Phase One Almost Complete!

We’ve been at my parent’s farm for just over two months.  It’s been an “experience”!!  I would not be exaggerating if I said it feels like we’ve been here a year.

I’ve had two main goals while I’ve been here and unfortunately I’ve failed terribly at one and haven’t got quite as far as I wanted in the other.

Goal one was to get fit…since the TransRockies I’ve gained a few pounds and I had hoped that with the healthier eating and plenty of exercise that I would lose that weight.  Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case – I actually found it easier staying healthy while I was working because then I had a routine.  Some time ago I wrote a blog posting about the worst thing for training and general wellbeing – inconsistency.  Inconsistency has been the bane of my life (as far as being healthy is concerned) since being made redundant (just before xmas).  When we first got here the weight was slowly coming off, though not as fast as I would have liked (because it is just way too hot to get long runs in – the maximum you can do here is 5km – and for fat-loss that is just inadequate), but I have regained some weight in Chandigarh and Goa.  Also, the food here isn’t as healthy as one would hope – most of the time it’s healthy but my mother has a tendency of making parathas, which are pretty unhealthy, but also too delicious to turn down (yes I take full responsibility for my lack of willpower).  I’ve lost some weight since being here – but it’s insignificant, at least I have stopped gaining weight.

Early Morning Run

Early Morning Run

It’s funny, my brother Jag arrived a week ago, from the UK.  On the way here in the car, while he was sweating buckets, he said “It’s great, I’m burning so many calories.”  If only it was that simple….sweating doesn’t mean you’re burning extra calories.  Sure the heart rate might be ever so slightly elevated in really hot weather but that’s about it.  If burning calories was as simple as sitting in a very hot place then saunas would be the key to sheding the pounds – sadly it isn’t!

The second goal; a  lifelong goal to write a book (which has been rolling around in my mind for the past fifteen years) hasn’t been a total failure.  It’s just that my target was to finish the book before our return to the UK.  I’m on chapter eleven, out of twenty.  The book’s turning out to be bigger than I anticipated – which is probably a good thing – instead of my original estimate of 400 pages I think it will be about 500 pages.  I was actually making good progress, doing about two chapters a week but, again, inconsistency (interruptions from my father, brother and travelling to Chandigarh and Goa) has got the better of me.  I’ve uploaded the prologue and the first three chapters onto HarperCollins’ website.

http://www.authonomy.com/ViewBook.aspx?bookid=9306

If you fancy reading it then please do – if you like it then back it.  If enough people back it then the editors at HarperCollins will look at it.  That would be a big step in getting it published.

My brother, Jag, leaves today.  He’s a “little” strange but his company has been a refreshing change.  It’s funny how people’s expectations can be so different based on what they know or have experienced.  Jag mentioned to one of his American colleagues that he was going to spend a week at his parent’s farm in India…she replied “I love horse riding!”  Horse riding is definitely not on the cards around here – it’s as far removed from an American style ranch as one could expect.

It’s difficult to describe India – you really have to experience it.  But for those of you who have more sense than time, hence aren’t likely to come see it for yourself, here’s a collection of pictures to show you what you’re missing:

Dustproof Riding!

I dont even know where to begin describing this one!!!

Safety In Numbers!

Safety In Numbers!

Did Someone Say Horseriding?

Did Someone Say 'Horseriding'?

Luxury Travel

Luxury Travel

India looks nicer on photos – trust me!  To fully appreciate these photos you need to throw a bucket of sand on yourself, while sitting in a fan assisted oven (gas mark 9 for 2 hours should do it)….oh and don’t forget to have a backing sound track of animals, traffic, people and horns!
There is, however, also a tranquil and beautiful side to India:
Sunworship!

Sunworship!

Kamal (Our Farmhand) Off To Fetch Milk

Kamal (Our Farmhand) Off To Fetch Milk

Morning Rush - The Binman!

Morning Rush - The Binman!

See The Wood From The Trees

See The Wood From The Trees

One thing I don’t think I have mentioned – because I don’t want all the drug cartels setting up shop around here – is that Weed (capital W is intentional) grows wild around here.  It is after all a weed, so it had to grow wild somewhere, didn’t it.  Often you see uncultivated fields with loads of the stuff growing in them.  The farmers eventually clear the weed and burn it (!) and plant crops, but it remains growing by the side of fields all over this region.

Bloody Weeds!

Bloody Weeds!

To be honest I’m surprised my brother, Jag, hasn’t just set-up camp in the middle of one of these fields and smoked himself to oblivion….he’s that way inclined!

I finally managed to spend a bit of time star-gazing the other day (another one of my ‘hobbies’).  The night sky is not as dark as it once used to be, but still it’s far better than what we get in London.  I was, however, hoping for a power cut so that the surrounding villages would go dark.  We’ve had a lot of power cuts lately, but unfortunately none came when I needed it.
The Milkyway

The Milkyway

Looking ahead, we are off to Ladakh on Friday.  Yippeeee!!  I’m really not sure what to expect – we’ve been let down by our other expectations thus far, hence we try not to build our hopes up too much.  Even so – the mountains should be awesome.  We’re going to be there for about one month – we’re aiming to get lots of trekking in…that should help me shift some weight.  The thing I look forward to most – and I hope it happens – is interaction with other westerners.  We are craving ‘western’ conversation – the limited interaction we’ve had with Indians has not been anywhere near as stimulating as we’re used to.

We’re not sure whether we’ll have internet in Leh but we’re taking Jo’s mini-laptop (so that I can continue working on my book) and a mobile data card, so hopefully we’ll still be in touch and able to post some pictures on the blog….so watch this space.

Once we get back from Ladakh we’ve got one more week at my parent’s farm and then we’re back to the UK for one whole month…..so put the beer on ice and fire up the bbq!!  Awesome :)

Thanks for reading.

Sat


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