One door closes…and another opens…

As you may have noticed I haven’t posted much this year. This is partly due to a busy season. The other factor is family commitments at home in the UK.

The family situation in England means that Pete and I need to return to the UK earlier than our planned retirement date so that we can give support to our son and our little grandson. We have therefore sold Lakeside. Some of you who have been to Lakeside will know the new owners, our very good friends Arvind and Meena. They plan to continue running Lakeside in the same way as we have always done, so if you were planning a second visit (or have yet to make your first!) Lakeside will still be a beautiful, welcoming place to holiday.

At the moment it still seems a little unreal as we prepare for our return (including getting our dog Perry ready for his new life in England!), but time will pass swiftly and we will soon be back. We will miss Lakeside greatly – its peace and serenity, the great friends we have made, the very different lifestyle – but there are compensations in knowing that we will be able to spend more time with our families back in the UK, and to be closer to our grandson as he grows.

So, a big thank you to everyone who has been a regular reader of this blog and supported our little adventure. Thanks, also, to all our friends in India for the great memories.

Arvind and Meena will be keeping the current excellent staff, but will want to place someone in a managerial role. This may well suit someone who has visited Lakeside before. The type of person required will need IT, managerial and people skills, as well as having an understanding of what the western traveller wants from a visit to India. As Lakeside is a small guesthouse not a large 4* hotel, taking on this role would not make a person rich in terms of financial wealth, but the amazing lifestyle and new experiences can bring riches of a different kind. If you are interested please email me at and I will let you have more details.

We wish Arvind and Meena all the best as they take on their new project, we couldn’t have hoped to place Lakeside in better hands.



A new perspective of Lakeside

First of all, apologies for the length of time since my last post. This is due to a busy season (never a bad thing!) combined with family commitments. I hope the wait has whet your appetite as I have a lovely piece of video for you to enjoy.

This video was shot by one of our guests using a drone – an amazing piece of kit and an amazing piece of video.


Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…

I’ve been trying to reply to a comment on one of my posts but it appears that I have been blocked by the Department of Telecom in Chennai (formerly Madras, capital of Tamil Nadu).

I can’t think what would be considered offensive enough to block from my blog, but of course it may be a mistake.  This post is to see if I can actually make new posts or if that is blocked too!

If you are able to read this that is great but who knows how long my ability to post might last!  Please bear with me as I try to sort out the problem – I’m afraid it could take some time as things move slowly in India!

In the meantime, Happy Christmas to all my friends in the blogging world!


Thanks and apologies

Thank you to Crazy Train To Tinky Town for nominating me for the Lovely Blog Award. This means a great deal to me as I love her blog – it is guaranteed to raise a smile at least, but more often than not have me laughing out loud. This blog is a book/movie in the making so you must check it out.

I now come to the apology. I live in rural India where we have very poor internet connectivity. On a good day I get about 120kps (yes 120 kilobytes!) but it is usually more likely to be 20 or 30 – it can sometimes take me 5 hours to do a post with a few photos in it!. As you can guess, getting to look at other peoples blogs is difficult and time consuming, often timing out before I get there, so I don’t have many blogs I follow. When things improve and I get to see more fantastic blogs I will nominate others for this award.

But to go with the spirit of this wonderful award, here are 7 things about me.

1. I became a Grandma on 21st June 2012 and little Lewis is gorgeous – only he is in the UK and I won’t get to see him ‘till October.

2. I love writing and will be published by the end of the year – even if it is via ebooks and not on paper.

3. If I drink wine it has to be a nice medium dry white – chilled of course!

4. I love mangos – and it’s mango season right now!

5. Fencing is the sport for me – I miss not being able to do it here in India

6. I love it when we have guests as I get to meet so many interesting people.

7. I was born in Cotmanhay in Derbyshire

Lakeside in the news

Since coming to live in Tamil Nadu Pete and I have worked hard to improve the accommodation and facilities at Lakeside. Our hard work has meant that we have not done as much exploring of this beautiful and fascinating country as we would like, but it has paid off by providing a great place for other travellers to stay. We are always happy to meet new guests and spend time with them, learning about their lives and telling them a little about what it is like to live here in India.

Our hard work has also been recognised by others. The prestigious Indian newspaper, the Hindu, wrote an article about us two years after we arrived here, and now the Swindon Advertiser has also written a feature about us.  I hope you enjoy reading them!

Versatile Blogger Award – Thank you

I have recently been nominated for the Versatile Blogger award for the second time.  Many thanks Roopaushree, I really do appreciate the fact that people like what I do!

