Just had a video call from Lucie, Sowbhaghya and Satish to wish me a happy birthday.
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.
Today’s panic was that I’d misplaced shirts, shorts and especially trousers.
I fly to the U.K. next week, my first trip for over two years. Here I wear shorts and T shirts unless I’m formal when I wear kurta and pyjama.
As it will be variable weather and much cooler moving to really cold in the U.K. I need shirts and trousers but I couldn’t find them. We’ll know I have.
In Manjula’s library.
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.
That’s been with us for a thousand years.
I’m from the U.K./Britain/England/the North/Yorkshire… We often joke about the north/south divide, I mention how the British pronounce words oddly, sometimes (?) to hide their French origin, I’ll explain how my accent and the words I use enables others to place me geographically and allocate the class I was born into and then of course there’s Brexit.
The U.K. becomes more the disunited kingdom by the day, has a rich pedigree and mongrel history. There’s the rub, the divisions we recognise are far more ingrained than we realise and have been established over a thousand years.
The divisions we see, the power games and the ascendancy of certain groups, represented by ‘The Tories’ now seems to be breaking it apart.
I recommend this book . It reveals, in surprising ways, how the established patterns of behaviour are difficult to break, we continue to adapt our national house, following the foundations and seem unable to create any real and lasting change.
Lipsmackin, thirst quenchin travel …..
…..in a plane, train, open top buses, flash rental car, over and underground, Thames boat trip, friend’s cars, chain ferry, tram, narrow boat, taxi,
and a three week road trip to see the sights of England and Wales, London.
Of which… There’s just too many sights to mention….
passing through Chesterfield, Dronfield, Huddersfield, Sheffield, cities that haven’t been fields for a very long time,
Hereford’s black and white houses from hundreds of years back, countryside of Dorset, Oxfordshire, Warwick, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Wiltshire, Wye Valley, Avon, Bath, steam fair carousel, Kingsclere, Hebden Bridge, ancient standing stones at Avebury and Stonehenge, the white horse, seaside at Swanage and Pool…. phew… no wonder I’m short of breath
burning up the roads or alternatively, gently chugging along whilst at times laboriously stepping up and down the canal,
…… glamping and camping, music festival, hills and dales, breathing in the history, basking in the sun, (amazingly, with very little rain Manjula reckons she brought the good weather), bee hives, art installations, museums, pubs, restaurants, restaurants and pubs, shops, shops, shops, markets, High Tea, Mummies,
so much walking Manj complains of aching legs, cycling (only one of us doing that) visiting old and new friends and family, restaurants, shops, political dialogue, (yes BREXIT was discussed and UKAOs)
’rounding’ as Manjula would call it and its a good job I took Gina’s advice ‘not to overdo it’ on reflection it was helluva lot.. who knows what’s racing around in Manjula’s brain 😉
meeting and staying with BnB guests, on sofas, beds, futon, air beds, camping, absorbing difference, chatting, shopping, eating out, appreciating it’s clean and green and above all and what really matters is ….
… meeting and sharing our time with wonderful, kind, patient, caring people.
As Manjula would often stop and exclaim…. Wow!
Thank you to you all for making this a special life time experience for Manjula.
No MUD WOMAD
Manjula’s Latest FIRST was a camp for the weekend at a music festival.
Manjula once again brought the sun to England! There was cloud but very little rain. Changeable weather, absolute downpowers and all types of mud known to mankind are real risks at any English festival but not this time!
One of many highlights was Anoushka Shankar!
It was full of new experiences for Manjula
We camped (in our own little village of individual tents, event shelter for a living room and our very own kitchen tent) with a great group of friends. Manjula prepared one of her signature dishes for dinner.
Manjula’s view on life
I have no idea what Manjula thinks of the experiences she’s had in the UK. Just look at her clothing! ….. a world away from her daily wear of Saree back in Mysore. It has been a very rich and varied experience and as with other things, she takes it all in her stride. She’s becoming a very western woman 😉
I look forward to hearing her reflections, once its all over and she’s settled back into Mysore.
WOMAD, the World of Music Art and Dance is held annually in the South of England and in locations throughout the world such as in the Canaries and Australia. It was originally created by Peter Gabriel the original vocalist of the band Genesis. its a great mix of international music both contemporary and more traditional ‘folk.’ As a group some of us have attended the festival for over ten years.
no no it’s ……. life aboard.
As you can see, It’s a hard life ‘on the cut’
As part of Manjula’s BIG Trip we’ve spent four days on the Kennet and Avon Canal.
Organised by Sally it was an opportunity to test out whether we’re made out for life on the canal. Sally is a previous guest of Mysore Bed and Breakfast who has become a great friend.
Mike, Sally’s parter has lived and worked on or near the canals, all his life. So we had an experienced team in charge helping Manjula and I get a proper introduction to life on the waves!
Manjula’s helping us through the locks to take the narrowboat up and down the hills.
Cooking Mysore specials on board
and taking a well deserved rest!
and Stephen was even allowed to steer the boat on his own, without crashing it and there were only one or two near misses!
There was plenty of time for stops at the Pubs.
In England and Wales there is a network of canals through much of the country. The first to be opened was the Bridgewater Canal near Manchester in 1761 to transport coal. As an integral development of the industrial revolution it became a successful network for transporting goods and living on board. It has a great history and strong community. At its peak there were 6,000 miles of navigable rivers and canals. Now there’s maybe half that number after many fell into disrepair. There has been a tremendous effort to rebuild and reopen after significant investment and the tremendous involvement of thousands of volunteers. It’s now an invaluable resource for holidays and home for many people.