Welcome to the official blog for Raleigh India 12I | July - August 2012

Welcome to the Official Blog for Raleigh India 12J September - December 2012.

Saturday 18 February 2012

This is Delta listening out.

The time has come! On 16 February our venturers and PMs boarded the buses that would take them to their new home… at least for the next three weeks that is! Leading up to this they had to go through the nerve-wracking procedure of allocation (there is a thin line between goodbye-Delta-group-pains and hello-Charlie/Echo/Tango-group-pleasures) and the sheer horror of packing not only your own belongings, but also camping stoves, hygiene goodies, and one week’s worth of food. To top it all off, attention for presentations on Monitoring & Evaluation and Communications was required. In the face of all this stress, we pulled out all the stops to keep them entertained: Music, glitter, boys in tight shirts, even our trump: dancing small Manju. But enough introductions, you want to know who goes where, right!? Well, I’ve prepared a couple of things for you:
  • First, more information about the respective projects can be found in this blog post.
  • Second, my long struggle with the often incompatible combination of northings, eastings, and Google Maps has not been in vain. Check out the map below to find out who is where, doing what, and with whom. The map will have its very own permanent spot on the right hand side column of the blog (in red colour).

  • Third, it’s picture time again! And as you will see, I DID learn all the names. The venturers have been reallocated to Charlie (community projects), Echo (environment projects), and Tango (trek) groups. If you would like to pass on a message, please forget about Delta, indicate name of venturer and the name of the new project group. (Please please please indicate the group. It does make life MUCH easier for me, and who wouldn’t want that.)

Back row: Oliver, PM Stephen, James, Flora, William
Middle row: Caspar, Suresh, Natalia, Chaluva
Front row: Venetia, Aashna, PM Cate, Marjolein


Back row: Haydn, Tom, Martha, Jules, Thejas
Front row: Victoria, Jonathan, Helen, Mandisa, Sophie, PM Izi, PM Emma, Shaveh


Back row: Daniel, Alexandra, Christine, Charlie, Isabel, M&E Officer Joe
Front row: PM Harri, Suraj, Ramesh, Eline, Stephen, PM Natalie, Frances, Patrick


Back row: Roosmarijn, Charlotte, James, Kris, Dominic
Middle row: Daniel, Abhishek, Abigail, Jude
Front row: PM Sammy, Joel, Chyna, PM Jenna, PM Chrissi


Back row: Joost, Shaquille, Max, Jonathan
Middle row: Vishnu, PM Matt, PM Janet, Manjunath
Front row: Sally, Rebecca, Laura, Claire (
not on picture: Sophia)


Back row: Jan, Yashaswi, Grant, Vijay, James
Middle row: PM Amanda, Beatrice, Katherine (very right)
Front row: Nicole, Ursula, Wolde, Sofia
Group hugged by PM Barney

Next week, we will visit Tango 6, Charlie 1 and 2, as well as Echo 4 to deliver the latest FA Cup results and report about our overwhelming Cricket victory against the Host Country Venturer Alumni (which WILL happen tomorrow). I smell some project reporting, guest blogging, and messages to YOU, dear reader, so stay tuned.


  1. Dear Amanda,

    Hi an everything ( Tania says, gidday bro! ) Hope you are well and that you have not been eaten by a shark! ( or a snake !)

    Just back from Ambleside, murdering Tania's credit card in preparation for Kilimanjaro...lots of shopping.. Tania said that I was amazingly patient.. lets just say that I have had practice! Hope camp life is going ok.. We miss you loads and send all our love! Saffie sends all her wiggly cuddles...

    Lots and lots of Love, Rosie and BC gang

  2. Amanda Robinson
    Tango 6

    Dear Amanda,

    Hi an everything ( Tania says, gidday bro! ) Hope you are well and that you have not been eaten by a shark! ( or a snake !)

    Just back from Ambleside, murdering Tania's credit card in preparation for Kilimanjaro...lots of shopping.. Tania said that I was amazingly patient.. lets just say that I have had practice! Hope camp life is going ok.. We miss you loads and send all our love! Saffie sends all her wiggly cuddles...

