I’m back in Paradise and the dogs’ jubilation is slightly muted to see that they won’t have my undivided attention, as I am accompanied by the Dancer and members of the family.

The early morning start out of Colombo made matters a lot easier getting out and the recent rains’ effects were apparent all along the way. The mental midgets that are responsible for the road expansion from Beluhiloya to Haputale should be made to be accountable for the horrendous planning and execution of this disaster, as the massive slides caused by their myopic operations will cost millions to the taxpayers and have already cost the owners of the properties above the road huge losses as well. Anyone with even a basic knowledge of the mechanics of hydrology will understand that in order to prevent erosion and loss of soil, proper drainage systems must be established. Having huge drains at the bottom of the sides of steep inclines caused by machines gouging out massive slices of hills will be worthless if the edges of the upper surfaces are not prepared for the drainage of the surface groundwater. That is as basic as it gets. However, nothing of the sort has been done. Who is responsible? And who will be held accountable? You got it. No one! And this is but one of the many maladies that we suffer in this country. What a shambles!

On the farm too, the effects of the rain have the herbs and veggies looking beat up and rather sad. All the erosion control devices are working well, the silt pits have functioned admirably and the ponds are full from the runoff from the gutters. The sunny afternoon is a great relief to both fauna and flora after the recent torrential rains. The Pond Herons (Ardeola grayii) are having a wonderful time gorging on the creatures that have crept out of the damp underbrush on the edges of the ponds and shrill whistle of a Grackle (Gracula religiosa) pierces the atmosphere.

The ladies are busy unpacking whilst little Mira, thoroughly excited to be back on the farm, is pestering to visit the animals. We take a walk to the stream at the end of the land and look at the fields, now planted with vegetables after the past paddy harvest. It’s such a ‘pastoral’ vibe that permeates this little village lending serenity to the psyche – a far cry from the fragmenting stress of the city. Java hasn’t made an appearance today and although I miss his chatter it’s somewhat relaxing not to have him around. He’s not much into family gatherings, so it’s understandable. 

India meets Australia in a bit, and as I head off to watch I get that unmistakable sensation that I am not quite as alone as I thought I was.

Heyyy maaan………….