Sunday, 31 October 2010

Hallowe'en Nepali Style

I've been struggling a bit to get my head around the season-changes here - there doesn't seem to be an Autumn (or at least not as I recognise it) which is a shame because I do so love it. It's colder at night now, and first thing in the morning, but there are still flowers everywhere. So Eve went off into the garden to collect some to float for the dining table. They're gorgeous, eh, but not very Hallowe'eny......
We have been crafting a wee bit too - more traditional Hallowe'en things - we painted pumpkins, outside though because it was such a lovely day; then had a bath to wash the paint off (I think my photo preserves Thom's privacy, but might have to remove it if it doesn't); then made little lanterns with tissue paper, PVA and little 15 rupee glasses from Saleways because we haven't been here long enough to've collected enough jam jars yet.

And here are a few party pictures - we went to the Hallowe'en party at the Phora Durber. Thom was so excited he was determined to run to catch our lift - then fell over just as I took the photo, poor little chops. There was potion making, face painting, gorgeous food, a scary walk which is clearly still haunting poor Noah Boots, and then trick or treating - which went down so well with the littles, is almost expunged the terror of the scary walk.....

Sunday, 24 October 2010


We spent a few days on holiday at Nagarkot, famous for its fabulous views of the Himalaya. We got a few glimpses, but not whilst I had a camera with me.
It didn't bother Harv and I a bit - we have slogged up enough of Snowdonia's peaks, shrouded in mist, cloud and the kind of rain that soaks you within minutes, with no rewarding view, sometimes not even a pause for breath, to fully appreciate that sometimes the mountains like to keep their clothes on.
We had plenty of fun, our first tea-house lunch (the Nepali version of chip butties and curry sauce: chips, chapatis and dhal) and a go each on the airy Dashain swing.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Swayambhunath Temple (aka The Monkey Temple)

More touristing.

Me: Noah, what did you enjoy today?
Noah: Seeing the MONKEYYYYYSSSSS!!
Thom: Ah! Ah! Ah!

Mooching and Shopping in Old Kathmandu

You know how when you live in a place, you tend not to do the touristy things? When I lived in Stratford on Avon I NEVER did a walking tour or visited Ann Hathaway's cottage, even though I walked past it on my way to work every morning. And we'd lived in Llangollen for several years before I went on the steam railway there, and then only because my best mate was visiting with her littles.
But here, yes, we are doing the tourist things - and loving them.
In the UK we could visit friends and family, escape to any number of amazingly beautiful, wild, green spaces ( we lived on the Welsh-North Shropshire border - just beautiful!), spend happy afternoons pottering about parks and play areas, swim easily and using child friendly change rooms, and if all else failed there were hours of delight to be found at the local soft play area (plus squishy sofas and decent teas and coffees for the grown ups - none of your chairs-bolted-to-the-floor-squalor!)
But here none of those things are available, and even though we have a happy home with plenty of fun inside it, sometimes we feel the pinch of it and need to get out.
So we reach for the Lonely Planet and find a walking tour, and hey presto, we are challenged, overwhelmed, and ultimately refreshed. Grubby but delighted. Tired but elated. We got out, we negotiated a taxi, we found our way through the unfamiliar labyrinth of streets and alleyways - yay for us!
(Um, and I spent the birthday money my mum gave me on some GORGEOUS shawls and a pashmina - photos another time.......sshhh )


Gardens are food for the soul, eh.
And gosh do we need it here sometimes..... The roads are potholed, rubbish-strewn and dusty, and it's not easy to find green spaces for the children to run and me to daydream.
So, here is The Garden of Dreams, an oasis on the corner of Thamel, the main tourist hub of Kathmandu. Not very wild, as you can see, but a beautiful and refreshing place to spend a morning (and admittedly expensive but deservedly yummy lunch) with the littles and one of Eve's school friends.

Kites are the thing here at the moment - I think it's something to do with Dashain, the main Nepali festival which is being celebrated at the moment, but it could just be good kite-flying season. As you can see, Noah and Thom haven't quite got the hang of it yet....

And here are some happy rascals in our garden. Eve plays with Momentha (sp?), our guard's daughter a LOT - Momentha's English is coming on really well; Eve's Npali not quite so much.....
They were all delighted by the teeny baba snail they found: