It’s not Irish…

We’re famous for our coffee here in South India.

As someone who is neither a coffee or whisky drinker I was intrigued to discover Classic’s Whisky barrel-aged Coffee from Harley’s Coffee Estate.

What an interesting idea. I needn’t have worried. It’s an intriguing taste and aroma which I immediately liked.

Once we’ve reopened Mysore Bed and Breakfast after the pandemic we’ll introduce this great innovation to our guests from around the world.

We know they’ll love it combined with our range of teas and coffees to enhance our reputation for great breakfasts.

Garden explodes.

I think it’s safe to say our garden is looking healthy. Manjula would be so impressed and proud.

It’s not only the plants… The numbers and sounds of the birds from early in the morning is wonderful and we’ve added three Bul Bul babies from the nests in our hidden garden.

More messages.

As we went for this afternoons walk a giant butterfly buzzed me the moment I left the main door.

I discretely followed it to try and take a photo but I could only get this silhouette before it flew away.

An hour later Lucie and returned home to it resting on the door knob. only to surprise me again and land on one of our windows.

From outside.

It has the scary images of two reflective eyes on its wings, it’s wing span is seven inches or more and now it’s gone.

It arrived a day after I had, once again, in exasperation called out to Manjula complaining that I couldn’t feel her presence or hear a message.

From inside

I’m happier now.

Tanuja tells me it’s a moth. So now we know messages come via Dragonflies, Butterflies and Moths.

We’ll keep you posted as more messengers are added to the list. 🙂🙃🤭😉🌞

Zoom time.

It’s 58 minutes, with two minutes to go. The Englishman likes to be on time and a little early.

Tea is made and in my favourite ‘cranky old guys rule’ mug. Lucie’s medicines given, computer switched on, air bud things in my ear, matched to the comp Bluetooth, WiFi working ok. Check, quick splash of the face ooooh forgot my treat, a doughnut from SAPA bakery.

I’m sorted.

Redrafted structure of our story sent to Pam yesterday for discussion today.

We’re ready to roll.

Except woooooooooo I’m exactly one hour early the meeting is at 11.00 not 10.00!

Idiot.

I’ll now spend a few moments reflecting in the present. It’s a new thing I learned from Madam

Is this early onset of, you know A……., over excitement to dive into the ‘Labour of Love’ unlikely as I have to constantly deal with being taken over by ‘idle-ous-ness and lethargy’ combined (it’s in the air and not a new thing).

Or have I just lost it? Probably.

I’ll have to wait.

Doughnut now or later is my biggest current challenge.

Labour of love.

News Release

Cummings comes clean to British Parliament on what has been going on under the surface at Mysore Bed and Breakfast. We can now reveal never been seen before comments from the guestbooks

As part of the research for our story I’ve been reading some of the guest comments from our first two seasons in 2011 and 2012.

Yes, it was ten yesrs ago that we started, initially just in the upstairs house.

What a lovely task it’s been. A real joy travelling through time, I’m amazed at how well it triggers memories of the guests themselves and the things we did together.

It’s wonderfully warm, reading the feedback and especially their appreciation of Manjula. Frankly, I could do without being constantly reminded of who was the real boss. 😉

There are one or two that might not be suitable for wider publication…..

Here are some selected highlights.

PARENTAL GUIDANCE

“Steve you’re a bastard.” I’ve edited it in case young people might be listening.

“So we debated for 15 minutes about how to express our emotional response to our stay at mysore B&B.” and then they wrote nothing!

“What an arsehole. No seriously what an arsehole…” 

I suppose I’m the ‘has-been’ that never was.

I am of course, seriously and tearfully happy from these wonderful reminders. I’ll include more details in our story next year, where people are just sooooo gushing about ‘you know who.’. You’ll just have to wait.

Is there a problem?

Is there ever not a problem? But they’re always solvable in India.

This is the corporation office of the non removable assets, meaning where they exchange contracts for land, buildings etc.

In our case, we’re the immovable objects getting married.

These photos have just been found and shared by our good friend Tanuja.

I can’t remember what this was about probably just checking details before the critical point where we sign and are officially joined in matrimony.

The whole set up was confusing and it was difficult to know at what precise moment we actually got married. Maybe this was it.

Look out for the full story next year.

Sharing Shrines

our Hindu house has a Pooja room, set up by MAnjula it’s still used for certain festivals. Other households would use it everyday. Our next festival is likely to be for the big rotund guy, my favourite: Ganesh.

