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27 April 2016

She loves baking

Cooking is a common interest that we share. Trying out new recipes is a fun thing for us. At times it can be a disaster, but its always a learning for the future :)

Ani loves baking. And then it became my interest too.

The final outcome was an excellent chocolate cake. Yummy one. Good job dear..(I did that design and spoiled it :) )

Making a good cake is a skill. And we are improving it every time.

This baking plan was an instant one. But I already had the plan to prepare Kerala Sytle Beef Ularthiyathu. Just couldn't refrain from executing the plan.

Doing something together with your dear ones, which they absolutely love to do, its lots of fun. No one is sacrificing then, rather compete to enjoy the moment.

24 April 2016

Meeting Robin Hood at the Nottingham Castle

Another blessed weekend, while searching for a place to visit, Nottingham castle came into the plan. We didn't realise that it is close to the place where we live. Didn't think twice. We headed to the castle.

There is an admission fees of £6 to enter. There were mixed reviews about the place on travel sites. But a look from the outside made the place promising to visit. So we took the ticket and began exploring the place.

The big entrance to the castle. The ticket counter and the souvenir shop operates under this place. Not much people were around. People were concentrated around pubs and restaurants near by mainly. Weekend - that explains :)

The view from the garden was majestic. There is a vehicle route to the top of the palace, but we decided to take the walk through the garden, spent some time there and visit the palace.

Ikey will be in his stroller for the majority of the travel that we does. At times we feel sad to see him calmly sitting in it and enjoy the view. And it is no fun. So we always make sure that he gets his piece of happiness exploring the place, when it is the right time. So it was his time. The entire palace garden was his. And he enjoyed running and walking around the place.

Approaching the entrance of the palace, you have wonderful views of the Nottingham city. Palace is placed to see the entire city at a glance. Beautiful views...

We spent some time inside the palace looking at it's history and museums.

On the way back we saw 'Robin Hood' visiting the palace. When requested for a click, he readily accepted with a smile. He is the city's own new age Robin Hood it seems. Where ever an event related to the Nottingham history happens, he will be there. A very familiar face for us now.

21 April 2016

The Historic Waterway and loads of boats

One fine Sunday, after getting out from the church, I took a halt at the signal thinking about where to go from there. Didn't plan anything for that weekend as I was excited for Ani's and Ikey's arrival.

Rather than exploring the weekend, I wanted to cherish on their arrival and getting them settle down comfortably.

The weather was cold and was very cloudy. Using an umbrella is not at all option when it rains. I got at least 3-4 umbrella damaged, under the fierce wind conditions. And learned to walk in the rain rather than trying to fix the umbrella when it get flicked by the wind.

And that answers one of the questions I had when I reached here. I was the only person with the umbrella around :) But, I learned.

What I loved about this place is that it looked detached from the city. Even though it exist in the center of the city, this place had its own feel and rules.

The boats are used for two things. For travel and to stay. Stay? Oh ya, like a furnished home. Think about a floating home. That is it.

There is a long history behind this canal. Search for Nottingham Canal and if you like history, you might enjoy.

Initially thought of spending some time walking alongside the canal, but I walked for close to 3 miles. I wasn't feeling tired or losing my energy. It was such a fresh walk.

There are houses on the canal side with bridges to the canal. Wonderful backyards to enjoy the canal views and boat repair shops...It is a different world all together.

The place was kind of filled with families who wanted to enjoy a post lunch afternoon. Feeding the goose, swans and fishing, all were spending quality time with the family.

To share this excitement, took Ani and Ikey last week. Not everyone has the same mind set. She seems to like visiting the Primark (not any more) more than this place :)

19 April 2016

Can't take these delays anymore

When you really want to get home and the delays happens, I dont want to express that feeling :) But HOPE really works...The best option around.

Far Far Away From The City

Waiting for the train right now to Manchester. Got few more minutes before the train arrives. So thought of drafting a quick post.

The day started at 5 in the morning. The train to Manchester was at 6:30 am and I rushed to catch up with the travel plan. Was I feeling tired? Didn't feel anything then.
Reached the station ahead of time as usual and started for Nottingham on time.

