In these times of pandemonium and chaos, it is sometimes difficult to find a bit of calm, respite from the uncertainty. It is time to reminiscence, and indulge in enjoyable events of the past, bask in their glory. I am thinking of our wonderful time at Isle of Skye in September last year.
I was looking for a time away from my daily monotony, a time away from my work from home desk, a time out in to the nature, perhaps a sensory challenge. Nature and woods with its multitude of sights and sounds changing with the season, has a way of drawing me out of the slumber. We do go out on nature trails and walks, a way of getting fresh air, a bit of outdoors. It was that mellow time of the year, before the onset of winter and darker evenings, when the leaves and trees are a range of colors, there is an all round glow of yellow and oranges, the leaves breaking away gently from the trees, carried away by autumn breeze and finally findings its way to the earth, the gentle swishing the boots make over the russets and pinks on the ground, now and then there is a thud of a conker landing on to the ground, and there is a hint of tranquility hanging about in the air. Its hard not to yearn for the outside. We have had our days out in nature earlier in the Summer by way of picnics in the woodlands. Perhaps the heart desired a bit of more.
I am finding it hard to believe we are already in to the second week of 2021. The year 2020 seems to have just gone by, and like many others I wanted to bid adieu to 2020 as quickly as possible. At the same time it feels like an eternity of being in social distancing and in this new world of new normal. Since March 2020 so much has happened in this world of ours and at the same time I feel that the year has just whizzed past. How can I feel exactly opposing thoughts at the same time. Well I am going to park the thought and muse and analyze about it another day. For today I want to reminiscence.
Books, Reading and written words have played a vital part in my life. I have often wondered, if reading and books were not part of my life, I would have been a very different person. Books have shaped me into the person that I am today. Words I believe , are very powerful and especially written words have had a great impact on me.
The last three months have been very different and I do believe these very strange times we are living in . As 2020 began,I imagined it would be a roaring twenties, roar it did, just a bit differently to what i had thought of. It started with the roaring fires in Australia and then an unseen virus brought the world to a grinding halt.
Change and uncertainty is not something I handle very well. My husband calls me a creature of habit. I start worrying and panicking when an uncertain event rears its head. Over the years I have learnt that life at most of the times is uncertain and to let the change and the anxiety along with it take its course. And the fact that the life is uncertain makes uncertainty more manageable. I miss the small details of my pre Corona day to day life. I like the smell of coffee brewing in the morning on the streets of London, the smell of morning air before the traffic sets in, I love walking on the streets of London, taking the tube and route master buses of London, Sitting on the top deck of a bus and watch the lights and the hustle and bustle of Regents street, visiting the gardens centers and picking out flower beds for summer, going to the museums and exhibitions,walking around in historic homes and gardens. These are some of the tiny joys that I miss and wistfully think of. What was my day to day life , has become nostalgia in a matter of few weeks.
It s strange times that we are living in. The ever expanding vocabulary because of COVID like flatten the curve, social distancing , the new normal and the fact that Corona virus has been declared a feminine gender in the French language, are a few of the exhausting facts of these quarantine days. At some levels we all are living and walking a part of history. Coming generations would be talking, writing, debating and discussing in detail about these times. These days of 2020 will go down in history.
In the month of February , when we travelled to Tromso and back., I did not imagine that there was a storm brewing in the shape of a global pandemic. Little did I know it was coming our way, and that the entire human kind would be brought to a grinding halt by an invisible bug. When the lockdown began in United Kingdom, I did not feel like writing about my travel memoirs of Tromso. It felt so wrong to be thinking of travel at such a time, when there is so much of trauma, anxiety, loss and grief brought on by an invisible bug.
Winter is one of my favourite seasons to travel. The festivities , the lights, meandering through Christmas markets aimlessly, wrapped up in warm coats and hats, with smell of melting chocolate and hot cocoa wafting around, fills my heart with warmth and longing. The perfect cure for this is to embark on a journey and if the journey involves a few train travels, it renders the journey magical. I am sharing some of my favourite markets from this years Interrailing trip.
Beautiful Bergen with its colourful wooden houses, vast emerald green coastline, mountains and fjords, made me fall in love with it instantly. It is often called the Gateway to Fjords , it is the second largest city of Norway, is also the European city of culture. It is surrounded by seven mountains and hence is sometimes referred as a city between mountains.
I have not written much on the blog for a while partly because I have been bitten by the Netflix and binge watching bug and the rest is due to me just being listless. It’s not particularly uncharacteristic of me slipping in to an ennui now and then, often it leads to a bit of reflecting and pondering. I often find such times far too comfortable and retreat in my cosy cocoon of solitude. It’s here that books, blogging and travelling often help me shake out of my slumber and remind me that it’s a beautiful world out there to be experienced. In England it is that lovely season of Autumn, when the warmth of Sun on your skin feels like a sweet dollop of honey on a warm toast, the Sun rise and set paints the morning and evening skies in spectacular colours, trees with their leaves in beautiful shade of russets, yellows and pinks, and gentle sway of falling leaves on to the ground look magical , I believe it is Mother Nature tenderly nudging me out of the boredom reminding that there is more to life than the binge watching and being glued to screen. Autumn is a season when we travel a bit more.
August this year, we travelled to the Dutch capital, Amsterdam.The city famous for its beautiful canals, liberalism, coffee shops, red light area and cheese. This was a much anticipated trip as I had been wanting to take the Eurostar to Amsterdam from London, for a very long time. Also given that it is the 25 th year of Eurostar, as a train enthusiast I was super excited to have picnic on the train to celebrate. With a packed picnic bag, I arrived at the St Pancras station a bit tired as I had been overzealous in preparation of the picnic. But all was well once we boarded the train and I was calm and joyful. As soon as the train rolled out of St Pancras Station. like a child, I kept asking my husband every five minutes “ Shall we eat now?”. I am still not sure what was I more excited about the picnic on the train or the train ride.