hello…this is me…..

been a busy little bee….

lots of interest on Facebook in my new profile pic…which I hate :0 Its a nice photo just still haven’t caught up with my actual age..can;t believe I;m now 100% white haired..I mean..just when did THAT happen…and the baggy face…smile is good though, as always 🙂 If i’ve done this right you should be able to see the featured image ..

Everybody thinks they’ll be fine with getting older, but when its you, it really takes some getting used to…one of these days I’ll write more on the subject ..but right now I’m late for work. had to tax my car before I could leave the house..long standing, usual, direct debits bounced all over the place last month…its the ‘go-faster’ thing, as soon as stuff starts happening I start falling apart 🙂 not the most useful trait for a wannabe entrepreneur…


Anyway….below is a pic taken circa 2005 , just on way out or back in from Bhangra Night :0 MISS that dark hair..





Drive,drive,drive……clean,wash,shop…planning Mission Mumbai: episode 2, our nextv step on the entrepreneurial journey…whilst also talking to lavonne \ellis about her memoirs, coaxing her into sharing her story with us…

and..Roys Shirt is still in Mumbai, ….

and my hair’s dirty and I’m sat here doing that battle between getting enough sleep, and getting something done… find myself wondering what Katniss would do… seriously…

life feels a bit like The Hunger Games again…

crawling through my to-do list so slowly

oh…and told work that I will be leaving at he end of may which has pitched me into pretty much blind panic…but I really don’t think I could keep on getting up getting dressed and getting out every morning….I’m starting to crack , its only a matter of time before the real me emerges and disaster ensues 🙂 I feel a bit like I’ve been taking poly-potion to blend in at work but its start to wear off, and the real me is much more Mad Eye Moody than Hermione…people there are nice…good people, but a bit on the quiet side for full scale Jen….its like working with Tigger on speed …. 🙂

it also means I’ll be freer to blog, and I can focus 100% on desiSisters and Mission Mumbai for a couple of months, go back out to Mumbai and set everything up properly…

I’m taking my pension early and drawing down a quarter, will use to clear debts and some left over for possible house deposit in the future, the rest will give me a small income , not enough to live on but enough to stop me starving…and I can set desisisters up properly…

and I will get another job when I come back if I need to…one good thing to come out of going back to IT is that I remembered how much I enjoy coding…

anyway… think I;ve decided that Katniss would go bed because her back is killing her and parts of her neck muscle are going numb 🙂


I have to work on desiSisters website, will give you all a shout when its done..


love an peace


jen xxx




lessons learnt from The Hunger Games and other things

All last week, and week before I’ve been thinking up this fancy post about The Hunger Games… tips for survival from Katniss Everdean.. combined with a rundown of how I might fare as a tribute…. given the ‘Arena’ has neither Costa nor Aldi think there’d be serious words between me and the capitol peeps before I even stepped in there..

.. I was having a bit of a rough week at work… and needed something useful..to inspire em so went for  a bit of katniss…


And there are things in the book that don’t come over in the film..stunning things….like..she slept! , our Katniss… once she got in there, with 23 (?) people out to murder her, she found some water, crawled up a tree, tied herself in…and slept :))

Lesson Number One : EVEN if you’re life is on the line… SLEEP

Food and drink …Noticed rations, and weapons, were at the forefront of concerns for all Tributes… Katniss sorted hers first…

.I’d be frantically looking for Costa and any plant that looked vaguely smokable. .nut

Lesson Number TWO : Sort out your own fuel.. food, water..

and then there’s staying true to yourself, not allowing the games/life to dehumanise you (Rue and the flowers) ,

and not being afraid to lose your temper…. 🙂 can;t think why i love thatr ule so much..

then i got bored with the lessons and started thinking about how i might fare in the Hunger Games…


Things that might work in my favour.. 

I’m clumsy ..very clumsy ..there’s a good chance I could kill half the tributes by accident, particularly if i was being helpful…

then there’s the brain thing… I don’t know what it is about me but I can turn peoples brains to mush just by talking… I think I’m making sense but the eyes glaze over and they pass out..could be worth a try…I could try explaining SEO and see who was still alive when I’d finished?

I’m psychotic without coffee and cigarettes.. could quite possibly be the shortest game ever as I realise that fastest path to both of the above would be to murder everyone else in the arena..