    Lots and lots of Love, Rosie and BC gang

  3. Charlie 2 - Victoria
    We have just seen the latest news and photos. It looks as if you have had an outbreak of chicken pox but appear to be very happy with it. We are intrigued by the toilet arrangements. How deep does the hole have to be dug and will there be a real toilet?
    It sounds a really interesting trip and the bloggers are doing a fantastic job of keeping us informed. We will try and follow it on google earth.
    A big hug for you from Madeira xx (Message 3)

  4. Hi Will (Charlie 1)

    Great to hear that you have left field base. I am certain that you will all find your work in the community helping with their eco-sanitation really rewarding. More importantly what an amazing difference the whole group's work is going to mean to the community you will be changing their lives for the better. How amazing. Enjoy being part of. We miss you and love you. From us all Mumxxx

  5. Tango 6; Ursula

    Hello! Harriet here. Now, first things first, Mum thinks that you must have done some shopping between leaving here and arriving in India as you are wearing a new top in the photo (which we love, by the way). Also delighted that you positioned yourself in the middle at the front - makes it easier for Mum to see you, although she still needed her glasses...obviously....! Have a great trek, looking forward to reading more about it on the blog. Make sure you collect some great tales to regale us with on your return!
    Lots of love from us all xxxx

  6. Edho 4 - James!!
    Jai! Hope you are enjoying your time so far! Cant believe a week has gone already! I love catching a glimpse of you in the photos! Miss you so much and love you lots! From All Of Us xxxxxx

  7. to Jonny C Tango 5

    Have a great trek. Glad to see yu in a photo finally!

    Hope you are enjoying it - you seem to all have been pretty busy. Nothing exciting happening here so you aren't missing anything.

    The blogs are great to read we can almost imagine we are there.

    bye for now

    Chess, Molly, Ellie, David, Alison

  8. Echo 4 Daniel Leigh19 February 2012 at 15:04

    Hi Dan. Hope this blog reaches you.
    I was fascinated by your 'trek' blog. You will have to incorporate the story into your first novel which will probably be based on Finchley.
    Nana & I are avidly following your adventures and look forward to Echo 4 being nominated as environmental super stars. Much love. Pop

  9. Daniel Leigh Echo 419 February 2012 at 16:07

    Hi Dan. Do hope you get this blog. We were fascinated by your 'trek' blog. You will have to incorporate the story into your first novel which will presumeably be based on your experiences in Finchley.
    Both Nana and I are avidly following your adventures and look forward to learning that Echo 4 reign supreme in environmental improvements. Lots of love. Pop

  10. Charlie 2 - Victoria
    It was great to get your text and we're so happy all is going well. It's SO nice to see the photos of you on the blog - mind you I think you need to do some more work on your tan! I could never have imagined you building roads and loos but I'm sure you'll rise to the challenge.
    I can't believe you've been away for nearly 10 days - it's gone so fast, mainly cos Matt's been home and kept me busy with his mates 'gathering' (no, it WAS a PARTY!!) Have a great time and keep in touch when you can.
    LOL Mum & Matt xxxxx:)

  11. jan leeman Tango 6

    Hi Jan, how is life? you started with the trekking. Pretty different from what you use to do, I pressume. The scenery looks wonderfull and quite overwelming. Keep up and hope your feet don't hurt too much.
    love mum

  12. Hermann Frömmrich19 February 2012 at 20:00

    Charlie 2 - Sophie
    Hallo Sophie, we hope that you receive our messages. We follow the blog almost every day. Seems that you have fun and lots of excersise and this at 4.30am - oh dear. Just your time of the day. Anton is sending you a big hug as well. We are starting packing for South Africa. Louis arriving on Friday. LOL Dad and Kristina

  13. Dear Barney (Tango 6)
    Hello My Love!
    Have you brought any other clothing other than your City shirt?
    I hope the trek is going well and you haven't rolled down any mountain sides.
    I miss you terribly. Can't wait to speak to you when you get back.
    Look after those Venturers.
    All my love, Beb xxx

  14. Charlie 1 - Aashna Jain

    We miss talking to you! Looks like all is well there, and you are becoming an expert in making toilets! Sonu mama is going to be visiting Bangalore and Coimbatore next week, let me know if there's something you absolutely need and I will have him bring it.
    happy half birthday to you:) we celebrated Kunal's birthday yesterday, and really missed you. AJ is busy job hunting for summer, he has some exciting interviews lined up. We have remodeled our bedroom, looks great now! Call us when you can.
    Love you, Mom and Dad.

