Friday 4 September 2020


The sun is back! Yay!

It's the beginning of September and a few days ago was the first time that we had seen the sun in ages. It is still Monsoon Season so has been cloudy and dull with the odd occasion where we needed to consider a jumper for half an hour (around 20 deg C), but now the temperature is back up to 30 degrees. It is hard work with the swimming pool being closed as there is no relief because it is very humid, hot and sticky.

Due to the government restrictions there is no sign of the swimming pools opening here at the moment. I saw the leisure club manager walking, innocently, to the club and I seriously considered ambushing him to see what he had to say but the government is not changing its’ mind yet so I didn’t think it was fair to accost him.



Online school has started and already we are all rolling our eyes each morning at the thought of school.

The day starts at 8:40 and finishes at 3:15. The lessons are 40 minutes long then there is a 15 minute break between each lesson. Then 40 minutes for lunch. The kids look like something out of the Gremlins or the muppets as they all sit there wriggling about as the teacher talks through their lessons.

The problem is that all the children (and the teachers) are exposed on the screens. Only this morning Max had to turn off his camera because he was horrified at what he saw. His hysterical laughter drove me to his room. There on screen was a 14 year old boy being fed by his maid or his mother, as he listened to the teacher. Max commented that this boy feeds himself in the canteen, so why is someone feeding him?

It is quite common here that you feed your children food with your fingers and you patiently stand there whilst they chew, ramming in another huge mouthful before they’ve finished the current one.

To us it looks very strange and I feel quite uncomfortable about it and I don’t let anyone try to feed me (they do this with birthday cake as each person present takes a piece and feeds it to you. So, 20 people then 20 people’s fingers in your mouth. Urgh!)

But it is considered a sign of love in India and a way of making sure the children eat enough.

Even so, to do that to your 14 year old son in front of his friends is definitely not cool.


The lessons are starting to overrun due to several reasons and it has become a long and difficult day, especially for Milo, who has started secondary school.

Milo was finding the lessons hard to understand and I thought that perhaps he wasn’t concentrating enough, so I sat with him for a few times and I was horrified!

 I have become one of those parents who constantly emails and bothers the teachers.

This is the reason why ….

Milo is four weeks into grade 6 (UK year 7) and he is doing the level of work at A level biology and GCSE geography. I watched as the teacher for geography read from the BBC page for geography for GCSE. She read it so quickly that I could not make notes fast enough or understand what to do.

To check I wasn’t exaggerating, I got Andrew to do the lesson afterwards (the lessons are recorded so he could see the lesson) He was shocked at the pace.

For biology, as I was watching the lesson, I realised that some of what I was seeing I had done when I did my A level in biology (a long time ago, I know, but you never forget certain things and I know a plant or animal cell inside out, as I went on to do my degree in it)

I doubled checked and there, on the information available, were the same resources used for A level biology.

Poor Milo! He’s quite stressed and uninspired.

Added to this there are different types of assessments all hidden under the wrong headings. It is completely chaotic. We have no idea of what homework he is supposed to do, what work needs to be done before the class etc. It can take 30 minutes trying to find the homework online. There is no structured way of finding anything (although I now have a theory on this – see below)

And don’t get me started on the emails that arrive at 10pm at night, for reading for the next day’s lesson. Sometimes there’s a powerpoint and several information sheets to be read after the email arrives at 10pm and before the lesson at 11am the next morning. There will be about 3 emails each day like this. So am I supposed to wake the boys up to do it then or super early in the morning?!!

I’m having to take several deep breaths before I open any emails or messages at the moment from school. The teachers mean well and most of them are so kind and caring. But they are not trained in understanding the different levels of ability or that sometimes you need to smile and lighten up a little. For goodness sake make it more fun!

After complaining, the school has been kind enough to get the teachers to send all the work to me but it is haphazard and inconsistent. This is in the vain hope that we will not miss anything, but if they had an organised system in the first place then we wouldn’t need this.

I have written to school saying that I’m pleased my son is ready for his A levels as this is going to save on school fees and means he can soon apply for university!

They haven’t replied to that one yet...



The numbers are rising quite quickly in India, but then it is a big country. Max took a long time the other day, as I couldn’t understand the numbers involved, to point out that the population of Bangalore alone is over 12 million, whereas the population of London is just over 9 million. Bangalore is then one of many large cities in India and there are many that are even larger so it’s hard to imagine the total population of 1.3 billion people. Then you need put the covid cases into perspective.

There were 277 tests done in our community, Palm Meadows, this week and three more cases were found.