To fulfil the requirements of the award let me first tell you 7 things about myself:

  1. I love mangoes so it’s great to have my own tree!
  2. I do not like Marmite!
  3. My best friend is my husband.
  4. I enjoy observing wildlife.
  5. Give me a good book and I’m happy.
  6. I am researching my family history – and I find it fascinating.
  7. I love writing and will be setting up my own website soon.

I would like to nominate the following sites for the Versitile Blogger Award.  Some of the blogs I like because they are so informative, some I like for their view of life, others for their great photography, and others because they take me to parts of the world I’ve never seen before!  Thank you all for adding variety and spice to my internet life!

India Travel Blog

Serenity Spell

Smaked Pentax

Dames of Dialogue

501 Places

Magic aperture

Velvet Escape

Fish for breakfast

Guests at Lakeside enjoy their breakfast on the veranda of the main building.  As they eat they are able to watch some of the local bird life who come to feed.  There are usually a number of peacocks (who are fed by us); guests can also occasionally see a local kingfisher who likes to take his breakfast from our pond.  The clay pot makes a very good vantage point!

This dove also enjoys breakfast on the verandah steps.

Watching the birds feeding is a great way to start the day!


Versatile Blogger Award – Thank you!

I’ve only been blogging for a short time so I am utterly thrilled to have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award. It is quite humbling to know that your thoughts/pictures are appreciated by others. Thank you dml Books for the nomination. I must admit – I like your work too!

In my short blogging life I have seen some incredibly photos and read some thoughtful and thought provoking posts. Thanks to everyone who has opened my mind to this new dimension of sharing with people around the world. It is highly unlikely that I will ever get to meet most of you in the flesh, but I will be able to consider you all as new ‘friends of the ether’. Please do send me a message if there is something about life in India that you would like me to write about and I will try to oblige!

So, to live up to the terms of the Versatile Blogger Award here goes: Seven things about myself

1. I trained as a teacher of religion and history and spent most of my working life teaching secondary school kids in England until I moved to India in 2008

2. I’ve lived in India for three years and still can’t get over the depth of spirituality which seems to permeate this country

3. But…living in India I miss the opportunity of live theatre which I loved in England

4. I have very eclectic tastes in music. Right now I’m listening to the sound track of ‘Band of Brothers’ and loving it

5. I love singing and have been part of a number of great choirs since my early teens

6. The one sport I’m passionate about is fencing – chess with exercise!

7. I love taking photos and would class myself as a ‘quite good amateur’!

Some of the blogs I’ve enjoyed recently are also worthy of this award so I would like to nominate the following:

1. doudoubirds

2. photobotos

3. gerryfrederickdigital

4. maryannepale

5. googsy

6. chris campell photography

7. aisling jennings photography

8. slaven photography

9. painted stork

10. ian whittaker

11. breathe, dream, go

12. Project 365 by Kenneth Todd

13. wild ventures

14. where do you want to go birding

15. trip base India blog

Aquinas – or Karma?

Just a little about myself –

Every day I look around me and see the beauty of nature. My home, Lakeside, nestles at the foot of the western ghats (a chain of mountains in southern India), overlooks a lake and is backed by Reserve Forest – it is also miles from the noisy traffic which is usually associated with India! So, how did I come to live in such a secluded paradise as Lakeside which is so off the beaten track?

Saint Thomas Aquinas would have said that everything is caused by something which preceded it. If that is the case then my being here is linked to an event back in 1974 (and, of course, the causes which led to that event can be traced even further back!)

I was still a teenager at school when a man called Joe Homan came to tell us about the ‘Boys Towns’ he had set up in India to help educate homeless children. So inspiring was he that I began to support the charity as soon as I could, and encouraged the school where I taught to sponsor boys too. Joe would come to the school every year to talk to our English students; on each visit he also invited me to visit him and the projects in India. So in 2007 Pete and I ventured to Tamil Nadu and stayed at the guesthouse which Joe had built. He is getting on in years now and said he wanted to sell. Pete and I are not the sort of people who make quick decisions so it was a surprise to us both that we had agreed by the end of that day to buy Lakeside if at all possible!

What followed that decision is a long story, and I’ll write more of that later, but suffice to say November 2008 saw us the proud owners of 7.5 acres of paradise in southern India. Aquinas’ theory that everything has a cause is correct – look where it brought me. Yet, now that I am in India, perhaps I should look at the philosophies here to try to understand how I have come to be so lucky. If so I must believe that I was a very good person in a former life to allow me to have the life I have now. Living at Lakeside – that’s my Karma!