It was a good read and joking apart, the pacing myself, sleep and food are all things I thought you were supposed to ignore to succeed but experience has taught me that when I don;t do those things I get to within yards of a spectacular finish, then collapse with exhaustion  see Mission Mumbai, where I started well, but after 3 weeks of barely any sleep…’ excited kid’ syndrome, came back to UK with stock, collapsed with bugs/exhaustion and now still have 100+ cushions to sell.. not ordinary cushions..motivation, inspirational cushions..long story but definitely coming next


and The hunger games stuff… the war I want to win.. Desification of the nation.. restiring the ability to take life lightly everywhere..again..next chapter









i need to learn to read letters properly!

Think my last post was pretty clear about the full extent of my money woes…and its not got any better.. in fact this is pretty much a panic post :)))))))))))))))))

I’ve been so busy reading a book about how to sort my money problems… I actually missed a huge one

usual post-christmas brokeness…was just hanging on till payday …which is now just four days away…

and surprise surprise ! clearing paperwork off the table , glanced at letter from the company I work for re: sick pay and realised I was on half pay for the last two weeks of sickness…ohmerrrrrrrrrrrgod!!

I remember getting the letter but something about the date obviously didn’t click.. I read it as mid-feb not mid JAN !! eeeeeeeeeeeek doesn’t quite describe it

have been frantically rejigging my spreadsheet trying to figure out how this is going to work

meanwhile, back in Mumbai I have a group of women waiting for phase two of Desisisters Mission Mumbai and I am still sharing my bedroom with 150 cushions that really should have been sold by now but I haven’t even done the sales page because I’ve been too busy worrying about money..


oh..I’m also ‘dieting’ … just to add to my difficulties I now have to navigate free foods, healthy extras and syns … slimming world….after years of hating slimming clubs have finally given in , in the hope that I can shift two stone and get my bhangra bod back before I hit 57 .. like I said, I am eternally optimistic

Nothing else for it but a few chapters of The Hunger Games before bed… give me courage to come up with the ‘jenvsDebt’ gameplan

and .. straighten my head so I can get Mumbai up and moving again…

apologies for possibly the dullest post ever.. but seriously 25% of my pay will be missing on friday…  think my next post may have to be instructional, 101 ways to get into debt without trying, or alternative;y, how to spend £60,000 on a few cappuccinos and a bag of weed .. 🙂


talk soon






Think the beasties nicked my oomph

Seriously …beasties gone, my little intrapersonal pets..kinda miss listening to them charging around my small intestine, although not the mind blowing toilet visits..but yeah, they’re gone and i’m a bit lost

AND I did my back in at the weekend, sort of going after a pan at the back of a kitchen cupboard from a really weird angle.a sort of sideways twist half bent worthy of a circus du soleil performance, ..

its an art form/skill known only to myself, the art of perpetual injury .. crashed my car a little bit as well.. pulled out of a lane of traffic whilst close to car in front, as it happens , a little too close, and scratched the guys bumper. he wants proper job done so off to insurance company and loss of no claims..plus I managed to pick up two parking tickets in last month and forgot to pay within 14 day deadline BUT  it was Christmas. Have sent them pictures of my giardia and sick notes begging for  chance to pay early-bird reduced fine., and in one instance arguing that i wasn’t actually in the bus lane… and it was right at the very end of that bus lane anyway ! fingers crossed…


but yeah, no oomph… back to work in five days, imagined being serenely on top of all things in my life by now and still ‘facing my debts’, which generally involves, coffee, cigarettes, a lot of angst and several painful phone calls/emails

I had hoped for an easy solution but my first option (drawing down my pension) is potentially disastrous and could result in a ‘no pension’ situation, bankruptcy makes me cringe, so affiliates here I come which means at some point I have to move this blog onto proper hosting so that i can add some lists of things i like with links to purchase (sidebar) on the off-chance that someone will click through , buy stuff and thereby generate an affiliate fee which will go towards said debts.. to the tune of £40,000 .

