Letter from St Joseph

It’s so hot and sweaty here there seems little point in taking a shower because the small effort required to dry the body afterwards is enough to bring on a fresh rush of pore opening and perspiration sluicing that leaves in its wake a sense of futility. This is particularly the case in the late evening, when what is sought beyond all else is restful comfort, of bodily ease, in a full length, generously wide bed, with the promise of a gloriously deep sleep, rather than a tangled tossing and turning in an oily pit of goat odour.

I’m reading Shantaram, and according to the author, the Indian head waggle – the sort of side to side movement done in a rolling figure of eight fashion – isn’t simply their way of saying yes or no or they don’t know, but a universal gesture of welcome and conciliation. He found that his relationships with Indians became transformed once he learned how to copy the gesture.

Down at the local ’boutique Malbar’, which is run by an Indian family, I asked for some onions and was told they were out of stock. I wasn’t surprised, since the onion boat is long overdue. His words were accompanied by the inevitable head waggle. I did a shadow waggle in response, and was then offered a couple of onions from their own kitchen.

Those mosquito bands work a dream, but the flimsy plastic catches are about as crap a contrivance as a human mind could devise. I’ve sewn mine together, as shown in the photo. When they run out of steam, I plan to impregnate them with pure citronella oil.

The swimming is great here, as is the fish eating.

Outdoor kitchen


Mossie bands