July 17th, 2019

Hamba kahle, Johnny, and thank you for the music

As my Cape Town based American friend Brandy, who is married to a Zimbabwean, posted on Facebook this morning:

“Half of my feed is South Africans mourning the huge loss of Clegg…the other half just continues on, not knowing what they’ve missed.”

My Facebook feed is also very clearly demarcated between South Africans, and those of us privileged to have lived there, united in grief at the death of Johnny Clegg.

And, as Brandy says, the rest of my friends don’t know what they’ve missed.

[…]

Click to continue reading Hamba kahle, Johnny, and thank you for the music

July 14th, 2019

Your word of the day. Pumplet.

The flyers that cascade out of my morning paper are often a source of wondrous vocabulary.

The flyers, usually printed on thin, cheap paper are evidence of ordinary people trying to make a living, or expand their business, and apparently the way to do that is to advertise in English.

Like this flyer from a local optician, offering a free gift if I took in their “pumplet”.

I absolutely love this word, which is a phonetic little gem,

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July 13th, 2019

Do NOT twirl your moustache. Repeat. Do NOT twirl it.

You will not read a more bonkers story today.

Guaranteed.

Well, actually, I s’pose Mr. Trump might well say something crazy.

Or Boris Johnson might show himself to be more of an idiot than usual, but even so, the story that I’m going to share with you just now, is so deliciously bonkers, that I’m still sure it will be the best thing you’ll read today.

Here is the link, which lays out the

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July 12th, 2019

I think we all need cheering up

I’m not in a very happy place right now.

Our beloved Golden Retriever, Yoko, died suddenly on Monday at the heartbreakingly young age of 6, so everyone is miserable and sad, and I spend a lot of time crying.

Plus the weather in Delhi is vile – hot, humid and no damned rain in sight.

Plus the world seems to be “governed” by people who are so out of touch with reality, that it is all beyond a joke now.

(Have you seen Trump talking about kidneys? Here you go.)

In the ol’ home country, the political mess just […]

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July 8th, 2019

When social media helps heal a broken heart

Advance warning – a very tear-stained, sad post coming up…

This morning started out like any Monday morning.

Yoko, our Golden Retriever, woke me up at 5.30, exactly as my alarm went off, by heavy-breathing, his face placed lovingly on top of mine.

Tommy & Yoko then proceeded to start mock-fighting, as they always do as soon as they wake up, tumbling down the stairs, happily tussling away, as they headed out for their first pee.

Load up the car, and 15 minutes later we were all off for our regular Monday morning walk in the forest. Usually I […]

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July 4th, 2019

Waiting for the rain

I’m doing that “how un-British I’ve become” thing, as I sit here, praying for rain.

Yeah, how far I’ve travelled from my Yorkshire roots. Looking forward to rain, forsooth.

Just imagine 😛

Delhi, like most of northern India, is parched and we need rain. We want rain. We’re praying for the rain.

This morning, Delhi is “cool” at a mere 32C at 8 o’clock in the morning, and there is even the faintest, the very faintest of breezes.

But the pundits – as well as my trusty phone widget – say we won’t get the monsoon till Sunday.

So […]

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July 1st, 2019

The heat is on

I hope this doesn’t sound like a mean-spirited case of schadenfreude, because it isn’t meant to be at all – but I’m sitting here, MELTING in Delhi’s remorseless heat, reading about the heatwave in Europe.

Trust me, I do not belittle the 45.9C that clobbered France last week.

Not. At. All.

45.9C is bloody hot, by anybody’s standards.

Here in north India, we know pretty much how it feels. We’ve been sweating and sweltering through 42C, 43C, 44C for weeks on end now.

Today we had a high of 42C, and there is now no rain forecast for several […]

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June 22nd, 2019

Back to the heat and dust of the big city

So, my wonderful Big Adventure is over.

Panpatia Col and Parvati Col have been climbed.

We did it – through thick snow & heavy hailstorms & sleeping on ice & super cold weather, as well as a million other moments of breathtaking beauty & fun & laughter & drama & team work & great new friendships.

In my case,

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June 7th, 2019

The mountains are calling

…and I must go.

My kit bag is packed.

My day pack is packed.

And in a couple of hours I head off to catch the train to Haridwar for my Next Big Adventure.

2 weeks in the mountains, trekking across a glacier, sleeping in a tent – I cannot wait!

Dreaming of this…

I’m going with my favourite trekking and climbing company, White Magic Adventure Travel, and if you head over to my review blog – aptly named christinesreviews.com, you’ll find 3 or

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June 4th, 2019

Delhi is scorching

As I write, Delhi’s temperature in 42C.

That’s 108F.

And we are by no means the hottest place in India. That dubious distinction goes to Churu in Rajasthan, where it hit 50.8C. That’s 123.44F.

Quite.

I live a life of privilege, well, certainly I do by India standards.

I have cold, clean, filtered water to drink & I have electricity to power the A/C.

To be honest, it doesn’t take much to be privileged in this furnace. Just have access to cooling and water.

But for the poorest of the poor in this country – of whom there are […]

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May 30th, 2019

In which I talk about trees rather than politicians

I am still feeling dejected about the body politic, both here in India and back in the old home country.

Barely has the BJP Hindu nationalistic government recovered from its celebratory parties, than the attacks on people suspected of carrying meat (ie beef) have begun, all over again.

In the UK, the spectre of Boris Johnson being the favourite to become the next PM boggles the mind.

Actually it beyond boggles the mind. It is a total travesty.

The spectre of Donald Trump and all his children on a state visit to the UK is also pretty grim.

So, […]

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May 23rd, 2019

Your Hindi word of the day : Aandhi

Don’t worry, I am not going to give you a political word of the day today.

Absolutely not.

Instead, my word of the day is the one used to describe what is happening right now as I type.

Delhi is being doused with lots of lovely rain after crazy hectic winds, and the sky has gone dark, and the temperature has dropped significantly.

First you get the wind, a fierce wind that sent our flower pots crashing,

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