Worth a shot 🙂

and desisisters website is still, not ..done.. the bad back didn’t help, and refused to let myself do anything until I had faced every last nasty letter…

Its 1;18am here.. that’s another thing.. being at home all day, living with a daughter on night shifts has shifted my timetable.  Suspect will be awake until 3am when she rolls in… throwing a spanner in any plans to get stuff done tomorrow.

and I have sooooooooooooo much to do… sat in wet cold Manchester its hard to believe Mumbai exists, never mind that I’ve just got back from there and have a whole wold changing project half developed..

next job…back to Mumbai..virtually if not physically… high time I did the girls justice… introduced the  DesiSisters Mumbai… and got those 170 cushions i am currently sharing my bedroom with, online…



They’ve gone..the pets….

Pets have gone, treat you to full story another time…family xmas led to a solid start to 2017… but felt like Rip Van Winkle but finally, finally growing up enough to realise that some things take TIME…. not everything can be done in 5 minutes

Been signed off work for another two weeks because symptoms were taking a while to die down,,and I had to see a consultant at the hospital so to make sure I didn’t return to work in a condition where I might be able to pass on my critters to my colleagues, and potentially shut down the national rail network, it was thought best if I stayed away from work till absolutely certain i was clear

To be fair I have been far more ill than I gave myself credit for at the time. I have been soooooooooooooooo ill, in a way that left me perfectly wasted… best Christmas i have ever had because the kids HAD TO get stuck in… or do without dinner, decorations, food…

so ill that i thoroughly enjoyed being a complete vegetable on the couch for the best part of six weeks….drifting in and out of sleep…the nights were hell… my little tummy pets thought it best to wait till i was fast asleep before releasing the results of all their hard work….and i’d spend all night rushing back to the loo.

so grateful for a daughter on night shifts who would change my bedding when she got i from work at whatever ungodly hour that might be,  help me find my pj’s and generally make nice noises in my direction..

and her poor girlfriend who’s first weeks of living with me involved having to brush her teeth in the bedroom and run over the road to use the loo at the Doctors .. nice intro 🙂

big shout out to Charlotte…shes a lot friendlier now the symptoms have died down 🙂

So yeah, its really knocked me sideways, although I think a large part of that was the level of exhaustion I had at the same time… 2016 was pretty wild… in January I failed the PGCE,(Teacher Training ) adding £5000 to my debts, £5000 on my credit cards (expected to clear with bursary),thereby ending what I thought was my last hope of a decent job and no means of income… I had to declare myself self-employed as I was , I thought, about to launch a swift Indiegogo campaign to get myself out to Mumbai…which as it happens would have been impossible, but just at that moment I was asked to apply for a job, an IT /Oracle job, which I got… and all of a sudden I was back in the real world, with a proper job, and real money..I could actually pay bills again, and buy cappuccinos, and even have a takeaway without the world coming to an end….I even managed to buy some new clothes..

and I managed to buy a flight to Mumbai, get out there and take a real shot at developing the idea that myself and Vaseem had been talking about for the last year.. setting up a business that would train and employ women from the slums,

I was knackered when I got there to be honest…family stuff, work and trying to plan and fundraise…  the three weeks was crazy and I barely slept… part jet lag part managing the two different timezones, at office all day, doing social media updates chatting with UK.USA all night..rinse and repeat, oh with the odd motorbike road in the sunset here and there, and coffee with the delectable @ekcuttingchai ships captain and rather lush :i have tol say there is an abundance of incredibly charming handsome men in Mumbai 🙂 from market stall holders, to ships captains, to Mr India himself, TV Soap star, Mr Kawaljit Anand Singh.and my Airbnb host..0h and the mosquito crisis…had soooooooooooo many bites couldn’t sleep again… didn’t sleep night before video interview so scared..I hate being filmed/interviewed, far too self-conscious, complete with total haggard look going on, haggard meets bedraggled.. made Nanny McPhee look like Kim Kardashian..

The only reason I look human on there.. is because Vaseem kindly provided me with a make up artist , (I owe you Kushi :).. before filming

So… by the time I got home i was absolutely floored.. and then ignored symptoms for weeks, thought it was jet lag, and then delay in treatment (allergy to usual remedy had to seek specialist help meant those little desi parasites were having a field day…

Pure exhaustion took over… needed the rest … used the time to start sorting all the details of my life… finally took a good look at the debts I’ve accumulated during my Bhangra Fever Life detour of the last ten year. .. something around the £60,000 mark in all.

my options are bankruptcy, which will/could screw business development of desisisters