There have been a few other cases in Palm Meadows now and it is lovely to see that the stigma that is attached to the virus in other parts of India is not present here (well not any more..)  It's only just been announced that welding iron grills to the door of a Covid household is not to happen - how awful, some people really do not have any kind of sensitivity. The latest directive also stops government warning posters being posted on a property with a sufferer within.

People have helped the three households infected with shopping and dog walking.

Mala has declared that she is never leaving Palm Meadows again as the outside is dangerous.


Andy Junior

Talking of dog walking, Andy is now able to go out for a walk. It is a slow but exciting experience. He’s nearly five months old now.

Andy is obliged to stop and sniff every single tree or watch the leaves dance in the wind down the street or stand and stare at someone on a bike. He takes everything in but, needless to say, we don’t actually walk a great distance or at a pace that warrants any exercise.

It was taking me twenty minutes just to get out of our street. He’s now realises that at the end of the street there are mynah birds on the grass that he can pester, so he’s getting a bit quicker and we’ve managed to get further along the main road but we’re not yet up to exercise level.

There are many dogs in Palm Meadows and Andy seems to greet each one with the utmost enthusiasm. Again, this takes time, as he gets tangled in his lead and theirs.

So, one morning we met a nice young man named Mohammed walking a dog and he said he was a dog walker. Would we be interested?

Now, lots of people have a dog walker for one or two walks a day. As dogs are not allowed off their leads then you have to walk for longer or more frequently and all of this before it gets too hot, but we thought it was a bit, how shall I say it, lazy?

After a couple of days of frantic morning activity, Andy did not get his walk until later when it was getting quite warm. Then I met Mohammed again, he dazzled me with his knowledge and dog photo album of his past and present clients dogs - and I gave in.

Mohammed is here by 6;30 in the morning and Andy can’t wait to get out of the door. It means I can get ready, sort the boys, organise Mala and then take Andy for another walk before it gets too hot. He has his third walk at night when its cooler (afternoons are definitely too warm)

Once the boys are back on that school bus by 7am, it will be easier to fit in a morning walk, but that is in the future.


Observations ( referral -to see below -above)

Living in India, we have noticed something cultural that to us is very weird and I thought it only applied to people who had not been to school. To all the early years teachers out there, there seems to be a problem with sorting, matching and sequencing, as it isn’t taught at any early age like in the UK.  This means that everything is in a bizarre disorganised way. Basically, chaos reigns even in the most simplest of situations. Indian people can cope with this way of organising, but we can’t.

So, in the kitchen, objects do not have a set place that you go to each time. You wash up and put things in any available place. Therefore, each time the object leaves the dishwasher, it has a new home. For example, the humble cheese grater, we can never find it. Mala just takes it out of the dishwasher and puts it in a space. I like it in the drawer with the saucepans ( it is silver in colour so it matches and I know that it is there) but no, Mala will put it in the snack drawer one day and then another in the cupboard with the dog food, or in the cupboard with the baking trays the next, basically if she spots an empty space she will put it there. This means you need to search for something every time you want it. I keep having to repeat the instruction to Mala to keep things in the same place, but she doesn’t understand totally what this means as she has never done that.

The same thing happened when we started up the school. The ladies would just put the equipment in a different place each time. So random tidying again.

Then, the other day when Milo couldn’t find his homework online, it was exactly the same. The teacher has just randomly put it in an obscure file. The next time she had put it in another file in another section.

There is no repetitive sequence of events.

It is like she has a worksheet, she uploads it, looks for the first subheading available and clicks on it. To her mind she has added it and it is there, but to the students it means a time consuming search to second guess which out of the 10 locations it could be in.

Then each different subject teacher does the same thing. We have missed so many tasks or information for the “asynchronous” and “synchronous “ ( no, I don’t really know what they mean)  lessons that I’m on the verge of saying- and this is rude –“ please stick it up your bottom, I can’t be bothered !”


We decided that we needed to have a calming experience and we went with our friends for a walk in the countryside.

It only took about 10 minutes to drive there and it was lovely. We walked through fields, villages and farms. 

We didn't take Andy because village and wild dogs tend to act in a pack, so we didn't think it was safe to take him.

We got to the area by 7am in the morning, so that it was cooler.

Now that we can navigate here via relatively safe roads, we hope to spend a few more mornings getting some exercise! 

 Sunday Morning 

Not content with making the most of a Sunday lay in bed, Andrew and one of our French friends, David, decided to get a 6am cycle ride to a local lake. Apparently it was very pleasant (Zzzzzz). The aim was to take their binoculars and cameras to try and spot some of the more interesting bird life. They spent around 3 hours and got some quite exciting pictures, so will no doubt be able to repeat when the time is








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...