fell and Bufo would disappear as well. Well, that was the theory, but they forgot that pigs might fly too.

Bufo turned out to have a voracious appetite and was also an omnivore. In other words, Bufo ate anything that was small enough to fit in its mouth. Beetles were no great delicacy to be searched out. Dog food left over from Fido’s dinner was much easier, or small frogs, mice or other lizards. Bufo didn’t care. So as an eco-friendly way to get rid of cane beetles it was a flop.

However, since it was an introduced species, there was no natural food chain which the Bufo was part of. Bufo had no native predators. And this is where the whole problem really began to show up.

Voracious and aggressive, Bufo marinus competes (very successfully) with native species for food sources and breeding habitat. Far worse than that, they are poisonous, something the native carnivores have no defence strategy against. Consequently, small native species are in severe decline in areas where Bufo marinus is becoming more rampant. For example, cane toad toxin is very effective against virtually all Australian native species that attempt to eat toads, from small frog-eating reptiles to the Quoll (Australia’s native cat) and the various goannas. There is also the suspicion that various fish and bird species are also in severe decline due to the spread of Bufo marinus. While all frogs and toads may have enlarged chemical-secreting glands, the chemicals they produce are highly varied, with Bufo marinus it is highly toxic. Animals picking up a cane toad and receiving a dose of venom may die within fifteen minutes.

These toads are also very large and heavily built amphibians (up to 15 cm long) with their characteristic warty skin. The females tend to be larger and relatively smoother-skinned than males and are olive-brown to reddish-brown on top, with a paler white or yellowish belly.

The most distinctive features of the cane toads are bony ridges over each eye and a pair of enlarged glands, one on each shoulder. These are the glands which ooze the venom.

Cane toads are also highly adaptable, both in terms of survival and reproduction. They are much more tolerant than other Australian or American frogs of variations in water salt content, and can survive and breed in brackish water.

Because their diet is so variable, they don’t need to expend much energy searching for food. They can just sit in a convenient spot and gobble up anything that wanders by. In urban areas, they are often seen gathered around street lamps eating insects attracted by the light.

The other factor in the unchecked growth in the numbers of these toads is their reproductive abilities. A female toad can produce up to thirty thousand eggs a month. In three days the eggs hatch into small (3 cm) jet black tadpoles - unlike those of any native frog. Additionally, these tadpoles become toadlets unusually early, so they are out of the water and hopping around faster than most other frogs.

So next time you see a frog and hope it will turn into a handsome prince, be sure it isn’t Bufo marinus!

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The computer doctor

by Richard Brunch

From Steve Raitte, Bang Saen: I have just moved house and sold the majority of my audio/video equipment with my old condo. I have, however, kept my PC which is a Pentium II 350 MHz, which although adequate for my present needs I know is now getting somewhat ‘long in the tooth’. I am really looking at getting a home theatre system, and I think Sony makes a good one but a friend has said that I can have a DVD player in my PC. Is this possible? And if so is it a viable proposition?

Computer Doctor replies: Home theatre systems vary in both concept and quality and can also incorporate a projector which together with surround sound can bring the ‘movies’ to your home. In both instances, Sony has an excellent name in this arena. Whilst you can have a DVD player in a PC, this requires a lot of horsepower and I consider your present system is underpowered to provide a quality video stream. But if you are purchasing new then this becomes a viable option, as the addition of a DVD player to a new system will cost something in the region of 3,500 to 4,000 baht. In addition to the DVD player itself, you will also need a DVD decoder; this can be in the form of software, like CyberLink’s PowerDVD or Microsoft’s Media Player or hardware as Creative’s PC-DVD Encore Dxr3.

If you elect for the software option which most people do, then, as previously said, it takes a lot of processing power to decode DVD Video. Therefore, you will need a very fast CPU; I recommend either a middle of the road Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon to complete the task. Even with these, it is likely that your PC’s resources will be tied up with the decoding of video and audio and you will not be able to run any other software simultaneously. On the other hand, if you elect for the more expensive hardware option, much less CPU power is needed and often both the picture and sound quality are greatly improved. A good quality video card is essential and I recommend getting one that has 64Mb RAM and S-Video output which delivers superior video output.

It is also important to note that a quality sound card is required to complete the setup. Usually, the decoder will also send the compressed Dolby Digital signal out of its own SPDIF output (in the case of hardware decoders), or via the sound card’s SPDIF output in the case of some software decoders. To obtain true Dolby Digital surround sound in 5.1 channels on your PC, a Dolby Digital decoder is normally required. The Dolby Digital signal from the DVD decoder card is decompressed into 5.1 channels and then sent to the various speakers, giving you the full surround sound.

Keep in mind also that you will need to cable between your PC and home theatre system. Really, it comes down to personal choice but certainly with a ‘respectable’ PC system then you should be able to obtain comparable DVD quality to that of a bespoke DVD player.

