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DAWNNES STORY.

MY HERITAGE AND ANCESTORS. THIS BOOK OF NOSTALGIC MEMORIES IS DEDICATED TO MY FIVE LOVELY DAUGHTERS AND THEIR FAMILIES,MY DAUGHTERS ARE SPECIAL TO ME,AND I KEEP SAYING LOVE ONE LOVE FIVE.THE GIRLS SEEMED TO VALUE LITTLE STORIES I WOULD RELATE TO THEM ABOUT A BYGONE ERA OF MY CHILDHOOD ,A STORY OF LOVE,SADNESS, LONELINESS,SENSITIVEITY AND ANGER,FEELINGS OF REJECTION FROM SOME RELATIVES AFTER MUMS PASSING IN 1944 THAT WERE EMBEDDED IN MY MEMORY,SO WRITING THIS STORY WILL MAKE ME FEEL BETTER I BELIEVE NOT MANY PEOPLE WOULD SAY LIFE WAS PLAIN SAILING , MANY HAVE STORIES TO TELL AND HERES MINE .MY STORY BEGAN IN THE 193 S THE FIRST AWARENESS OF LIFE AS A CHILD WITH PARENTS AND SIBLINGS WAS WHEN I DISCOVERED THAT I HAD AN ELDER SISTER , AND A YOUNGER BROTHER AND, THE AWARENESS WAS TRIGGERED OFF WITH A JOLT OF UNPLEASENTNESS,ABOUT WHICH I WOULD WRITE LATER. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THE ORIGIN OF MY STORY BEGINS IN CEYLON WHERE MY PARENTS WERE BORN, WE WERE KNOWN AS BURGHERS"MEANING CITY PEOPLE #ACCORDING TO THE O$FORD DICT% , A MINORITY CLAN, DECENDENTS OF DUTCH GERMAN ENGLISH, IRISH SCOTTISH AND PORTUGESE SETTLERS WHO MIGRATED TO CEYLON IN SEARCH OF WORK,MOSTLYTO TRADE IN SPICE TEA COFFEE, COCOA, AND RUBBER NOT SURE HOW IT WORKED THERE WAS ALSO BARTER E$GHANGE AND THAT MAY HAVE BEEN SPICE THAT WAS TRADED IN FROM INDIA AND THE WEST INDES FOR SPECIALITIES CEYLON COULD OFFER CEYLON TEA AND RUBBER WAS IN GREAT DEMAND.!!!!!!!!!!DURING THIS PERIOD CEYLON WAS CONSIDERED TO BE THE &PEARL OF THE EAST',CERTAINLY A BEAUTIFUL ISLAND , MANY FOREIGNERS WHO EMBARKED IN CEYLON DECIDED TO STAY PUT SEEING POTENTIAL IN MAKING A GOOD LIVING WITH BUSINESS SCHEMES IN MIND NOT SURE IF THE VISA SYSTEM E$ISTED AT THE TIME BUT FOREIGNERS CEERTAINLY STAYED ON FROM 1(OOS UP TO THE 19 S, GRADUALLY INTERMARRIAGES BEGAN TO TAKE PLACE AND ANOTHER GENERATION OR RACE OF PEOPLE LIKE THE EURASIAN ) BURGHERS WHO WERE DECENDANTS OF THE ENGLISH AND BRITISH ISLES AND OTHER ANGLO RACES LIKE GERMANS DUTCH ALSO PORTUGESE CAME INTO E$ISTANCE THE MAJORITY REMAINED IN CEYLON , THEN THERE WERE PEOPLE OF THE ISLAND THE SINHALESE,SINHA MEANT LION , THEY WERE THE LION RACE HENCE THEIR FLAG WHICH BARES THE LION INSIGNIA,IN HISTORY WE LEARNED THAT THE SINHALESE ORIGINALLY CAME FROM INDIA,SO DID BUDDHISM, BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA .THEN CAME THE TAMILS FROM INDIA THEY SETTLED AT THE TOP END OF CEYLON A TOWN CALLED JAFFNA---LOVED AND RESPECTED I

AT THAT PERIOD IN TIME BURGHERS WERE LOVED AND RESPECTED IN THE COUNRTRY AND WORKED AT SOME OF THE BEST JOBS BEING OFF- SHOOTS OF (ANGLO-EURASIAN WE PREFERRED WESTERN LIFE AND HAD PRIVATE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL EDUCATION BURGHERS ALSO LOVED TO LIVE LIFE SOCIALLY AND ENTERTAININGLY IT WAS A KNOWN FACT WE EMPLOYED DOMESTIC SERVANTS FROM THE VILLAGE WHO WERE MORE THAN WILLING TO WORK FOR US LIFE WAS GRAND AND I E!PERIENCED THAT GRANDEUR AS A CHILD GROWING UP . ( ANCESTORS -----MY PATNERNAL GREAT- GREAT GRANDFATHER WAS A GERMAN JEW,AND ARRIVING IN CEYLON IN THE "#OOS,HIS NAME WAS KARLO GOTTLIEB HE LATER CHANGED IT TO GODLIEB TO AVOID SUSPICION OF HIS CASTE FOR WHATEVER REASON HE NEVER WENT BACK TO GERMANY PREFERRING TO SETTLE DOWN IN THE COASTEL TOWN OF PUTTALAM , HE TOOK ON A JOB SUPERVISING AND TRANSPORTING SALT ALL AROUND THE ISLAND FROM THE SALTPANS, IN PUTTALAM I VISITED SRI- LANKA(AS IT IS KNOWN NOW IN "$$% AND WHILE ON TOUR THE COACH THROUGH PUTTALAM AT MY RE&UEST WE TRAVELLED ALONG THE COASTLINE IT WAS INTERESTING TO SEE SO MUCH SALT PILED HIGHUP LIKE LITTLE SNOWY PYRAMIDS ITS CRYSTALS GLISTENING IN THE HOT SUN 'SALT 'SUCH A NECESSARY COMPONENT IN OUR LIVES. (GETTING BACK TO GREAT-GREAT- GRANDFATHER I HAVENT MUCH INFORMATION ABOUT HIM BUT HE ENDED HIS BATCHELOR LIFE BY MARRYING A LADY HE MET THEY MARRIED IN "#$%, SHE WAS MARGUERITE JAN)E THEY WERE WED AT ST MARYS CHURCH IN CHILAW THIS TOWN SITUATED OFF PUTTALAM WAS A CATHOLIC STRONG HOLD AND FISHING VILLAGE. (MARGUERITE HAD FOUR CHILDREN THE ELDEST BOY WAS JULIAN,THE YOUNGEST ACCORDING TO OUR GENEALOGY WAS EDMUND EDWARD, THIS EDMUND WAS TO BECOME MY GREAT- GRANDFATHER, AS A YOUNG MAN EDMUND MOVED TO CHILAW TO FIND WORK, AND THERE HE MET A LADY NAMED LUCY HINDELAGODA ( ALIAS LUCY ETTERIA LAURENCE IAM NOT SURE OF HER SURNAME HINDELAGODA WOULD BE SINHALESE AND LAURENCE IS BURGHER SO WHATS IN A NAME*WELL IT DEPENDED HOW MUCH THE LADY MEANT TO EDMUND IAM SURE SHE MEANT A LOT BECAUSE THE COUPLE MARRIED AT ST PETERS CHURCH IN KALPITIYA ON +$TH OCTOBER EDMUND WAS ,- YEARS, ,HE AND LUCY HAD ELEVEN CHILDREN, THE SECOND SON WHOSE NAME WAS SAMUEL EDMUND WAS TO BECOME MY GRANDFATHER BIRTH DATE +, ./ OF JANUARY "%--* IN LATER YEARS SAMUEL MOVED AWAY FROM HIS BIRTH PLACE SETTLING DOWN IN THE COASTAL TOWN OF TRINCOMALEE , NORTH EAST OF CEYLON AND AS TIME WENT ON HE MET AND MARRIED JULIETTE CATHERINE FORBES DAUGHTER OF SAM AND ANNA FORBES, THEIR MARRIAGE TOOK PLACE AT ST ANTHONYS CHURCH IN BANDARAWELA A TOWN IN THE HIGHLANDS OF CEYLON THE YEAR "%$%** THE FORBES WERE ALSO CONNECTED TO MUMS FAMILY A COUPLE OF GENERATIONS LATER AN UNCLE JOE FORBES ONCE A

MAGISTRATE AT COLOMBO COURTS MARRIED MUMS COUSIN TA)MA NELSON, JOE WAS A JOVIAL MAN LOVED LIFE AND THATS ABOUT ALL I KNEW OF HIM.--------- SAMUEL EDMUND AND JULIETTE GODLIEB HAD FOUR SONS ,THE ELDEST WAS APTLY NAMED SAMUEL JULIAN EDMUND BORN ON THE I 'ST OF JANUARY "$00 SUCH A SIGNIFICANT DATE HE WAS MY BELOVED FATHER THE SECOND BOY WAS BERTRAM THEN CAME ERIC LASTLY WAS GEORGE THEN TRADEDY STRUCKWHEN JULIETTE PASSED AWAY AFTER CHILD BIRTH,AND FOUR MONTHS LATER BABY GEORGE DIED A COUPLE OF YEARS LATER SAM MARRIED EMELIA BARTHOLOMEWS

SAM AND EMMA AS MY STEP GRANDMOTHER WAS CALLED BORE FIVE CHILDREN THE ELDEST A SON WAS NAMED ALGERNON THEN THERE WAS OLIVE , ROSE ,SYDNEY,AND THELMA. THERE WERE EIGHT CHILDREN. DAD AND HIS TWO BROTHERS WERE SENT OFF TO ST MICHAELS COLLEGE IN BATTICALOA AS BOARDERS AND THE THREE GODLIEB BROTHERS SPENT ALL THEIR SCHOOLING YEARS AT THE COLLEGE UNDER THE DISCIPLINARY RULE OF THE CATHOLIC TEACHING BROTHERS DAD SAID THESE BROTHERS HAD THEIR HEARTS IN THE RIGHT PLACE ,THE BOYS BEING VERY YOUNG WERE WELL CARED FOR BY THE BROTHERS,ESPECIALLY WHEN DAD CONTACTED TYPHOID FEVER ONE OF THE BROTHERS SAT BY HIS BEDSIDE ATTENDING TO HIS EVERY NEED.-------THE BOYS WOULD COME BACK TO COLOMBO ON THEIR HOLIDAYS AND GET TO KNOW THEIR OTHER SIBLINGS THEY ALSO GOT ON WELL WITH ANGLICAN STEPMOTHER WHILE THEY WERE HOME THEY HAD TO PRACTICE THE ANGLICAN FAITH LIKE ATTENDING SERVICE AND PRAYERS I SUPPOSE IT WASNT A BAD IDEA IT WAS THE SAME CHRISTIAN BELIEF. DAD OFTEN GOT INTO MISCHIEF AND BEING THE ELDEST GOT STRAPPED MORE THAN THE OTHERS BY HIS FATHER ,THEY DREADED HIM BUT THEY ALSO RESPECTED HIM, AS FOR THE SIBLINGS THERE WAS A LOT OF UNITY AMONG THEM AND IT CONTINUED RIGHT THROUGH THEIR LIVES . .--------AFTER DAD FINISHED HIS EDUCATION HE JOINED THE CEYLON POSTAL DEPARTMENT AS DID THREE OF HIS BROTHERS, DAD WAS ALSO AN ATHLETE AND JOINED THE POSTAL ATHLETIC CLUB COMPETING VERY SUCESSFULLY HE WENT ON TO WIN A CHALLENGE CUP FOR HIGH JUMP SETTING RECORDS THAT WERENT BROKEN FOR MANY YEARS AND ENDED UP WITH A GREAT COLLECTION OF 10 TROPHYS FOR POLE VAULT HURDLES SPRINTS AND A TROPHY FOR TENNIS ,THIS COLLECTION PROUDLY REMAINS IN OUR FAMILY,HE.ALSO HAD A PASSION FOR MUSIC AND SINGING HED ACCOMPANY HIMSELF ON PIANO SINGING HIS FAVOURITE TUNES IN A THROATY VOICE ENJOYING THE MOMENT WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

THE GODLIEBS LIVED IN WALLS LANE MUTWAL, ALMOST IN THE HEART OF COLOMBO, A STATELY HOME IN KEEPING WITH MIDDLE CLASS LIVING AT THE TIME, I REMEMBER A GNARLED OLD MULBERRY TREE IN THE FRONT GARDEN AND ITS JUICY BERRIES, WE AS CHILDREN GATHERED AROUND IT WITH OTHER COUISINS CHATTING ABOUT SCHOOL AND WHICH OF THE TEACHERS OR NUNS WERE THE BEST OR WORST WHILE PLUCKING AT THE BERRIES OF WHICH THERE WERE NEVER ENOUGH THE &UICKEST TO PLUCK THEM ATE THE MOST.THE GODLIEB FAMILY GREW UP IN THIS ANCESTRAL HOME, STEP GRANNY EMMA WAS A NICE LADY WITH A SWEET SMILE, AND BOW LEGS, IN FACT ALL HER SISTERS INHERETED THE SAME THANKFULLY IT STOPPED WITH THAT GENERATION I MEAN THOSE BOW LEGSAND I DONT MEAN TO BE MEAN DADS BROTHERS BERTIE ERIC AND SYDNEY ALSO JOINED CEYLON GENERAL POSTOFFICE IN DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS THEY LOVED THEIR JOBS , REMAINING THERE UNTIL RETIREMENT,DAD BEING THE SPORTY TYPE ALSO TOOK UP FOOTBALL AND FOR THE FIRST TIME HE MET A COUSIN HE DIDNT KNOW E!ISTED HIS WAS BOBBY GODLIEB WHO WAS PLAYING HIS RIVAL FOR THE GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS DAD AND BOBBY WERE GLAD TO MEET AND BECAME GOOD MATES BOBBY MARRIED ANNALAISE A GIRL HALF HIS AGE THEY HAD TWO BOYS BUT THINGS DIDNT GO SMOOTHLY BEFORE LONG SHE TOOK OFF WITH THEIR BOARDER LEAVING THE TWO WITH THEIR DAD, TOOK ON THE TASK OF BEING MUM AND DAD TO THEM, UNCLE BOBBY NEVER MARRIED AGAIN HE JUST BROUGHT UP HIS SONS WITH LOVING CARE UNTIL THEY WERE YOUNY MEN,UNCLE BOB PASSED AWAY AGED -, IN THE "$20S.HIS E! WIFE HAD ANOTHER SON TO ANNESLEY DIAS AND NAMED HIM ERROL FLYNN,NOW HOWEVER COULD I FORGET A NAME LIKE THAT . DAD AND HIS BROTHER BERTIE STARTED GOING OUT TO SOW THEIR WILD OATS I GUESS PARTYING AND ATTENDING DANCES AND CASTING THEIR EYES ON PRETTY GIRLS, THE BOYS BEING OF MARRIAGEABLE AGE WANTED TO START LIFE WITH SUITABLE PARTNERS,THIS DIDNT COME EASY,PARENTS OR &UITE OFTEN A MUM WOULD ACCOMPANY THEIR DAUGHTERS TO MANY OF THESE OCCASIONS, DANCES OF THAT ERA HAD SO MUCH ETTI&UETTE GENTLEMEN WERE GIVENCARDS AT A DANCE AND THEY HAD TO ROUND UP THE LADIES RE&UESTING THEM FOR A PARTICULAR DANCE , IF THEY AGREED THE CARD WAS TICKED OFF THIS WENT ON UNTIL THE CARD WAS FILLED OUT. ID SAY IT WAS A BRIGHT IDEA CAUSE THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN FEWER WALL FLOWERS SITTING AROUND RESTING ON THEIR LAURELS.THE BROTHERS ENJOYED THEIR BACHELORHOOD AS MOST MEN DO AND THAT WASNT ALL ON THE WAY HOME AFTER LATE NIGHTS THEY

WOULD MISCHIEVOULY STOP BY PEOPLES FRONT GATE OR VERANDAH PICK UP POTTED PLANTS AND PALMS FROM ONE HOUSE E!CHANGING THEM FOR SOMEONE ELSES PLANTS BELONGING TO A NEIGHBOUR THEREBY INNOCENT HOUSEHOLDERS WAKING UP OF A MORNING WOULD YELL BLUE MURDER BROWN FLOWERS POTS HAD TURNED WHITE OF A MORNING, GREEN PALMS WERE SPORTING RED CROTONS E!PENSIVE ORCHIDS SPIRITED AWAY IM SURE THERE WERE LOUD E!PRESSIONS OF CHOICE WORDS BEING SAID LIKE S.O,B., PARA-BALA AND OTHER UNMENTIONABLES,NOW WHERE HAVE THEY GONE ONE WOULD ASK.*IAM REMINDED OF THAT SONG WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE NOT FAR FROM MUTWAL WAS THE SUBURB OF KOTAHENA,IT WAS A TOWN OF REVERENCE,FOR A FEW REASONS ONE WAS THE CATHREDRAL NAMED AFTER ST LUCIA A BEAUTIFUL BUILDING MANY CATHOLICS ATTENDED MASS AND OTHER RELIGIOUS FEASTS NOT TO MENTION SCORES OF WEDDINGS THAT TOOK PLACE THERE THERE WAS ALSO THE FAMOUS CONVENT OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD ALL PARENTS JUST HAD AND WANTED TO SEND THEIR DAUGHTERS TO BE EDUCATED THERE BY THE NUNS AND TEACHERS OF THE CONVENT OF COURSE THERE WERE VERY WEALTHY PARENTS CONTRIBUTING LAVISHLY FOR THE CAUSE AND UP KEEP OF THESE RELIGIOUS ICONS AND THE SAME CAUSE WENT TO THE BOYS COLLEGE ST BENEDICTS CATHOLICS WANTED A CATHOLIC EDUCATION FOR THEIR CHILDREN NOTHING LESS AND MANY SCHOLARS ROSE FROM THESE RANKS IF THEY PROGRESSED INTELLIGENTLY MAY I MENTION THERE WERE MANY OTHER TOP CATHOLIC CONVENTS AND COLLEGES ALL OVER CEYLON THAT DID THE SAME I E!PRESS MY OWN WORDS OF LITERACY THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE WAS GIVEN PRIDE OF PLACE DURING COLONIAL RULE AND HOW LUCKY WE WERE TO BE THEIR THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME BUT NOT SO FOR THOSE GENERATIONS THAT FOLLOWED AFTER CEYLON GAINED INDEPENDENCE AND GOVERNMENTS CHANGED . THE NUGARAS LIVED IN KOTAHENA, A PROUD AND E!TRAVAGANT BROOD OF SEVEN BOYS FIVE GIRLS WITH THEIR PARENTS FELI! AND LOUISA. FELI! WAS THE SON OF JOHANNES NUGARA HE WAS OF ITALIAN AND PORTUGESE DECENT JOHANNES WAS A MEDICAL PRACTITIONER WHO RESIDED AND CARRIED ON HIS PROFESSION IN CROSS STREET PETTAH,COLOMBO CEYLON FROM "%-, TO "%%" HE WAS MARRIED TO "$ YEAR OLD SOPHIA KELLY, WHO BECAME MY GREATGRAND MOTHER, SOPHIA SHE WAS THE DAUGHTER OF CAPTAIN JAMES KELLY AND CHARLOTTE RORY BOTH FROM IRELAND, LATER JAMES KELLY WORKED AS A JAIL GUARD IN THE CEYLON PRISONS, JOHANNES WAS CATHOLIC SOPHIA WAS PROTESTANT, SO THEIR

MARRIAGE WAS SOLOMNISED TWICE ON THE SAME DAY AT,ST PHILIP NERIS CATHOLIC CHURCH PETTAH COLOMBO AND LATER THAT DAY AT ST PAULS THE APOSTLE, ANGLICAN CHURCH KYNSEY ROAD COLOMBO, I GUESS THEY HAD DOUBLE PROOF OF MARRIAGE.DATE OF MARRIAGE +"ST SEPTEMBER "%2$. THIS COUPLE PRODUCED FOUR SONS , CHARLES , WALTER OSWALD AND JULIAN NUGARA CHARLES FELI! WAS MY FUTURE MATERNAL GRANDFATHER HE TRAINED AT THE CEYLON MEDICAL COLLEGE TO BECOME A DOCTOR AND WENT OVERSEAS TO THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS EDINBURGH SCOTLAND,AT THE FACULTY OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS GLASCOW, RECEIVING HIS DIPLOMA IN MIDWIFERY ON THE SAME DAY "# TH APRIL "%$,. IN SEPTEMBER OF "%$- HE MARRIED "- YEAR OLD LOUISA MARGARET FRANCES BERTUS ( MY GRANDMOTHER TO BE ,AT ST LUCIAS CATHREDRAL KOTAHENA CEYLON , LOUISA WASTHE DAUGHTER OF JOHN LAWRENCE BERTUS,CHIEF CLERK AT THE GOVERNMENT (KACHCHERI TAMIL WORD FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF TA!ES AND TRADE CONTROL IN MANNER (NORTH OF CEYLON JOHN WAS DUTCH BURGHER DESCENDANT OF THE BERTUS FAMILY FROM HOLLAND AND THE FAMILY OF COLONAL PARKINSON OF DUBLIN IRELAND, AND HIS WIFE MARY RULACH WHOSE FATHER WAS A LAWYER AT THE DISTRICT AND LAW COURTS MANNER THEY WERE MY GREATGRAND PARENTS ON THE MATERNAL SIDE OF THE FAMILY .MY GRAND PARENTS DR CHARLES FELI! NUGARA AND LOUISA HAD THIRTEEN CHILDREN FELI! I WAS TOLD HAD A SHORT TEMPER GOT INTO TROUBLE WITH HIS PATIENTS AND FEARED BY HIS FAMILY,LOUISA HAD IRISH GENES BLUE EYES RED HAIR AND A TEMPER TO GO WITH IT ,A PROUD WOMAN WHO TOOK NO NONSENSE FROM ANYONE AND HAD DEMANDING WAYS, HER GENERATION COULD SPEAK THREE LANGUAGES,ENGLISH SINHALESE AND TAMIL, INCLUDING FOUL WORDS WHEN THINGS DIDNT GO THE WAY SHE WANTED,I RECALL SOME OF THESE UNCOUTH WORDS E!CUSE ME BUT I COULD UTTER A FEW WORDS OF CHOICE MYSELF THAT I REMEMBERD WHEN ID GET MY KNICKERS IN A KNOT. . IN LATER YEARS WHEN WE WENT TO GRANS ON SCHOOL HOLIDAYS HER CRONIES WOULD VISIT HER OF AN AFTERNOON THEY LOVED PLAYING CARDS AND ANOTHER GAME LIKE LUDO IT HAD A WEIRD NAME THEYD FIGHT OVER THE GAME AND THEY WOULD GOSSIP THERE WAS MRS LANSBURGHER WITH A SLIGHT HUMP ON HER BACK NO ONE KNEW ABOUT OSTEOPOROSIS AT THAT TIME AND THERE WAS FAT MRS BULNER AND GRANS SISTER AUNTY WYDA WITH THE CLEFT CHIN HAIR SPROUTING OUT ALL OVER FROM HEADTO LIP TO CHIN,THEIR TALES OF FRIENDS AND RELATIVES HAVING

