Connect with me

Hello and welcome to my blog formerly called Gypsy-K. Please note that I am only updating this blog while I am walking from Rome to Jerusalem from September 2015. My online home and permanent blog is at You can also sign up for pilgrim postcards and newsletters here. Thank you for being here and supporting my journey. With love and courage, Kym xx

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Waiting and Watching

I am back in Phuket. Round 4 of my love affair with this island. It’s magnetic charm keeps drawing me back. Away from the over supply and development of tourist facilities and the sex tourism, there is a beauty and peace and tranquility here that pulls me in time and time again. It reminds me that my needs are simple. Food, water, shelter, sea and sunsets. Although I much prefer it if you can throw in a motorbike, some wine, air conditioning and friends as well.

Life slows down for me here. It’s a lot about waiting and watching. Waiting for work. Waiting for the rain to stop. Waiting for the right weather to go to the beach. Waiting to go diving. Waiting and hoping for a brilliant sunset. It’s the kind of waiting that if you’re not completely in the present moment becomes a wearisome boredom. Sometimes I find myself slip but for the most part there’s a peace and a patience in my current waiting. It gives space for watching. Watching the clouds pass by. Sometimes giant puffs of marshmallow. Other times silver veiling hiding the blue sky. Watching the storms sweep in over Chalong Bay with stealth and ambush the unprepared. Watching sets of huge waves crash on the shore of Naiharn Beach. Watching people frolic in the warm sea despite the warning of red flags not to swim. Watching dogs play fight on the sand. Watching life. Watching and waiting for the inspiration of small stones to make their way onto my page.

Like the gentle rise and fall of a boat bobbing on an emerald sapphire sea, there is a beautiful lull to my life here. It is addictive and it makes me wonder if I can ever make a permanent return to city life. The very thought of going back to an old frantic routine makes me panic, a little. My wanderings over the last 2 ½ years helped me to discover the threads of all the things I love, want to do and be but I’ve not yet quite figured out the way to weave them together into the tapestry of my life. And so, I’m using this time, for waiting, and watching for the inspiration to come and decisions to be made.

Two seasons in one frame, Friendship Beach, Phuket, Thailand 

Storm rolling in from Chalong Bay, Phuket, Thailand 

 Sunset play, Naiharn Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Stormy weather, Friendship Beach, Phuket, Thailand 

Mirrored sunset, Naiharn Beach, Phuket, Thailand 

All about the cloud, After Beach Bar, Kata Noi, Phuket, Thailand

Thursday, 20 October 2011

More small stones

And here is the rest of my week captured as small stones (and if that doesn't make sense then see my last post or Writing Our Way Home for more explanation)

Biting into crunchy pillows of ciabbata bread, tangy mustard mayonnaise erupts oozing a trail of bright yellow lava down my dimpled chin.

Molten pools of pewter mirror sodden skies.

Sweet frangipani and earthy incense 
Skip hand in hand across rain swept air
Tickling nostrils and stirring nostalgia 
Before dancing off into the night.

Stripes meld.
Violet into blue into green into yellow, orange then pink. 
The illusory slide of light arches over yachts and boats bobbing in an emerald sapphire sea.

Dark brown eyes tarnished by tell-tale tiny threads of fiery red flame.


Rainbow over Chalong Bay seen from Friendship Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Small stones

Last week I came across a blog and website called Writing Our Way Home who teach people to slow down and fall in love with the world by writing small stones. What is a small stone? It is a very short piece of writing that precisely captures a fully-engaged moment. There are no rules or forms to follow it is just about watching, listening, smelling, tasting, touching and feeling something in the world. I was curious so I took their 7 day challenge to write one small stone every day.  Here are some of the results and experiences from my world this week.
 Let me know what you think.

A silveresque trail.
Its wetness shimmers delicately in the post-rain sun,
Leading the way to its creator.
Slimy, sluggish body housed in a delicate brindled shell.
The snail moves with undetectable movement.
Its trail, the only tell-tale sign.

The unseen sun,
Permeates the silvery marshmallow expanse thickly carpeting the sky,
Its glaring light magnified through the drape that hides.


White capped waves wash over weather-worn rocks, bubbling and foaming before slinking back down to join their inky mass.  WhooSHHHHHHHHHHH.  WhooSHHHHHHHHHHH. WhooSHHHHHHHHHHH. 
The constant rush of sound mingles with the salty, sticky breeze.
A soothing caress carried on invisible wings

Tiny bare feet skip lightly over moist smooth sand.
Little pale skinned legs gallop towards the silver sea. 
Favourite green and yellow martian lycra swimmers sit snug on straight bony hips.
Bare white chest momentarily dry. 
Into the small waves he skips and sits down with a gleeful splash.
Black mop of cropped hair plastered, salty.
Dark Asiatic eyes squint in delight.
“Look at me” he waves to the ones he left dry on the sand.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A piece of peace

The rain streams down from silver grey sky. For two hours it has alternated between drizzling and pouring. Incessant. I am stranded but at least I am dry. For now.

