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!
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
Today we took a taxi to the Kerala Folklore Museum and it was a wonderful little gem but strangely rather like the Pit Modeum museum in Oxford .
On the way back after a lovely “Subway ” yes, the huge sandwich chain is rather popular over here! We decided to walk a part of the way home, and on route crossed a bridge over the backwaters to Willingdon Island, a man made island by the British many years ago.
The Bridge its self is actually not that special but according to every single tuk tuk driver who has driven us over it in the last couple of weeks (and there has been many! ) it too was built by the British also and used to open to let large boats through like Tower Bridge.
It’s the views from the bridge that make it so special, the huge dragon flies , dug out canoes with sole fishermen on them and floating mangroves. .
Last night we went to an Indian classical music concert, it was well advertised and we knew that the venue was popular
Here’s the thing, we were the only audience. .it a large room there were just the two of us.
The concert went ahead regardless and the three members of the band, two singers and a tabla drummer were wonderful and gave us a concert deserving of a full auditorium
We have just come back from a two day trip to India’s Western Ghats, a mountain range
It was a wonderful place to visit and amongst our trip we saw elephants, deer, amazing scenery, visited a tea museum, walked in a tea plantation, saw colourful huge butterflies, the largest waterfall in the area, discovered all about local medicine on a guided walk, stayed in a quaint home stay overlooking the mountains….
But then on the way back we went for a coffee in a roadside cafe and met the stars of the trip. .Yes the monkeys. The cafe had a viewing area for a pretty valley, it wasn’t a monkey viewing area, the were just there being monkeys. ..scratching, fighting, feeding their young, pulling faces, climbing and generally just being themselves.
There is something very special about monkeys, sometimes their features and actions are just so….well. …almost human
“Where’s that? “I hear you ask
Let me describe where I am right now. .i am on a balcony listening to crickets chirping loudly, flying around me there are wasps and mosquitos, ant’s are climbing up the door behind me..despite all this or is beautiful. The sun is setting, coconuts hanging from the tree are almost in arms reach, I look around and all I can see are tall trees and lush and huge tropical plants. In the far distance are fields on the mountain sides of the Western Ghats where they are huge stunning tea plantations
There’s a little island across from Kochi called Vypeen. .only a few miles away but it seems like another world
We took a ferry there for the pricely sum on 4p. .Yes 4p. I can’t remember when anything was that cheap let alone a fare for a means of transport.
But then again we were crammed onto the vessel like sheep amongst the locals , standing room only and off we went
I am not sure what I expected when I disembarked, a beach at least.
There was a beach but a more apt description would be waste land full of lost shoes, drift wood, tyres and people fishing
We wondered along a deserted main road for a place to get a drink, all we could find was lots of churches and a hotel with a curtain as a front door
But one thing for sure was Vypeen definitely was quiet
Today is my birthday. .no way, never, too soon. Yup it’s my birthday yet again but what a wonderful way to spend it.
My partner and I went took a river trip on the amazing back waters of ,Kuttanad (Near Alappuzha / Alleppey) the driver battled through torrential rain to arrive at the destination. I took cover under my rain poncho on part of the journey ….yes we were in a car but the window needed to be open to clear the windscreen (it was an old car!)we narrowly avoided cows in the road and many cars and trucks that seemed to be heading straight for us.
Somehow we arrived safely and then took a leisurely boat ride through the back waters. . It’s a glimpse into the lives of local people living on and about the rivers. A fascinating insight into their daily lives as they wash, do laundry and clean their plates in the abundant river .
We stopped at a riverside cafe and ate a traditional meal using banana skins as plates and our hands as cutlery , when the rain came again the rivers became even more beautiful
Well what do I mean you may be wondering?
I had a friend who is on Facebook do a “shout out for a volunteer ” I was in her area on the given day and said yes. She is a highly experienced reflexologist and was training a man to do similar.
I have never had reflexology before and to have two people working on my feet at the same time giving me reflexology was. … well …. brilliant ☺ what really surprised though was although they never nothing about my medical history just from just massaging my feet they deduced I had issues with my lungs, kidneys and knee. Yes, in the past I have suffered from asmatha and cystis and have recently started to occasionally have a twinge in my knee. ..wow impressed
I take photos, lots of photos. Always using my mobile and mostly of small things, bugs rain drops etc.
Today I spent a most pleasant afternoon in a field, in the middle of nowhere with 5 people, my dog, a young boy and a baby. . Oh yes along with a clothes line , along with other sonewhat strange props.
Most surprisingly I was asked to take photos for an album cover for a recording artist I knew… And therefore I did