Telling Stories

Dear friends,

I’m used to telling stories as a cycle tour guide and as someone who facilitates workshops. I’m told I can be good at it. Writing stories; fiction or otherwise is quite a different matter.

Here are my first attempts, more will follow:

1. The first example is, a Mysore View, posted in June 2019. You can read it here

2. The second, Magic Roundabout, was posted in July 2019 and can be found here

After some feedback I created a revised version of Magic Roundabout, you may wish to go straight here.

3. and here’s yet another one Looking for a home, who is it about?

4. Forever Together …. stars a certain beautiful, smiling woman

please provide feedback to help me learn to improve.

Improving my writing skills is a new challenge and a different way to connect. Learning proper English is a big enough challenge from a guy from Yorkshire! 😉

I want to relay Manjula’s story to a wider audience. It’s part of managing my new situation, keeping going on this rocky path and holding Manjula close to all our hearts.

To try and do Manjula and her story justice I’ll be completing some online training courses and so I invite readers to give critical feedback to help me improve.

Please do feel free to comment.

Thanks

Stephen

Mysore

July 2019

The following appeared elsewhere…..

“Storytelling is the oldest form of entertainment there is. From campfires and pictograms—the Lascaux cave paintings may be as much as twenty thousand years old— to tribal songs and epic ballads passed down from generation to generation, it is one of the most fundamental ways humans have of making sense of the world. No matter how much storytelling formats change, storytelling itself never gets old.

Stories bring us together. We can talk about them and bond over them. They are shared knowledge, shared legend, and shared history; often, they shape our shared future. Stories are so natural that we don’t notice how much they permeate our lives. And stories are on our side: they are meant to delight us, not deceive us—an ever-present form of entertainment.”

From New Yorker 6th July

What a lovely little tent!

Camping is in the blood.

As a family we camped in South West Wales most years. I sold my first grown up tent, a classic Force Ten, to myself at age 16 when I worked in a camp store in Sheffield.

This year we had a grand reunion camp in Wiltshire and at the WOMAD festival.

Every year we used to camp as a family in South West Wales, now I live in India but every year manage to get to camp in the UK.

So why am I telling you all this?

because we’ve found a wonderful tent, designed and sold by Hari in Bristol, England that is so good I want you to know about it.

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This year as a 60th birthday present to myself I bought a new tent, the one that Hari built ;-). The first I’d bought since the early 90’s (our tents are looked after and last). It’s the one above.

I say small and it is if you compare it with it’s bigger family members but it can take two people, even a family and there’s space for lots and lots of gear. Its quite bulky and heavy when packed up but nothing more than you would expect of this type and size of  tent made of canvas. It is however absolutely gorgeous, easy to put up, a great feel of round ness inside and with no centre pole!

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My grandaughter reckons its a pumpkin or maybe Cinderella’s coach.

Everyone is attracted to it and want to know more. Its not cheap but fairly priced for what it is but then again what is cheap in the UK?

There are a couple of nice personal tie-ups. Lotus is of course a Hindu symbol, it was also part of my logo for my consultancy business set up in the early 90’s and is now even a tattoo on my arm! It is a bell tent, has a clever collapsible-poles-system,  so there are no poles restricting the inside space.

Manjula has got to grips with putting it up and taking it down.

She does however still ask me why to people go camping!? It might be something to do with the rain, wind and completely unpredictability of our weather in the UK …. or perhaps camping in India is seen as something for the military or poor people.

I’m working on her.

Its perceived as a festival or Glamping tent and the big versions we’re being used at WOMAD this year

We’ve camped with the new tent in the gloriously crappy English Summer in Yorkshire, Dorset and Wiltshire. Its been super!

more details are at Lotus belle

its listed as a bud, and now they’ve got an inflatable one!

More photos are available on flickr

or come find us at WOMAD in 2018 where we’ll be using the tent

the BIG trip to the UK

Madam English, as she’s known hereabouts is back from her BIG trip. We travelled the length and breadth of the country, for over six weeks, fitted VERY important family events in, had a reunion camp, got muddy in Wiltshire, met lots of Mysore Bed and Breakfast guests, spent a fortune and had a rare old time!

Thank you to the lovely people we know and love for making this such a super trip.

Presents (limited, of course, to sensible cost and numbers), include: spinners (mad craze in the west), nail varnish (highly sought after western quality), shiny things, and various other odds and sods are being distributed as I write. A really big hit for the guy who runs the veg shop (hi!) is Gordons Gin, from duty free. He’s paid for it (we’re not made of money, although many think, I am) and he’s ecstatic about the flavour, its clearly a notch above the local gin.

Well what a trip it was……

 

We’ve covered the North, South, East and West, wet old things in Yorkshire,

 

Dorset, Teesside, Tyneside, even Lancashire (there’s long-standing issues between Yorkshire and Lancashire), Derbyshire, Wiltshire, my son’s wedding to Alice,

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sorry wrong photo (I’ll deservedly get into a lot of trouble for that!)

Oliver, my other son’s visit from Canada,

connectiong with my lovely Granddaughter Poppy, family reunion camp, WOMAD music festival,

family in Sheffield, Hand made parade in Hebden Bridge….

oh, and London, of course

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Madam English now knows why we Brits go on some much about the weather, we’ve had it all. She now knows about being prepared for it to change in a nano second, carrying endless clothing variations, layering and Hot Water Bottles when camping.

She’s so English, she has learned how to complain (Indians, generally not being big complainers and just tend to get on with it, really?) but still manages to have a great time.

we thank everyone… so much… for making this such a wonderful experience.

We’ve  lost count of how many of our old and new friends, including so many Bed and Breakfast guests we’ve seen, met in London, visited their homes, bumped into at the music festival, its been superb…. and did we mention all the meals we’ve eaten….

and at the end of it all we’re a bit tired

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all our photos (these and many more) are at the usual place at flickr

So what does Madam English think about the place?

How did  Lucy manage with Eric?

one helluva trip

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.

 

WOMAD

No MUD WOMAD

Manjula’s Latest FIRST was a camp for the weekend at a music festival.

 

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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!

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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.

Farrell Factoid

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.