Chips off the old block

I’m often asked about my sons and what they do.

Ben, my eldest made a dramatic change about ten years ago and switched from working on computers to become a chef. A big and very successful step change. I like to think that my flexible approach to careers and work helped encourage that. 🙃 He now lives in London with Alice his lovely wife and his teenage daughter, age six.

Ol, my youngest, lives in Vancouver. He does a bit of this and a bit of that. His latest role in addition to events management is, wait for it…… drums roll,…

a …..

cycle tour guide 🙂

 

Well I never….

My favourite ‘hotel’ which is an Udupi (meaning pure veg) restaurant cum cafe (without accommodation) is Indra Paras. Just opposite the market it’s been a long term favourite of locals, domestic tourists, and Firangi (foreigners). Great food. Slightly hectic at times.

Well I never. Hang on a minute. What is this?

One of my regular snacks. Sev Dahi Potato puri with a refreshing fresh lime soda, plain (no sugar or salt) but horror of horrors.

There’s a straw!

For the past two seasons we’ve tried to reduce our use of plastic straws wherever we can. Last year we sold bamboo straws for a local charity this year I carry stainless steel straws on the mycycle tours. (Yes, and clean them each eve.)

Well at first I was very disappointed but then discovered they were actually paper ….. wonderful

The very first I’ve seen in Mysore.

Well done boss!

Back at Moksha Manor

this week we’re adjusting back to life in Mysore and welcomed our first few guests who were from the UK and India, Ani from Bylakuppe and our old friend Vinay, Manjula experiences jet lag, discovered what might be a Brexit prequel (there may have been a few) and a keen observation on differences between the India and the UK

 

Today’s Cycle Tour: we’re back in action

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Resting

Manjula is a little rundown, which is not altogether surprising given the mammoth feat of five weeks travelling in the strange country of the UKaos, so we’ve been to the doc and she needs to take it easy and get rid of that cough!

UK and India

Abi, part Yorkshire, part English and part Indian, (what a lovely rich mix? aren’t we all?) is staying with us at the moment and is a researcher into violence against women and mental health implications in Mumbai. (I’ve so told you that we have incredibly diverse and interesting guests!) She came out with a great observation, today, it is of course, a generalisation, but it resonates for me:

at first meeting in the UK people are usually really helpful when they see someone struggling with something whether its a real emergency or just helping with a simple task. Close friends and family by comparison might be more inclined to just leave you to get on with it… not neglect, you’ll understand, but just expect you to sort things out and let them know if you really wanted help.

in India if you’re doing a job, tackling something, often someone (a stranger, or friend) in India will just watch and not get involved, intervene or help unless, of course, its a real emergency. In contrast a relative or close friend would be extremely forthcoming in offering and insisting you took a helping hand, maybe even over do it.

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the weird Englishman hoists the flag outside the manor!

IMG_5965 IMG_5966Brexit a  prequel

Today is independence day and we’ve celebrated it by raising the flag (I so wouldn’t do that in the UK!) and led a cycle tour of two and a bit indians. they had a chuckle about the ‘turned tables’. It occurs to me, however, that previous versions of Brexit were examples of the UK leaving other people’s countries, very often without so much as a vote involved. We celebrate 70 years of independence!

 

 

and the dogs barking so it’s time for a walk!

Sand – The Great Escape

Sand Karma, from cradle to grave to be born again. The long tentacles of the mafia imprisons the sand by dredging the lakes and rivers, looting the embankments, stealing sand wherever it can, and bribing where it needs to… Dotted around our countryside we see in our rivers, small round boats like metal coracles or Bella (Jaggery) cauldrons or gangs attacking the river banks. These are the starting point for the convoys of bullock carts filled with the precious cargo.
After a sometimes long and arduous journey from river bed or bank, to cart, to truck, to city distribution point (to become official) and then on again (its a wonder there’s no sand travel sickness or maybe there is) to be dumped, unceremoniously outside the mushrooming building sites, found throughout the city. Only then to be reincarnated, as a grey mix, for the greater good of the ‘development’ (some might say ruin) of our great heritage city.

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But this isn’t a sad tail of the demise of sand, the loss of its identity or of its sacrifice to the greater good…..no way.

One or two of our sand grain friends, reunited with water (their very own vehicle) from the previous nights torrential rainfall, seize the opportunity and escape form the constructors piles and become part of a great escape.

This morning the roads are covered with a layer of sand, in time, some might be scraped into little piles and recaptured but some will have managed to reach the storm drains, and on to a new life..

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So next when you notice sand on the road and maybe you feel a bit irritated by the sand on your shoe. Spare a thought for the hard life of sand. Remember the triumphs and tribulations of the grain of sand and its great escape in its long march to the sea.