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Monday, 24 February 2014

INDIA - Day Zero

We have several hundreds of photos which we could put on our blog, but I have decided to recount our trip one day at a time. There'll be gaps between the blogs but they'll all be there eventually, and in the right order. So here goes....



It’s one of those later Winter days – cold, miserable, grey – when there’s nothing much to do and nowhere to go and the enthusiasm drains out of you like last night’s congealed soup which you pour down the drain when nobody’s looking because you can’t be bothered to do anything productive with it.


All of which is a lie. Looking at the thermometer I see that it’s not actually very cold: true there was a slight frost this morning, but it didn’t last. It’s not really miserable and grey either. In fact it’s quite bright despite the clouds overhead. But we have had quite a lot of rain recently and today seems rather an anticlimax to that. Not really winter and not really spring. I ought to be doing something more active but I had an operation on one of my fingers two weeks ago and the bandage was taken off it this morning and the stitches removed. But I’ve been told to take it easy for a few days so all the heavy lifting I have been precluded from doing for the past two weeks will have to wait a little while longer. Ho! Hum!


What this has got to do with India, you ask. Well, not a lot except that writing up our India trip of last year has been playing on my mind. But at last I’ve decided how to write it which will be One-Day-at-a-Time. You’ll see what I mean over the next few weeks.


When we came back from India we were very busy. We had a backlog of work to catch up with and most importantly, Ruth’s book, The Shaping of Water, was approaching its publication date and we had a lot of matters to attend to. The bird shit we found around inside the house, left by a bird that had got or been brought into the house by the cats, remained reproachfully for several weeks while we attended to these matters. It is now three months since our return, and I am only now recording our trip. Something which makes me apprehensive is the thought that, as time passes, only what I shall have written will remain in the memory.” Quod non est in actis, non est in mundo” (variously described as an ancient Latin saying, to Roman Law or to a number of Popes) roughly transcribes as “If it ain’t written down, it didn’t happen” and is, I’m afraid, true.


Anyway, to get you started, here is a picture:-

Friday, 14 February 2014


I am from Somerset and have been watching the encroaching waters rise on the Levels since Christmas. The Levels seem to flood every year but I cannot remember one in which the water has risen so high or for so long.
Ruth's book, The Shaping of Water, is receiving its French launch (no pun intended) this weekend, and there is a connection between it and the current (again no pun intended) flooding in that the Kariba Dam, which gave rise to Lake Kariba, was responsible for the displacement of tens of thousands of people, in their case permanently. The UK's present floods have caused  people to have to move from their homes but luckily only temporarily and in relatively small numbers. The creation of Lake Kariba has  changed the local ecology of vast areas of south central Africa and the way of life of a peaceable tribe probably for all time. Hopefully the UK floods will soon be  forgotten and steps taken to alleviate them in the future.
The displacements in the Zambezi will not be so easily forgotten and nor should they be.
Ruth's book - The Shaping of Water -    ISBN 9781783061990 or eISBN 9781783068043 for the eBook version is available from Troubador Publishing, Amazon, Nook, Kobo and all booksellers.