Monsoon life

Monsoon life

Once again I am in India visiting my mum.

The monsoon has started, bring relief and refreshment after months of extreme, building heat. Despite the dinginess, it really is pleasant to go out in the warm rain.

Here are some photos I took on the way from the airport to the Dignity Lifestyle resort. I was expertly driven, as usual, by Mr Namdev and the photos were taken from a moving car so you’ll have to excuse the blurriness. On reflection I should have been brave and used a very fast shutter speed on Manual focus to reduce the blur but you live and learn I guess.

There’s low cloud and revered cows trundling down the busy Mumbai arterial road or even sitting down making everyone work around them, while hitchhiking crows and people going about their normal business. Those are pomogranates being sold at the roadside in that rain-blurred picture. They looked so pretty and reminded me of how the French stallholders piled up their own wares at our local market in our Western Parisian suburb.

Up the road outside Karjat is a film studio where, I think, a recent US music video was filmed, controversial for its inaccuracies and apparent exploitation of the idea of India. The only elephants you’re likely to find around this part of the world are made of painted plaster.

Footscray meadow frolicking

Spring would appear to be just around the corner. Today’s sunshine felt almost warm and, if you look closely enough, there are traces of a green fuzz on the trees. Or maybe that’s wishful thinking. 

Anyway, it’s half term and as I had no music school commitments for a change, I accompanied the boys on their walk to Footscray Meadow. They seemed very happy today and enjoyed a good run about. It was a good opportunity to find out about the rapid shooting capabilities of my new camera. It takes dozens of pictures in a second so you never miss the perfect action shot. The trouble is that you have to sort through hundreds of shots to find the perfect frames. Here are a few of them. 

A picture of grief

When I’m out with the boys, they often run to this lady to beg her for treats. She and her elderly German Shepherd bitch sit and enjoy the sunshine, dispensing biscuits to friendly local dogs. They are well-suited, the 14 year old rescue dog and her owner. They’ve both seen a lot of life, and they’re devoted to each other.

Oscar and I were waiting for wandering Raffles on Crab Hill Field this morning at the end of our walk and spied the lady trundling towards us, slowly, slowly leaning heavily on her sticks. No dog. The dog died on Monday.

“I’m so sorry. You must be devastated.”

“I am. It’s like losing a child. I feel lost.” 

Raffles and the bone

Dear Boywonder

I think you’re playing a hockey match this evening and we’re off to see LalaLand, which isn’t about your sister’s bedroom, presumably, so I thought I’d update you. Call tomorrow if you like.

The boys found something very smelly and nice to roll in at the Warren Avenue Rec on Thursday morning. Oscar helpfully drew attention to it first, but, hey, after last week’s decomposing fox, how much worse could it get, and besides it was starting to rain so I thought that would wash off the smell. Then Raffles went up for his turn. He had his coat on – we were expecting snow –   so I wasn’t particularly concerned that he’d be covered in smell but he picked up the object and would not let go. Of course Osc then had to try and commandeer  the thing, but every time he approached, Raff would just take off, yelling at him with his mouth full. It took me three tries to get Osc to sit and stay long enough for me to go and put the lead back on Beaglefeatures and I was quite cross by this time. It occurred to me that he would have to complete his walk on the lead because, after last week’s escapology shenanigans, I couldn’t risk him running off to hide the bone. So off he trotted around the park for almost the whole hour and a half walk. 


What a pity that, having carried it for the whole duration of his walk, Rafflu had to have the bone wrestled from his undoubtedly aching jaws because we can’t let dogs gnaw on cooked bones like this as they can splinter and cause all sorts of damage and pain. Raffles crept into a ball on the sofa in sulky protest for the rest of the afternoon.

We came across Maksym at High Elms on Wednesday. I think it’s the first time he and Raff have really spent any time together, and Raff was delighted. Maks kept going up and sniffing Raff, and Raff would turn back to him and snap a bit and howl at the same time. Then he’d give him a “chase me” look and Maksym, intrigued at this small ginger thing, kept obliging, Was funny. 



msalliance | MsCellany

Creps, apparently.


I’ve had to get myself some new trainers with more padding in them because of this Zeros to Heroes running course I’ve started. It’s going well so far – it’s very early days – but my shins really hurt during the run and my heels afterwards in an exacerbation of my plantar fascistitis. I know other people spell it differently. So off to the Runners’ Shop I went and a nice young man, Younger Than You, helped me to some dayglo coral trainers. Apparently it’s like running on a cloud. I’ve done my first homework run in the new trainers now and they do feel much more comfortable and much less like running with oven trays on your feet.

Apparently, the City of London is now giving up its fight for post-Brexit financial services passporting. The European banks have maybe realised that they prefer to be in civilised Europe with great food and infrastructure and lower costs than on this rainy fascist island, I don’t know. Still, you know how difficult all this is for me. Just as I start to sort the house out as I’ve always wanted it, with the only kitchen I’m ever going to have, really, that is designed to my spec alone, we’ll have to leave and goodness knows when we’ll come back. People seem to forget that we’ll be renting someone else’s house for the next goodness knows how many years and it’s not the same as having your own. Now, some people have waved this away, saying that I’ll adapt and it will be fine to have an exciting new adventure and I do take this on board, but it’s not easy to leave your friends and the life you’ve made and start again in your 50s. Those damn Brexiters who thought they wouldn’t be directly affected by this have no idea, do they? And they will be affected when they realise how the fall in the pound is affecting their own tiny worlds. It makes my blood boil. It makes me want to weep.

We picked up Ellie’s new Visual Strain glasses today but they seem to be the wrong colour, with too much blue in the lenses, and the words still pop and fizz for her on the page. Poor thing is so disappointed, and frustrated. Luckily I managed to cadge an appointment with the optometrist on Monday so we can go and see if we have to change the lenses. Perhaps she was hoping that the coloured glasses would magic away her visual strain, hoping for a miracle, and when it didn’t happen she was disconsolate. But I’m sure we’ll get it sorted out eventually. School are being naughty and, having given her extra time and use of a wordprocessor for her assessment exams this week, are now saying that she can only have one or the other. So now we have to go in to school and have a fight with them. I’m dreading it. It’s like the time I had to fight about the earrings, or when I wanted you to move down to Croissy. To me, this smacks rather too much of #AllLivesMatter, you know, if they give her what she needs then it somehow disadvantages everyone else but of course it is not a zero sum game. Still, there’s a question of pride at stake, and pride and hubris run the world, as you know.

How are you getting on with the camera? It does take lovely pictures but you know how I don’t cope well with extended menus and I never got to grips with all of the functions. I hope you’ll be more successful than me. You know I said I was planning to buy a new camera? I’m waiting until I’m in the depths of misery to buy my new one. I have made sure not to buy anything in the sales so the camera will be great retail therapy,  until I have to settle the bill. It helps that it hasn’t been released yet to give me time to save up for it. I know dad said I could borrow his, but that has a viewfinder and I haven’t got used to the shutter yet so some of the pictures I swore I took didn’t come out. And it’s not the same as one’s own camera, of course. 

Anyway, that’s all from me for the moment. Wrap up warm. Speak soon






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