When the train started moving, I realized the fact that I will never get the seating position right :)

When I booked for the first time, I chose the frontward facing seating position. I got what I wanted, but the train was moving in the reverse direction. And I was not at all happy about it as I got the motion sickness. But someway managed to complete the travel.

So this time, I chose the Airline style seating. Never seen an airline moving in the reverse direction. But I was completely wrong :)

The station was empty when I reached, but then got crowded towards the departure time.

What I like the most about the train travel is the amazing sceneries alongside the way. It started off with factories and mechanical workshops in the beginning, but soon it got shifted to an urban landscape which then slipped to the country side splendour.

Everything about the course from then was amazing. Miles and miles of green pastries, beautiful country houses, farmlands, sheeps and horses, it was a real treat to the eyes.
All those cute little sheeps looked like the white cotton rolls all around the place. It was so beautiful.
It is my dream to live on a beautiful country side where I can wake up to the gentle touch of nature. No city life in the vicinity, no pollution - it was my dream as a reality with a thick glass separation in between.
Except the sheeps and frozen but alive horses (seriously, they looked frozen:) ), couldn't find anybody outside. Understandable as it was too early to work on the farms, but the thick smoke that was coming out from the chimneys was a clear indication of them preparing a wonderful breakfast :)

The railway system pretty much resembles the Indian system. Railway stations are a mix of modern and classic architectures. Sometimes you will feel like going through a city area but then it looks like Harry Potter movie set. For a traveller it is a constant piece of happiness all through the way.

Except the motion sickness that I felt, everything about the journey was just awesome. Will not mind to take this route again...

17 April 2016

Curious travellers

Ani was afraid to go out alone initially. But now things changed. She is exploring the city alone with Ikey. Shopping, wandering around, getting to new locations - mom and son is having a very busy schedule now a days.

Last time when they went out, She came back with handful of brochures which has the upcoming events list in the city. That really helped us to plan the visits more effectively. More information, the accurate the planning will be.

Every Fridays, I will be heading to Nottingham with the utter eagerness to meet Ani and Ikey. And so the weekends we try to make it fruitful to the most. Its a relief for her when am back home. Ikey sticks around me most of the time which gives her a good time to relax.

It was another blessed Sunday for us. I woke up from the sleep listening to Pastors message, around 7 in the morning. Ani was live streaming the service in the morning. So Ikey and I joined her. Had a prayerful start and a wonderful time together.

Our church here is few miles away from the place we live. The best way to reach there is using the public transport and using the tram network is the good option around. And Ikey loves tram.

We never get tired of getting in and around the trams. Easy way to roam around the city.

It was a nice service today. As usual Ikey spent the time in creche as a peaceful kid in the group.

Didn't even turn around to wave at us. He is always excited to be with the other kids.

On the way back we decided to explore the Lace Market square. There were some events listed in the brochures.

The place is like Glasgow. Architectural beauty is evident in each and every buildings around. So beautifully crafted with fine details embedded in it.

Ikey is very still when he gets strapped to the pram. He quitely enjoys the views around and people smiling and waving at him.

Sometimes I will feel sad to see him being on the pram for a long time, then we free him from it and carry for sometime. But he enjoys the pram ride too.

Busking is everywhere in UK. And so many talented artists showcasing their skills. It is a real treat to watch them performing and marvel at their skills.

And that concludes a Sunday trip around the city.
Looking forward for a wonderful week ahead...

Resuming the updates

There was an obvious gap in my blog posting pattern. Little bit of laziness and utter busy moments halted the blog updates.

But I really want to keep this moving. There's a lot happening these days and not writing those events down is a really bad idea.

It's a late saturday night. Lot many pending items to complete before kicking off a full week travel chart.

Spending time with Ani & Ikey is the top most weekend priority now a days. Absolutely no compromise.

Almost all the travel is on either on foot or in the tram. Ikey loves the tram and so it is the most used transportation these days.

It is Sunday tomorrow and church time. So its better to log off and sleep.


16 April 2016

Where is the snow?

