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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Imperial Black, Lieutenant Twiss & a Darjeeling Hill Station

Shimla  Matheran  Darjeeling

smoke and dawn in the foothills of the Himalaya

Darjeeling & Kanchenjunga

a temple of monkeys

A British past

Hill stations and the lives lived there have more than fascinated us at Imperial Black. They have coloured our images of the English gentleman abroad. The gin drinking, tea sipping, and cricket play beneath a sweltering landscape are irresistible.

Coronation day 1937

As a boy I would hear talk of forebearers who took the air up high, walked the hills, and adventured onto the peaks.  Always fascinated I would beg more from assorted great Aunts and Uncles.  I have strong suspicions that as the paltry bits of information were mined over and over our own Lieutenant Twiss became a distorted sum of his parts.  I'm doubtful that any man could live up to a family's collective stories but nevertheless he persists and exists to this day in what we do.

In Darjeeling

a march with the men

Tiger print in river bed

We are drawn to the time in between days and the ethereal places in between journeys.  Hill stations existed in that idyllic place of being neither here (India) nor there (England).  Just as in a scrubby patch of land in the West Indies reinvention was commonplace for many a man.

As we look at shirting materials for this next selection The Raj and travel by train through the continent loom large.  The ashes of British Imperialism are ever present in our thoughts.  place names, historical events, injustices made, and a thirst for exploration offer fertile material for the imagination.

up and into the hills

  Quarters bound for the hills

An elegant spot to write in transit


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