Thursday, July 23, 2009

Coonoor with Gumpa

Just a short note to break the silence!

From 14th to 18th July, we went on holiday to Coonoor. It was, as we had hoped, a time of refreshing and renewing. The weather was not great, and it drizzled most of the holiday, but it was great to be able to spend time with each other, and with Daddy who joined us from Bangalore.

One of Anand's new words learnt on the trip was "Gumpa", and he used this word with great finesse while getting his Grandpa to supply all his needs. Grandpa and Grandson hit it off well together, and, on many occasions, Gumpa was the first word Anand would say in the morning, while planning his day's conquests.

We stayed at the Brooklands Christian Guest House. We had stayed there once before, and were impressed by a quote from Pilgrim's Progress that hung over the entrance:

"This house was built by the Lord of the hill, and he built it for the relief and security of pilgrims."

so, when we felt weary, and in need of a break (Lol!), we decided to go back for relief!

One of the highlights of the trip was travelling up (and down) the hill in a steam engine-driven hill train. This metre-guage railway was built more than a century ago, and Anand absolutely enjoyed the experience of travelling in a 'moke tutu' (his version of smoke train). Another highlight was our experience (I hope other young parents among us will commiserate with this!) of travelling with Anand's 'potty' (packed away with all our clothes!) and pram.

Another highlight was visiting 'Acres Wild', a 22 acre farm in Coonoor. Briefly, this farm is the attempt of a young Hindi movie producer from Bombay and his family, to live closer to nature. You can read more about their experiment at this site. Mr Mansoor Khan was very kind in welcoming us first to his house and then to the farm, where he spent a good part of the morning showing us around, and explaining what he was doing. It was inspiring, to say the least. By the time we left, Sweety was ready to travel to another nearby town (Kotagiri) and buy some land to set up our own farm! Unfortunately, my pragmatism and (some would say) pessimism held sway, and, so, here we are, back in our room in Vellore with our 4 chickens!

The last week, too, has been exciting. We have officially inaugurated our new 'indoor garden', with a strawberry plant we brought back with us from Coonoor. (Right now, it does not look like this plant will survive the Vellore climate). We are researching options in indoor plants, and have started by filling thermocol boxes with soil from the M ward garden, and using them inside our home. I really hope this experiment is successful. Do let us know if you have ideas on growing gardens indoors.

After much research, planning and drawing, and with the help of sites like this one, we have finally designed our own chicken coop. This is likely to be a marvel of civil engineering when it is completed. We summoned a carpenter to our house. He was highly recommended by some of our friends, but was totally confused and demoralised at the end of our convoluted explanations and descriptions of our dream coop. We are now looking forward to seeing what he has constructed, and our chickens moving into better accommodation!

My mom is now visiting with us, and will be here till next Tuesday. My dad will join us on Sunday. She is here for rest and dressings, while she recovers from some wounds on her leg. She seems much better now, and Anand has learned to use the word "Ammachy" to great effect.

Our love to all of you! Do keep blogging!

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