Lessons for life

Coming home to my parents’ place is wonderful for all of us, but the person who thrives and absolutely loves it here is daughter.

She is at her happiest when she is here, and the one place where I don’t need to be around her all the time. The one place where she doesn’t care a bit about where I am. All she needs is her grandparents. She is my dad’s tail once she is here. Following him around the whole day. Today she went into the coffee plantation, picked veggies from my mum’s vegetable garden, learnt about coffee picking, and even helped my dad do some DIY cement work.

The part I love most is the fact that she gets to be close to nature in a way most of her contemporaries would not even be able to dream about. She gets to understand the joys of growing plants, picking home grown vegetabes and more importantly, gets to understand the delicate ecological balance that we live in. She gets to understand, first hand, how everything works in tandem.

The lessons she learns here, hopefully, will last her a lifetime.

At a time, where we spend most of our lives in concrete my jungles, I can’t but help be glad that there still exists a place, we can escape to. And a place where daughter learns so much, and has the time of her life, while doing so. Can’t ask for more, can I?

Walks through Nature

We’ve always loved being close to nature.

We have always seem to seek out bits of natural beauty whereever we are, be it back in the UK, where we did not really need to do much seeking, to be honest, or Bangalore. So when we come to Wayanad, its just pure bliss.

This is what we did this morning. There is a canal near my parent’s place, which travels over the ground at a decent height. We love walking on it, experiening the feeling of walking at tree top level, soaking in the feeling. Check it out.

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We saw some birds, which we forgot to capture. Check out the expanse of fields with various crops.

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Green bamboo plants. I love the way the yellow stalks contrast with the greenery round it.

And finally this haystack that tempted husband. It tempted him to try and jump out and land on the haystack to see it would cushion his fall. Thankfully, better sense dawned:)

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Better pics once we get back. These were clicked on the phone.

Holiday Time

We’re off to Goa forย  the weekend.

Bags, sunscreen , cameras, chargers, books packed, Figured out all the moves needed to fit into the swimsuit that suddenly seems to have shrunk. All that eating out was bound to show up somewhere:( We’re all set! Finally, we are off to a beach where we can actually get in the water, rather than having to walk around completely covered, like we had to do on English beaches.

Can you tell how excited I am?

PS: I have no idea how I’m going to stick to the blog-a-thon. I had planned to schedule posts, but as usual, it stayed in the planning stage:)

The Big Gap..

..between planning and execution is the reason for my downfall.

Rather the reason for the lack of posts this week, and the next week. We’re off home, to my parents(the mere thought of it is so exciting, relaxing and all things warm and cozy :)), and as usual, I’ve got loads of things yet to be done.

I had these huge plans of scheduling posts, book reviews that I had planned on doing. What did I actually do – nothing. Sigh!

I have been reading all your posts, but haven’t had the time to comment. I read on the phone, whenever I get a chance, but commenting gets more difficult. I try to hit ‘like’ when I can, sometimes even tha doesn’t work, because WP logs me out, and to ‘like’ I need to be logged in. After reading Shilpa’s and Bikram’s posts, I’ve been feeling rather guilty. So please consider this an apology – I just don’t seem to get the time to comment properly, or even respond to comments systematically these days. One day…

So all I have now is warm wishes to all of you for the festive season. Hope you all have a great time, and see you on the other side of the holidays.

Oh! Before I go, let me tell you who else is looking out for a job for husband. Yesterday, we had been at our local supermarket, buying a few last minute things, when daughter noticed a ‘Wanted’ sign, advertising jobs. They were looking at SSLC pass candidates to work at the store. All excited, she turns to me and says, ‘Look, Daddy can try and get that job, and then he can live with us forever!’

Back-from-Holiday Blues..

..is in full swing around here. Made worse by the fact that we had to come back to this cold wet place after a few days in glorious, cheerful sunshine.

We couldn’t help look enviously at people who had just arrived in Venice. They have a few more days of fun..

We also had a change of luck with the weather. Remember how I lament about bad weather following us? This time, despite predictions of rain, we had the best weather! Holiday luck changing for the good? I certainly hope so!

The food! The food was to die for! I’ve come back a few kilos heavier, but I was beyond caring. Stuffed to the gills with pasta, risotto and pizza.

And the place… It was gorgeous. There is a reason why Venice is called the ‘Queen of the Adriatic’. What an elegant queen she is!

