Adopted

More young people aged from seven through to twenty-nine are befriending me.

The latest are the excitable cycling duo of Yashodhar and Srivaastav.

Who saw me walking Lucie and asked me to wait while they rushed home and brought me these pictures.

Complete with carefully designed envelope.

How nice.

Three Princesses

and a Sun with a beard

Ritu brought her lovely painting of Manjula’s and Stephen’s home

with thanks to Desai Somesh, Rita’s dad who took the photographs.

one wasn’t enough

At Christmas I gave myself a wonderful gift

It was such a characterful portrait of beautiful Manjula. The enigmatic artist knows MAnjula, connected and found her spirit.

I just had to have another.

I may seem greedy but I just can’t get enough of MAnjula (you may have worked that out) and especially how Priyanka brings out many facets of my beautiful wife.

There’s even more significant detail to explore in this one.

P was guided by a photograph from shortly after we were engaged in 2015

Now where can I hang her?

New books

In Manjula’s library.

Just arrived.

Having just read the amazing true story about Jeremy the snail by Maria Popova (her of the wonderful brain pickings) I now feel so terribly guilty for the snails I used to throw over the garden wall.

In my poor defence, in Hebden Bridge in north England where I still have a house, they would munch away at my plants. It’s quite cool and damp so ideal for them and their friends the slugs!

Here’s selections from Neil Gaiman’s book. Some lovely little messages.

He’s becoming one of our favourite authors.

Bursting

We’re bursting at the seams. Wherever you turn there’s evidence.

We now have plants in the drive out the front, inside and outside the gate, down both sides of the house, in the back yard and on the mid level roof. There’s hundreds of them. We plan to create a small garden in the park this year so that will use half the plants. Let’s hope the mosquitoes will go with them.

Most Indian houses have little if any art. It’s an unnecessary (not) expense and very middle class. As I arrived with the latest offering MAnjula would complain that there was too much art and not room for anymore. Wrong!

Our latest addition

An appliqué banner, created by the multi-talented Jacqui using Manjula’s clothing has just arrived from England and is now by our main door.

An earlier addition was this beautiful portrait.

There’s always room for art.

Next Manjula would joke about there being too many books, and how we should open a library.

So here it is…. Manjula’s library… available for local friends and our guests. (Yes they’re also friends.)

and that’s carefully avoiding mentioning anyone who’s bursting at the seams.

Unbeeeeelievable

An Opportunity to spend time with the mostly beautiful Maya and improve your painting.

Here’s one she made earlier. A gorgeous portrait of my beautiful Manjula and a pesky Lucie.

I wish I was more than a beginner because then I’d join the class.

I’m the one on the left the wonderful artist and teacher is on the right.

I wonder if she’d let me join a children’s class? They’re probably better than me.

Or perhaps go for the dinner?

If you are an artist, check out this fantastic opportunity, it’s crazy to miss it.

A red bicycle

We’re reaching out to a whole new generation

Ritu
Ritu’s picture of our house.

Her mother asked why is there a cycle on the roof? She explained that this is Stephens house.

Ritu’s father Somesh visited with Aadirika to take photos of her wonderful portrait of Manjula and Lucie.

Aadirika is hiding

We’re going to find ways for Manjula to continue to reach out to young people.