Sunday 9 February 2020

February Blog

The time has gone so quickly since the beginning of December.

None of us developed rabies, so that was good and Mala is back to her usual self and not quite as mad as she was. Milo is also better ( he had a very bad dose of proper flu and was unwell on and off for about 6 weeks )

 Mala and Milo in the garden. Both having recovered from their ordeals.


Fortunately, the weather is back to normal and we have a choice of sunbathing and swimming days again. This time of year is perfect because it is cool at night (18 degrees so sleeping is easier) and then hot and sunny in the day ( 28 - 30 degrees).

Christmas Holidays

We spent a very relaxed day at The Leela Palace for Christmas day with some friends. Max and Milo were in awe of the singer who we often meet at parties. They knew he was a singer but hadn't heard him sing until then. Milo is now on the list for a local music teacher so he can restart his guitar lessons. Milo has always been very good at singing and this has encouraged him even more.  But we've had to suggest to him that 7 in the morning is not a good time to fire up his boom box, microphone and Alexa music thingy to practise his singing!

Bangalore city centre 

We're beginning to forget what Andrew looks like as he is so busy at the factory so when he had a weekend off we decided to look for somewhere to go in hotel. We had some vouchers for a hotel stay and they needed using so we had a staycation in Bangalore in the city centre to explore the metro, local park and some posh shops (we looked through the windows).
It was a lot of fun.


The Factory

Over the Christmas holidays, we decided that the boys needed to go and see the factory progress.  It has come on a long way. Milo was surprised to learn that Andrew was in charge! We don't really know what he was thinking.  Milo likes to pretend that he is the boss of an office and had a great time looking at the factory plans in the portakabin and telling everyone what they needed to do before we set off to look around.

We wore helmets, protective shoes and flashy jackets and had a two hour tour. The Engineering Head (Melgiri) very kindly bought a New Year cake and some drinks for us and the security guard made the best coffee that I'd had in ages. On the washroom front,  I was pleased to see there was an executive porta-toilet and not the local bush variety.

  This is our friend Joe inspecting the superior visitor only toilet.

Grandma and Grandad Arrive

Then in January, Derek and Christine arrived. Their plane arrived early in the morning so we decided that Arjun would fetch them and we would greet them here. Now, we had a scheduled time that they would arrive but they were rather late and this is why....

Arjun had managed to find them as they came out of the terminal building and as he always does he takes control of pushing the luggage trolley to the car. He then loads the cases into the car. As he was about to do this, Christine looked at the cases and realised that one of them wasn't theirs. A quick check of the luggage label confirmed this and Derek and Arjun rushed back to the terminal. Now, in India you can only get access to the terminal if you have your ticket but, of course, their journey was completed so they weren't allowed back inside. After approaching several outside desks with official people behind them, someone took charge and rang inside but there was no suitcase going round and round on the carousel by itself!

Then, the doors opened and a group of German tourists came out and one lady was pushing their suitcase. It appeared that both suitcases were grey with a red ribbon tied around the handle, and difficult to tell apart (even though there was a label on it ...) After much apologising, the suitcases were exchanged and everyone was happy.
No international crisis occurred!

So, Arjun double checked everything, the cases were loaded and they arrived at our house. After greeting them, they told their suitcase tale.
We were having palpitations at the thought that we could have lost all our food treats in the suitcase scenario. Max and Milo love their grandparents dearly but the thought of the promise of Walker's crisps, chocolate, biscuits and their favourite cereals, sausage rolls and proper sausages being elsewhere in Bangalore with a stranger, would have been a disaster.

   Sausage dinner

A sausage dinner followed and all the suitcase trauma was forgotten. We did our usual dividing of the chocolate supplies and bartering to swap any chocolate that is not a favourite. All supplies are then put in a named bag. Andrew even made an inventory to make sure no one stole any of his (there's no trust in this family when it comes to chocolate!)

  Chocolate division.


Max had his sport's day in the first week that Derek and Christine were here. He's gone from being a tiny little boy who struggled to keep up in the running races in the UK to coming second in the 100 metres only loosing to a boy who runs for India. We couldn't believe it when he shot past us, he ran so fast and he was so determined. His running technique was good too. We were so proud.
We were also proud because Max has won an award for academic achievement at school and feel a bit more reassured that he might not have to sit on a bench shouting at the traffic in Skegness when he leaves here.

