Sunday 23 January 2022

January 2022

 January 2022




Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to be infected in Bangalore and the numbers are rising. Bangalore has a night curfew and we were in a weekend curfew where we have to stay within Palm Meadows and not really go out, they cancelled the latest one on Friday. The pool was closed at the weekends but open in the week. The week before, I managed to spend 4 hours on my own there, so shutting it seemed a bit daft really as not many people use it at the moment. It is “winter” so it is only 27 degrees and the water is cold so not many people will swim in the pool. The pools are not heated and so do seem cool but once you get swimming, it is fine. The scientists are predicting that the current wave will peak at the end of the month. 

The local government medical officials were randomly testing people for omicron, if you had it then you were hospitalised whether you had symptoms or not. The doctors and hospitals were complaining as there were people who were not “ill “ who were blocking a bed for 7 days when it could be used for someone else.


Meanwhile, the vaccinations opened for 15-18 year olds and Max went to get his. He had Covaxin.

I went with him but I’m not sure that he will want me to go with him again as I embarrassed him with my behaviour.

The appointment details had said that we had to turn up 20 minutes early, which we did. We arrived at 8:40 am. There was no one on the desk just another chap and his daughter, waiting for their vaccination. Over the next 20 minutes another 20 or so people turned up with their teenagers. There was no sign of any staff in the clinic.

Right on the dot at 9:00, the staff walked in and logged onto their computers. I think they had been hiding. But this is where the problems started. Everywhere you go, there are notices about social distancing but now the small area that we were in was quite full, although we were all spread out. Then, the lady on the desk said for everyone to go and get their forms from the counter where she was. This resulted in a big scramble. In my loudest teacher voice, I suggested that we do the forms in the order that we arrived as now we were all crowding and squashing together. Everyone stopped and sneaked back to their seats, while the girl on the desk got us to say the order we were in. 

Max was hiding his face in the corner, but I pointed out that as we were the only expats in there, then everyone knew who he was with.

He got his vaccination without any bother and luckily, he did not have any symptoms.


The government have just announced that 12 to 15 year olds can have their vaccination  at the end of the month so Milo will have his soon.


The booster jabs are only available for the over 60’s. Andrew wrote to the British High commission to see about them bringing the boosters and vaccinations for kids. The answer was no but to seek out your local medical centre for advice. The French consul has got them for their citizens and for other Europeans ( but of course we are not now Europeans due to Brexit)


Fingers crossed the boosters are opened up for us soon.



Israeli Consul


Another impressive country who have their citizens best interests at heart, is Israel. We are very impressed with what they do. They even chartered a plane, rounded up all their citizens and flew them to Tel Aviv when the first vaccine came out. They vaccinated all the people from the plane at the airport and then flew everyone back to Bangalore.


We were still in quarantine when an invitation came to meet with the Israel consulate general, Jonathan, and his team to celebrate Hanukah. Milo and I were still being held captive as the date arrived, but as Max and Andrew were negative, they were allowed out into the world.


Max was invited to go and light one of the candles on the menorah. He was very pleased to do this.



Milo Football

The photo should show the team with their cup . We are waiting for the photographs from the club


Before Christmas all sporting events were still being held, and on the day we were due to leave for Kabini, Milo had a football tournament in the morning. Andrew and I went along thinking that we would be a couple of hours. I don’t know why we thought this, considering how long we have lived in India. We were leaving for Kabini at 2.

 At 1, we were glancing anxiously at the clock as Milo’s team got through to the final ( we had arrived at 9). Luckily, there are lots of trees for shade and I had my trusty emergency sun cream in my bag. Milo’s team played really well and they managed to win the tournament winning a huge cup.

Milo was really pleased. We were so happy and proud of him and he played really well with his team.




It was just as well we were not flying as we would have missed the plane. To get to Kabini, you have to go by car, although there is a new helicopter service ( slightly expensive and out of our budget), Arjun was driving us. The journey takes 6-7 hours to get there and we were going in the car to Mysore first, stop the night in a hotel and then on to Kabini the next day. Andy was stopping with MoMo again at our house.