CLANDESTINE AFFAIRS PREGNANCIES SEPERATIONS AND NEAR DIVORCES WERE HOT GOSSIP,AND THE MOMENT WE STUCK OUR HEADS IN THE DOORWAY ENGLISH CHANGED OVER TO TAMIL AND THE CARD GAME GOT SERIOUS THAT WAS THE WAY THESE WIDOWS SPENT THEIR PASTIME NOT TO MENTION SAMPLING GRANS FOOD AT MEAL TIME PREPARED BY THE COOK. THE TWO ELDER GODLIEB BOYS WERE READY TO SOW THEIR WILD OATSAND NO DOUBT LOOKING FOR YOUNG LADIES TO DATE, THERE WERE MANY LADIES FROM GOOD FAMILIES AROUND TOWN BUT THE TWO OF THEM STARTED VISITING THE NUGARA FAMILY IN KOTAHENA TWO OF THE GIRLS VIOLET AND PEARL CAUGHT THEIR EYE VIOLET WAS BLUE EYED LIKE HER MOTHER , PEARL HAD DOE EYES AND THEY WERE BROWN SHE WAS THE YOUNGER GIRL BERTIE SET HIS EYES ON VIOLET PERHAPS THEY DID SEE EACH FOR AWHILE BUT THINGS COOLED OFF BETWEEN THEM.*AS FOR JULIAN AND PEARL THEY STARTED UP A SERIOUS COURTSHIP THEIR WAS A TEN YEAR AGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO WHICH STARTED UP PARENTAL DISPLEASURE FROM THE NUGARA TEAM FROM THEN ON BUT THE COUPLE CARRIED ON AND BEFORE LONG WERE ENGAGED DAD HER RING OF TWO SAPPHIRES AND THREE DIAMONDS DAD KEPT IT WITH HIM FOR MANY YEARSAFTER HER DEATH THEN SUDDENLY IT DISAPPEARED. .A YEAR AFTER THEY WERE ENGAGED THEY PLANNED TO GET MARRIED AGAINST HER PARENTS WISHES.IN THOSE DAYS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WAS +UITE STRICT ABOUT CATHOLIC MARRIAGES COUPLES COULD NOT GET MARRIED DURING ADVENT THAT WAS SI$ WEEKS LEADING UP TO CHRISTMAS AND THE SAME RULE APPLIED DURING THE PERIOD OF LENT LEADING UP TO EASTER AND MANY COUPLES CHOSE EASTER MONDAY OR BO$ING DAY TO MARRY DAD SAID THERE WERE SI$ COUPLES AT THE ALTER INCLUDING THE TWO OF THEM ON THAT DAY. MUM AND DAD MARRIED AT ST LUCIAS CATHEDRAL KOTAHENA ON THE ,(TH OF DECEMBER 19,( THE WEDDING WAS OFFICIATED AT -!3 AM #SHE WAS ONLY 1( AND HE LOVED HER SO % AS THE SONG GOES. DAD WAS ,(. AS A LITTLE GIRL I REMEMBER LOOKING AT THEIR WEDDING PHOTO WHICH HUNG ON THE WALL AND WISH I OWNED IT NINTEENTH CENTURY STYLED HEADDRESS WHICH COVERED HALF OF HER FOREHEAD AND LONG VEIL HER BOU+UET HAD MADONNA LILLIES AND I WOULD SAY TUBEROSES SHE ONCE MENTIONED THAT SHE LIKED TUBE ROSES,OTHER THAN DAD,IN THAT PHOTO THE REST OF THE BRIDAL PARTY DIDN"T REGISTER IN MY MEMORY. MUM 3 DADS MARRIED LIFE. NOT LONG AFTER THEIR MARRIAGE DAD WAS TRANSFERRED BY THE POSTAL DEPT FROM COLOMBO TO THE SMALL TOWN OF DICKOYA

THIS TOWN LIKE MANY OTHER HILL COUNTRY TOWNS WAS SURROUNDED BY TEA PLANTATIONS LUSCIOUS GREEN BUSHES THAT SPROUTED TENDER AROMATIC TEA LEAVES FAMILIES WERE BROUGHT OVER SOUTH INDIA AND THE WOMEN WERE THOUGHT TO BE MOST SUITED TO PICK THESE LEAVES THEY WERE HARD WORKING AND WALKED AROUND THE HILLS IN THE MORNING MIST TO GET TO THE PLANTATIONS FILLING UP THE BASKETS THAT HUNG AT THE BACK OF THEIR NECKS AND THEN WALK BACK TO THE FACTORY WHEN THE MEN WOULD TAKE OVER THE BASKETS AND GET THE LEAVES READY FOR PROCESSING OFCOURSE A LOT MORE WORK GOES ON BEFORE WE HAVE THAT GOLDEN CUPPA AND THE WHOLE WORLD ENJOYED THE BEST TEA FROM CEYLON . DAD LOVED BEING POSTMASTER OF DICKOYA IN "$+% THEIR FIRST CHILD WAS BORN A BOY THEY NAMED HIM GEORGE, BUT HE WAS STILLBORN THEY WERE DEVASTATED MUM BLAMED HOSPITAL NEGLIGENCE AND DECIDED SHE WOULD NOT HAVE ANY MORE BABIES IN HOSPITAL SHE HAD TO GO BACK ON HER WORD MORE THAN ONCE FOR SAFEY SAKE,THEN IN "$,0 MY ELDER SISTER WAS BORN THEY NAMED HER RITA ROSE AND NOT LONG AFTER THAT DAD WAS TRANSFERRED BACK TO COLOMBO,THEY FOUND A PLACE IN MUTWAL HIS OLD HOME TOWN NOT FAR FROM THE ANSCESTRAL HOME OF HIS PARENTS,THEY NAMED THEIR HOME RITA VILLAAND LIFE WENTON ACCORDING TO DAD UNTIL "$,, AND I CAME INTO THE WORLD ANOTHER GIRL IT WAS A HOME BIRTH WITH MRS LAFABER THE MIDWIFE IN ATTENDANCE MUM HAD ME REGISTERED AS PHYLLIS THERESE BUT DAD WASNT HAPPY AND RENAMED ME DAWNIT WAS MY PET NAME AND WHEN I WAS TWELVE YEARS OLD I ADDED AN NNEWHICH SPELLED DAWNNEAND THATS ME. IN "$,2 MY BROTHER NEVILLE ANTHONY WAS BORN HE WAS SICKLY AS A BABY AND GRANDMA CAME OVER TO TAKE CARE OF HIM AND A STRONG BOND WAS FORMED BETWEEN THEM GRANDMA HAD MANY GRANDCHILDREN BUT NEV WAS HER FAVOURITE FOREVER.THE INCIDENT THAT FIRST JOGGED MY MEMORY WASNT A PLEASANT ONE I WAS FOUR YEARS OLD WE WERE HAVING DINNER ONE NIGHT NEV WAS BEING FED HIS FOOD BY THE DOMESTIC WHO WAS WORKING FOR US AND WHILE SHE WENT INTO THE KITCHEN TO GET MORE FOOD NEV PLAYFULLY PULLED OUR DOG 4NEROS TAIL THE VICIOUS DOG GOT NEV DOWN ON THE GROUND ATTACKING HIM GIVING NEV A BAD GASH ON HIS HEAD THEN THERE WAS PANDEMONIUM EVERYONE RUNNING AROUND NERVOUSLY, WE HAD NO TRANSPORT THEN DAD WALKED OVER TO HIS NEIGHBOUR JOHN FREDINANDES)S PLACE AND ASKED IF HE COULD HELP WITH TRANSPORT THEY HAD NO CAR BUT OFFERED DAD TWO RICKSHAWS AND WITH THAT MODE OF TRANSPORT MUM DAD AND LITTLE NEV SPED OFF TO THE HOSPITAL ABOUT TWENTY KLM AWAY THESE RICKSHAW MEN HAD TO SPEED IT

UP ALL THE WAY. BACK HOME RITA AND I WENT OFF TO BED AFTER HAVING SAID OUR NIGHT PRAYERS I NEVER HEARD OUR PARENTS COME BACK FROM THE HOSPITAL BUT NE!T MORNING ALL WAS &UIET WE LEARNT THAT NEV HAD TO REMAIN IN HOSPITAL AS HE HAD A NASTY WOUND ON HIS HEAD AND SEVENT A COASTAL TOWN WE USED TO LOVE GOING TO THE BEACH AND WATCH FISHERMAN MEND THEIR NETS IN READINESS FOR THE NE!T MORNINGS CATCH OF FISH WE WOULD WALK TO THE LIGHT HOUSE BUT NEVER WENT UP THE FISHER FOLK WERE CATHOLIC AND TOOK THEIR RELIGION SERIOUSLY IN FACT MUTWAL WAS A CATHOLIC TOWN AND FEASTS OF OUR LADY AND ST ANDREW WHO WAS PATRON SAINT FOR FISHERFOLK AND OTHER SAINTS WERE CELEBRATED AND VENERATED WITH MUCH POMP AND CEREMONY ON FEAST DAYS . .OUR HOUSE IN MUTWAL HAD GREEN WALLS A GLOOMY SORT OF GREEN IT WAS SITUATED BESIDE AN ALLEY WAY AT THE END OF THIS LANE LIVED AN OLD MAN HE HAD HIS HAIR TIED UP IN A KNOT DRESSED IN SARONG AND COAT HE WALKED AIDED BY A WALKING STICK AND HE HAD RATHER A FIERCE FACE EVERY MORNING HED PASS THE BEDROOM RITA AND SHARED TO BE ON HIS WAY TO FIND MEAGER EARNINGS FOR HIS UPKEEP RETURNING AT NIGHTTO HIS LODGINGS AND ALL THOSE NIGHTS I COULDNT FALL ASLEEP I WOULD HEAR THE THUMP THUMP OF THAT WALKING STICK AND IMAGINED THAT HE STOPPED BY OUR WINDOW I FREE)E WITH FRIGHT FOR A LITTLE WHILE TILL ONCE AGAIN I HEAR HIS GRAVELLING FOOTSTEPS FADING AWAY, THE NE!T MORNING I WOULD MENTION THIS TO MUM AND THE WOMEN WHO WORKED FOR US AND THEY WOULD SAY I SHOULD SAY MY PRAYERS WELL NOT FUSS ABOUT IT AND IT WILL BE FINE IT WAS NEVER FINE BECAUSE I TOOK SO LONG TO FALL ASLEEP.--------NEV WAS HARDLY TWO YEARS OLD AND MUM WAS E!PECTING AND MY PARENTSWERE TALKING OF MOVING INTO A BIGGER HOUSE I THOUGHT IT WAS A BRIGHT IDEA WE NEEDED A BRIGHT HOUSE AND THAT DID NOT TAKE LONG BECAUSE DAD SAW A PLACE NOT FAR FROM OUR PRESENT HOME,AND ONE EVENING THEY WENT OVER TO SEE THE OWNER WHO WAS MR APPIAH A TAMIL GENTLE WHO SMOKED JAFFNA CIGARS HE ALSO OWNED THE DAIRY NE!T DOOR BUT WHO CARED HE RENTED THE HOUSE TO US AND WAS GOING TO SUPPLY US WITH GOOD COWS MILK BEFORE LONG WE WERE AT OUR NEW HOME MY DREAM CAME TRUE IT WAS A BRIGHT HOUSE SITUATED AT THE END OF A LONG DRIVEWAY WITH FRUITS AND FLOWERS ON EITHER SIDE . OUR NEW HOME 4 THE DAWN. WE HAD A NEW NAME TO OUR HOUSE 4THE DAWN AND THAT WAS GOING TO BE THE NAME OF ALL FUTURE HOMES WE MOVED INTO

AND WE MOVED AROUND SI! TIMES WHEN DAD GOT TRANSFERRED TO OTHER STATES OF CEYLON,DURING HIS TIME IN THE POSTOFFICE. THE LONG DRIVEWAY.TO OUR NEW HOME WAS ATTRACTIVE RITA AND I LOVED THE YELLOW BUTTERCUPS AS WE CALLED THEM AND A VERIETY OF HIBISCUS DOUBLED PETAL FLOWERS ESPECIALLY THE RED SINGLE VERIETY DAD TAUGHT US HOW TO MAKE HIBISCUS TEA HE PUT THE FLOWERS IN A JUG ADDED BOILING WATER THE FLOWERS LOST THEIR COLOUR AND TURNED PALE THEN HE TOOK THEM OUT ADDED SUGAR AND A S&UEE)E OF LIME AND WALLAH WE LEARNT SOMETHING NEW AND AT PLAYTIMES WE ALWAYS HAD RED HIBISCUS TEA ,THE YELLOW BUTTERCUPS WHICH WE PLUCKED ALSO PERISHED IN OUR PALMS BECAUSE WE BLEW INTO THEM CLOSED ITS PETALS AND BANGED THEM ON OUR FOREHEADS WE LIKED THE BANG THERE WERE DAINTY PINK AND WHITE FLOWERS WITH LONG DROOPY PETALS CALLED DRUNKARD SAILORS AND SWEET SCENTED JASMINE GROWING ALONG THE FENCE,RITA AND I LOVED TO ROMP ABOUT IN THE GARDEN POPPING THOSE BUTTERCUPS ON OUR FOREHEADS AND I WAS ALWAYS HOPING TO CATCH A GLIMPSE OF A FAIRY WITH GOSSEMER WINGS AMONG THE BUTTERCUPS OR A LITTLE GREEN ELF WITH A PEEKED CAP IT SEEMED THE RIGHT GARDEN FOR IT BUT I COULD ONLY IMAGINE THE SCENE AND DREAM OF IT AT NIGHT. THEN THERE WERE TREES BEARING MANY TROPICAL FRUIT GUAVAS WITH THICK GREEN SKIN AND PINK FLESH WITH MULTIPLE SEEDS THAT STUCK IN ONES TEETH BUT TASTY AND SLIME APP5E A HARD SHELLED FRUIT ITS FLESH WASNT PALATABLE BUT CONSIDERED MEDICINAL IF TAKEN TO SETTLE AN UPSET TUMMY AND THE ENORMOUS TAMARIND TREE THAT BORE SOUR FRUIT OUR COOK MADE GREAT CHUTNEY HAVING S&UEE)ED OUT THE FLESH WITH SALT ADDING CHILLI AND SUGAR AMONG OTHER INGREDIANTS AND BOILED IN A PAN UNTIL IT THICKENED DAD CALLED IT A RICE PULLER INDEED IT WAS TAMARINDS HAD A THIN BROWN SHELLAND THEY WERE TUBULAR SHAPED TAMARIND WAS ALSO USED TO CLEAN CERTAIN METAL OBJECTS BECAUSE OF ITS ACID CONTENT, LASTLY THERE WAS A WOODAPPLE TREE ANOTHER HARD SHELLED FRUIT WITH SWEET AND SOUR FLESH WHICH COULD INTO A DELICIOUS DESSERT WITH ADDED MILK AND SUGAR PREGNANT WOMEN LOVED ITS TANGINESS DAD BOUGHT HIMSELF A MOTOR BIKE, AND MUM WAS CHAUFFEURED AROUND IN A RICKSHAW TO ORDER HER GROCERIES AND TO VISIT PEOPLE, AND RICKSHAW IT WAS FOR RITA , MYSELF, AND NEVILLE TO TRAVEL TO SCHOOL AND BACK ,I ADMIT I WAS CALLED A CRY BABY AT SCHOOL ALL I COULD THINK OF WAS GETTING BACK TO THE SAFE HAVEN OF HOME LOSING MYSELF IN THAT GARDEN , HOPING I WOULD

SEEA GREEN ELF ON A YELLOW BUTTERCUP ORSHINY WINGED FAIRIES . I WAS THOUGHT TO BE CLUMSY IN THE GARDEN WHILE RUNNING I WAS JUSTHAPPY ENJOYINGTHE GARDEN E!CEPT AROUND NEWLY HATCHED CHICKENS,A COUPLE OF TIMES ID, ACCIDENTLY STEP ON ONE AND THE PRESSURE OF MY FOOT WOULD KILL IT MY CONSCIENCE UPSET ME THOUGH IT WAS AN ACCIDENT,MUM DID NOT SEE IT LIKE THAT AND I WAS REPRIMANDED.WE HAD GEESE, AWFUL MERCILESS PECKERS,TURKEYS THAT PUFFED UP THEIR WINGS AND CAME AT YOU WITH THAT GOBBLE GOBBLE SOUND A TALKING PARROT THAT SWORE AT THE SERVANT BOY AND THE LOVE OF MUMS LIFE BESIDES US WERE HER TWO COCKER SPANIELS PRINCE AND TOPSY PEDIGREED ANIMALS THERE WERE A FFEW LITTERS FROM THIS PAIR TOPSY WAS SLEEK WITH SHINY BLACK FUR AND PRINCE HADA SLIGHTY CURLY COAT OF FUR,THEY WERE BEAUTIES AND STAYED WITH US FOR AWHILE EACH TIME THERE WAS A LITTER OF PUPS SHE WOULD TRY TO KEEP ONE FOR HERSELF BUT DAD PUT HIS FOOT DOWN SAYING NO MORE PUPPIES MAYBE SHE AGREED. ENTERTAINMENT WAS HIGH ON THE AGENDA AT OUR PLACE FRIENDS AND RELATIONS ALWAYS DROPPING IN FOR DINNER , DAD LOVED SITTING AT THR PIANO THUMPING OUT SONGS LIKE 4THREE OCLOCK IN THE MORNING AFTER THE BALL AND MORE ANYONE WHO COULD SING GATHERED AROUND THE PIANO AND BELTED OUT THESE TUNES FOOD AND DRINK WAS IN PLENTY AND SERVANTS WERE KEPT BUSY TILL LATE, MUM WAS A PEOPLES PERSON LOVED COMPANY ALSO LOVED SPENDING MONEY OFTEN GETTING INTO TROUBLE WITH DAD FOR LIMITLESS E!PENDITURE BUT DEAR MUM WAS LAVISH AND WANTED MORE OUR CLOTHES BEAUTIFULLY TAILORED SHINY NEW SHOES ,FOR US AND TOYS IN ABUNDANCE,SHE AND DAD LOVED TO GO TO THE AUCTION HOUSES TO PURCHASE ANTI&UE FURNITURE ETC AND ONCE THEY BOUGHT ME A SHIRLEY TEMPLE BOOK I LOVED THIS BOOK READ IT FRE&UENTLY AND FELT HAPPY IF I WAS SAD , CHRISTMAS AT OUR PLACE WAS MAGICAL AS IT MAY HAVE BEEN IN MANY HOMES EVERYTHING HAD TO HAVE A NEW LOOK THE HOUSE GOT A NEW COAT OF PAINT NEW CURTAINS FURNITURE WAS REVARNISHED AND REUPHOLSTERED AND BED LINEN RENEWED AND A TEN POUND DELCIOUS CHRISTMAS CAKE HAD TO BE MADE MUM HAD A HUGE OVAL ENAMEL BASIN AND ALL THE INGREDIANTS WOULD GO INTO IT IN STAGES AND BEATING WOULD START TWO AND THREE PEOPLE WOULD BE STIRRING THE BATTER IN ONE CIRCULAR MOTION FOR &UITE AWHILE WE LOVED TO SNEAK UP AND HAVE A TASTE OF THE CREAMY BATTER, ONCE THIS BATTER WAS PUT INTO A COUPLE OF PREPARED CAKE TINS IT WOULD BE SENT TO THE BAKERY AS WE HAD NO OV EN AT HOME AND A COUPLE OF HOURS LATER IT WILL BE

