Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Catching up!

My blog has been neglected this past month. Sometimes words flow and other times they just don't. Anyway, the boys have gone into town for fireworks for the Diwali celebrations today and tomorrow so I have a moment to catch up.

The day after my birthday was the beginning of the 2 week half term for K. As a working mum, I have mixed feelings about school holidays, I put too much pressure on myself to try and maintain my usual workload at the same time as taking time off to be with my son. This made it rather stressful and serves as a reminder to me to slow down and give myself a break, sometimes the work just has to be put on hold.

The first day back to school, the 6th of Oct was K's 5th birthday.
It doesn't feel so long ago that he was this big

 Coming to festivals with us from 8 months

With his bright and shining personality.
I'm so proud of how he's grown and dealt with the changes that we've encountered in this past year. He's becoming much more aware of himself and is surprising us all the time.
I made a special birthday puja for him before anyone else woke up and filled the house with flowers from the garden.
Opening his biggest present in the morning!
He went off to school with a bag of sweets to share with the whole school as is the custom here and we had a small birthday party at our house in the afternoon for his specially selected friends. It all went really well, me and C struggle a bit with kids parties - last year we'd not long arrived in India so were ill prepared but this time we had a paddling pool out, a treasure hunt planned and a good mix of kids.

Hunting for clues in the community garden...
Cake time!
My new favourite chocolate cake recipe.
He had a great time as did the other kids which is what matters and we were all asleep by 8-9pm. Funny how a 2 hour kids party seems to drain energy more than anything!
Since then we've been plodding along. Mostly working and then home stuff like the garden, cooking etc. Until a week ago, the weather was still really hot and humid so have been dealing with heat rash and living in a permenantly sweaty state which might have contributed to my lack of interest in blogging!
I have seen some interesting bugs recently, mainly caterpillars.
Beautiful red dragonfly
A hitchhiker on my motorbike
A hairy caterpillar whose hair gives you a very nasty sting if they touch you, these also like to dangle from trees on threads!
An interesting horny caterpillar on my kumquat tree on the balcony
A spotty one on the front step
I finally visited the Matrimandir alone for the first time a few weeks back. I'd only previously been twice, once on each visit to Auroville and whilst it was a wonderful experience, it's nothing compared to going in alone and really connecting (or should that be disconnecting???) with you and the universe. As a guest to AV there is a whole process to visiting and I wanted to wait until I was fully integrated into the community before going in. I had planned to visit on our 1 year anniversary of arriving in AV but I had a cough at the time and couldn't go as it's a place for silent contemplation, even breathing sounds loud! 
One path to the underneath of the Matrimandir
Hard to give an impression of the magniture of the structure
The lotus pond beneath the Matrimandir.
I had a beautiful experience, sat in silence, trying to observe and gain clarity to some recent events. I now feel a better sense of direction and it inspired me to start volunteering one morning of Matrimandir duty a week. I just do an hour between 7-8am on a Tuesday. My job is to sit outside the main entrance to the Matrimandir and check who is going in. It's only really for Aurovilians at that time of the day so there isn't much to do but there is an occasional guest with a pass to check but mainly it's just a lovely place to sit and a lovely time to be outside. My duty was cancelled this morning but should be back on next week.

Since last Thursday we've been experiencing real monsoon rains, it's rained almost constantly. This morning we were informed that 91cm of rain has fallen in the past 5 days. This is amazing news as the past few years have yielded very little rain. It refills the village wells and ponds as well as our own AV reserves. It's been drier today but might still rain some more. I genuinely love enjoying the rain so much, it is a refreshing attitude and one I can't imagine having back in the UK.
We just bought a hammock chair which has been my favourite monsoon viewing spot


 It's been lovely!
Other than that we have been planning our trip to Goa. We were struggling with finding the right dates to go but have settled on going over the school Christmas holidays so that K doesn't miss his school end of term performance. He'll miss the first week back in Jan as we plan to go for 3 weeks but it seems less of an issue. We have booked an overnight direct train from Chennai to Goa which is the best option for us. Flying is quicker but considerably more expensive and there were cheaper options but it involved 2 days travel which eats into our holiday time. It will be nice to have a break and also to see C's dad who lives there. Can't wait!
Tomorrow is Diwali and tonight we will go to Bharat Nivas for the kids fireworks fun. See this post for a bit on last years event: http://ourindiaventure.blogspot.com/2013/11/hi-there.html
Anyway, think we're all up to date now. More soon I hope!
Love, Laura.