Friday, December 22



Beach Road, 14:51


We spent much of the morning reading. I spent some time with 50 Psychology Classics and realised that the entries all have a uniformly high quality. I would not want to read it instead of reading the original books, but it serves three very valuable functions. It gives you a reference list of the major works in the field. It reminds you of the reasoning, style and key conclusions of each book in the list. It points you towards books that you may not have read yet, but probably should.

At midday we got our usual rickshaw to go to the local shops. On the way, while taking the detour we never previously knew existed, we passed an ayurvedic hospital where Irma wanted to stop to see if they did massage. She got out and a few moments later the attendants emerged to tell me that she needed me immediately.

She didn’t and she looked very puzzled when I walked in. Nonetheless we then let Dr Pushpa Stuvert take us on a guided tour of the Guruprakash Ayurvedic Centre. He showed us the fifteen treatment rooms, all empty, and the furnaces they use to produce medicated water, both in use. He pointed out the gigantic medicinal herb gardens, where workers tended the bushes. He showed us the traditional massage benches, each carved from a single tree.

It seemed very impressive except for the total lack of customers which gave it the weird tension of a Peter Cushing Hammer Horror film. We left, saying that we would probably return sometime later.

We then commenced our scheduled tour, starting at the small herbal shop on Beach Road. We crossed the road to the beer shop to check their supply of wine, which we might describe as limited. They sell red wine and white wine.

Standing outside the beer shop I watch a bus go up Beach Road towards Kovalam Junction. For a rare moment it has no other vehicles to contend with. Seconds later the road fills up again and our rickshaw works its way into a gap that doesn’t seem to exist.

We will stop at Divine Supermarket on the way back for bread and milk.

When we get home Irma will tell Tangarat, the driver, about the mysterious appearance of floating bin bags on the lake in the quarry next to the house, and he will, suddenly and surprisingly, offer to take care of the problem tomorrow morning. We will agree and wait with bated breath to see what will transpire.

Bruno, the house dog, will turn up just before we sit down to eat dinner. We will let him in and he will just sit around with us for the rest of the evening. At bedtime he will make it clear that he intends to sleep in the house.

He will make a bed by dragging a mat near Irma’s side of the bed, and piling it on itself, and he will then sleep there soundly until morning.