Wednesday 31 January 2018

Deliveries , medical check ups

We have now worked out the best way of shopping for food. We have online deliveries from the supermarket, the organic farm next door and the French bakery down the road. For meat, we order it from a hotel ( it has a shop inside) and Andrew can pick it up as it is close to the office . This saves a lot of bother of weaving through the traffic etc. All of it is very efficient. We could ,if we were really lazy, not get off our chairs on the patio and even have meals delivered but we won't go that far.

Medical checkups

On Monday , we had to go to a local hospital to be checked over for the health insurance application. It was interesting. Wonder bladder -aka Andrew Cole- managed his scan without any problems whereas I was begging the doctor to hurry up and let me off the bed before anything unexpected happened! Everything was ok in the end - good.
We then had to have our hearts scanned and that was very detailed too . Everything was ok - good.
Andrew passed the final assessment with flying colours. It was a treadmill walk that increased in speed (for 20 minutes) whilst being attached with about 10 wires to a heart monitor machine. I have never been able to walk slowly yet alone quickly on a treadmill. My weak attempts to stay on the treadmill left the young doctor and her assistant in hysterics as I shot backwards each time off the machine . It meant they had to move quickly to stop the wires pulling against the machine . I pointed out that I can manage a cycling, step or rowing machine without any problems and I can swim forever but I can't stay and coordinate  on a treadmill, even the airport moving pathway thing causes problems ! The doctor decided to abandon the test as I think she feared for the safety of the expensive machine that I was attached to. Wise girl !
The evening activity though proved that I have great stamina. We ended up with about 14 children at the house. There was a lot of imaginary wars and shoot outs with all the nerf guns, a lot of noise and excited boys running everywhere. Mala had gone home so I had to cook , (pasta) and wash up ! I have demanded (sweetly) that we need a dishwasher!

Thursday 25 January 2018

The boys are traumatised!

Wednesday was half day at school because of the festival at Varthur. The bus set off at 1:30 pm and all was going well . Then they hit the traffic for the village . Max started sending desperate messages that they were stuck . After an hour and a half he texted that they still hadn't moved. I was sat on the bench with the other Mum's watching their progress- or lack of it - on the tracker. Max was our information feed so that we knew what was going on. . But it was awful when he rang crying and gave the phone to Milo,who was sobbing "get me off the bus mummy , I need a wee!"
 In desperation I told him to wee in his water bottle if he needed to and to get Max to tell the bus parent. 5 minutes later, Max  sent a message that they had  all been let off the bus to go by the side of the road. The bus appeared ,in total, two and a half hours after setting off . All the mums got ready for tears as the children got off,  but,as the doors opened ,and a relieved looking bus parent stepped off , the children were all cheering and jumping for joy . It was quite funny.
Needless to say , they have recovered and are no longer "traumatised " and have put their experience down to a team building exercise. Milo said that they had banged on the windows and even put a written sign at the bus window begging for help. It didn't work so I wonder if it was spelled correctly! I am just so pleased that I was not one of the teachers supervising the bus . I think they deserve a medal for keeping so cheerful and supporting those frantic children!

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Playdates ,more school days off! Online shopping, power cuts and doctors.

Tuesday 23rd January 2018

Play dates

Milo has just gone past me on the bus on his way to someone else's house for a play date and not even waved to me! He was knelt up in the bus chatting away to all his friends.
Max got off the bus , got on his bike and cycled home. He quickly got changed and now he too has disappeared to someone else's house.
They have both made so many new friends that it is hard keeping track of them all! Both Max and Milo have photos and pictures of their British school friends in their bedrooms and so they feel that they have not deserted them but we are pleased that they have so many new friends. Being in this complex means that they can just go off and play and ,of course, the weather is so beautiful that there is choice of adventurous things to do in the open air. We are all using our bikes to get the boys to the bus stop in the morning. It is lovely and cool then.

More school days off!

Max and Milo are really pleased that this week they have a short week .Max was off on Monday as it was a parent /teacher meeting day.  Tomorrow the school is shutting at lunch time on the advice of police. The bus has to pass through a village that has a special festival for 4 days and so the road gets blocked, apparently last year they were at least an hour late. The festival has big ornate floats that travel slowly down the roads to the temples.
Thursday is a general strike day in Bangalore over a dispute between neighbouring states on the availability of water so the buses do not run and shops shut. ( No maid either ! I may have to do something !)
On Friday , it is a republic day with kite flying , competitions , bonfires and all sorts of events going on,so another school holiday ( and work holiday so Andrew not too pleased!) We are going to go and see what goes on at the club as there is all sorts on Friday.
It is not all good news for the boys though, as the school has said that an extra school day will be included on a Saturday in May!

Online shopping.

We tried food shopping online and it was really good. That is going to save a lot of time and hassle. The tomatoes were 16 rupees for 1 kg ( about 20p), the bananas 30p for about 10 . No Lurpak was bought !

This meant that Mala was overjoyed because we now had more food in the fridge. She is delighted that we want to try Indian food and has planned so many different meals that I am confused. She is not partial to french stick every day and so made a biryani which was lovely ( bit spicy so she is going to tone it down tomorrow !)

