Archive | August 2013

In the Courtyard of São Vicente de Fora, Lisbon

To all my blogger friends, have a happy weekend..


I leave you with a beautifully haunting “Fado Português” by Dulce Pontes.


(Photo: Manningtree Archive)



A few years ago we both went to Vienna for a very special occasion, something to be cherished for the rest of my life. So come with me today down my memory lane. Carina 🙂

Manningtree Archive


On July 21st, Philippe Léopold Louis Marie became the seventh king of Belgium when his father King Albert II of Belgium abdicated citing age and failing health. Minutes later, the father and son appeared on the balcony of Palais Royal in Brussels in the presence of Queen Paola, Philippe’s wife Queen Mathilde (d’Udekem d’Acoz), their four children and former Queen Fabiola, while a huge crowd cheered and shouted “Long live the king” from below. The new sovereign vowed to strive for the unity of the nation. Promise is a big word. Promises bind us to each other, and to a common commitment for the future.


The sight of Palais Royal resurfaced memories of our visit to Belgium few years ago in fulfilment of a promise I made to Carina.  Of the many attractions we saw there – the Grand Place (Grote Markt)…

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Rain, rain go away…….. (but do come back another day)

As most of you will agree with me the topic of “weather” (like in Sunshine or Rain) is without any doubt still the most common topic whenever people meet or talk on the telephone. Who has not talked to somebody at one time long-distance and inevitably the question comes “how is the weather over there with you?”

Here in Kerala we are now smack in the middle of the Monsoon Season. Having complaint about the heat for a few months we now have a new topic – Rain! (as in … too much) surely bringing much needed relief to the people, animals, agriculture etc. But, like everything else, too much of one good thing turns easily and quickly into something negative.

The heavy monsoon rain has been pelting down for a few weeks now turning our beautiful Kerala into an even greener oasis. But a more or less uninterrupted extremely heavy downpour over the week-end also brought even bigger traffic chaos, landslides, etc.

On Monday morning we had to drive to the Airport for something which could not be put off and it simply became a sort of “mini journey to hell”. We passed many flooded houses, churches, temples etc. on our way. Many of the low-lying fields were completely flooded; the cattle grazing there were standing in flood water nearly up to their stomach.

On route we had to cross the bridge over the mighty river Periyar. The rain was hitting us hard – the windscreen wipers on our car could hardly cope with the deluge and there was absolutely no way that we could stop and get out to photograph the raging river, which had risen considerably and now looking brown, muddy and quite dirty, bringing the water from the mountains down to Ernakulam (Cochin).


So this is the reason my friends, why for once you will not see any photographs from our own “manningtreearchive”. But luckily I was able to get this impressive photograph (which also appeared over 2 pages this morning in the paper) from the picture desk of our newspaper Malayala Manorama Daily. My thanks goes out to them.