Family Money: Making
it on your own
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
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
Many of the chief executives of the world’s largest
corporations are accountants. They know that any business runs on the
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
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
Modern Medicine: Break
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.
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?
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.
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
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
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.
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,
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Social Commentary by Khai Khem
Bankrupt and Broken Hearted? How to Make a
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
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
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.
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.
Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a Princess.
Age 6: She looks at herself in the mirror and sees a
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.
Shaman’s Rattle: Essential
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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
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 www.act.co.th
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Guide to buying a large
by C. Schloemer
Good Points: excellent guard dog, but fierce only
when provoked, fine swimmer, marvellous with children and other animals,
Take Heed: no drawbacks known
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Updated every Friday
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