Would I like to go and spend the new year in Ubon with my wife’s extended family?

My answer was succinct, my wife departed north and I found myself alone for four days. My initial dreams of binge watching stuff she doesn’t want to watch, playing hours of computer games and generally slumming around in my underpants, are broken when I am requested to attend the polo club and take some photos for three days. While there I become the good friend and personal photographer to a Maharaja. By good friend I mean he said hello to me, and by personal photographer I mean I took a photo of him on a horse and he said he liked it.

But apart from knocking off about 3,000 shots and knocking around with royalty, there was another project I wished to undertake while my wife was away, a task that will simply be known in history as “the clearance”, but for now I shall refer to it as “clearing all the shit out of the store room”.

The store room sits next to the car port and is one of my disappointments (as is the car port, it doesn’t have an interesting car in it). When we bought the house there were many improvements that she who must be obeyed wanted to implement before we moved in. Mainly small stuff, like two new kitchens, two new bathrooms and a replacement of all the doors and windows. My requirements were more modest: I wanted to extend the tiny store room so that it was big enough to store all our crap and leave space for a little photo studio. For reasons unclear, my proposals were rejected by management and we got a slightly larger store room that was big enough to store all our crap; but that is all.

Over the last couple of years, the crap has slowly increased further, due in no small part to the stated desire of my wife to do some gardening. Her enthusiasm for gardening has not been as great as her enthusiasm for gathering the supplies that will be required when she finally wields a trowel, with the result that the store room has become 70% full of soil, and at least 5% full of fertiliser excreted by animals unknown; but judging by the smell they had upset stomachs.

Something had to be done.

With crampons, climbing boots and breathing apparatus, I ventured into the store and extracted two storage racks, which I then placed in the car port along with paint, spare tiles and she who must be obeyed’s soil collection, .

All the stuff that had been on the racks was dumped in the store, which did not improve the situation:

So this morning I started the day by emptying the contents of the store into the car port.

That took an hour. Then I spent the next four hours sorting out the crap and placing what remained back inside the store. This is a good task to undertake when your wife is away, otherwise you get remarks like “don’t throw out that five year old modem that doesn’t work, it might come in useful”.

Once I had finished, the store looked a great deal tidier, and less smelly:

Final task for the day was to slap some paint on the car port:

Done.

That still gives me a day or so until she is back. Time for some binge watching, game playing, underpant wearing action? Nope, I have those 3,000 photos of my new friend the Maharaja and others to process.

2017 sucks so far.