It was fun

the survival of the famous twelve, an englishman and his dog

We’re all back home now but what an adventure.

Manjula’s Mysore, our new venture — sponsored our happy holiday — to thank everyone for their help and helping us commemorate Manjula

Enid Blyton anticipated the challenges of five young people holidaying together but eleven of all ages in India! Now that is madness. Who’s idea was that then?

Chera Rocks is a great location. Chosen because it was close to where Manjula and I first went on holiday together but had the capacity and closeness to the beach that we needed. We ate together, could join or not as we preferred and had enough to entertain us without leaving the ‘resort.’

Holidaying as a family let alone a group with no previous experience of being together can be a real challenge but what a wonderful trip it turned out to be. Maybe our angel was watching over us.

Kerala and food, enough said.

the motley bunch say farewell, for now.

some of us sneak an extra night and have the exciting storm and refreshing showers

..

Our own fragment left at last

It was a wonderful trip thanks to all and a big hug for Manjula

Five families going together on holiday together is a challenge anywhere so, the Englishman had to visit beforehand to get the ‘lie of the land’. with a half-hearted attempt at planning. Sally and Shabaz as always were an essential help.

A fitting end to

a wonderful few days

It’s raining and pouring, thunder and lightening, most have left — the remaining fragment of Kaveri, Sowbaghya, Rhadika, SB Naveen Ks, Stephen and Lucie — are here for one more night.

Finding our space

The holiday was a thank you from MAnjula and I

We just had to build castles as it’s such a strong English tradition

It was a real joy spending time with good friends who are all so interesting and different.

Great food
Local friends like Shabaz
Families coming together
Making new friends
Chera Rocks guard dog.
Directors of Manjula’s Mysore being monitored
I’d already spent 30 mins on Kaveri’s hair and Sowbaghya had to finish the job. How do you girls manage?
Bringing in the catch
Contemplating
Lucie becomes communist, she explains that vegetarianism is a step too far.

The famous five have expanded and are in Kerala.

Three separate vehicles travelled from in and around Mysore to Kannur

Our roles began to evolve within the first few hours.

Shafi drove our group.

We’re at Chera Rocks, a great venue so let’s discover the sea.

Eleven plus an Englishman and a dog go mad in Kerala

On MAnjula’s death anniversary, we came up with a great idea to celebrate her— even more — by going on holiday to one of her favourite places.

It may provide material for an Enid Blyton story

Kannur is where Manjula and I first went on holiday together after our engagement in 2015.

Maybe we’ll find treasure, or at least get wet.

It’ll be a great adventure with MAnjula giggling from the antics of the loosely formed team.

It’s a challenge, anywhere, to bring together fragments of four families with two additions of an Englishman and his dog but this is India. It’ll be OK.

Thankfully we’ll not be cycling.

It’s a great way to thank Sowbaghya, Tanuja and Satish for the help they’ve been in so many ways, including setting up the new business.

It’s also an opportunity to spend fun time with Kaveri and her young auntie Rhadika.

That’s Rhadika dressed up for ethnic day in the midst of her exams.

We’ve got the go ahead from Kaveri’s mum, Satish has worked it out with the school and Jo will definitely have completed her term.

So we’re good to go…

Wonderful

So which amazing place is going to host this motley crew?

A visit to Kannur

I’m sitting with Lucie in our room, at Chera Rocks, which opens directly onto the beach.

It’s been another hot day which cools slightly as we pass 4 0’clock.

We have been visiting our wonderful friends Sally and Shabaz, before Eastenders Sally sadly returns to the U.K.

Together we’ve retraced Manjula and my steps during previous holidays, including Manjula’s deep desire 😉 to visit the drive-on-beach.

This morning Sally and I walked along the beaches to visit Rosie and Nazir of Kannur Beach House and share my photos of Manjula.

Rosie, Nazir and their family became good friends after we visited many times.

Manjula and I in Kannur to celebrated our engagement in 2015

Manjula’s look of absolute bliss laying on the beach by Kannur Beach House on that first holiday together.
Our very last trip exactly three years ago, shortly before she died, here we’re catching up with Rosie and Nazir.
with me in many ways

It’s time for a last swim. We return to Mysore tomorrow.

We’ve bonded on this trip after I’d been away for almost three months

We did it, followed by a shared shower, Lucie thinks it was all too much. She waits until carefully positioned next to cascade her water drops on my clothes and bag. Ha bloody ha …

and a final walk before dinner.

Kerala farewell

We’re slap bang in the middle of a highway

Winds are picking up and rushing through Lucie’s hairs.

The traffic is relentless but not orderly. We are in India. There are always patterns so it’s invariably differently organised from what you’d expect from the point of view of a westerner.

Much of the traffic is fully loaded others on the lookout antennae twitching, scouring, searching for its next load to carry back to the nest.

I wonder….What time do ants get up to start their working day?

The sun rises burning off the moisture lifting the misty fog.

It’s quite noisy with bird life making its presence known. Now and then the crack of a gun. What do they shoot out here? Rabbits? Birds? Wild boar?

Manjula is with us on the rocky outcrop in the mini photo I’ve introduced to everyone we met on this trip. She’s probably met as many people as we did on our mini holidays. It’s a bit weird as I don’t give the full details, just that she’s my wife from Mysore.

It’s time to move. The old mans knees and calf muscles are showing signs of age as every day passes

Lucie the pack leader that she is, the one to track through memory and smell leads the way.

A siren blares. Think Second World War. It’s time for work at the tea plantation or factory.

“Luce wait for me.”

She chooses not to wait for me. By the time I reach our hillside cottage she’s way past it down at the bottom waiting for breakfast.

Another great Kerala Wayanad breakfast and now it’s time to move again and leave the Dhanagiri homestay.

Thanks to Anant and his lovely family.