  15. Echo 4 Daniel Leigh
    Hi Dan
    Not sure our last message made the site so take 2. Really enjoyed your blog. Great experience and invaluable skills with a chicken. Nice to see half your head in the photo as well. By now you will be doing your eco project in the forest. Very proud of you. Stay safe and happy.
    All our love, Dad, Mum, Ben and Dog

  16. Steve: ECHO 3
    Hi Steve.
    We are with Mum & Dad and we have been looking at the pictures of you all and it looks like you are with a great crowd and enjoying yourself. Make the most of your weather - it is bitterly cold here! Looking forward to hearing more about you; take care of the turtles! Much love from your two Nans. xx

  17. Venetia - Charlie 1
    Hi Venetia - great to see the photos of your new group and see on g maps where your village is - in the middle of nowhere! Hope the digging is going well & shoulder better. Jamis getting faster on crutches but getting used to being waited on! Not much news here - you're having all the fun. Smokey & mabel were arguing over a mouse today. Lots of love & look forward to hearing from you when you get to fieldbase in march. Mum, Dad & Jamie

  18. Dear Helen (Charlie 2), Hope all is going well still. It looks very hot there so take care when in the sun and keep putting the suncream on! Warmed up a bit at home, snow all gone and we've had some rain. This is your second week nearly over now - the time is flying. Good luck with your group's project. love from Mum xxx

  19. For Sofia Karasinski in Tango 6

    Hey, kiddo! Did you get my last message? Is it true that you are off hiking? We are so happy for you - everyone is asking me all the time about you. Celina is here for a few days - she's going to help me with the Danny A event. I'm making brownies for 90 guests - do you think they'll guess that it's from a Betty Croker mix? Ha, ha.....if you were here, you would make me prepare them from scratch.

    Send us some news, darling, when you have a minute. It would be really nice to hear what your impressions are of India and how you're getting on. Tony misses you! The cats are on our bed every night squishing us into bits and leaving no room.

    Lots of love, Sofia. Big kiss.....
    Mummy, Papa and Celina (meow, Tony & Cleo)

  20. Sofia Karasinski in Tango 6

    Hey, Kiddo, I'm not sure if you are getting my messages! But, I'll try again... Celina is here for a couple of days, she's going to help me with the Danny A event - there are 90 people coming! I'm in charge of making brownies for all those people. Do you think they'll guess that it's a Betty Croker mix? Ha, ha...if you were here, you'd help me make them from scratch.

    Tony is missing you! Both cats sleep with us everynight squishing us to bits and leaving no room.

    Take care, and, darling, when you have a chance, send us a message and give us your impressions of India. Eveyone is asking for you everyday.

    Lots of love, Sofia. Big kiss!
    xxx Mummy, Papa and Celina
    (Tony & Cleo...meow...)

  21. Hi Patrick (Echo 3)
    Hope you are enjoying your project so far. I wonder if you have seen many turtles yet. Looks like you are quite a long way from field base so it was probably an interesting journey just to get there. Great to see your photo on the blog looking your usual happy self.
    Love Mum xx

  22. Roosmarij Groen,echo 4

    Ha lief Roosje,
    Lijkt me een leuk project waar je mee bezig gaat.Volgens mij echt wat je wilde.
    Als je kan stuur ons dan een bericht uit India,want we zijn enorm benieuwd naar je ervaringen.
    We kijken bijna elke dag naar jullie foto"s,maar dan is het natuurlijk wel de bedoeling dat je niet helemaal achteraan gaat staan en wij maar moeten gokken dat je achter die jongen echt staat,haha
    Nou lieve meid,geniet en doe veel ervaringen op.
    Hier is alles prima.
    Het is weer vreselijk koud.Jr is begonnen aan zijn maatschappelijke stage

    xxxxx mama

  23. Oliver Forster-Constance Charlie 120 February 2012 at 13:33

    Hi Ollie (Charlie 1)
    Hope you are well and enjoying your new project.
    great to see you on the blog - you look very healthy! Shrewsbury won at weekend, so they are 4th in the league now with only 2 points in it,we will keep you posted as some very interesting matches coming up. Missing you but so glad that you look so happy! Love Mum,Dad, Holly and Henry xx

  24. For Dominic Echo 4
    Hi Dom, you may well know this by now but you won't mind hearing it again. We won 6-1 at Anfield yesterday courtesy of three own goals (thanks Brighton-what were you doing?) and good goals from Skrtl, Carroll and Suarez. We play Stoke at Anfield in mid-March. Chelsea and Tottenham both drew and so need to replay (ha!) but Everton got through so who knows it might be a derby final or semi-final. Arsenal are out. Anyway enough about footie. Hope you're enjoying your new group and project. Please let us know how you're getting on when you get a chance. Love you, Mum and Dad

