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
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!
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
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
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. ..😉
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….
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 ”
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. .
A thought, things that I hated during my earlier life I now love. Subconsciously did I protesteth too much about the items in question?
Examples of things I strongly disliked are, celery, beetroot, fit flops, gardening and the gym! I now love all five of these things, there are many more examples
Why am I blogging about this whilst I am in India? Well it’s because I have had another protesteth too much moment. ..yesterday I bought a pair of genie pants from the market. ….and you guessed it I love the silly over sized things 😀
What on earth could those three things have in common?
Well, if you were here with me right now it would be would be obvious.
I currently in Kochi at a wonderful arts cafe garden listening to a man from Sterling, Scotland singing, “Story of Love. ”
He is playing on his guitar a young lady from Kochi who he met earlier today is singing on stage with him…oh yes “bats ” Where do they come into this?
Well , we are in a cafe garden with many trees and many bats and they are flying occasionally around the singer, stage, audience and for added effect making marvellous shadows on the wall backing the stage too.
Beautiful and also rather surreal listening to Scottish folk songs including, “you take the high Road.” ….. on a very warm evening in South India