Well, it’s a snowy Sunday morning in Co. Fermanagh as I type up my thoughts for another few days… that could probably say weeks, but sure. The month of January went by in a blink if I’m being honest, and that was probably down to being busy beyond reason, travelling quite a lot, and suffering a bit on the typical Indian maladies side of things.
Indeed, six months and 18 days into my journey to India, I got my first bout of ‘Delhi Belly’… and the root cause, a dodgy tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. I lost fluid, had stomach cramps and spent alot of calories moving between bed & the throne. Fortunately, it only lasted for about 36 hours, but frankly, I’ll be avoiding the tubed ice cream from dodgy looking Indian supermarkets for quite some time!!
I also had to deal with more Mosquito bites in January than perhaps the previous six months times two. I was ravaged!! On one Sunday afternoon by the beach, I took 29 bites to my legs (21 of which were on my left) between my knee & my ankle. To say it was discomforting is an understatement… I was considering home amputation with a hacksaw. I’m now convinced that a) mosquitoes are evil and b) I’m one of the 80% of people who are genetically suscepitble to high mosquito bite ratio (it’s good to have a brother who works as a geneticist). It’s gotten so bad, we started googling for preventative measures to stop the wee scrotes. Everything from tea bags on the bites, to taking Vitamin B2 have been considered (although the latter is more likely to be tried).
Anyways, I have spent quite a bit of time over in Kolkata in January. I think this will be the norm in 2009, as we don’t have anyone permamently based over in Kolkata… and we’ve gone to the hassle of getting an apartment over there too. Indeed, I picked the apartment & we’re waiting on them now to decorate & furnish the pad. It was a four bed room joint, though we’ll have to convert one of the rooms into an office / study for Business Continuity purposes. It’s nice enough IMHO, but obviously the finish will make a big difference.
One of the reasons for travel over to Kol this month was the purchase, by LloydsTSB of Halifa Bank of Scotland. I was involved in doing some of the cascades to the staff in Kolkata & Mumbai on the acquisition. Obviously all good fun & that… but no doubt, stressful times ahead. Indeed, for the financial sector altogether, January was a difficult month, but it also presented opportunity… I managed to buy some shares in LTSB & double my money (even after commission was taken out!!)!! That’ll pay for my holiday this week.
And speaking of holiday, I took a long weekend in Goa in January to the Palolem Beach. The weather was in the mid 30’s, the beach was clean, relatively uncrowded, and the Arabian sea was so warm it was crazy. My pool in Mumbai makes it seem like a hot bath!! We had a really pleasant weekend, lazing about, occasionally playing frisbee in the surf, swimming and hanging about. I even got to try Hammer Head Shark for dinner one night (it was lovely BTW, with loads of meat on it) so it was all good.
And now I’m about to go on a week’s holiday around Europe, with two nights in the Netherlands, three in Italy, and two in Portugal before working in the UK for a week (Bristol & Edinburgh) and going to the wedding of Manasvini & Stefan in Mar Hall outside Glasgow. So a busy couple of weeks… and hopefully, the weather doesn’t play havoc with my flights (both Dublin & Eindhoven are expecting snow over the week).
And I guess that’s about it, apart from mentioning that you know you’ve been in India too long when you begin to feel that a trip to Tesco’s is fantastic… oh dear. So watch out for photographs being uploaded in February when I’m back in Bombay I’ve got some good ones… including Goa and Finbar with Sam Maguire… really, the people you meet out & about…