Wishing I was there is all I can do now. I could have stayed there for a week and not run out of things to do..Husband says he could have lived there forever… Hopefully one day, we’ll be back there..

So how have all of you been? I will start blog hopping tomorrow, today is the ‘clear-up-after-holiday’ day ๐Ÿ™‚

The 3 Cs

Cleaning, Clearing, Cooking

It would be no exageration to say that the last few days have been crazy for me. I have been cleaning, clearing, cooking, hosting a party, and cleaning, clearing all over again.I do have loads of left overs to not have to worry about cooking though ๐Ÿ™‚

It was daughter’s birthday last week, and I decided to do a small get-together, with our close friends, at home. And also ambitiously decided to cook. Of course, better sense prevailed, Or rather husband prevailed. He refused to even let me think about it. He knows me. So I settled on cooking a few things and ordering the rest – just to make me feel less guilty about not cooking entirely. You see, I have some friends who cook for massive parties, and I feel so inadequate. Husband, of course, believes that we should outsource everything that is not our core competency, and we should enjoy the day rather than go crazy cooking. Which I agree with, most of the time.

Thank goodness, he drilled some sense into me. Even with the little that I had to do, I was running around like a headless chicken. Shopping for everything we would need, cleaning, taking the opportunity to clear out clothes and toys that we needed to give away. Which just made it crazy, because I just ended up doing things which I could have easily done another time. The only way I could pull it off, was by staying away from the laptop. I allowed myself the phone(but of course ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

To cut a long story short, in the few days that I cut off myself from the laptop, my efficiency doubled. My cupboards are lighter, my carpets are cleaner, I wish I could say that I was lighter as well, but after a party, that would be a small miracle ๐Ÿ™‚ It won’t take too long for my carpets to go back to their earlier state, but I seriously plan to keep my cupboards light. I’m going to have a tough enough time trying to pack things into boxes without adding to it by shopping some more.

Now, with the party and the mess out of the way, I’ve got to get ready to go to Venice ๐Ÿ™‚ We are off to Venice next weekend! And I suspect that I will have to go on another blog sabbatical to get everything ready to go.

So I’ll get back next week and comment, reply to comments, read, etc, etc, etc ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll try to sneak in when I can, but I might be better off staying away from the laptop. Oh, and please do wish for us that we get good weather this time! AND by good weather I mean, HOT weather!

PS: Leaving you with a picture of one of the things that I made, and luckily, turned out to be a huge hit ๐Ÿ™‚ especially lucky, because it was a first time experiment ๐Ÿ™‚

Breaks of all sorts…

Term break time again! And two weeks at that! Torture, I tell you!

And I don’t even have the luxury of turning to my laptop for comfort! It had to go and get broken at the right time.

Even the weather seems jinxed against me. Last week we had glorious spring, summer weather. Absolutely gorgeous. It felt like summer had come early.

Only for it all to change overnight. So we are back to grey skies and cold, cold weather. Not just cold, they are even predicting snow! Just in time for the Easter holidays.

We are now, back to checking weather every 5 mins, in the vain hope that something will change – for the better. But knowing our luck – California and Florida hit record lows when we visited, I don’t have much hope.

The sad weather also means that all our plans to be outdoors is now out of question. We do plan to do some gardening though. We have some sunflower seeds waiting to get planted.

I do have a lot to talk about, but can’t type on the phone anymore. I so need a tablet ๐Ÿ™‚ Did I tell you that daughter is in love with the iPad? Well, she came across one in a shop, and ever since, all she wants is a iPad. Now, she has resigned herself to the fact that she isn’t getting one, so she ‘plays’ with it in malls or shopping centres where they try to lure us into buying one.

So how have you all been? Weather better at your end?

Holiday Tales Post 8 The Last Day

It’s been more than a month since we got back from Greece, and high time that I put an end to these holiday tales, don’t you think?

The last day was a lazy, lazy day. We had nothing on the agenda, apart from soaking in the atmosphere, eating good food, and lazing around. Starting with a delicious breakfast(it was a relief to not have to hunt for breakfast places), at a table with a view.

We had a great time at the windmill, but to be honest, I had a million mini heart attacks every time daughter moved around. I was constantly worried that she would fall down those stairs. So we had decided to ask our hotel manager if he could transfer us into one of the cave houses. After breakfast, the first thing we did was this, and he was so understanding, and showed us to our new accommodation, a traditional cave house. It might have helped that the windmill cost more than the cave house, but anyway!

