Happy independence day!

Trip Start Jun 25, 2013
Trip End Dec 25, 2013

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Flag of India  ,
Wednesday, August 14, 2013


It's been 67 years since the British ended their rule here and divided the country up according to religion - clearly not one of the better moments of the empire!

Anyway, Pakistan had their day yesterday and today it's India.  I plan to celebrate by not getting out of bed early to pump water up to my roof storage tank. Those that live/ have lived here will know what I mean but to those who don't - be very grateful every time you turn on your tap and get clean water! 
A few people have also asked if I've lost interest in doing this blog but they couldn't be more wrong - I am actually enjoying it - but until the trip resumes it feels that I'm just telling everyone about my day to day life out here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       This also all  feels very one sided but - from those that have emailed me - I believe people (ok more than one email but not lots) are enjoying reading my ramblings. Please feel free to post any comments as I do really quite enjoy the banter - ( Please note - Hughes/Jones) and obviously I can delete them if they're too inappropriate (Please also note - Hughes/Jones).
So my most important news is that I'm back riding at last. I got back on the bike Monday morning after not going near it for two weeks. It took a while to fire up but I'm glad to report that once a bit of WD-40 was applied (known cure for everything) it was all good again. All the switches, locks and chain had seized up slightly but guess that had something to do with leaving it uncovered during monsoon season. The silly thing is that I've a cover for it but the bike was too dirty when initially parked and I correctly thought that the rain would help wash it. Next time though, I will not park it under a tree nor next to a rats nest - that particular incident gave me a little 'moment' whilst knelt down next to my bike Monday morning.

I'm now happily riding again but remaining in and around Delhi waiting for Richard to arrive. Health wise things are good but I'm just glad to be back out on my bike and can't wait for the next leg of the trip to start. Crack on Evans - get yourself out here asap!

I spoke to Richard a few days back via Skype (Technology?.....brilliant) and it would appear that he's keen to head east towards Bihar and maybe Kolkata so that'll help make my onward journey a little easier. Rich is here for 2-3 weeks but has promised Trish that he won't be riding alone. I'm not quite sure what message this sends out; is he not to be trusted or does she maybe think I'll look after him? I have my own thoughts Mr Evans - just keep thinking of your little Goan overtake in 2001 and your riding will be just fine!  

India is a great country in which almost anything is possible. As a result Rich could either pop himself (and bike) on a train to Delhi or organise a truck to return it. Either way, it'll all work out just fine - I'm looking forward to him getting here and heading off - it'll be like old times. One thing Richard has asked though is that I keep a check on my humour (?) as his friends will possibly be reading this blog. Given the fact that Richard is kindly bringing out UK supplies to me I happily agreed but obviously question the fact that he asked expecting a sensible postive reply, and; as for friends - plural Mr Evans? I was shocked. 

Anyway, all joking aside I'm really looking forward to heading off and seeing some more of this great country. I've never been to the North East before so that seems like a great place to start! 

My current daily Delhi routine is helping out with the Asha charity that I've been fortunate to know for several years. I'm currently involved with some re-furbishing work at their centre in RK Purham (South Delhi) attempting to fix leaky roofs and improve on some damp issues. The extremes of weather - Stupid hot in Summer, Monsoon downpours and cold winters take there toll on the buildings let alone the people!

What really has made  my week though was speaking with Usha on Tuesday. Usha lives in Ekta Vihar which is the slum at the rear of Asha's offices in RK Puram. I first met Usha whilst painting the medical centre (situated in the slum) about 6 years ago. As a girl, it was unlikely - due to the way things are here - that her education would progress much and she would possibly be married young etc etc. However, with the support of Asha (and a progressively thinking family) Usha continued in her studies and has just graduated with a Political Science Honours degree and has recently completed her internship with the Australian High Comission and Hindustan newspaper.
She has now recently secured  employment with the Canadian high comissision and is an inspiration to others growing up in her area. I am so very very proud of her - she has worked so hard -in very challenging circumstances - and it's knowing people like Usha that help make my time at Asha and India that little bit more special. She deserves every possible success and has a bright future ahead of her . I wish her well for the future.

Well, in true cartoon fashion...........that's all folks

Bike review tomorrow - if I don't get carried away with the celebrations. 


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