All smiles at the Expat-Expo, Zurich

 

different strokkes at the Expat Expo
different strokkes at the Expat Expo

 

           Stand 45, Stadthall Dietikon, Zurich, 3rd September 2017

Many thanks to all our supporters and everyone who took time to visit us on a Sunday afternoon and be part of our creative journey. Jan Landolt was the lucky winner of the prize draw and won a ready to hang artwork worth 150 CHF from our collection. We were the most artistic and colourful stand at the Expat-Expo, and attracted more crowd despite being bang next to stalwarts, Zurich International School.

Digital artist and our energetic partner Sophia, was there to demonstrate and answer queries about the digital process to very enthusiastic visitors. To know more about Sophia and her work visit her website  http://sssingh575.wixsite.com/my-art

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ART EXHIBITION

Mother & Daughter art exhibition

Our first and a very successful event recently concluded at the Altstadthalle, Unter Altsadt 14, 6300 Zug in Switzerland.

The guest book says it all!  Besides the lovely compliments and encouraging comments from family and friends we had many visitors, total strangers who were taken aback by the quality of artwork, the realism, the vibrant colours, and the difference in the two forms of art ie; modern and digital art versus, the old school oil and acrylic paintings on canvas;  a contrast from ‘Wonder woman’ and ‘Super girl’to the very classical ‘Audrey Hepburn’ and ‘Charlie Chaplin’.  Not only was the medium of art different but it also catered to two generations in style and subject thus creating the perfect ‘Different Strokkes’ story.

The Magic of Maldives

An Island Paradise

Just another morning in paradise, the beginning of another glorious day greeted by a school of dolphins swimming across and playfully breaching, right in front of our water villa in the island paradise. A seemingly never ending show and what a treat it was watching dolphins in the wild welcoming an incredible day and a great photographic opportunity. Later in the day we learnt from the island officials that the pod consisted of over five hundred dolphins!

Ecstatic after witnessing the delightful show we sauntered our way to breakfast soaking into the beauty of the peaceful island when one of the staff pointed to an unusual creature in the shallow waters, peeking below we see a baby octopus, tentacles and all, a shapeless little creature that changed colours from a dark green-brown to a lovely orange-brown while moving.

The radiant afternoon sunshine beckoned to explore the island further and walking past a few villas we noticed something moving in the water, checking we saw a baby sting ray gliding gracefully on the white sandy surface. The crystal clear waters is home to many baby animals, a variety of coloured fish and baby sharks (about three feet long) that treat the turquoise lagoon as their nursery, safe from the predators of the ocean.

Later in the evening watching the sunset while wading through the water, a shell shaped object draws our attention. On closer inspection, we find a half buried empty clamp shell, about 10 to 12 inches with both sides of the shell still intact and linked together. Although a lot of similar clamp shells can be seen in souvenir shops this was so special, almost like finding a pearl in an oyster.

Heading for dinner and barely out of the villa, a quick movement under the water catches our eye; it is after sunset hence dark and although the lights under the wooden paths illuminate the lagoon waters below, we cannot see very well. At first we think it is a ray but then we realise the sprinting movement is a turtle, alas a bit too fast to be pictured.

Could the day get any better? Dolphins, octopus, ray, baby sharks, a clamp shell and a turtle!!!

Over joyed and overwhelmed we make our way to the restaurant, I am a bit surprised as we are ushered towards the beach, to a candlelit tent with champagne, cake and all! Speechless and totally taken aback, my husband confesses that he along with the island staff had planned the surprise. Thankful to my spouse and the exotic paradise for a very special day, we enjoy an exquisite Michelin star cuisine in the most breath-taking settings under the stars with the ambience of a moonlit night and the sound of waves (no this is not a Mills & Boon rip-off and honestly, who reads them anymore?).

I cannot but stop to marvel at the happenings of the day, a million dollars in the world could not recreate the special experience. It felt as though the whole universe had conspired together in presenting us with the perfect day, a celebration of life, the magic of Maldives.

Please see click on link to see pictures of all sightings mentioned, except the turtle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TV-tvKpypc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHEeDFKOBMc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvBJ-LGOgIA

Photo Credit: Thomas Udhayasingh

The Sound of Silence

enjoy_the_silence

So I am waiting at the repairs to pick up my phone and thinking to myself, now do I really need my phone? I survived two weeks sans the gadget, in fact I managed pretty well or rather better without my smart phone; I achieved more than I would on a normal day. I painted and sewed and packed and cleaned, and even experienced some guilt free mornings window-shopping without having the constant urge to check my phone for messages or missed calls. So why was I glad to get it back, or was I ??

Recent ups and downs, more downs than ups had seen me take my phone to bed and check my Whatsapp for messages at 3.00 am. And I couldn’t have been more thankful for Facetime and Skype on my phone for I have not missed out on any close contact with my family, some very unforgettable and personal moments. But since I am not looking for any such similar updates, perhaps the need for the smart phone is not as much.