Power cut

We had our first power cut last night and it was quite interesting. We do have a back up system that operates the lights and maybe one machine (kettle or coffee machine) but that is it until full power is restored . It didn't take too long to come back on but Andrew did spend quite a while using colourful language as he tried to work out what to do !


For our medical insurance we have to have medicals and a doctor turned up with his assistant at 7:30 yesterday morning to weigh us , take blood samples and measure us. We now have to go to the hospital to finish the medical  and that may include going on a treadmill.  Hopefully all the new cycling, swimming and walking will stop us from getting too puffed out !

Friday 19 January 2018

We've moved at last!

I don't actually know what day it is anymore! Moving into a new house is exhausting. Max was a trooper and went to school. Milo had been a bit off colour the night before and went to bed at 7 ( so we knew he wasn't well!) and he stayed with us for the move.
We waited at the house with Arjun and  Mala and a truck turned up with the back doors slightly ajar. Milo was amazed as 13 men jumped out of the back . They then proceeded to very quickly bring our longed for boxes. We had to make rapid decisions as to where which room the boxes needed to go. Easy if you know what is in the boxes but after 4 and a half months we had forgotten what was in them. There were brief lists on the boxes but not enough for us to know precisely . We kept directing the men into the spare room with the mystery boxes if we weren't sure.
They would then jump in the truck when it was empty and go and fetch another load. It seemed never ending ! I'm sure we don't need half of the things we have although I was so pleased to see the fridge freezer and my new pizza oven.
Mala was whizzing around unpacking the boxes and hidden amongst the paper wrappings while Arjun translated when we needed it.
 I went to fetch Max in the middle of all the chaos and he was really excited to see his lego again.
After several hours , the energy levels were sapped and we decided to call it a day and went back to the hotel.
Both boys went to school the next day so we had another session unpacking but every single item is wrapped ! It takes forever , every cup , every saucer, Mala was muttering like she was crackers by the end of the day ! She just repeated cups, cups , cups . I didn't realise we had so many!
But we were in ,the beds were made and we were exhausted. The boys were surrounded by their lego and toys and were happy.
It was boiling hot and we needed the fans on but that was fine.
In the middle of the night, our fan , by itself, started to go really quickly , like it was taking off! Apparently when the factories close for the night ,there can be a power surge .  We only have three adapter plugs at the moment so can't cope with power surges on our appliances . Andrew has gone to Mumbai for Friday and Saturday and so are limited with our electricals and Tv as he is the expert, although we do have iPlayer  and dvds so all is not lost!

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Too many things to do

We have so many things to do and don't know where to start so we are sitting on the balcony for f the apartment thinking about it with a cup of tea. The furniture is coming tomorrow ! Hooray!

So it is all stations go packing the apartment while trying to help Max with his very tricky maths homework ( algebra) . Carla is so pleased that she is not home schooling any more because the maths is way too hard.
 Max is very excited about sports day on Friday as they do a regimental parade around the field with the horses from the stables following them all. Not sure what race he is in but he practised all morning and again one of our children has come home sunburnt. New all day sun cream supplies arriving at the end of the week ! Both boys need to be watched closely when they put the cream on as they are only doing a quick sweep .

Yesterday the maid started at the house. Her name is Mala ,she arrived on time and couldn't wait to get through the door to meet her new family. She was so excited and never stopped smiling all day. She will be working five days a week to do the cleaning , ironing (😀) and some cooking - she's going to teach us how to cook Indian food !She will start at 8 in the morning to avoid the traffic  otherwise she will have to spend 2 hours on the bus to get to us !  Mala worked really hard and when Carla attempted to clean ,she tutted and sent her off to make cups of coffee and write long lists of all the cleaning things she needs, including a new dishwasher ( don't know what Sir - Andrew- will say to that one !)
The boys were also at home yesterday as it was the festival of Pongal and their school had a day off as it has mainly Indian children and staff who go there . Needles to say , Max and Milo were very happy. We went to the swimming pool and played with the other children who were off too. In the evening we saw a drumming procession and a fancy bright float going down the street outside the shopping centre but we didn't have enough time to get down there before it passed by. Next time we will know better !
We had our first medical encounter . Andrew lost part of his tooth on Sunday evening eating pasta .Infact we had two things go wrong on Sunday. We had booked to go to lunch at a Beer garden ( Bangalore has lots of micro-breweries) and it was around the corner. When we got there Andreew realised that it was the wrong one ! But it was really lovely food and the beer was good ( we had to cancel the other place quickly !)
So , on Monday Andrew had an appointment at the dentist nearby. The dentist had sent a very sympathetic message to check on him which we were impressed with. Andrew came back quite pleased with a built up tooth and only £23 pounds worse off. Dentists are good here too!