Send your questions or comments to the Pattaya Mail at 370/7-8 Pattaya Second Road, Pattaya City, 20260 or fax to 038 427 596 or e-mail to [email protected] The views and comments expressed within this column are not necessarily those of the writer or Pattaya Mail Publishing. Richard Bunch is managing director of Action Computer Technologies Co., Ltd. For further information, please telephone 01 782 4829, fax 038 716 816, e-mail: [email protected] or see our website

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A Slice of Thai History: The Lao Invesion of Thailand, 1827-1828 (Part Two: The Invasion of 1827)

by Duncan Stearn

While in Bangkok to attend the cremation ceremonies of King Rama II in 1824, Chao Anu had asked the new sovereign if he could take some 10,000 people of Lao descent living in Saraburi back to Vientiane.

These Lao people had been brought to Saraburi back in 1779, and since the old generation had now passed on and the new generation had been effectively assimilated, King Rama III refused Chao Anu’s request.

So, Chao Anu returned to Vientiane determined to take the people back by force if necessary. In an attempt to garner support, Chao Anu wrote to the ruler of Luang Prabang and asked him to help in the coming attack. Instead, the king sent his son to Bangkok to warn the Thais of Chao Anu’s plans.

When Britain sent an emissary to Bangkok for talks with King Rama III, Chao Anu was under the misapprehension that the British were about to attack Thailand.

Despite being forewarned, Thailand was unprepared when Chao Anu’s army crossed the Mekong River and invaded in three columns in January 1827. The main column, led by Chao Anu, moved straight down the centre of the country towards Khorat. The second column, led by Chao Yo, Chao Anu’s son and the ruler of Champassak, drove through Yasothon and Sisaket and eventually joined the main force at Khorat. The third column, led by the Viceroy, swept through Kalasin and Khon Kaen and also linked with the main body at Khorat.

The inhabitants of many of these provinces, as was the custom in those days, were forced to leave their homes and land and compelled to go to Vientiane.

The vanguard of Chao Anu’s invasion force reached Saraburi, just 50 kilometres from Bangkok, and began organising the repatriation to Vientiane of the 10,000 or so former Lao residents.

Had Chao Anu not halted his main force at Khorat, and instead pressed on to Bangkok, the course of Thai history might well have been changed. The Thais were ill-prepared for the swiftness of the invasion, but with Chao Anu halting at Khorat they took the opportunity to marshall their forces for a counter-attack.

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Antiques, are they genuine? : English Silver

by Apichart Panyadee


The novice silver collector will often use cutlery as his springboard - surely an area free from fakes and forgeries, one would think. Certainly, the ordinary spoon and fork is not often the focus of a forger’s attention, but some of the rarities or specialist collecting fields are. For instance, caddy spoons have been a specialist’s collector’s domain for decades, and some of the common fakes are made by soldering the top of a Georgian teaspoon handle (with its marks) to a bowl of fancy design.

The first English design cutlery to be popularised was Hanoverian rat-tail pattern in the early 19th century, hence the aim of many is, or had been during the last hundred years, to own a service of this design. A limited amount has survived however, and therefore later 18th century Old English pattern items have been converted to supply the demand.

A maker’s mark from a 19th century spoon

Spoons with added rat-tails can usually be spotted because they appear on post 1740 examples, at which the date the design was practically extinct. In addition the rat-tail is frequently of poor proportion and there is a viable seam. The accompanying fork of this pattern was three pronged and these too are nowadays extremely valuable. Shams of these are more difficult to spot in isolation, but many conversions were made from mixed bundles of spoons, which were made and have survived in greater numbers. If one comes across a dozen three pronged forks, all with differing markings, then caution should be exercised. Always test the strength and length of the tines/prongs against a good example if possible.

These conversions of table silver are all illegal, but one which is not is the alternative and matching up of patterns as long as no extra metal had been added and as long as the form is not changed substantially. Fiddle pattern is not as popular as Old English, so it is not unknown for the former to have the shoulders at the top and base of the stem trimmed away to form the latter. Old English pattern in turn, is not as sought after as the more decorative forms of the same design. It is actually not impossible to ‘manufacture’ Old English Thread, Featheredge, Beaded, and Bright Cut engraved patterns from the plain form.


In the Victorian era there was a vogue for presenting ‘Berry (strawberry) Spoons’. The majority of these are plain spoons which have been embossed with foliage, fruit or flowers in the second half of the 19th century. Their value is, strangely, usually double that of the plain spoon, reversing the price trend that followed by later chased hollowware (mugs, tankards, coffee pots, etc.). The ‘modern’ strawberry was not cultivated and popularised until the early 19th century, but a lot of these spoons are marked pre-1800. Sauce ladles have occasionally been treated in a similar fashion and sometimes pierced to form sugar sifters.

