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Can’t talk. Busy.

Weaving training during the day. Work in the evenings and late night. Meeting and setting up meetings with old friends. Watching Mighty Raju: Rio Calling directed by one of those old friends. Concert by Malladi Brothers.

Calluses on feet from treadling floor loom. Catching up on reading.

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And friends

This evening I met some of my oldest friends, at very short notice. The weather during the day here is hot, but in the evenings it turns cool and cloudy. We even had pre-monsoon showers a couple of days ago.

I met my girl classmates at the weekend over a lunch so protracted it almost turned into tea. Only about half of those in our Whatsapp group actually turned up. Something similar tonight, when I met boys from kindergarten. I studied in the same school from nursery to 12th, and unbelievably, still have good friends from then. But I always feel we make friends much more easily the younger we are.

I still haven’t woven, but I’m getting up a list of things I want to try, and things I want to have made for me. Weaving accessories. No half measures when you’re having a midlife spree of madness, right?

And I’m making those connections, for future use. For yarn or for yarning.

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Connections

Whenever I come home to Hyderabad I try and meet as many of my friends as are here. Having several ways of contacting people nowadays can make this easier, or harder. Not everyone is on all social networks, and it can get confusing to remember what information you’ve passed on where.

However, we did manage to meet today, 7 of us from school, with some of our children over a very protracted lunch. Much laughter and many memories.

And a cake to celebrate 25 years of… Something 🙂

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There was a hermit…

… who found his one and only garment (or perhaps he had a spare one) was getting chewed up by rats. So he got himself a cat to take care of the rodents. Then he found he needed to feed the cat something other than its prey, so he bought a cow for milk. Then he found the cow needed husbanding, so…. he got himself a wife.

There ended his hermitism. (In my nonexistent Sanskrit, that would be kaupina samrakshinanaam ayam patatopaha – I’m guessing that phrase says what I mean, forgive me if I’ve got it wrong).

So I had a small hobby. Then I bought yarn for it. Then I bought tools for it. Then I joined a forum. Then I got even more tools for it and patterns, inspired by the forum. Then I made a whole load of unusable things. Then I got more yarn.

At this point, a sane person would have quietly disposed of their yarn and tool stash and taken up Yoga or something. Continue reading There was a hermit…

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Three prizes – pass it on

I got this from Deneen.

The first three people to comment will get something fibery from me!

The catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 3 people who do the same on your blog. The first 3 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did, win a fibery gift – yarn or thread. Ok?

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Five cities in five cats

We’ve been back about 10 days now and I’ve been trying to catch up on everything. There was a lot of work waiting for me when I returned (which is good, because 3 weeks in Europe can be a huge drain on your pockets!), as well as plenty of email and blog feeds to read. So that’s my excuse for not blogging until now. (It’s weak, I know!)

We visited London, Belfast, Rome, Venice and Florence. We met some very lovely people: some old friends, some new ones who were welcoming and helpful. We walked our feet off, got lost in museums, went underground, flew around, slept in an airport, dawdled in cafes, watched a play, a musical and a concert, knit on the world’s largest tea cosy, got duped, had a complete stranger give us his entry tickets free, had pizza for lunch and dinner, ate Chinese cuisine in London and Thai food in Rome, drooled over dessert, fell in love with a car (and a people), met a TV personality, gawped at a Bollywood star, window shopped, celebrated a birthday…

Some of our pictures are here.

The common thread throughout the journey and my personal highlight were the cats we encountered. First, there was Fergus in London

With Fergus

Then there was Mystery Cat (we never discovered where she came from or who she was) in Belfast

Visiting cat

Then there were the three lovelies in Rome*! (Yes, two of them are male, but they are still lovely).

Here’s Puddy (Paddington)

Puddy Tat

Max with Puddy

Max and Puddy Tat

And a glimpse of Sunshine at the bottom right corner

Bribing the cats for a photo-op

That smile on my face says it all, really.

* Names changed because somehow that’s how I think of them.

