|Photo credits: David Dodgson|
So part two last night. More yoga, more farting, more sweat, more diarrhoea, more marigold garlands. And I got my more Jan Leeming. Heartbreaking to see her feeling so sad and lonely. Old age (not that she is what I would call old at 74) can be a very isolating place. Partners come, go, and don't come back, or they move on to the big resting place in the sky, and it's tough to be left behind. I've seen it happen to the older generations of our family. It must be tough to have the energy to meet new people, find new social circles and activities in later life. (I think these things are hard enough in your 40s.)
But look, there's a new friend for you, Jan - Rosemary Shrager in a steam bath being a teensy bit bonkers. Brilliant.
And this time there was more on the medical system in India. There's good news - the heat seems to be relieving the arthritis, although stairs are still a struggle. The celebs all go off to the hospital. An all-out hi-tech check-up for £300? Can't argue with that. I'd be signed up right away, contributing to the local health tourism economy.
The bargains continue - a shave and a haircut for the blokes for a quid, a trip to the laundry for the ladies to get all their washing done.
There was an exhausting train journey to Agra. Crowded chaos and more of that first episode panic on the station platforms. A bed for everybody in the teeming carriages, although some of them involved a lot of climbing. A questionable toilet, said Miriam. Lots of henna. And singing. And dancing.
And this at the end of it:
I haven't been to India, but my dad once cycled around Rajasthan. Hence the photos. Only my dad could make the Taj Mahal lean as much as his DIY shelving. But apparently it (the Taj Mahal, not my dad's DIY) never disappoints. I'll have to ask Dad if he ever thought of retiring to Jaipur. (He chose Cumbria instead.) I'm starting to see the benefits.