SENT BACK BEAUTIFULLY BAKED TO A GOLDEN BROWN AND THE REST IS HISTORY OTHER SPECIAL FOOD MADE DURING THE FESTIVE SEASON IS LOVE CAKE AND MILK WINE TO MENTION A FEW CHRISTMAS WAS CERTAINLY IN THE AIR A CHRISTMAS TREE WAS BROUGHT DOWN FROM THE HILL COUNTRY BY TRAIN AND TRANSPORTED BY SOME MEANS TO OUR PLACE SET UP IN THE LOUNGE AND DECORATED LAVISHLY,SANTA CLAUS HAD COME OVERNIGHT FILLED OUR STOCKINGS AND PILLOW CASES WITH GOLDEN HAIRED DOLLS BUILDING BLOCKS STORY BOOKS BONS BONS AND THE REST. IT WAS CHRISTMAS MORNING WE DRESSED IN OUR FINERIES AND WENT TO CHURCH WISHING AND KISSING EVERYONE WE KNEW AND CHURCH BELLS PEALED HERALDING THE BIRTH OF JESUS . ON OUR WAY BACK FROM CHURCH WE VISITED MY GODFATHER UNCLE JOHN THIS GENTLEMEN WAS A GREAT FRIEND OF THE FAMILY BOTH ON MUMS AND ALSO ON DADS SIDE HE WAS A BATCHELOR AND LIVED WITH HIS SIBLINGS IN THE 4WALAUWE WHICH IN SINHALESE MEANT MANOR IT WAS THEIR ANCESTRAL HOME HE HAD MANY BROTHERS THEY ALL MARRIED AND BROUGHT THEIR WIVES BACK TO THE WALAUWE TO LIVE THEIR MARRIED LIVES ALTHOUGH IT WASNT EASY FOR SO MANY PEOPLE TO LIVE TOGETHER THAT IS JUST WHAT THEY DID AND A COUPLE OF UNCLE JOHNS SPINISTER SISTERS WERE THERE AS WELL ONE OF THEM WAS MY GODMOTHER NOW UNCLE JOHN WOULD ALWAYS PRESENT ME WITH A SLEEPING DOLL AT CHRISTMAS FOR ABOUT THREE OR FOUR YEARS IN A ROW SADLY THESE DOLLS HAD SHORT LIVES THEIR OPEN AND SHUT EYES WOULD BE POKED INTO THE EYES WOULD FALL INTO THEIR BELLYAND THE DOLLIES WILL BE SITTING ON THE SHELF NE!T TO THE ONE FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR WISH I LOOKED AFTER THEM BETTER CHRISTMAS EVENINGS WERE FOR FRIENDS AND RELATIONSAND THEY CAME IN DROVES THE PARTY BEGAN WITH GIFTS FOR ALL CAKE WRAPPED FESTIVELY WAS SERVED THEN THE LOVE CAKE IWOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW IT GOT ITS LOVEABLE NAME NO WHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD HAVE I HEARD PEOPLE TALK OF LOVE CAKE SO IT MUST BE E!CLUSIVELY BURGHER CAKE HOME MADE MILKWINE WHICH WAS A LI&UER WENT DOWN WELL GINGER BEER WAS ANOTHER HOME MADE SPECIALITYTHESE RECIPES WERE CONSIDERED BURGHER SPECIALS HANDED DOWN FROM MOTHER TO DAUGHTER SALT MEAT WAS ANOTHER CHRISTMAS SPECIAL IT HAD TO BE ORDERED FROM A SPECIAL STORE THAT MADE IT HUGE BARRELS AND SOLD BY THE POUND YES 6 EVERYTHING WAS MADE OR BOUGHT BUT BY GOLLY EVERYTHING HAD ITS PLACE AT CHRISTMAS HOW MAGICAL WAS THAT TIME THE FESTIVE SEASON WENT ALL WEEK NEW YEARS DAY CLIMA!ED WITH DADS BIRTHDAY ON THE WHICH WAS ON THE " 78 OF JANUARY BORN IN "$00 AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY A SIGNIFICANT DATE AND AS SUCH IT WAS CELEBRATED WITH A BANG WITH FAMILY

FRIENDS AND RELATIVES THE PRIEST WAS INVITED FOR PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS HYMNS WERE SUNG IN TOP GEAR SOME LADIES HAD FALSETTO VOICES THEY SANG THE LOUDEST WHILE WE SAVOURED THE MOMENT GIGLING UNTIL DAD GAVE US BAD LOOKS ONCE THE PRIEST WAS GIVEN OUR FAMILIES HIGHEST RESPECT AND THANKS FOR GRACING THE OCCASION OF DADS BIRTHDAY AND CONSECRATION OF THE HOME HE WOULD BADE US GOODNIGHT AND LEFT TO GO BACK TO HIS CHURCH PREMISES, AND THE PARTY BEGAN AT HOME DAD WOULD GET TO THE PIANO AND PLAY HIS BROTHERS JOINED HIM STANDING AROUND AND THEY SANG CENTURY OLD TUNES STARTING WITH THE MORE WE ARE TOGETHER THE MERRIER WELL BETHE MERRYNESS CONTINUED AFTER A FEW WHISKIES MORE SONGS GIN A BODY MEET A BODY COMING THROUGH THE RYE DO U KEN JOHN PEEL TO NAME A FEW AND THEN IT WAS TIME FOR THE LAMBETH WALK WHICH WAS SUNG AND ACTED OUT BY DADS BROTHERS SORT OF A SOFT SHOE SHUFFLE AND IMPERFECT VERSION OF 1+ND STREET. DAD ALWYS SAID THERE WERE TWO DAYS HE WOULD GET DRUNK ONE WAS HIS AND MUMS WEDDING ANNIVERSARY THE OTHER WAS HIS BIRTHDAY AND HE DID, AS THE YEARS ROLLED ON HE CUT THAT DOWN TO ONE DAY HIS BIRTHDAY I GUESS THE OTHER HE PREFERRED TO KEEP DOWN MEMORY LANE AFTER MUM PASSED AWAY.-------ONE EVENT STOOD OUT IN THE YEAR "$,% IT WAS MUMS SISTER AUNT DOT AND HUSBAND PERCYS +2 TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY THEY WERE &UITE WELL OFF AND HAPPY AND A HUGE PARTY WAS ORGANISED AS THE DAY GOT CLOSER MUM GOT BUSY GETTING OUR OUTFITS SHE BOUGHT SHELL PINK CHIFFON AND GOT HER TAILOR TO WORK TWO PRETTY DRESSES DAINTY SMOCKED BODICES AND LOVE KNOT PINK ROSES AROUND THE COLLARAND SASHES YEARS LATER I WOULD SEW LITTLE LOVE KNOT ROSES ON DOLLS DRESSES AND LATER ON BABY SHIRTS I USED TO MAKE DURING PREGNANCY AND SASHES WENT ON THE BACK OF EVERY DRESS I MADE WHEN MY DAUGHTERS WERE LITTLE A CHERISHED MEMORY INDEED,THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY WAS ENJOYED WITH SPLENDOUR I REMEMBER HAVING HARD BOILED EGGS HALVED WITH A )IG )AGGED EDGE THE YOLKS HAD A MI! OF MUSTARD TOPPED WITH PARSLEY IT WAS THE FIRST TIME I ENJOYED THAT DELICOUSY AS FOR ONE OF THE NON ALCHOLIC BREWS WE WERE SERVED WITH HOME MADE GINGER BEER THAT HAD SULTANAS IN IT TWO ITEMS OF FOOD I STILL LOVE TO SERVE AT PARTIES THE COUPLE HAD A LONG MARRIAGE OF 20 YEARS OR MORE BUT CIRCUMSTANCES AND ILL HEALTH PREVENTED THEM FROM ENJOYING THEIR LATTER YEARS HENCE ITS BETTER TO MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES. ----------IN THE MID THIRTIES DAD WAS E!CELLING IN THE FIELD OF SPORTS IN THE POSTAL DEPARTMENT HE HAD WON MANY TROPHYS IN POLE VAULT HIGH JUMP AND SPRINTING WHEN THE ANNUAL PRESENTATION CAME AROUND MRS

CALDECOTT WIFE OF THE PRESENT GOVERNOR GENERALAT THE TIME WAS TO PRESENT DAD WITH THE SHIELD AND I WAS CHOSEN TO PRESENT THE LADY WITH A BOU&UET OF FLOWERS SO ONCE AGAIN MUM HAD A LONG DRESS MADE FOR ME IT WAS GREEN NET AND TAFFETA SLIP IT WAS REAL PRETTY BUT AS THE EVENT GREW NEARER I WAS GETTING SHY AND NERVOUS AND BEFORE LONG IWAS DOWN WITH THE FLU WAS NOT MEANT TO BE ME PARENTS DECIDED RITA WOULD DO THE HONOURS SO WHILE MY FORE HEAD WAS SWATHED WITH A WIDE BAND SOAKED IN VINEGAR AND EAU-DECOLOGNE MY SISTER TOOK MY BOU&UET OF FLOWERS AND WAS OFF TO THE CELEBRATION RITA RULES -------- IN "$,$ ,MUMS BROTHER UNCLE ROY AND HIS FIANCEE VALDA PATTERNOTT WHO MET AND BEGAN THEIR COURTING DAYS AT OUR HOME DECIDED TO GET MARRIED, BEFORE I GO FURTHER ILL ADMIT THAT AS FATE WOULD HAVE IT I WAS TO MEET MY FUTURE HUSBAND AT THEIR HOME TEN YEARS LATER BUT MORE OF THAT LATER GETTING BACK TO "$,$ AND THEIR MARRIAGE I WAS ASKED WITH PARENTS PERMISSION TO BE ONE OF THEIR FLOWER GIRLS ONCE ACCEPTED THINGS WERE AGOG MUM WENT OFF SHOPPING AGAIN IN THOSE DAYS THE WHOLE FAMILY WAS INVITED TO A WEDDING AND THE WHOLE FAMILY DID GO, AUNT VALDA WAS A FASHION PLATE AND GOOD LOOKING HER WEDDING DRESS OF SHINNY WHITE SATIN WAS E!&UISITELY TAILORED DRAPED AND SHAPED AROUND HER SLENDER FIGURE INDEED THEY MADE A HANDSOME COUPLE,MY DRESS WAS OF MAUVE ORGANDY FULL LENGTH WITH DEEP PURPLE BANDS ACROSS THE SKIRT AS DID THE OTHER FLOWER GIRL ALL WAS WELL UNTILL MUM DECIDED TO HAVE MY HAIR UP IN CURLS I GRUMBLED AND CRIED OBJECTING TO THE FUSS SAYING I WILL BE LAUGHED AT BUT THE FUSS WENT ON PHOTOGRAPHS WERE TAKEN AND AS THEY SAY THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING.---------"$,$ CONTINUED TO BE AN EVENTFUL YEAR I NOTICED MUM SEWING LITTLE BABY ITEMS OF CLOTHING AND YES SHE WAS TO HAVE HER SI!TH CHILD IT WASNT LONG AFTER THAT THE DAY OF BIRTH ARRIVED SHE GOT UP IN PAIN ONE MORNING IT WAS A SCHOOL DAY THERE WAS NO DOUBT IT WAS TO BE A HOME BIRTH HER MOTHER AND THE MIDWIFE MRS LAFABER WERE SENT FOR AND RITA NEVILLE AND I WERE SENT ON OUR WAY TO SCHOOL MUM GAVE US FIVE CENTS EACH TO STOP BY THE LOLLY SHOP FOR SWEETS OR CHEWING GUM THAT HAD A PICTURE OF SHIRLEY TEMPLE IN THE PACKET SHE WAS ,MY FAVOURITE AT THE TIME I GUESS EVERY GIRL WHO HEARD ABOUT HER LOVED TO IMITATE HER SO DID I, THAT AFTERNOON MARTIN OUR HOUSE BOY BROUGHT OUR LUNCH LIKE HE DID EVERY SCHOOL DAY BUT TODAY HE BROUGHT US GOOD NEWS TOO, WE HAD A NEW BABY BROTHER HE SAID NAMED ROBIN MA!WELL GEORGE AND ALL WAS WELL WHEN THE BELL RANG AFTER SCHOOL WE RAN AND GOT INTO THE RICKSHAW THE POOR RICKSHAW MAN HAD TO PUT UP WITH THREE NAUGHTY CHILDREN

WHO WERE ASKING HIM TO GET THEM HOME &UICKLY FOR TWO REASONS THE FIRST WAS THE STENCH IN THE RICKSHAW AS NEVILLE HAD POOD IN HIS PANTS AND SECONDLY WE HAD TO SEE LITTLE ROBIN WHO WAS ALL WRAPPED UP IN A BLUE BLANKET WHEN WE GOT HOME AND LAID IN THIS COT WITH BRASS RAILINGS SOMETHING THEY HAD PURCHASED AT AN AUCTION WHEN I WAS TO BE BORN THECOT SLEPT TWO GENERATIONS OF BABIES INCLUDING MINE A COT WITH A HISTORY WITHIN IT --------------SCHOOL AT GOOD SHEPHERD CONVENT KOTAHENA WAS PASSABLE MOTHER EUGENE WAS UNKIND AND CAINED MY PALMS BECAUSE MY SUMS WERE WRONG ,THE TEACHERS WERE HIGH AND MIGHTY AND THEIR FAVOURITES WERE THOSE WHOSE PARENTS WERE THE MONIED KIND MAYBE I CAME ACROSS AS SULKY AND CRIED FRE&UENTLY I DID LIKE THE AFTERNOONS WHEN THE TEACHER WOULD GIVE OUT PLAY CLAY HUGE LUMPS OF IT TO MAKE OBJECTS WE WANTED A BASKET OF EGGS WAS MY FAVOURITE A HUGE SNAKE WITH A POINTY TONGUE CAME NE!T I LOVED THE EARTHY SMELL OF THIS CLAY AND WISHED I COULD EAT IT BUT WHERE WOULD IT GO* I DECLINED , I WAS IN STANDARD TWO IN THE OLD DISCRIPTION AND SOON WE WERE TO LEAVE THE CONVENT AND COLOMBO FOR MANY YEARS TO COME BUT BEFORE THIS HAPPENED A MAJOR CATASTROPHE TOOK PLACE THAT WAS GOING TO CHANGE THE WHOLE UNIVERSE WORLD WAR "" BROKE OUT IN OCTOBER "$,$ IT WAS A SIGNIFICANT YEAR FOR US , WE HAD MULTIPLE CELEBRATIONS TWO ANNIVERSARIES INCLUDING OUR PARENTS ",TH , AWEDDING AND BIRTH OF MY BROTHER DAD GOT NEWS OF A TRANSFER TOA PLACE CALLED HANGURANKETTA SEVENTEEN MILES OFF KANDY IN CENTRAL CEYLON AND NOW THE BIGGEST NEWS OF ALL THAT GERMANY WAS AT WAR WITH BRITAIN IT WAS WORLD NEWS, DAD BOUGHT OUR FIRST RADIO IT WAS A MARCONI SET AND WAR NEWS WAS IMPORTANT LOTS OF MEN AND WOMEN JOINED THE ARMY OF DIFFERENT BATTALLIONS THERE WERE ALSO BRITISH AND AMERICAN FORCES AND FROM OTHER COUNTRIES AS WELL INCLUDING AUSTRALIA BUT BRITAINS WERE THE MOST FRIENDLY . A BLACKOUT WAS DECLARED ALL ROAD LIGHTS WERE DIMMED, PEOPLE WHO POSSESSED CARS WERE ASKED TO PAINT THE TOP HALF OF THEIR HEAD LIGHTS BLUE AND HOME LIGHTS WERE ALSO GREY BLUE IN COLOUR FOOD WOULD BE RATIONED FOR YEARS TO COME AND IMPORTED FOODS HARD TO BUY BUT IN THE MEAN TIME LIFE HAD TO GO ON, SO ONE FINE MORNING DAD DECIDED TO GET THE GROCERIES TAKING MARTIN WITH HIM THEY SPED OFF ON HIS MOTOR BIKE TO THE MARKET PLACE , HE MAY NOT HAVE RIDDEN TOO FAR WHEN HE SENSED SOMETHING WASNT RIGHT MOVING ASIDE HE STOPPED AND LOOKED AROUND TO FIND THAT MARTIN WAS MISSING ALARMED WENT BACK AND FOUND THE BOY HAD FALLEN OFF THE BIKE SHAKEN BUT THANKFULLY NOT HURT MUM NURSED HIM BACK TO HEALTH AND

SOON HE WAS RIGHT AS RAIN AND STAYED WITH US FOR A FEW MORE YEARS.DAD DIDNT LIKE HIS MOTOR BIKE ANYMORE HE SOLD IT AND BOUGHT A CAR IT SAT TWO PEOPLE IN FRONT AND THE BACK OPENED OUT WE CALLED IT A DICKIE CAR FOUR OF US CRAMMED IN THE DICKIE AND MUM HAD ROBIN IN HER LAP WHEN WE WENT OUT SEAT BELTS WERE UNHEARD OF DAD FOUND PLACES TO VISIT YES, THE RELATIVES TO SHOW OFF OUR CAR BUT THE BEST PLACE OF ALL WAS OUR VISITS TO A PLACE CALLED GALLE FACE GREEN ON SUNDAY EVENING THEIR WAS A HUGE HOTEL BESIDE IT BUT WE WOULD GET OFF THE CAR AND RUN TO THE ICECREAM MAN WHO RODE A BICYCLE AND BALANCED A GREEN AND WHITE STRIPED METAL ICE BO! IN FRONT, HE SOLD DELICIOUS ICE CREAMS IN LITTLE TUBS AND COLOURED ICES ON SMALL FLAT STICKS WHICH WERE CALLED ICE PALAMS WE ENJOYED THEM WHILE WE SAT ON THE GREEN BANK WATCHING THE WAVES OF THE SEA AND MAYBE A SHIP THAT HAPPENED TO SAIL ALONG TO A FAR AWAY PLACE AND LASTLY A MEMORABLE SIGHT OF THE FIERY SETTING SUN THAT DISAPPEARD SLOWLY BEYOND THE HORI)ON,SO SUNDAYS WERE SPECIAL FIRST IT WAS MORNING MASS BREAKFAST WHEN WE GOT BACK HOME THERE WERE TIMES WE WOULD GO VISITING OR BE VISITED WHICH EVER CAME FIRST AND THE EVENINGS WOULD MAKE US WANT TO GO BACK TO GALLE FACE GREEN AND SIT ON THE BANK AND ENJOY THE MOMENT.ANOTHER MOMENT IN TIME WOULD BE THE MOONLIT EVENINGS WHEN MY PARENTS AND SOME OF MY AUNTS AND UNCLES WHO WERE ENGAGED AT THE TIME THEY WOULD GATHER AT ELIE HOUSE PARK WITH GUITARS AND UNCLE MELLIE WHO PLAYEDTHE EUKELELY THEY PLAYED AND SANG SONGS I STILL REMEMBER LIKE SWEETHEART IT HAPPENED ON THE BEACH OF BALI BALITHEY CERTAINLY MADE SWEET MUSIC AND ROMANCE WAS IN THE AIR .9999999999999THE YEAR "$,$ WAS FAST DRAWING TO A CLOSE AND MY PARENTS DID A &UICK TRIP TO HANGURANKETA DADS NE!T PLACE OF WORK TO HAVE A LOOK AROUND AND THE ONLY DISMAY WAS LACK OF GOOD SCHOOLS SO IT WAS ARRANGED THAT RITA AND I WERE TO BE BOARDED WITH MUMS SISTER AND HER FAMILY IN KANDY, AFTER WHICH THEY CAME BACK HOME AND RELUCTANTLY GAVE US THE NEWS AND THAT WAS THAT , WELL WE HAD CHRISTMAS TO ENJOY WITH ALL ITS JOY AND MERRIMENT BUT TO A DEGREE BECAUSE THINGS LIKE TOYS AND FOODSTUFFS WERE GETTING RATHER SCARCE AND AS TIME WENT BY IT GOT WORSE IMPORTS WERE LESSER AND PEOPLE WERE CONCIOUS THAT THE WAR WAS GETTING WORSE, THAT YEAR WAS THE BEGINNING OF MANY HARDSHIPS TO THE WHOLE WORLD AND IRONICALLY I CLOSE THIS CHAPTER OF OUR LIVES BY SAYING THAT FOR MY PARENTS SIBLINGS AND MYSELF GRADUALLY LIFE WAS TO HAND US OUTWITH MANY HARD BLOWS 9999AT LAST IT WAS THE END OF THE YEAR WE WERE ON THE TRAIN FAMILY, SERVANTS ,FAMILY PETS FAMILY

BELONGINGS IN DIFFERENT COMPARTMENTS WE HEADED FOR NEW DESTINATIONS FIRST STOP WAS KANDY AND AFTER WE ARRIVED THERE WE HAD TO TAKE ROAD TRANSPORT TO THE FINAL PLACE WHICH WAS HANGURANKETA. IT WAS DUSK WHEN WE ARRIVED WE HAD TO CLIMB UP AROUND TWINTYFIVE STEPS TO THE POSTAL RESIDENCE IT WAS A SOLID ROCK BUILDING AND &UITE SPACIOUSWITH LARGE BEDROOMS AND THE REST BEHIND THE KITCHEN WAS A HILL WHICH LED TO A TEA PLANTATION ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MAIN ROAD WAS A WATERFALL WHICH FLOWED DOWN A BROOK ON THE NE!T STRETCH OF LAND WAS THE LOCAL DISPENSARY AND DR TILLEKERATNE AND FAMILY LIVED THERE ABOUT A KILOMETRE AWAY WAS THE HANGURENKETA TEA FACTORY MR LOBO WAS THE SUPERINTENDENT MR AND MRS LOBO WERE LOVELY FOLK AND WE PLAYED WITH THEIR GRANDCHILDREN DURING SCHOOL HOLIDAYS IT DIDNT TAKE LONG BEFORE MUM AND DAD MADE FRIENDS WITH THE DOCTOR THE ANGLICAN PASTOR THE SUPDT AND THE FAMILIES HAD GOOD COMPANY AS FOR US WE WENT TO OUR BOARDING HOUSE IN KANDY NEVILLE WAS BOARDED WITH GRAN IN COLOMBO DEN)IL ATTENDED THE STRAW THATCHED SCHOOL IN THE VILLAGE AS HE WAS TOO YOUNG TO BE BOARDED OUT ANYWHERE BUT OFCOURSE HE LEARNT NOTHING BUT VERNACULAR NURSARY RHYMES WITH A TWIST AS FOR RITAS SCHOOLING AND MINE WE WERE ADMITTED TO ST SCHOLASTICAS SCHOOL IN WHICH WAS A BRANCH OF GOOD SHEPHERD CONVENT KANDY,WE SETTLED INTO OUR BOARDING AT AUNT LENAS SHE WAS MARRIED TO A KANDYAN GENTLEMAN WITH A BOOMING VOICE AND WAS A STRICT FATHER TO HIS CHILDREN,I WAS A WEE BIT SCARED BUT HE WAS KIND TO RITA AND ME I WAS SEVEN YEARS AND COULD NOT COMPREHEND THE SADNESS I FELT BEING SEPERATED FROM MY PARENTS AND HOME AND LONGED FOR WEEKENDS WHEN MUM WOULD MARTIN OUR HOUSE BOY TO FETCH US WE WOULD WAKE UP AT 2.,0 AM ON SATURDAY AND WALK TO THE BUS STOP WHICH WAS NEARLY TWO OR THREE KILOMETRES AWAY ON THE WAY I DARED TO STOP AT A TRAIN STATION AND PINCH COLOURFUL DAHLIAS THAT GREW BY THE WAY SIDE TO TAKE HOME TO MUM THE MEMORY OF THOSE DAHLIAS NEVER LEFT MY MIND SHALL MENTION MORE ABOUT THEM LATER IN THIS BOOK, WEEKENDS AT HOME WENT &UICKLY ON SUNDAY MORNINGS AS DAD RITA AND I WOULD WALK UP THE HILL INTO THE TEA PLANTATIONS THE REFRESHING AROMA OF FRESH GREEN TEA LEAF WOULD WAFT THROUGH THE AIR AS WE WALKED THROUGH THOSE WINDING NARROW GRAVEL ROCKY PATHS BEFORE WE GOT ON TO THE ROAD AND THE LITTLE CHILDREN WOULD COME OUT OF THEIR HUTS AND SMILE AND WAVE TO US AS WE TURNED BACK TO GO HOME TO A HEARY BREAKFAST OF STRINGHOPPERS AND O!TAIL MULLAGATWANY DURING THE DAY VENDORS MOSTLY WOMEN BALANCING BULGING JUTE HESSIAN BAGS ON THEIR HEADS