  25. Hi Christiane,
    the more I read your blog, the more I want to leave rainy & cold Brussels... Have a fantastic time and don't get bitten by the snakes :)
    Bisous, Claudia

  26. Hans en Anita de Vries20 February 2012 at 18:37

    to Eline de Vries Echo 3

    Hi Eline,
    Even een berichtje vanuit Heerlen. De carnaval is volop bezig. Gisteren de optocht met echte winterse buien en een beetje zon.Het vriest hier nu weer. Hoe is het bij jou met de schildpadden?. Wat moeten jullie precies doen? Hoe is het eten en slapen daar, buiten het basiskamp?. We zagen de foto's op het blog. Het lijkt me een gezellige groep waar je mee bent.
    We zijn heel benieuwd naar al je verhalen.


    papa en mama

  27. Hans en Anita de Vries20 February 2012 at 18:47

    to Eline de Vries Echo 3

    Hi Eline,
    Even een berichtje vanuit Heerlen. De carnaval is volop bezig. Gisteren de optocht met echte winterse buien en een beetje zon.Het vriest hier nu weer. Hoe is het bij jou met de schildpadden?. Wat moeten jullie precies doen? Hoe is het eten en slapen daar, buiten het basiskamp?. We zagen de foto's op het blog. Het lijkt me een gezellige groep waar je mee bent.
    We zijn heel benieuwd naar al je verhalen.


    papa en mama

  28. Hans en Anita de Vries20 February 2012 at 18:54

    Eline de Vries Echo 3
    Hoi Lien
    Het is carnaval en ik was vrijdag en zondag uit geweest. Het was super gezellig. Ik had zaterdag ook met de kinderoptocht meegelopen, was ook super gezellie. Ik moest zaterdag oppassen op een meisje van anderhalf en ik hoefde niks te doen want zei sliep al, maar het betaalde wel :D.
    Hoe is het bij jou, met de schildpadden?
    Ik had wat foto's gezien, het zag er gezellig uit.
    groetjes Stijn

  29. Jorrit Groen en Diva20 February 2012 at 19:18

    Roosmarijn Groen, Echo 4

    Hoop dat je het allemaal naar je zin hebt. Hier nog steeds koud, wel iets warmer dus die ellendige $&!sneeuw is goddank weg. Het kwam steeds tussen mijn tenen (groetjes Diva)
    Al denkt onze held Friso daar waarschijnlijk nog anders over.
    Diva mist je echt verschrikkelijk maar Remco, Renger en Papa vullen dat goed op.
    Veel plezier nog de komende tijd, en niet te veel kippen slachten want dan houden ze in India geen kip meer over, als Roos de smaak te pakken krijgt...
    Groetjes Jorrit en Diva
    En Maarten en Lexus ook

  30. Helen and Andrew Carless20 February 2012 at 21:43

    Isabel Carless - Echo 3

    We read about the turtle festival on the SNM website which looks great fun and the turtles look so cute. It must have taken you ages to get to the base - couldn't find it on the map at first, way up beyond Goa, but at least it's giving you the chance to see more of India and to be beside the sea. Is it swimming weather we wonder? Can't wait to see your pics so take loads. Suzy,Heidi,Guy all down for half term and they send love as do Granny and Colin. Hen was down for weekend with Dunc and he's going to send you a message. Take care and HAVE FUN!! Lots of love M&D&Truff xxxx

  31. FOR TOM MITCHELL Charlie 2
    Old worryguts here wondering why you not smiling in Charlie 2 pic? Is it the thought of hard labour?! Your phone doesn't have signal, does it? Would be great to hear from you after this phase, somehow. No great news here. Very boring Teddies talk about uni application for Lottie yesterday. How are the goggles?! omg Hope you are taking masses of pics. M xxx

  32. Charlie 2 - Victoria
    Happy Birthday to you - whilst you are digging a loo.
    You will always remember where you were on this day. Have a lovely day we will be thinking of you. I have made a Victoria sponge to celebrate, filled with homemade lemon curd, so we can toast you with a glass of bubbly.
    We hope the post managed to catch up with you. Anyway, have fun.
    With a big hug from Madeira. l.o.l. Oma + Grandpa

  33. Hi PM Matt (Tango 5)

    Mum & Dad calling....Hope 'K-kilo A-apha R-romeo L-lima' is behaving himself? Not many sheep in India to tempt him!

