So much more. ..

I wanted somewhere new to explore not that far away. Using Google maps I soon choose an area of unexplored territory  (for me that is šŸ˜‰) An area called Hartlebuy, it fitted all the tick boxes, a castle, out in the country, pubs and a garden centre cafe that looked promising

We never got further than the garden centre! Whitlenge Garden Ctre is more than a garden centre, they have gone to town with their imagination. .fairies, gnomes, a wonderful country garden cafe and then the gardens. .

For a modest entry fee of Ā£3.50 each we were taken on a journey into all things spooky.  Yes. .it was Halloween themed,  they did a brilliant job and it kept us entertained for ages and ages. .brilliant fun


A final danceĀ 

So days are more trying than others 

Today, has ..Let’s just say, “been challenging at times. ” It has also been very long

At 9.30 pm I had my final part of the day which was a dance rehearsal for a small piece as part of a mental health awareness show. 

This final dance of the long and troublesome day was a welcome relief.  A star in the dark sky, a strawberry in a pile of sour berries.  You get the picture šŸ˜‰šŸ˜‰

I did it!

“What did you do? “I hear you ask 

OK. ..wait for it. ..Yes, that’s right, I changed my name on Facebook! 

I was given the name debra jane aldous , when I was born.  I never really liked it, it didn’t seem to fit me. 

In school, I played around with asking friends to call me cool  (well, I thought so at 5!) Names like DJ or just my middle name Jane, they all lasted about 3 hours 

Fast forward many many many many years, numerous surname changes due to marriages and divorces.  My first name is still the same,  until last year my youngest daughter suddenly said, “mum, you don’t look like a Debbie “, “What do I look like? “I asked,  she thought for a moment, “Autumn ” she replied. 

I loved it and why not.  Over the last year I have played around with the name,  spoke to various people including my mum and she wasnt surprised.  But then again she has always said nothing I do shocks her anymore. ..

So the biggest,  boldest move so far. .a change on Facebook has been made.  

Eerie Red Sky

30 years ago today a storm hit the UK, many lives were lost and much damage was done.

I have little memory of it, 30 years ago I had just got married, left home and was pregnant with my first child. .no wonder really that a storm seamed to feature so little in my memory. 

Today, 30 years on another storm is on the horizon.  This one has a name, ” Hurricane Ophellia ”  

I have just come back from walking the dog and I have to admit it’s rather eerie outside, there is a strange red glow in the sky, a very mild almost muggy feel to our October weather and the sound of a strong wind approaching. 

With weather like this I had better stay in 
then……That’s not me

. ..but I might get to work faster today if the winds behind me 

Vegan Pie & Mash , Wine and MusicĀ 

I am currently in a pub in the outskirts of Birmingham city centre after a long ,full and fun day of work….and yes, it’s Sunday listening to live music which I have organised for a friends week long show 

This is not a modern, hip or trendy pub.  It’s a grass roots real ale type of pub. I am delight that they have a menu with vegan food. .

Maybe the tide is turning and little by little the UK is becoming vegan friendly 

Too Soon

Ok I admit that I have been out of the country for 2 and a half weeks but come on! 

Today is October 14th, still not quite half way through the month 

It started the moment I entered John Lewis, “dedededededefedeeddddd” or on other words  ..Santa Clause is coming to Town. 

To my the whole shop floor had become Christmas, Christmas trees in every shape and colour you can image, wrapped presents underneath.  Decorations, fairy lights, snow, reindeer. .you get the picture 

I am no kill joy. ….but it’s October! 

KochiĀ  Vs BirminghamĀ 

After recently returning from Kochi some of the things that I experienced there I believe would be an asset to our dear City if we changed a little. 

So here are 5 things in Kochi that I prefer and would like Birmingham to adopt 

1) Wet rooms  and a hose by the toilet. ..what a useful and great idea. .. i loved it and would like  one in my bathroom 

2) Using banana leafs as plates, very environmentally friendly (but maybe the cost of importing huge quantities of leaves to this country may out way the benefits šŸ˜‰)
3) Happy children, the school children in Kochi all look happy, smiling laughing, polite and truly content 

4) Free animals wandering the streets.  Everywhere you looked were animals being animals and living alongside humans.  Cows, goats and dog  just being and it was great 

5) No shoes, I particularly like this last one. There is a culture of taking off your shoes whenever you enter a building, our home stay had a shoe rack before you entered the building, even many shops have a no shoe policy with shoes left on the pavement.  Can you imagine how people would moan in the UK if they had to take their shoes off before entering Marks and Spencer!

Free Money. .Anyone?Ā 

India has a closed policy for non nationals at the moment regarding currency, which means you can’t change money back when you leave the country.  I don’t think you are even supposed to take it out of the country 

Yesterday when we were at the airport drink were a lot cheaper than I thought they would be ..I had budgeted for about  Ā£11 at the airport.

Whilst in the queue for coffee I thought I would leave my spare currency with the young and probably low paid workers at the coffee stall. .about Ā£7

 This wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be,  after buying drinks I explained to the staff as I pushed “free money ” towards them my situation. ..they looked at me blankly.  They spoke no or very little  English, unusual for an airport. 

I tried again, they still stared blankly back at me. Another man in the queue saw my plight and offered help, ” buy more drinks ” He suggested.  I had just bought 4 cappuccinos for the two of us. I couldn’t drink even more! 

He then explained to the staff why I was forcing money on them,  they still looked blankly at me and never touched the money, he tried again.  At last, one of the 3 members of staff politely said, “thank you ” and took the money, albeit very sheepishly 

Degrees of SeparationĀ 

Our last night in Kochi was shared with a Scottish musician, who we have seen play folk music at at cafe a few days earlier 

We arranged to meet in a hotel where we could chat over a few beers in Happy Hour. 

This in itself is  almost a miracle in Kochi, alcohol is very hard to buy with their strict alcohol laws. ..and a “Happy Hour ” .. Yes I would class this as a minor  miraclešŸ˜‰

As the conversion progressed between the three of us, the things in common gathered and gathered.  There is a saying that everyone in the world is connected by a  only a few degrees of separation.  

Evidence is beginning to add weight to this with people I meet in my life. .This folk singer who I have never met before and lives hundreds of miles from me amd yet has 3 Facebook friend in common with me and 2 with my partner. 

Although Scottish,  he classes himself as Welsh, my partners family are from North Wales my family’s from South Wales. 

Add to this a few extra bonus points his mum is from the Welsh part of Patogonia, my partner has always dreamt of travelling there and to meet someone with connections to the country was a real plus for him and add to that they were both huge fans of the “Beatles ” meant we didn’t struggle at all with conversation on this last delightful night in Kochi