2015 – the year that was…

…all about travel! After coming to Edinburgh I think 2015 was the most we traveled in UK. It’s partly due to having a car that gives you more freedom and roam around the countryside. Also, having parents over during the Summer holidays is another excuse to travel. 🙂 So here am trying to make a list of all the places we visited last year – day trips, holidays, weekend getaways all included.


Early January last year, we went on a long long drive around five lakes. Most of the mountains were snow-capped, it was chilly and there was a stillness in the air. But nothing could stop our enthusiasm to go out and about.


An impromptu week’s holiday was planned to Dubai during the school break. A family get together – my sister-in-law lives there – sun, sand and beach and an excuse to get away from the cold in UK.


M&Ds theme park in Motherwell – an hour’s drive from Edinburgh. It was a nice sunny day in April – quite warm for Spring. Perhaps the first time we took off our jackets that year.

IMG_0185This is perhaps the hardest to summarize. Swiss trip! The highlight of the year. I think the reason I never wrote about this trip is that I am still trying to assimilate all the experiences and internalize the sensation that was Switzerland. Here’s a blurb: Family trip, train journey, heat wave, exploring the central belt of Switzerland, locating Yashraj filming locations, Zurich, Lucerne, Interlaken, Bern, Montreux, Geneva, Mt. Titlis, Jungfrau. Cheese factory, chocolate factory, chocolate train (yes, that’s the name of the train!), Gstaad, Saanen, Lauterbrunnen!

IMG_1651There is something Zen about going to Cragies and picking berries. Nothing else matches the amazing experience of picking freshly grown strawberries and cherries in this lovely farm. Note to self: this year pick a small quantity that can fit into the tiny freezer at home.


Holy Island, Lindisfarne and Alnwick Castle.

Journey Map

Another day trip to Loch Lomond and Loch Luss – castles and lakes that’s what Scotland is all about and I have no complains.


Mid August saw us trying to climb up to the Arthur seat – a feat we did not achieve. This is at the top of another hill next to Arthur seat.


A weekend trip to Bedford in September – we visited my husband’s cousin and his family. A visit to Cambridge ensued.


Culross trip


Loch Leven in October – another day trip to another Loch.


When the Dinosaurs came to Edinburgh Zoo!


And the Panda who wouldn’t show us his face… Pandas and monkeys – the funniest animals they make you laugh without moving a muscle.


A thing off my bucket list – staying in a self catering cottage. October end saw us travelling to Aviemore Cairngorms National Park.


Autumn colours and foliage






The curious incident of the pigeon in the night-time

The high-pitched siren of the fire brigade alarmed us one night. We rushed out to the balcony to see what had happened. A big red fire brigade truck was standing right at the entrance of our society gate.

The firemen were climbing the building next to ours. Some time had passed as there was a crowd gathered below looking on with curious excitement. The kids were thrilled that they were witnessing a rescue mission and that they had had their adventure.

For a moment we thought our building was on fire. To our immense relief, nothing of that sort had happened. It was only a pigeon stuck in a grill of the balcony of our neighbours upstairs. While struggling to break free, it had broken his foot and was shouting for help.

When the fireman let it free, we cheered. A lot of commotion followed. Girls and kids rushed to pamper and pet the pigeon. One even made it drink water. But it needed medical help since its leg was broken. My ever obliging husband took up the task of taking it to the hospital. (Is it not the duty of the fire brigade to transport the injured to the hospital?).

Two guys, a kid and his father accompanied him. The kid wanted to hold the pigeon hence he wanted to sit in the front seat. His father had to sit with him in the front. His father also had his one hand in a plaster. So the kid held the injured pigeon in his hand while the father with the plaster held the kid on his lap.

On their short journey to the hospital, the pigeon threw up!

Singapore, here I come

I’ll be flying off to Singapore this Saturday and if things go as planned won’t be returning until early next year. This is one of those moments in life when you make a decision that brings about a noticeable change to your life and you volunteer to venture into an unknown path whose destination you do not know.

I was at such crossroads sometime back, deciding whether to continue living here and working on my current job or to quit and join my husband. Given the current situation at work that isn’t very stimulating and is neither helping me grow in my field, I finally decided the latter. However the decision doesn’t ease my mind yet. I would be cut off from my work and my field for at least 8-9 months unless I take up a job there. Being a career woman was never on my agenda until I took up this job and started enjoying it. Now that I have fit into this industry and have a perfect schedule, there is this fear of change and fear of the unknown.

We rarely like to be shaken from our routines and our set schedules. No doubt am all excited to live in a different country as beautiful as Singapore but there’s this anxiety about living in a totally new place and calling it home. But I always have a rickety start with things until the time they fall into place. So am making my mind and heart to believe that this is the next best adventure and that life has finally happened to me!

I have observed that my friends who are outside India are more keen to keep in touch. I hope I don’t turn into a complete firangi with no feelings for friends and family. So unless there’s a practical problem, I’ll be posting regularly and will be connected.

The countdown

I practically have no work. I have been without work for this entire week. Just been browsing, modifying my blog, coming up with logos and well just lazying around. Am afraid that if I get some serious work anytime soon, I might find it hard to adjust to it.:) A lot of shopping is still pending for my Singapore trip. And rather than being excited, am finding myself anxious about the whole thing. Maybe it’s got to do with the apprehension of being in a different country all alone. Or maybe it’s because of the cooking that I would have to do there with no one to guide me. Or maybe it’s because of the responsibility that I need to shoulder.

I am excited to visit this country for the second time. Never in my dreams had I thought that I would be visiting any country twice. Once is okay. And this time it is not for only a couple of days; but fifteen whole days. It’s a pretty long time, given that you have no work, no entertainment, no computer and Internet 😦 . But then it would take some effort to survive like this with no communication and no contacts. Am planning to take my diary so that I can jot down things that I find exciting or worth mentioning. Then after coming back, I can blog about it.

From all the experiences that I have heard from people who have lived alone, it seems like a tough thing to be staying alone. I wish I had internet to keep me connected. The countdown begins, one more week to go!

The getaway

It was a couple of weeks back on a Friday; I was sitting at my desk bored with no work. It was soon after lunchtime and I was waiting for the clock to strike 6 so that I could go home. It was then that it struck me…the adventurer in me saw an opportunity. I made some silly excuse at office and left. I was going to a mall to browse through some books and watch the latest movie.

At around 2 pm, I reached the mall and stood in the line to buy the ticket. Alas! The tickets were all sold out since it was a hit movie. I went to the huge bookstore next to the ticket counter. I had heard that this was a huge store with all types of books. My excitement knew no bounds as I lazily strolled from section to section, read the names of all my favourite authors and found books that I wanted to read from a long time.

The best part was, I could pick up any book, sit on a comfortable couch and read it. No compulsion to buy it! How lovely. I browsed through all the sections from science fiction to children’s poetry to books on weaving and candle making. I finally sat down with my favourite mystery writer’s book at the cafe inside the store drinking a hot cup of coffee.

The thrill of it all lied in the fact that no one at home, not even my hubby, knew about this escapade of mine. I sat there for more than three hours finishing the book. I returned home at the normal time with a couple of my favourite books tucked away nicely in my bag.

The intention was not to deceive…but to find peace. To feel free to be myself, do as I wish and be where I want to be. Lately I had been feeling trapped in the day to day chores of life, obliging responsibilities at home and at work. This experience gave me the much needed sense of peace and freedom…to just be..