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.  

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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 Music 

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. ..so 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! 

Kochi  Vs Birmingham 

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 😉)
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? 

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  £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 £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 Separation 

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  miracle😉

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 

Wherever I Leave My Hat. ..

And so ends our last day in Kochi, both my partner and I feel the holiday has ended too quickly. 

We were here for just over two weeks and in that short period managed to make ourselves feel totally at home. My partner acquired a barber , a tailor and gigs. 

We found a plethora of cafes, and restaurants we loved and even bumped into newly acquired friends in them.

We could wander down the road and meet people we knew on an  almost  daily basis 

We even acquired a dog called Shiva, I think we will stay. ..😉

They can’t do that!

For my trip to Kochi, I downloaded a Netflix series called ,” The Mist” it’s only 10 episodes but being on holiday I don’t get much time to watch anything. . So 10 episodes is plenty 

It’s the end of my holiday and this morning I watched the last episode of the series, it ended on a total knife edge ..

I eagerly looked online for the continuation of the series or series 2. 

The biggest horror ever. ..they have cut the show! None of my questions will ever be answered, I will be left in suspense for the rest of my life over the final outcomes of the characters. .Did they survive? Was it the amy that created the mistake?  

So many questions. ..no answer….

United in songs

Last night was rather special 

My partner plays various drums in bands in Birmingham and whilst shopping around  Kochi he saw a djemba he liked and bought it. 

Eager to test it out we went to the upstairs pizza restaurant last night where a local man called Matt offered him a chance to play alongside him

What fun, hours of music with people joining in from around the world. .Israel  Germany, India and more.  Singing and enjoying popular world famous songs  like “Let it be,” ” Three little Birds”, “Sweet home Alabama ” and the “Banana Boat Song ”