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    I’m dreaming of a Thai Christmas
    POSTED BY Thai Terre | December 11, 2016
    As we’ve mentioned a few times, Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country, so Christmas isn’t celebrated in quite the same way as it is in Western countries. However, one of the cornerstones of Buddhism is respect and tolerance for other religions, so it is not unusual to see Thai people and businesses decked out in red and green, ready to join in with the festive season. As you’ve probably realised by now, Thais are a joyful people and we love any excuse to celebrate and have fun. Christmas celebrations and events are more widespread in Thai cities than the countryside, and at this time of year it is quite common to see city streets and shopping malls decked out in trees, lights, and decorations, just as you would in the UK. Christmas Day is not a holiday in Thailand, though – the children still have to go to school, and the adults to work. But there is definitely a festive feel in the air; the children might receive a small gift in the morning and do some fun activities at school, and in the evening there might be a special meal, though it’s more likely to be curry and rice than turkey with all the trimmings! One thing to be careful of though: in the West, if y...
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    Eastbourne pier
    POSTED BY Thai Terre | October 15, 2016
    Summer is over, and here at Thai Terre we’re digging out our winter coats, enjoying warming soups, and turning our thoughts to Christmas. But there’s still nothing like a walk along Eastbourne seafront in the crisp autumn air, taking in the smell of the sea, and listening to the seabirds calling to each other. And no walk through Eastbourne would be complete without pausing to admire its iconic pier. Work began on the pier in 1866 and took six years to complete. Later, in 1888, its domed pavilion was added, shortly followed by a 1000-seat theatre, two saloons, and a tower topped with a camera obscura. The pier played its part in World War 2, when machine guns and an anti-aircraft gun were mounted on it, and camouflage net around its base was used to conceal a flotilla of small vessels, including assault landing craft. It seems that a run of misfortune has affected the pier, though: in 1877 a portion of it was washed away in a storm; in World War 2 a mine exploded at its base, causing considerable damage; a fire in 1970 destroyed the theatre; and more recently, in 2014, another fire destroyed a large part of the pier, and for a little while its future was uncertain. ...
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    The benefits of eating Thai food
    POSTED BY Thai Terre | September 15, 2016
    It will come as no great surprise that, here at Thai Terre, we love Thai food. We love cooking it, we love serving it to our guests, we love eating it – why wouldn’t we? It tastes amazing! But did you know that eating Thai food is also really good for you? Lemongrass is often used as a flu remedy as it treats symptoms such as fevers and headaches, and can also have positive effects on stomach pain and arthritis. As well as smelling and tasting amazing, coconut milk, cream, and oil are believed to lower cholesterol, and have beneficial effects for diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. They also boost your immune system, and it’s even been claimed that coconut can slow the ageing process. Coconut oil can also be used externally to treat eczema or to give your skin and hair a beautiful shine. Chilli is believed to aid sleep, as well as helping stabilise blood insulin and glucose levels, which is good news if you are diabetic. Meanwhile, coriander can be used to treat a stomach ache or to aid digestion; ginger can be used to treat mental health problems and is a common treatment for nausea; while garlic can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and some people even believe...
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    Buddhism
    POSTED BY Thai Terre | July 6, 2016
    DSC_6941 DSC_6940 In our last Thai Terre blog we mentioned that most Thai people (nearly 95%) are Buddhists, and discussed the part that meditation plays in a Buddhist’s life. But what is Buddhism, and what does it mean to be a Buddhist? Buddhism is generally described as a religion, but this isn’t entirely accurate. Buddha is not a god and, although Buddhists show respect for and venerate Buddha, they do not worship him. Buddhism is more of a way of life or a way of viewing things. But let’s start at the beginning. Siddhartha Gautama – the man who would become known as Buddha – lived around 2500 years ago in what is now Nepal. He was a prince and had a very privileged upbringing, but became troubled by the suffering he saw in the world. At the age of 29 he left his home and his family and travelled, seeking wisdom from philosophers and holy men. ...
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    Meditation
    POSTED BY Thai Terre | June 29, 2016
    We’ve mentioned a few times in our Thai Terre blogs that the majority of Thai people (nearly 95%) are Buddhists, and one of the principle features of Buddhism is its focus on meditation and thus the attainment of nirvana: a transcendental state in which desire and suffering are overcome and the practitioner escapes the cycles of karma and reincarnation to attain a higher state. There seem to be as many methods of meditation as there are teachers, but some of its common features are using a single word (often the name of Buddha) as a focus, controlled breathing, and an attempt to view your thoughts dispassionately and from the outside, thus finding ways to control and dismiss your worries and find solutions to your problems. For example, you may be worrying about any number of things: your family; your relationship; your job; your health; and events in the wider world. Sometimes these worries can feel like spinning plates: just as you give one a little twist to keep it going, another will start to wobble. You run to set it going again, but now three more are wobbling and before you know it you are sitting among the shards of a ruined dinner service. But by using meditation to e...
