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August 21st, 2019

No, no, no. Not again, Mr. Trump!

Oh good Lord, he’s at it again.

Mr. Trump has made yet another declaration of intent about Kashmir.

I listened to it.

It is puerile, ill-informed and has a dubious comment about India and Pakistan. To wit:

“They’ve been having these talks for hundreds of years…”

Really?

I think you’ll find the 2 countries are only 70 odd years old, Mr. President, not “hundreds of years.”

Just what is it with this man, with his infantile sentences?

His sense of self-importance?

Why on earth does he think he should get involved in an issue about which he clearly knows […]

Click to continue reading No, no, no. Not again, Mr. Trump!

August 18th, 2019

Fair & handsome. Ugh

In my last blog post, about creepy Indian politicians salivating over getting fair Kashmiri women as brides for Indian men (do read it – it is amazing stuff in a stomach churning way), I mentioned one of my most hated products in the world – the “fairness” product “Fair and Lovely”.

As if on cue, my morning paper today has this ad.

How much do I hate this ad? Let me count

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Click to continue reading Fair & handsome. Ugh

August 10th, 2019

Fair. And very, very un-lovely

One of the vilest products on sale in India (&, sadly, exported to much of Asia) is a skin whitener called “Fair and Lovely”.

It is a product based on a horrible premise, namely that the fairer the skin, the lovelier you are.

Research carried out by the manufacturers of Fair & Lovely, Hindustan Unilever Limited, claims that apparently “90 percent of Indian women want to use whiteners because it is aspirational, like losing weight. A fair

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Click to continue reading Fair. And very, very un-lovely

July 23rd, 2019

Curiouser and curiouser

So Mr. Trump is offering to help resolve the Kashmir dispute between India & Pakistan, is he?

“I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago,” Trump recalled. “He actually said, ‘Would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?’ I said, “Where? He said, ‘Kashmir.’ Because this has been going on for many, many years. I was surprised at how long it’s been going on,” Trump added, revealing his lack of knowledge about the history of the conflict. 

Trump added: “I’d love to be a mediator.”

Someone please, pretty please tell me that today (July 23rd) is actually […]

Click to continue reading Curiouser and curiouser

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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Click to continue reading Your word of the day. Pumplet.

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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Click to continue reading Do NOT twirl your moustache. Repeat. Do NOT twirl it.

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 […]

Click to continue reading I think we all need cheering up

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 […]

Click to continue reading When social media helps heal a broken heart

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 […]

Click to continue reading Waiting for the rain

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 […]

Click to continue reading The heat is on

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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Click to continue reading Back to the heat and dust of the big city