Wednesday, January 9
Blue Breeze, 18:15
I got up at 7:15, already thinking about various tasks I need to do. I began by filling my diary for next week with tasks I need to get done before I get overwhelmed with work. Then I finalised a small paper that has nothing to do with my thesis.
I spent two hours reworking the end of the section to incorporate a whole set of papers that had been completely left out so far. Before breakfast I counted what I have written in Kerala and it came to 38,500 words or more. Since I have left blanks where I need to quote from the e-books, and other material I have not had to hand, then by next Wednesday this section should be between 42,000 and 45,000 words – which is approximately what I intended.
At midday we went down to the beach, where we splashed and played in and with the waves. The girls had fish fingers and chips at Leo and then played frisbee on the beach. When we got home we realised how red we were: very, very red. The sky had been hazy but obviously the sun was stronger than we thought. Auo and I were particularly affected.
At 17.30 Anib arrived. He had promised to make us a barbecue, and he had a box of chicken, shrimps, and aa large fish that he said was “something like a sea bass”, wrapped in a banana leaf. Now I am in charge of the first load of chicken, as Anib returns home to get a new gas cyclinder. He will return with a new cylinder, beer and more vegetables.
We will sit eating and talking until 21:00. We will talk of Braveheart and the India-Pakistan border war; as well as Kovalam, houses, education, and cats: several of which spend their time in the yard waiting for scraps. Anib will explain that houses in Kovalam get three-phase power and that is why the Uday had to turn one of the knobs yesterday. Even after looking it up in Wikipedia I will remain puzzled.
Auo will go to bed covered in calamine lotion, the smell of which instantly evokes memories of summers with my grandparents in Southend. I suspect that it is another product, like Bournvita and Dettol, that only continues to flourish in India.