It’s nice up here..

“I like it up here” these are the words that my granddaughter Monica would have said if she could talk

I think it’s a little way off yet considering she’s only 4 months old

We went to the Licky Hills with my dog Buddha this morning, along with the rest of the Midlands it felt like.

But we found a spot away from the crowds so my dog could roll around in peace and Monica could practice trying to crawl

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Food Containers

I like food that is served in environmentally friendly containers.

Let me be a lot more specific. Last week I went for a Thai meal and I had a wonderful meal of rice that was served in a carved out pineapple.

In India we had traditional food served on a huge banana leaf . In Eastern European countries they sometimes serve soup in a bread

These are all such good ideas. .why use plates 😉

These boots. ..

A few years ago I took part in a Hymalian trek in India to raise funds for Mind, the mental wellbeing charity.

To my naive horror I had to wear walking boots. I am not a “walking boots ” type of person

I looked high and low for “pretty boots ” guess what? I couldn’t find any

So I choose the next best thing, boots for a boy (my feet are small ) and customised them with glitter and stickers. Many years on , they are still being worn and loved

Indian Street Food in Birmingham

What a good idea, let’s take all the niceties out of an Indian restaurant, give people benches to sit on, plain wood tables, brick walls, metal trays instead of plates , small overly priced food, expensive micro sized cocktails and serve them in kiddies cups with straws , fill each and every space up with a person speaking so loud, conversation was virtually impossible ,sprinkle masala over everything including chips and prosecco and call it an Indian Street Food Restaurant!

Yes, I went to the highly rated Zindiya indian Street food restaurant last night in Moseley for a friends birthday. Real Indian Street Food it most certainly is not, in October I paid 80p for a dosa in India, last night nearly ÂŁ7, but despite all of the above it was great fun, and Moseley is the perfect spot that makes Zindiya a huge success

Because I said I would 

Last night at one of my groups a man told me about a young man Alex  Sheen, who has started a huge socal movement just using these words, “because I said I would”

It was formed when his father died, his father was a man who kept his word

Keeping your word is hugely important and shows your inner character. 

Sometimes I am called “stubborn ” or “determined ” but I always try to do the things that I said I would 
 Therefore I like this social movements, which involves making promises to people to do nice things and carrying them out,”because I said I would ” A brilliant idea

What makes a restaurant. .great

Last night I went out with some friends for an Indian meal in a restaurant I have never heard of before called  “Jilabi ” 

The restaurant wasn’t in a great location, a bit of a distance from where we lived,  no parking and when we arrived it was jammed. .totally overflowing with people.  I now know why. 

The staff were lovely, we soon were given our table and the night began.  It didn’t take long before conversation started flowing, food arrived promptly.  The food I ordered wasn’t on the menu, not a problem at all. 

So what makes a restaurant great. .

Good food, good service, extra fringe benefits which Jilabi excelled at. ..they gave us free deserts  (watermelon, chocolate cake and ice-cream! ) 2 free liquors each,  free coffee and tea and. .a bottle of mock champagne.  Talk about making us feel special. 

That’s what makes a restaurant great. .the ability to make you feel special and considering the restaurant was full to maximum, I feel this was a remarkably fear.  

A wee in the Hymalias 

4 years ago, I started my trek up the Hymalias in India. Training had taken place, I was all geared up and ready to go.

Only one thing worried me..going to the toilet! 

It didn’t take long before I had to overcome that obstacle. .after a very long overnight trip on the train and then transport via car we were off and I needed a wee. 

Now there are no toilets obviously but also no grass flat area either.  Just a narrow path a big mountain next to you and a very long way down the other side. .umm just how much did I need to go? 

Enough that I choose to sit over the very long way down and go. .much to my horror after relieving myself I saw a local family with children in their small plot of land outside their house looking at a western lady weeing down a mountain! 

India first time round 

4 years ago today, I visited India for the first time.  I spent a week in Delhi and a week doing a trek up the Hymalias. 

Was it a shock arriving in the chaotic colourful city of Delhi ?. .not at all.  I loved it.

The noise, people, animals in the roads, the people living on the streets , the pollution, the constant hum of life. .it was alive 

I was born in Watford High St in 1966 as a baby I went to sleep with alarms going off and people leaving the pubs, we had homeless people, pollution, stray dogs and rats. ..is it really so different? It too was alive 

My not so secret obsession 

People may have noticed I travel a lot. ..comments on social media may give you a clue,  “Where are you now?”

Yes, my not so secret obsession is travel. .anywhere. ..everywhere.  I want to see EVERYTHING.  The big,  the small,  the ugly, the wonderful 

I feel it’s my duty by being part of this wonderful planet to experience and see life everywhere on it.

I read travel books, my favourite are Paul Theroux and Bill Bryson, I watch travel programme( my saved BBC programme is the travel show),  I email myself lists of places to go to, the most used apps on my phone are booking. com and trip advisor,   I make list of places to visit on a monthly basis !

Yes, confession time.  .. .. my secret obsession is….. cricket. .

No only joking its travelling 

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!