Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, how are you? I'm glad to report that I'm back safe and sound, dodging Covid bullets all the way. I had more PCR tests than I have for the last two years of the pandemic as I also travelled to Goa while I was in India, and required another PCR to get back to Bangalore. In a way it was quite nice to know that everyone on the flight had been tested and didn't pose a risk, although my nasal mucosa paid the price from all the swabs I was required to take.
As usual, I took some of my jewellery with me and people were so fed up that they shopped as if their life depended on it - I came back with very little - there are a few ladies there who love to wear the kind of jewellery I like to make - large, colourful and a definite statement; and they picked up the majority of my embroidered necklaces, leaving me to carry back just a few unlucky pieces that didn't find their forever homes.
The place where I grew up has undergone so many changes that I didn’t recognise areas that I once knew like the back of my hand. It has expanded and swollen like a major waterway, the population explosion that has occurred as a result of its once fabulous weather, envied by so many, has clogged and choked it so that it is no longer safe to go for a walk; one has to drive to a park or quiet area, of which there are very few left.
People from all over India flocked to Bangalore and settled here; you hear a cacophony of polyglot voices around you and when you talk to their owners they all say they ‘come from Bangalore’ . I think to myself- you come from Bangalore as much as I come from Nuneaton 🙂🙂- the genteel old Bangalore doesn’t exist any more and the new one is brash, loud and strange.
The chauffeur drives me to Commercial Street, an old shopping area in the centre of the city. It has received a recent facelift and is well tarmacked with a spanking new kerb - but none of the old shops exist - they’ve all been sold up as their original owners either retired or passed on, and each one has been demolished and turned into 3 storey mini malls from which their heirs collect rent, or having made a packet from the sale have retired to other parts to spend their money.
I pass streets where I have little pleasurable frissons of flashbacks- there, I met someone special who shall remain nameless, and there, I used to have breakfast with my friends before going to work in the nearby government hospital - so many ‘theres’ and so many happenings - little pinpricks of memories that make me feel all warm and cozy inside, like bubbles from a glass of champagne. So many good times, so many fun times- just the memories of them all haunting me like well ordered ghosts that fade only to reveal the next one as I drive by.
Am I growing old? Who knows- perhaps it’s just that I have the time to sit and stare while everyone else is bustling around getting from one place to the next, dodging the traffic, picking up children from school and generally going about their lives.
Maybe I was like that once- I wish I had spent more time looking- if only I had known that I’d spend years and years away from home - I shake myself- ‘ don’t be so bloody maudlin, woman,’ I tell myself. It may just be a romantic dream - where I only recall the nice things that happened to me as I was growing up.
The dust and dirt is phenomenal, but it’s still the place I call home. It’s the place I think I'd want to retire to, it’s still the place I think of when I’m in bed and dreaming of somwehere that I belong completely and wholly. There are some really sumptuous oases in Bangalore, but getting to them can be a bit of a nightmare because of the traffic. However, once at a destination, it's hard to remember the difficulties one faced when traelling there.
Where I live now, everything is clean(ish) and tidy, the shops are stocked full of goods packaged beautifully, the clean air, the ability to travel easily from one place to another by train or by car, all these are so attractive, but it is here, in bustling, dusty, beautiful Bangalore that my heart resides.
I took a little trip to Goa, staying at the most wonderful Taj Aguada Beach Hotel with my sister. We sat by the sea and chatted away to our hearts content - time flew and before we knew it it was time to pack our belongings and leave. Here are some pictures of Goa - I wish I had more time to spend there.
I was given another 60th birthday party, courtesy of my sister in law, even though the next one isn't too far away. Who am I to argue? There was a cake, and champagne, a musician, dancing and fairy lights, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Loads of the invitees wore Caprilicious, which was a major compliment.
Everyone was so fed up with being restricted that hair was let down all over the place and consequently, my '60th' will be well remembered for a long time.
There were more parties, and I met girlfriends for lunch and we got drunk and behaved badly, laughing and joking, remembering our schoolday escapades. Fortunately it was a week day and we had the restaurant to ourselves, apart from a few scandalised young girls who were having a decorous chaperoned lunch. Two of my friends had brought their daughters along, and it was left to them to pour their mothers into their cars and escort them home.
I spent loads of time in the Bangalore Club, which is my home-away-from-home, meeting friends, sitting out on the lawn at night and using the library during the daytime, borrowing books to read by the pool with a cold drink in hand.
A week of home quarantine at the beginning of the holiday gave me loads of time to spend with my mother, who was then happy to let me go out into the world and spend time with other folk. It was so lovely to see her, although she is now 94 and frail, her brain is as sharp as a tack - consequently we squabbled and chipped away at each other as if she was in her 60s and I was young again. If I hadn't seen for myself how frail she has become, I wouldn't have believed it.
It was soon time to come home again - it is so hard when your heart belongs in two places that saying goodbye to either tears you apart. I should be an expert at it, having done it for most of my life, but it never gets easier. Hubby was waiting at home with roses and champagne - I did call him every day and we had long conversations but it must have been hard for him, alone during two of the worst storms this winter with no one to talk to - aww!! Violins, anyone?
Before I go, Caprilicious is on a virtual show on Instagram on a site called handmade_hour on the 5th and 6th of March. I made ten slides up for it on Canva at 3am while I was suffering from jet lag. If you have a minute, please look up all the handmade artists who will be taking part in the show and show us some love.
Well, that's me for this week, folks. Have a wonderful week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place,