    Have checked every day to see how you're all doing. Hope the toes, boots, feet, legs, carves, thighs, hips etc etc are all feeling fit and willing. Only a few klicks go!

    Have booked skiing, although am a little concerned to see tripadvisor describe hotel as an 'Austrian Fawlty Towers' - just our luck! Clare has more job interviews lined up, so fingers crossed....

    Take care Matt and look after your team

    M&V xxxx

  34. Hi Hels! (Charlie 2)
    Hope all's going well so far - looks like a lot of fun from the photos. I just tried to Google map you and it looks very remote - are you in the middle of a forest?! Not much new to report here, lots of work as usual but off on holiday with Lizzy & others next week, hooray. Enjoy the curries!
    Lots of love,
    Jens (& Jade & Ed & Troy) xxx

  35. hello venetia charlie 1
    we were looking at the pictures and we saw you!we all hope you are enjoying your self. we have just had half term, during that time i did a play called ZOOM about a hare and a tortoise having a race, i did that for 4 nights.so far i have had 1 day at school and am already bored!:( i cant wait to see you soon:D
    love meg, paddy simon, sarah, and nelliexxxxxxxxxx

  36. cuxham T,V,B,I,K,W,P+P21 February 2012 at 02:03

    Hi Natalia (C1), cuxham here. All well here although W has taken to rolling in fox poo which is delightful. Tim jnr passed his medical exams so is relieved. Ben is learning to drive the golf round the drive which is slightly unnerving. Hope the digging is going well!! love M + D xx

  37. Abigail Smith (echo 4)
    The weather is cold and wet over here. Your Dads got you a surprize for when you come home, you'll love it! Manchester got through to the semi-finals (universtity Challage). Sent your stuff to Liverpool like asked. Had a Renios on Saturday wanted to know were you where had to explain. He laughed when I told him the tale of the chickens. Said he'd send you something over. Hope you are still enjoying it, have you got enough money. We miss you love mum and dad.

  38. Hi Patrick (Echo 3)
    Glad to hear you have been on the move. Hope you are enjoying the project so far and looking after those turtles.
    Completed the Kinloss-Lossiemouth half marathon yesterday in 1hr 36m so very pleased with that!
    Love Dad x

  39. Flora (Charlie1)
    We are off to Kenya today and see that you are off in deepest India digging loos.
    Papa in a big panic about his packing - but I expect he will manage it in the end.
    Have not seen a photo of you on the blog yet, but did see Izi water racing.
    Hope you are having loads of fun.
    We are all thinking of you


  40. Roosmarijn Groen Echo 4

    Heee roosie, hoop dat je het naar je zin hebt daar.
    Had vorige week al een berichtje geplaatst, maar dat is niet helemaal goed gegaan..
    Las dat je nu iets met bio-gas aan het doen bent, hopelijk bevalt dat project je.
    Ben heeel benieuwd naar al je verhalen en foto's!
    Geniet ervan!!
    xx Laura

  41. Hi Katherine(Tango 6 )
    Hope the trekking is going well and that those boots are made for walking!I remember the blisters Charles got when he was there and am hoping you are ok!Back to yoga today.....think its easier if you dont have a 6 month break!i will probably be immobile tomorrow!!Great photo of you in the hat btw.Hope there arent too many spiders:(
    Love you Mum xx

  42. Matt OCallaghan (Your big Brother)22 February 2012 at 02:28

    Charlie 2 - Vitoria

    Hey little sister!! :) I hope everything is going well out there. This next bit you can't read till the 23rd >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY VICTORIA!!!!!!!!!!! :D Your 19!!!!!!!!! You are starting to get fairly old aren't you.... :P But I will always think of you as my little sister however old and wrinkly you get. :) I hope you got or will get or have or could have or need or want or thought of or imagined or somethinged that letter I wrote to you!!! You can't open it till your birthday!!!!

    Just remember that your absolutely LEGENDARY brother is always thinking of you!!! It has been weird not having you around over half term... by the way my GATHERING ;) ;) ;) was AWESOME!!!! I would tell you more about it but undoubtedly Mum and O and G are going to be reading this post so I can't go into to much detail... (Hello Mum, O and G and anyone else who decides to read my awesome post...) Just remember to man up at every opportunity! :) School with me is alright as per usual just incase you where wondering...

    Also you need to remember that you are the epitome of silly and the antithesis of not silly if you get my gist.... :)

    Hope you have a good birthday and holiday.

    Lots and lots of love from your big brother,

    Makkai Matt...


