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.

Can there be too much?

As if we don’t have enough already! That was Manjula’s general attitude when I brought new things home, especially new art. She’d usually complain that there was NO MORE ROOM. There always is of course.

Well she also used to comment that there were too many pictures of herself, Madam English being a bit of a Madam. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course. I can’t get enough of them, whatever she’s doing. 🙂

So I’m very pleased that even though she’s moved on, severed her links with her last body and is now well and truly making a massive impact wherever she is now….. I have the consolation…… of sorts, of wonderful memories, cool shared friends, super videos and still shots, tattoos and look at this

……. just like buses, some things come in twos. And these are the things that at this difficult time, are aspects of Manjula that can actually grow 🙃 what superb painted portraits of my beautiful wife. They really do her justice. How grand are these? I hope she’s looking now

You’ve already seen this one that was waiting at home when I returned, it’s from Johanna in Switzerland who visited us late last year, quickly followed by her mum and dad.

And this painting arrived a day after I returned home ….

It’s from Janie (Amy’s auntie, Amy is one half of the lovely couple and was our celebrant at our wedding in 2018) in New Zealand who visited us early last year, who’s already immortalised Manjula in black and white. See below.

Thankyou to J and J, you’ve made a sad man very happy. How amazing to come home to be greeted like this? Thankyooooooooou both so much.

Manjula

I’ve been toying with the idea of having a portrait painted of the beautiful Manjula. Fact is I’m trying to work out if I can afford it. As part of the process I’ve pulled together a few of the photos taken of Manjula over the years, they’re mainly my photos but there are some crackers taken by friends.

 

Occasionally someone or something else gets a look in…..

 

 

and there’s even more here

Manjula caught me doing this earlier and has no idea about the portrait. it occured to us that she’s had hundreds of photos tasken in the nine years that we’ve known each other and to her knowledge just a handful in the thrity six years beforehand.

If I decide to go ahead with the portrait, I’ll send the link to the photos to the artist (my daughter-in-laws sister) who will use them, not to copy but to help her create something that reflects the real person but also emerges from her artistic insights!

Special 


A very special friend, the lovely Leela, invited me out for a drink, to celebrate my ‘significant’ birthday. (Yes, I’ve been celebrating it for quite some time now!) this was during my April trip back to Blighty.


Well Leela. Is something of an innovator and is really great at helping others as a facilitator and coach. She’s especially good at using her artistic skills to help people create a shared understanding and most importantly act on it.

Come on Farrell. Get to the point!

well she’s working her magic on me.

Here is my birthday gift, drawn in the next four pictures…… and  no that’s correct I’m not 42 😉



Its an invitation.

to work out what it is I love.

what would be your 42 things?

more to follow…