India and Sri Lanka, 29 January to 26 February 2011, placeholder and links

We needed a long and complete break after the loss of Phillie, Janie’s twin, in December. But this holiday was a long and ambitious one by any measure.

We were planning it at very short notice, by our standards, of course, but fortune smiled upon us in that planning. The Central Plains of India; Chhattisgarh and Orissa (Odisha) can be quite politically volatile, Foreign Office advice yo-yos between “no problem” and “only go if need be”, due to Naxalite/Maoist activity. But what a fascinating tribal part of India it is.


Anyway, it was a safe time to go at that time and the plan, through Steppes East who were excellent on this one, was to use the family of the Maharajah of Kanker as our guides in that region. This was a great idea; Jolly Deo, the Maharajkumar, was the perfect host and guide. We learnt lots and had fun along the way.

I have already posted the weirdest story from that trip; the day I was press-ganged into being a live cricket commentator, which was published on King Cricket a few months after the event.


We were also fortunate in the Sri Lanka leg of the trip; an opportunity to have a large villa in Galle Old Town all to ourselves for the price of a hotel room came up, by virtue of the villa only recently coming back onto the holiday market following a long-term family stay. I suppose our experience there was a bit like a cross between AirBnB (except without making life hell for the neighbours) and


In short, there are loads of adventures to write up from this holiday – pages and pages and pages of the stuff.

For now though, here are links to the photo albums, which I divided up into six short albums, one for each “leg” of the trip:

If you are really keen to explore my hand-written notes before I write them up properly, here they are in pdf form and good luck to you:

Here is the Steppes East itinerary, also available for download – at least you’ll be able to read this one: Itinerary-Wormleighton.


The Day I Was Press-ganged Into Becoming a Live Cricket Commentator


Strange things can happen when you travel in India but this event, from Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh, in the central plains of India, must qualify as one of the strangest things that has happened to me in my entire life.

I reported this story at length on the King Cricket website, under my nom de plume, Ged Ladd.  Janie and I have nicknamed each other Ged and Daisy for as long as anyone can remember.  Click here for the story and further links.

If you want to see the pictures from our several days in the Bastar region of Chhattiisgarh, including the events described in this story, click here. 

Middlesex Ged Ladds v Bastar Jolly Rogers, Garden Cricket At the Bastar Jungle Resort, 5 February 2011

At the Bastar Jungle Resort, in Chhattisgarh, central plains of India, we had great fun playing garden cricket after our touring on a couple of evenings; especially 5 February.

Tennis ball bounce?
Tennis ball bounce?

I described the background and the matches at length on the Middlesex Till We Die (MTWD) web site when we returned from India. Read all about it by clicking the photo above or clicking here.

The match report doesn’t mention the mess I made of one of my arms by trying to hit the cover off the ball in the final match of the “series”. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose when it comes to Ged Ladd and playing sport. Ironically, earlier that same day I had my 15 minutes of fame as a live cricket commentator and thus soon to be minor celebrity in those parts – see here.