Author Archives: Jen

keep mum alive


Keep mum alive 

Decapitation by fan

Charlie fan

Swift resume…story so far…

Video blogs here
Couple of pucs of dolls with captions

4am in Mumbai…. awake..obviously..


4am in Mumbai…. awake..obviously..as I have yet to perfect the art of blogging in my sleep
..finally managed to get wifi .. been here 24 hours..have pics and video but stuck on phone..only one device allowed on wifi

pretty much over the novelty of long haul flights..that one was a killer largely due to the fact that we spent the entire night before flight packing and smoking weed…not two activities that should be done together…turns your suitcase into a lucky dip..and makes a long trip with changeovers a terrifying experience ..

drama at Attaturk , son had haircut…expensive haircut that was apparently a major tragedy from which he has since recovered..

checked into fab hotel for first two three nights that turned out to be only two – booked on same evening as packing and smoking.. #quellesurpise

rolled out for complimentary breakfast only to find it cost us 2500 rupess (approx ยฃ30GBP) ..

went onto rooftop terrace to look at pool…lovely.. planned to return but too busy with shouting match, and running around looking for food…also not too keen on swimming equipment supplied… full length (ankle to neck ish) swimsuit and cap.. its actually the cap I hate the thought of :)#

Began running around Mumbai for no particular reason, revisiting Santa Cruz, Bandra.. saying hello to people I met last time
been in at least 7 rikshaws, argued with at least 4 rikshaw drivers and three taxi drivers

got stung several times, taxi drivers not mosquitos , prices are low here so impact not too bad but still ยฃ14 (1000)rupees for a taxi that travelled under a km from airport to hotel… !!

had a spectacular shouting match with Charlie on SV Road this morning, mortifying spectators..not something you do in India… good to see we’re flying the flag for British culture…

row ? who was worst at crossing the road in case you’re wondering#
Charlie wishing he hadn’t bothered coming along and threatened to go home on next plane

Said ‘hello’ to Asif at Barista coffee bar, the security guard at Cruz Royale, my friends at the market ..the car mechanic on the corner :))

had pana puri at Elco, dinner at Mini Punjab, tried to go see kawal and argued with a guy for ten minutes about the gender of Kawaljit before realising I was outside the wrong building..wrong kawaljit

wandered round Santa Cruz markets..at 10pmish….

saw a guy ‘walking’ on his hands and knees.. brought me up short on the whole feeling sorry for myself..ditto little girl begging at Juhu Beach…reminder to fill my bag with snack I can give the kids.. food they will actually get maybe better than cash they will have to hand over ?

Had my first Mumbai Monsoon experience, caught in a downpour on Juhu Beach..neither Shah Rukh or Aamir appeared to make my monsoon experience complete #meraHaathiMein but I did manage to rush into Starbicks..where I still couldn’t get wi-fi due to nai Indian Sim hai !

made it back to hotel….eventually… almost midnight and still no accommodation booked .. that took ages too, in a rikshaw that sounded like it was on its last journery and driver unable to understand my accent…grateful for over the top signage at hotel..enabled us to locate ..

TTHEN spent FIVE HOURS being ridiculously indecisive about next stay…. during which time son stayed amazingly calm…

latest update : bonking noises from another room… son scoring them on performance..

5am yaaris… need to try the sleeping thing :))

tomorrow we relocate..from five star to one star … be good to be back in cheap land and amongst familiar faces….

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Not amused .. post-haircut drama face

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The Orchid Hotel, Mumbai …Atrium .. with a fountain that runs from top to bottom of the hotel

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and then my daughter did this


came back from night out bought expensive eye cream…didn’t remember until i got a pick-up email ยฃ30 … had better be good ๐Ÿ™‚

practically scrubbing the skirting boards with a toothbrush to avoid the business plan…

backdrop of prep for imminent trip to EuroDisney..not me, Mia and Granddad but I’m in charge of getting various people onto planes, and to the airport…everybody’s super excited..for various reasons..Mia’s Daddy is coming to Mumbai with me…for a Month…everyone is popping :).like trying to get fleas into a box…speaking of which I still feel like I’m going through my own version of the biblical plagues…my personal year of infestations.. first the stomach parasites and now these super survivalist fleas (cat fleas) that refuse to budge, a present from my daughters cats when they/she moved out…have tried flea bombs, two different sprays and flea powder..keep flaking on the ‘vacuum whole house every day for 7 days bit’… I mean seriously ! vacuum EVERY day ???