It took four hours to get to Mysore on the Sunday and then a further 2 hours to get to our hotel  in Kabini the next morning. We stopped at WaterWoods again, where we had stayed before, but this time the river was right up to the restaurant steps due to the heavy rain that had occurred in the previous weeks. 

We went for a trip down the river in the afternoon. It was a peaceful ride and there is a new larger boat ( with a toilet on board – I was very impressed with that, as the journey is 3 hours long- and as there are crocodiles in the water and on the water’s edge, there is no stopping to spend a penny.) The last time we came to Kabini, we saw lots of elephants at the water’s edge but not this time as the river was too high. Instead we saw lots of varied birds and we were really pleased to see some wild toucans in the trees.

The bushy stuff that Arjun pulled from underneath the car.


The next morning, Andrew and Max got up at 5 to go on the jeep safari through the jungle. Milo doesn’t to like to go in the jeeps and I was still recovering from covid and didn’t fancy my chances in the jeep. I knew my energy levels would not cope. It was just as well, as it was freezing cold and the jeep went like a rocket everywhere and was very bumpy, according to the boys.

I had brought hats and extra jumpers but Andrew and Max hadn’t realised just how cold it would be and they didn’t take them with them. It is very deceiving because it is hot in the sun during the day but the mornings are very chilly. (not UK chilly though). They were driven at top speed around the jungle for three hours ( no toilet stop) and they saw plenty of animals and some elephants. Then, just as they were leaving the jungle, Andrew spotted a tiger. There was much excitement as the jeep stopped. The tiger disappeared and they went towards the jungle main gate where the jeep has to sign out. 

Now, the lack of toilet facilities had got to Andrew and he could stand it no more, old age has crept up on him in the water works department so he made a leap out of the jeep and found a place as discreet as he could. This was beside a major sign-  where everyone could see him. But he was at the point where he didn’t care. Max, again, was hiding with embarrassment!

We stopped two nights at WaterWoods and on the second day the helicopter landed behind the hotel and a boat arrived to take the people across the river to Evolve Back, the hotel where we were going on the last night. Aha ! We thought, it would be much easier to go across by boat than around on the road. They agreed to fetch us when we were ready.

The next day, we waved our luggage off with Arjun, we had so many bags because we had taken snacks and food that we liked as all the food is Indian. The food is good but after covid I couldn’t face Indian food and neither could Milo, so we were self sufficient. 

The boat came to fetch us and we took the 5 minute journey across the river. Now, WaterWoods is a beautiful hotel, but Evolve Back is something different. We had a pool reserve lodge  by the river with a heated private swimming pool. The ‘hut ‘ was bigger than some houses that I have been in, it was enormous. We had a raised platform that had an outdoor bed where we could see all of the river. It has a waterproof cover so you can sleep out there at night. The bathroom went all along the building and had a double shower, Milo spent a long time in there, he was very impressed with it.

The hotel is set on the bend of the river and has view points that are stunning. 


We were pleased to have gone on the boat as it took Arjun two hours on a very bumpy road to get to us. When drivers accompany you, they can stay in a special building just outside the hotel with the car. I think Arjun was pleased with this arrangement. When we were in Mysore, he went off and found himself somewhere to stay rather than the hotel.


We had just one day at this hotel and there was a big dilemma. Did we sit on the platform and gaze at the river with all the beautiful birds and the stunning scenery or did we go in the warm swimming pool ? Or sit on the patio opposite the river? The choice was tough. As Andrew and Max went off on another jeep trip, I sat on the upstairs bed with a coffee and a biscuit and Milo alternated between the double shower, the bath and the swimming pool!

I have to admit that sitting/lying on the outdoor bed was very relaxing as it was warm and so peaceful. The birds were singing their hearts out and swooping into the nearby trees.


We had a lovely meal that evening and the chefs were so good trying to make food that was not spicy (Milo and I had our emergency supplies still so we weren’t worried).

When we got back to the room, we decided to try and sleep outside but we were driven inside due to the mosquitoes and being panic stricken about on -the- loose snakes ( more about those later)


We managed to get up super early, I think just after 5:30 and we went up to the platform to listen and watch the birds and the river. It was cool but not bad at all.