I seemed to be enjoying this newfound freedom, freedom from reaching for my phone for the nth time and checking the weather or listening to music, freedom from the compulsion of checking for Facebook or Whatsapp updates. Did I miss much, no not really, and honestly I can live without Trump’s tweets or the unimpressive Brexit drama.

Constant distractions of modern day life come with the cacophony and mindless chatter of social media and instant messaging that one easily gets lost and consumed by the noise and humdrum making it rather difficult to concentrate or stay on the job.

May be not on the same lines as the famous lyrics of the popular ‘Simon & Garfunkel’ song, nevertheless silence does help one get their perspective back. So if you are looking to remain on track and complete the job or focus on the necessary or finish that assignment then lose your tablets, your smart phones and your headsets and experience the powerful ‘sound of silence’.

Time to get ‘frocked’

 

It's 'Strictly' time again
The ‘Strictly’ experience

 

Just a few hours to go as curtains go up to the much awaited Grand Finale of the BBC One reality show, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ a ballroom dancing extravaganza! The culmination to a beautiful season of an incredibly interesting journey that started with fifteen couples in September in its run up to Christmas must now come to an end.

Thirteen weeks of absolute entertainment, spectacular dancing, relentless rumbas, lively jives, fierce tangos, quick steps and more continue to remain the family’s favourite, a Saturday staple and Britain’s most popular live show.

The professionals we love, their choreography, kicks, flicks, twirls and swirls we love even more, and the celebrities who enter the competition as novices become larger than life characters as the weeks progress and go on to match the professionals in their dances.

Behind all the glamour and glitter, the razzle dazzle and the razzmatazz,  lies many long hours of intense training, plenty of practice, lots of hard work, sweat and tears too. The celebrities and professionals immerse together in partnership to create an epic experience of a lifetime.

Presented by Tess Daly with a glamorous panel of judges led by head judge Len Goodman and beautiful ballerina with her show stopper dresses, Darcey Bussell, critical Craig Revel Horwood and comic character Bruno Tonioli adding a fourth dimension to the reality  show.

While Zoe Ball brings behind the scene gossip, seamless seamstress Vicki Gill works her magic around the clock to dress and design dreamlike costumes for princesses from fairy tales, with millions of sequins to be sewn befitting themes from Halloween to Hollywood.

This the 13th series of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ has by far been the most competitive, sky rocketing the popularity ratings of the show.

Behold, the coveted glitter ball trophy beckons the four finalists and their professional partners and pretty soon the winners of the Strictly 2015 will be waltzing their way to victory.

Link to the Grand Finale

Cricketing with Kevin (not Pietersen)

Cricket at Rossie Priory, Inchture ~ Scotland 2004
Cricket at Rossie Priory, Inchture ~ Scotland 2004

 

‘Special K’ as he was nick named by his friends at cricket, was barely 10 when he took the wicket of New Zealand professional and this was celebrated as the ‘Champagne moment’ in 2004 for the Rossie Priory Cricket team!! This was just the beginning…

The many matches that he played and many teams that he captained for Rossie Priory, Forfarshire Cricket club and the High School of Dundee, the camaraderie that he shared with his teammates, the weird antics of Goose, the fun that they had on and off the fields, the many trips across Scotland, England and the European Championships at Copenhagen, so many stories and so many accolades made each trip and each match ever so special.

Travelling with the team and ferried by the most involved, encouraging and doting dad who went on to relive his childhood through his son’s cricket, mentoring and coaching the lads, umpiring and scoring the games enjoyed his evening and weekend job (cricket) more than the paying one.

Although I cannot take any credit for any of Kevin’s cricket or his cricketing abilities except perhaps washing his whites and packing his lunch, I have to confess that I have but relentlessly fought, at times shamelessly bribed the club manager and done everything in my limited ability to hold on to his ‘running’ trophies that proudly adorned our living room for years, laurels won by him including some for Chess and Chemistry, so many year after year that I seem to have lost count of them.

Coming from a country where cricket is not just the most popular sport, but also a huge passion, a religion and a way of life; cricket had to be in Kevin’s blood and he picked the game early on. Where stalwarts like Gavaskar and Tendulkar were encouraged to play cricket by their parents, here I was an old fashioned middle class mom who encouraged him to devote all his time to his academics when he started university, something many Indian parents may relate to, perhaps!

And after four years, on completing college, his love for the sport takes him back to the field and this time he plays for the company he is interning at in Oxfordshire.  Some practice, sore limbs, and finally a feeling of accomplishment with a respectable 80 in a county cricket match.

Sitting proudly at the London’s famous Royal Albert hall for the Imperial College graduation ceremony as Kevin graduates with an MEng in Aeronautical engineering was by far the most satisfying experience and just made everything worth its while.

To Kevin, God be with you and bless you with much success, many more matches, sixes and centuries in cricket and life.

Photo Courtesy : Thomas Udhayasingh

Links to Rossie Priory and Forfarshire cricket clubs: http://rossiepriory.play-cricket.com http://www.forfarshire.co.uk/