and the council STILL haven’t picked up my bin…its sitting on the front lawn looking ridiculous and making the neighbours think i’m nuts..(no lid, getting a new one..in case you’re wondering)

and 9 SLEEPS TO MUMBAI…no accommodation booked as yet sorting at weekend once Visa number two comes through..for my bigger mancub … on pins till it comes in ๐Ÿ™‚ Now that I know my sons coming with me I really don’t want to find myself going on my own… we’re gonna have such a good laugh..
and my daughter shaved her head.. for charity… which was all kinds of weird…added video below…

If I’m honest its here so we don’t lose it in Facebook land, and because I think she’s amazing and funny and I’m very proud of her…not for shaving her head but for doing it without so much as a backward glance ๐Ÿ™‚

this time two weeks ago….


news was flooding in … an attack at a concert in Manchester…chances are you’ve already seen it in the news… 22 people died, many of them children…kids at the concert, parents waiting for them outside…. a guy with a bomb in a suitcase stood by one of the exits, leading into the station.. exploded as fans streamed out at the end of the gig.. a foyer…a mezzanine floor between MEN Arena and the railway station.. a good place to find mum and dad and obvious exit for people who had to travel any distance home..

and in a closed space for maximum harm…ย I’ve got nothing to say about how evil this was, or the reasons behind it… violence..other than the spur of the moment ย type, has always been beyond my understanding….

first i knew was Tuesday morning, when Facebook greeted me withย  ‘Annie Thomas has marked herself as safe’…. quick glance at my news feed and a look at the BBC news later…. grateful for her safety.(Annie is my daughter)..she lives at the side of the Arena where the bombing happened…

and stunned

Nobody in Manchester rushed to work that morning…people barely moved… traffic was slow and calm, the mood everywhere sombre, nobody spoke… stunned…all of us, in every shop, street,workplace..just stunned

many people didn’t go to work,some too frightened, some in shock…and a few stayed at home with children/relatives that had been at the concert. More real for us at my workplace because we are the railway…and in the cit centre…that was our stationthat was blown up, that was shut..indefinitely…

people at work busy handling train changes, details of disruption

.and more details trickled in all day.. ย news of those that had died… week.. a friend woke up Tuesday to a text to all nursing staff to please report for duty and rapidly got herself into work.. where many of the injured from the previous night were being cared for… she told me of a little girl who would never walk again and a mother in a coma yet to be told that her daughter had died in the blast… people cried..everywhere.. friends sobbing on the phone…

We held a vigil, in our square, St Peters Square where Tony Walsh read his poem This IS The Place’, ‘Manchester...’ some drawn here,some born here, this is the place we call home’..

St Anne’s square was filled with flowers, and a minutes silence….which somehow led to an incredibly emotional rendition of Oasis Don’t Look Back In Anger’ , started by one woman and picked up by all.

. and then finally the #OneLove Concert … the gig that made the whole of Manchester fall in love with Ariana Grande.. and the point at which I started crying…

I’ve been weirdly untouched by it..not unfeeling just not overwhelmed.. head in Mumbai and family problem… it didn’t really hit me until I saw the concert last night…

When Ariana Grande announced that there would be a concert I assumed it would be months away… in less than two weeks she pulled it together.. She cancelled her world tour after the gig, shocked and stunned and horrified herself…she’s been in Manchester during last two weeks visiting victims, and mums/dads of those children that died….and she pulled together this incredible gig on Sunday…not incredible because of any fancy lights or because the line up was amazing, although it was… but because of the whole spirit in which it was done… wwill.i.am/black eye peas/Katy Perry, Bieber, Miley Cyrus,ColdPlay…all of them…felt like they turned up for us, for Manchester…and for Ariana…. shes American, this isn’t her home, she could have walked away….but she didn’t….and then this…this rendition of ‘Somewhere over The Rainbow’ … so so beautifully done….

not much can ease the pain of losing a child, a sister, a mother…in fact pretty much nothing can…but showing you care, like this…. eases the loneliness of that pain

watch…. the video..in the midst of all the agony this is what Ariana and Manchester did..

and here’s ‘This Is The Place’…

and that amazing moment when the crowd started to sing


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faltering at the finish line…..