They said its going to snow today. Sun is on full power. Where is the snowwww?

26 February 2016

Not That Spicy After All

I like to explore the cuisines, new food at new places. However I can't let go the Kerala spice combination after all. What dinner without some rice.

European cuisine isn't that spicy. It's all sweet. If it is spicy, sweet exist with the spiciness. Not a combination that I like to enjoy.

Searched for a Kerala hotel around, couldn't find one at all. Which made me to go a level up for the search for 'Indian Restaurant'. That was a good option to get started. Indian cuisine is famous. However, majority of the Indian restaurants align to the European taste rules, which makes the traditional Indian curries sweet. 

So when I had the chance to start cooking, I thought of treating my taste buds with some real Indian spiciness. 

My cooking pattern is rather simple. Onion, ginger garlic, chilli, coriander, turmeric and garam masala. Sauté for sometime and mix anything with it to get the base curry to satisfy the hunger. And with some rice, I will be the happiest person around :)

When travelled to Nottingham, my friend took me to a Kerala hotel. Cochin Fort. The Kozhikodan biriyani I had from that place was one of the best I had in London. Yum!

And he is one person who likes to cook and don't like the shortcuts in cooking. He uses all the spice combinations required for a specific curry. His kitchen is filled with spices. The real crazy chef friend I have seen after a long time.

Ani knows that I like to cook, but she hates the kitchen after am done with the cooking. One area that I have to really improve, if I really want to cook in Ani's kitchen :)

There is so much fun in cooking. Can't ignore that fact.

22 February 2016

Chasing The Snow

It was a fine weekend morning. Got up bit late. The normal schedule of calling Ani remained as usual. Simply moved the hotel curtains to gaze at the opposite garden. But what welcomed my eyes was the snowing. Grabbed the jacket and the camera, then ran out to click the pictures. Took the below video instead.

I was walking in the snow while shooting this video. The tiny snow particles hit my face and it felt wonderful. Chasing the snow is great...

07 February 2016

When The Earth Turned White

Just being in the snow and enjoying the fall was a dream for me. More or less like how I enjoy the rain. It was a weekend. I didn't know what to do that weekend. I have seen the place before. Almost all the nook and corners. So there wasn't any interest to even walk outside.

The first channel on the TV was the weather forecast. And they told that it is going to snow. I looked out the window. No sign of snow and chuckled the sadness out of my face. 

Then it was the evening. Got tired of being inside the hotel room. Located the nearest Indian restaurant and walked towards it.

And then it happened. From nowhere it began to snow. The tiny white particles came settling down. I watched it with wonder and excitement. And lot many people joined with me. It was the best snowfall in my life. All those places which I though I've already seen, turned into a magical white places. It was beautiful, covered in white...

These were the first group of people who were enjoying the snow fall. They were throwing snow balls at everybody around them, even at the vehicles (crazy!!!). They even threw one to me too. Look closer in the above picture. You can spot the snow ball in mid-flight towards me :) That was awesome...

I did make some snow balls and enjoyed my crafting skills. And I did miss Ani joining the fun.

Walked couple of miles enjoying the snow covered terrain. Those places looked very different that I have seen them before. 

31 January 2016

Out In The Garden

Another weekend in Scotland. A quiet one. Apart from some official catch-ups, didn't have any special plans for the day. Said NO to the room service for the second time. 

Thought of taking a walk in the garden near by. Dressed up in the jacket and muffler and walked out of the hotel. There was a wedding event happening at the hotel, all happy people around.

Grabbed a coffee and walked into the garden. Well, it was pretty quiet there too. Apart from one guy who was feeding the pigeons and squirrels close to the entrance. He was quite enjoying the sharing. 

It was windy and pretty cold out there. Sun was trying to peek out of the clouds in vain. But I did enjoy the walk. Fresh air and clear mind is precious. 

I've been to this place before, but everything is changed with the season. I had to tell to myself that its the very same place. Where are those flowers which were there?

Just followed the path where it lead, took different directions at the cross roads and it was really fun to walk around. Only difference - no sweating. I was still shivering.

Another blessed weekend!