Posts Tagged ‘India’

bazaarimagefThis summer you don’t have to travel to India to do your shopping ! We are very excited to be welcoming Jo Hall and her team to our Sussex Prairie Garden  for a very special Indian Summer over four days     26th – 29th August     10am-5pm .

bazaarimage4From the wilds of colourful Rajasthan and the many corners of India ,Jo has sourced an incredible array of treasures for your delight and wonder.

bazaarimageaThis will be an event in Marquees in Sussex Prairie Garden.Gorgeous clothes in cottons and vintage sari silk,semi precious designer jewellery,scarves,home furnishings and gifts – all ethically traded from India.Christmas shopping (dare I say it ) can start early this year !

bazaarimage5And not only will we have a feast for the eye but also a feast for the mouth too as Alex’s curry “Dhaba” will be serving delicious authentic curries from 12 noon over the course of the four days.So you can get a real taste of India in all senses of the word.
bazaarimagebJo Hall will be giving a talk on textiles and Nepal and there will be woodblock printing for kids and adults !
Timings for the talks are as follows,

Sunday 28th Aug, 11am
Clothing in traditional and modern Rajasthan,
exploring identity, women, caste and culture.
Monday 29th Aug, 11am
“Mud, Mirror and Stitch”
A look at some of the traditional textile making processes in India.

Both talks will also include insights into the ongoing situation in Nepal since the earthquake, and the campaign Jo has been running to raise awareness for those who have lost their homes.
http://www.facebook.com/bazaarfairtrade    and http://www.sussexprairies.co.uk

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Finding yourself under a pong pong or suicide tree you could be forgiven for feeling a tad melancholy.

Cerbera odollam is a species of tree native to India and other parts of Southern Asia. It prefers to grow in coastal salt swamps and marshy areas. It grows wild along the coast in many parts of Kerala , India too and is often used as a useful ,if sinister, hedge . Grimly, what it does do is yield a potent poison which is often used for suicide or even – murder !

The bobbly fruits are used for manufacturing bioinsecticides and deoderants.When they are dried out the seeds are wonderfully textured and gnarly  .

Look what I have been collecting to bring home with us !

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Once upon a time  in Febuary, I bought two strange folding story boxes from the toy making capitalof the world Bassi in Rajasthan. We are not talking high tech carpentery conglomerate here. More like one man and his adze. The cricket bat washing things (you know the ones they pound the washing to bits with on the ghats. Intensive cycle) were very much in evidence and obviously a big seller but these storybook boxes were also there and Lottie and I succumbed and I bought two. One a School box alphabet and another a rather more antique (I use the word antique advisedly because I am sure if  I was lucky it had been made a week ago at best) looking one telling the story of the folkloric Ramayana.

Back at home now they sit proudly on the bedroom windowsill with its fellows (dont ask , especially not Paul, I do have others bought on a previous foray into india). Yesterday though I note that a small and strange pile of dust has been excavated  by some  creature obviously living in the box and boring its way purposefully through the core of the wood. Worrying. Hope it doesn’t move on to our roof timbers !

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its cold in the morning, at dawn that is, as another spectacular rosy dawn breaks over the lake , a real paintbox of all the pinks a girl could ever want.But talking about heat and dust, it IS cold in the morning and evening but during the day roasts up to a heady heat .. sure it is hot enough to roast a chicken. We haven’t been long enough in India to dream of steak yet (this will come) but if I ever see another masala omelette I could die and I sense the imminent crash and burn of my digestive system.

Bird watching and how your heart soars: I realise I have become embroiled in the cut throat world of the avid bird watcher as Lottie and Paul vie to spot the lilac breasted roller and glossy sunbird at fifty paces. Hampered by some pre world war one binoculars which weigh an absolute ton I am at a severe disadvantage as the two fanatics dart and dot about oohing and ahhing. We do see some specatcular kingfishers though and kites,owls,buzzards and bee eaters are two a penny. Chris and I are more sanguine , it is six  oclock in the morning after all. We are at Birdy Lake up in the hills outside Udaipur city.. and we are alone up there apart from the ladies working on road repairs, ladies visiting the wells filling up vats of water and ladies carrying monster stick bundles… a ladies lot is not a happy one.

The medicinal benefits of masala chai : I feel a lot better after we have survived a buttock clenching drive up sheer rockfaces and village tracks as we get into the high hills. Weirdly ,there is a new hotel there (dont ask the name..; New Colony ? )its not open yet, but they very kindly made us some tasty chai (think of really strong tea, cooked up with a dsah of condensed milk and spiced up with masala )and the tented bedroom chalets look over a specatacular views, although I am not sure about the barbed wire room number signs. Imagine stumbling against that after one too many…

mental note :garden arch idea: well they also had a pretty neat garden archway walk with specatacular  climbers over it.. imagine the most gaudy colours and vibrant oozingly zingy shades and in that indian light it just looks amazing… plus it could be a good idea for creating a shady walkway in the Disha garden.

Shade and water: crucial, and in essence the bottom line of the garden in India .These are themes which we will have to retun to I can see that. I guess there will be wars over water and who has it at some point.Hopefully not at Disha !

Cows,tuk tuks and Motorbikes: since we were last in Udaipur, cant remember when it was, there seems to have been a substantial increase in all things bovine (the animals and their inevitable poo) honestly wearing flip flops is a definite no no in that city unless you have the fancy footwork of a prima ballerina and can avoid that squelching doomladen footstep (paricularly in the dark) I am amazed that that poo doesnt glow in the dark the amount of rubbish that is consumed by the beasts. plastic bag, discarded packaging , clothing , other undescribable horrors YUM ! and motorbiikes ! no sooner have you entered a seemingly impassable passageway then there is a motorbike up your bottom beeping to get past in both directions. A possible sign of boom times ? that economic miracle driving right over me.Tuk tuks are another issue altogther, but i want one for sussex ! henfield high street wouldnt be the same again.

Monsoon Palace: big beautiful and a sunset dream. Watching hawks and hawkers and hawking.Another perfect day and its all pink again.

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