Knock Knock

I’ll often joke to our guests that there might be a knock at the door….

Well there was for…,

Jony, Sue, Chris and Ruth

It wasn’t the secret police but a return visit from me.

Jony kindly put me up after passing through WOMAD on my tour of the south west that included Dorset, Trowbridge, Kingsclere and Bath.

I was also hanging out with other critical friends in Kingsclere.

At the home of Stephen who edits

After Dorset I was

Resting and reading about …

At Ruth’s in Bath and reading from her latest book of poems, all about India….

That’s Ruth the poet.

I think I’ll export some to India

I have…. What next?

…..

Thank you all for you care and kindness

I’m so happy to have created something special with MAnjula which continues to grow our wonderful family.

Check out the next posting to see how we continue to celebrate Manjula and continue to grow our family.

Why I’m so lucky

I first shared ‘why?, in a posting in 2015

I’ve just rediscovered and want to share a recording that Manjula made that year. It’s quite long but you’ll get the gist pretty quickly.

I’ve had difficulties uploading it so please follow the link to see the video, it’s one of the best

I share this gift from Manjula — as a follow up to Why? — as we approach what would have been her 49th birthday. On her birthday itself we hope to make a few other friends. Please check back to find out what happens.

In the meantime, if you’re interested, there’s more of our story here.

Wo no Mud

I very nearly didn’t go to the WOMAD festival this year. I’m glad I did otherwise I would have missed meeting members of our Mysore family.

I camped with my friends who I’ve known for years but unusually this time I bumped into so many others…..

Lots of guests of Mysore Bed and Breakfast who have become friends and now officially part of our family. I’m missing photographs of Mike and Sue who were at our wedding, and Stephen of bicycles and bees, and friends from behind the bar.

It cheered me up no end.

It tells you a lot about the wonderful, friendly, easy-going people that visit us and make up our warm caring community.

It was exceptional and a real tonic, thank you…. Ruth, Alan, Gill, Don, Paul, Lisa, Oliver, Emma, Lucy, Liz, Mike, Sue, Stephen, Paul and Ros while not to forgetting the bar crew and our usual WOMAD gang. Phew!

Oh and there was also music, drink, wooden spoon carving (more later) food and great vibes…… which I would otherwise have missed.

And the usual quirkiness, including these dancers from Taiwan

There was no rain so no MUD (there have been challenging muddy years), the weather was great.

I just missed my star, the last time she was with me.

Should I be Retracing steps?

After meeting up with our mysore BnB family at WOMAD and knocking on a few of their doors I went camping.

I was apprehensive about revisiting the same places in Dorset where we’d had a family camp to celebrate Alice and Ben’s (eldest son) wedding and my 60th birthday during Manjula’s second U.K. holiday

I shouldn’t have been.

It proved to be a tonic.

I like Weymouth
Rachel and Simon of the lovely ‘hive’ cafe even remembered our visit five years ago.
Catching a ferry
Making new friends from Yorkshire
Who’s that bearded idiot?
Then back to Ruth’s in Bristol,

over to bee-man Stephen to drop our beautiful tent, return the fancy hire car and prepare to return home

In my experience, when grieving, we regularly get ambushed by memories of magical times together. They make me both happy and sad. I’ve learned not to run away but to face them, even create them, so it was ok to retrace my steps.

Thank you for joining my journey and your support.

How lucky am I?

Obviously, I am so grateful because MAnjula and I found each other,.

But as highlighted in one of Oliver Jeffers wonderful books a little girl, in my case two help bring light and joy.

It’s my granddaughter Poppy who lives in London and my ‘adopted’ granddaughter Kaveri who lives in Mysore.

and how fab, that they are both into cycling.

Not forgetting my Lucie

Can we find her?

Isn’t she pretty?

Stolen

… in Mount Pleasant Vancouver. Please pass this information on to help locate her. there’s a reward of cash or a free cycle tour and accommodation in Mysore, flight not included. 🤭

I’d planned to bring her back to London and then onto India after she was given to me by my son while holidaying in Canada in July 2022.

After a trip to Vancouver island we cycled the goose cycle trail.

There’s more of our history here.

Stands out from a crowd

She’s distinctive with her yellow frame, white wheels and pretend leather saddle. She has a single front rim brake.

Meet Trixie

I’ve now flown back but can arrange to pick her up or have her transported when we find her.

My son Oliver Farrell is the proprietor of ‘Feel Good Everyday’ near the railway (train) station in Vancouver and can be contacted there or online. Please email me at sfindia@gmail.com

We’ve listed details here

Manufactured by Regal Bicycles in Toronto, she was known as ‘Count’ over ten years ago as a single gear fixie but now she has the addition of three speed gears and coaster brake and so we named her Trixie

I lead city Mcycle tours and host Mysore Bed and Breakfast in South India.

My experience was otherwise very positive in Canada.

Vancouver and the island are great

Making different connections

Great things happen unexpectedly, just when you need them.

I’d just finished packing my bags, here in Vancouver, ready for the flight back to London, when Sharon — a friend of my son Oliver — came calling to say farewell.

What a wonderful surprise.

To be able to have an open conversation of the trials and tribulations of dealing with our lifelong unwanted friend yes….. grief

No one can ever know what it’s like for another but we’ve come pretty close.

It isn’t about ‘getting over it’ … both of us remember and celebrate — not only in our hearts — but also the physical reminders, the photos, the wonderfulness and the flotsam of souls grown together. We have both kept our original house and are surrounded by the loved one we fondly remember, deal with the difficult times, but also continue to laugh together.

A sustaining gift for my journey.

Thank you Sharon, a great new friend

It’s good to share, as I have done personally and online. As reflected in this article.

Canada Cares

Rubbish/litter bins with a shelf for recycling items which poor people collect and sell.

Drivers keep to the lane and stop for pedestrians at zebra crossings and side roads.

Saying sorry and carrying cycles on the front of buses.
Guests of Mysore Bed and Breakfast that welcome you into their home…. even after getting to know me.

Considerate Canadians helping out.

That’s nice.

Postscript

While I was out and preparing this posting someone came round (or maybe overnight) and stole Trixie, my new friend. So not all Canadians are good apples.

Trixie, and I’ve only just met her.

Vancouver Island

I’m visiting one of the Sari Sisters, a group of women cyclists from Vancouver Island.

Thank you Lise

They came to India stayed with us and cycled from Mysore to Cochin.

This is my third visit. Lise and Michael kindly ‘put me up’

And Michael and Benson.

I’ve had a wonderful few days exploring Victoria, the capital of BC and cycling along the Galloping Goose Trail.

Victoria and the island (as long as England!) is a great place

Guess who’s is the biggest?

Cyclists are catered for with cycle routes, great maps, considerate drivers and safe secure places to leave your cycle

With random deer, not cows.

Trixie was with me all the way.

Meet Trixie, Vancouver 3

Meet Trixie… My new friend has taken me in and around Vancouver city, to the sea and across to Vancouver Island.

Every time I visit Vancouver I’m reminded of the politeness. How people greet each other; how drivers generally behave and give way to pedestrians especially on side roads; and how it’s institutions respect and respond to their communities.

Even cyclists and their bikes are carefully catered for.

Travelling on the Skytrain.

But…

And on the Buses en route to the ferry to Vancouver Island.

Trixie isn’t all that she seems.

Originally manufactured by ‘Regal Cycles’ over ten years ago. Known as ‘the Count’ she was a Fixie or fixed gear but after some tinkering she was transformed with a new set of handlebars, 3 speed hub gears and a coaster brake.

Trixie is fab and served me well, I’d love to adopt her, provide a Brooks saddle and take her home.