CONTAINING FRESH VEGETABLES ORFRUIT MAKE THEIR WAY TO OUR BACK DOOR WHETHER IT WAS HALF BAG OR FULL THEYD GIVE IT AWAY CHEAPLY AND THEN THEIR WERE TOMATOES APLENTY IN OUR COOKED FOOD INCLUDING SAUCE BUT RIPE GUAVAS WERE SOMETHING ELSE WE DEVOURED THEM IN HASTE AND REPENTED LATER AS IT BEGAN TO TAKE EFFECT ON OUR TUMMYS IT DID NOT MATTER THEIR WAS NO LIMIT MUM ALSO MADE JAM CONSERVE AND I LOVE IT TO THIS DAY,BEFORE LONG OUR WESTMINISTER CLOCK ON THE WALL IN THE DINING ROOM CHIMED 1.,0 PM AND THE ONLY EVENING BUS GOING TO KANDY WAS AT OUR DOOR RITA AND I ALONG WITH OUR CHAPERONE MARTIN WERE ON OUR WAY TO OUR BOARDING HOUSE FOR ANOTHER WEEK OR TWO WED GO INTO OUR ROOM GLUM FACED AND SOON READY TO SLEEP WE HAD A MAT ON THE DOUBLE BED AND RITA SLEPT WELL ID TOSS AND TURN SINCE WE LIVED NEAR THE RAILWAY STATION I LIKED TO SEE THE HUGE BRIGHT LIGHT OF THE ENGINE SHINE ON OUR WINDOW AS IT CHUGGED PAST THEN SILENCE IT WAS AT THE STATION AND A COUPLE OF MINUTES LATER THE WHISTLE BLEW AS IT STARTED UP MAKING ITSJOURNEY INTO THE NIGHT THE NE!T STOP WAS KANDY STATION THEN PERADENIYA , SOMEHOW MORNING HAD BROKEN I MUST HAVE SLEPT AND NEEDED IT MARTIN HAD TAKEN THE EARLY MORNING BUS BACKAND MY CONNECTION TO PARENTS AND HOME TOOK A STEP BACK AS WE GOT READY FOR SCHOOL AUNT LENA MADE THE BEST ROTI SHE ALSOHAD A LARGE FAMILY AND THERE WAS NEVER ENOUGH TO GO AROUND BUT IT SUFFICIED THE MOMENT WE TOOK OUR SANDWICHES PUT ON OUR PIT HATS AS IT WAS DADS ORDERS THAT WE HAD TOSHADE OUR FACES AND WALKED WITH OUR COUISINS A FAIR WAY TO SCHOOL,I WAS IN STANDARD TWO DIFFICULT SUBJECTS FOR ME WERE MATHS AND DREADED SINHALESEWHEN MRS SENANAYAKECAME INTO THE CLASS SHED SAY PHYLLIS GODLIEB MOVETO THE BACK OF THE CLASS IT WAS AN EMBARRESSMENT I LIKED SINHALESE NURSARY RHYMES ONES LIKE ROSA-MALLE NATUWE KATU WHICH WAS ABOUT A ROSE AND A BUMBLE BEE AND A COUPLE OF OTHERS I SANG TO MY CHILDREN WHEN THEY WERE LITTLE THEY THOUGHT I WAS CLEVER TO SING IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE ALL I GOT FOR SINHALESE TESTS WERE MERCY MARKS,BUT BEING COMPETITIVE THE ISSUE DIDNTWEIGH ME DOWN THERE WERE MANY OTHER SUBJECTS THAT BROUGHT ME GOOD MARKS , WHICH WAS SATISFYING INDEED.THE YEAR WENT BY WE WENT HOME FOR CHRISTMAS THE ATMOSPHERE WAS DIFFERENT IN HANGURENKETA THE PEOPLE WERE BUDDHIST THERE WAS NO CHURCH NO CELEBRATIONS IT WAS ALL &UIET E!CEPT THE GOOD TIME WE SPENT AT HOME THE WAR WAS STILL ON MY AUNT ROSE WHO LIVED IN COLOMBO TOOK TO MAKING RAG DOLLS DAD ORDERED TWO FOR RITA AND ME AND WE GOT THEM FOR CHRISTMAS THERE WAS NO SLEEPING DOLL FOR ME THIS TIME ENGLAND WAS

CONCENTRATING ON THE WAR AND TIMES WERE HARD. AND THEN IT WAS JANUARY "ST "$1" DADS BIRTHDAY HE ASKED THE ANGLICAN PASTOR DOCTOR T AND MR LOBO THE SUB SUPERINDENT OF THE TEA FACTORY FOR THE EVENING CELEBRATIONS AND WE ALSO KNEW MUM WAS TO HAVE HER SEVENTH BABY SOMETIME DURING THE YEAR SHE WAS ALSO PUTTING ON WEIGHT BUT ALL WAS WELL WHEN SCHOOL DREW NEAR WE WENT TO KANDY DAD PURCHASED OUR BOOKS I LOVED THE SMELL OF NEW BOOKS MRS BARRY WAS MY TEACHER SHE WAS ONE OF THE BEST AND UNDERSTOOD MY HOME SICKNESS FOR THE FIRST TIME WE HAD TO LEARN HAND SEWING WITH LOTS OF HELP FROM HER I MADE A DRAW STRING SCHOOL BAG I LIKED THE COLOUR OF MINE IT WAS A MINT GREEN OF COURSE THE BORDERS WERE BLACK BECAUSE OF MY SWEATY FINGERS WONDER WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT BAG THE APRON THE PILLOWCASE WITH LITTLE FORGETMENOTS EMBROIDED IN A CORNER AND THE SMALL HANKERCHIEF I THINK IT WAS A MESSY S&UARE SAD TO SAY LITERATURE CLASS WAS INTERESTING SHORT SHAKESPEARIAN STORIES EDITED AND WRITTEN FOR SEVEN AND EIGHT YEAR OLDS AN ILLUSTRATED PICTURE OF PORSHIA LOOKING INTO THE WATER READY TO DROWN HERSELF ,AND A POEM THE MINSTRAL BOY TO THE WAR IS GONE WITH HIS FATHERS SWORD BESIDE HIM STICK IN MY MIND WHEN THE BELL RANG AT +5,0 PM WE WERE OUT IN THE BURNING SUN WALKING BACK TO AUNTY LENAS SOMETIMES WE WOULD CLING ON TO THE BACK OF A BULLOCK CART AND RUN WITH IT OUR COUSINS INCLUDED IT WAS THE DEVILMENT IN US ,AS EVENING DREW NIGH I ACUIRED A SAD FEELING AND CRY AND CRY I DO NOT KNOW WHETHER IT WOULD AFFECT EVERY SEVEN YEAR OLD CHILD TO BE BOARDED AWAY FROM HOME AT THAT AGE BUT IT AFFECTED ME VERY MUCH THERES NO PLACE LIKE HOMEBY MAY OF THAT YEAR OUR WHOLE FAMILY WENT DOWN TO COLOMBO TO UNCLE FRANKIES PLACE AUNT IRIS WAS TO HAVE A BABY AND MUMS TIME WAS CLOSE TOO COUSIN JOAN AND MY SISTER JUNE WERE BORN WITHIN DAYS OF EACH OTHER JUNE S WAS THE " ST OF JUNE BEFORE THE WAS OVER UNCLE FRANKIE AND FAMILYAND SEERVANTS TOO VISITED US IN HANGRANKETA I THINK EVERYONE HAD A GOOD TIME THE TOWN WAS CELEBRATING A NIGHTLY PAGEANT WHICH INCLUDED ELEPHANTS ONE MORNING DAD WENT TO TOWN AND RETURNED WITH THREE ELEPHANTS AND THEIR KEEPERS MAHOUTSTHEY CAME INTO OUR GARDEN FOR A PHOTO SHOOT WITH THE FAMILY WHAT A GRAND SPECTACLE IT WAS AT THE END OF THE ELEPHANTS TAIL ARE THICK WIRY HAIRS IT MAY BE SUPERSTITOUS BUT IT IS SAID TO BE GOOD LUCK TOENTWINE THIS HAIR IN SILVER OR GOLD AND WEAR IT AS A RING OR BANGLE THE THICK WIRY HAIRS GOT LOST OVER THE YEARS BUT ONE DAY A FRIEND OF MINE GAVE ME A GIFT IT IS A SILVER RING CONTAINING A LUCKY ELEPHANT HAIR AND IT REMAINS IN MY KEEPING . THE

ANLICAN PASTOR LIVED CLOSE TO HIS CHURCH ON THE HILL BUT WOULD COME BY OF AN EVENING FOR A CHAT AND THEN DAD WOULD GET ON THE PIANO AND HAVE A SING ALONG , ONE FUNNY TUNE HE CONCOCTED WAS SUPPOSEDLY JAPANESE HE WOULD BELLOW IT OUT ALL I HEARD WAS JONKINO JONKINO AND THE REST .OUR HOLIDAYS WOULD SOON BE OVER AND RITA WOULD GO BACK TO SCHOOL WE SPENT ANOTHER YEAR AT AUNT LENAS SHE HAD NO COOK AND WAS ALWAYS BUSY UNCLE HAD A KIND HEART BUT I NOTICED HE WAS A VERY SCRICT FATHER AND HUSBAND, WITH A VOICE LIKE THUNDER WE WERE &UIET AS MICE WHEN HE WAS HOME THEY WERE BUDDHISTS SO EVERY NIGHT WHEN THEIR CHANTING WAS OVER THEY WOULD WORSHIPPED THEIR PARENTS BEFORE BEDTIME ON SOME EVENINGS UNCLE MADE ME FEEL BETTER BY TAKING TO HIS ANCESTRAL HOME TO VISIT HIS MOTHER AND SIBLINGS WHO LIVED ABOUT 100 METRES AWAY , THEIR MEALS WERE MADE ACCORDING TO KANDYAN CUISINE THEY LOVED RED RICE WHICH WAS HARVESTED FROM THEIR OWN PADDY FIELDS BY PEASANTS WHO WORKED FOR THEM AND THEIR HOMES WERE FURNISHED IN KANDYAN ART D:COR AND PAGENTRY THE BED POSTS HAD CARVED LION HEADS ON THEM EBONY ELEPHANTS HEADS AND IVORY ELEPHANTS TUSKS PLACED IN CORNERS OF THE LOUNGE THEIR WAS A DIFFERENCE IN CASTE SYSTEM TOO AND THE DOMESTIC SERVANTS WERE OF A LOWER CLASS AND STRICTLY OBSERVED THIS WAS IN "$10 AS I SAW IT AND TIMES MAY HAVE CHANGED .MY UNCLE WHO WAS THE ELDEST SON OF THE FAMILY DECIDED TO MARRY INTO A BURGHER FAMILY AND THIS WAS A BIG NO NO UNACCEPTABLE FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE FAMILY THE YOUNG LADY WAS MY AUNT LENA MUMS SISTER BUT LOVE WAS STRONG AND PREVAILED BETWEEN THE COUPLE AND THEY DEFIED THE ODDS AND GOT MARRIED WITHOUT CONSENT I WAS TOLD BUT IT WAS A STRONG MARRIAGETHE ODDS PAID OFF THEY ENJOYED AROUND 20 OF MARRIAGE GIVE OR TAKE IAM NOT SURE PRODUCED SEVEN CHILDEREN AMONG THEM A DOCTOR AND THOUGH THEY ARE DEVOUT BUDDHISTS THE COUPLE DID SOLOMENISE THEIR MARRIAGE AT ALL SAINTS CATHOLIC CHURCH AFTER +2 YEARS I AM SURE THAT WAS A CHERISHED DESIRE OF MY AUNT LENAS WHO LIVED TO BE A HUNDRED YEARS AND PASSED AWAY EARLY IN +0"0. I REMEMBER STUDYING ABOUT KING WICKREMARAJASINGHE THE LAST KING OF KANDY WHOM THEY PORTRAYED AS BEING VERY CRUEL BECAUSE OF THE PUNISHMENT HE ADMINISTERED TO WRONGDOERS EVEN IF THEY WERE MINOR OFFENCES AND THE APPLIANCES WE VIEWED AT THE MUSUEM IN KANDY ALL THOSE YEARS AGO HAVENT LEFT MY MIND. RITA AND I SPENT ANOTHER YEAR WITH AUNT LENA AND HER FAMILY AND FINALLY IT WAS TIME FOR DAD TO BE TRANSFERRED AND YES, HE ASKED FOR KANDY POST OFFICE AND GOT IT HE WAS TO TAKE UP THE POST OF SUPERVISING OFFICER IT WAS A BUSY PLACE WE WERE SAD TO LEAVE THIS LUCIOUS TOWN OF HANGURANKETA WITH TEA

PLANTATIONS CORN FIELDS FRUIT AND VEGETABLE ORCHARDS RITA AND I WOULD SURELY MISS OUR SUNDAY MORNING WALKS WITH DAD UP ON THOSE GREEN HILLS WHERE THE AROMATIC GREEN TEA GREW IN ENDLESS SYMMETRICAL ROWS AND THE TAMIL CHILDREN OF TEA PLUCKERS WOULD COME RUNNING OUT THEIR HUTS TO GREET US AND SMILING SWEETLY THEY WOULD WAVE TO US AS WE WAVED BACK AT THEM WE ALSO KNEW IT WAS A LONG WAY DOWN THE HILL PLUS A VERY SPECIAL SUNDAY MORNING BREAKFAST OF STRINGHOPPERS AND O!TAIL MULLAGATWANY WILL BE AWAITING TO FEED THE RAVENOUS ONES. ONE SAD INCIDENT COMES TO MIND IT CONCERNED ME AND MY BROTHER ROBIN WHO WAS ABOUT FOUR YEARS OLD AT THE TIME I FELT LIKE THE BIG SISTER AND CARRYING HIM ACROSS MY HIP I WALKED ALONG A NARROW CONCRETE LEDGE WHICH WAS ABOUT TWO OR THREE FOOT HIGH FROM THE GROUND BUT OFCOURSE I MISSED MY FOOTING AND POOR ROBIN GOT DROPPED ON THE GROUND BELOW IT WASNT JUST THE GROUND HE LANDED ON A ROCK AND HURT HIS EAR A FEW DAYS LATER HE WAS TAKEN TO THE DOCTORS SURGERY WHERE IT WAS CONFIRMED HE HAD A PERFORATED EAR DRUM WELL FROM THEN ON AND FOR &UITE A FEW YEARS ROBIN HAD A VERY OO)Y YEAR AND IT LEFT A GUILT IN ME THOUGH IT WAS AN ACCIDENT BUT I FEEL PRAYERS FROM MY MOTHER UP ABOVE WERE HEARD BECAUSE THE INJURY HEALED AND HIS HEARING RETURNED TO NORMAL. ---------THREE YEARS LATER DAD WAS TRANSFERRED TO KANDY SO IT WAS A CASE OF PACKING UP LOG STOCK AND BARREL AND LOOKING FOR A NEW PLACE IN KANDY RITA AND I WERE DELIGHTED WE COULD GO TO OUR OWN HOME AFTER SCHOOL LIKE OTHER GIRLS DID ---- DAD AND MUM WENT HOUSE HUNTING IN KANDY AND CAME ACROSS A HUGE HOUSE WITH AN UPSTAIRS DOWN STAIRS AND A DARK SPOOKY UNDERGROUND DUNGEON THEY WERE ADVICED BY NEIGHBOURS NOT TO TAKE THIS HOUSE,AS THEIR WAS SOME WEIRD HAPPENINGS THAT TOOK PLACE THERE BUT UNHEEDINGLY THEY DID AND BY THE I78 OF JANUARY "$1+ WE MOVED INTO NO %0 TRINCOMALEE ST KANDY DAD NAMED THE DAWN AS WERE TWO OTHER PLACES WE LIVED IN BEFORE .THERE WERENT MANY UPSTAIR HOUSES IN THOSE DAYS AND WE LOVED THE THRILL OF RUNNING UP AND DOWN THE STAIRS AND MAKING A WHOLE LOT OF NOISE MUM MADE FRIENDS EASILY AND SOON FRIENDS AND RELATIONS WERE DROPPING IN FOR VISITS THEY WOULD STAY OVER AND ENJOY OUR HOSPITALITY SERVANTS WERE KEPT BUSY AND THE TABLE WAS LADEN WITH FOOD EVEN THOUGH IT WAS WARTIME AND FOOD WAS RATIONED .------DAD MADE FRIENDS WITH A FEW ENGLISH ARMY GUYS AND THEYD COME HOME OF AN EVENING WITH CHOCOLATES CIGARETTES CHEWING GUM AND BEER AND IT WAS AN EVENING OF ENTERTAINMENT FOR ALL DAD PLAYED PIANO AND BELTED OUT POPULAR WAR SONGS LIKE THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER WELL MEET AGAIN YOURS AND THE HOME

SICK ARMY GUYS COULDNT GET ENOUGH OF IT AND COME BACK FOR MORE ON THEIR DAYS OFF FROM THE ARMY CAMP BUT THEIR WAS A DOWN SIDE MUM WAS AN E!TRAVAGENT LADY SHE LOVED LIFE AND WANTED TO LIVE IT TO THE FULLEST BUT WE FOUND OUR PARENTS BICKERING ABOUT MONEY DAD WANTED HER TO PULL THE PURSE STRINGS TIGHTER AND MUM DID NOT KNOW HOW MY BEAUTIFUL MUM WENT ON LIVING HAPPILY SHE COULDNT DO ENOUGH FOR ANYONE WHO NEEDED HELP AT HER E!PENSE WHICH WAS REALLY DADS E!PENSE CHRISTMAS "$1, WAS FAST APPROACHING LIFE WAS AGOG AT HOME EVERYTHING OLD HAD TO BE RESTORED AND LOOK NEW AGAIN DECORATIONS WERE PUT UP AND THE DELICOUS AROMA OF DIFFERENT SPICES MI!ED FRUIT FLAVOURING THE NIP OF BRANDY OR TWO DEPENDING WHOS DOING THE MI!ING AND SPECIAL LI&UER ALL OF THESE AND MORE WENT INTO THE TEN POUND CAKE THAT WOULD BE MI!ED IN A LARGE ENAMEL BASIN BEATEN AROUND AND AROUND WITH WOODEN SPOONS THIS TOOK HOURS OF MI!ING AND &UITE A FEW HELPERS WERE AT HAND AND &UITE A FEW FINGERS WENT INTO THE BATTER WHEN THE ELDERS WERENT LOOKING YOURS TRULY INCLUDED AND IT WAS DELECTABLE MAKING OF LOVE CAKE CAME NE!T I NEVER KNEW HOW IT GOT ITS NAME BUT IT CERTAINLY WAS A MUST HAVE FOR CHRISTMAS AND OTHER OCCASIONS AND CHRISTMAS WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN THE SAME WITHOUT THE WELL SPIRITED LI&UER MILK WINEAN INNOCENT SWEET TASTING DRINK WITH A CERTAIN KICK IN IT ALL THIS HAPPENED EVERY YEAR I RECALL OUR CHRISTMAS CLOTHES WERE TAILORED AND SENT OVER PER PARCEL POST THAT PARTICULAR YEAR OUR DRESSES WERE WHITE ORGANDY WITH LIGHT GREEN UNDERLAY WHITE RIBBON ALONG THE WAIST IT HAD THE WORDS MERRY CHRISTMAS ON THE RIBBON AND THE HEMLINE HAD AROUND FIVE ROWS OF WHITE SILK CORD ALL AROUND OH WE WERE THRILLED AS WERE MY BROTHERS WITH THEIR CLOTHES +2 TH DECEMBER DAWNED BRINGING WITH IT FAMILY GREETINGS GOING TO CHURCH AND GETTING BACK TO FUN FOOD AND FROLIC THAT NIGHT THE CAROL SINGERS WERE AT OUR FRONT DOOR SITTING IN THEIR GAILY DECORATED CARRIAGE ALL HEAVILY MADE UP WITH ROUGE AND RED LIPSTICK AND THEY ALL LOOKED ALIKE THEIR CHILDISH VOICES SOUNDED HEAVENLY AS THEY BELTED OUT CAROLS AND AT THE FINALE DAD PRESENTED THEM WITH ONE OF HIS SILVER CUPS OUT OF HIS SPORTS COLLECTION WHICH WAS GENEROUS OF HIM CHRISTMAS NIGHT WAS OVER BUT THE GAITY CONTINUED +- TH WAS OUR PARENTS ANNIVERSARY THEIR "% TH ANOTHER CELEBRATION DAD ONCE SAID THERE WERE TWO DAYS OF THE YEAR HE LIKED TO GET DRUNK IT WAS ON THEIR ANNIVERSARY AND THE OTHER WAS ON HIS BIRTHDAY AND HIS WISHES WERE GRANTED SO AS I REMEMBERED HE GOT DRUNK BUT INSISTED HE WASNT AND TO PROVE HIS POINT HED SAY SEE I CAN STAND ON ONE LEG NOW TAKE ME TO THE PARK