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    Buddha’s Birthday
    POSTED BY Thai Terre | May 18, 2016
    Buddha’s Birthday At Thai Terre, when we write these blogs, we like to share with you all the news about what is going on in both our homes. For instance, in East Dean we have been enjoying the lovely weather by lying in the sun in our gardens, taking walks around the village green, eating ice-cream, and playing outside with our pets and our families. But in our other home, Thailand, preparations are underway for a special celebration. On 20th May Thai Buddhists will be celebrating Visakha Bucha Day, also known as Buddha’s Birthday. This is a little bit complicated, because it isn’t actually Buddha’s birthday but the new moon of the Hindu month of Vaisakha, and we aren’t actually celebrating Buddha’s birthday anyway, but his whole life, his attainment of nirvana in his lifetime, and his attainment of parinirvana after his death. Although Visakha Bucha Day is a national holiday, everyone still gets up early to go to the temple, where they sing hymns, raise flags, pour water over a statue of Buddha to symbolise the washing away of their own bad karma, and make offerings to Buddha and to their teachers and elders in Buddha’s honour. These o...
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    The life of William Cavendish
    POSTED BY Thai Terre | March 31, 2016
    The life of William Cavendish   In the last Thai Terre blog we talked about the history of Eastbourne and the man responsible for creating it: William Cavendish. Now, we’d like to talk a bit more about the man considered to be the father of Eastbourne.   William Cavendish was born on the 27th of April 1808 and in 1829 he married Blanche Georgiana Howard, who bore him four sons and a daughter. Over the course of his life held the titles ‘The Duke of Devonshire’, ‘Lord Cavendish of Keighley’, and ‘The Earl of Burlington’. He was educated at Eton and then Cambridge University, before embarking on a career in politics. Between 1829 and 1834 he sat in the House of Commons as MP for Cambridge University, Malton, and then North Derbyshire; then, when his grandfather died and he succeeded him as Earl of Burlington, he entered the House of Lords.   As well as a political career, Cavendish was also known for his academic pursuits. He was Chancellor of the University of London for a period of twenty years, and Chancellor of the University of Cambridge for...
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    The history of Eastbourne
    POSTED BY Thai Terre | February 23, 2016
    The history of Eastbourne   In the Thai Terre blog we’ve talked a lot about our home in East Dean and our home in Thailand, but we are also residents of the Eastbourne area and we love living near this modern, up-and-coming town by the sea.   Most of Eastbourne is relatively new, less than 160 years old. However, there is evidence of humans living in this part of Britain in the stone age, and that the Romans had settlements here. The Domesday book and several historical charters, as well as the twelfth-century Church of St Mary, show that the area was under constant occupation, but it wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century and the arrival of the railway that the town we know today began to develop.   In 1859 William Cavendish, the Earl of Burlington, hired the architect Henry Currey to design a new resort town suitable for the Victorian gentleman. In fact, the new town was almost named Burlington after the earl. But instead Eastbourne was built almost from the ground up and the town’s population began to increase. Seaside resorts were at the height of their popularity at this time as a higher standard of living and the ease ...
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    Thai kickboxing (Muay Thai)
    POSTED BY Thai Terre | January 28, 2016
    At Thai Terre, it’s not just our Green Curry which has a kick; we are also very proud to come from the nation which brought Muay Thai to the world. Generally reckoned to be one of the most highly rated, if not the best, unarmed fighting techniques in the world, Muay Thai is also known as ‘the art of eight limbs’ because, unlike other kickboxing varieties, it uses not just the feet, but also fists, knees and elbows for offence, as well as the forearms and shins for defence. The eight limbs serve different roles; for example, the hands represent bladed weapons, while the legs are used in the same way as fighting staffs. In one form of Muay Thai, fighters are permitted to bind their hands with cloth or lengths of rope. These simultaneously protect the fighter’s hands and cause more damage to their opponent. However, because of the injuries which can be caused by a skilled fighter with roped hands, this is no longer generally practised. There are many stories in Thailand’s history about the formidableness of Muay Thai, but our favourite, and the earliest, dates back to the sixteenth century and describes how King Naresuan, when captured by the Burmese and made to fight the...
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