Local 'Wild Karnataka'

We have been to the cinema to see a wild life film narrated by Sir David Attenborough. It's all about Karnataka ( the area that we live in ) It was wonderful, showing the tigers, leopards and elephants that are only a few hours away from the city. It really is worth watching if it comes to the UK.

We've been to the local safari park in the south of Bangalore ( a bit like Longleat but they let the elephants out at the weekend to roam in the forest. We never established if they let the tigers out ...)
We had a protected jeep with wire covering everything except for a small hole where you could put you camera. It was a lovely day out.


We've been to quite a few parties with our friends in Palm Meadows and even had a karaoke night where Milo proved that he is definitely the best singer.

We have all visited the factory and helped to choose the colour of the inside walls so we're keeping our fingers crossed that it will look ok.

Outside the factory

It was Derek and Christine's 55th wedding anniversary and so went to a lovely hotel for lunch. The manager presented them with a beautiful cake and our friend Shaun was there again to sing ( he sings at many hotels apparently)


In our current house the toilet that Mala and Arjun use is just off the kitchen. So when they are there, we leave the backdoor unlocked. We had been on an outing and, when we returned Christine made a cup of tea for everyone one and said she had done the door for Arjun.
Two hours later, I went into the kitchen and there was the door wide open.
Wide open!
Frantically, I did a quick look around the kitchen and in hidey holes but saw nothing. After politely raising the point that unlocked is slightly different to wide open, all was ok - for about half an hour. A new neighbour in the next street put a photo on the community app innocently asking if the beautiful snake in their garden was dangerous. It was a Cobra.

So on our evening walk, the intrepid Coles took their torches and went snake hunting. We didn't find anything.
But then a few nights ago we were getting ready to go to a party and Max was outside when he started shouting for us to call the snake catcher.
There, in the road next to the curb was along thin stripy snake. I pressed the emergency button on the app and the guards were there quickly.
You'd think we would have learned our lesson from the Cobra incidence that we had in the last house. But, oh no, Andrew suggests that someone should fetch him some gloves as it's only a baby. Meanwhile as the guards try to snap it with the snake tongues, it slithered down the drain and escaped so there was no need for the gloves.We went to the party and thought no more.

The next morning I decided to research what the snake could be. Well, it could be one of either, a deadly Krait (you die within 4 hours if you don't realise you've been bitten as the bite is not painful. A lot of people in Indian die this way because the Krait hunts at night and will slip into people's houses and into their beds. The people move, they get bitten but don't know, they are then found dead the next morning) or a harmless Wolf Snake which won't hurt anyone.
Either way I have told Andrew to stay away from all snakes and to not think he's a snake catcher off the TV.
My friend Sindhu had said always walk down the middle of the road at night and shine the torch at the ground  and not to attempt anything....


Then it was Milo's sport's day and he came second in his heats but didn't quite make it to the final but he was chosen for the relay. He ran so well, just like his brother. I'm pleased he came home with a medal, it made his day.

Tuk tuk tour

In Bangalore, one of the fun things to do is to go on a guided tuk tuk tour. So, on the last Sunday before Derek and Christine left we decided to do this. Unfortunately, on the actually day, I wasn't feeling well so stayed at home. But it cheered me up no end when Andrew sent a message to say that their shoes had been stolen from outside the temple! I was in hysterics, I couldn't stop laughing!
Usually, when you go to the temple there is a woman who puts your shoes in a locker and you get a ticket but no one was there. So, they left their shoes outside the room unattended. When they came back, Andrew's,Derek's, Christine's and Tariq the guide's shoes were all missing. Max and Milo's were still there. They had to walk in their socks to the tuk tuk to go and find a shoe shop that was open. The staff were mildly amused as their first four customers of the day walked in barefooted or in socks!

Chelsea Football Club

Early next month we shall be in the UK. Milo has been selected to be a child mascot for Chelsea football club on Tuesday 3rd March. It will be televised on the BBC. I think Andrew is the one who is most excited, followed by Max ( who is now too old to be a mascot ) and then Milo. I will be in the hotel watching as we can only have 3 tickets and Max is having mine ..... Milo ( and Andrew) get to meet the players off the bus, do a warm up with them and then Milo gets to go out onto to the pitch with the players. I was hoping for another trip to the Maldives for our 30th wedding anniversary but it looks like this is what we'll be doing instead! It's rather exciting though.


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...