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The week has passed in a blur. The days melt into one. The weather in Phuket this week has been hot and sunny. There were some clouds yesterday, and a little haze today, but it's been a dry week. The winds were strong at the start of the week, but it's all calmed down now. Divers have been seeing lots of Manta rays.

Today is Chinese New Years Eve. If I was not working, I'd head to Phuket Town where I am sure there are some celebrations. Here in Patong there are firecrackers going off at regular intervals. Last night I saw fireworks over Kathu as I decended the hill. Was quite a beautiful sight.

My mother is coming next week, staying here for 2 weeks. When she goes back home, she needs to start cancer treatment. She had cancer many years ago and fought tooth and nail to defeat the beast. Doctors have now discovered "red patches of cancerous cells" on the surface of her bladder. So I hope we can have a good 2 weeks. In the middle of her stay, I will also be changing jobs. It is a time of upheaval!

I am looking forward to Sunday. My day off. Weather is fine, and I wanna go to the beach! We might head North to Naithon beach. It's quiet up there.

At moments like these, it's time to read Desiderata...

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Sunset in Patong, 17th February 2007

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