2days left in work …..2 weeks at home that includes picking up mancub from Uni in Nottingham…Getting granddaughter across the Pennines…And off to Paris.(granddaughter and Grandad..not me…EuroDisney treat for princess Mia)…and back again…then off to Mumbai….not even sure why

Last wage for the foreseeable future…. Not entitled to benefits but then shouldn’t be expecting the State to fund my entrepreneurial adventure even if it does have a social impact …I can’t lie and pretend that I’m doing this out of some desire to help mankind although I do get a buzz out of creating something that could really benefit the women involved…for me its a win-win… The chance to do something really exciting ,work with some interesting people,wake up every morning raring to go….and I’m spending three weeks out there with my son…the bigger mancub/young lion ๐Ÿ™‚

But,but,but I’m funding it from my pension lump sum ? And I’ve got bills to pay at home….the mancub needs a home when he comes back from uni…and besides I’m not moving to Mumbai…have to be back here late August to go Creamfields..another story

And to start selling whatever we’ve managed to make/buy in Mumbai/look for another job….

Scary stuff though…..Last time I did this I ended up broke…very broke ..(and.on verge of being homeless….part of me just wants to look for another job now….right now ๐Ÿ™‚ but ….

I’ve worked on this for so long……

See my problem is I’m a ‘ captain and commander’ kind of person…Russell Crowe film in case you’re wondering…one where he decides to accept defeat and run for it…and at the last minute turns back to fight again….storming to victory…

That’s my problem….I’ve never been able to accept defeat … In fact I thrive on the battle…

See I don’t want a business…I don’t want to ‘help people’ ..not at the expense of my own enjoyment anyway…I just want a wildly interesting abundant comfortable enjoyable life…what’s left of it…

In three weeks time I’ll be in Mumbai with one of my sons… Going over Worli Sea Link to explore the markets of Colaba Looking for stock… My granddaughter has had a desisisters business idea for a while, her Daddy’s going to see if he can make it work…

And were going back to Santa Cruz…and Mahim…can’t wait to see the girls again…the #MissionMumbai crew… And we’ll be rocking up to meetings with exporters,makers,business support groups,bloggers,anybody who will talk to us… We’ll be heading to dharavni to meet with business there that we might be able to support…

Not forgetting the 5 days were gonna spend in Goa just taking it easy….and the train journey there…6 hours of the most beautiful scenery in the world….

And another workshop, brainstorming sessions with the ‘girls’ …figuring out clothes patterns for dolls lengha ..trying henna patterns on dolls, putting the website and Patron together…the list goes on..

OR

I could keep my money in the bank ,look for another job now, ……and then what? Maybe get a mortgage…bit late but need some security for a fast approaching old age…and then what….spendmy days wondering if I could have pulledx it off

Pretty much no contest

Hope I’m not boring everybody to death…I swear to God I’ll stop procrastinating soon and get stuff done…. Desisisters website might be an idea….
but first…my daughter shaves her head for charity tomorrow,Annie – BALD

and then work for two days…then me and Mia are spending a few days together… then i have four five days to get stuff done

pray for me ๐Ÿ™‚ booking flights Tuesday…
defo doing this again

money came in…fridge broke ,washer broje


Car broke… Fire broke…..and laptop and dropped My phone smashed it completely…and the WiFi went off…

Decided to completely unplug …With the idea that I would rebalance ,create perfect order in my life..and return to the interwebs refreshed and revitalised full of enthusiasm and optimism …ready to nail the next Mission Mumbai

Guess where that went :))))) 

Despite numerous flea bombs …sprays…and a ridiculous amount of vacuuming they are still here … much reduced in numbers …but picked two off my ankle whilst writing this…may have to stop soon for another round of fumigation flea attack…marvellous Sunday ๐Ÿ™‚

This has also halted sale of cushions we made in Mumbai .. Suspect ‘Buy One Get One Flea’  won’t go down well with the general public

No idea why highlighted jumped in above ..I’m the queen of finding hot keys accidentally ..

