War horse to polo pony – horses in India

I just wanted to share with you this very interesting article on the history of horses in India – from the early days of the cavalry to the import of horses from Australia … fascinating! And with some great photos and illustrations too.


Check it out at:



Celebrating my feminist ancestors on International Women’s Day!

Today, on International Women’s Day, I honour the memory of my Great Granny Janet Gorrie and her three daughters – my Great Aunts Bel, Mary and Beth – who worked unstintingly in Scotland for women to be given the vote.

Great granny Janet Gorrie

Great Granny Janet Gorrie from Perth, Scotland

They were members of the WSPU in Edinburgh and took part in demonstrations, pageants and the census protest in 1911 (a night of civil disobedience and fun!)

Auntie Beth in fancy dress as Lochinvar, Census Night Protest, 1911

Auntie Beth in fancy dress as Lochinvar, Census Night Protest, 1911


Auntie Mary dressed as Scottish heroine, Kate-Bar-Lass, for 1909 pageant and demo in Edinburgh

Bel was acknowledged by one of the WSPU leaders, Emmeline Pethick Lawrence, as their champion newspaper seller in all Scotland!


Auntie Bel (centre) handing suffragette newspaper to a man!

To those special women – thank you!

Old Calcutta in the days of the Raj – fascinating pictures and research

This blog post gives a comprehensive look into the lost world of old Calcutta during the time of the British – via CALCUTTA MAIDAN in 18th and 19th Centuries

THE TEA PLANTER’S TOUR – November 2018 – travel with an author!




Then THE TEA PLANTER’S TOUR might just be for you!

A specialist, small-group tour is being planned for next year, to experience North East India in a unique way – through travel and book readings.

I’ve been asked to join the tour and give readings at different locations from my INDIA TEA SERIES to help conjure up the era of the British in India.

From a sunset cruise on the Hooghly River at Kolkata  … to a mountainous Darjeeling tea garden … to an elephant safari in Assam … this trip will be full of variety.

The tour will be guided by expert India traveller, Chris Aldridge, who runs the specialist travel company ‘No News No Shoes‘. Chris will share her passion for the country and look after you well!

For a detailed itinerary, locations, dates and prices – go to:  THE TEA PLANTER’S TOUR

Books, buses, long-lost diaries …. all can inspire a writer!

This is the final part of my interview by Trisha (Writer at Play) about writing and being a writer …





Discovering the house in Simla where my grandparents and mother had lived in 1928 and inspired the novel:    THE GIRL FROM THE TEA GARDEN

Inspired by a bedroom in India …. secrets of a historical novelist revealed!

I’ve had great fun being interviewed by Trisha for her blog WRITER AT PLAY:

If you want to take a look, here are Part 1 and 2 …





We often take nature for granted – but this post shows how something as simple and beautiful as flowers on a wall in Delhi can restore the spirit …

Enchanted Forests

All of us are touched by the Divine but are often unaware of the same.

March in Delhi  is the season for Flowers and the entire vista is magically  draped in blooms. Recovering from a series of surgeries the flowers drew me to  the magic of the Divine Artist providing the much required healing touch.

I return to the world of Blogging and the Enchanted Forests beckon again after a very long gap thanks to the “FLOWERS OF GOD”. They are the first flowers which brushed my senses as they draped over a brick wall as I stepped out of the house after weeks.

This Gorgeous and Voluminous Bouquet of hues of Purple is called the Queens’s Wreath, Purple Vine or Flower of God ( English).

queens wreath SANDPAPER VINE

Also called The Purple Vine, Sandpaper Vine or The Blue Bird Vine (English),  Petrea volubilis (Scientific name)  is…

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Library Writers’ Group: Revising

Interesting advice on editing your work …

Taking On a World of Words

I’ve told you all before how amazing my friend Kristine Kruppa is, right? She led our writers’ group this month and talked about the revision process, using a lot of her experiences from revising her novel and giving me some good insight on the revisions she just gave me for my manuscript. I’m excited to share with you some things we learned.

First, revising and editing are different in a very notable way. Editing implies line editing, looking at structure and grammar and improving it. Revising comes earlier in the process and is on a story-level. You have to revise before editing or else your edits might get revised away. After finishing the first draft, leave the story for about a week or so to get some distance from it. Then do a read-through and start the revision process.

The first thing to look for is characters. Could any be…

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Beautiful and tranquil photos of a winter morning in India …

Enchanted Forests

The location is the temple village of Bateshwar,  Bah, District Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India  as mentioned in the previous blog titled Balls of Sugar.

The River is the Yamuna which flows within a mere 5 kms of the River Chambal at this point which in turn is now home to the Endangered Gharials.

I was spellbound by the beauty of the Landscape and had the pleasure of  watching an Indian Cormorant skim over the River as it competed for Fish with the Fishermen.

fisherman Cormorant in Flight 

Mustard Fields in bloom, Silhouettes of Large trees , a foggy Winter morning and a Cormorant in Flight kept me Spellbound.

skimming-the-surface Spellbinding Landscape and the Cormorant

The Sun filters through the Fog and the Flying  Cormorant has a Pelican for company and a new competitor for Fish as well.

not-alone In the Company of a Pelican

The pictures say it all…

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Barrackpore House and its English Park: 1803 -1912

I’m re-blogging this fascinating article on the history of Barrackpore in Bengal:

রাজভবন লাটবাগান In sequence of the previously posted essay, ‘Barrackpore, a little Calcutta’, I am tempted to bring about the subject once again to share with you the fascinating details of the mak…

Source: Barrackpore House & Its English Park: 1803 -1912