"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

The Four Horsemen and Me

The previous two postings were an attempt to beguilingly dangle my size 44 chappaled feet out from the restriction of electronic purdah.

“For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones burned as an hearth.
My heart is smitten and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.
By reason of the sound of my groaning, my bones cleave to my skin.
I am like a pelican on the wilderness,
I am like an owl of the desert. I watch and as am a sparrow, alone upon the roof.”

Well, maybe not exactly.

Whilst I travelled in the States, four horsemen of the apocalypse briefly visited my home and body.

They left business cards.

In their wake, strong tropical storms had brought down trees, cables and my defences.

Shaji. Dalila & Sumant, my trusty staff, have overseen the slow reopening of communication channels between myself and my public.

The internet cable is now intact; the wi-fi router again controls local airspace; the mobile phone is accepting at least some of my text messages.

Although the digital camera may still languish in a technician’s workshop; its screen perpetually frozen on New Mexican vistas; my chest now produces only moderate volumes of green sputum – the club class freebie offered to frequent fliers with sufficient air-miles.

Shaji, Dalila and Sumant  respond to my indisposition with well rehearsed efficiency. My agent was consulted for advice on how to interpret the ka-ka entrails; physicians’ opinions, western, ayurvedic and “homoepathic”, were offered but declined.

I start myself on anti-pyretics and the antibiotics that happen to be at hand – more suitable for Dengue or diarrhoea than a chest infection – but broad-spectrum and surprisingly efficacious.

Following some days of semi-hibernation, a diminishingly productive cough, and indifferent appetites, I arise, sleek and slim-lined, renewed and reinvigorated. Not, perhaps, a butterfly of tropical exotica, but firing on three cylinders and in the mood for a malabar fish curry.

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