I CAN WALK THE NE!T MINUTE HE WOULD COLLAPSE IN A HEAP THROW UP AND THEN SHUFFLED OFF TO BED THE HAPPY SEASON CONTINUED TILL THE "ST OF J;<=;.> AND THIS WAS THE BEGINNING OF "$1, AND HAPPENED TO BE DADS BIRTHDAY HAVING BEEN BORN ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE CENTURY"$00 IT WAS CERTAINLY A FITTING BIRTHDAY TO BE RECOGNISED I GUESS HE WAS PROUD OF IT TOO.ON THE FIFTH WAS MUMS BIRTHDAY SHE WAS E!ACTLY TEN YEARS HIS JUNIOR AND ONCE AGAIN SHE WAS PREGNANT WITH HER EIGTH CHILD I WONDER HOW SHE FELT BUT IT WAS SIGNED AND SEALED WAITING TO BE DELIVERED BY THE END OF JANUARY WE WENT BACK TO SCHOOL WITH NEW BOOKS NEW UNIFORMS SHOES AND INTO A NEW CLASS I WONDERED HOW ID MANAGE WITH THAT SECOND LANGUAGE IT WAS NEVER EASY AND MATHS OH GOOD HEAVENS MY PALMS WERE ALREADY SWEATY BUT ALL THE OTHER SUBJECTS WERE A PIECE OF CAKE AND I WORKED HARD ON THEM SO THE PERCENTAGE ADDED UP WELL SINGING CLASSES WE ALWAYS BEGAN WITH THE SINGING SCALE DO RE ME FAR SOLA TI DOE AND THEN INTO SINGING LOVABLE CHILDISH SONGS LIKE A CHERRIE FOR YOUAND A FEW OTHERS TEDDY LIKES A WALK ETC AND THEN I FOUND OUT I COULD WHISTLE WHEN I PURSED MY LIPS AND THAT WAS GOD SENT BECAUSE IF HAPPY OR STRESSED ALL I HAD TO DO WAS WHISTLE A HAPPY TUNE AND MY TROUBLES SEEMED FAR AWAY I WAS A DREAMER TOO AND THESE THINGS ARE THERAPEUTIC FOR ME CHRISTMAS "$1, REMEMBERING THAT YEAR WAS SPECIAL OUR HOME WAS OVERFLOWING WITH E!CITEMENT THERE WERE THREE OR FOUR ENGLISH ARMY BOYS SOME RELATIV ES FRIENDS AND CHILDREN THE ARMY BROUGHT BOO)E AND TINS OF CHOCOLATES FIRE THAT LIT UP THE NIGHT SKY CHINESE CRACKERS AND BON BONS WHICH WE PULLED EAGERLY AND LITTLE GIFTS POPPED OUT WE LIKED THE RINGS THAT HAD A LITTLE PICTURE IN THEM COVERED BY GLASS AND WE WORE THEM PROUDLY AND BY NEW YEAR THE GLASS DISAPPEARED DOWN THE DRAIN BUT THE PARTY LINGERED ON THE +-TH RITA MYSELF AND TWO OF OUR GOOD GIRL FRIENDS FROM NE!T DOOR PRODUCED A LITTLE CONCERT TO HEIGHTEN THE PARTY WE SUBSTITUTED GRASS SKIRTS WITH COLOURED DECORATIVE PAPER DONNED WRISTBANDS HEADBANDS PAPER GARLANDS AND SWAYED TO HAWAIAN MUSIC A WHOLE TWENTY MINUTES OF IT THOUGH OUR WAIKIKI SONG DIDNT SOUND THE BEST WE HAD TO MAKE UP WORDS AS WE WENT ALONG IT DIDNT SOUND HAWAIAN WAS A BIT EMBARRESING HOWEVER WE PUT AWAY OUR CREPE PAPER SKIRTS ANKLETS AND THE REST FOR ANOTHER CHRISTMASWHEN WE WOULD SWAY TO ANOTHER CONCERT ENTERTAINING THE CROWD BEFORE DINNER WE DID OUR BEST FOR CHEWING GUM AND CHOCOLATES HOWEVER ALL THE FUN AND FROLIC BEING OVER WE WERE BACK AT SCHOOL TO STUDY AND HAPPY WHEN THE SCHOOL BELL RANG AT +.,0 IN THE AFTERNOON IT WAS TIME TO GO TO OUR OWN HOME AND

MUM WOULD BE WAITING TO GREET US EVERY DAY WE WERE ALL TOGETHER E!CEPT FOR BROTHER NEVILLE BEING GRANDMAS PET GRANDCHILD HE LIVED WITH HER IN COLOMBO AND ATTENDED ST PETERS COLLEGE IN BAMBALAPITIYA AND WOULD COME OVER FOR THE HOLIDAYS AND EVEN THEN HE WOULD MISS GRANDMA ----- THIS HOUSE WE LIVED IN WAS SAID TO BE HAUNTED AND HAUNTED IT WAS SOME OF MY RELATIVES WHO CAME TO SPEND A FEW DAYS WOULD ?NOTICE STRANGE FACES LOOKING AT THEM THROUGH THE BEDROOM WINDOW SCARING THE DAY LIGHTS OUT OF THEM AND MUM WOULD HEAR ABOUT IT IN THE MORNING SOMETIMES THERE WAS THE NOISE OF POTS AND PANS BEING RATTLED LOUDLY AND ONCE MUM HEARD HER NAME BEING CALLED OUT FROM THE FRONT DOOR SOON AFTER DAD WENT OFF TO WORK ON A LATE NIGHT SHIFT BUT THE WORST HAUNTING OF ALL WAS WHEN I HEARD CHAINS BEEN DRAGGED UP THE STEPS AT NIGHT AND I WAS AWAKE THE ROOM RITA AND I OCCUPIED ADJOINED THE STAIRWELL NOTHING AFFECTED RITA BUT I WOULD BE A NERVOUS WRECK AS I HEARD THESE CHAINS BEING DRAGGED UP ALMOST EVERY NIGHT NEVER REACHING THE TOP BUT THEN SUDDENLY THEIR WERE FIGURES IN OUR ROOM THEY LOOKED EVIL THEY SEEMED TO BE TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS OF ME FROM THE CORNER OF THE ROOM I WOULD BE TERRIFIED CLINGING TO MY ROSARY AND AS SOON AS I HEARD THE ROAR OF A CAR GO BY I WOULD RUN TO MY PARENTS ROOM AND SLEEP BESIDE MUM CANNOT FIGURE OUT HOW I PUT UP WITH THIS THERE WERE FEW OTHER OCCURANCES THAT FRIGHTENED THE LIFE OUT OF ME AND WISHED I WAS IN RITAS SKIN AND COULD SLEEP LIKE BRAVE RITA ,WHEN THE DAY DAWNED ALL WOULD BE WELL THIS WAS NONSENCE WHY SHOULD I BE SCARED BUT THINGS REPEATED ITSELF FOR AS LONG AS WE LIVED THERE ON A DAYTIME BASIS WE HAD HEAPS OF FUN AFTER SCHOOL WED COME HOME HAVE AFTERNOON TEA AND RITA AND I WOULD GO NE!T DOOR TO PLAY WITH THE NEIGHBOURS DAUGHTERS MANORAM AND JEVA THEIR DAD WAS TAMIL MARRIED TO A BURGHER LADY NAMED OLGA THEY WERE LIKE CHALK AND CHEESE BUT SHE DID A LOT OF COOKING JUST THE WAY HE LIKED IT AND LOOKED AFTER THE HOME AFFAIRS THEY WERE ALL NICE FOLK AND MUM WOULDVISIT THEM OFTEN THE TIME WAS DRAWING NEAR FOR MUMS CONFINEMENT AND ONE DAY IT HAPPENED GRANDMA HAD ALREADY COME UP FROM COLOMBO TO BE WITH MUM AND ON THE +0 TH OF MAY WHICH WAS ALSO THE SINHALESE FESTIVALOF WESAKMUM MUST HAVE WOKEN UP WITH BIRTH PAINS I REMEMBER THE WOMEN CARRYING BASINS OF HOT WATER UPSTAIRS WE WERE BANNED FROM GOING UP THE DAY LINGERED ON AND WE HEARD HER IN PAIN FINALLY THE DOCTOR ARRIVED AND A WHILE LATER A BABY WAS BORN THERE WAS CONCERN FOR HER DUE TO DELAYED BIRTH BUT THE DANGER TIME PASSED IAM SURE THEIR WAS A SIGH OF RELIEF FROM THE TEAM UPSTAIRS IN TIME WE WERE ALLOWED INTO THE

ROOM AND SAW OUR NEW SISTER NAMED CARMEN AND ADDED ON THE TITLE WAS HEATHER ELI)ABETH I LIKED IT SHE WAS GOING TO BE THE LAST ADDITION TO THE FAMILY WITH ANOTHER BABY TO CARE FOR EVERY ONE WAS BUSY ESPECIALLY THE DOMESTICS AND THE STAIRS MADE GRANDMA HUFF AND PUFF SO SHE WENT BACK HOME. NOW WE HAD A BIRTHDAY IN MAY AND FOR THE NE!T SI! MONTHS WE HAD FAMILY BIRTHDAYS COMING OUT OF OUR EARS BEFORE LONG IT WAS TIME TO STIR THE POT THAT MADE THE OUR TWENTY POUND CAKE AND THE REST YES CHRISTMAS OF "$1, WITH ALL ITS FANFARE AND MAGIC WAS ON US AGAIN WE ENJOYED THE SEASON TO THE FULL "$11 JUMPED OUT WITH A BANG DADS BIRTHDAY WAS ON IN FULL SWING FIVE DAYS LATER WAS MUMS WHICH WAS OFTEN &UIET ONLY THIS TIME MUM TOOK ALL OF US ON A TRIP TO COLOMBO SHE E!PRESSED TO DAD A WISH TO SEE HER MOTHER WE TOOK ONE OF THE SERVANTS WITH US WE SPENT A WEEK AT GRANDMAS LITTLE HOUSE AND CAME BACK HOME LEAVING THE DOMESTIC WOMEN BEHIND WHO WAS TO WORK FOR GRANDMA AND THAT WOMEN WORKED FOR MANY IN THE FAMILY LONG AFTER GRANDMA PASSED ON CLEVER WOMAN SHE COTTONED ON TO ENGLISH ANDWAS ALMOST ONE OF THE FAMILY SHE WAS A LITTLE THING AND SHRANK MANY SI)ES SMALLER WHEN I SAW HER MANY YEARS LATER. BACK IN KANDY AFTER OUR HOLIDAYS SCHOOL WAS FAST APPROACHING AND I WAS GOING TO BE IN STD FIVE BUT BEFORE SCHOOL STARTED THAT YEAR TRADEGY STRUCK MUM FELL ILL ONE FRIDAY EVENING SHE BATHED US ALL WHEN IT WAS OVER SHE GOT HER FAVOURITE TWO COCKELSPANIAL DOGS PRINCE AND TOPSY BATHED THEM AND FINALLY GAVE HERSELF A WARM BATH I SAW HER DRESSED STANDING BY THE FRONT DOOR WITH A TOWEL ON HER SHOULDERS THE NE!T I KNEW WAS THAT SHE HAD CROSSED OVER THE ROAD TO VISIT SOME FRIENDS FOR A CHAT TILL DAD GOT HOME BUT WHILE THERE SUDDENLY SHE FELT COLD AND BEGAN TO SHIVER UNCONROLABLY THE NEIGHBOURS BROUGHT HER HOME LAID DOWN IN BED AND SENT FOR DAD WHO WAS AT THE SPORTS CLUB PLAYING TENNIS HE WAS HOME SOON TO BE BESIDE HER THE NATIVE DOCTORWHO LIVED CLOSE BY WAS SENT FOR AND FOR TEMPERORY RELIEF HE GAVE HER SOME POTENT PILLS HORSE MEDICINE WHICH WE THINK WAS THE BEGINNING OF HER SLIDE DOWN HILL MEDICINE WHICH REACTED BADLY IN HER STOMACH THAT NIGHT DAD RE&UESTED I SIT BESIDE HER WHILE HE AND THE REST OF THE FAMILY HAD DINNER AND WHEN IT WAS &UIET SHE SAID THE SADDEST MOST PROPHETIC WORDS I DIDNT WANT TO HEARDAWNNE JESUS IS GOING TO TAKE ME AWAY TELL RITA TO LEARN HOW TO COOK I WOULDNT REMEMBER ANYTHING ELSE BUT I FELT AN AIR OF DOOM AND GLOOM DECEND OVER THE ROOM THE NIGHT BULB DAD HAD FI!ED WAS RED WHY RED I WOULD NEVER KNOW WAS IT AN OMEN I REFUSED TO BELIEVE FROM THEN ON I DETESTED SEEING A

BULB OF ANY COLOUR E!CEPT WHITE HANG FROM ACEILING OF ANY ROOM IN ANY HOUSE ANYWHERE IT WAS A WEIRD FEELING HOW EVER DAD CAME BACK TOATTEND TO HER FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT BY MORNING NEWS WASNT GOOD SHE FELT WORSE IT WAS SATURDAY MORNING DR LUDWYK THE FAMILY DOCTOR VISITED AND HE DIOGNOSED MALARIA WRONG AGAIN SUNDAY DAWNED MUM WAS NO BETTER AN AMBULANCE WAS CALLED AND MUM WAS TAKEN TO HOSPITAL AS SHE LAY IN THE STRETCHER BEING TAKEN OUT SHE REPEATED THOSE FATEFUL WORDS THIS TIME RITA HEARD IT WE NEVER SPOKE JUST SHUT IT OUT OF OUR MINDS MY SILENT &UESTION WAS WHYHOW COULD THIS HAPPEN SHE ONLY FELL ILL THREE DAYS AGO WITH A CHILLY FEELING NOW A GLOOM WAS SETTLING IN OUR HOME AT THE HOSPITAL DR KILL GAVE HER ANOTHER BAD DIAGNOSIS AND SHE GOT WORSE SHE ASKED TO SEE A SPECIALIST WHO WAS A FRIEND OF THEIRS BY THIS TIME IT WAS THURSDAY AND A VISIT FROM THE SPECIALIST WAS TOO LATE AS MUM HAD DEVELOPED DOUBLE PHUEMONIA SEVENTY YEARS AGO IT WAS VERY FATAL WE WENT TO VISIT ONCE BUT IT WAS TOO MUCH AND TOO LATE SHE WAS SINKING DAD WAS BESIDE HER AND ALL HER RELATIVES WERE SENT FOR ON FRIDAY VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING MUM PASSED AWAY SHE WAS ,1 YEARS MARRIED "% YEARS MOTHER OF SEVEN LIVING CHILDREN SOMEONE SO FULL OF LAUGHTER WAS SILENT HER FUNERAL WAS ON SUNDAY AND THE WHOLE STREET WAS IN SHOCK MUMS MOTHER AND HEAPS OF RELATIVES STAYED OVER FOR A LITTLE WHILE AND WHEN THEY WERE READY TO GO RITA MYSELF AND OUR TWO YOUNGER SISTERS WENT WITH AUNT DOT WE WERE TO STAY AT HER PLACE IN COLOMBO INDEFINITELY YES WE WERE HOPELESSLY LOST DAD WASNT IN THEIR GOOD BOOKS THEIR WAS A LOT OF GRUMBLING GOING ON AND IT WAS BREAKING MY HEART THE SERVANT THAT CAME ALONG TO LOOK AFTER OUR TWO YOUNGER SISTERS WAS SENT AWAY RITA WAS THIRTEEN I WAS TEN OUR TWO YOUNGER SISTERS JUNE AND CARMEN WERE THREE AND NINE MONTHS RESPECTIVELY WE WERE SUPPOSED TO TAKE CARE OF THEM I DONT REMEMBER HOW WE PASSED OUR DAYS AND DARK NIGHTS I HAVE JUST BLOCKED OUT THAT MEMORY BUT I KNOW WE WERE TO BE PUT INTO THE CHEAP LOWER CLASS BOARDING AT THE GOOD SHEPPERD CONVENT KOTAHENA AND MY AUNT SENT DAD A LIST OF E!PENSES THAT SHE INCURRED WITH US BEING THERE AND ANOTHER LONG LIST OF HOW MUCH IT WAS GOING TO COST TO PUT US INTO THE BOARDING ALL LINEN WAS TO BE UNBLEACHED BECAUSE OF THE COST IN THE MEAN TIME I HAD AN ATTACK OF CHRONIC APPENDICITIS AND OPERATED ON I CANT REMEMBER IF DAD CAME DOWN BUT MY PAIN WAS INCREDIBLE WHEN I CAME BACK TO AUNT DOTS I WAS SOMBRE AND WROTE TO DAD TELLING HIM OF MY SADNESS SOMEHOW THAT LETTER WAS CONFISCATED I WAS IN AUNTS BAD BOOKS I WROTE DAD

ANOTHER LETTER TELLING HIM WE DIDNT WANT TO GO TO THE BOARDING AND ALL WE WANTED WAS TO LIVE WITH HIM DO NOT KNOW WHO HELPED ME TO POST IT BUT DAD GOT THE LETTER I THINK HE WAS MORE THAN HAPPY ALTHOUGH IT WAS GOING TO BE AN ENORMOUS TASK FOR HIM AND US BUT THE NE!T THING WE KNEW DAD WAS COMING TO GET US, ALLELUIA IT WAS WE WERE GOING HOME WHERE WE BELONGED WITH DAD AND NOT THE BOARDING WE WERE TO BE TOGETHERTHE CONSE&UENCES WERE HUGE BUT WE WOULD FACE IT DAD RENTED A NICE PLACE NE!T TO THE HAUNTED HOUSE WE ONCE LIVED IN BUT THIS WAS DIFFERENT WE HAD THE SAME STREET SAME NEIGHBOURS WE HAD A MOTHERLESS HOME BUT A SAFE HAVEN IT WAS FOUR MONTHS AFTER MUMS DEATH WE WERE BACK DAD REGISTERED US AT THE SAME SCHOOL THIS TIME LITTLE JUNE WAS STARTING SCHOOL AND DADS OLD AUNT WAS COMING OVER TO LOOK AFTER CARMEN DEN)IL WAS BROUGHT BACK FROM GRANS PLACE IN COLOMBO BUT THE OTHER TWO BOYS REMAINED WITH GRAN TO ATTEND SCHOOL SO WE HAD ONE BROTHER WITH US HE WAS MISCHIEVOUS BUT GOOD FUN AS WELLWE CARRIED ON GOING TO SCHOOLMY TEACHER MRS SOLOMONS) HAD A PRETTY FACE AND KIND THATS WAS WHAT I WAS SEEKING WARMTH AND KINDNESS IN THOSE DAYS THERE WAS NO COUNCELLING FROM ANYBODY WE BORE MUMS UNTIMELY DEATH IN SILENCE I WAS SENSITIVE AND COULDNT BEAR HARSH WORDS DAD WOULD WAKE US UP AT 2-,0 EVERY MORNING BRINGING US A CUP OF TEA AND WE HAD TO REVISE AND PREPARE OUR SCHOOL WORK IT REALLY HELPED TO GET A START FOR THE DAY WHILE DAD WOULD BE COOKING A CEYLONESE BREAKFAST CALLED (PITTU A MI!TURE OF FLOUR AND COCONUT ROLLED TOGETHER WITH WATER WITH A CERTAIN ART THAT MADE IT LOOK &UITE EDIBLE AND OF COURSE WE HAD BIG APPETITES AND PITTU WAS DEVOURED &UICKLY SECONDLY HE MADE OUR EGG SANDWICHES THIS WAS BEFORE SLICED BREAD SO WE TOOK ENOMOUS PARCELS OF LUNCH TO SCHOOL WHEN EGGS WERE SCARCE SUGAR OR JAM WAS A REPLACEMENT THEIR WAS NO ROOM FOR &UALITY IT DIDNT MATTER ALL WE NEEDED WAS TO FILL OUR BELLIES FOR THAT MOMENT THE GOOD TIMES WERE GONE WE KNEW THAT AND IT WAS GOING TO BE A LONG TIME COMING DAD WAS ENERGETIC BUT ALSO VERY SKINNY AND IT WORRIED US THAT HE WAS WORKING TOO HARD DOING DOUBLE SHIFTS THATS "% HOURS SOMETIMES ALL NIGHT SO DEN)IL AND I WOULD PACK SOME SANDWICHES IN A HURRY THEN RUN DOWN THE HILL AT THE BACK OF OUR HOUSE CROSS A DRAIN THEN UP THE HILL TO THE RAIL WAY LINE AND WALK ON THE LINE WITH MEARSURED STEPS NEVER THINKING WE MAY MEET UP WITH A TRAIN COMING DOWN THE TRACK I DONT THINK WE EVER DID GOD WAS ON OUR SIDE WE WOULD REACH THE POST OFFICE ONLY TO SEE DAD HARD AT WORK AND HED BE HAPPY TO SEE US HE NEVER KNEW HOW HAPPY WE

