We arrived back home just after 8am on Saturday morning both of us quite exhausted through having a very hectic but enjoyable week I can honestly say it was very educational gaining lots of new information relating to the mining and processing of natural stone from India we know commonly as Indian sandstone
Having a one on one conversation is always the best way forward and it was with out a doubt exceptional conversation with Chris either during the day or in the evenings over a couple of beers knowing he is very knowledgeable with virtually everything there is to know regarding stone marble and granite. I'll give you an example of our conversation, it covered how grains of sand and 300 million years of compression resulting in rock formation being made into Indian sandstone paving and transported to the UK - yeah yeah I know maybe we both need to get out more often !!
The scale of the stone processing operation in India by Stoneshippers is colossal. The the amount of machinery, investment, raw materials and finished product, with lorries and tractors towing trailers even camels pulling trailers moving stone in and out of the yards all day long it something that I didn't appreciate before I went and visited.
The Taj Mahal was well worth visiting, the shear size of it and the surrounding building and the workmanship is just amazing. Truly worth a visit if you get the chance.
The visit to the school has that feel good factor when you’re helping someone less fortunate than yourself, Stoneshippers and Marshalls have certainly helped out by investing in the school we visited and other schools in the area of which the kids are all very grateful. Without this, their lives would be a hell of a lot more miserable and that s all credit to both business standing up and being counted and putting something back into their local community.
I also wish people who work for border patrols and airport security would smile once in a while instead of looking you up and down like your something what walked in on the bottom of their shoe. I couldn't decide if the woman stood on passport control in France (who was only knee height to a grasshopper) was eyeing me up and down before she asked me for a date or checking me out to see if she could take me down to the floor with her black belt in Origami. But if looks could kill, I would of dropped to the floor anyway!
Oh and to the Indian army guy holding the semi automatic machine gun outside of Udaipur airport in Rajasthan, who point blank refused to make a little guy on tour happy, Reg says he didn't want his photo taken with you anyway...... :-p
So folks that's it in a nutshell, I had a fantastic week in India thanks to Marshalls especially Dave Jessop the operations manager for the Marshall's register of approved installers for giving me the opportunity to visit in the first place, thanks to Stoneshippers for showing me the hospitality of the highest order and above all thank you to Chris Frankland who as per the comment on his twitter account is indeed a gentleman and a scholar, cheers Buddy :-)