It’s moving day and I slept in! Friends from the UK got through on Skype last night and it was brilliant catching up with them. The connection was as clear as if they were in the next room and we didn’t use video because I must have pressed a wrong button on the Skype on my laptop as it keeps saying I am on hold?, but using the mobile to chat was perfect.
It only dropped out once because there was a power cut here – just for a couple of minutes but long enough to cut the connection. We had a power cut on Thursday night which lasted much longer. As usual I was in front of the laptop which luckily I had just unplugged after charging.
The only benefit from Thursday’s power cut was the monk’s chanting over the loudspeaker was cut off in full flow and peace and serenity reigned over the parish once more. I mean for goodness sake sometimes he starts at 3.30 pm!
At times there has been what sounds like rapid gunfire over his loudspeakers but I am assured it is the sound of fireworks in celebration of some or other holy day.
Last Thursday’s power cut was dealt with quickly and efficiently. There are no street lights here of course. Candles were produced and citrine oil burned in a brass bowl in my bedroom as a protection from mosquitoes. The daughter-in-law placed a beautiful lamp on my dressing room table. I am assuming it is battery operated because pressing a button switches it on and off. It really is a lovely piece and the light from it is more than that needed to read by. Whether it is to save electricity or not but most Sri Lankans expect you to have night vision. They are averse to putting good lighting on although Sumitra did switch an extra wall light on last night for me. We will have great lighting in the Pelawatta house though.
We are four and a half hours ahead of GMT and last night my friends from Kent understood perfectly that I was keeping the house awake and it was hitting midnight here. By then we had each caught up with our various travels, adventures, children, grandchildren and mutual neighbours of many years ago.
There were reminiscences too of some really mad times we shared – I remember one Beaujolais Nouveau celebration at the local club – but that was a long time ago and better remembered than told in great detail. Suffice to say I ended up looking up at the stars, cradled in the metal mesh that covered the fish pond to stop my ginger tom cat, Tigger, from fishing for my mother’s precious Shubunkin goldfish. John M though had done his share of entertaining everyone earlier as he managed to roll into the opened taxi door on one side and disappear through the open door on the other side. He is a huge man, holding today, thirty years later, four world records in weight lifting but he managed to complete this manoeuvre with the daintiness of a ballet dancer. We were all helpless laughing at him laying in a heap so much so no one was sober enough to help him up. It was a repeat of the same as I lay in the hollowed metal mesh unable to move and everyone laughing in the cool November air leaving me where I had slipped and fallen.
Sumitra and I are still here on our own – with the dog and the fish and geckoes and birds. She diligently feeds the birds each day and the fish of course. The dog should be as round as a barrel with the tidbits she is given but she remains sleek and trim. I wish I knew her secret.
I have just been called out to the garden as the coconut man has arrived and he was half way up the tree before I could switch the camera phone on. I have posted a video of it up on facebook. It is very badly filmed, as not only was my heart in my mouth as I watched him stretch his limbs to the limit to harvest those coconuts that seemed beyond his reach but the sun chose that moment to come out fully and blind me. I don’t know how to edit it.
This tiny man’s hardened brown feet and ankles were stretched between a loop of very rough hemp rope which was his means of climbing and gripping on to the tree. His recompense was 500 rupees – around £2.50.
The son and father-in-law should arrive around lunch time so cases and holdalls are being packed and necessities for the move gathered together. The dog is being transported by tuk tuk to her new home.