Sunday 4 September 2022

July, August - 2022


Milo’s birthday



Milo went with some of his friends to see the Minions film and insisted on wearing his smart suit. Before they had played pool  at our house and we went to the Hard Rock cafĂ© for burgers.

Milo had a wonderful Chelsea birthday cake made for him too. He is now a teenager….


The residential home


Andrew’s sister, Julie, has raised some money for the residential school with her school in Chester. Her class at school had worked really hard to raise money by doing cake baking, dog walking etc. They did so well. We went to the residential school to hand over the cheque from Julie’s school. Andrew had printed the photos of the children who had raised the money. 

The people at the school were so pleased.




Day out to the shopping mall


Unfortunately, there are not many parks around our area and local people really have nowhere to go at the weekends other than the shopping malls. When in the shopping malls, they like to take photos of each other riding on the escalators so we have started to do the same.




Half year Christmas party/ Diwali


Our friends, Michael and Ken decided to have a half year party and it was a wonderful evening. Rather than having to leave the party early, we used up our vouchers for one of the local hotels for the night. Momo came to stop with Andy.




The boys dressed as Santa ( there were no other costumes, we wanted them to be elves but it was not to be ) I wore a sari but after about an hour was far too hot and put my ‘normal” clothes back on. 


Michael has some clothes from a local designer . Max and Milo tried on his clothes and had their photo taken with the designer .


Both of the boys were back to school on August 1st. They were both pleased to be back.



Max gets his exam results.


On the 1st August, Max got his exam results, the same day as he started back to school. These were the equivalent of GCSEs in the UK. There are no film crews here, the results come in about 9 at night by email with no fanfare or ceremony. Also, the students here don’t tend to discuss what each other get for results either. It all seems a bit flat to be honest.


Needless to say, we were really pleased with Max’s results and he was grinning broadly for half an hour and then he went to bed as he had to get up for school the next day!


Max is now in grade 11 and he has started his IB, the equivalent of A levels, but he has to take 6 subjects, including maths ( which is torture to my mind !) .


Meanwhile, Milo is in grade 8, the equivalent of year 9.  




Max’s birthday party



The same week as the results day was Max’s birthday. He was sixteen

He had decided that he would have a birthday party at our house. He invited about 25 of his friends and they danced and sang all evening. It was wonderful. They had such a good time. 



A -level result day


As we were comparing results with the IB exam ( the equivalent of A levels ) ready for university for Max, we realised something that we had not noticed before.

The A level results and IB results here come out two weeks before the UK. This is so all the foreign students can secure their places first. (remember they are paying the higher fees) Then, I was reading about the shortage of places in the UK and the results being affected by covid…. 


When Max has to apply for university, as we have been in India for 5 years, it is not certain that he will be considered a British (home) student. It looks like that he might now be considered a “ foreign” student! We have contacted some universities but none of them will definitely commit to the home student status, they just say when you apply, we will let you know.  At least he will know two weeks before the UK get their results.

We may have to sell the other son to fund a place if Max goes to the UK!



Day out at the hospital


In India, in many private hospitals, there are packages to get complete health checks, heart checks, ultrasound, x-rays, blood tests, bone scans, eye tests, everything. Andrew and I have had a few of these but our last one was before covid. We needed an update, so off we went to the hospital.

Our local hospital has been taken over by another hospital chain and it is chaos!

The doctors are all excellent, I wouldn’t dream of complaining about them but the system of trying to get from one department to the next is a secret known only to the staff on the stations who don’t like to tell you about the sequence of events, but like to see you queuing several times because they have forgotten to tell you something. I am sure they are smiling cruelly inwardly as they make people walk up and down 3 flights of stairs. 

This happened to me. 

I needed an extra blood test. 

At the blood booth place you have to get a ticket (ok, not a problem) I was number 50 and when I sat down it was number 35.


I put my earphones in and listened to my podcasts while I waited for over an hour. 

Now, as I am waiting, there are 4 men who keep going to the booth and pulling back the curtain to ask questions of the young doctor taking the blood samples, trying to queue hop. She was getting so flustered that she called for a male back up to help her. Not that he was much help as the 4 men persisted, although she didn’t give in. Finally, number 49 was called and the person went in, the 4 men again hassled the lady again. 

Then she called number 51. I lost the plot. 

“ Hold on!” I yelled “ what happened to number 50 ?” 


The young lady was mortified. “ Sorry, sorry !”she said, “ please come”


Now, as this is going on, number 51 had started to shuffle towards the booth. A very elderly gentlemen, who obviously was determined to get to the booth without falling and before the 4 men could intervene, was going towards the chair as fast as he could.


One of the 4 men grabbed this elderly man by his shoulders to spin him round to send him back to his seat so I could go.


