We are now into the third full day and gradually recovering from jet lag and the excesses of the past couple of weeks.
Gate the builder is now known as Late Gate- but there are hopes that the Pelawatta House might be ready for us to move into in the next couple of days, besides which he is a very nice man. Sure the completion date has long past and there have been changes to the renovation plans which lets Gate off the hook somewhat. All major works are completed, and who needs a kitchen anyway.
The kitchen is being redesigned and re-quoted as I write. We have an outside kitchen already in situ as well as an outside sink etc. So we won’t starve in the meantime. But I won’t be holding my breath for the inside kitchen to be completed any time soon.
The huge fish in the L-shaped pond which takes up a good deal of the living room/dining room in this house, has yet again just tried to throw itself out of the water. It’s a good two feet in length with a broad beam and makes an almighty slap and splash as it hits the surface of the pond. I bravely checked to see if there was a gecko or a snake fancying it for supper. I can’t see anything that resembles a snake or gecko in or near the ponds. Imagine me looking for a snake and gecko ! Trouble is I don’t know what I would do if there were one in here.
We have a Doberman dog in the grounds. There are larger geckos here – not quite as big as the dog but I fancy the dog would sort out any gecko or snake. Mind you this is a Buddhist house so killing another creature is against their way of life. But I would still call the dog in.
There are geckos here but they are feathery spindly creatures only four to six inches long at least those who live within the rooms of the house are. I came across loads of a similar size and colour when Maureen and I were in Cairns in Australia and they eat insects and not people so they are good to have around.
Pentathlon was a television programme I watched on the first day here. It was in the local language Sinhala, although schoolchildren here have to learn Tamil and English as well. The programme was a competition between two schools, one from Colombo and one from near where the family have land in the tea plantations.
The competing school children were aged about fifteen upwards and there was great angst if a question or a part of the competition was missed. Throwing a ball in a basketball net, in one section of the competition allowed the competitor to answer a question or catching a ball in another. The inhalation of breath and the drama was audible if one of your team either missed the chance or answered the question incorrectly. This was competition taken extremely seriously. In another part of the programme a board with different coloured sections, much like trivial pursuit, produced a choice of say, arts, sport, science etc, depending upon where the dart hit the board. And there was an opportunity to double up your points on a section you were confident about answering that topic.
Watching this with three native Sinhala speakers and my very competitive son was hilarious as the three locals wanted to answer the questions themselves, whilst said son, when he could not decipher what was being said on screen, was anxious for the others to translate.
What impressed me most of all about the competing teenagers was gentle and mannerly they were dressed in their school uniforms and gleaming white shirts, ties worn by boys and girls alike. The girls mostly had their long hair tied back from their faces, into shiny dark plaits with not a wisp of hair astray.
I had a Rotti for breakfast the other morning. It’s a pancake made with flour and coconut. Delicious altogether and I wasn’t paying attention when it was being prepared but mean to watch carefully the next time.
We are awakened each morning by the bread van as it plays Viennese Waltz music from 5.30 am. The van is a brightly painted tuk tuk and it spins around the red sandy country lanes several times a day. The daughter-in-law bought me a tea loaf to try this morning. Light as a feather and with a shiny glazed top.
We have other music that starts from early on but that is for another day and a tale to be told when we move from here.