For the lack of anything better let's go with some general updates.
Chiyaa's half term got just over a few weeks back. I am not sure if you remember how I was sweating it about her first half term ever. Being so nervous about handling her and Pumpki at home. The first time was a bit of a challenge. But this time it went swimmingly. Being six, she's so much easier now. She's independent, has ways of keeping her self engaged and is catching up mentally. So it's not like being with a little kid. It's more or less like with a young person. She would finish her morning chores, read a few books, play for sometime and then watch some shows on telly. I was loving sitting beside her and working. Then pronto at four we would go and pick Pumpki and then both would wreck havoc in the garden :D It was the most pleasant 5 days I have spent with her. I was so missing her once school started, looking forward to the summer holidays in 6 weeks time. So parents of young kids don't lose hope, it gets easier eventually.
We have been in the UK for 8 years now. We tend to revolve with in familiar circles. We tend to associate with fellow Indians. But I am lucky to be 'friends' with some colleagues ( who are ex- colleagues) now, cos they have moved organisations. So I planned a lunch party to have them around our new house. It was the first time we were having non-Indians at home. I had plans of making Indian food, but not tried and tested restaurant options. I wanted to be a bit more adventurous. I sweated over the menu, reaching out to my sister and a few friends who are able cooks. I ended up with cabbage pakoras, puri, jeera rice, paneer kalia ( which is one of my cheffy friends recipe and even won an award in a 'curry off' organised in K's office), chole and a chicken curry my kids like :D Dessert was vermicelli kheer.
I knew my friends were not averse to new tastes. But I wasn't sure how much I was pushing the borders. The pakoras were a big hit. And so was the chicken, chole and the kheer. The paneer ( the award winning one) had mixed reception. The rice was a dud. Thankfully we have K on our side who is the leftovers demolition man.;) It was a very fun filled day. All the spouses got on famously. There was jovial teasing, arguments, and lot of good natured conversation. One minute we were talking about economic conditions of countries, while the next about processed food and the next about men v/s women. The kids were all in the same age group and played on and on. It was fabulous. We spent around 5 hours together without a minute's awkward silence. We all departed promising 'we should do this more often'.
Talking about friends, my parents went on a trip to Kashmir with their friends. I remember as a kid making trips with Papa 's friends and their families. This time it was a couples only trip. All of them are in the same age group, with kids grown up and settled. It was a fun filled trip for all of them. My sister and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the photographs with the contentment written on their faces. It is lucky that they have the right company to associate with. I hope these friendships remain forever. I wish we had such circles but K and I never have found mutually agreeable companions. I think for activities like travelling together there has to be a higher degree of likeness. It never happens for K and me. We have not yet found the family we have the same degree of bonding with.
Well...Someday hope we find 'our' friends too!