First meetings: November 24th

Nanowrimo word count 2739 running total 39578
My word count looks good, but I am behind in my calculations of the years of my life. I had thought that yesterday I would have reached three-quarters of the way in my life, but I am still only about 19 years old. I have not graduated, have not bought my first house, and I am not a mother—three more years and all that will have happened.
I have spent many hundreds of words explaining that my parents’ behaviour was a product of my grandparents’ and my great-grandparents’ attitudes. These would have been as a result of living under the British Raj although I remember people in the village in the 60s saying life was better before Independence. It takes time to shake off the shackles of colonialism.
My husband was on the ‘hippie’ trail from Europe to India in 1976. He tried to impress me when we met by saying, ‘I’ve been to India.’ I laughed. I could have said, ‘I’ve been to your birthplace, London.’ It’s not exotic though, is it?

When he returned with me in 2005, he was disappointed that the Grand Trunk Road which runs from Calcutta (Kolkata) to Rawalpindi (now in Pakistan) had not been improved to motorway level. Parts of it were, and work is ongoing. The amount of traffic is growing, people travel more, and the roads can hardly keep up. The toll roads are helping.

Education is now a significant employer. In 1963 I returned at age thirteen and wasn’t sent to school, and no-one thought it was wrong. That wouldn’t happen now. It’s a different world.


Binmen and Radio DJs: November 20th

Nanowrimo word count 2237 30,202

In these times of coronavirus, people have been making strenuous efforts to boost each other’s morale. There are a team of binmen in Wolverhampton playing music and dancing while emptying the bins on their rounds. They have brought out a record called, ‘Boogie Around the Bins at Christmas’. I’m sure they brought a smile to people’s faces this morning. They did mine; some lovely people about.

My writing group, Bearsden Writers, was prepared to meet up with a radio DJ yesterday at an online event. It didn’t work out, but I had prepared a short bio. Here it is.

My first foray into writing was attending an Arvon course near Inverness in 1998. At the time it was a bargain at half price for teachers. 

I was brought up in Glasgow, and that trip was my furthest north. As I drove, the scenery at times seemed out of Lord of the Rings. I could imagine Frodo Baggins walking there. 

I didn’t write anything until 2005 when I enrolled on an Open University course called Writing Family History. After that, I returned to Strathclyde University to work on the idea for my first book. Finding Takri is the story of my grandmother’s life during the struggle for Independence in India and my parents’ migration to Glasgow. 

In 2018, I published my second novel, Alana, which is about a white Scots girl who sails to Turkey and makes a new life there. Moving and re-settling is a recurring theme in my work.

In 2019 I published a collection of shorter works which I’ve completed over ten years called Playing on the Mountain: Ten Years of Writing.

And now, I’ve returned to family history. I’ve been writing down my own memories in chronological order. I’ve managed to post on my blog every day of this month.