I yelled at the 4 men that the reason that the doctor got the number wrong was because they were hassling her and intimidating her. I told them to let the man go first but they must sit down now.


“ you 4, sit down now “ were my exact words.


Usually, Indian men don’t like being told off but they all looked at me and went to sit down! The elderly man’s son came to speak to me and to say thank you, while I continued to do my teacher stare to the 4 men. I call it my teacher stare as I used to walk children back to their seats just with my “evil “ eyes. It was working, the 4 men didn’t move again.


Then, it was my turn so in I went. The young doctor was apologetic but I told her that it wasn’t fair what had been going on. But then she said I couldn’t have the blood test because the emergency doctor needed to sign for the test. 

I had got the prescription for the blood test from another doctor but apparently, they can’t give the permission for the test, it has to be the emergency doctor. I said that the nurse at the station where I had paid for the blood test had not said anything.

 As I was in no mood to queue all over again, I told her to take my blood and I would go and find the emergency doctor and come back with the form. 

Nervously, she did just that. 

So, I went back to the nurse’s station to ask for the form (I had to queue again), the nurse was non -committal as to why she hadn’t noticed that I needed permission. Next, I had to go to the emergency and accident department to get the emergency doctor’s signature. 

Queued again, but got the signature quite quickly. I went back to the blood booth and handed in my form to the doctor there, she saw me in between people and got it from me. 

So, only 3 hours so far.

Then, I had to go up to the 3rd floor to see another doctor. I queued up and went in only to be told that I needed permission from the first doctor to see this doctor. This doctor was very apologetic but off I went back to the nurse’s station to ask why I wasn’t booked into the system upstairs when I had given them my prescription and where was the first doctor’s permission to see the upstairs doctor ?I was met with confusion. I explained again and they said that they had booked me onto the system so I went back up to the 3rd floor.


Saw the doctor. Great. This doctor then sent me on to the next doctor but I had to book in again, so back to the nurse’s station. The queue was round the corner.

I flipped -again and decided that the nice young man who was the customer care manager needed a bit of advice. I went to his office and boldly knocked on the door.

Bless him, after I had gone through the above sequence of events, he looked bewildered and said that it was very complicated. I agreed and I told him that although their doctors were brilliant, the queuing and checking in system was rubbish and that I was not queuing up again and he could take me as I didn’t have a clue what was going on or where I was supposed to get information etc.


He took me and deposited me in the next department.


After about 5 hours of seeing numerous doctors, I found Andrew again who had had similar problems and we were fully checked with all our scans, x-rays and checks.


We went home to have a glass of wine, a nice meal and to stare into to space to recuperate. 


We now have to go back for the verdicts, so another day out at the hospital awaits us……





It is not just the hospital that has got worse, the traffic is a nightmare! 

Last weekend, on Saturday, we went out for lunch and to meet a group of friends in the north of the city. By the time we had travelled there and back again, we had spent nearly 4 hours in the car (!) just to go for lunch! It was a lovely afternoon and worth the city scape journey.


The next day we went to the farm so that Andy could run free in the forest with his friends ( 3 other dogs). This journey is about an hour but at least it is a countryside view so it is not as oppressive.


This weekend, we have stayed at home as we can’t face several hours in the car. If we go anywhere at the moment, we really have to think whether the bumpy, long journey is worth it !



Added to the traffic misery, is the adventure that some people have to go on to get to the airport. There was an amusing report in the paper about the brand-new train to the airport. A wonderful shiny train that stops a mile short of the airport!

Hardly anyone is using this train because someone decided that it would be better to make people get off the train with all their luggage and carry said luggage to a bus to complete the final mile.


There is no joined up thinking, the rest of the world get their trains to pull up actually in the airport terminal where there are luggage trolleys for your luggage. Not Bangalore! 


The report said that the powers that be realise that it is difficult to carry lots of luggage between the train and the bus and then off again at the airport without any help. 

They are having a meeting to try and resolve the matter. 


My suggestion would be to sack the twit who thought it be a good idea to stop a train to the “airport” a mile short of the true destination. 


Just imagine if you get on this train thinking that you will get to the airport directly, only to find out that you have to get off again and find the bus. Nightmare.





It is festival season again and last week it was Ganesh Chaturthi and today it is Onam. 

The first festival is where there are lots of idols of Ganesh that are taken down to the river/lakes and submerged in water after a celebration. It is a very happy festival where Hindus celebrate the birth of Ganesh. By the roadside are lots of brightly painted Ganesh idols of all different sizes.








Onam is the harvest festival from Kerala ( the state next door to Karnataka) Rangolis or Pookkalam  are made from flowers and special food is made to celebrate. There is a very long complicated story that goes with the harvest festival.( too long for here!)


 Food is eaten from a banana leaf 



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...