It’s been ages since my last blog and it seems like the whole world has changed in that time. I went to India at the end of February, having planned and organised my inaugural ‘Evans Escapes’ to the Golden Triangle and Rajasthan.
I didn’t exclude men but it was only like-minded ladies who quickly became ‘Girls on tour’. We six had a marvellous time - sight-seeing in the cities and rural villages, plus getting involved with arts and crafts. From paper-making to block-printing, mud-resist indigo dyeing to painting and cooking we were welcomed and taught by the friendliest of people.
No first trip to India is complete without a visit to the incomparable Taj Mahal – we were overwhelmed by its size and beauty, but memories will also include the Indian visitors who took a shine to our little group and could not get enough of us included in their selfies and face-time messages to family at home. We felt just as much of a magnate to them as the Taj Mahal had been to us.
We walked with elephants in Jaipur and joined in Holi festivities in Jodhpur and even saw a leopard basking in the evening sunshine with his mate in Ghanerao.
From a temple to a royal hunting lodge and even a Palace, we slept in some amazing places; we ate tasty food, got a liking for mango lassi, had probably too many eggs for breakfast and enjoyed some gins when we could find tonic.
Of course we found time for a little shopping too….. beautiful block-printed scarves and wraps, silks galore for nuno-felting and some paper and jewelled textiles which we really couldn’t leave behind.
The backwaters of Kerala had to be abandoned because of Coronavirus but we were entranced instead by the lake waters of Udaipur – the white city. Luckily for us our trip came to a natural close in Udaipur, but as we left Delhi, the airport was closing behind us. Who knows when it will re-open.
‘Self-isolating’ and ‘social-distancing’ are very strange, but quickly familiar terms. Let’s not waste these weeks or months ahead of us. There’s only so much cleaning we can do, so get creative. Never has there been such a time when arts and crafts have been so important - not only to keep us busy, but also to keep those little grey cells active and stimulated. Get felting – it’s a great tactile, therapeutic art-form - and you’ll be amazed at how creative you can be.
I can’t run workshops until the restrictions are over but if you want some simple instructions please let me know and I’ll point you in the direction of on-line fibre suppliers too.
Look after yourselves and I hope to see you soon.