Wherever I lay my hat

Indian notebook 2

High in the uplands of Kerala, surrounded by acres of tea plantations, sits the town of Munnar. We were visiting anyway and, prompted by a friend who grew up there and whose father was a tea planter, we searched out the High Range Club, an unreformed relic of the imperial age. In the bar, surrounded by the stuffed heads of tigers and leopards, we found her father’s hat. Anyone who was a member for 30 years or more was entitled to have their hat hung on the wall. The hats are still there, but not the culture that engendered the Club.   [read more]

The world through other eyes

Indian notebook 1

Travel may broaden the mind, but tootling down to south-west France for four months a year doesn’t broaden it very much. A first visit to India, however, is a different matter. Having just returned from three weeks there, mostly in Kerala and Rajasthan, with a finale in Delhi, my senses still feel bombarded by the assault of sights and sounds and smells. Now is the time to rationalise the experience.   [read more]