Where was I ? Fleas…will sort them shortly

Meanwhile…. Sorted car and washer…and there’s a to-do list somewhere… 

Just sat with my feet up on the table drinking coffee looking at the sunshine outside #sundaymorning and forgetting about my flicky little friends for half an hour ..  

Finish my job in two weeks … Have plenty of money in the bank thanks to early pension release and have cleared a few debts….I’m shattered after big trip across Pennines yesterday for Princess Mia’s birthday…slumped here waiting for caffeine to kick in

And thinking that I really need to be clear what I’m doing for the next few months or I’m going to hit September flat broke

Wouldn’t be the end of the world but not the outcome I’m looking for ๐Ÿ™‚ 

In fact…definitely not an option…by the way…view from where I’m sat right now ..sunnier than it looks I’m rubbish at photos

As I was saying … Job ends, Mumbai soon after. . just downloaded David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done’ .., see if it can help me relax instead of managing my to do list like a ping pong game on acid…and working my way through Kate Northrup’s money love book as that’s the other bugbear… I don’t know .. Me and money never seem to stay in the same universe for long … Whenever I get any there just seem a million emergencies and ….. Cappuccinos.. I’m an expert at reducing large amounts to nothing without spending more than a fiver in any single transaction…. 

Its been a bit mad because we haven’t had any money in for ages…been IKEA, tarted up the house a bit, hit primark and bought, amongst other things, four pairs of shoes that don’t fit me, treated myself to some expensive make up bought my granddaughter a passport ,a birthday party, trip to eurodisney with grandad and helped the kids out … 

The work things getting harder and harder … I’m not best at staying the distance …and having to adult at the same time

With that in mind might be an idea if I started flea wars….and put the ironing board away…get my clothes ready for work next week…buy some food for gods sake! Been frittering on posh fast food and…cappuccinos

and ponder whether I should really be doing this….Mumbai…. Sensible me knows I should be looking for my next job now,big brave me is in hiding and trying to decide if its not just another name for crazy me…. And I know damn welI I’m gonna go…I promised the girls I would come back and I’m dying to see them anyway…

Think I’ll start with a shower , vacuum and flea spray :)))) loverly Sunday …. Not all bad , just remembered have a steak in the fridge and some red wine on the side … Once I get to the other side of flea wars its looking good … Can enjoy and start thinking about just what I’m going out to Mumbai to do

at the end of a week off work, richard branson and half-term


at the end of a week off work that doesn;t even barely resemble what I had planned… my long week spring cleaning, energy renewing, business planning,video making…didn’t happen .. i timed it for grand-daughter half term thinking we could do this stuff together… apart from pulling out all the barbie dolls heading for Mumbai, examining each in depth, all over the living room floor,the rest of the weeks plans left her cold… we ended up with a week of bobbing between me and grandad… barely any cleaning has taken place, washing still needs doing,laptop is flaking badly, my shoulder is doing weird stuff (left side of my head and shoulder going numb…) and its Bank Holiday weekend, and today I’m taking the dogs out, meeting an aunty with Mia and walking the dogs..in the rain ๐Ÿ™‚ Seems no-one told the weather it was Easter and we have a lovely riany spring weekend

leaving work/Mumbai is now only 9-10 weeks away and still no proper prep or plans…although as I recall my plan was to just go there and work in peace but seem to remember I thought that last time and didn’t happen then either

I think I have some sort of ‘plans will never happen’ curse on me…

Its Good Friday here, dropping Mia off to Nana Terry and Linda for the weekend shortly..

did I mention the fleas..in midst of everything else had to flea bomb the house yesterday after realising my daughters cats, although gone(moved out last weekend), had left us some extra pets.. thin the correct term is infestation, the full extent of which wasn’t realised until I spotted around 30 bites on Mias arm back and legs..they’ve been dining on the mancub too apparently..so yeah, flea bombs
and my pension came in..and I spent an evening meeting the mother of my sons’ brother who I didn’t know existed until a few months ago..the ‘father’ in question died 16 years ago in a car crash… its a long story, and all above board, we were very on/off especially towards the end of his life…but still totally weird and ok at the same time…. and then head gone the next day…then pension came in : I’ve just taken an old work pension early ..clear some debts , hopefully leave enough for a house deposit/investment… so head gione rapidly trying to focus… ended up crying watching

The plan was to spend the weekend working on plans for Mumbai but just heard that
big mancub is on his way home for Easter ..

and I’m cooking sausages for a big bank Holiday weekend breakfast when I should be in the car heading out for the dog walk…

and sitting here typing whilst half my head goes even number..

sometimes you just have to give in…

enhoy your easter folks.. x

Just got in from a film premiere…


cotl
Been an interesting night…and a busy week.

