The Heart

The Heart and the bottle by Oliver Jeffers. This picture book story is part two of a series of three of my postings, number one is grief gravy. If you visit and read each one you’ll realise it reflects something of my recent journey which many of us share.

His stories and artwork are wonderful. My granddaughters favourite was the one about the crayons writing letters to the child.

whose head was filled with all the curiosities of the world
with thoughts of the stars
she took delight in finding new things
It might never have occurred to the girl what to do had she not met someone smaller and still curious about the world.

Manjula and I have given many away as gifts. All his books are also available for our guests and friends at Manjula’s Library in Mysore Bed and Breakfast.

Look out for the third posting in this series, revealing more of my journey.

I refer to more of Oliver Jeffers’ wonderful books in other postings. Do look out for his work for the children and adults in your life.

What happened?

It was the day after Boxing Day and all was supposed to be quiet. The night before I was due to fly back home to Mysore.

I’d been in Hebden Bridge Yorkshire for a Poppy Christmas with my son Ben, Alice and their daughter Poppy (age eight) , staying with big ex, his mum, known as wife number one by MAnjula.

Manj and Liz were good friends.

Liz created a warm welcoming family Christmas for us all.

I’d received my visa to get back to India and on this day had travelled back to London to prepare to fly back.

There had been so much uncertainty on leaving India at the end of October. After two solid steady years we were suddenly in turmoil. There was three months of extreme uncertainty whether we (foreigners) could stay or had to leave which created extreme stressful cliff hangers. Once I was told to go with only three days notice and no available flights, only to be given n extension after I’d overstayed my welcome, flights cancelled, general kerfuffle.

Nightmare.

For the first time in twelve years I was leaving my adopted home, uncertain when and how I’d be able to return.

I came back to the U.K. at the end of October.

….

Back to Monday of this week.

I’d had a ‘PCR’ COVID test the day before and received by midnight the negative result required by the Indian government to allow me entry. I could prepare to fly so completed online forms for the Indian govt and British Airways.

By 7 pm I got a response from BA to say I could fly. I booked a taxi to take me to the airport, the next morning and had something to eat. I just had to fit ‘a quart into a pint pot’ that’s cram my clothes etc and a gift for Sowbhaghya into my two bags.

Then it all went a bit weird.

I was on video call to my brother. I couldn’t remember where I was or what I was doing. He called Ben worried that I’d completely lost it and the look in my face was completely blank. Some might say that’s a regular occurrence 😉 but this was unusual.

I was in Ben’s flat on my own but didn’t remember. Ben called me.

I was confused. I knew who I was and was walking around but had no idea where I was or what had happened that day. …. Nothing about my train journey down or that I was due to fly back to India.

He telephoned an ambulance and a friend Matty and his wife. They all arrived together and after a few simple tests I was taken to the hospital.

Two days later. The flight has been cancelled and I’m back at Ben’s having been discharged from hospital

I’ve already had a scan but return today for a more sophisticated MRI to search for my brain. 😉

They think that I’ve had a ‘transient global amnesia’. The initial tests indicate that it wasn’t a stroke but the MRI is to make sure.

Stress? anxiety? What and where from? 🤔🤭 I often joke … but we’ve all had to deal with the awful strains and unpredictability of the pandemic.

There’s not been guests at Mysore Bed and Breakfast for two years. At those times, we’d have a full house of positive energy. People from around the world making new friends, telling their stories, sharing our home created by Manjula. That’s the biggest all encompassing stress and strain. I’m parted not only from our home and Lucie, our local community but from the woman herself. This is my third winter without her, the grief will always be with me and sometimes it’s as if it was only yesterday her warmth was still hugging me. In a way it always will be.

As a result of the unprecedented changes, we’ve not had the usual hustle bustle of our busy welcoming Mysore home. That was brought home to me at our Poppy family Christmas.

I’m not saying that losing Manjula has created this brain incident it’s just helped it along.

Maybe It’s an overload, and release of a safety valve.

Assuming I get the ‘all-clear’ I’ll rest and go through the rigmarole again to be able to fly back.

It’s all ok now I’ve got my grapes from Alice.

I’m ok and look forward to being home, hugging Lucie and seeing more of my good supportive precious friends.

Thank you for being one of them.

Christmas

In Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire.

Poppy’s School

My friends in India often ask what things are like in the U.K. so here’s My granddaughter’s school.

I’m here to collect her at the end of the school day.

It’s probably a school from the 19th century when ‘board’ schools were introduced.

I love the old building and it has a great feel.

It’s managed by the local government

Here’s one or two great additions to help improve safety.

Manny is overseeing the renovation work at the school.

I’ve stayed with Poppy and her parents Ben and Alice in north London.

Travelling around 3

My last trip to the U.K., unexpectedly extended, provided another opportunity to visit previous guests who’ve now become part of our extended family.

It was great to see Stephen, Ruth and Jony. Thanks for putting up with this old man.

I’m still a flower giver.
Carefully testing myself before travelling to visit friends.
Jony

Travelling around 1

Catching up with friends

My first trip back to the U.K. in over two years.

The journey through the airports and flight went smoothly as fast as pre-pandemic. I had test results and certificate proving I’d had my vaccinations. No one checked anything.

Day two test negative so all ok
Celebrating Halloween.

Being entertained by and entertaining my granddaughter Poppy. She’s eight and I’ve missed seeing her for two years! All of us share that pandemic experience.

What’s the game?

Exploring Hebden Bridge with Liz, the mum of my boys, big ex or as Manjula would say: wife number one. We remain close and dear friends of over thirty years.

Yoga challenges.

The old man went to yoga at 6.30 am on Wednesday only to discover start time had shifted to 6.00am

Doh

He went out today, saturday, up early at 5.00 so as not to mess up.

“I’m sitting in the yoga room all on my own, by 6.00 at 6.30 the receptionist comes in to say there no yoga as there’s a curfew. “

Double Doh

Back at home SB has already arrived due to the curfew and reminded me that we’d discussed it yesterday.

I give in, my idiocy evolves to decrepitude.

So why was the gym open?

Life is so confusing.

Myers Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI

Heard of it?

Many have.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a personality test designed to help people understand how they and others perceive and judge the world. It is one of the most widely used and studied psychological tools today. Once a person completes the test, they are categorized as one of 16 types, each named with four letters, such as “ESTJ” or “INFP.” Millions of people have taken the survey to find out which “type” best describes themselves.

Find out more from this article.

Here’s details about people are ENFP as I am.

For many things we can find substitutes, but there is not now, nor will there ever be, a substitute for creative thought.
 Crawford Greenewalt, chemical engineer

A person who is an ENFP is imaginative, enthusiastic, and warm, and generally has an open mind and positive outlook. They like to give and receive affirmation. They are flexible, creative thinkers, and natural innovators.

I’m also a MBTI practitioner and know many who’ve found it very useful.