    P.S. Sorry about any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors there are in this post... No one has proof read this post and my awesome Mac is having problems with the number of mistakes... :) x

    P.P.S. Floccinaucinihilipilification (that is actually a word) I bet you don't know what it means!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  43. Victoria, Charlie 2 FOR 23RD FEBRUARY!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Well this will be a birthday for you to remember! A year ago did it ever occur to you where you would spend your next birthday? No? Me neither! I hope you have an amazing day and are able to celebrate somehow. I'm thinking of you all the time and hoping that all is well and that as well as working hard you have time for FUN! Matt & I posted cards to you about 10 days ago so hope they reach you sometime... You'll have to wait for your present!
    Lots of love, Mum xx
    PS Promise not to laugh? Fell off my bike today! (Yes I know you're sniggering) so I've now officially earned my stripes as a cyclist! xxxxxxx;)

  44. Margaret Anderson22 February 2012 at 03:39

    Frances (Echo 3)

    Hi Sweetheart. We're all missing you greatly - Wolf lies on your bed every day, but he has been enjoying a wonderful walk regime in your honour and has even decided that London isn't too bad now that we've discovered a huge garden for him to run in, complete with a friendly German dog. I've posted your happy group photo on Facebook for everyone to see, and have lots of lovely comments wishing you much fun with the turtles. Our house is coming on so well and every day brings new excitement. I found several clumps of snowdrops today in amongst the trees, and that made me happy. Lots of yucky horsehair plaster being slapped on ceilings - huge clumps of hair, quite revolting. So looking forward to hearing more about your project on the blog, and so pleased that you are having such wonderful opportunities in such a beautiful country. Lots of love XXX

  45. Harriet PM Echo 3
    Cards arrived many thanks, photo of you (we think) watching hatchlings release on the Turtle festival website, used Mito to visit Cains, great restaurant; decorating going well, radiator in, painting and seeing your handiwork on upstairs door frame. Missing you ++ and hope weather better than it looked on pic X

  46. Katherine - Tango 6
    Hey ... what a great blog on the first 5 days of your trek! Love it! I can't believe you all built your own rafts. No crocs or rhinos? maybe that's another country. Ted just came back from Bangalore, but I think his hotel experience was slightly different from yours - room service, spa, french dining room, suited and booted.
    Nothing from Francesco despite texts so Mum has sent Flavia a quick email.
    Mo was looking out of the front window, I think waiting for you ..... she talks to me in a wierd voice almost every night and morning, and I suspect sends her love.
    Take it easy Ms A. xxxxxxx

  47. Marjolein - Charlie 1
    Lieve Marjolein,
    Hoe is het bij jou? Lukt het met het bouwen van de wc's??
    Je stond weer goed op de foto hoor haha mafkees ;)
    Onwijs veel plezier en keep up the good work!
    Love you, xx Dorine

  48. Shaquille Smith - Tango 5

    Hello my Indian best friend I hope you are having fun!I am mad at you because you left with out telling me goodbye! .... Im over it now. Anyway, I miss you! And I see that you have left fieldbase and you are now doing your first expedition. TREK. I knowww your loving it!(sike) But Im sure it's beautiful! Enjoy the leaches! Truism...

    Jasmine Furbert

  49. Charlie 2 - VICTORIA

    Hey favourite Niece (albeit my only Niece) HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! You didn't think I wouldn't find a way of wishing you a Happy Birthday did you?

    19 years ago, I was on my own adventure on a skiing holiday, I knew you would be entering the world (as you & Matt know I have the all seeing eyes), I rang Oma to find out what flavour you were & she told me you were a little girl (just as well seeing you're my Niece). I met you for the first time a week or so later & I remember counting your fingers & toes & I probably changed your nappy (too much info yet?) & you were lovely.

    19 years on & you're on your own adventure, & by the sounds of it having a great time, the experience will last a lifetime, so grab each opportunity & enjoy all of it!

    I may not see you & Matt as often as I'd hoped, but that doesn't mean I don't think of you both. I still smile at the thought of you as a mischievous toddler throwing your hat in the sea & letting the waves soak your trousers!!

    Oma tells me she got this weeks dates mixed up, I feel that this is somewhat my fault (& Grandpa's), I sent them some chocolates (some boozy) & I think Grandpa has let her have one too many (bless) so don't worry they've not gone (completely) round the twist :)

    As I don't drink I wont raise a glass to you today, I shall hunt down cake instead & Gail & I will wish you a VERY happy Birthday.

    Gail sends her love too!

