Monday, May 3, 2010

We're here!

As you know we have arrived safe and sound (lost Diplomats often get a bit of newspaper coverage!) and we have settled in to our new home. Unfortunately our stuff hasn't yet arrived (expecting tomorrow - in Sinhala; a week or so) so the house is pretty bare and not yet home.

It's actually smaller than expected too. There are only 5 bedrooms (with ensuite spas), a study, formal lounge and dining rooms, an entertainment room, 2 kitchens, laundry and 2 dressing rooms. Of course the maid and driver both have rooms but we don't count them! The guards also have a room and facilities. There are 2 nice "al frescoe" areas, one on the ground floor and one off our bedroom upstairs. The grounds are small with only undercover parking for 2 cars and room for 2 more in the open. Still and all I think we could be comfortable here even though there isn't a studio for me to work in.

The staff are nice. Agnes is a great cook and insists on providing 3 meals a day 7 days a week - bother! Kumari cleans 5 days a week so we are practicing being much more untidy and dirty to keep her busy. It will be important that visitors prepare themselves for untidiness to help us out! The guards Nilantha and Beddewala don't speak as much English but do their best. Nilantha (a young farm boy) is working hard on my Singhalese and we have some gardening projects underway with more to come once I buy a few dozen more pots.

As yet we don't have a driver but it's really easy to get around (once your used to the traffic and rule idiocincracies) but we will get one. It makes it much easier to enjoy a night out and shopping is simpler without parking concerns. Being the monsoon it's better to be dropped off at the door rather than have to walk!

April is the hot month so temps have been in the low to mid 30's. Next month is the wettest with the monsoon at it's peak, so that'll be fun! The house has a few leaks, a few wiring issues and the odd plumbing situation (only hot water on the top floor) as well as some wonky A/C remotes but we'll cope.

A nice white cat is obviously planning to move in which is fine as long as she doesn't go after my birds. I've got some parrots and a baby Crow coming shortly and Nilantha is very keen for me to make a Pidgeon House and install 10 white pidgeons. It seems he likes pidgeons a lot! I plan to teach the crow to talk (which apparently can be done) but even if it doesn't wont I look cool with a crow sitting on my shoulder! Sonya isn't so sure and remains sceptical - sometimes she doesn't demonstrate a lot of imagination.

I don't have a job yet which is probably good since I have so much to do! Even though my painting equipments have not yet become present in the docks, I have the book of Delhi experiences to complete and some new projects here. Naturally one on our Sri Lankan adventures, a photographic work on Tuk Tuks (you know 3 wheeler taxis) and a more serious exploration of Arrack - history and tasting notes etc. You can see why we need a driver!

Sonya's working hard of course coming to grips with the new role and country etc so it's 7.30 to 6.00 at the moment. She's off to Delhi for a meeting over a few days next week and I'll tag along so we can catch up with "people" which will be great.

So now the adventure begins!

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