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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Scottish Summertime

We took a very rare visit to the homeland this summer.  Leaving just as the monsoon broke over Mumbai and arriving in Scotland on a day so hot and still that we were able to sit comfortably in pavement cafes and marvel at the weather.

It wasn't to last, every day since has been cold, or wet, and more often cold and wet. However, it does make for a lot of fresh looking greenery.

The ducks like it.

But really, summer?
rainy summer day in Edinburgh

3:30 pm, June, Princes Street, Edinburgh
It's been great catching up with people we haven't seen for years and stuffing ourselves with food we can't get in India but I'm looking forward to getting back to warm rain and not having to dress in multiple layers to cope with the weather.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Floral Forklift

The decorated truck is one of the classic sights of India.  Look closer and you'll notice that it's not just trucks that get gussied up.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

WIndow Cleaner

It's been a while since I posted a picture looking down from our flat in the sky.  There's a window cleaner in this picture.
goregaon east, windows, cleaning, india, mumbai, amasc

The windows are cleaned twice a year, around now and then again after Monsoon.  One person does them all, around 3.5 thousand, and all hanging from a rope.  Can you see him?

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Mango Season 2016

It's mango season, specifically Alphonso mango season.  The flat is full of their seductive and decadent scent and I know they're not going to last long.

I'd had a tantalising few chunks of Alphonso in a fruit salad during my recent holiday to Goa and that seems to have kickstarted my mania for mangoes.  The price starts high and drops as the supply increases and typically I'd wait until the price had dropped a bit but I threw sense to the wind in favour of scent and don't regret it a bit.

I like to squeeze their flesh until it's soft then suck it out through the skin, the man likes his neatly sectioned on a plate but whatever way you want to eat them, the Alphonso is the richest, the most perfumed the most delicious fruit I've ever experienced.

It won't be the last box this season.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

New Moon at Holi

The light of a nearly full moon reflecting off the sea woke me this morning at 5:30.

Full moon on Agonda Beach at Holi.  Amasc 

There was not a human sound to be heard.  It felt as though I
was the only person seeing it.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Holi Wares

Throughout the year, this neighbourhood shop keeps the locale supplied with brushes, basins, bowls and buckets but it's also the go-to store for all your festival needs.  Here it's stocked up with all manner of water pistols for Holi.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Optimistic New Year

In June 2015, optimistic pigeons started laying eggs in a planter on the balcony.  It's taken five clutches of eggs, each stolen by crows, but they finally hatched a couple of chicks.

The parents take alternating day and night shifts in their maternity planter which offers very little coverage from predators.  They're happy enough for me to sit on the balcony, so long as I don't go too near them.  They scarper when the balcony's being cleaned but don't go too far, and come back quickly.

First day out of the egg and I grant you, they are not the most lovely chicks.  I suppose they're delightful in Pigeon World.

I'm less optimistic about how the plant is going to survive but I suppose feathers trump leaves.

I'll keep you posted on their progress.  Happy and Optimistic New Year

Thursday, 31 December 2015

The year of ... taking pictures of creatures.

Travel has been severely curtailed over the last 12 months but we still managed a fantastic trip to Sri Lanka over our long summer break and a lounging time on a beach in Goa . There haven't been many blog updates so I'm squeezing in as many as I can in these last few days of 2015.

Here, some creatures I photographed this year, some wild, some pets, some representations and some of them, undeniably, food:

squirrel, sri lanka, giant, with jackfruit for scale

The Grizzled Giant Squirrel of Sri Lanka, it's a big squirrel as you can see from the jackfruit.

squirrel, wall, asian, cute, rodent, common

The non-grizzled normal squirrel of Sri Lanka and India.  One of the world's cutest rodents.

An elderly Tusker taking an evening stroll.

pet dogs, two, autorickshaw, tuk-tuk, pets, sri lanka
A pair of self-important dogs in a personalised Auto-rickshaw.

Naive art, advertising, eggs, chickens, painting sri lanka
 A chicken on tip-toe raining eggs

tuna, fresh, market, sri lanka,
Tuna on sale in a seaside fish market.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

The year in which someone got his name nearly right

The Man's name is "Stephen".  He's quite specific about that, not Steve, or Stevie or Stevo, it's "Stephen".  I support that, you should be called your name of choice and not have to put up with other peoples' interpretation or preferences of it.

He likes his spelling to be right too, it's with a "ph" not a "v".  So, when he books anything he always says "Stephen with a ph" and recently he got just that.

Bloody brilliant!

The year ... of the determined pigeons

I am very fortunate.  I live on the 29th floor of a tower block and balconies only start on the 29th floor.  It's  a precious piece of private outdoor space where I have a couple of chairs, a few plants, some lanterns and some very determined squatters.

 I started hearing them, cooing and billing and saw them gathering a few twigs together in a planter.  I shooed them off, I even, around Holi, squirted them with a handy water pistol.  To no avail, within a few days these appeared:

Pigeons, it seems, have minimalistic nesting requirements.

They settled in, one during the day, the other at night.  A few days later the eggs disappeared crows I expect.

And so the cycle began, fluttering and billing, a few more leaves and a couple of eggs would appear only to be gone again.  This has happened five times to date and still they return to the same spot.

Currently, there's a pair of eggs which have been sat on for nearly two weeks , a record and I am rather hoping there will be squabs- but one of them is cracked.  They may not be the brightest birds out there but you have to hand it to them for their bloody mindedness.