Life's gradually getting back to normall, I think, and it can't be too soon for me. I want to get back to doing some travelling and writing.
And my cousin Lorna and I have been talking a lot about India. That side of our family lived in India for well over a century during the Raj. For many Indians and Pakistanis,this was not a good time - nobody likes to be under colonial rule. But for most of the English people who had the privilege of living there, India was very fondly remembered.
My family always worked for government departments, first in bringing telegraphic communications to India, Persia (as it then was) and places beyond, and later in organising education. It all came to an end in 1947, and when they returned to England (or, rather, came to it for the first time, in most cases) they felt neither Indian nor yet fully culturally English.
I once had a long conversation with the explorer, historian and re-creator of historic sea voyages, Tim Severin.who also remembered this same fractured background of feeling that India was ever-present, yet just out of sight,. We agreed that you couldn't really quite describe what it was like to anyone who had not experienced that curry scented atmosphere with the tales of crocodiles and panthers and dakoits and servants who went mad at the full moon.. Of course, we all ended up wanting to go there someday to see for ourselves.
Anyhow, Lorna's been to India once, and she loved it. She is now saving to go back. I've always wanted to go and now I am starting to think that I must. I'm not that interested in a tour of the big sights - I can probably do without the Taj Mahal - but I want to visit the Nilgiri Hills, which my grandmother loved. Here is a picture of my mother as a baby in the Nilgiri hill station of Ootacamund. I wish I could pan around and see the rest if the landscape and everyone else there too.
(I have to say she was a prettier baby than me. I've been looking over old snaps of me and I resemble WC Fields).
Mum's parents and grandparents left India the following year, but she always wanted to go there, so when she grew up she returned to work in Delhi and Bangalore for a while.
Anyway, the Nilgiris is where I want to go, and also Mussoorie where my granny and aunts went to boarding school at Woodstock and about which had many tales. Trouble is, Mussoorie and Ooty are about three thousand kilometres apart!
Talking to Lorna reminded me to do a link to her websites on the sidebar. It's called Fell from Grace, because the family name was Grace. She is into steampunk, but think I'll have to suggest she does a few things inspired by India.