Tranquil. Not a word we normally associate with India. But beyond the often discussed hustle and bustle, chaos, dust and noise there is indeed a laid-back side to the sub continent. I came to India this year to unwind having had a stressful few months and found that even in Bangalore, the hectic hub of a city that seems to grow by the day, it is possible to relax.
So its almost 2018. I’m not sure about you but I feel like it was just New Years. 2017 needs a speeding ticket. I didn’t do a post to mark the occasion last year but since my site turned a year old this month I thought I’d do a roundup of some of the highlights that have featured here, from the last two years. Naturally, many of them are places visited. If you were part of them, laugh, cry or both. If not, I hope they remind you of some of your own.
It snowed. And snowed and snowed some more. I hadn’t seen so much since skiing three years ago. I woke up one Thursday morning a week ago to a world of white. The kids in school watched it fall all day, wishing they could be outside throwing snowballs at each other, stuck inside making snowmen out of socks and rice instead. Personally, I was happy where I was, watching the fat flakes fall as the winter skies darkened and the street lights reflected their amber glow into the classroom. Later, ‘Sleigh-bells ring, are you listening?’ rang out as I hurried past the High Street’s shops on the way home, bundled up in two scarves. Never had that line been more accurate.
A few days ago I arrived home, the first homecoming since I left, and as sweet as they come. Driving through the dark country lanes, stars tiny pinpricks in the indigo sky, I couldn’t wait to see my dog. And I guess she was just a little bit pleased to see me too. We all know the Prune way of welcoming you home, and standing there in the doorway, I’ve never been more grateful that my Prune girl was there for me too.
First birthday apart. Took us 19 years, which says it all. How do I condense 19 years into 500 words? All the memories? All the laugher, the pain? The tears, the screaming, the fighting? The inside jokes, the special understanding? The shared sunrises and sunsets, the rain, the storms. The places and people that have come and gone. I’ve never known anyone as well as you.
Birthdays, Christmas, now Father’s Day. The dates don’t matter anymore. We are all rarely ever in one place at the same time, so we make do and celebrate when we can. I learned at a young age that Christmas on the 26th or 18th of December, or even the 10th of January was just as special as celebrating on the 25th. What’s Christmas without dad anyway?
I doubt I was the only one who was relieved after the results of the French election. France has got to be one of my favourite countries. There’s the acres of rolling countryside, miles of winding roads, almost empty. Forests where wild boar roam, rivers and lakes framed by fields of sunflowers. There’s the long stretches of caramel coloured sand, washed by waves reflecting the blindingly-blue sky. There’s the food; wine flows like water, crispy baguettes are eaten copiously, fresh produce is found in every village square. There’s the weather; mild springs and falls, golden summers, cosy winters. Not to forget the unexpected chateaux one stumbles upon, in all their architectural grandeur.