, drawdown 25% of my pension, which is looking like a favourable option at the moment, although involves removing rest of funds to another provider./annuity which could be a very dumb move. My current pension is from Kelloggs, index linked, reasonable income.need to think carefully

my final option is to repay those debts, by generating extra income using affiliates on my own website, which I will be open and clear about but will review books, films , and all my favourite things and if that works, anything it generates can go towards my debt.< this plan is called Jenvsdebt, for future reference

There a re a coupe of e-books I’d like to do, that I could publish on Amazon

Both possibly worth a shot before I touch my pension , although as always the issue of time /workload with other projects vs debt free now. #jenvsdebt

So that’s the money side of things.. and then there’s desiSisters /MissionMumbai.

the workshop in Mumbai was hailed a success, although we still have stock to sell. Missed a lot of sales for Christmas through being ill but will sort. Plus 170 cushion fillers in wrong size to dispose of. (If you can use 1670 cushion fillers 12×12..holla

So, yeah, Desisisters… had time to think of what needs to happen next and noticed, this time as always, the website got shoved on the back burner , losing the opportunity to really share what we do, showcase who we are..also making it very difficult for people I met in Mumbai, new people, to understand that desisisters is very, very different..##Anyway…

thats where I am right now, after fourteen years of Desi obession…started round about this time of year , 2004, with a young , rather funny indian guy… more about that another time..but FOURTEEN years.. and i still haven’t done the f**ing website 🙂

I;m offski… will post link when  website is live##

The video where I am half dead and can barely remember what I am saying…



p.s. there’s also Roy Mintys shirt which is still in Mumbai, at Mr Indias flat and Lavonne Ellis book… which needs to be out there…

p.p..s i almost forgot, there;s still #Team10B , a project which has sort of grown out of the PGCE and some work I did around engaging young working class white boys, currently failing in the system in large numbers and therefore latest hot topic.

p.p.p.s about that plethora of attractive young men…gallery below, leave you with a little eye candy


well hellooo Mr India 🙂 my ever=so congenial Mr Kawaljit Anand Singh…and his lodger, who is also, quite cute )


and then there’s Raj 🙂 my ever so attentive ,absolutely hilarious Rajasthani friend…also absolute pain in the *** but hey, wouldn’t have been the same without him :0…

Picture of ships captain on Whatsapp, you’ll just have to go check Twitter 🙂




…. meet my little Mumbai friend..that doesn’t like sprouts

Up there…featured image..its name is giardia and its currently living in my stomach…probably en famille…. we’ve been sharing my intestines for the best part of the last 4-6 weeks.. Thought it was taking me a long time to get over jet lag.

Its been a bit gruesome, I’ll spare you the details ..totally floored though, a wimpering wreck for most of the last month, acapable of nothing more than lying on settee (in between dashes to the loo) watching hour after hour of ‘Say yes To the dress; and the entire repertoire of Chrsitmas 24 channel..

On the plus side  I’ve lost over half a stone ,finally have a treatment in my hands and a new found respect for anti bacterial hand wash

thing is…. all symptoms subsided once I ate a few sprouts in my miniature Christmas dinner ..miniature due to inability to eat ANYTHING which changed within 24 hours

. I tried to share this startling info at the hospital this morning but they didn’t seem to think I’d stumbled on a scientific revelation…so I came home and took the antibiotics anyway .. like you do..a little concerned that one side effect of the drugs was listed as ‘spontaneous bone fracture’ ….

MissionMumbai and tales of my trip not done yet…just paused whilst i lost conscious repeatedly … but to be resumed in a week or so, updates will be posted 🙂

Things I have found about Giardia

It likes Choc Orange MacFlurry

Tumeric (in milk) calms it down

It is reduced/removed by quantites of sprouts and /or coca cola..possibly in combination as had both Christmas day

It saves you a fortune Christmas shopping

It creates an incredible tolerance for crappy tv, on the plus side I could now work as a bridal consultant..


started with me driving up M62 (wearing a nappy , … didn’t need it thank god but taking NO chances on any sudden acrobatics from my little tummy pets) )  on a rescue misson . Son and family  slept through  knock at door/ lift home arranged for them…

then the day got amazingly better,until well after midnight …. then got a lot worse


but had a feeling when drinking games started at 2am that it might not be a good idea

(‘kids’ aged 20,30 and 32  them drinking not me.I was still barely alive  .. )…

and … as expected had a few issues around 5am..

