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To love like I'll never be hurt and sing like there's nobody listening
I'll normally reply to every request within an hour or two, but the internet isn't 100% reliable in the jungle...
I live in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in south India where I fill my days with mirth, merriment, music, motorcycles, and a lot of other things beginning with the letter M. I also do many things that don't begin with the letter M.
My home is about 30 km north of Ooty and 100 km south of Mysore in South India surrounded by mountains, in the biosphere reserve, with fresh air, amazing wildlife and the sounds of the jungle (and the sound of me playing the guitar)!I am English, and I am the fifth generation of my family to live in this area. My elderly parents live nearby.
The jungle is the perfect place for me to live - if I want the big city lights, noise, pollution, bars and restaurants I can find them a few hours away!
And I think that Marmite is a crime against humanity!
You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life. (Jiddu Krishnamurti)
And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
I have hosted a lot, surfed a little, and made life-long friends.
Living in this remote area doesn't present many opportunities to meet new people. CS gives me that opportunity and gives my guests the chance to stay in a very quiet and unspoilt part of India, surrounded by nature.
I love Music:
There are about 500 albums on my iPod (and another 2000 on my computer), but John Martyn (May You Never is pure genius) The Cinematic Orchestra, Xavier Rudd, Joanna Newsom, The XX, Angus & Julia Stone, Laura Marling, Morcheeba, Massive Attack, Cat Stevens, Tracy Chapman, and Sade seem to be getting more than their fair share of playtime recently! I love the blues, especially Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee... and Skip James!
I play the guitar:
I love cooking, especially with friends:
I bake all my own bread, and love finding ways of cooking with the very limited ingredients we have here in the jungle. So I make my own cheese for the cheesecake, make my own tahini for the hummus, make my own pasta, make mayonnaise, quiche, marzipan, cakes, pastries, pies, Chinese food, French and Italian, and of course, Indian!
I once had a darkroom and developed and printed my own photographs. Now I have a computer that does the same, except that it's not dark and there's no washing up to do when you have finished. I love portrait photography as well as landscapes, architectural, etc., and I'm particularly keen on using a digital technique called HDR (High Dynamic Range).
I love riding my motorbikes through the jungle. It's dangerous, but it is great fun! At present I have a Royal Enfield Machismo 500cc motorcycle and a Royal Enfield Classic 500cc.
I had a few classic cars when I lived in England, and I brought one little gem with me to India. She's a 1966 MG Midget, two-seater open sports car which is being restored up in Ooty.
Music, Movies, and Books
I rarely watch TV, but I enjoy snuggling up on the couch to watch a film. I'm not big on movies with explosions. Here are a few films that I have really enjoyed.
Jean de Florette
Manon des Sources
Harold and Maude
The Limits of Control
Le Hussard sur le Toit
Chacun cherche son chat
37.2° le matin (Betty Blue)
Empire of the Sun
Le retour de Martin Guerre
Tous les matins du monde
Withnail & I
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain
Cet obscur objet du désir
Paris, je t'aime
Le dîner de cons
I have thousands of albums... but _NO_ Technical Thrash Metal, Traditional Doom Metal, Boom Bap, Shoegaze or West Coast Hip Hop anywhere to be seen or heard! Actually, that's not true. I have some really bad music too!
I collect antiquarian books and have a few here from the 1700's onwards. I particularly enjoy history, reference books and anecdotes - the early form of documentaries! I thoroughly enjoyed The White Tiger, and Shit My Dad Says by Justin Halpern had me in stitches. The god of Small Things is beautifully written but less interesting than watching paint dry! Shantaram was a great read, and I simply couldn't put it down! Claire Tomalin's biography of Samuel Pepys was brilliant, but Juliet Barker's Agincourt was too much like a text book. Stephen Fry and Jeremy Clarkson make me smile.
Apart from Shantaram, City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William Dalrymple was excellent, Khaled Hosseini's three novels are amazing, and possibly the best (but not the most "enjoyable") book I have read on India is A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.
I far prefer reading on a Kindle to reading pieces of dead tree with ink on them. I didn't think that I would ever own a Kindle, but I love it as much as I love the friend who gave it to me.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Being in love.
I was there for the birth of my children.
I was once attacked by a crocodile and lived to tell the tale. (Or was it a shark?)
Teach, Learn, Share
I can teach guitar, but I would also like to improve my own playing! I have a few acoustic guitars and piano.
I can teach you how to make bread and pasta and lots of other things! How's about you teach me a recipe from your country?
Or help me to improve my French. I love the French language, culture and people.
Countries I’ve Visited
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Portugal, Qatar, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
India, United Kingdom