The view from the cave house.. We planned to spend the evening watching the sunset from here..

The insides.. See the roof?

By the way, the place we stayed at also claims this – check out the little board. Too bad we came here 11 years too late ๐Ÿ™‚

After settling in, we set off once again to walk the streets of Oia. One of the things I loved were the flowers everywhere.. Doesn’t this hibiscus transport you to India? And I love the colour!

And the Bougainvillea, it was everywhere, and it looked so gorgeous!

See those caves towards the right of the picture? I was told that all the caves looked like that before there were converted into houses.. I wonder if the people who first settled here, ever imagined that their adaptation to the environment, would result in a beautiful tourist destination in the years to come…

Some of the traditional blue domed churches that this place is famous for..

The little port, that we did not go down to. I told you, we were after a relaxing day. Going down might have been easy, but coming back up might have been a different story ๐Ÿ™‚

The majestic cliffs that plunge down into the sea…

They do take good care of their buildings…

Aren’t these trees cute?

After all the walking around, our tummies called for lunch. After a huge lunch, at a restaurant with a view(it is impossible to find one, without :)), we headed back to our cave house. The rest of the afternoon, we planned to sit around, and wait for the sunset..

Of course, nothing goes as per plan. The sky that had been clear all morning suddenly had all the clouds in the world, crowding our view!

So what if there were clouds, we were determined to capture what we could.. and torture you guys by putting it up here ๐Ÿ™‚

We could actually see the clouds moving. One minute our hopes would rise, that maybe the clouds would move away, in time for a perfect sunset, the next minute they would be dashed by the sun getting covered completely..

I love the way, we can see the rays of the sun filtering through the clouds…

One of the rising hopes moments…

If it looked like this with the clouds, I wonder how beautiful it would have been when the sky was clear?

With the sun gone, it’s time for some night time splendor.. Did I mention that our cave house was just below the windmill?

We ended the holiday with another delicious dinner.. Fitting end, don’t you think?

Holiday Tales – Part 4 The Streets of Athens

Our trips always used to be meticulously planned – by me. Husband couldn’t care less. We visited cities like Paris and Rome before Poohi was born, and it was a different type of schedule.

Armed with a map, and guide books, we would get on the local transportation, walk through little alleys, following our instincts, and sometimes other tourists, or sometimes just the road. We would reach cute localities, or little alley ways where we would actually get lost. But it used to be so much fun! Both of us were in agreement that we could not go with guided tours, because we love doing our own thing.

It had been a while since we last did a European city. The last was Switzerland, when daughter had just turned two, and it was not exactly city sightseeing, and she was happy to be in her buggy, so we were free to go wherever we wanted to, to some extent, at least.

I was in two minds if Athens was a good idea or not. I did not want her getting bored with all the archeological stuff, but as I mentioned here, she loved it! The other part that I was worried about how much she would enjoy the aimless walking through the city, that both of us loved so much.

Well, all I can say is, she sure is a daughter of ours ๐Ÿ™‚ She had just as much fun as we had on the streets of Athens. Even on the first day, on that torturous trek to the hotel, she was in her element. She was cheerful, delighted by all the cats and kittens that she saw on the road, pointing out whatever caught her eye. That just meant that we had the kind of holiday that we all love!

We ended up in a place called Plaka, where the souvenir shops enthralled me. I love these shops, there is something about souvenir shops that I love ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s me making a beeline to those gorgeous pots!

Look how pretty they are? They have events from Greek mythology painted on them. I could not afford to buy them, so brought back pictures instead ๐Ÿ™‚

Daughter, proving that she has indeed, inherited my genes ๐Ÿ™‚

Daughter did get a little tired. So we got on one of these.

Tourist transportation of a different kind..

One of the domed churches of Athens

All roads lead to the Acropolis. See the Acropolis shining up on the hill ahead?

More ruins, much to daughter’s delight ๐Ÿ™‚ We came back here in the daylight to see it properly.

Isn’t this cute?

The streets of Athens is full of cats..

of all kinds ๐Ÿ™‚

Trees flanking roads, full of oranges!

Aren’t these the cutest? We stumbled across a market place, which had the cutest of things! Most were handmade and so very creative.

Remember those balconies full of greenery that I was so enthused about?

And as I said earlier, all roads lead to the Acropolis.. There it is , all lit up at night..

Two days of Athens, and we were looking forward to Santorini. We were all excited, and waiting to get to the island. Little did we know that a ghost town awaited us…..
to be continued…