Sunday, December 30
I woke up at 7:00 to the sound of the local church performing their Christmas repertoire again. I recognised versions of Hark The Herald Angels Sing, Jingle Bells and When A Child Is Born, among others. Although it was melodious (or perhaps, because it was melodious) it was actually more disturbing than the repeating cycle of Indianised disco music from the gym over the road.
Last night the third cat, which the girls have christened Smudge, came round and ate all the food. This morning Smudge and a completely black cat that I had never seen before were asleep on the outside sofa when I opened the door at 7:20.
I wrote for two hours in the garden and then, when Irma woke up, we realised we had only partial electricity. Uday said that a tree had fallen down in the storm and half the road (our half) had no electricity. Men were planning on mending it.
At 11:30 we went to Uday’s house to celebrate his wife’s fortieth birthday. She may or may not be called Decca, depending on whether or not we understood her Malayalam correctly. We took a box of gold tip tea and a home-made card. We had a meal of Keralan thali, served on banana leaves and eaten with fingers. Only Uday and his brother’s wife spoke English, but that didn’t stop is chatting with Uday’s mother and brother, and his wife’s sister, along with a newly married couple who arrived as we left.
We saw the first monkey we have ever seen in Kerala. According to Uday he is the only monkey in the area.
At 15:30, while Irma was at Divine supermarket, the power came back on. We sunbathed, showered, grabbed our tablets, and headed for Spoonbills. When we were almost there it started raining and as we got there a downpour began. We logged on and caught up, and now we are looking at the strange light and sudden darkness. The sky meets the sea in a phantom blur.
In an hour we will go to Leo’s for pakora and naan and then get a taxi home, just in time for the regular evening power cut.