Friday, 20 December 2013

Season's Greetings!

Wow, time flies when you're having fun I guess! A week long bout of flu not included! It's been crazy busy the past few weeks. I started working full time so have lost another morning (Sat - boo!) and two afternoons a week. Still volunteering as permits still not sorted but we have a back up plan to get visa extensions in case it's still not sorted by the end of Jan when our original visas run out.
Other than that we're getting into the whole 'playdate' thing. The parents here seem to be big on filling their kids' days so there tends to be playdates arranged in the afternoons, normally straight after kindergarden at 1pm as well as meeting at the main playground at 5pm for a last hour of play. For a somewhat introverted person like myself it's a bit exhausting but then it's good to get out, meet other parents and it's not really for my benefit but for my rather extroverted son. So far K has made a few friends and now we have a two week holiday so can spend a bit more time making plans.
The garden is coming along, we have been enjoying our first tomato and lettuce harvest,

as well as the greens from our garlic plants which add a lovely subtle garlic taste to a salad.

We've taken a bit of a step back from the garden as other areas of our lives get more demanding but what with the scattered monsoon rains and everything being quite well established after 3 months of growth it's been lower maintenance anyway.
I just finished a five week course on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (just Saturday mornings). I'm much less stressed anyway but thought it a good chance to refresh myself and I've learned a few good methods including Loving Kindness Meditation. There is often interesting courses available here, especially now as the tourist season has just started so I look forward to doing some more in the new year.
I now have a set of wheels for getting about on. It's a TVS XL moped, a very popular bike here. It's a good first bike as it doesn't have gears - just an accelerator and brake. It's so useful as things are rather spread out here and cycling in the heat on long distances is a bit exhausting. I'm happy with it.
Have been struggling to get in my usual festive mood. I think the cold weather really helps that cosy wintery feeling. The locals complain it's cold here now, currently 30 degrees and a mere 20 tonight - brrrrrrrrr! I did want to celebrate Christmas though, K is of an age where it's a magical time so we made a paper tree and decorated it with K's Grandma one afternoon as well as hanging up his stocking and making paper chains.

 I did spend Christmas day here on my first visit to India 6 years ago but we were childless and on holiday in Goa so it was a different thing altogether! Still no oven so no roast dinner but am hoping to stock up on cheese, crackers and nibbles and might even find an imported bottle of Baileys somewhere in Pondy - a girl can hope! We'll be having brunch with some extended family and then the day's our own - we'll see where it takes us... :)
Yesterday there was an open day at K's kindergarden including an end of year performance by the four classes. The theme was the five elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Ether/Spirit). K's class did an Earth dance and it was just wonderful. It's the first performance we've been to, I'm sure those of you with children understand that big, big feeling when watching your kids perform. Lovely. Very proud mama.
 The whole school:

Looking a bit grumpy here bless him...

Inside his classroom:
The entrance to the kindergarten:

Special kolam for the open day:

These bowls of flowers are refreshed daily at the entrance:

He just came home today, his last day until the new year, with a goodie bag including this photo, his t-shirt from his performance, paints, an apple and a couple balloons. Just love this photo, have framed it already.

Anyway, that's us pretty much up to date, sorry it's been so long since the last update. The boys are out running errands so had a quick moment to myself. If I don't 'see' you before, hope you all have a lovely festive season.
Sending love, especially to my family and friends at this time.
Laura, C and K xxxxxx