The true doyen of cutlery is, of course, the apostle spoon, which was revered as an object of curiosity of antiquarians as early as the late 18th century. They were made over a period of two centuries in England, achieving their highest production during the late 16th and 17th centuries. Various types of forgeries occur of which the most common is also the easiest to spot. On close examination, one must scrutinise the casting, and determine whether the spoon might have been reshaped from a plain one of the 18th century. Apostle spoons are generally the most expensive of a group that includes seal tops and slip tops, as well as lion sejants, maidenheads, and other finial types. It is prudent to check all finial spoons to see that they have not been changed.

Clever fakes are still being produced to add to the deceptions practised in the past. But collectors should not let themselves be put off. Genuine articles outnumber the fakes by more than a hundred to one. A good knowledge of the genuine article will automatically develop and extend into an instinct for that which is not a genuine piece, and instinct is one of our most valuable senses.

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Guide to buying a large dog: Newfoundland

by C. Schloemer

Good Points: excellent guard dog, but fierce only when provoked, fine swimmer, marvellous with children and other animals, intelligent, affectionate

Take Heed: no drawbacks known

This intelligent breed standard was written for a working dog. As much at home in the water as on land, canine literature gives us stories of these brave dogs which have rescued people from shipwrecks, carried life lines to stricken vessels, and have rescued downing men and women. A powerful hindquarters and a lung capacity enables him to swim long distances, this dog also has a heavy coat which protects him from icy waters. The Newfoundland is a gentle protector of children and family members. Owners will appreciate the sterling traits of this breed, especially its sweet disposition. Here, we have the great size and strength which makes him an effective guard and watchdog, complimented with the gentle nature which makes the Newfoundland a safe and faithful companion for the whole family. For generations, this breed has been the traditional children’s protector and friend. He is not easily hurt by tugging fingers, and undertakes the role of nursemaid of his own accord without training.

Size: Average height at shoulders: dog 71 cm, bitch 66 cm. Weight: dog 63.5-68 kg, bitch 49.9-54.4 kg

Exercise: As with all breeds of working dogs, the Newfoundland needs plenty of room, lots of exercise, and a job or task to perform. Prospective owners who’s housing has limited space, and who’s time does not permit a schedule of exercise for this dog will be happier choosing a different breed.

Grooming: This breed has a water-resistant double coat. The outer coat is moderately long and full, but not shaggy. It is straight and flat with no curl, but may have a slight wave. The coat, when rubbed the wrong way, will fall back into place. In cold climates, the undercoat is dense, but may be less so in warm or tropical countries. Daily brushing with a hard brush will keep the Newfoundland gleaming.

Origin and History: There is much uncertainty about the origin of the Newfoundland. Some say its ancestors are of the white Great Pyrenees, dogs which were brought to the coast of Newfoundland by the Basque fisherman. Others feel that this breed is descended from a “French hound”, probably the Boarhound. Many old prints of the Newfoundland show apparent evidence of a Husky ancestor, while other traits an be traced to other breeds such as the Red Indian dogs, and Basque sheep dogs. Admired for its physical powers and amicable nature, this breed was taken to England where it was exclusively bred until most of the Newfoundland dogs of pedigree, even in Newfoundland, are today descended from forebears born in England. At the present time, this breed is popular, and is bred in many different countries, including Europe and North America. The Newfoundland has been used for dragging carts and carrying burdens like a packhorse.

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Down the iron road

by John D. Blyth,
P.O. Box 97, Pattaya City 20260

Locomotive oddities crop up from time to time, and as often as not they come from the early days. The strange little locomotive in the first picture (from a French commercial postcard) was loaned to me years ago by Andy Hart, Secretary of the S.N.C.F. (roughly French National Railway) Society, a very active organization much concerned with railway modelling. Andy sent it to me as a puzzle, but had, as often happens, stumbled on the answer himself within days.

The astonishing little model by Mike Sharman, to a scale of 4 mm = 1 Foot, including every possible detail, including a driver and fireman! Mike is a noted builder of tiny, working model locomotives, using an odd postcard and a couple of dimensions.

Designed by M. Forquenot, that elegant producer of handsome express locomotives for his masters on the CF d’Orl้ans, it was one of the three which seem to have been the total locomotive output of the firm of J. Voruz Ain้, of Nantes, in eastern France. What else they made has never been revealed! Provided for a small railway between Vitr้ and Fouger่s, they later passed to new owners, the Western Railways of France – ensuring them long lives. Here, too, they bore numbers 318 to 320. They had a special oddity, which is not to be plainly seen in this picture: there are only four wheels, not the six to be expected at first glance. To be sure there are three axles, but the middle one is without wheels, thus being what is called a ‘jackshaft’. On each end is a crank from which the drive is taken in a normal way to the front and rear pairs of wheels. The ends of the ‘jackshaft’ also carry the two eccentrics needed for the operation of the valve gear, in this case of the Gooch type, often confused with the much better-known Stephenson type.

