Neill enjoyed Hua Hin. He used the four and five star hotels down there to impress senior management when he managed his leadership and team building business. After a day getting board directors doing things they wouldn't normally do he'd kick back on the beach looking out over the sea before getting back into it for the evening session or wrap up.
Other burnt parts of my drinking pal are kept in an urn in his home office, on the top shelf, where a loved one can see him because, at the moment, she can not quite let go.
A very tiny portion of the ashes (shhhhh) were sneaked on board a plane to be later buried, by his mum, under "a lawn in Bath" where Neill romanced his wife on their first trip to England. Every mum should be allowed to bend some rules when mourning a son.
On the other side of the village to where Neill has his stupa is two rai (3,200 metre square) of land. It sits between sugar cane fields and the school where Mrs Neill went, as a nipper, some 40 years ago. I will transform this patch into my village home. The "family" and I sorted out the plans for the earthworks just this morning. Kevin McCloud and a Grand Design it may not turn out to be, but a home is a home is a home, and I intend to do the best job I can.
Tomorrow I'm having a chat with my chum Ben the lawyer about the relevant documents. This being Thailand I am sure there will be a shed load of relevant documents.
I'm thinking the place will be something lasting for me to leave behind, when it's me that's gone. I don't really fancy a white stupa with sparkly bits on it.
I'll show you how the site develops throughout the coming months.
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That was a couple of interludes.
Hemmingway and the significance of today.
Now it's time to get back on track and pick up with the chronological timeline and my expanding geography. To England. To my youth.
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