WERE TO SEE HIM WE WERENT PREPARED TO LOOSE HIM TOO WE WOULD BE HOME BEFORE DARK TO HELP RITA LOOK AFTER THE LITTLIES ------THEIR WAS THIS MAN CALLED BONNIE A SORT OF SIMPLE SIMON HE WAS THE GUY WHO WOULD GO TO FUNERAL HOUSES AND PRAY ALL NIGHT BY THE COFFIN AND HE WAS REWARDED WITH FOOD AND A FEW RUPPEES HE DID SO WHEN MUM WAS BROUGHT HOME THEIR WERE NO FUNERAL PARLOURS THEN SO DAD ENGAGED BONNIE TO STAY WITH HIM IN THE HAUNTED HOUSE UNTIL DAD GOT THINGS SETTLED AND DAD TOLD US LATER THAT AS SIMPLE AS BONNIE WAS HE WAS STILL GOOD TO BE WITH SO BONNIE WAS OUR ONLY FRIEND TOO AFTER WE CAME BACK TO LIVE WITH DAD IN KANDY WE LOVED TO SEE HIM HOME EVERY EVENING WHEN DAD WAS ON DUTY AT NIGHT HE WOULD JOIN US TO SAY THE ROSARY THEN HAVE DINNER AND WED RE&UEST HIM TO LOCK THE FRONT DOOR ONLY TO FIND IN THE MORNING THAT THE DOOR WAS UNLATCHED ALL NIGHT BONNIE WAS VERY SHORT SIGHTED LIKE THAT GAVE US A CHUCKLE AS TIME WENT BY BONNIE WAS GETTING TIRED OF EATING BREAD AND SAMBOL ALMOST EVERY NIGHT FOR &UITE AWHILE AND ONE DAY HE SAIDGOODBYE TO US HE DECIDED TO GO BACK AND LIVE WITH HIS SISTERS HE NEVER CAME HOME AGAIN BUT WE REMEMBER HIM WEARING THICK GLASSES WODDLING FROM SIDE TO SIDE ALWAYS CARRYING AN UMBERELLA AND MORE THAN EVER HE WAS THERE WHEN WE NEEDED A SIMPLE BUT COMFORTING HAND THERE WAS NOTHING HE COULD DO BUT PRAY FOR OUR VULNERABILITY------ BYE AND BYE OLD AUNT EVA CAME BY AND LIVED WITH US FOR ABOUT AN YEAR SHE WAS ABLE TO POTTER AROUND THE HOUSE AND KITCHEN HELPING TAKE CARE OF US BUT THEN SHE GOT SICK POOR LADY DEVOLOPED A BAD COUGH AND WE FOUND HER SPITTING IN LITTLE CORNERS OF THE BEDROOM WHICH WAS YAKKY WE COULD NOT SWEEP THE PLACE SO DAD HAD TO PACK HER OFF TO COLOMBO FOR SERIOUS TREATMENT WE WERE ALONE BEFORE SHE WENT TWO OF HER SISTERS CAME OVER WITH NEWS OF A MARRIAGE PROPOSAL FOR DAD WE WERE SENT TO BED AFTER DINNER WHILE THE MARRIAGE BROKERS AND DAD LOCKED THEMSELVES IN THE DINING ROOM TO TALK RITA AND I SNEAKED BEHIND THE DOOR EVESDROPPINGOUR HEARTS BEATING FAST WONDERING IF OUR WORLD WAS ABOUT TO CRASH WE HEARD THIS LADY WAS A GREAT COOK WE HEARD SHE WAS OF GOOD BURGHER STOCK AND ABLE BODIED WE NEEDED A CARER NOT A STEPMOTHER AND MORE CHILDREN IN THIS FAMILY RITA AND I DECEDID RIGHT THEN WE WERE LEAVING HOME WITH OUR TWO YOUNGER SISTERS OF COURSE WE WERE TALKING THROUGH OUR HATS THE CHAT WAS OVER DAD APPROACHED US THIS IS IT RITA AND I LOOKED UP AT DAD REPROACHFULLY WHILE I ASKED HIM IF HE WAS GOING TO GET MARRIED AGAIN AND OF THE HAPPY ANSWER WAS NOTHE SEVEN OF YOU WILL BE LOOKED AFTER BY ME I HAD A STEPMOTHER SHE WAS

KIND BUT I DO NOT WANT YOU ALL TO HAVE ONE END OF STORY IN HINDSIGHT I WONDER IF WE WERE SELFISH BUT THE WORD STEPMOTHER MADE ME THINK OF ALL THOSE STORIES WE USED TO READ ABOUT SNOWTHITE HANSEL AND GRETAL CINDERALLA TO MENTION A FEW HOWEVER THE MARRIAGES BROKERS WHO WERE SISTERS WERE DISAPPOINTED THE NE!T DAY THEY HAD A WILD ARGUMENT YES WILD BECAUSE THEY WERE BANGING EACH WITH SAUCEPANSWHICH RESULTING IN BUMPS AND LUMPS WHERE THEY DIDNT WANT IT TO BE AND THEN DISPERSED OUT OF OUR HOME TO OTHER DESTINATIONS AUNT ALICE WAS THE ELDEST BUT SHE LIVED THE LONGEST MORE ABOUT HER LATER BECAUSE SHE KEPT COMING HOME FROM TIME TO TIME WE WERE ALONE AGAIN BUT NOT FOR LONG ANOTHER AUNT EVA A YOUNGER ONE HER HUSBAND AND THREE SONS WITH PERMISSION FROM DAD NOT TO MENTION HOW WELL SHED CARE FOR US SEEMED PLIABLE AND HOW WRONG WE WERE HER HUSBAND WAS KINDAND TOOK KINDLY TO HIS LI&OUR AS WELL HER BOYS WERE VERY HANDSOME MUCH ADORED BY THEIR PARENTS SHE HAD A SMILE OF AN ANGEL BUT THE DOINGS OF THAT STEPMOTHER WE DREADED WE WERE THOSE MOTHERLESS CHILDREN NO ONE BUT MY DAD CARED ABOUT EIGHTEEN MONTHS LATER DAD RE&UESTED THEY FIND A HOME OF THEIR OWN THEY DID AND WE HAD A LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN ON EARTH AFTER A LITTLE WHILE IT WAS TIME FOR ANOTHER FAMILY WANTING TO FILL IN THE GAP IT WAS ANOTHER COUSIN OF DADS RAE HER HUSBAND TWO LITTLE CHILDREN AND SERVANT THEY WERE TRULY A DIFFERENT KETTLE OF FISH WE HAD GOOD TIMES WITH THEM HE WAS AN ARMY PERSONALITY AND AS A SPECIALTHEY WOULD TAKE US TO THE ARMY MESS SOMETIMES WHERE WE HAD DELICOUS FOOD THE MUSIC WOULD PLAY GLEN MILLER AND THE ADULTS WILL DANCE I WISHED I WAS AN ADULT SO SOMEONE WOULD DANCE WITH ME A FANTASY OF A ELEVEN YEAR OLD GOING ON TWELVE ITS ALL DIFFERENT NOW THERE IS NO AGE LIMIT FOR CHILDREN WHO WANT TO DANCE LOVE BUT OUR GOOD TIME HAD TO COME TO AN END THE WAR WAS OVER AND THEY HAD TO GO BACK TO COLOMBO I REMEMBER EUSTACE AS BEINGTALL GOOD LOOKING AND HE LOVED TO WINK AND RAE WAS VERY PRETTY VERY KIND HEARTED WITH SWEET DIMPLES WHEN SHE SMILED WE CALLED ON THEM A COUPLE OF TIMES IN COLOMBO AND SOME YEARS LATER ATTENDED MY WEDDING ------ BACK TO THE YEAR "$1- TIMES WERE DIFFICULT EVERYTHING WAS RATIONED RITA HAD TO WALK A LONG WAY TO THE COOPERATIVE STORES TO GET OUR RATIONS THE RICE THAT WAS DISTRIBUTED SEEMED LIKE PELLETS AND INDIGESTIBLE SO WAS THE BREAD AND EVERYTHING WENT DOWN WITH COCONUT SAMBOL DAD WAS FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO MANAGE ON HIS SALARY BUT CARRIED ON OUR CLOTHES WERE TATTY I REMEMBER DAD BOUGHT SOME MATERIAL THE FABRIC WAS CALLED RIVERINAIT WAS COTTONY WITH A RIBBED EFFECT DAD

SPOKE TO A BURGHER LADY DOWN THE ROAD WHO SEWED US TO VERY PRETTY DRESSES RITA AND I WERE CHAFFED BUT THAT WAS THE ONLY DRESS WE WORE WHEREVER WE WENT MAY I MENTION I WAS SHY TO GO TO CHURCH ON SUNDAYS THOUGH I DID BUT GOING TO COMMUNION NO WAY EVERYONE WOULD SEE THAT SAME BLUE DRESS I KEPT WEARING LIKE A SKIN RITA SAID NOTHING I MUST HAVE GRUMBLED BECAUSE I GOT TWO MORE PRETTY DRESSES NOW I COULD GO TO COMMUNION ON SUNDAY ONE DAY I THOUGHT I MUST LEARN TO SEW BECAUSE THE WOMAN WHO DID OUR COOKING TOOK TO MUMS SINGER SEWING HAND MACHINE AND BEGAN SEWING HER JACKETS I HAD TO COMPLAIN TO DAD THAT NO BODY WAS ALLOWED TO TOUCH MUMS MACHINE THE WOMEN GOT ANGRY AND LEFT RITA TRIED HER HAND AT COOKING AND I TRIED MY HAND AT SEWING SO SAMBOL WAS HIGH ON THE MENU AS FOR SEWING I TOOK DOWN THE ORANGE CURTAINS WE HAD ON OUR TWO WINDOWS AND TRIED MY SEWING SKILLS TA!ING MY BRAIN AS TO HOW I WAS TO CUT TWO DRESSES OUT OF THIS MATERIAL THAT HARDLY COVERED THE WINDOWS AND THEWINDOWS WERE COVERED TO KEEP THE PRYING EYES OF THE AFRICAN SOLDIERS WHENEVER THEY TOOK A WALK PAST THE HOUSES AND WE WERE ALONE WHEN DAD WASNT THERE ALTHOUGH THE WAR OVER MILITARY TROOPS WERE HELD IN CEYLON FOR AWHILE AND THATS HOW DAD MET DOUGLAS COPPENDALE AN ENGLISH SOLDIER WHO MAY HAVE GONE TO THE POSTOFFICE TO SEEK OUT SOME INFORMATION FROM ENGLAND THEY MET DOUGLAS TOOK A GREAT LIKING TO DAD AND ONE DAY THERE WAS THIS GENTLEMAN WHO CAME HOME TO VISIT US WITH LOTS OF GOODIES DAD INTRODUCED US TO DOUGLAS WHO LIKED US RIGHT AWAY AS WE DID HIM FROM THEN ONHE VISITED US WHENEVER HE GOT LEAVE FROM CAMP HE ADMIRED DAD FOR BEING THE FATHER HE WAS TO US DOUGLAS WAS A YOUNG MAN AND HE WROTE TO HIS MOTHER ABOUT US SHE WAS TOUCHED BEFORE LONG SHE WROTE DAD A LETTERAND BY CORRESPONDANCE WE CAME TO KNOW THERE WAS ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL PERSON IN THE WORLD WHO CARED SHE KEPT SENDING US NEWSPAPERS COMIC BOOKS MAGA)INES AND GIFTS RE&UESTING DAD WROTE HER ALL ABOUT US THIS WENT ON FOR A FEW YEARS EVEN AFTER DOUGLAS GOT BACK HOME TO ENGLAND BUT WE STILL LIVED IN KANDY IT WAS A FRIENDLY TOWN WITH MANY HILLS AND DALES ONE HILL CLOSE TO OUR PLACE WAS CALLED UDAWATHEKALE WE AND SOME OF OUR GIRL FRIENDS WOULD CLIMB UP AND WALK AROUND LOSING OURSELVES IN THE THICK OF THE WOODS WE HAD NO FEAR WE PLUCKED WHAT FRUIT WE COULD FIND MOSTLY BERRIES AND SOUR STAR FRUIT AND WHEN THE DAY WENT BY WE GOT BACK HOME TIRED ANOTHER GOOD MEMORY WAS THE KANDY PEREHERA A BUDDHIST PAGEANT WHICH TOOK PLACE ANNUALLY IN THE MONTH OF AUGUST WHEN THE TOOTH OF BUDDHA WAS TAKEN OUT IN PROCESSION AT NIGHT IT WAS

A SPECTACULAR SITE AT LEAST SEVENTYFIVE TO EIGHTY ELEPHANTS WALKED IN GRANDEUR THEIR COLOURFUL ATTIREGILDED IN SILVER SEMI PRECIOUS STONES AND TINY TWINKLING BULBS BUT THE ONE THAT CARRIED THE TOOTH RELIC WAS MOST SPECTACULAR HE WAS CALLED THE MALIGAWA ELEPHANT AND WALKED MAJESTICALLY WITH HIS BEARING STRAPPED TO HIS BODYTHERE WERE KANDYAN DANCES DRUMMERS AND NILAMESMEN OF HIGH KANDYAN STOCK DRESSED IN GOLD FINERY AND STALWARTS OF THE TEMPLE WHOSE STEPS SEEMED TO BE MEASURED AS THEY STRUTTERED AT THE FRONT OF THE PROCESSION AND THE TORCH BEARERS MANY OF THEM TO KEEP THE ELEPHANTS AT BAY--- AT HOME WE WOULD HAVE EARLY DINNER AND WALK WITH DAD AT LEAST FIVE MILES (IN THE OLD STANDARD TO HAVE A GOOD SPOT CLOSE TO THE TEMPLE NOW MY VERY MISCHIEVOUS SISTER RITA WOULD HAVE A PIN READY ANYONE WHO TRIED TO BE VULGAR AND TRIED PINCHING HER BUM WOULD GET A RIGHT OLE PRICK ON HIS BUM AND IN NO TIME AT ALL THE SPACE AROUND US WAS CLEAR OR IF SHE POSSESSED AN UMBERELLA THEN WOE BE UNTOTO THE MAN WHOTRIED HIS PRANKS HE SOON GOT LOST . KANDY WAS AGOG WITH FESTIVITY IT GATHERED MANY VISITORS WHO CAME FROM OTHER TOWNS AND DENOMINATIONS THERE WAS PEACE AND HAPPINESS IN OLD CEYLON IN THE FORTYS WE ENJOYED THE PERAHERA WHICH WENT ON TILL MIDNIGHT WE WOULD GO HOME TO BED AND NE!T MORNING ON OUR WAY TO SCHOOLWE SAW THE EVIDENCEOF THE NIGHT BEFORE THE LONGEST TRAIL OF HUGE ELEPHANT DUNGAND STINK. THERE WERE SINHALESE COMEDY CONCERTS GOING AND ONE NIGHT WE FELT LIKE WATCHING ONE ,DAD BOUGHT TICKETS WE TOOK OUR SEATS THE CONCERT BEGAN AND MUCH TO OUR SURPRISE LO6AND BEHOLD6 ONE OF THE FEMALES TAKING PART HAPPENED TO BE THE WOMAN WHO COOKED FOR US BY DAY AND ASK THAT SHE BE RELEAVED OF HER DUTIES AT 1PM THEN DISAPPEARED INTO THE NIGHT AND CAME BACK THE NE!T MORNING SHE WAS PRETTY RATHER CHEEKY AND LEFT OUR SERVICES NOT LONG AFTER TO PERSUE HER CAREER I SUPPOSE-----WE WERE IN KANDY FOR FOUR YEARS SOMETIMES DAD WOULD GO AS RELEAVING POSTMASTER TO SURROUNDING SMALL TOWNS AND ON WEEKENDS HE WOULD COME DOWN TO TAKE US BACK WITH HIM FOR A LITTLE HOLIDAY AND MAKING SURE SOMEONE COOKED US A COUPLE OF MEALS AND RE&UESTING THE POSTMAN TO BRING FRESH MILK FOR BREAKFASTTHE VILLAGERS ALWAYS HAD THEIR COWS .WE WERE A HEALTHY BUNCH WITH GOOD APPETITES EARLIAR IN THE YEAR I DEVELOPED AN!IETY ATTACKS AND EVERY WHERE DAD WENT I WANTED TO BE THERE SOME NIGHTS WHEN HE WAS NIGHT DUTY ON MY INSISTENCE HED RIDE HIS PUSH BIKE WITH ME SITTING ON THE HANDLE BAR WHEN WE GOT TO THE POSTOFFICE I WOULD SIT OPPOSITE HIS DESK AND WATCH HIM WHILE HE WORKED HE TRIED TO MAKE ME SLEEP ON A TABLE CLOSE BY BUT I JUST

WOULDNT CLOSE MY EYES WHEN WE GOT HOME THE NE!T MORNING I WAS RELUCTANTLY TAKEN TO BED AND HE WOULD READ FROM COMIC BOOKS LIKE (CHICKSOWN OR HAMMY HAMPSTER I WONDERED AND WISHED LIFE COULD BE LIGHTHEARTED LIKE THOSE STORIES IN THAT VEIN I WOULD FALL SOUNDLY ASLEEP AND WHEN I WOKE UP I WAS SCARED AGAIN IN THIS DAY AND AGE THERE IS COUNCELLING FOR THIS TRAUMA BUT AT THAT TIME THERE WAS INPIRATION FROM ONE ABOVE IAM SURE TO HELP AND GIVE US STRENGTH AND APART FROM DAD THERE WAS NO ONE ELSE ON EARTH WHO KNEW OR CARED WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO US IN OUR DAILY LIVES DADS MONTHLY WAGE WHICE WAS SO LITTLE +20@00 RUPEES COULD HARDLY GO ROUND TO FEED CLOTH PAY SCHOOL FEES HOUSE RENT BOARDING FEES FOR TWO BROTHERS IN COLOMBO CLOTHING WAS SOMETHING WE GOT ANNUALLYONE DAY I GOT A BRIGHT IDEA WHY DIDNT I TRY AND SEW SOMETHING FOR MY TWO LITTLE SISTERS SO ON THE WEEKEND I TOOK DOWN TWO LITTLE WINDOW CURTAINS THE MATERIAL WAS THICK AND ORANGE IN COLOUR I TOOK THE PAIR OF SCISSORS FROM MUMS SEWING BASKET AND BEGAN CUTTING THEN I FOUND OUT THEIR WASNT ENOUGH MATERIAL FOR THE TWO SKIRTS BUT DID NOT THINK IT MATTERED WHY WORRY ABOUT PLEATS AND RUMMAGING IN THE SEWING BASKET I CAME ACROSS SOME COURSE UNBLEACHED MATERIAL FOR TWO BLOUSES I SEWED LITTLE FLOWERS ON THE BODICE TO MAKE IT LOOK PRETTY AND ATTACHED IT TO THE SKIRTS BUT I WAS DISAPPOINTED THERE WASNT ANY ROOM FOR THE GIRLS TO PUT ONE LEG IN FRONT OF THE OTHER MUM HAD A SINGER HAND SEWING MACHINE AND I WENT TO MAKE MORE CLOTHING THIS TIME UNDERWEAR FOR THE GIRLS IT WAS TRIAL AND ERROR UNTIL I FOUND OUT IT WOULD LOOK MUCH BETTER IF I USED A MEASURE TAPE FROM THEN ON THINGS STARTED TO SHAPE UP AND STILL DOES THEN THERE WAS A SECOND VENTURE AFTER SCHOOL WED COME HOME HUNGRY BUT THERE WAS NEVER ANYTHING TO EAT I ASKED DADCOULD HE BUY ME A TIN OF CONDENSED MILK AND COCOA I WANTED TO MAKE CHOCOLATE IT WAS DELICOUS I MI!ED THE TWO INGREDIANTS PUT IT ON A PLATE AND KEPT ON THE LOW ROOF TO, DRY IN THE SUN HALF AN HOUR LATER I FOUND THE PLATE EMPTYA VERY SHORT VENTURE TO A BIG PROJECT I HAD IN MIND WHEN MUM PASSED AWAY DAD FOUND OUT HE HAD BIG DEBTS TO PAY SO RITA HAD TO STOP PIANO LESSONS BECAUSE THE PIANO HAD TO BE SOLD NO MORE WAS I GOING TO HEAR THOSE FINGER SCALES UP AND DOWN THE PIANO IT WAS LIKE RUNNING UP AND DOWN THE STAIRS AND ID MISS THE SOLDIERS CHORUSWHICH SHE STUMBLED UPON SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE OF IT AND START AGAIN AND AGAIN I REMEMBER THE TUNEAND HUM WHEN I DO WONDER IF RITA REMEMBERS THAT TUNE ONE OF THESE DAYS I SHALL PHONE TO ASK HER , WE DID OUR STUDIES BUT SINHALESE WAS DIFFICULT AND

