A tale of two summers – of years in India and Europe

Summer in India meant the terrace being taken over for pickle and papad making, of waiting for dusk to fall, of afternoons of unbearable heat made kinder by attar infused water splashed all around the house, by the curtains who fought a war against the sun, and the hour long comforting siesta as the afternoon roared and raged outside. Summer in Europe sometimes meant a Facebook wall being filled with 'We are in Malta' or 'Spain is lovely' or 'Greece - you are such a beauty.' Of photographs of cobbled streets and maddeningly blue beaches, of sunsets the colour of a rainbow, of vineyards and country roads. Of picnics and barbecues, and trips to the beach , of long queues on the M25, of longer ques at the parking, of the aroma of roasted corn on the cob, beef and chicken patties, of hot dogs being worked upon on little barbecue stoves.

Muddying my boots – one walking trail at a time

I know I will never be the sort of the mountaineering girl that has several summits under her belt. But that, I have managed to get over my fear of hiking and actually enjoy a good hike is good enough for me. For my husband too, I think. He had married a bookworm. Now he has a wife who is a bookworm who happily accompanies him to most of his hikes. Not a bad deal, I say.

Of packages in the post and handwritten letters in the letterbox

I cannot remember when was the last time I had this magical little hour of tearing through a package, of letting my eyes feast on the multi-coloured wrapping paper, of opening each gift, heart throbbing with anticipation and excitement and curiosity, of discovering and revelling in all the gifts that my friend and her husband had chosen for me and my husband, of reading the letters, of eyes feasting on the familiar curve of the cursive writing of a dear one.