    Just to make you blush, remember I love you lots & Lots, up to the sky, moon, the whole universe, the whole ocean, & the WHOLE atmosphere.

    Your Favourite Aunt (golly you're 19 that makes me feel OLD!)

    Ps I still love you & Matt more xxx

  50. For TOM MITCHELL (Charlie 2) Hope all's going well and that you get these messages from Swinbrook, as you know I am technologically challenged.... Would just love to know how you are getting on! Living in a village and digging/bricklaying all day I reckon? Your tax rebate has come thru, I've put it in your account. Will has broken up with Steph, he's coming home next weekend for some r&r and collect ski stuff. Lottie fine, dance show on Saturday (dont you wish you were coming? ...!). Dad busy as ever but jolly. He's had correspondance with Rikkee Curtis re boat in Lankawi. I know this phase finishes on 5th March I think. Any chance of communicating I wonder. Don't understand what's up with your phone. Where will you be for results 8th March? Lots and lots of love, M

  51. Many happy returns, birthday girl! We all hope you have a wonderful(ly different!!) day. Think of you every day - your beautiful pot stand is in pride of place & in regular use for the rayburn kettle - thank you!
    Your Mama & I were part of the triumphant quiz team yet again...Becoming a habit!

    See you soon
    With love J,C,VE & Q xxx

  52. Forgot to put 'Victoria Charlie 2'!!

  53. Becky - Tango 5
    Hi Bec
    We are so enjoying reading the blogs, they are giving us a great feel for the experiences you are having - although know they only touch the surface. It sounds very tough, I am thinking of you under that heavy rucksack!! James is worried that you will be so tough when you get back! I have just given Chris B your contact details to pass on to Connie who is travelling out to Goa for a week or so. I'll let you have hers when Chris gets back to me. She may have been and gone by the time you are in communication again though. Can't wait to hear more about your expedition. All well at home. It is 16 degrees - the warmest February day for decades. Apparently there is a water shortage, so there!! All my love, Dad xx

  54. Katherine - Tango 6
    Hi .... life here isn't the same without you. It used to be exciting because I never knew what was round the next corner. It's been cold recently and I've been dreaming of a warm bed with crisp clean sheets ... probably the same as you. Need to get my life in gear! Are you driving everyone nuts?

    Lots of love, Veronica x

  55. Oliver Forster_Constance Charlie 124 February 2012 at 14:38

    Hi Oliver- Charlie 1
    Hope your first week in the community is going well and that your building skills are improving!!
    Everyone well here at this end, Emily is home tonight for a few days so looking forward to seeing her as house very quiet at moment!!
    Take care and have fun Lots of love Mum and Dad xxx PS Many thanks for the team running the blog, its great..

  56. Christine van Tuyll24 February 2012 at 22:56

    Sabine van Tuyll
    to Christine - ECHO 3
    Hallo Stientje, wat ontzettend leuk dat we je kunnen volgen op de blog. Heerlijk om blije foto's van je te zien.Het ziet er allemaal uit om jaloers op te zijn maar ook wel zwaar, zeker dat om 5.00 uur opstaan. Turtle pad aanleggen klinkt ook super. Hier nog steeds koud. Isa is vanmiddag vertrokken met sterre in nachtbus naar Val Thorens, dus heel stil thuis met papa en Kiek. Kiek heeft veel hulp gehad van jouw en Anne's uitreksels vorige week tijdens de peoefwerkweek. Wij gaan volgende week met z'n drieen 3 dagen naar Lissabon. Ik heb er zin in. Vanmorgen je kaart ontvangen, dank heel leuk, jammer dat je muskietennet toch onhamdig is!! Dag lieverd we volgen je iedere dag dikke kus mama

  57. Laura Mac - Tango 5

    Oink Oink. I hope everything is going well on the big big trek, and your enjoying every second of it all! (Probs cooking like we did on the tipi holiday)
    Starting level 2 coaching tomorrow so that should be fun, but more importantly I just ate loads of fajitas :)
    I took Betsy out earlier and said where is Laura, and she kept looking around lol.
    Anyway will catch up with the blog over the weekend, (get yourself in some photos)

    We all miss you lots.
    Love Matt x

    2 weeks have gone now!

