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Happy New Year 2020!

If you were born in the 80s, raised in the 90s and made it to 2020: You have lived in 4 different decades, 2 different centuries, 2 different millennia and you’re not even 40 yet!

Anonymous a.k.a. a WhatsApp forward

As 2019 draws to a close and with 2020 on the horizon, I’d like to begin this post by wishing you a Happy New Year 2020! Keeping with a very long term tradition, below is a snapshot of my life in 2019.

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Exploring Bath and Stonehenge

The last weekend was a long one cause of Easter and we’ve typically not done much on the Easter Monday bank holiday. However, Seema and Rodney, who were in London and bunking with us, had already booked tickets to visit Bath and Stonehenge. So, Ashwina and I also tagged along.

We arrived at Victoria before 8am well ahead of our scheduled departure. It allowed us to get some decent seats in the middle of the bus. We set out towards Bath first which is about 2.5 hours away from London. We luckily didn’t encounter much traffic given the early start.

Bath

We reached Bath around 11am on a relatively bright and shiny day. Our ticket did not include the entry into the Roman Baths as we weren’t convinced it was worth the cost.

However, we did visit Bath Abbey. The foundation of the abbey dates back to the 7th century. We didn’t spend a lot of time there as it is relatively small and parts of it under restoration.

Seema and Rodney in front of Bath Abbey
Seema and Rodney in front of Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey
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Ashwina, her dad and the Ignis

From Mumbai to Pune

After a week in Mumbai, Ashwina and I set off to Pune to spend time at her place with her Mom and Dad.

I like going to Pune because, unlike Mumbai, I get to spend a lot of time resting and relaxing. As expected, this holiday also delivered the same. I even had time to work on my WordPress plugins as well as catch up on office work.

Purchasing a car

Ashwina planned to buy a car in Pune for her parents to replace a very old Maruti Suzuki Alto. She had shortlisted the Maruti Suzuki Ignis and we had the vendor send us a test drive vehicle on Friday.

We decided to go ahead with the Ignis and paid the booking amount on Saturday followed by the rest of it on Monday. The car was ready to be collected promptly on Thursday morning.

Ashwina, her dad and the Ignis
Ashwina, her dad and the Ignis

Saturday night live

We met Saby on Saturday evening for dinner and drinks. Dinner was at The Sassy Spoon in Koregaon Park.

The Sassy Spoon
Photo via The Sassy Spoon Facebook page

The Sassy Spoon turned out to be a bright and rather alive place with a good atmosphere and music. I had a rather funky pani puri martini which is essentially the pani puri masala water with a kick. We also had chicken and prawns for starters and I dug into Ashwina’s Goan sausage mac and cheese for mains. In short, we really enjoyed the food and drink at The Sassy Spoon.

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Madeira & Mime

Holiday in Mumbai

Ashwina and I embarked on our annual visit to Mumbai and Pune on Feb 1. In 2018, we visited India in March. However, this year we decided to stick to our Feb schedule.

To Mumbai

We booked ourselves on premium economy with British Airways as this was the best deal we could find. Unfortunately, as I did the bookings in October, we couldn’t take advantage of the reward flights and the Amex BA voucher. Speaking about reward flights, I feel that British Airways has gotten quite miserly about them!

I’ve always loved Heathrow Terminal 5 and we took advantage of my status to use the First check-in and security which opens up directly into the lounge! We got some food into our bellies before heading out to do some shopping at the Duty Free.

The flight was definitely one of the most uncomfortable ones I’ve been on. BA used an older plane on this flight which meant even the premium economy felt like economy. The food wasn’t very great either!

We landed in Mumbai after a painful overnight flight to bright sunshine and a relatively empty airport. As a result, we went through immigration swiftly and waited a bit for our baggage before taking a taxi home.

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Happy New Year 2019!

Sitting here on the final day of 2018, I’d like to wish all my regular and irregular readers a Happy New Year 2019. Keeping with my long tradition, here’s my life in review post for 2018. Do you agree with Dilbert’s view on resolutions? I know I’ve barely kept mine from last year.

Dilbert
Source: Dilbert

Work

Work takes up a significant portion of our lives, mine included. 2018 was a long year for me at work including a tonne of projects, long hours and quite a bit of travel.

Life

2018 involved quite a bit of travelling for Ashwina and me.

India

We started the year with our annual trip to India. India was slightly different this time around. Since both Dad and Arun were in town, Ashwina and I booked a long stay at the ITC Maratha in Mumbai. Our stay turned out to be fabulous with excellent service, good food and we both got lovely gifts from the hospitality team there.

My work station in our room at the ITC Maratha

After Mumbai, we headed off to Mangalore. The first time for me after over 30 years! We toured quite a bit especially visiting a few churches.

Pune followed Mangalore where I managed to get some rest. We also met with Rhea for dinner on one day and Saby on another.

We headed back to Mumbai for a day and then returned to London getting Mom back with us for a few months.

Ashwina, Mom and me at Quilon
Ashwina, Mom and me at Quilon
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