We had another swim in the pool, breakfast and then at 11, it was time to leave and to go back to Bangalore.

The first part of the journey was quite eventful. First of all, the road was just gravel and it was so bumpy. It was awful. Then we came across a small village. A farmer hadput his millet (or what ever crop it was) on the road. The idea is that when a car goes over the crop,  it threshes it. But instead, the farmer had put too much of the bushy bit on the road and it got caught in the underneath part of the car and a clonking sound started. Arjun stopped the car and cleared the bushy bits but as we set off the clonking noise continued. Arjun stopped again and was lying on the ground right underneath the car but, luckily , he managed to sort it out. I had visions of us having to be rescued and sent back to the hotel. Well, I hoped that would happen but there was no going back just the long journey to Bangalore. It took 7 hours and 10 minutes. When you look on the map, we had only covered a small part of India. 






On Christmas Eve, we went to meet Sherri and her daughter Jemimah, and Michael and Ken for lunch.  Jemimah is Milo’s age and she gets on with the boys.We went to a club in Bangalore that is for members only. The whole experience was hilarious. We sat outside, as it was sunny, away from other people. This was a slight mistake as the waiters had to walk a ‘long’ way. This seemed to effect their memories as they forgot what we had ordered or would say that something was available, walk back to the kitchen, then come back and say it wasn’t available. Then, they would ask “ what would you like? To which we would say,” what is available?’ and the waiter would walk back to the kitchen again to find out as he did not know. It was like something that Victoria Wood would have written. One waiter came and we asked for orange juice, he went off with his tray and he never returned ! We did manage to get some food and drink but it was a very long drawn out process.


On Christmas Day, in the morning, after our present giving session, the Coles went to the swimming pool, just because we could, it was hot and sunny. A couple of hours in the sun was so rejuvenating.

 We had decided to go to one of our favourite restaurants in the city for lunch . Michael, Ken and Michael’s cousin, who was over for a few weeks, met us there, the restaurant is close to their apartment and we dropped Andy off to play with Finn and Solo while we were at the restaurant

We had a wonderful time but there was a Christmas sound track that was on an eternal loop with about only 8 songs. It was so loud that we couldn’t hear each other and we would quickly speak in the gap between the songs.


We had had two fun filled days in the city with our friends but had spent hours in the car.


The fashion Show


A few days later we were back in the car to the city again to go to a fashion show. The show was at a hotel and there were famous Indian fashion designers showing their work. Each designer had a famous actor or model helping to promote their clothes. As we are not too good on who is famous and who isn’t, we had to look up the people when we got back. The clothes were a twist on Indian traditional styles and they were spectacular. We had an enjoyable evening. We met a couple and we got talking to them. We said we were from Lincolnshire. They both looked shocked as their nephew is a doctor at Lincoln hospital. On further questioning, we found out that they had been to the museum at Conningsby . It is a small world. 

The journey back only took 40 minutes instead of the usual hour. We worked out we had spent over 6 hours in the car for 3 journeys! 





Andy has a girlfriend called Vespa. She is a beautiful black lab and is just as playful as Andy. The other week, Sumit, Vespa’s owner, heard her barking in the garden but he was curious as it wasn’t her usual bark. He went downstairs and out into the garden, and, there was Vespa trying to dodge a cobra that was trying to strike her. Sumit couldn’t get to her as she was dancing around the cobra. He managed to call her but then she got between him and the snake, trying to protect him. This meant he could grab her collar and drag her inside. The cobra was too close for comfort and started going for him too. Safely inside, Sumit managed to call the snake catchers who caught the snake. Vespa is not allowed in the garden unsupervised and now neither is Andy. This is because we have a rat hole in the back near the kitchen and snakes hunt for rats.Sumit says he wished he had been wearing his Fitbit to record his heart rate. 


The Rat 


Andrew has provided us with quite a bit of family entertainment lately.  One of his mishaps was to put dosa batter on a yummy fruit pie thinking it was yoghurt. Dosa batter is like pancake mix so not compatible with fruit pie, but last Wednesday was the best. Andrew hates goats and rats. Goats he can avoid easily but here in Palm Meadows, rats are more difficult.