Middle son decided his sisters honour was at stake….it wasn’t … completely mistaken but wasn’t to be convinced otherwise …tried  to fight everybody ….. treated me to a full catalogue of all my shortcomings as a mother…everyone was a ‘ho’ .:)…took great offence at the Christmas Wreath on the front door..not quite sure what particular problem he had with the wreath but that bit the dust too…very very funny in retrospect not so great at the time..but hey thats Christmas) and technically Boxing Day by then..so really Christmas Day was pretty much perfect 🙂

.all drinking games now banned in this house ..forever!



I have somebody trying to have a serious business conversation with me about Mumbai, which I’ll explain once my pretty little parasites have gone and I can function again


love from me and my new parasite family :))






Random Flashback : the night of the crazy fan.. #Mumbai

I remember this night…think all went quiet after I did the video…for about 30minutes, before the beeping started again…staggered through my meeting..others got cancelled and i came back from Colaba to Bandra on the back of a motorbike…burnt the top of my head, saw the Taj Hotel and the gateway to India…

been back two weeks…been ill..shattered…and tons still to do…so just stepping back a little..



first week back…..

Its been nuts….lots of whatsapps going on between me and Mumbai…more cushions on their way…

Dolls all sold…before I even got the sales page done…

Managing a 45f temperature drop…. Feeling delicate and full of a cold…

Flaked Friday…drove to Bradford Saturday to pick up cushion fillers .. Feeling very pleased with myself till I saw them… 170… All the wrong size .. I thought our cushions were 12*12 … Apparently not…they’re 15*15 … So car outside packed to the roof with mini cushions… That will have to become #MissionMumbai project 2…

Glad to be back in my own bed… And 9 days after getting home have finally found moisturiser, underwear and toothbrush…spent asll last week desperately hunting down clean clothes for work…although by Friday had to concede defeat and called in sick…jet lag\flu

Realised too that khaanibear is nowhere to be found 😦 gutted is an understatement … I put him in my hand luggage for the express purpose of making sure he didn’t go astray… 

Pondering oin calling Mumbai Airport… See if they’ve found a little bear in a salwar kameez .. Here he is having a shot at drifting… In a stationery car

i’m back….but not for long

Sat on my sofa in Manchester UK ,landed a little over 48 hours ago….and missing Mumbai…

Realised that people don’t complain in Mumbai … Ever….maybe for a moment but literally just that..and heard so much complaining since I got back…

and looking at a ton of stuff that needs doing… Cushions need fillers,packaging,inserts,labels…selling, still need to put desisisters website live … 

Not moaning…honest 😉 just doing my best to go with the flow and do what I can..

Back to work tomorrow… Out tomorrow night….and gym

On a completely utterly shallow note…mortified in Mumbai by huge unavoidable full length mirror in hotel room combined with wall to wall mirrors in studio/workshop space that left me in no doubt about the extent to which I have let myself go since 2010…since my love affair with the Interwebs began…so yeah, gym…

Fell in love with so many people in Mumbai…. I stayed in Santa Cruz , near a busy road, a main artery of the city…its slightly trendy but still got a home feel to it…. 

my little friend on the market in Santa Cruz , shame he stiffened up so much for the photo… He’s usually relaxed and laughing… Him and his friend on the bra stall had me in stitches, first day there desperately trying to sell me a not very attractive Anarkali that made me look like a lampshade 

The guys at the local coffee shop, Barista, on S.V.Road,Santa Cruz..open early till late .. 1am..used to call in for cappuccino late at night after office work was done and I needed to unwind…would sit outside watching the world go by, making notes and drinking coffee….

I tried to get a whole day in there once claiming I couldn’t get to office as lack of rupees but they thwarted my plasn, sent an uber for me 🙂 was needed in a meeting…

Ariadhna….and all the girls in the workshop…and see what I mean about needing some serious TLC… Looking tatty…. 

Ariadhna and Khushboo making a little promotional photo for their doll for Facebook….and it sold…

These are just a few of the photos I have…over last three weeks have managed tyo have pucxs,videos on three dfufferent devices, will sort and share as I go…

And … Came home to little Miss Mia, very excited about Mumbai…who left me this lovely message on the fridge which I copied into the blog by mistake..couldn’t delete , so leaving here anyway