‘Jackshaft-driven’ locomotives were not unknown on the Continent of Europe. Some in Bavaria come to mind, and even in Britain the Stockton & Darlington, and Glasgow & South Western Railways had examples; Cudworth of the South Eastern built some, not a success, for the Harbour Branch at Folkestone in 1851.

Built in Nantes in 1867, here is ‘No. 1’ from the works of J. Voruz, as CF de l’Ouest No. 381, shunting at an unknown French station – possibly St. Lazare in Paris.

Railway modelling knows no boundaries for originality, and from time to time in the specialty magazines covering this now-popular hobby in Britain we see some of the work of Mike Sharman. Here, then, is a picture of Mike’s model of No. 318, in its ‘Ouest’ days, and (the original is in colour!) correct light green livery. I cannot imagine that Mike is unconnected with the S.N.C.F. Society, and would be known to Andy Hart, yet the latter has referred, in correspondence with myself, to two more pictures in a 1965 issue of the French magazine La Vie du Rail. Yet Mike Sharman has admitted to that boldest of enterprises, building a model (locomotive, or anything else difficult) without a good picture of each side, there are often big differences – more especially in details such as pipe work, between one side and the other. This little model is typical of ‘Sharman’ products, and a fine tribute to this enthusiast’s skill in doing very fine work at a very small scale. The model, as it stands, cannot be as much as three inches in length!

A final word on the originals – all three took new numbers when the Ouest and Etat systems were merged in 1909; for years they had to be brought to a stand by a dubious hand-brake, but later two were fitted with air pumps for braking, yet kept their hand-brakes themselves. They are known to have been employed on shunting duties at the Ouest station of St. Lazare in Paris, and it is possible this was the location of the ‘post card’ picture shown. No one is certain, just as no one has information as to when they ceased work.

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The Message In The Moon: Sun in Taurus/Moon in Capricorn - The Worrywart

by Anchalee Kaewmanee

Like most Taureans, an individual born into this combination will be calm, sympathetic, sensual and fun-loving. But beneath that magnetic charm lies a hard core of determination and inner strength. Humour is one of this person’s greatest gifts, and he can brighten any conversation with that quick, incisive wit. But for all that light-heartedness, there may be a deep-down sadness that hardly ever reaches the surface. Here, still waters run deep.

The Taurus-Capricorn has many strengths and the capacity to enjoy life to the fullest. The downside may be that self-doubt and worry over the future will keep this individual from applying so many of his talents. These people never admit it, but what they fear most is poverty and loss of control. They need to assure themselves of a stable existence, and their drive for material security can become all consuming. For those people with healthy self-images, the obsession with money and security will be less, for they have found life is full of wonders and have learned to enjoy themselves with gusto.

Actually, most of the time these fears are imaginary, for there is no one more sure footed that a Taurus-Capricorn. This combination has the resolve and will power to achieve just about anything they set their sights on. The challenge will be to set aside those fears and live a little more for the moment than for some ever-threatening future catastrophe which may never occur. A bank account or a home can not guarantee self-confidence; that comes from within. Good advice to this Sun/Moon sign is to value all those terrific capabilities and get on with it. Once they can do this, nothing is beyond their reach.

Many Taurus-Capricorns have musical and artistic leanings. In addition to their creative abilities, these people have charming personalities. That persuasive manner works to their advantage, and they can really charm and cajole the hardest heart. People often come to this Sun/Moon sign for advice, drawn to an inherent stability and wisdom which all of these individuals exude. And since they are loyal and giving persons, they are always ready to help or lend support to a friend.

This Sun/Moon combo does have a tendency to hold in feelings of frustration and anger, rather than dealing with them openly. Naturally this is a blessing when dealing in human relationships. But sometimes these individuals should find a way to articulate deep-seated emotions, since to repress them for too long can lead to various psychological problems such as depression and anxiety, and even severe paranoia. These people need to learn that it is okay to say what they feel and get things out into the open for the good of their emotional health. The overly frustrated Taurus-Capricorn can become monomaniacal and tyrannical. Adolph Hitler is an example of an extremely maladjusted Taurus-Capricorn.

Natives born into this combination possess matchless organisational skills, and can easily create order out of sheer chaos. They also have a wonderful flair for business and high finance, and really enjoy all that wheeling and dealing. Carried to extremes, they will often allow money to become an end in itself and need to develop a sense of priority so that they can enjoy other things in life.

In romance, the Taurus-Capricorn is a loyal lover. Sometimes this sign will make a search for a lover a search for security. Women born into this combination often run the risk of falling for the first man who offers the promise of a comfortable refuge, only to find out later that the match is unfortunate in many other respects.

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