Now, we leave the terrace door open all day only closing it at night as we spend most of our time out there, we even watch TV there. We have a magnetic mosquito net that Andy can push through so he can sit outside. 

The other day Andy was sniffing intensely in the room that you have to go through to go out onto the terrace. As we are sometimes a bit dim, we didn’t take any notice. Andy went over to the bed and continued sniffing but we called him away. 

Andrew closed the terrace door, as we were going to bed, and by chance, the door to the hallway was closed too.

Suddenly, a rat ran out from underneath the bed towards the closed terrace door. Andrew yelled and jumped onto the bed. I ran to the hallway door and watched through the glass panels. The rat was panicking and trying to get through the wooden door. Andrew was panicking and still jumping on the bed. Then, I realised that Andy was with him on the bed. It was like a trial from “The Crystal Maze” as I shouted instructions to Andrew to get off the bed and come to the door, which I opened for them. They both shot through, the rat stayed where it was. 

But now, the rat was trapped in the room with no way out, so we had to form a plan of action. Throw a net – no, it could escape. Send in Andy – no he’s too daft and the rat might bite him ( could have rabies). Get a large bin and put it over the top to trap it- no, we might not be quick enough.

The top plan was to send in Andrew with a metal pole and something to guard his legs. He would open the terrace door  and the rat would run out. Good plan, or so we thought. I watched the rat at the door to make sure I knew where it was, while Andrew assembled his rat kit. 

Meanwhile, as I watched, the rat ran back under the bed. Andrew opened the door and with the leg guard, shuffled to the terrace door to open it. Then he scarpered back on the bed. I was the “Crystal Maze” advisor yelling instructions as the rat came back into view. Andrew whacked everything with the metal pole. But then, it dashed forward and got stuck on the rat trap that was already in the room from a while back. This was a bad move as the rat couldn’t escape and Andrew was too scared to try and get it off the sticky pad. 

Unfortunately, Andrew was still gripping his metal pole and, in his blind panic, landed a blow that was a bit too much and despatched the rat. Oops! Not in the plan.

 and now we had a squashed dead rat on the floor.

Once we had bagged the rat up, we looked around the room and realised that it had been there a while as it had eaten part of the bed valance sheet and another rat trap that he had obviously got stuck on, and had then eaten his way out of it. Ugh! 

The room was secured and the next day, I removed everything in that room, carefully and slowly, disinfected it and put it back. It took so long to do. No more rats (and no snakes )and no more hiding places, everything is lifted off the floor in there. We have contacted the owners to see if we can put up a wooden mosquito door to the terrace, it’s too risky with the wobbly mosquito net.


I had no maids  to help as they had been in contact with covid people so they were isolating and waiting for their PCR tests. Typical!






Pongal or Sankranti is the Hindu harvest festival. People take gifts of bananas, sugar cane and a sweet mixture of dried coconut and sweet lentils to give to people. My friend Sindhu came round with her son and daughter and they were dressed in beautiful clothes to give us our gift. It was lovely.

The other activity that happens is that in rural areas they light a bonfire and lead a cow through the edge of the flames. This is to bless the cattle. Seems a bit daunting and scary for the cattle but it is a tradition. 



The children’s residential home.


The Skegness Lions very kindly donated some money for the orphanage that we have visited. Andrew made a big cheque and laminated it to take to the residents. Max went with him. 

The people there were extremely pleased and are going to use it for physiotherapy for the children and adults who need it. People had asked us about donating and helping and we didn’t get any further with it so we are investigating how we can do it.


Andy the Rascal 

Andy is approaching the terrible twos. He is sneakily pinching socks off the  clothes dryer but his favourite are any masks left lying around. He likes to chew off the elastic. But after his rat detecting skills he is forgiven



New Years eve.


For the first time in a while, we had rain and it was on New Years Eve. There was a 10 pm curfew so there was no point trying to go out of Palm Meadows and the rain came suddenly. We had been invited to Andreas’s and Petra’s house. We sat outside on their covered terrace and we had

asuper evening. We actually had to resort to wearing a jumper each as there was a bit of a chill.

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...