Summer holiday fruits this year is looking a lot different. I’m at my parent’s property in the northern hemisphere having travelled solo after nearly 25 years from my home in the southern hemisphere.

I’m enjoying the variety of bananas that I lament not being able to source in Australia. My sister pointed out that it has the flavour of strawberries. The luscious sweet and flavoursome mangoes are nearly the end of their season. The names of all the varieties that my sister rattled off is a far cry from the Kensington and R2E2 varieties that I’m familiar with. I’ve been able to savour these unnamed varieties daily as my mum has made it a point to top up the pantry every time she’s out fruit and veggie shopping. The jackfruit from the garden yesterday made its appearance on the kitchen table and brought back childhood memories growing up in India. It looks like durian without the potent aroma. It is an acquired taste as well. The slippery and slimy texture has put off many a gagging kid including my sister. I enjoyed it with some rice puffs which mum says is how she remembers the Bengalis eating it.

The hot and humid weather has been stifling most of the time. One reason why I’ve avoided being here in the heart of summer. Mostly I’m indoors under the fan. Showers twice a day has been the way to go. Driving around in the air conditioned comfort of my parents tiny car, weaving in and out of the dreaded chaotic traffic has almost been enjoyable.

Despite the heat, I’m proud to say I was able to stitch the Coptic bound journals in the relaxed environment at my parents’. There’s a different dynamic to my creative outlet here. It’s a luxury to make items I love without any interruptions, pressure or distractions. Having dad occasionally check on the progress and appreciating my work was a bonus. His declining memory hasn’t tempered his entrepreneurial spirit. The journals in his opinion are good enough to sell. He added there would be many takers. I reminded him that I sold out of all the last lot and hadn’t had the time to replenish until now. He said next time I visited I should plan to make 30 or 40 of them and he could probably help too. Bless his heart!

I visited my favourite Khadi material shop the other way. Picked out some pure cotton cloth and made my way to Kalam a tailor down the road from home. He had made some silk trousers for me last and I found his handiwork quite fine. This time I entrusted him with a khadi cotton coat based on a Japanese pattern. I’m eager to check out the end result. If I’m happy with it I may be able to have a couple of pieces made up for my market stall customers in Bunbury.

That’s all from me for now. Signing off from Dimapur in Nagaland in India🌞