At the bookfest this year


I had been closely following the edbookfest site and had even marked out the programmes and events I wished to attend. Unfortunately I missed the start date for booking tickets online by just one day and most of the events had been sold out. I still managed to attend a few. Here are the highlights from my visit to the fest.

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Missed his talk about Satanic Verses and the fatwa but made to his book signing event.

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That says it all ūüôā

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Margaret Atwood with Naomi Alderman and Valerie Martin

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Couldn’t get tickets to her talk on The Blind Assassin but attended her panel discussion on “Writing under the influence” ūüôā

 

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I splurged… a lot and got these books for Shantanu!

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We even made it to Julia Donaldson’s signing! ūüôā

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Shantanu was not too keen to taking a picture... so
Shantanu was not too keen to taking a picture… so

I am back


I am back from our trip to India. And surprisingly I am sulking. For someone who has boasted all her life that she likes her solitude, here I am craving for people, chaos ¬†and mess. It wasn’t like this the last time. Tsk tsk.

As for our trip, things never go as planned. We had made grand plans – people to meet, places to visit, things to eat and do, in fact narrowed them down to weeks and days as we thought this was a short trip (yea we consider 4 weeks as short). I didn’t met half the people I wanted to, couldn’t even call some of them. Hubby was better off in that I suppose.

Kiddo thoroughly enjoyed Ganpati. He woke up early morning, had a bath and went with hubby and other relatives to bring home the idol. He was all excited to recite the aartis, perform puja (in his own way) and put flowers. He was also thrilled to see that Ganpati always had his one hand up to say “Hi!” He used to come rushing to me and say that Ganpati is saying Hi to him!

The other thing he enjoyed immensely was riding in cars and auto rikshaws. Every morning after he woke up, he would go to the balcony and look out whether our cars are still there in the parking lot. Going for a ride in Honda City was almost a daily event which was often followed by a ride in the auto.

And then there were the gifts he received!!

My brother gifted this jumbo ferrari car to kiddo. Their bond is surely getting stronger. Men and cars I tell you.

The food…!!!

My mum made these delicious modaks on the occasion of Ganpati. No wonder they vanished within minutes.
FIL got this jumbo Pomfret a day before we were leaving!! Yummy doesn’t suffice!
My sis-in-law made this scrumptious cake. From scratch. Yes. Even the flowers. How beautiful is that???

Festivals and vacations



Where should I start? It has been such a happening month with lots of activities to keep me busy that I couldn’t find time to update my blog and more horror…no time to read! Now I have more books added to my climbing TBR mountain list!


So let’s start from the beginning. The book festival was fantastic. I attended a couple of events ¬†– one was Ruth Rendell and the other was ‘Co-operative learning for 21st Century’ – the latter more specific to my job needs. I thoroughly enjoyed the Rendell event. She talked about her latest book – The St. Zita Society, read out a chapter and answered questions. I admit I have read only one book of hers – The Chimney Sweeper’s Boy but what I read I liked and when I told her that I immensely enjoyed this book, she told me, much to my shock that it was based on a true story. Go grab it, it’s one of the best. I got her latest book autographed and so excited was I to tell everyone about me attending this event that my cell phone was completely discharged in all the chatting and when the time came to take a photo of her, my phone lost all power! How dumb of me! ūüė¶ PS: I still haven’t read the book.


There is also this Turing Festival for 3 days every year which is essentially about events organised around the digital technology. The saint and I attended one event each and took turns at babysitting our kiddo. I attended this event and it lasted for a long 3 hours. A lot of food for thought!


The other major event is that I have finally started working again! Yay!! And the best part is that I get to work from home – yup am freelancing and it is sooo gooooddd!!! This has put me on a whole new level of¬†organizing¬†and managing and the lazy summer days have turned into frantic chaotic mess. Even though the saint won’t agree to it, there is order in my chaos if you can manage to find it. The other day I told him that I read somewhere “A clean house is a sign of a wasted life.” when he remarked on the mess around. And pat came his reply, “A messy house is a sign of a rested wife!”


We shall be travelling this weekend to India and staying there for a whole of 4 weeks!! This trip is specially for attending the Ganpati festival. We have this system at my in laws of a rotating Ganpati (if that’s a term??!!). Every year it is held at a different uncle’s place and the saint has 7 uncles. So it is at our place after every eight years. Coincidentally this would also be the first time that I get to be a part of it. In 4 years of marriage I have somehow missed it.


Here I am submerged in a lot of work and a lot of mess. The saint is going places these days Рtravelling a lot for his work Рtravelling Europe!! He left today for Sweden and would be coming home just a day before we travel to India. We have managed to pack a lot of stuff over the weekend but there is still a lot to do Рall last minute packing and checking off items off our list. And here I am seeking solace in blogging with all the mess around me.


Readers, so please send me some inspiration, enthusiasm and will to get of my butt and start cleaning and packing! And what have you all been upto these days??

Christmas in Edinburgh


A week after we arrived in Edinburgh, I ventured outside for the first time yesterday, apart from the trips we made to the grocery store. The winter this year is much more tolerable with temperatures ranging within 5 to 12 degrees. There has been no snowfall this year at least not in our region and that makes travelling easier.

Edinburgh is I think one of the best places to celebrate Christmas. You can feel the excitement all around you. Everyone you meet is smiling and there is definitely some magic in the air. I half expected to see Santa flying over the Ice Rink above the dormant trees in the Princess Street Gardens yesterday.

The¬†German Christmas Market¬†stalls are very popular and sell a variety of classic and contemporary gifts as well as a range of German food and drink including sausages, fried potato cakes, German Beer and the famous¬†Gl√ľhwein¬†commonly knows as Mulled Wine.