Curled up on a cracked brown leather arm chair with a cup of hot milky coffee in my favourite cafe, I sit and watch and wait for the right moment to leave. It’s not going to stop anytime soon. I know. I’ve seen this monsoon rain before but today I was not prepared. Not anticipating the relentless downpour, I ventured out in short cotton dress and leggings without my poncho. If I want to make it home this afternoon then I will have to ride in the rain, my clothing, my skin, unprotected. It will be a wet, cold, stinging journey home. This I also know. I've done it before.

The shower wanes. I brace, anticipating the moment to grab my handbag and make my escape. Then seconds later it intensifies once more. Too heavy and too wet to safely drive home. I sit back.

I wait. And watch. And wait. And watch.  The rhythm of the rain. Streaming for endless minutes, ebbing teasingly before intensifying once more. The pattern repeating.

Somehow, in my waiting and watching, I find a small piece of inner calm. Or rather, it finds me, sneaking upon me in the breaths between the waiting and watching. Accepting that in this moment this is where I am and there is nothing I can do to change it. I relax and enjoy the beauty of the falling rain and a small piece of peace.

Then it starts pouring harder once again and the moment passes. I look at the clock. It’s 3 o’clock. I’ve been held captive here for two and a half hours and all I can think is “Bloody hell, am I ever going to make it home today?”

Chao Fa West Road, Chalong, Flooded

Rain passing by, Naiharn Beach, Phuket, Thailand

 Night-time rain, Ao Chalong, Phuket

More night-time rain, Ao Chalong, Phuket

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

I remember

Was it all a dream? These peaceful days of slumber and solitude are all I know, now. But there are colours, faces, sounds, that leap up at me when I am lost in the tranquility of my surrounds. They dance in front of my eyes, taunting and reminding me, “Don’t forget us, we were real.”

I remember the heat and how sweat constantly trickled down my back, accumulating in the gentle curve of my lower spine.

I remember driving my scooter, alert but carefree as the wind whipped my hair and the dirt stuck to my face, forming muddy glue.

I remember her colours, vivid shades of blue, green, red, pink, purple, orange and yellow, sparkling against a curtain of grey and dusty brown.

I remember dancing. I remember wanting to move my body like never before in celebration of the life I was living. Inside. Outside. In the pouring rain.

I remember laughing with friends. Stories shared. The light and often comical side of life found in a land that is different and sometimes more difficult than the ones we know as home. Laughing from a place deep within my belly bubbling up through and out my heart. It roared. I couldn’t keep it in. I didn’t want to.

I remember the faces of children, some shy, some smiling, some staring solemnly or curiously at me. A foreign stranger.

I remember dancing with young girls, their hands in mine, twirling around and around and around, laughing that loud, hearty belly laugh. Dizzy and spent, falling down and then getting up to do it all over again.

I remember going home that night, a huge indelible smile on my face. Buzzing. More high than any drug could take me.

I remember sitting on the rocks at the beach watching the waves roll in, crash and splash as my orphan boys hunted for crabs. It was me and the hundreds of locals, on a regular Sunday afternoon. I was part of the crowd. A part of life. Content.

Now, I am separated from this place by the Bengal Sea and the sea of time. It is past. I am present. And my present keeps moving, unstoppably forward so that these memories grow more distant and farther behind me. This is life. This can’t be changed.

It was not an easy way of life. Physical comfort was short. But oh, how I loved this time, this place. I never wanted to be anywhere else.

And I still don’t.

We share a piece of soul, India and me. She keeps calling for me as I call her name. I felt her pulse and it became mine. Sisters of heart. Forever entwined.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Remembering how to breathe

I walked along a dark deserted beach,
On sand full of shooting stars.
I crept up upon a turtle
Building her nest, labouring hard.

I stood and watched another,
Drag herself back to the sea.
I watched as a big wave rolled in,
And swept her away from me.

I sat for countless hours,
Drinking in the beauty of this shore.
I watched each and every wave roll in,
I could not ask for more.

I watched the sun rise and a new day dawn
And each day I watched it set.
I watched the stars and the moon come out,
These I won’t forget.

I stood close to elephants,
Wild and roaming free.
Little did they know,
This was a dream come true for me.

I rested and did nothing,
I wrote a lot and read a little too.
I walked miles upon the empty beach,
These things I needed to do.

I spent eight days alone here,
Some times tense and some times free.
I gave the gift of time to me,
And remembered how to breathe.

View down Tangalla Beach 

Sunrise at Tangalla Beach 

Elephants at Udawalawe National Park 

Green Turtle dragging herself back down to the sea at Rekawa Beach 

The Lovers at Sunset, Tangalla Beach lagoon