No two houses are the same which might be due to the specific Gods, they worship, their caste or maybe just because India is incredibly consistently inconsistent.

In memory of MAnjula as with many households a photo, is placed in the hall (lounge/living room) when people die. For the first year we’d place flowers around her every month, with a special Pooja on her annual death anniversary. This all part of a series of rituals to help her soul spirit find another body and be reincarnated into her next life.

Tanuja at Manjula’s second death anniversary.

In our house there’s a main photo of MAnjula in each of our two lounges. Fact is there are photos of her everywhere. My son thinks The whole house is becoming a shrine.

Sowbaghya who did all the preparation, cooking, decoration for each of Manjula’s death anniversaries.

Now after two years I’ve decorated her like a Christmas tree with lights all around her.

Sometimes she’ll get a little extra treatment with red or yellow dots and we’ll do a little Pooja. It’s essentially a prayer with a request to god.

We’re flexi here.

Her pic is also found on the tree out the front of our house, T-shirt’s and masks her no 1 place is in my heart.

For me it’s especially important to acknowledge our being together and celebrate Manjula as many didn’t know about our relationship.

Why?

That will feature in our story.

Bloody typical

The virus situation goes from bad to — we’ve got rid of it, to —- disaster.

Leaving things until the eleventh hour, no … it’s more like one moment before midnight is not a sensible policy but it’s standard practice. No lessons learned from the first wave, infrastructure collapsing, shortage of beds, no oxygen in many hospitals, exhausted staff, people confused.

Indian politicians fail their communities. They have other, presumably more important things to worry about.

Now we have a lockdown in all but name and it’s piling confusion onto inconsistency onto chaos.

Is the instruction to close most businesses for all of everyday in which case it would be a lockdown or just when there’s a curfew?

The govt diktat is totally confusing. If it’s just overnight and weekends. What’s the point it’ll have minimal effect on the virus. If it’s everyday it’s a lock down a term they don’t politically wish to use.

The police statement adds to the confusion with the statement “it will be normal from tomorrow” so there will or will not be a lockdown/curfew from tomorrow. Of course it probably means that closure of businesses will seem like normal tomorrow.

Clear as mud.

It’s the day before the non-lockdown, I’m just back from cycling, with nobody wearing masks in the villages, most wearing them back in Siddarthanagar. I passed a wedding. In a field presumably outdoors (but in tents) in response to the situation but the limit to the gathering is supposed to be 50! There’s almost that number already preparing for the event and the guests are yet to arrive.

Recently Sowbhaghya asked why a shop keeper wasn’t wearing a mask as he should be, he declared there was no coronavirus here.

The combination of poor confusing communication from authority, default to deference and the anything goes attitude of the Wild West, is part of why we’re here. 

Here’s useful guardian articles summarising how we might have got into this stupid situation.

Oxygen supplies low

Photos and summary of the oxygen problems

There were unfulfilled plans to build more units for creating more oxygen.

It’s been unpredictable

Rural areas hit

So what’s the Government got to do with it?

another good summary

or a crime against humanity

I would be so stressed out if my poor Manjula was here and having to deal with this, now that’s a weird sense of relief. What a topsy turvy world.

Every mug tells a story.

I thought I’d share this after revealing to a new friend Anjali

We have a cup caste regime

From the left steel glass ( I know it’s not glass, just ask an Indian) can be used anywhere and everywhere. Middle, one of our favourite cups with emotional attachment so can only be used in upstairs hall (lounge for you foreigners) and number three can be used anywhere in the house or downstairs sit out as we care less.
The most precious, heaps of history and irreplaceable so use is severely restricted.

The point is they can be used by anyone: guests, staff, family some are higher value so should be looked after more than others.

Why do I tell you this?

I joked about the caste of cups because believe it or not in some houses in India the servants aka lower caste are only allowed to drink or eat from separate cups/glasses/plates and utensils. This presumably originates from a belief that they might defile the superior caste.

I tell you this, as you know I love and I’ve adopted India and one wonderful woman in particular. We created a shared home that didn’t reflect those primitive traditional let’s say mediaeval practices.

They need to go.

Watch for more on caste.

Manjula’s library grows

The number of books

The number and range of readers.

We’ve negotiated the loan of ‘we’re going on a bear hunt’, ‘the hungry caterpillar’ and ‘stuck’

She might be young but negotiated an extension of a seven day loan to ten days. 🙂🙃😉 our very first children to borrow books from Manjula’s library.