Sunday, December 22
The house, 11:30
I woke in the early morning to the sound of the church choir in the distance, doing what sounded like an Indian variation on gospel music. I drifted back to sleep but at 9:30 I got up to begin my morning writing. This morning I was primarily concerned with figuring out how this will work with a laptop and an outdoor socket on the front wall.
To my surprise it was easy. I moved the garden table a metre, put a chair under the socket so the charger didn’t dangle, switched everything on and it worked. Not only did the laptop get electricity, it charged faster than it used power, and it also charged the phone at the same time.
I brought my diary up to date and got an SMS message about something I should have done before I left Helsinki. I did it now and replied by SMS.
Halo is sitting on the patio, watching. She is much less timid than previous years. I give her some dried food and she happily lets me walk past her while she is eating. She looks up alertly but she doesn’t jump away.
Yesterday I saw her when I was round the back of the house throwing rubbish onto the pile for burning. There, she reacted as she used to, even though she had been very relaxed on the porch ten minutes before. I form a theory. It is not people she gets used to, it is places. The Comments Book in the house makes it clear that all the people that stay here have taken to feeding her and her kitten, and so I think that the porch has become a safe place.
She expects to be safe on the porch, and expects to receive food if she is patient enough. She expects to be able to sleep on the floor, and that the humans that pass her while she is there will have no hostile intent, whoever they are. In other places, including the back of the house she does not have these expectations, and hasn’t learned to tell one human from another in this regard.
As I noted last year she is a village cat: not a pet but not a stray either. The villagers feed her but nobody owns her, and she has a similar status to the birds that nest every year in the birdbox by our shed at home. We don’t give them names and we regard them as a positive part of the environment.
In the afternoon Irma will suggest going to the Modern Book Centre. Naa will decide to stay at home. It will be closed because it is Sunday, but we will go to Big Bazaar to buy supplies. The whole shop has been reorganised to our confusion.
We will eat some of our supplies for valipala and dinner, in the form of samosas and tuna pasta, with very fresh vegetables.