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?

Labour of love.

News Release

Cummings comes clean to British Parliament on what has been going on under the surface at Mysore Bed and Breakfast. We can now reveal never been seen before comments from the guestbooks

As part of the research for our story I’ve been reading some of the guest comments from our first two seasons in 2011 and 2012.

Yes, it was ten yesrs ago that we started, initially just in the upstairs house.

What a lovely task it’s been. A real joy travelling through time, I’m amazed at how well it triggers memories of the guests themselves and the things we did together.

It’s wonderfully warm, reading the feedback and especially their appreciation of Manjula. Frankly, I could do without being constantly reminded of who was the real boss. 😉

There are one or two that might not be suitable for wider publication…..

Here are some selected highlights.

PARENTAL GUIDANCE

“Steve you’re a bastard.” I’ve edited it in case young people might be listening.

“So we debated for 15 minutes about how to express our emotional response to our stay at mysore B&B.” and then they wrote nothing!

“What an arsehole. No seriously what an arsehole…” 

I suppose I’m the ‘has-been’ that never was.

I am of course, seriously and tearfully happy from these wonderful reminders. I’ll include more details in our story next year, where people are just sooooo gushing about ‘you know who.’. You’ll just have to wait.

English humour

check out Marina Hyde

Here’s her latest

Featuring a famous actress with a lot to share

I’m one of those that can bore for hours on neoliberalism

Ah, there it is: wellness. “Wellness” is part of a class of words unified by the fact that only the most dreadful bores on Earth know what they mean. See also “neoliberalism”. Celebrity Cruises itself adds that the fitness kits will enhance “self-care and collective wellbeing”, with Gwyneth’s role expected to focus on “wellness programming” and something called the “Women in Wellness initiative”.

Manjula’s library grows

The number of books

The number and range of readers.

We’ve negotiated the loan of ‘we’re going on a bear hunt’, ‘the hungry caterpillar’ and ‘stuck’

She might be young but negotiated an extension of a seven day loan to ten days. 🙂🙃😉 our very first children to borrow books from Manjula’s library.

Manjula’s Kind

MAnjula embraced everything and everyone.

She experienced unkindness throughout her life, yet always and especially in the last nine years was the most kind.

MAnjula continues to give

Kulfi for the cleaners. They used to work on our street, knew us and would stop for water, chai and chat (that’s talking not snacks).

Our fine house was a place of support and conversation for women and not just our guests. Manjula’s networks. We’ve continued to support our drivers and they’ve joined the Manjula Mask Movement.

Vasanth and Satish modelling our mycycle masks but the big favourite is …
the one where Manjula seems to be sniggering and who years before the pandemic was telling us to mask-up, modelled by Rakesh aka Peter Pan
And masks have been donated for the vaccinators for when they finish work.
Many cycles have been gifted here for Sowbhaghya’s son Naveen.

I still am

relying on and remembering Manjula’s kindness

a new leaf

as we approached the second anniversary of losing Manjula I took myself on one side and had a chat.

I will always have grief gravy to deal with, hopefully the flood that’s now a river, becomes a stream and in time a puddle. As part of that there is a shift towards pushing aside more of the upset and blame, allowing more space to remember the positives and her joyfulness.

The latest sign in response to that positiveness was three examples of people contacting me who might help create the garden, do interviews for ‘our story’ and help reach our story to more people. How cool is that? It’s another sign.

Another is our flag.

Out the front of our house its flapping to show, the Union Jack representing me, with the sun rising to provide a beacon of kindness, that’s Manjula and a crown because she’s a queen.

Here’s this weeks postings, if you missed them:

In planning for this anniversary we sponsor meals at the old people’s home

Manjula’s Anniversary Continuing, lunch and pooja to celebrate and help her soul find its new home, if she’s not already there, who else gets fed?

Kind friends sent messages, called round and shared poems here and here

There was an earlier sign

The anniversary reminded me of facing one of the most difficult decisions in my life which should not have arisen. Another example of me stumbling through life

happier times

Anniversary

Remembering MAnjula who continues giving.

Sowbaghya and I visited the home for elders to sponsor their meals on the 23rd March on the anniversary of Manjula’s soul flying away.

It was a hoot. SB and I misplaced each other before arriving. Then there was the checking Aadhaar (ID) cards, completing the receipt, and at the last moment remembering to write to confirm it was in Manjula’s remembrance.

The guys remembered and others joined in recalling me cycling in the grounds with the giant picture of MAnjula, a year ago on the anniversary of her death.

I promised to return for her birthday in August. We all laughed and joked, very entertaining but I wonder what they really think.

Sowbaghya is preparing for today’s memories of Manjula.

Impossible decisions in life

I’ve just read an article about CPR which helps clarify the situation Manjula and I were in almost exactly two years ago.

Manjula had a heart attack on the Friday evening and she’d had CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation to bring her back to life. On the Saturday morning she had another heart attack. I was asked whether we wanted Manjula to be resuscitated. I believe she didn’t but it is and will be the hardest decision of my life.

To this day I still don’t know and it hangs over me.

I wish I’d been able to discuss it properly with Manjula so that it was her decision so that it would be clearer that she didn’t want CPR.

Here’s a quote from the article

“… we need to explain that CPR means something very specific. It is the term we use for chest compressions and electric shocks to a heart that has stopped beating – and is reserved exclusively for someone who has already suffered a cardiac arrest. In a sense, the patient has already died: we are trying our hardest to resurrect them.

A “do not attempt CPR” order does not mean we make no attempt to prolong a patient’s life. All manner of other treatments may well be appropriate, such as fluids, antibiotics, admission to hospital, or even treatment in an intensive care unit. The only thing ruled out is chest compressions and shocks to the heart.

Like every other medical treatment – from chemotherapy to major surgery, and transplants to antibiotics – CPR has harms as well as benefits. Resuscitation is an ugly, aggressive and often traumatic treatment. Only in around 10% of cases does all the effort reap rewards. It is nothing like what you see on TV. Too often, the heart cannot be restarted and all we achieve is a cacophony of alarms, wires, shocks and needles in place of dignified dying.

Even if the patient’s pulse is restored, there is a risk their cardiac arrest may leave them profoundly brain damaged.”

I will cover this properly in our story.