Unfortunately, not clear on how to contact you but
below this mail is one sent at Christmas just in case googlemail not
We are now back from a month in India the effect of
which is still unclear. Lots of change in the past 12 years to places we'd
been before and some not for the best. Tried our best to look at places as
if they were new and imagine what it would be like for those who'd never
been (and to not be a "you should have seen it 10 years ago" bore).
Benaulim in Goa is still close to a little bit of
paradise as is Hampi in Karnataka (despite the river now being a bit doubtful to
swim in). Could have spent much more time in both. Mahabalipuram in
Tamil Nadu has gone from a village of artisans with 3 rough tracks to a
busy tourist mecca with proper roads and mostly Kashmiri traders which is a
shame (although it is still an interesting place and quite chilled in its own
way). Mysore is still the calmest city in India now with actual traffic
lights to deal with the increased business traffic spillover from
Bangalore. We had a proper Raj experience there staying in a
beautiful old colonial hotel with fantastic staff who spoiled us (and
especially the girls) rotten. Trichy doesn't seemed changed much and the
temple life goes on there albeit with (as everywhere) more people and
All in all a worthwhile trip and will go again some
day. Perhaps the mountains in summer one year. Met lots of lovely
people. Saw a sail boat anchored off Palolem beach (a development
nightmare) in Goa and thought of you. Don't think there's much in the
way of decent marina's about though.
Thought of you and the girls often while
away. Hannah speaks of Kate and Molly frequently and asked about your
location when we were away in the sunshine. I believe we were close to the
same latitude at various times. (Benaulim is about 15.25 N as is Hampi, Mysore
is 12.18). Thought we might be having similar weather but I now see you've
had a bit of rain although I expect temperatures were similar.
Lots of beautiful sunsets the last couple of
Now back to the cold in London and am back to
being jealous of your location although I think I'd still shy away from 3 weeks
Everything sounds wonderful and nice to know you
are all well.
love Steve, Annie, Hannah and Laura
P.S. - let me know if this is the best
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, December 24, 2007 6:05 PM
Subject: Christmas greetings
No idea if you'll get this but I've no idea of how
to post something on your blog so I guess it'll have to wait. Still
season's greetings if not Christmas. We've been following your progress
across the sea with much excitement and curiousity. It is fantastic to
read your entries and think of you out under the stars.
Paul seems to becoming even more a one of life's
philosophers under the influence of the moon and stars and I wonder if a few
weeks more might have turned you into a complete hippy. Just as well you
are nearly there! Still I will put forward the sacred sardine for the next
costellation to worship.
We are nearly finishing our own preparations for a
slightly more tame adventure of a slightly more than a month away in
India. Much trepidation of course with the little ones but this is turning
to excitement fast.
Reading your blog also reminds me of Anne-Marie and
my own year away and the change to a slower pace that that brings (despite the
odd row to break the spell). Overall, something like that can not but turn
your head around. And just as your trip has the added ingredient of life
under sail and the forced agreement with the elements and time that brings,
so did our immersion in an Asian culture enforce a living in the moment
mentality (the people we were dealing with just couldn't understand why anyone
could get worked up about time). Its one of life's great lessons often
spoken of but rarely attained. I suspect that you are getting there and
will be totally immersed by the time of your return leg.
Anyway, all of our love and best wishes and enjoy
the season. We'll be in touch in February on our return.
Anne-Marie, Steve, Hannah and Laura