Thursday 9 January 2014



An awfully big adventure

Ross and I went for a little wander today around our new neck of the woods. Not satisfied with roads, we prefer to take the dodgy looking, mosquito infested paths....

We know that the Mount Caroline Cemetery is nearby, I didn't think it was where we were, but maybe it was.... We explored two areas, firstly a rocky promontory just off Tai Hang Road. To get to it, we just walked down the path at the side of the playground near the junction of Tai Hang Road and Perkins Road

As you walk along, you get to a locked gate, but the wire in the fence next to the gate has been pulled back, so you can get through. There's a large flattened area at the top of the path, pitted with three fairly large craters. There are also the remains of some steps, and a building which may have been a military post. You can also get a peek of the Wesley Hostel from here.

There are strange nutty things all over the ground

A view of Jardine's Lookout through the trees

There's a huge boulder at the edge of the clearing, with a shrine on the side and a carved stone on top, that looks like it once said Mt Caroline Cemetery

After exploring there, we went back towards Tai Hang Road, then turned off onto another path. This path led down through what was once the So Kon Po settlement area. 

There are the remains of the village all the way down. If you follow the path (again you have to go through a pulled back bit of wire) you end up almost at the stadium, where there's a little hut that's clearly used frequently, and has boxes of flowers planted outside. On the way down the hill, you can see where the water gushes through in storms, and there's lots of debris caught in the wire fence that has been caught up. We saw this carved stone, I'm not sure what it represents. It says No. 13 at the bottom, but I'm not sure what would have been above that.

The hut at the bottom of the path

A shrine near the bottom

A jack fruit tree

That's got it

A little something for your cough madam? Love the colourful med packets here

Oh! Calcutta!

So after a balmy Christmas 2012 in Singapore, this year's (somewhat unlikely) destination was Calcutta. The boys were both a wee bit excited as they are totally and utterly in love with Romilly and Tess. They also got to use their early Christmas presents, rolly cases from GG (Great Granny). Here's Josh in the airport when our flight was called....

Josh, with a pink case of course

Felix looking smart

We stayed with Liz and Scott, in Alipore, Calcutta. We all had a fantastic time; I was so relieved because the last few Christmases have been sub-optimal for me. 
So what did we do? We took the kids to the Victoria Memorial, where they attracted a lot of attention, and featured in lots of strangers' photos.

J & F had a great time playing with the upstairs neighbours. Their grandparents came to stay, and the boys played cricket for the first time in India, which is rather sweet! The boys upstairs played, as well as their grandpa, Ross, and the driver Bidur.

We also had a lovely party on the 23rd, met some of Calutta's movers and shakers, and the kids stayed up to enjoy the fun. A couple of guys spent most of the day decking out the garden in fairy lights, which made it look very magical.

On Christmas Eve, we went to the Calcutta Club's Christmas Carol Concert. Felix got a bit worried that they had forgotten his favourite carol, but Jingle Bells made an appearance right at the end. Again we attracted a bit of attention with our little blondies, and Scott tells me we appeared in the Telegraph a week later! The Calcutta Club was founded in 1907, partly in response to The Bengal Club's "whites only" admission policy - at the Calcutta Club, British and Indians were admitted on equal terms.

We also had fireworks on Christmas Eve before bedtime, left over from Diwali. The boys' first time with sparklers. 

We spent a lot of time just hanging out, playing with Bernadette, watching Madagascar, and chatting (while Tess led the kids' games). 

Scott was intent on adopting one of the street dogs, a rather sweet black and white(ish) mongrel. After finding a book on Freddie's bookshelf, we thought maybe it should be named Harry. Freddie very kindly let us use his room while we were staying, poor little monkey is not spending much time in his room at the moment, as we were part of a long line of guests! 

We spent an afternoon at the delightful Tollygunge Club, where we swam, ate yummy dhosas and got caught up watching a puissance competition that was part of the Junior National Equestrian Championships. There's a wonderfully eloquent article about the Championships in The Times of India.

We had such a great time, and we can't wait to see all the FW's (especially my godson Freddie!) again very soon. Fingers crossed they might stop off in HK in April on the way to Japan....otherwise they might be here for Durga Puja in October.