‘I still can’t comprehend what we’re doing!’ – Cupcake Woman, 6th October 2010. Bangkok, Thailand

I consider myself a rather astute and aware individual, but I don’t think I could have envisaged that this would be our setting, on this humid, sticky evening. One of eight people dining at a spacious Thai eatery in a non-descript suburb, half an hour from the centre of Bangkok.

The décor going for ‘traditional’ yet comfortably screaming ‘1970’s British/Indian family home’ and a wonderful backing track of tuneless yet sincere Thai karaoke threatening to drown out our conversation, makes for an intriguing scene. All the more surreal considering we were in one of Dubai’s most exclusive resorts 24 hours earlier, knocking back a host of exotic beverages in the exquisite surroundings of a man-made paradise.

And so, in a pregnant pause between a forgotten melody line, Stannie, one of the most in-control, logical and organised people I have ever met, swallowed her mouthful of vegetable stir-fry and uttered that unnerving line. What better way to encapsulate all that inspired that outburst than to chronicle musings, stories, strops and moments of enlightenment from what will surely be a magical quest between the two Poles. Oh yes, it is a quest. Is the spare room still free Mum?

S+R xxx