Mother Hen

Update 17 Nov 2018

We’re getting so many requests about Manjula’s health. So we’re providing occasional updates.

She’s lost so much weight, I asked the local diagnostic lab to send someone round for an impromptu blood test to check haemoglobin levels.

It checks out ok at 13.1 reference range 11.5 – 14.5 in India with an ill wife one gets used to diagnostic centres, reading results, drugs, records, co-ordinating between different docs, trying to keep track and paying!

Cost was 50 rupees, so that’s great, this time!

A word from our sponsor

What’s

What’s up in India?

The mobile phone is having a profound effect.

I decided to observe drivers for a few moments on the main road near our home.

Ok it wasn’t quite as jammed as this. 🙃 but even I was surprised to see the majority, yes over 50% of drivers, mostly in cars but also on two wheelers …. actually on the phone! Stuck to their ear, jammed up the crash helmet, jabbing in messages. It’s astonishing, young and old, they’re all at it.

Maybe it’s the same around the world. I don’t know.

It represents a modern day challenge….How to keep up with technological change, whilst recognising what’s appropriate and acceptable behaviour and what isn’t. We all know that our education doesn’t necessarily equip us very well for daily living. It’s nowhere more apparent than how we respond to and behave with technology. On a day to day basis we can all think of our own examples…. dangerous multi-tasking as when driving. Allowing a phone call to interrupt a conversation. Walking blindly head down texting.

You know, there are many.

It’s also true with litter. In the past in India, chai might be provided in a terracotta cup and then thrown down. Not a problem if it’s mud returning to mud but a completely different matter with plastic.

Well another example is what’s app messages. My yoga teacher put me on a what’s app group ostensibly to let me know when a class was cancelled. Well I got more than I bargained for!

In two days there were more than fifty photos, messages, quotes and videos. ALL of it unsolicited and non of it relevent.

Now I don’t want to be churlish and it’s important for me to connect with people in my adopted country. But all this garbage is filling my photo app, I can get by…..but..there is a sinister side.

Revealed in this article from the Guardian

Society here relies on the spoken word and people connections, there is less recognition of private space and people tend to accept what others say uncritically. That’s the crux of the problem with what’s app.

Filling up my phone with garbage is one thing but leading to death and mayhem, (Like this) that needs serious action.

Now the govt withdraws from a discussion of the issue as its unhappy with the BBC report

latest info here

Unbelievable

You may find this hard to believe. We often joke about safety issues in India.

Just look at these photos. What do you think they are?

Picture one

Picture two

Picture three

Picture one is of a lamp post in Mysore. See the man walking by. The card, poster thing attached to the post is at about his head height.

Picture two is a close up of the same post. Look between the two photos, the white cable shows that it’s above the card/poster. It’s difficult to tell but just above and to the right of the white cable are two bits of wire. Now look at picture three.

Picture three, this is also on a lamp post and much lower down, inside the box thing are two red cables.

Any idea what all these cables are for?

In a morning on my way to yoga a guy drives up on his two wheeler and disconnects the two wires that you see in pictures one and two. There’s usually a spark. It switches off the street lights.

Yes, you’ve got it! The way to switch on and off the street lights at dusk and dawn are two wires hanging from one of the lamp posts. The first is way above head height but easily reachable when sitting on a bike, the other is reachable from just walking past.

Now that’s what I call f**king dangerous.

Babel fish

I have now developed a long and significant list of excuses for why I’m unable to speak ANY foreign languages:

The British Raj, due to them the English language is so prevalent I can easily get by without Kannada here in Mysore.

British Arrogance, see above.

My parents and therefore my genetical inheritance.

Wax in my ears and assorted other hearing limitations.

A wife and extended team that speaks English and seemingly endless other languages. I get by.

Teachers that couldn’t cram French or German in me.

Probably the top of the tree…. abject laziness combined with being idle, severe inability to stick with anything for more than five minutes and being 🐻 of small brain.

This list is to help whenever I’m questioned why after nine years do I not speak Kannada. (Clearly I cant speak English properly anyway)

STOP PRESS

Manjula reckons it’s because Ive got a short stubby tongue.

Whereas Manjula, with all the languages at her disposal, yes you’ve guessed it, has a long slender one.

I rest my case

Winter

Has arrived…. was the typical headline in the local paper…..when I first moved here. I used to joke that this isn’t winter. This morning on the way to gym I feel the drop in temperature. Maybe a combination of the times are changing…. my body adapts and the climate shifts.

Oh yes, I was going to the gym and yes it is intense.

But I go for my half hearted attempts at yoga not this hectic stuff, it’s still intense.

austerity rules!

I know it’s not fashionable but loved working for local government in the UK from 1986 for twelve years. It was a real challenge, government always is,  but felt we made some radical changes and I made a significant contribution whether it was funding innovative not-for profits, getting to grasp with environmental impact through agenda 21, consulting local people and dramatically changing services for minority communities and especially disabled people. That was then, now it’s in a dismal state.

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It’s often useful to see how others see us. Check this article.

“The disaster in Northamptonshire did not arise from nowhere. Since 2010, when David Cameron became Prime Minister, Britain’s Conservative-led governments have responded to the impacts of the global financial crisis with a program of austerity. In line with other European countries (but unlike the U.S. and China, which passed stimulus packages), the U.K has sought to manage its debts and repair its economy with a relentless trimming of public spending. For the past eight years, these cuts have presented a complicated picture. In some areas, like education and health, budgets haven’t actually gone down; they have just failed to keep up with the needs of a diverse, growing population. But central funding for the nation’s four hundred and eighteen local authorities—Britain’s busy quilt of local government—has fallen by fifty per cent.”

YES, we struggled to meet the changing and growing needs over twenty years ago and now there is far less money available. It’s a scandal.

here is the full article

Selznick

I came across Selznick after watching the Scorsese film Hugo religiously adapted from this book

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It’s a wonderful film and Selznick’s book of pictures and text is almost a storyboard for the actual film. Both of which are wonderful. It led me onto other books by the same author. Including…

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It seems like he finds a germ of an Idea and creates a wonderful story from that seed, presented in an innovative way. In the case of this novel he uses a wonderful historical house in the east of London as his creative foil. It’s well worth a read and a visit to the house.

It’s featured in a Guardian article

Check it out here