Paula's back in town

And the actress/model has a cutie in tow

Paula Taylor has always been a darling of the entertainment world. She first entered the public domain with the Thai romantic comedy Sexphone and the Lonely Wave when she was 20 years old. From then on her career took off like a shooting star. She became a popular VJ on Channel [V] and a competitor in the TV reality show Amazing Race.

Paula Taylor with Lyla.

Readers of Seventeen Thailand handed her the Teen Choice Award for five consecutive years and she was one of only three Thai nationals to ever grace the cover of that magazine.

Paula disappeared from the scene for a while after her wedding to Hong Kong shipping heir Edward Buttery. The couple now have a baby, Lyla, a bubbly, blue-eyed, one-year-old star in the making _ just like Mummy.

But now Paul regularly shuttles between Singapore, where her husband is based, and Bangkok where she's slipping back into a packed schedule, almost as if she'd never left.

And just to make sure fans are able to keep abreast of developments in her life and the progress of little Lyla, she has set up a website called www.paula andbaby.com, where she regularly uploads pictures, video clips, blogs on her activities, her views on anything to do with bringing up babies, shopping for babies, travelling with babies, etc. She is essentially sharing her learning experiences as a first-time mother, as well as all the other girlie things like shopping, fashion and diet tips.

The online diary has also allowed her to indulge again in something she has always enjoyed: "Writing used to be something I did with a passion. Short stories, poems _ the works! Putting pen to paper and letting my imagination run wild was an escape for me into a world of my own.

"I remember when I was 16 how I was given an interesting assignment and my mind went wild with ideas. Eagerly I picked up my pen ... and that was it."

She somehow manages to keep her blog updated in between doing advertising or fashion-photo shoots and fulfilling her responsibilities as a wife and mother (luckily her husband takes care of all the cooking at home!).

Her website is available in four languages: English, Thai, Chinese and Tagalog (she has a huge fan base in the Philippines).

And as if she doesn't have enough to do already, Paula is also planning to get involved in a couple of films and TV series.

Thanakorn Poshyananda doing a roadside cook-up.

This shaman's a wizard with a wok

If you happened to be shopping at Sam Yan Market not too long ago, you might have seen a familiar-looking gentleman frying spring rolls in the parking area.

If you'd looked more closely, you might have gasped and said, "That's Thanakorn "Ou" Poshyananda! What on earth is he doing cooking food in a car park in Sam Yan?"

It so happened that Thanakorn was doing a shoot on location for television series The Sixth Sense in which he plays an evil shaman.

But instead of sitting around twiddling his thumbs during the long idle periods between takes, Thanakorn decided to put his culinary skills to good use by cooking up a storm for the cast and crew. And this is something he does quite often, apparently. One day colleagues might be treated to "carbo Mama" _ his adaptation of spaghetti carbonara, using instant noodles instead of Italian pasta; but that day it seems that popiah (spring rolls) were on the menu.

And the actor goes about his cooking with a strangely soothing calmness that's almost meditative, from the way he gently mixed the popiah filling by hand, then neatly rolled up the little cylindrical parcels so that they were all exactly the same size. He did a test fry in a small pan over a picnic gas canister to make sure the oil was hot enough and the taste just right, before going on to cook the rest of the batch.

And he looked so professional that I almost feel like going over to him and putting in a takeaway order!

Thanakorn didn't have any formal cooking lessons; he says he picked up the knack just by observing his grandmother when he was younger. But if he has his way, or so we hear, he will soon be opening up a restaurant somewhere along Sukhumvit Road.

Andrew Wood, the new president of Skal (Thailand).

New Skal boss upbeat about future

Congratulations to Andrew Wood who was recently elected national president of Skal (Thailand) following the passing of the incumbent, Malai Sakolviphak, a respected figure widely regarded as the "father" of the Thai chapter of this worldwide organisation.

Previously vice-president, Andrew was elected unopposed to the presidency during an AGM held at the Rembrandt Hotel.

Andrew knows Thailand through and through, having resided in the Kingdom for almost two decades, working in the hotel industry, most recently as general manager of the Chaophya Park Hotel.

He had a health scare two years ago but has made a good recovery and since been indulging in his passion for travelling.

Despite setbacks for the Thai tourism industry like the various yellow-shirt and red-shirt protests and the major floods late last year, Andrew remains upbeat about the future.

"Thailand's tourism is set for a bumper year," he predicts.

Andrew is confident that both the tourism and aviation sectors can bounce back from the hit they've taken from various disasters, both natural and man-made.

"The signs are looking good, with encouraging numbers of business and leisure travellers opting for destinations in Thailand. Hotel rates in Thailand remain remarkably competitive, but hoteliers need to maintain higher levels of occupancy throughout the year to regain, and then maintain, profitability."

About the author

columnist
Writer: Krissie Na Klongtoey
Position: Writer