Martin R. Clutterbuck
Thailand might seem an exotic place to look for a Clutterbuck. The only member of the worldwide Clutterbuck family that we know of who has a connection to Thailand is Martin R. Clutterbuck.
He speaks Thai like a native, according to a colleague with whom he collaborated in the research for Siamese Cats: Legends and Reality. In fact, he had been translating the Cat Book Poems of Siam, written several hundred years ago, after being granted a research permit by the Thai Government when she got together with him to research the ancient feline breed from original manuscripts. Here's a review of that book.
Martin's an author or editor of several books and, most recently, a website about The Real Lives of Thomas the Tank Engine.
He's also a co-writer of Fodor's Exploring Thailand (4th ed now published), so he knows the country better than most. Here's a brief excerpt from that book, about which Martin adds, "I didn't write that passage, but it is all true."
Thailand has a huge amount to offer, endowed with resorts well-attuned to the needs of Western tourists as well as many places that are still remote in character. Visitors can get a good idea of the range of experiences by staying in Bangkok for a few days and taking a few side trips into the surrounding areas. Many stay on for months. The Thais' gentle and laid-back nature, coupled with the ease of getting around and making one's own discoveries, contribute to Thailand's popularity. This country has dazzling temples and some extraordinary historic sights. Beyond the great rice plains, where farmers bend over in their lampshade hats to tend the crops, rise mountains harboring hill-tribe cultures. In the south are some of the loveliest beaches anywhere, with squeaky white sands backed by lofty limestone cliffs and fringed with palm trees.In the aftermath of the South East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami, our thoughts and prayers go out to Martin Clutterbuck in Thailand, and we hope to hear news from him in the near future.
Thailand is its people: in spite of spiraling economic change, they have kept their traditions, festivals, and essential Thai qualities. It would take a great deal to change all that.
Update: We received an email from Martin, on 7 January 2005, parts of which are copied here because there are many of us around the world who were hoping to hear that he was okay.
Thanks very much for you concern. Please rest assured none of us were in the tsunami danger zone. However, I have been involved in relief efforts through my day job in the PR department of Tesco Lotus, a supermarket chain, and I was greatly shocked at the devastation down South, which I know well and indeed wrote about in that guide you quote.Martin was kind enough to provide corrections and some better links to his books, which have been noted above. By reply email, we let Martin know that, indeed, we'll be profiling Richard Clutterbuck, David Clutterbuck, and less well-known folks in our worldwide family, in the weeks and months ahead. As always, we're glad to get more information and ideas for this scrapbook of a website about Clutterbucks. Best of all, we're happy to hear he was not in the area hit by the tsunami but is involved in the relief efforts.
Just btw, I'm embarrassed up at the top there - there are more illustrious literary Clutterbucks: Dr Richard, the terrorism expert, and David, the management mentoring guru, who deserve profiles perhaps.
I did have the tree up to 5-greats grandaddy before it got cut off.
Happy New Year to all the other Clutterbucks, our allies and associates.
Martin and Bang-on Clutterbuck