"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)

Battening Down The Hatches

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The roof terrace is a sorry sight.

Since my return to India the rain has barely ceased.
This was something of a miscalculation.
I choose to visit my family in friends in Britain and America specifically during June and July for a reason:
to avoid the worst of Kerala’s monsoon.

This year, however, the rains have proved excessively heavy and markedly prolonged.
In the last few days Cochin airport has been closed for days at a time, schools sat empty, the ferry to the mainland was suspended,
and my roof-terrace became a dangerous place to visit.

As monsoon storms lashed the house, the sound if my hard-wood blinds beating against the terrace’s walls worried me during the day and kept me awake a night.

Yesterday Sebastian, my carpenter, came to fix the problem.
He and his workmate have permanently locked the lower edges of the blinds to the walls with heavy-duty fastenings.
I am not quite sure how this will affect the annual repaint. At that stage we might have to think again.
But sleep came more easily last night.


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The expression “batten down the hatches” ¬†probably originated in 1867
Pictures taken on my roof terrace.

2 responses

  1. Toffeeapple

    What a sad sight to return too. I do hope that the problem has been fully addressed. Sweet dreams.

    August 8, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    • The roof terrace is a no-go area during every monsoon, in as much as it’s no great pleasure sitting there when all around is dark and damp. But the previous rattan blinds were removed last year, and hard wood replacements hung instead. The combination of such violent weather and heavy wood shutters made for quite dramatic percussive effects..
      Last night all I could hear was the rain. The blinds had been silenced!

      August 9, 2013 at 8:53 am

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