BORING I COULD READ BUT NEVER UNDERDSTOOD WHAT I READ, IT WAS A SECOND LANGUAGE KAVIS WERENT BAD AS THEY WERE IN SONG I MISSED COMING HOME AND NOT FINDING A MOTHER WAITING FOR US AND ALMOST ENVIED MY CLASSMATES WHO DID AND WONDERED WHAT KIND OF GOODIES SHE HAD MADE FOR THEM BUT THEN CHEERED UP THINKING I WOULD MAKE COCOA MI!ED WITH CONDENSED MILK SO DELICOUS AND A VERY EASY FI! FOR THE MOMENTBY THEN THE CUPBOARD WAS BAREAND WE HAD NO MORECOCOA , ONE MORNING MY SISTER CARMEN WOKE UP WITH BURNING FEVER AND THE NE!T DAY DEVELOPED A RASH DAD SAID IT WAS MEASLES SO WE HAD TO DISINIFECT THE ROOM WITH SAFFRON WATER AS MUM WOULD HAVE DONE, WE HAD YELLOW SPOTS EVERYWHERE WITH MATCHING RED PATCHES ON CARMEN WE KEPT WETTING HER HEAD WITH VINEGAR AND WATER WASNT LONG BEFFORE WE HAD REPEAT PERFORMANCE WITH JUNE MORE YELLOW SPOTS WITH RED PATCHES IAM SURE WE HAD OUR TURN PRE MUM DAYS IN OCTOBER "$1- DAD GOT TRANSFER ORDERS AND WAS GIVEN THREE PLACES HE COULD CHOOSE FROM HE GAVE US THAT CHOICE TOO THE VERDICT WAS UNANIMOUS WE WANTED TO GO UPCOUNTRY SO DAD WENT OVER AND HAD A LOOK AT THIS TOWN CALLED PUNDALUOYAVERY REMOTE PLACE VERY MUCH LIKE HANGURENKETA ONE VERNACULAR STATE SCHOOL ONE FREE MEDICAL DISPENSARY AND APOTHECARY FOR EVERY PERSONWHO TOOK ILL BUT WE HAD TWO SMALL SHOPPING BA)AARS THE LOWER BA)AAR AND UPPER BA)AAR WHICH NATURALLY WAS HIGHER IN ALTITUDE ---- WE SPENT OUR LAST CHRISTMAS IN KANDY WITH SAD MEMORIES WE WERE GOING TO A FAR AWAY PLACE AND NEVER SEE MUMS GRAVE DAD HAD EVERYTHING PACKED HE GOT IT TRANSPORTED TO OUR NEW PLACE OF DESTINATION VIA LORRY AND WE TOOK THE NIGHT TRAIN FROM KANDY STATION WE WERE WARNED OF THE COLD AS WE WENT UP HIGHER INTO THE HILLS AND THEN AT ,AM THE TRAIN STOPPED AND WE WERE SHIVERING WE GOT OFF AND SAT DOWN ON A BENCH OUTSIDE OF A TEA BOUTI&UE AND WE HAD TO SIT THERE TILL -AM THAT WAS THE TIME OUR TRANSPORT THE OLD BUS WOULD COME TO TAKE PASSENGERS WE DRANK SOME VERY WEAK SWEET TEA MAY HAVE BEEN HOT WATER COLOURED BUT IT STOPPED THE SHIVERS WE HOPPED ON THE BUS AND AWAY WE WENT ALONG WINDING ROADS SITTING NE!T TO TEA PLUCKERS AND BASKETS ON THEIR WAY TO TEA ESTATES THE AROMA OF GREEN TEA LEAVES WAFTED THROUGH COLD AIR AND OUR NOSES WHICH WHEN FELT WAS ICY, THIN MIST STILL SETTLED ON THE HILLS MAKING IT A PRETTY SITE AGAINST A BLUE SKY YES 6 DADDY GODLIEB AND HIS SEVEN CHILDREN WERE AWAKE AND HEADING TO THE PUNDULOYA POSTOFFICE WITHIN THE NE!T HALF HOUR WE WERE THERE AND HEADING DOWN STONE STEPS INTO A COLD GREY STONE HOUSE IT WAS HUGE AND WE LOVED IT ONE SIDE DOOR

OPENED OUT INTO THE POSTOFFICE WE SAW TWO OFFICE POSTMEN JINASENA WHO WAS TALL AND BALD THE OTHER WAS SHORT AND HAD HIS HAIR TIED UP AT THE NAPE OF HIS NECK APPUHAMY STYLE MY YOUNGER SISTERS NAMED THEM THATAE MEL AND KONDE MELBECAUSE THEY HAD THE SAME SURNAME THERE WAS ALSO A TELEGRAPH BOY I WONT MENTION ANYMORE ABOUT HIM BECAUSE HE WAS A BLAGAARD WE SETTLED IN WELL THERE WASNT ENOUGH FURNITURE TO GO AROUND BUT WE HAD THE NECESSITIES AND ENOUGH ROOM TO PLAY HIDE AND SEEK AND MAKE PLENTY OF NOISE ALTHOUGH IT WAS A COLD CLIMATE THE FLOORS WERE BARE NEVER KNEW ABOUT HEATERS NO CURTAINS TO GRACE THOSE HUGE WINDOWS WE NEVER KNEW ANY BETTER DAD ENGAGED A COOK WHO SAID HE COULD MAKE THE BEST STEW THATS ALL WE NEEDED A HUGE POT OF HOT STEW AND FOUR LOAVES OF BREAD AND THERE WAS A COMPETITION WHO WAS GOING TO EAT THE MOST ID SAY WE MADE MOUNTAINS DISAPPEAR POOR OLD COOK EVERY DAY HE HAD TO CUT UP TWO OR THREE POUNDS OF MEAT FAT AND ALL LOTS OF VEGES TO KEEP US HAPPY COOK WAS GOING DOWN IN HEALTH HE HAD NO RICE TO KEEP UP HIS STRENGTH AND LEFT IN CAME COOK NO TWO A YOUNGER ONE WHO KEPT UP WITH OUR DIET AND INTRODUCED US TO VARIETY CURRIED BEEF PASTY RICE AND LEEK VEGETABLE IT WAS GOOD AND THE OLD POL SAMBOL NEVER WENT ASTRAY NOW WE HAD SCHOOLING PROBLEMS NEVILLE AND ROBIN WENT BACK TO GRANDMAS PLACE IN COLOMBO DEN)IL AND I WERE BOARDED IN KANDY AT A FRIENDS PLACE RITA GAVE UP SCHOOL TO KEEP HOUSE AND LOOK AFTER JUNE AND CARMEN IT WAS SUCH A HEART ACHE TO GO BACK TO A BOARDING WE HAD TO SHARE A BIG BED IN THE BACK ROOM WITH A MAT ON IT AND WHEN WE COULDNT SLEEP WE SLIPPED INTO THE KITCHEN AND HELPED OURSELVES TO FRESH CARROTS MUNCH THEM IN BED WE DID THE SAME WITH CAKE INGREDIANTS WITH WHICH MRS FERNANDO WAS GOING TO MAKE HER CHRISTMAS CAKE SHE WAS FURIOUS WHEN SJE FOUND OUT AND SHE SENT US BACK HOME THOSEHUNGER PANGS WERE UNFORGIVING AND GOT US IN TROUBLE IT WAS HOLIDAY TIME WE WERE GLAD TO BE HOME ALTHOUGH THERE WAS NO CHRISTMAS CAKE DAD GOT A TREE WHICH WE DECORATED WITH CREPE PAPER AND ABSOLUTLEY NOTHING ELSE WE WENT TO CHURCH WHICH WAS AN IMPROVISED STORE ROOM WE SAT ON THE FRONT BENCH WITH ALL THE TEA PLUCKERS AND HEARD MASS AND IN THE EVENING WE WALKED OVER THE HILL TO THATAE MELS HOUSE ON INVITATION HE HAD NO CHILDREN THOUGH HE WAS BUDDHIST HE HAD BOUGHT A HARD BOILED CAKE FOR US FROM THE MARKET AND BANANAS WHICH IS MY FAVOURITE FRUIT WE WASHED IT DOWN WITH ORANGE CRUSH IT WAS THE SADDEST MOST DULL CHRISTMAS WE E!PERIENCED AND THERE WERE MORE TO COME BUT IT WAS HOME ALL THE FAMILY WERE TOGETHER AND WE HAD LOTS OF FUN DURING THE DAY WED

WAIT TILL DAD WENT IN TO THE OFFICE THEN RUN DOWN THE BROOK AT THE BACK OF OUR HOUSE JUMP FROM ROCK TO ROCK TAKING US FAR DOWN STREAM TIME WAS FORGOTTEN WHILE WE WADED INTO THE WATER JUST TO GET OUR FEET WET LOOK FOR COLOURED STONES AND A CERTAIN ELEMENT THAT GREW ON ROCKSTHE WORD GOT WE USED FOR IT WAS (MICAR A SORT OF AUBURN SOFT GLASSY SUBSTANCE &UITE BRITTLE THAT FORMED IN LITTLE SHEETS WE USED TO TEAR THEM APARTAND THROW PIECES INTO THE WATER AND THAT WAS IT WE GOT INTO MANY SCRAPES EVERYDAY JUMPING ON HAYSTACKS THAT WERE NEATLY STACKED AFTER THE FARMERS PLOUGHED THEIR PADDY FIELDS OR WE WOULD WALK FOR MILES THROUIGH THE TEA ESTATES FOLLOWING THE PATHS OF THE ESTATES WORKERSDAD WOULD BE TOO BUSY TO WONDER WHERE WE WERE HE WANTED PEACE AND &UIET WHILE HE WORKED AND WE ALWAYS ENJOYED OUR ADVENTURES SOME EVENINGS DAD WOULD ENJOY A GAME OF TENNIS WITH THE POLICE FOLK AND WE WOULD ENJOY SNEAKING INTO THE POSTOFFICE AND PHONE ESTATE PEOPLE OR USE THE DATE STAMP ON OUR FOREHEADSAND HANDS OFCOURSE DAD TOLD US OFF WHEN HE GOT WORD OF IT ONE DAY DAD SAID HE WAS GOING TO SHOW US SOME TRICKS ON HIS PUSH BIKE WE WERE IN AWE WATCHING HIM MAYBE HE WANTED TO SHOW OFF TOUS HE CYCLED UP AND HE CYCLED DOWN TURNING AND TWISTING THE HANDLE BAR AND WHEEL AS HE WENT SUDDENLY THERE WAS NO MAN OR BIKE HE FELL OFF AND WENT SCRAMBLING DOWN THE ENBANKMENT WHICH WAS ABOUT THREE FOOT DOWN BUT HE WASNT GOING TO BE BEATEN IN FRONT OF HIS CHILDREN HE GOT OFF WITH A FEW SCRAPES AND SCRATCHES NONE THE WORSE FOR HIS CIRCUS ACT BUT WE WERE WICKED WE LAUGHED THE GAME WAS OVER WE WENT INSIDE AND SAT DOWN TO OUR DINNER OF BREAD AND STEW IN SILENCE ALL WAS WELL THE NE!T DAY AND THAT WONDERFUL DAD OF OURS CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS WILL END SOON AND ONLY THIS DEN)IL HAD TO GO WITH HIS TWO BROTHERS TO GRANDMAS HOME IN COLOMBO AND THE THREE OF THEM WOULD ATTEND ST PETERS COLLEGE IN BAMBALAPITIYA ANOTHER LITTLE SUBURB ON GALLE ROAD AND GALLE ROAD WAS A LONG NEVER ENDING ROAD THAT PASSED MANY MORE SUBURBS TILL IT REACHED THE VERY POPULAR TOWN OF GALLE A PLACE BUILT BY THE DUTCH DURING THEIR REIGN CENTURIES EARLIAR ITS RAMPARTS AND LIGHT HOUSE BY THE SEA AND TO MENTION THE BEAUTIFULCHURCHES AND COLLEGES IS MUCH TO BE PROUD OF ---BUT GETTING BACK TO US AND REALITY MY BROTHERS WERE WITH GRANDMA FOR A WHOLE YEAR IAM SURE IT WASNT EASY FOR HER DAD HELPED HER WITH BOARDING FEES NOW IT WAS MY TURN I HAD TO GO BACK TO KANDY RITA ARRANGED WITH ONE OF HER SCHOOL FRIENDSWHO LIVED ALMOST OPPOSITE ST SCHOLASTICS SCHOOL WHERE WE STUDIED ONLY THIS TIME I HAD TO TAKE JUNE WITH ME AS IT WAS TIME FOR

HER TO START KINDERGARTEN DAD ACCOMPANIED US TO JULIAS PLACE IN KANDY MET HER PARENTS IN THEIR PIGEON COT THEIR PARENTS SLEPT IN THE VERANDAH WHICH WAS COVERED IN GREEN TRELLIS WORK WHICH SEPERATED IT FROM THE PAVEMENT THEN THERE WAS AN AREA WITH A DINING TABLE JUNE AND I WERE GIVEN A CAMPCOT WHICH WAS ALMOST UNDER THE TABLE JUST AS WELL BECAUSE THE NE!T MAKE SHIFT ROOM WAS USED BY JULIAS ELDER BROTHER THERE WERE TWOMORE BOYS I DO NOT KNOW WHERE THEY SLEPT BUT THERE WAS A HUGE WINDOW THAT LOOKED OVER INTO THIS DINING SPACE I WAS SUPPOSED TO SLEEP CHANGE MY CLOTHES AND STUDY POOR JUNE I HOPED SHE WAS ADJUSTING TO THESE CIRCUMSTANCES THEN CAME THE MOST UNBEARABLE FILTHY TIME LIVING WITH THESE SINHALESE FOLK THE PLACE WAS BUG INFESTED AS GOD IS MY WITNESS JUNE AND I GOT BITTEN AND HAD RED LUMPS ALL OVER OUR BODIES NO COMPLIANTS FROM ANYONE ELSE AND I CRY NOW JUST THINKINGOF THAT MISERY ESPECIALLY FOR MY LITTLE SISTER THE BACK OF MY THIGHS WERE SO ITCHY AND LUMPY I COULD HARDLY SIT ON MY CHAIR IN SCHOOL BUT THREE MONTHS PASSED BY IN THIS MISERABLE PLACE AND WE WENT HOME TO PUNDULOYA ON OUR HOLIDAYS MY BROTHERS CAME OVER FROM COLOMBO AND IT WAS HEAVENLY WITH FOOD IN PLENTY POOR OLD COOK WAS OVER RUN WORKING TO FEED SEVEN VERY HEALTHYCHILDREN WITH FEROCIOUS APPETITES WE ENLOYED OUR HOLIDAYS TREMENDOUSLY DAD WAS GIVEN AN INVITATION TO VISIT THE TOURING TALKIES BY THIS BURGHER GENTLEMAN OFCOURSE WE JUMPED AT THE IDEA OF SOME ENTERTAINMENT IN OUR LIVES THEY WERE EVENING SHOWS AND TAMIL CATERING FOR THE TAMIL WORKERS THAT WAS FINE WITH US I CANNOT REMEMBER WHAT SORT OF WARM CLOTHES WE WORE WE DIDNT HAVE MUCH BUT WE MARCHED UP THE HILL AND WALKED INTO THE MOVIE TENT SAT ON THE FRONT BENCH THAT WAS KEPT FOR US AND WATCHED THE MOVIES THOUGH WE DIDNT UNDERSTAND A WORD IT WAS ENTERTAINING EVERY MOVIE HAD TO HAVE SOME COMEDY SOME ROMANCE AND TRADEGY IN IT THE LOVE LORN HEROINE WOULD SING HER LOVE SONGS REACHING OUT FOR A FLOWER SMELLING IT IN ONE HAND AND THE OTHER HAND SHE HAD WRAPPED AROUND A PILLAR SHE WOULD SING IN A HIGH PITCHED SAD VOICE TO HER LOVER THAT HER PARENTS WOULD NOT APPROVE OF SOME TIMES THINGS GOT BETTER FOR THE COUPLE AND IF IT DIDNT THE LOVER RAN OFF TO THE JUNGLE AND BECAME A HERMIT AND AS TIME PASSED THERE WOULD BE A HUGE ANT HILL BUILT OVER HIM AND HED BE THERE FOR A HUNDRED YEARS THE WHOLE SCENARIO WAS UNBELIEVEABLE BUT WE LOVED IT WHEN THE MOVIE WAS OVER WE WERE READY FOR THE WALK DOWN THE DARK WINDING ROADS WE USED TO DANCE AND SING IMITATING WHAT WE HAD JUST SEEN IN THE MOVIE THE WORDS THAT CAME OUT OF OUR MOUTHS WERE

FROM (CUMPATHAMBYS DICTIONARY IF THERE EVER WAS SUCH A BOOK ONE BEAUTIFUL SITE WERE MILLIONS OF STARS THAT SHONE THROUGH THE NIGHT SKY AND TRILLIONS OF FIREFLYS WITH AN IRIDESCENT PHOSPHROUS SHINE ON THEIR TAILS THAT LIT UP LIKE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ON HUNDREDS OF CONIIFERS AROUNDTHE AREA SHOWING US THE WAY HOME THAT IS SURELY A MEMORY TO TREASURE. SOON THIS MAGIC WOULD END BECAUSE OUR HOLIDAYS WERE, DAD WOULD TAKE MY BROTHERS BACK TO GRANDMAS IN COLOMBO AND HE WILL HAVE TO LIGHTEN HIS PURSE AS WELL AS GRANDMA WILL COME UP WITH HER TALE OF WOE AND DAD WILL GIVE HER MORE MONEY FOR THEIR BOARD NEVERTHELESS HE WAS THANKFUL TO HER FOR THE FAVOUR WASNT EASY FEEDING THREE BOYS NOT TO MENTION HER FOOD WAS GOOD AND TASTY AND WHEN DAD GOT BACK IT WAS TIME FOR ME TO GO TO MY BOARDING HOUSE IN KANDY ONLY THIS TIME JUNE WASNT COMING WITH ME NOT TO THAT BUG INFESTED TENEMENT I MENTIONEDTO DAD THAT I WAS PREPARED TO GO LIVE THERE WITH THOSE PEOPLE TILL THE END OF THE YEAR BUGS OR NO BUGS IWILL HAVE ONLY MYSELF TO WORRY ABOUT SO DAD TOOK ME BACK AND I BELIEVE MENTIONED TO THE MOTHER OF THE HOUSE THAT I WOULD BE A YOUNG GIRL SOON AND DO WHATEVER WAS NECESSARY LIKE SHE WOULD HER DAUGHTER OFCOURSE HE HAD TO STRETCH HIS PURSE STRINGS AGAIN BUT IT WAS FOR GOOD CAUSE*** MIND YOU THEY WERE (KOTE!LESS DAYS GOLLY IT WAS EMBARRESSING TO ADD TO THE BUG BITES IN SORE PLACES THIS WAS SHEER PENENCE WHEN IT HAPPENED,RITA CAME OVER FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS AND DAD HAD SENT ME A GIFT IT WAS A GOLD RING STUDDED WITH A LITTLE RED RUBY FROM MUMS LEFT THAT BOARDING HOUSE THE RING HAD DISAPPEARED ILL NEVER KNOW WHY I KEPT IT ON THE TABLE BESIDE ME AND NEVER SAW IT AGAIN I COULD NOT TELL DAD SO HE NEVER KNEW THE LOSS OF AN ITEM GIVEN DEEP AND MEANINGFULL IS ALWAYS DOUBLY REGRETTABLE BY THE RECEIVER . IT WAS NINE LONG MONTHS MORE FOR CHRISTMAS AND E!AMS IN BETWEEN HOLIDAYS WHEN I WOULD GO HOME AND DAD GOT THE BOYS UP TOO AND THE NE!T DAY WE WERE UP TO MISCHIEF NO SOONER DAD STEPPED INTO THE POSTOFFICE WE WERE OFF JUMPING OFF THE LITTLE ROCKS TILL WE GOT FAR DOWN S WHOWISHED TO STUDY THE SAME COURSE BUT I COULD NOT STAND THE THOUGHT OF BEING AWAY FROM HOME AGAIN IN THE YEAR "$1- CEYLON HAD MAJOR FLOODS WHICH AFFECTED THE WHOLE ISLAND FLOOD WATERS WERE RAMPENT IN PUNDULUOYA WHILE WE WERE ASLEEP THE CALM BROOK WE USED TO PLAY IN HAD RISEN NEARLY THIRTY FEET AND AROUND +OCLOCK IN THE MORNING DAD WOKE US UP TO GET US OUT OF BED AND WE STEPPED DOWN

KNEE DEEP IN WATER THAT CAME GUSHING IN DAD HAD TO SALVAGE MAIL BAGS CHAIRS AND POSTAL STUFF HE OPENED THE SAFE AND SAVED VALUABLE DOCUMENTS AND BAGS OF POSTAL CURRENCY FOR WHICH HE WAS COMMENDED BY THE DEPARTMENT ADDING A MERIT TO HIS POSTAL RECORDS WE HAD TO LEAVE THE PREMISES &UICKLY AND WALK OVER THE BRIDGE TO BE ON THE SAFE SIDE FOR THE REST OF THE DAY TILL THE WATERS RECIDED +1 HOURS LATER WE CAME BACK TO A MUDDY HOUSE AND STARTED SWEEPING OUT THE WATER SADLY WE SAW HOUSES CATTLE AND HUGE TREES BEING WASHED AWAY THANK GOD OUR HOUSE WAS ROCK SOLID AND WE WERE SAFE ALTHOUGH THE BROOK WEUSED TO WADE IN WAS NOW GUSHING DANGEROUSLY DOWN WITH MURKY FLOOD WATERS AMID ALL THIS IT WAS ALSO SOMETHING DAD MYSLEF AND SIBLINGS E!PERIENCED TOGETHER AND WOULD NEVER FORGET CHRISTMAS WENT BY AN AUNT AND UNCLE CAME OVER THE FIRST VISIT BY ANY RELATIVE IN MANY YEARS FOR US THEY WERE A COUPLE UNCLE PLAYED GUITAR HE ALSO HAD A BEAUTIFUL SO HE AND AUNT VIN SANG SOME LOVELY SONGS THE BEST I CAN RECALL IS SWANEE RIVER.SWANEE HOW I LOVE YOU HOW I LOVE YOU MY DEAR OLD SWANEE YES SWANEE AND 4LILLI MARLENESUNG BY WAR SIREN MARLENA DIETRICH THIS TIME IT WAS MY AUNTS RENDITION SHE HAD A GOOD VOICE TOO . NEW YEAR OF "$1# DAWNED ON US AND SO DID DADS BIRTHDAY HE WAS 1#YEARS WE HAD NO IDEA HOW TO MAKE HIM FEEL GOOD IF WISHING HIM MADE HIM HAPPY WE DID THAT HE WENT OVER TO HAVE A GAME OF TENNIS AND A COUPLE OF DRINKS WITH THE POLICE FOLK I KNEW HE WAS LONELY I KNEW HE MUST HAVE HAD A LOT OF PAIN IN HIS HEART BUT GOD GAVE HIM STRENGTH TO CARRY ON REMEMBERING THE GOOD TIMES WHEN MUM WAS AROUND . IT WAS GOOD TO BE HOME I KNITTED TO JUMPERS FOR JUNE AND CARMEN AND STARTED ON ONE FOR MYSELF IT WAS A COMPLICATED PATTERN I HAD TO KNIT ABOUT TEN ROWS BEFORE IT BROUGHT OUT THE PATTERN THEN I RAN OUT OF WOOL AND PUT IT ASIDE I STARTED WRITING TO MY SCHOOL FRIENDS IN KANDY ESPECIALLY GERTRUDE WHO WAS STUDYING IN PERADENIYA I FELT GUILTY THAT I DIDNT GO BACK BUT THEN THE AGRICULTURAL COURSE WAS FOUR YEARS AND WHAT WOULD I DO AFTER THAT IT ALSO COST MONEY THESE INDECISIONS CROWDED MY BRAIN FOR A LITTLE WHILE BUT I KEPT BUSY DOING A BIT OF SEWING LIKE CUTTING UP A FEW OLD SKIRTS ADDING ANY SPARE MATERIAL ICOULD FIND TO MAKE A BEDSPEARD AH YES IT WAS SENSATIONAL INDEED BUT HALF OF MY SKIRTS WERE ON MY BED AND I DID NOT HAVE MANY AFTER THAT I MADE A COUPLE OF RAGDOLLS WITH FIRM LIMBS AND SAD FLOPPY HEADS IF ONLY I COULD STIFFEN UP THEIR HEADS. SO I POKED MORE AND MORE COTTEN INTO THE AREA OF THE NECK

