‘Good morning’ I said to the old man of Hemingway. I think he responded. Or was it an obstinate grunt? Periyasamy served tea with a delightful smile and easy chit chat, which made up for an inhospitable guest. The puppy nibbled at my feet as I sat trying to read the newspapers. Periyasamy stood over [...]
Today I lay in bed thinking of the marmalade. Cardamom House chefs squeeze succulent locally-grown line-oranges and then toss back the golden peel, creating a lively, bittersweet jewel of a preserve; wonderful and worth jumping out of bed for. Then in the afternoon as I am reading and snoozing with my feet up against the balustrade an [...]
At breakfast a puppy greeted me by biting my toes. ‘Ouch, they are sharp.’ I limped to the table. ‘Two months old today,’ said Periyasamy who remembers me for my orange bike rather than any other characteristics. The Cardamom staff have been working here nearly all the years the guest house has been open. Shankar [...]
India is a harsh place. As is the intrigue, the pallets of colour, muddle stories of Gods with different names and statutes, and the street theater or circus acts? Or one of Voltaire stories with pestering beggars who pull and chant like puppets and offer horrifying sneers with stories best not told? Don’t forget the [...]
I walked the circumference of the Meenakshi temple with many other early morning devotees. I had breakfast; tomato dosa with curry sauce served on a vivid green palm leaf. It satisfied my morning hunger. I had a second and then third chai to kill time. I had a shave and felt better for it. I [...]
3rd November – Madurai: An offering of flowers, fruit, incenses and light. And what about the donkeys?
The overnight coach arrived as dawn broke. I love to see a city start the day. The early morning light has a low romantic saturated tinge as if I am still dozing and dreaming of what I am seeing; never quite fully awake. Especially in India, specifically this morning as I look at the first [...]
She stopped me in the street and asked if I was English. She was correct and presumed I loved dogs. She was an old woman with a lively spirited tongue. I knew immediately she was from the home counties, somewhere outside London and had now made Cochin home. I don’t know her name however, she [...]
‘Dr Jay?’ The phone crackled twice and became clear. ‘Yes. Who this be please?’ After all the e-mails I was finally speaking with Dr Jay of Madurai donkey sanitary. ‘Conrad.’ – ‘Sorry sir’ he asked again. ‘Conrad.’ I tried not to shout, ‘I have been e-mailing you regarding walking with donkeys and the ….’ ‘Mr [...]
I woke to the sound of pitter patter. Softly at first, but continuous. The clouds had rolled in yesterday afternoon threatening stormy weather. Thunder finally arrived as I returned to my home stay and having said goodnight I retired to bed. By the time I was asleep the thunder had rolled by; the rain stayed. [...]
30st October – Cochin: The colours of Cochin football, Cat Stephens Winter Wonderland and a sitar player.
Forty goal posts of all types, short bamboo posts one side, red folded up tunics or plastic shoes the other, created boundaries stretching from one end of the beach to eternity. Within the twenty-odd match, three hundred men and boys in bright colours; blues, reds, yellows, greens, all the colours of every football team in [...]