Just got back from a film premiere, last minute invite came in yesterday…. following hot on the heels of the Asian Wedding Awards..had to get dressed twice properly in a week, failed miserably the second time..and just how did i miss the free bar …. ?

was a bit rushed, premiere started at 6, and lots of frantic arranging as six of us meeting up… .and not one of us noticed the free bar… I blame Pedro, but thats another story..

Anyway,, call came in yesterday, Desisisters invited to Manchester premiere of Riz Ahmed and Billie Pipers new film… was hoping to meet Riz Ahmed but it was just a private screening rather than a red carpet affair…still, nice to have an invite …

Went last into auditorium, got stuck far too close to screen which made the camera shaking thing , although subtle, a bit difficult to handle close up, I;d make sure you sit to the back..

and it took a little too long to get started, lost of beautiful shots but slow and a little too many artistic shots of lit cigarettes and whisky….one thing I didn;t like about this film, and its quite petty in the general scheme of things….was the constant lighting of cigarettes..I was starting to gag…and I smoke… AND the whisky thing….

But…overall there were lost of things I liked about the film, the pace was a bit uneven, but it got going and it was good to see a guy playing a part that doesn;t fit the strereotypical asian, and the way they had fun with those stereotypes , the young lad, first wannabe gangsta, then jihadi… ish… ,Tommys dad…

no asian music though, anywhere.disappointing..but liked the drum and bass…

and its got just a little more asian flava than it might have meant to, film noire with a happy ending ๐Ÿ™‚ all kabhi khushi khabhi gham ๐Ÿ™‚

It felt more like a TV Drama than a film somehow, worth seeing though, would quite like to watch it again, for the shots of London alone… made me very homesick for London, been such a long time since I lived there, and have hardly been back.

I liked the early bits as well… the characters…

anyway, here’s a trailer….see what you think…

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when you blog just because the place has got wifi ..


or maybe because you’re starving cos you missed the starters and you’re at the Asian Wedding Awards …on your own because you couldn’t make your mind up about going until teatime….too short notice for a friend…

Dithered over outfit and got here late … Missed starters….. 

I can hear knives and forks clinking so the food is obviously on the way out…Penny Appeal are doing their thing and getting sponsors for orphans in Gambia…..and Vanessa’s won an award…or two

Vanessa from the Sheridan suite is an old friend….she fed me a gin and tonic as soon as I got here..that’s not what she got the award for…but its another reason to love her… ๐Ÿ™‚

Alankar are here… Dil,Sagar,Poonam….will do liust later….
Someone just mentioned food followed by after party … Wondering if I’ll make it to work tomorrow…

Sony SAB are in here somewhere….we had a Bhangra thing going on last year….

1SW are here…

I know many of you reading have no idea who they are….just bear with me….I’ll throw a gallery up when I get home…main point really though is these are people who have done their best to support and collaborate with me over the last ten years #DesiSisters… ๐Ÿ™‚ 

I’ve got a whole table to myspf and I actually quite like it….the gin has kicked in and I’m just enjoying the glamour….the award winners are all announced and there’s a great buzz….
So sorry trying to add photos but tablet won’t pay nice ….and there’s Bob Marley playing on sitar..or I think that’s what it is…the instrument not the tune…

Anyway…everything’s gonna be okay…the food is here 

Which Thing First ?


So much to do…really tired..by time I get in from work my arms are tired and don’t feel like typing…and so much other stuff to sort out

Annual return is overdue… Companies House , for Desi Sisters Ltd, and I could get fined for not doing it…and I’m not sure how….

Market Stall Saturday … I should be loading lots of stuff on Facebook, getting an online sales page ready,buying fillers, printing flyers,and generally getting my sh*t together..and the weather forecast is for rain ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Read the rest of this entry