The last three we spent quality time with and got to know as much as they would allow us. Puddy is a big sweetie and the only one who’d let me pick him up. He didn’t like it much, though, so he’d emit a feeble ‘meee-ew’ and I had to let him go. Max was the most gorgeous, with a glorious mane which made him leonine, except he had a yellow streak as large and would flee if you so much as looked at him directly in the eye. Sunshine was good at pretending to be aloof and spent most of the night jumping around the house.

The trip started really well, because we gatecrashed Cindy in Bangalore and it was there that the whole “wonderful hosts and yummy kitties” thing began, with Cindy’s two felines. They were quite talkative and carried on a conversation throughout the night and although we didn’t get any pictures of them, Cindy’s promised me a few of their kittenhood. Yes? Please?

Funnily, though, most of the other cats we met didn’t say a word. Only Puddy with his ‘mee-ew?’ and occasional yelpings when he suddenly found his toys around the house.

There was a notice in Venice’s St Mark’s square for a black kitten lost (young and affectionate…), and it rained cats…and dogs in Florence. I spotted a cat who could have been Puddy’s Italian twin in Trajan’s forum, and a calico lady in a whiskey distillery in Ireland. So happy.

I know I ought to be telling you more…

Ok, let’s see.

– we nearly missed our musical (Chicago in London) because the husband was so fascinated by the displays at the Imperial War Museum he never came out (obviously he did, eventually, but I’d given up on him and left to reach the theatre on my own)

– loved the Tube (again!) (ooh the information!)

– took (and missed!) budget flights between London, Belfast and Rome

– slept at Heathrow airport in a cafe (see above)

– watched The Mousetrap and Chicago in London, and a baroque music concert in Venice (with costumes!)

– went to I Knit on two evenings, one of them when knitting was taking place on the world’s largest tea cosy (I added my bit!)

– as we were walking towards the Colosseum in Rome a gentleman returning with his grandson gave us the tickets he’d bought and then discovered didn’t need

– I spent too much for glass souvenirs in Venice (but, oh, the colours!!!!)

– the desserts in Rome were… words fail me. flaky. melting-in-the-mouth. inspiring. amazing. My mouth is watering at the memory.

– the Italians are such fun! And I wanted to pick up one of the Smart cars and bring it home with me, only we fell slightly short of the thousands of euros that would have cost

– I ambushed journalist Thomas Kielinger on my way to Chicago and spoke to him. He was looking for a restaurant, the poor man

– on two consecutive mornings we saw Ajay Devgan shooting a song for a film. Sans his wife, though.

– on our last day in Rome we celebrated the husband’s birthday with dinner at an interesting restaurant, which ended with everyone in the place singing the Italian version of Happy Birthday for him and the other person there celebrating, while they blew out their candles on their pavlovas. A great finale. Thank you so much, Carla and Ben!

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I’ve been remiss

Two of my friends awarded me (separately) the following award, and I’ve been sitting on passing it on…I never quite know how to respond to these things, you know, never been good at this gracious acceptance thing at all. Anyhow, I’ve finally got up the gumption and ta-da, here it is!

Thank you so much Pearlin and Yasmin! It means a lot to me. Sorry I took so long to acknowledge it!

And now I have the pleasure of nominating a few people myself. This is difficult…

Here’s just a random 5 blogs, ok?

Cook-n-Knit

Fiber Star

Mixedupbeauty.net

Sarah London

Stranded Purls

and, another one, because I’m feeling that way,

Serendipitous Opportuknitty

Now I’m off to go alert my awardees 🙂

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Mothers-in-law

From Donna Leon’s A Uniform Justice

Brunetti thought of Parliament in the way most Italians thought of their mothers-in-law. Not due the loyalties created by ties of blood, a mother-in-law still demanded obedience and reverence while never behaving in a manner that would merit either. This alien presence, imposed upon a person’s life by sheerest chance, made ever-increasing demands in return for the vain promise of domestic harmony. Resistance was futile, for opposition inevitably led to repercussions too devious to be foreseen.

I loved this the first time I read it and still do, although I now find some repetitious use of words, and also cannot quite see how Parliament could possibly fit into the situation. However, I have the feeling Ms Leon had to get it off her chest, so it entered the book 🙂

Please discuss the passage. I’m all ears.