Friday 12 January 2018

End of the first school week

Milo jumped off the bus on Friday night , quite sunburnt ( he had put once a day suntan lotion on but obviously it wasn't high enough) and bursting with excitement. He declared that he goes to the best school in the world. Instead of Friday being spelling and maths test day as in Britain, he had gone on a zip wire , climbing and team building day. He'd been allowed chocolate and biscuits and has lots of new friends . He's not sure of most of their names but they've all got on well . Max was also very enthusiastic about his new friends and spent all evening chatting to them on the class chat site. He was pleased at lunch as there was pizza on offer so that made his day.
After a bit of a nervous and shaky start to the week in their new school , it has turned around and both are enjoying it. We are so proud of them both, they have been brave srarting something so drastically new.

Moving House.

Andrew and I had to spend another morning playing musical chairs at the immigration office as we need to change our address to the new one. It took an hour and a half to get there , even longer inside and a similar journey back . There was moment of alarm when the man behind the counter asked for a form we didn't have and we had visions of having to do the journey again on another day but after about 15 minutes he decided that we didn't need it and we were given the new forms. We were rather relieved .
I went back to the hotel to get the shopping and meet the boys and Andrew spent the afternoon at the customs office inspecting the container. It is opened in front of you and then various items are unpacked and logged . Of course, there is a price to pay for importing things such as TVs and they assess all the things they desire . You get a quote and then have to pay before they will release your furniture.

Fingers crossed the payment will go through quickly and we can possibly ( don't want to bewitch ourselves) move in on Wednesday or Thursday. That would be so much easier for getting the bus in the morning and at night as the bus stop in the complex is much calmer and does not have four lanes of  speeding traffic to negotiate , not to mention all the black smoke and fumes coming out of some of the lorries.

Tuesday 9 January 2018

The new house and school

We have the keys to the new house and so we are very excited. It is in a cul del sac in a quiet street with four houses. All the neighbours are extremely kind and friendly.
 On Saturday we went to get the internet connected (that's a whole story in itself!) and ended up  gatecrashing a party which was very vibrant and fun. We had already been invited to a street bbq for the Sunday so felt rather cheeky when Julie came across and took the boys off our hands . Her kind offer ended up with us stopping much longer than we had anticipated.
There are a lot of different nationalities on Palm Meadows so it is very interesting trying to remember all the new names. There are French, Swedish , Belgian, Iranian and Indian families , not that many British ones though.
The next day ,we turned up again early ( to continue with the internet connection) , helped with the tables for the street, met another set of neighbours, plus some of the same ones and spent the rest of the day eating and socialising under the tree in the shade. It was so lovely.
The boys played with the other children on bikes and scooters and even disappeared into the next street to play.  They are in heaven with the amount of freedom they can have to play and roam.

The house is behind us

School Day 1

But they were not in heaven the next day when they had to get up at six o'clock to drive to their new school! They have joined Indus International School. It is a very relaxed and happy school.
It takes anywhere form half an hour to an hour to get there  according to the flow of the traffic. Arrival time is eight o' clock with lessons starting at 8:40
We arrived at school and were taken to the dining hall where the children can choose from a wide variety of breakfasts , both Indian and European. the teachers also have their breakfast too . They come on the buses with the children along with bus parents (spare staff) so each bus has four adults on to supervise. Then the children all go to their lessons.
After breakfast , the boys went to get their uniforms and then were taken off to their classes. Bless
them , they were rather nervous.
Meanwhile, we had to have our photos taken so that if we turn to take them out of school early they can match the boys up with us. Even our driver, Arjun , has to have this done.
 On leaving the campus, the guards even check the boot of the car to check you are not taking anyone you shouldn't.
We had a small window of time in the middle of the day to get jobs done then we had to do the journey again to fetch them back. Both of them had enjoyed their day although they both had been nervous and tearful at some point of the day. They said that they had missed us too much! Softies!

School Day 2

We were outside the hotel at 7:10 waiting for the bus.  No bus turned up! So at 8 o clock we rang and apparently they had told us the wrong bus which went a different way something like that. Even so this meant that we had to make the journey by car again .
The boys went off to lessons ( not quite as nervous) and we spent another hour waiting while they sorted out the correct bus. The school were very apologetic and in the end it was all sorted and we were reassured that the children would turn up in the evening.
Off we went again on the journey back. With most of the morning gone, Andrew went to get on with his work whilst Carla had to socialise with ladies that lunch.

Luckily the boys did turn up in the evening. Milo was reassured that Arjun and Andrew (notice the order of people)were both there to get him across the road. The boys had had a better day but produced a lot of homework which is not popular with either of them. They both went to bed early -the first time since we have been in India! On going to bed , Milo said " I don't think I can manage the curry at lunchtime any more and I'm so hungry" He went to sleep with the reassurance that he can have a sandwich as a pack up to help him tomorrow .

Wednesday 3 January 2018


We have applied for a lovely school and should be due to start next week. This means that Max and Milo need to do some school work until they start. Max is doing business studies today and is Andrew's assistant. He has gone to work  looking very smart and ready for some action and report writing. Milo on the other hand is rolling around on the settee claiming that he doesn't need to do any school work as it is boring. Also nobody loves him as he has to do school work.  We have managed half an hour of spelling but I can see it is going to be a long day ! 

Update ! April 2024

  20 people sharing 2 menus! When we go to a restaurant, we seem to spend a lot of time trying to keep a straight face so that we do not ups...