Hello welcome to my Blog

Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Thursday, 29 September 2011

Mezze Snippets

Today Anna Hazare is starting to blog so you can  read and hear what he has to say. annahazaresays.wordpress.com
Today some scientists in Brisbane reported that they have developed a vaccine that can be applied as a nano patch and which doesn't need refrigeration. In countries such as India where refrigeration is still a huge issue this is fantastic news and fills me with admiration for these scientists.
Today it is reported that effigies of Ravana, representing evil, are no longer selling like hotcakes. Inflation and the cost of transportation as well as the crack down on large gatherings has meant that the traditional Ramlilas planned where the effigies are paraded and burnt have been curtailed.
Ramlila is an enactment of the Hindu Epic Ramayana.it talks about the life of Lord Rama.It begins with the Ganesh Puja on the first day of Navrati ( A period of fasting ) and continues for 11 days.On the 10th day Dussehra which this year is on the 6th of October effigies of Ravana are burnt to symbolise the triumph of Good over Evil.
Today is the first day of freedom from annoying SMS messages selling you an apartment you dont want in Noida or adding two inches to your height or to other more sensitive parts of your body !!
I leave you with this picture - aaaa how lovely to be able to phone and order a PhD.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Feline frolics

Cats are an underclass in India, a serious minority, hardly seen, hardly heard. You have to ask yourself why and perhaps the answer is the desi dogs that are SO prolific the poor cats dont stand a chance.If you ask around the answers are that Indians think that cats are carriers of bad luck and disease. It is particularly bad apparently if a black cat crosses your path. However on the occasion that I have seen them I have to say they are adventurous, plucky and different.
This is a cat in Kaziranga National Park, in Assam in NE India, who didnt think twice in the few minutes the jeep was parked to climb inside and find a tasty snack.  
Even more impressive for me was this cat that I saw in a warden's hut. There are such things as Leopard cats, perhaps this is one of them. What an astonishing cat this is.
There is a book entitled "Why are there no cats in the Bible"
The sequel could be "Why are there no cats in India !"

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Sunset at Neemrana

We sat on the terrace overlooking the valley and took in the great view and the unfolding storm. The clouds had rolled in, darkened the sky, and dropped round, fat raindrops. Then the darkness lifted the sun dipped in the sky and this followed.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Neemrana - choose your room and your century

Neemrana is located about 122 kms south of Delhi and it seems to be an unlikely place in an unlikely setting but it is even more unbelievable when you finally find it.
I will not pretend that getting out of Delhi on the highway is anything other than sheer madness. The roads out of Gurgaon are chocker block and flooded -

The highway - what highway - it has been under construction repair and renovation for as long as we have been here, is non existant - Hence do not be surprised when you are travelling down to see cars and trucks coming up on your side of the highway as in the picture above. On our journey, the cars and trucks coming in the opposite direction were so many that we were thrown off the road and into the ditch !
So persevere is all I can say. Dusty dirty, dangerous ...but you turn into some industrial estate and through some back streets and there perched on the hill is Neemrana Fort Palace. The baby of a couple of men with an eye for detail and a love of history.

Here it is a fort perched high in the hills spanning the centuries - lousy picture apologies
The entrance and passage up to the fort

 Our sitting room
Our bathroon
 One of the pools and the hanging gardens
The fort is perched on the side of a hill and it is an assortment of 14th century ruins with subsequent centuries of tasteful additions brought screamingly and happily into the 21st with considerable success. Dont come if you dont like stairs as the place is a rabbit warren of hidden passages and stairs some of which lead to rooms, others not.

We explored the village and the baoli , a nine storey step-well of some grandeur and proportions, sadly now the home of bats and rubbish but reminiscent of the ingenuity of those forebearers who managed such contructions without even one JCB in the area.There is of course a zip wire as well which can amuse the younger more adventurous among us and some foolhardy oldies too.

Pretend you are an Indian princess and step out onto your roof top and survey the beautiful land below and holler for that prince. Mine was right round the corner.But the best was yet to come... 

Friday, 16 September 2011

Move over Mexico Mizoram calling

A lot of us live here with husbands or partners who are often called away on business, and perhaps some of us are spoilt with the occasional gift, a shawl, a good book, though I have to say mine is not great at bringing gifts home, until the other day when he arrived happily back from Mizoram with a jar full of the fieriest chillies ever. Look at those colours ! He is a fan - so move over Mexico, we have been reliably informed that Mizoram has the hottest chillies ever. I am off to buy some yoghurt for dinner tonight.

Monday, 12 September 2011

A celebration

Blogging is of course about sharing but I have rarely put my family in the forefront of my blog. Today however marks the exception and while I dont talk about him often or show him I know that in deciding to spend my life with Charles or Charlie, as we affectionately call him, I chose an uncertain path and one where I was giving up so much, but which ultimately has offered me so much more.

Today we are quietly but happily celebrating 25 years of married life and a longer history of knowing each other for 35. I can hardly say the numbers - they seem best confined to the old and the infirm, to couples with pot bellies and blue rinses but here we are in India of all places, empty nesters and totally content in each other's company and values.

He annoys the hell out of me, is particular about airports and the radio but he engages me daily with his vast knowledge, his caring attitude and his youthfulness. He says he will outlive me of which I have no doubt but in that amble to the finish or whatever it is, I would like to believe we will have many more shared moments of a life spiced with adventure, harmony and happiness.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Natural Indian hazards

We were sitting having coffee with a few women in my living room when water comes gushing out of the A/C mounted on the wall and drips down onto my antique Chinese cabinet. Buckets and mops were hauled in and A/C repair man called.
One holds the ladder, the other climbs and as he dismantles it all he asks for a bowl or bucket. The drain pipe was chocker block with gecko eggs which are much larger than you could possibly expect these small lizards to produce. They eat mosquitos and insects so when I enter the room and they scurry to hide I know I should be kind and leave them be but it is just one of the facets of Indian life that you get gecko poo falling out of your A/Cs and geckos squashed in the printer when I press the command for print. Their getaways are often what stops your machines working efficiently so next time you have an A/C problem or your printer jams you know what to look for.
Well recently I had a snake in with the geckos and of course the snakes love eating the geckos but I was not quite so happy about that particular resident slithering around my living room.
On another front this is what I came across on one of my walks.  The colour was watermelon pink - almost shiny and furry and my was it impressive. Here is a picture which conveys some of its potency.Have tried to indentify it but failed. Any ideas ?
But that is not all - of course the centipedes are all over and the bats too and this one landed into our front door and lay stunned momentarily. Normally we see them at dusk as they dive bomb us in the pool.
We took this one in and gave it a rest before taking a picture of it and then releasing it.