The kiddo had a lot of fun on the rides. We were surprised that he wasn’t afraid to sit in the Giant Wheel. Some pictures from yesterday…

Chocolate Waffles - Yummy!!
Mulled Wine - served warm!
German Markets
Crowd around the market stalls
View of the Ice Rink from top of the Giant Wheel
The kiddo on the car ride - all smiles
Boat + Water = Smug Kiddo!
Children's rides
A glassful of Mulled Wine

These buses were warm and cozy on the inside. You could grab a large slice of Pizza and mulled wine and make yourselves comfortable on the chairs and tables inside the bus!

 

So how did you spend your Christmas???

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!

Fun Weekend at ED Book Fest


The weekend saw us at the Edinburgh Book Festival. It wasn’t sunny throughout¬†the day but it was pleasant enough to spend an entire day outside.

That’s the entrance to Charlotte Square Gardens which hosts the event.

The photo below is taken at RBS Book Shop. Kiddie activities were held throughout the day – where kids can run off their energy and we – the tired parents can relax. ūüôā

See Shantanu pushing the green chair on left

The kids’ drawings, paintings, colourings were put up on the activity¬†board. We opted to put kiddo’s painting on the board too, instead of taking it back home with us.

That’s kiddo’s! Thank you very much. ūüôā Those who think it’s too perfect to be coloured by a 2-year-old, let me tell you that his Dadda helped me¬†colour it. Generously.

 

The New year trip


So I had been absconding for almost a fortnight now, no¬†more than that. Fret not, I was only sulking about the year coming to an end and wondering how soon it passed, given that I did absolutely nothing, nothing! since I came to Edinburgh in June. To rouse me from my depression, hubby took us to a week-long¬†holiday at his cousin’s place in London! And what a week that was. From sumptuous meals to breathtaking surroundings and heart-to-heart talks, we did it all.

We visited the Cambridge university¬†–¬†took the traditional punting tour of the river Cam passing along the backs of Cambridge university.¬†A picture is worth a thousand words…

Remember 'mudi mudi' from Paa?
Beautiful autumn colours and snow

 

the willows, snow, cambridge...ahhh
Just beyond this bridge is a huge ground where the shooting of the selection of players for Quidditch in HP1 took place. I was so stunned by that information that I missed taking the picture.

We then visited the Bury St Edmund’s town. It’s a small market town in Suffolk and is considered to be the most

It was a day of mist and fog and utterly delightful atmosphere to explore the ruins of the old cathedral!

 

Towncentre at Bury's. such small markets and town with so much character and history. All the Agatha Christie novels came to life and I found myself looking out for Miss Marple!

 floral town in Suffolk.

Now veggies close the tab, the meat eaters salivate!

Raan masala made by my SIL. Don't ask me the recipe, I don't have it. Delicious and mouth-watering.

Aside from this trip, I have been given to hope that a most delightful event is to occur this year-end, no am not expecting and it has nothing to do with my immediate family. But am in such spirits that I have suddenly taken to food like never before. I find myself hogging till am ready to barf. With the limited amount of exercise that I do, or rather absolutely nothing, it’s a wonder that my jeans still fit and am not blowing up like Harry Potter’s aunt Marge. So, anyway, am excited and that’s making me do crazy things, not that I don’t do them otherwise, but then I never thought I would gluttonous.

I’m back! :)


So been a long time huh? Where have I been? What was I up to? I know you all are dying to know, the few handful of you who read me.

Well, this is the second Diwali I spent in another country. It’s been alternate years now since marriage that¬†I am in different countries celebrating festivals. The biggest excitement this year though was that Shantanu¬†was able to comprehend some part of it. He realised that something is different with all the lights and sweets. Sweets! my parents and in-laws sent in packages of sweets and Diwali mithai. It really brought out the festive mood in our home. With lights and diyas and firecrackers we had a fantastic Diwali.

I want to note here that this was the first time that Shantanu ate the Diwali sweets and enjoyed the lights so much so that he wanted to keep them turned on the entire day. We shot a lot of videos of Shantanu playing and laughing and talking and sent them back to my parents and in-laws.

The kiddo has come a long way now since my last post about him. He can now easily climb up the chairs and tables, can speak up a lot of words and keeps adding to the vocabulary every day. Touchy-feel books are his favourite and he can recognize a lot of objects in them. Pushing the TV buttons, eating and gnawing the remote controls, mobiles and books is another of his favourite activity. He is even strong enough now to pull and push the TV. He loves to pick up the letters that arrive by post and brings them to me. He leaves all that he is doing when the mailbox flap makes a big sound and runs to collect the letters. When they are quite a few and heavy ones, he ponders and brings the light ones first and keeps the heavy ones for his last trip. He helps me with the laundry by putting clothes into the washing machine.

During Diwali, when we dressed him up in new clothes, I realised that he was a little boy now and not a little baby anymore. Hmm, I miss those days when he was a baby with all that baby smell. Now I have a tot tumbling all around me.

Ganpati Bappa Morya..


Ganpati Pen
Ganpati Pen

Ganesh festival is celebrated on the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the God of wisdom, prosperity and auspiciousness, for the period from new moon in the lunar month in the month of Bhadrapada.

This year it falls on 23rd August.

Am missing the celebrations at in-laws for the second consecutive year. Last year it was because we were at Singapore and this year because it’s held at Pune and I cannot travel with the small baby. Plus the swine flu and all other viruses!

The above photo is of our Ganpati in the temple at my dad’s ancestral home in Pen.

Hoping next year I make it!