Thursday, 11 February 2016

Tea Time

In between a wedding, several family banquets and the usual shuttling from home to home, relative to relative, for chai, coffee, thanda (cold drinks) and the likes, our days have been a blur of rikshaws, temples, bazaars and street-side snacks. You soon come to realise that no matter how much you have eaten for lunch, there is always room for "chai-nasta" (tea and snacks), be it 10am, 4pm or 9pm. The hospitality here knows no bounds, but can be as relentless as it is generous. It feels kinder, and easier to walk away with heartburn than to refuse a cup of tea.

It's been absolutely brilliant to stay put in a city for more than a few days, with time to explore and acclimatise. More tomorrow. 











SL xx

Friday, 5 February 2016

Never Ending

Not enough can be said about the resilience and goodwill that meets you here in India. Over the years, each documentary made on the Indian Subcontinent, every traveller, both seasoned and first-timers will, without fail, comment on the spirit and sporting nature of Indian people. About how happy and grateful they are, positive and hopeful, and so, so generous, despite having very little in the way of material possessions. I am acutely aware that it's a huge cliché and not exactly groundbreaking news, but no matter how many times I visit, it never gets old. It's touching, refreshing, endearing and all the more so as the sentiment is never-ending. 

Sure, timekeeping here is close to non-existent here and sometimes the simplest of things can seem very long winded. It's dusty and the heat is exhausting. But people are relentlessly ingenious, innovative against the odds and determined to overcome difficulties, no matter what.








I'm off to a massive wedding tonight. I'm told it's a multi-cuisine buffet. I've also bought myself a new outfit so I'm super excited. More tomorrow. 

SL x

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Home, Sweet Home

It's day 6 here in India, and  I have literally done little more than eat, shop and gallivant. The day arrives in two shifts, split in the middle by the afternoon siesta, so 1 day feels more like 2. I feel like I have been here forever, and packed so much "India" into 5 short days but in the back of my mind, I know that the time is creeping by and it will soon be time to leave. 

I landed in my mum's home town yesterday. As noisy, dusty & busy as ever, it's a home away from home, and I'm excited to explore both familiar and new parts of the city. 

More tomorrow. 






SL

xx

Friday, 29 January 2016

Day 1: Sunning, Shopping & Snacking

So many people met, meals been had and sights seen, I feel I have been here an eternity already.

India is, as ever, a constant, relentless assault on the senses. The pungent aroma of ginger punctuates the air as you walk past the chaiwallas, whilst bright rikshaws & tempos make for a colourful interruption in the otherwise grey, monotonous city smog. And then, there's the food.

The produce is fresh, the food tasty and the variety endless. What can I say, there are just not enough meals in the day.








More tomorrow.

SL xx











Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Namaste


I've visited India more times than I care to count - but as I landed in Mumbai in the early hours of this morning, it occurred to me that never before have I been here in January. Obviously, growing up, January is the back-to-school-post-christmas-doom-and-gloom month, not a lets-go-all-out-and-spend-a-few-thousand-on-a-holiday month. So the option was never there and we were resigned to visiting the grandparents in August (monsoon season, which can be a complete washout), December (when ticket fares double or more) or Easter time, when the heat is intense and unrelenting and your days are spent in an endless cycle of showering, sweating and then showering again.

And so it was, I found myself wondering whilst waiting to disembark, what to expect.

Usually engulfed by a whoosh of hot air like that from an electric heater when the cabin doors open, this time a calm, cool and crisp night greets me.

Namaste Mumbai. I am glad to be back.

SL x

Friday, 11 December 2015

Christmas Traditions


If you caught me at any time of year other than Christmas, I would tell you how much I despise routine. Because I really, really do. I prefer surprises and spontaneity. Yet every December, year after year, I find myself in an all-too-familiar-Christmas-autopilot-mode - putting up a tree on the 1st, sending out cards on the 5th, visiting a Christmas Market around the 15th, piling presents under the tree on the 24th, and so on and so forth. A "touristy" day in London for shopping, overeating & lights is a must too, as is an evening in Winter Wonderland (not to forget the chocolate churros). But rather than running for the hills, as I would usually following a mere nod to the usual, repetitive or predictable, I find the idea of Christmas without these traditions unimaginable. Christmas would be incomplete.






Do you have any family Christmas traditions?

S
xx

Sunday, 6 December 2015

December, Birthdays and New Beginnings...

December is far and away my favourite month of them all. The sparkly fairy lights, luxurious hampers, festive spiced beverages, glittery baubles and late night shopping; I'm all over the Christmas clichés that arrive in tow with December. I am one of those Christmas enthusiasts who (sadly) counts down the days until Christmas begins (it begins on December 1st in our house). I absolutely adore the little traditions associated with this time of year, and the unabashedness with which we all eat, drink and make merry.

Above all though, December for me has always been about new beginnings. No matter what I have been doing that year, whether it's been good or bad, I find the festive season lends me a new lease on life; a renewed enthusiasm to really enjoy myself, celebrate life with gusto and move on too.

Whether this has to do with me finding it impossible to motivate myself in January (I'm usually fat, broke and freezing cold) or the fact that it's my birthday at Christmas, I'm not sure. But I'm overflowing with optimism and everything seems possible - absolutely everything.

Which is why I decided, after months of dithering, that there was no time like the present to start blogging again. 

So here I am. Blogging. I've missed blogging. Thank you to those of you who've missed my blog too. Here's to a new year. 

Happy December. 

S xx

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Late Summer Sunshine...


Days getting shorter, mornings nippier and leaves brighter - it can only mean one thing... it's time to welcome the Autumn. That's gingerbread lattes, trick or treating, Winter Wonderland, cozy fires, woollen scarves, warm coats, golden trees, red noses, Strictly Come Dancing, seeing your own breath.... and of course the Christmas Countdown. Here's hoping you've enjoyed September's last golden weekend. 

SL xx

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