  58. Charlie 2 - Haydn Fraser

    Hi Haydn,
    It's great following the blog and it was so nice to see a photograph of you. It's hard to believe you've only been away 2 weeks it seems so much longer! The weather has changed completley it's been 18 degrees today, i've been doing plenty of gardening and dog walking (millie's fine still limping a little). Hope all's well and you're enjoying yourself, miss you lots
    Mum x x x

  59. Alex S-C : Echo 3
    Hey Allie, just worked out how to use send a message. Checking everyday for news. Looking forward to seeing pictures. Hope the turtle project is fabulous. MIss you. Looking forward to hearing from you. xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx

  60. charlie 2 - Martha Clarke

    hi martha

    great to see pictures of you, afternoon TV is not the same without you but at least there's more food in the house. i hope your having an amazing time... i miss you... NOT...HAHA... i actually do a bit, try not to die


  61. Hi Lau,

    Are you alriiiiiiiiiiiiight???!??? I'm alright!!

    Hope your having an amazing time - looking like your having an ace time. I've looked at your trek route, bet you are seeing so many utterly amazing things.

    All ok this end, getting bits ready for our travs. So excited to see you in exactly 4 weeks time!! I finish work in a couple of weeks - getting mega busy now but it'll all be worth it when we are pootling through Asia.

    Mising you lots, take care, lots of love

    Laura xxxx

  62. Sorry last comment for Laura M - Tango 5. Thanks

  63. Paulien en oma2 March 2012 at 18:28

    Hoi Roos,
    hoe gaat het met jou in het lekkere warme India.
    Geniet je er net zo van als dat wij hebben gedaan? Ik vind het een geweldig land en heb deze reis weer zoveel nieuwe dingen en stukken gezien. Wij hebben dan ook ontzettend veel foto's gemaakt en als het goed is ook een film, die gaat Harry monteren. Kunnen we nog eens genieten.
    Oma gaat nu even verder, groetjes van Paulien
    Zo, nou ben ik aan de beurt! dag Roosje, m'n doosje!!!
    Hoe druk ben je de hele dag? en Hoe moe ben je
    s ávonds? Is het hard werken? En wanneer mag je antwoord geven aan al die mensen die jou iets toesturen. Vind je het allemaal leuk om te doen of denk je bij mijn oma is het leuker, maar ja, dat is ook niet naast de deur, hè!

  64. Echo 3 - Stephen P Lovell

    Yo-yo-yo Bro-bro!

    Loving the new name! Like Richard E Grant! And John F Kennedy! Lol!

    How be things?! Hope all is well - photos look fab! Not much to bring you up to date on from this end, to be honest! No turtle-related heroics currently required in Acocks Green...

    I have decided that to keep you in the loop, every week, I shall provide you with a 'Juvenile Delinquent Quote of the Week' from work. This week's particular highlight being: "Miss, where is Cognito? Because my mate has put on Facebook that he's there with his girlfriend." Deep sigh. Aaaaah, the youth of today...

    Anyhow... Mum and me went shopping for my wedding dress the other week! (I think they already told you... Grrr...) It was about the 4th one I tried on, and it is AMAZING! Very excited! Now all I have to do is save for the Christian Louboutin shoes to match... Only £452.67 more required by my reckoning... Good times... :oS

    Hope you have an amazing birthday, I shall raise a glass to you (probably bubbly... From the comfort of my safe, homely, snake and tarantula-free house and my very best stripey pink pyjamas...)

    Much love from us both (Wiain says hi!) How are the pressies going down?! Miss you loads and loads and loads...

    Cathy & Iain x x x x x

  65. To the one and only Venetia (Charlie 1)
    Just come back from a brilliant day up in London with your mum.
    Had quite a week, as last weekend Dave and I were in Iceland ! Typically it was a gorgeous weekend back here, and we didn't see the Northern Lights as we'd hoped cos it was cloudy and snowing. Oh well, have to try Sweden next time !
    We had our last lambs this morning, and I think your dad had his first (triplets), tho we do have one or two in April too I hope. We're bottle feeding 3 which is a little bit of a chore but they're quite cute.
    Hannah's BD tomorrow and I'm very sad as it'll be the first time I'm not with her. Still, only two weeks til she's back. She's been really busy rowing this week in the Lent Bumps and is looking forward to catching up with work and sleep this weekend, along with a formal and going out on Sunday eve.
    I'm enjoying my hunting again, having had a little break with bad weather and lame horses. Cranborne tomorrow, probably not for too long as rain is forecast. I'm such a lightweight !
    Other than all that, life goes on as normal here, tho at a pretty fast pace it seems. I love keeping up with what you're doing - can you get one of your lot to write a blog ?

    Lots of love,