After life?

I’m now coming to the end of draft three of our story. There’s still a loooong way to go but thought I’d share something.

As a Hindu Manjula believed in reincarnation so it’s one area I’ve researched and found incredibly interesting.

For more details from me you’ll need to wait for the book or in the meantime check some of the resources I’ve listed here. The books are available in Manjula’s library.

There’s a great series on NETFLIX

Or check out this podcast

One of the many effects of finding and temporarily losing Manjula is to push me to reflect, and learn with an open heart. Thanks Manj.

Manjula’s Messengers

Last night I completed chapter eight of our story Full Full (working title), of draft three (with many more to come) it was particularly difficult to work on, as it related the story of her last year. In some ways it also helped.

This morning I was outside our house, sitting on a stone slab bench, beneath our wonderful strong shading tree. I was waiting for my neighbour, for our morning cycle.

A friend came along

It was a messenger from Manjula to reveal she knew what I was doing, supported me and sent her love.

It’s a red eye butterfly.
It continued with me for over six kilometres, as I cycled
Another messenger from MAnjula

With critical timing.

On Facebook this MAnjula Memory popped up from our last visit to England four years ago.

I’ve had a few messengers now.

Equally impressive was the circling dragonfly and even pretty moths get in on the act.

Stories

Mysore Storytellers Network (MSN)

Making space to share creativity.

find MSN on Facebook or here or instagram

Their latest event on 11th July focussed on the monsoon . The event was wonderfully entertaining with participants from throughout India and a rich mix of contributions from storytellers, musicians, lyricists, singers, poets and polemicists.

For what it’s worth here’s my contribution.

I have much experience of rain in the ‘land of grey” as I’m from one of the rainiest parts of England, and even though I moved to live in Mysore I still have little experience of the extremes of the monsoon phenomenon. Life is so easy in so many ways in Mysore

This is unapologetically raising broad challenging questions

I can feel it at the end of our noses

It’s no poem

A serious story the message is not hidden.

It’s a wake up late at night.

I’ve moved to Mysore in India, its my first time out on my Enfield 

I’m new to this.

I wonder why are all the two wheelers stopping under the bridges, or the flyovers or the riders finding shelter at the shops?

Because I’m new to this 

but realise why, as the rain falls

It is the monsoon, I’ll know better next time.

Did you feel a spot of rain?

We got our brollies out and opened them just in time

We knew it was the monsoon.

We had torrential rain for weeks

…..

The rains have broken the roads

no one expected the monsoon

the construction site sand has run away after a heavy shower

and escaped down the road blocking the drains

no one expected the monsoon

water seeps into the tarmac cracks and pushes them open

no one expected the monsoon

…..

fires devastated the forests in Australia and California

we didn’t expect that

the heatwave killed people in USA and Canada

we didn’t expect that either

..

Had anyone expected that

or does no one care

We stumble through life being uncertain about what will happen and 

how to deal with the challenges we face.

its part of life and how we learn

we hear whispers,

our gut sends messages

its in the papers, 

the UN discusses

but do we listen and if we do

can we act?

We knew all about the monsoon, the fires, the heatwave, the pandemic, wave one two and three, so why didn’t we act?

Were we Breathing Lethargy Air? 

or

Following the submissive path? Who knows?

Check them out nd join in, as there’s all sorts of different events like celebrating art.

More messages.

As we went for this afternoons walk a giant butterfly buzzed me the moment I left the main door.

I discretely followed it to try and take a photo but I could only get this silhouette before it flew away.

An hour later Lucie and returned home to it resting on the door knob. only to surprise me again and land on one of our windows.

From outside.

It has the scary images of two reflective eyes on its wings, it’s wing span is seven inches or more and now it’s gone.

It arrived a day after I had, once again, in exasperation called out to Manjula complaining that I couldn’t feel her presence or hear a message.

From inside

I’m happier now.

Tanuja tells me it’s a moth. So now we know messages come via Dragonflies, Butterflies and Moths.

We’ll keep you posted as more messengers are added to the list. 🙂🙃🤭😉🌞

Zoom time.

It’s 58 minutes, with two minutes to go. The Englishman likes to be on time and a little early.

Tea is made and in my favourite ‘cranky old guys rule’ mug. Lucie’s medicines given, computer switched on, air bud things in my ear, matched to the comp Bluetooth, WiFi working ok. Check, quick splash of the face ooooh forgot my treat, a doughnut from SAPA bakery.

I’m sorted.

Redrafted structure of our story sent to Pam yesterday for discussion today.

We’re ready to roll.

Except woooooooooo I’m exactly one hour early the meeting is at 11.00 not 10.00!

Idiot.

I’ll now spend a few moments reflecting in the present. It’s a new thing I learned from Madam

Is this early onset of, you know A……., over excitement to dive into the ‘Labour of Love’ unlikely as I have to constantly deal with being taken over by ‘idle-ous-ness and lethargy’ combined (it’s in the air and not a new thing).

Or have I just lost it? Probably.

I’ll have to wait.

Doughnut now or later is my biggest current challenge.

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.

Is there a problem?

Is there ever not a problem? But they’re always solvable in India.

This is the corporation office of the non removable assets, meaning where they exchange contracts for land, buildings etc.

In our case, we’re the immovable objects getting married.

These photos have just been found and shared by our good friend Tanuja.

I can’t remember what this was about probably just checking details before the critical point where we sign and are officially joined in matrimony.

The whole set up was confusing and it was difficult to know at what precise moment we actually got married. Maybe this was it.

Look out for the full story next year.

Coppafeel

Coppafeel

Manjula and I discovered this charity, that Kris set up, at WOMAD music festival, feeling one’s breast and checking for lumps wasn’t something she’d ever heard about.

To be truthful I was to discover that basic knowledge about healthy lifestyles and prevention was and is quite limited especially amongst the poorer communities.

I’ve just recalled a great example of this from one of Manjula’s tales l’ll include it in our story due out next year.

The sticker, all those years later is still at our front door for visitors to read.

Even more at Manjula’s library

I recently discovered that Stardust, one of my favourite films is written by an author I’ve only just discovered: Neil Gaiman. I know, I know, I’m behind the times.

Here’s the author’s original outline for the book.

Well now I’ve read the book and strongly recommend both.

With superb images by Charles Vegg

Bul Bul update.

This is the fourth Bul Bul’s nest we’ve had at Moksha Manor.

Previously on the roof garden, our mid level garden out on the first floor mini garden and even in a hanging plant above our round table in the drive.

They’re good at nesting in the most unlikely places. This time they’ve chosen our secret garden in the back yard where we hang out the washing.

There’s been a gap of two years when they didn’t nest. The year Manjula died and following year.

Not only have they returned this year Sowbaghya spotted five adult birds all gathering to welcome the new babe.

We managed to photo two of them.

They must have realised it’s been a sad time but now returned to a place they’ve made their home. They know it’s safe and welcoming, not just for our human and four legged friends.

I wonder if English birds search out quiet, withdrawn locations. Here in India they have to manage the noise and general hecticness.

Another example of Manjula’s kind.