"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)

Home Work

A small fleet of bicycles announces the workers’ arrival.



The house is due its annual repaint.

Prolonged monsoon rains have prevented a start on the exterior. But work can begin on the first floor (second floor to American readers).

An Air-Conditioning unit needs moving from the house-boy’s room to a guest room. The whole house, plus the roof terrace, needs redecorating.

Shaji, my “house-manager” diligently supervises the work force. Dalila, my cook, prepares food for the men’s lunch. Babu, my electrician, oversees the dismantling and shifting of the AC components. Anu, the house-boy, clears his room and acts as general go-fer.


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Exhausted by the sight of so much activity, I capture the scene for posterity, then ask for a Kingfisher and retire downstairs to recover.

4 responses

  1. Your last line leaves me smiling …

    November 22, 2010 at 9:04 pm

  2. Lucille

    I feel your pain. But glad to hear the guest room is being made ready for me and il fratello. Could you get someone to eradicate all the spiders too please?

    November 23, 2010 at 1:57 am

    • The spiders are infrequent guests – but size renders their occasional visits unforgettable.

      November 23, 2010 at 6:34 am

  3. Jolyon

    I’m sure you will make Lu very comfortable.

    November 24, 2010 at 2:25 pm

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