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February 27th, 2015

And on the subject of total fabulosity…

Go on, go try and trump this for a view. Mandalay Palace. Just part of it. And actually, not the shiniest twinkliest-in-the-sun part. Not by a long chalk.

Too too gorgeous.

Hope you enjoy my photo of the day. I huffed and puffed my way up to the top of the watch tower to get this view for you, my friends.

February 27th, 2015

Bonkers & bizarre (& completely missing the point)

There are days – many days, if I am being honest – when I really do not know what to say when faced with some aspects of India.

Today is one such day.

First, if you will, read this unbelievably bonkers story below and then we’ll chat…

So let’s deal with the most horrific aspect of this story.

Dogs eating children, for crying out loud, and there is no outrage? No horror? Just some daft article about the stupid ideas of officials.

This is one of these stories that makes you want to scream out loud

view full post » […]

Click to continue reading Bonkers & bizarre (& completely missing the point)

February 26th, 2015

You remember the rules? Any colour as long as it’s gold…

If, for some strange reason, you don’t like gold, then you are going to hate Myanmar.

If, on the other hand, you think gold roofs and curlicues and frills and furbelows are just fabulous – well, you’re in for a visual treat in this wondruous country.

This is a pagoda on Mandalay Hill. One of many, many, many pagodas and stupas on Mandalay Hill, which is not to be confused with Mandalay town.

Total sensory overload.

February 26th, 2015

Will they or won’t they? Allow vintage cars, that is

There are times in India when I catch myself muttering, sotto voce, something along the lines of the left hand and the right hand not knowing what the other is doing.

This confusion between one arm of bureaucracy and another, or between one policy and another, is on display at the moment, in the rarified world of vintage and classic cars, and the not-so-rarified world of cars over 15 years. Or is it 30 years?

Let me give you a rough time line:

26 November, 2014, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) issues an order banning petrol and diesel vehicles older […]

Click to continue reading Will they or won’t they? Allow vintage cars, that is

February 25th, 2015

Attacking the legacy of Mother Teresa

Cards on table time.

1) I am a Christian, and specifically a Roman Catholic.

2) I live in India.

3) I am not a fan of missionaries setting out to do religious conversions. Not at all.

4) I do, however, firmly believe that if someone wishes to change their faith, that is entirely their own decision. It is – in my opinion – literally between them and their God.

There has been a lot of heated discussion these last few months here in India about the issue of forced conversions, as well as normal conversions, and – to summarise very […]

Click to continue reading Attacking the legacy of Mother Teresa

February 25th, 2015

Photo of the day. Wall to wall smiles.

I mentioned in an earlier blog post about Myanmar that the people are just too wonderful. Smiles greeted us at every turn, always so natural and genuine and spontaneous.

Like these 2 young men who were following us, as we jogged along in a pony trap in Bagan.

Smiles like these can make your day.

February 24th, 2015

Running in the most polluted city in the world

So, India has finally overtaken the Chinese.

Yaay, yippee yaay, do I hear you cry?

Please don’t cheer, because all that India has done is win the top spot in the most polluted city in the world stakes, with Delhi (where I live) now being, apparently, more polluted than Beijing.

Hardly an accolade to be proud of.

Most of the time, however, I simply don’t buy into this alarmist news.

Yes, our winters are shrouded in fog, but we have been told for so many years that our annual winter fog is because of those pesky farmers in Punjab burning […]

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February 22nd, 2015

#onlyinIndia

Only in India (I think) would an infamous Prime Ministerial suit, worn just once, then auctioned for nearly US$700000, be taken out in procession.

I saw a brilliant comment on Twitter yesterday : since so many religious processions in India end with the idol being immersed in the river/sea/lake, there was a natural degree of concern as to what might happen here…:

Emm Aar Wallflower @xtahzy view full post » […]

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February 21st, 2015

So THAT Suit is now worth how much?

Oh come on, you know exactly which suit I mean. There is only one suit in the country – perhaps even the world, who knows, let’s be ambitious – that is as infamous as the suit our esteemed PM wore when he met the always elegantly turned out POTUS last month.

Yes, exactly.

That Suit.

The one with his name woven into it.

Here you go, a quick visual reminder, and you can always re-read my original post from a couple of weeks ago…

Anyway, That

view full post » […]

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February 21st, 2015

You can have any colour as long as it’s gold

We arrived back in Delhi today after a fabulous first visit to Myanmar. I say “first” advisedly, as we are already planning a return trip – such a gorgeous country with, without question, the nicest people in the world. A kinder, gentler race you would be hard pushed to find. Smiles and friendliness wherever you go.

Between settling back in, and downloading the hundreds and hundreds of photos I took, it will take me a day or so to get back into my blogging stride, so will you please accept this photo from Mandalay as a small gesture?

Thanks. I […]

Click to continue reading You can have any colour as long as it’s gold

February 10th, 2015

“Pehle aap”

Yes, I know, hardly original, but entirely appropriate for today’s stunning election news from Delhi.

Quick translation for non-Hindi speakers : “Pehle aap” is a polite expression in Hindi, which translates roughly as “after you” – when you let someone go before you, for example.

“Aap” is the polite form of “you” and in its avatar AAP is also the name of the political party which has swept the Delhi polls today.

And so here we are in gorgeous Phuket living the Delhi electoral excitement from afar. We are with our dear friends Anjali and Hardy, all of us obsessively […]

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February 9th, 2015

“Sawasdee khaa” from oh-so-beautiful Phuket

My goodness me but this is such a beautiful part of the world. How is it possible that we have never been here before?

Fab weather (I am SO over Delhi’s wintery cold and fog), deep blue skies, unbelievably green and lush, clean air.

Warm ocean to swim in. (Thailand, you have me there already, no question…sea..swimming…)

Amazing food.

Lovely, constantly smiling, gentle people (I am SO over Delhi’s jarring aggression).

And tomorrow we go scuba diving.

So yes, indeed, what’s not to love?

There’s probably nothing more tedious than reading someone’s slushy travelogue, so I won’t bore you.

But […]

Click to continue reading “Sawasdee khaa” from oh-so-beautiful Phuket