PULLING DOWN THE MATERIALAND SEWING IT ONTO THE BODY OF THE DOLL WHICH DID NOT WORK THAT WELL BUT THEIR EYES WERE BLUE LIPS WERE RED AND THEIR CHEEKS PINK FINALLY THEIR DRESSES WITH BUTTONS AND BOWS AND SASHES DID THE TRICK AND MY LITTLE SISTERS THOUGHT THEY WERE FABULOUS . TOWARDS THE LATTER PART OF THE YEAR DAD DECIDED TO MAKE A TRIP TO COLOMBO BECAUSE HE WAS ASKED TO GO ON TRANSFER ONCE AGAIN GIVING HIM THE CHOICE OF PLACE HE CONSULTED WITH US AND ALL DECIDED IT WILL BE KURUNEGALA WHEREVERTHAT WAS ONLY THIS TIME IT WOULD BE A WARM PLACE I ACCOMPANIED DAD TO COLOMBO ON THE TRAIN TO FORT STATION FROM ANOTHER ONE TO THE SEASIDE TOWN OF WELLAWATTE AND GRANDMAS PLACE BUT THE LAST TIME WE WENT TO SEE HER AROUND TWO YEARS AGO SHE TOOK ONE LOOK AT ME AND REPRIMANDED DAD FOR NOT GETTING ME INTO BRAS POOR MAN HE DIDNT KNOW WHERE TO LOOK SO HE WENT TO SEE HIS SISTER WITH A TALE OF WOE AND BY EVENING I HAD TWO BRAS MERELY TRIANGLES &UITE MODERN IN THIS DAY AND AGE AS FAR AS BIKINI TOPS GO SO I PLASTERED MYSELF INTO ONE AND GRAN WAS HAPPY IT WAS THE HOLIDAY WHEN DAD TOOK TO A SHOP CALLED (MABLE STORES A SORT OF ARMY DISPOSAL STORE I DIDNT KNOW WHAT HE BOUGHT BUT I SPIED HEAPS OF LIPSTICKS IN A BO! I ASKED DAD IF I COULD ONE AFTER ALL I WAS TWELVE I THOUGHT YES DAD THOUGHT NO BUT I WON I GOT A BLOOD RED LIPSTICK RIGHT AWAY I HAD IT ON MY LIPS WHEN WE WENT TO VISIT MY GODFATHER UNCLE JOHN HE WAS HORRIFIED BUT GAVE ME TEN RUPPEES BEFORE WE LEFT HIS PLACE THE NE!T DAY WE LEFT FOR HOME DAD CARRYING OUR SUIT CASE AND ME WEARING MY RED LIPSTICK WHEN WE GOT HOME MY SIBLINGS THOUGHT IT WAS HILARIOUS I DECIDED TO PUT IT AWAY TEMPERORILY AND GROW UP THERE WAS ALSO A TIME THE WHOLE LOT OF US SPENT OUR HOLIDAYS WITH GRAN RITA AND I FIGURED GRAN FAVOURED HER GRANDSONS MORE WE DIDNT WORRY ABOUT IT OR MAYBE WE DID WE KNEW SHE WENT BEHIND THE SAFETY OF HER WARDROBE WHICH WAS PLACED ON AN ANGLE TO HIDE HER CUMMODE AND TIMES WHEN SHE HAD TO GET INTO HER BLOOMERS WE WOULD HOLD ON TO THE LONG TAPE WHILE SHEKEPT TUGGING BEFOREWE LET GO THEN GOT THE REST OF HER GEAR ON FITTED HER NARROW BRIMMED RED HAT ON HER HEAD HELD IN PLACE WITH A HAT PIN THEN GO OUT AND INTO HER RICKSHAW WAITING FOR HER TO BE DRIVEN TO HER DESTINATION THAT SECOND PLACE OF WORSHIP THE PENSIONOFFICE WHILE SHE WAS AWAY RITA AND I CHOSE TO RUN AROUND IN HER NIGHTIE WHICH HOUSED US BOTH DITO WITH HER BLOOMERS WHEN SHE RETURNED FROM HER DAY OUT ONE OF MY BROTHERS AND WE KNEW WHICH ONE WOULD TELL THE TALE OF NIGHTIE AND BLOOMERS AND RITA AND I WERE IN THE DOG HOUSE NEVILLE WAS HER NUMBER ONE ANGEL AS

SHE CALLED HIM WE FINISHED THE SENTENCE WITHOUT WINGS NEV WAS A DEAR INNOCENT BOY SO LOVED AS WERE MY OTHER BROTHERS BUT THIS HOILDAY WAS DIFFERENT DAD CAME TO TAKE MY BROTHERS HOME AND ME,WELL ONCE AGAIN I WAS LEFT BEHIND MY LIT UP THE TREES AT NIGHT THE BROOK BEHIND OUR HOUSE GIVING US ENDLESS HOURS OF FUN DURING OUR HOLIDAYS FRUIT TREES THAT GAVE US POMEGRANATE LO&UAT AND DELICOUS MANDARINS MOST OF ALL THE PICTURES&UE BEAUTY OF TEA PLANTATIONS EVERY WHERE WE LOOKED IF I STATED IT BEFORE ILLSTATE IT AGAIN THE AROMATIC TENDER GREEN SHOOTS THAT IT PRODUCED GAVE US THE BEST TEA IN THE WORLD IT LEFT A LASTING MEMORY THAT WILL STAY WITH ME FOREVER NO HOLIDAY IN S L WILL BE FULFILLED. IF I DIDNT VISIT THOSE LUSCIOUS PLANTATIONS AGAIN. BUT WE HAD TO MOVE ON FROM A SLEEPY TOWN TO A BUSIER CITY KURUNEGALA WAS OUR PRESENT DESTINATION THE YEAR WAS "$1% WEARRIVED IN JANUARY MR J WAS WAITING AT THE STATION TO TRANSPORT SOME OF OUR LUGGAGE THEIR WAS A BUGGY CART WAITING TO TAKE US TO OUR SHARED HOME THE COUPLE WE WERETO SHARE IT WITH WERE VERY HELPFUL WE SETTLED WELL DAD AND US GIRLS SHARED A ROOM WITH OUR BO! AND DICE THE BOYS WENT BACK TO GRANDMAS IN COLOMBO UNTIL FURTHER ARRANGEMENTS COULD BE MADE FOR THEM THE TWO YOUNGER GIRLS STARTED SCHOOL AT HOLY FAMILY CONVENT AND THAT BUGGY CART DRAWN BY AN O!EN WAS KEPT BUSY WITH TRIPS TO SCHOOL,NO DOUBT WE WERE VERY CRAMPED THE ROOM WAS SMALL TO SLEEP FIVE PEOPLE BUT WE WERE GRATIFIED WITH WHAT WE GOT THREE MONTHS LATER THE ROOM OPPOSITE OURS WAS RENTED OUT TO A POLICE MAN WHO WAS SUBINSPECTOR AT THE KURUNEGALA POLICE STATION HE ALSO BROUGHT A DOMESTIC HOUSE BOY WITH HIM AND THINGS BEGAN TO GET RATHER UNCOMFORTABLE DUE TO THE LACK OF ROOM I HAD TO WATCH MYSELF BECAUSE THIS SUBINSPECTOR STARTED TO GIVE ME THE EYE AND I DIDNT LIKE IT ONE BIT AND SUSPECTED HE HAD IDEAS ABOUT ME I HAD TO CONFIDE TO OUR DOMESTIC WOMAN OF MY FEAR AND SHE PROMISED TO GUARD ME AND SHE DID ALL THE SAME THIS VERY GENT WHO HAD A LOT OF RESPECT FOR DAD HAD SEEN A HOUSE AND BECAUSE OF HIS POSITION IN THE DEPARTMENT HAD NO TROUBLE GETTING IT FOR US IT WAS AN OLD DOUBLE STORYED PLACE BUT WE WERE HAPPY EVEN IF WE HAD NO ELECTRICITY OR WATER ONCE AGAIN DAD PUT UP HIS NAME BOARD AND FAMILIAR HOUSE NAME. AT NIGHT HE LIT UP THE PRIMUS GAS LAMP WHICH THREW A VERY BRIGHT LIGHT AROUND THERE WAS A BOTTLE LAMP IN THE KITCHEN AND KEROSENE LAMPS UPSTAIRS NOTHING EVER

GOT CAUGHT FIRE INSPITE OF THIS FUEL AROUND ISTARTED MAKING THIS HOUSE A HOME CURTAINS WENT UP I MADE CUT OUT TABLE MATS FROM OLD CARDBOARD BO!ES WITH CUT OUT PICTURES FROM MAGA)INES PASTED ON THEM AND PLACED THEM ON THE BIG DINING TABLE WHICH WAS ALREADY TWENTY YEARS AND MANY TALES OLD THE GRUELLING TASK WAS POLISHING THE LOUNGE AND DINING ROOM FLOORS WITH COCONUT REFUSE WA!ING ITAND IF THAT WASNT ENOUGH I WOULD ASK THE YOUNGER ONES TO SIT ON A JUTEHESSIAN SACK AND PULL THEM ALONG MY SWEAT AND THEIR FUN GAVE IT A SHINING FLOORAND I MADE MYSELF A BEDSPREAD FROM ONCE AGAIN FROM CASTE AWAY SKIRTS. ONE DAY DAD ASKED ME TO PICK THE LITTLE GIRLS FROM SCHOOL YESI DRESSED UP PUT ON HIGH HEELS I CANNOT REMEMBER HOW I WALKED THAT DISTANCE IN HEELS MAYBE THE BUNIONS I SHOW NOW ARE THE RESULTS OF THOSE HEADY DAYS I HAD RED LIPSTICK ON AND HEADED TO THE CONVENT HOLY COW 6WHO COMES OUT BUT THE PRINCIPAL NUN HERSELF HOW OLD ARE YOU* SHE ASKED FIFTEEN I GASPED FAINTLY I WANT TO SEE YOUR FATHER TOMORROW -YOU OUGHT TO BE IN SCHOOL THAT WAS IT I GOT MY MARCHING ORDERS BACK TO SCHOOL DAD ARRANGED FOR A BUGGY CART SO MY SISTERS AND I COULD GO TO SCHOOL VERY SOON THEIR WERE A COUPLE OF BOYS FROM ST ANNES COLLEGE THAT KEPT HANGING ON THE SIDE OF THE BUGGY WHICH MADE DAD ,MAD DAD GOT MY THREE BROTHERS BACK FROM GRANS PLACE ONCE AGAIN WE WERE ALL TOGETHER WE HAD THE TIME OF OUR LIVES THE TOWN OF KURUNEGALA IS SURROUNDED BY GIGANTIC ROCKS ELEPHANT AS IT IS NAMED HAS A TEMPLE BUILT ON IT THE OTHER WAS IBBAGALA (FROG ROCK BEHIND OUR PLACE WAS ANOTHER HUGE ROCK WE SPENT MANY HAPPY HOURS PLAYING CRICKET WITH THE BOYS WHEN WE WERENT ENJOYING PICNIC TIMES ON THESE ROCKS ANOTHER INCONVENIENCE WAS LACK OF TAP WATER SO DAD MADE A DEALWITH THE BOYSAND THEY EARNED THEIR POCKET MONEY BRINGING IN BUCKETS OF WATER FROM THE ROAD TAP TO FILL UP THE BIG CISTERN AT THE BACK OF THE HOUSE I WONDER IF THEY GOT THEIR SI! PACKS CARRYING BUCKETS OF WATER AFTER ALL THE FAMILY HAD TO HAVE THEIR DAILY WASH THE AREA WAS CHILLY AND THE WATER WAS COLD AND WE WERE YOUNG AND I DO NOT KNOW HOW MANY PREYING EYES WERE PEEPING THROUGH THAT LOOSLEY WOVEN CADJAN FENCE NE!T DOOR AFTER AWHILE DAD GOT ELECTRICITY CONNECTED AND BOUGHT US A RADIO WHAT A JOY I DIDNT HAVE TO STICK MY EAR TO THE UPSTAIRS WINDOW ANYMORE TRYING TO LISTEN TO HANK SNOW, HANK WILLIAMS, SLIM WHITMAN ROY ROGERS AND GENE AUTRYAND

MOON OVER SONGS LIKEIM SENDING U A BIG BOU&UET OF ROSES WEDDING BELLS WILL NEVER RING FOR ME AND THE LIKES I WANTD MORE CLOTHES AND HIGH HEELS DAD CAREFULLY DOLED ME SOME MONEY SO I COULD GO TO THE SHOPS AND CHOOSE SOMETHING I LIKED IN MATERIAL MY FIRST CHOICE WAS A RED DOTTED FLIMSY MATERIAL I HAD A PATTERN ON MY MIND AND SEWED MY DRESS ON MUMS HAND SEWING MACHINE DAD WAS GETTING RATHER NERVOUS BECAUSE I WANTED ALL THIS STYLE I DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHY I LIKED MORE DRESSES ON THE OTHER HAND I DARE SAY I KNEW MY BROTHERS BROUGHT THEIR FRIENDS HOME ANDWED PLAY CARDS AND CARRUM AND CHIT CHAT JOKING AROUND WE GOT TO KNOW &UITE A FEW BOYS AS LONG AS THEIR WAS NOTHING SERIOUS . ONE DAY DAD CAME BACK FROM WORK AND SAID THERE WAS A VACANCY FOR A TELETYPIST AT THE POSTOFFICE AND ASKING RITA TO APPLY SHE SAT FOR THE TEST AND WAS SELECTED FOR THE JOB AFTER A PERIOD OF TRAINING SHE BECAME A SMART TELETYPIST MONEY WISE THINGS WERE BETTER MY PREP SENIOR STUDIES WERE OVER AND I HAD MORE SEWING ON MY HANDS RITA NEEDED WORK CLOTHES THE MORE I SEWED THE MORE SHE PAID REMEMBERING THE LITTLE GIRLS NEEDS AS WELL JUNE WAS RECEIVING FIRST COMMUNION SO DAD AND I WENT TO THE ONLY FABRIC SHOP IN TOWN (BRITTO BROS THEY SOLD THE BEST MATERIAL I CHOSE WHITE TAFFETA WITH VEILING AND LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS FOR HER HEAD DRESS IN MY THOUGHTS I DID NOT WANT THE DEMEANOR OF ANYBODY WHO THOUGHT THIS MOTHERLESS GIRLWAS GOING TO HAVE ANYTHING LESSER THAN ANY OF THE OTHER GIRLS I KNEW HOW THAT FELT ONLY TOO WELL WE WOULD HONOR DAD AND BE BESIDE HIM ON THIS OCCASION SO I GOT THE OLD SEWING MACHINE MAYBE MUM GUIDED ME ALONG AND I WAS PROUD OF MY WORK EVEN IF I WAS FOURTEEN YEARS OLD JUNE LOOKED LOVELY ON THE DAY HER WHITE SHOES GLEAMING BENEATH HER TIERED TAFFETA DRESS THE COMMUNION VEIL AND FLOWERS IN PLACE AND HER PHOTO TAKEN TO PROVE IT I KNOW DAD HAD TO SPEND A BIT OF MONEY FOR THE OCCASION THE FOLLOWING YEAR IT WAS CARMENS TURN I THOUGHT SOME MONEY COULD BE SAVED IF I SHORTENED THAT SAME DRESS SHE COULD WEAR IT VEIL FLOWERS AND ALL SO SHE DID BUT YEARS LATER SHE TOLD ME OF HER DISAPPIONTMENT HAVING TO BE (SECOND HAND ROSE SORRY CARMEN I WANTED TO SAVE DAD SOME MONEY MY INTENTIONS WERE PURE. RITA WAS GOING WELL WITH WORK BUT SHE ALSO GOT TO KNOW A YOUNG MAN AND FELL SERIOUSLY IN LOVE, I HAD A FEW BOY FRIENDS AND A BO! FULL OF LOVE LETTERS WHICH MEANT NOTHING BUT IF THEY WANTED TO WASTETHEIR TIME I LIKED TEASING AND STRINGING THEM ALONG THEY ALSO THOUGHT I HAD A STONE COLD

HEART THAT WAS FINE WITH ME NOEL HAD A FANTASTIC WHISTLE AND WOULD CYCLE PAST OUR PLACE WHISTLING ( THERES ONE LIKE YOU I THINK IT WAS SUNG BY THE MILLS BROTHERS ONE DAY WHILE WHISTLING PAST I LOOKED OUT THE UPSTAIRS WINDOW DAD HAPPENED TO COME BY AND TOLD ME OFF GOOD AND PROPER THINGS WENT WELL WE HAD A KINDLY OLD WOMAN WHO COOKED FOR US SHE KEPT AN EYE ON ME AND WANTED ME TO TAKE CARE, OF MYSELF WHICH I DID IT WASNT LONG BEFORE SHE GOT ILL AND HAD TO LEAVE RITA COOKED WHEN SHE HAD THE TIME HER BEST DISH WAS A MEAT SMORE SHED TAKE A CHUNK OF MEAT PUT IT IN A CLAY POT WE HAD NO BIG SAUCEPANS ADD SPICY INGREDIANTS AS FOR A CURRY COOKING THE MEAT ON SLOW FIRE TILL THE GRAVY DRIED UP AND THE MEAT WAS TENDER READY TO EAT . I COOKED NOW AND AGAIN BUT IT WAS A LONG TIME BEFORE I MASTERED THE ART OF GOOD CULINARY COOKING THANKS TO THE GIFT OF A ( CEYLON DAILY NEWS COOKERY BOOK I WAS GIVEN PLUS THE AVAILABILITY OF SCORES OF RECIPE BOOKS THAT ADORN MY BOOK SHELF PLUS MANY HOURS HOVERING OVER A HOT STOVE I CAN GIVE MYSELF A PAT ON THE BACK FOR MASTERING MANY TASTY DISHES ALSO AS SAID ITS THE WAY TO A MANS HEART IN MY CASE I GOT THE MAN FIRSTWITH CUPIDS ARROW TO THE HEART SHALL GIVE MORE INFORMATION ON THAT SUBJECT LATER MOST OF OUR TEENAGE LIFE WAS LIVED IN KURUNEGALA RITA DECIDED TO GET MARRIED TO HER BOYFRIEND REGGIE SHE ASKED ME TO SEW HER A DRESS , SO ONCE AGAIN AT FOURTEEN YEARS I FOUND MYSELF BUYING WHITE SILK AND LACE AND MAKING UP A PATTERN I DID MY BEST IT WAS A HARD TASK BUT IT GOT DONE DAD WASNT TOO PLEASED WITH REGGIE BECAUSE HE WASNT BURGHER THINGS HAD TO BE MINISCULE AND WENT WELL RITA AND REGGIE MARRIED IN "$20 STARTING THEIR MARRIED LIFE IN A PLACE CALLED MIRIGAMA BECAUSE REGGIE WORKED IN THE FOREST DEPARTMENT AT THE TIME WITH RITA HAVING TO LEAVE WORK BECAUSE OF HER MARRIAGE DAD WANTED ME TO TAKE HER PLACEAT THE POSTOFFICE CYNTHIA WRIGHT MY FRIEND AND I SAT FOR THE TEST BUT I HAD TO GO TO COLOMBO TO TRAIN FOR THREE MONTHS I STAYED WITH MY AUNT AND UNCLE ANDTHEIR DAUGHTERSWHO WERE RESIDING AT THE COLPETTY POSTOFFICE SINCE MY UNCLE WORKED AS POSTMASTER ONCE AGAIN THAT FEELING OF HOME SICKNESS CAME OVER ME AT NIGHT MY COUSINS AND I WOULD LAUGHAND JOKE ABOUT SO MANY THINGS THEN WHEN WE DECIDED TO SLEEP I WOULD LIE ON MY MAT AND PILLOW LOOK UP AT THE SKYLIGHT THAT WAS UP IN THE CEILING OVER MY HEAD AND FELT GOOD TO SEE THOSE FEW STARS TWINKLING DOWN AT ME TILL I FELL ASLEEP .

SOME WEEKENDS I WOULD TRAVEL ON THE BUS TO KURUNEGALA BY MYSELF AFTER WORK TO SEE DAD AND MY SIBLINGS AND FELT HAPPY I COULD BUY LITTLE GIFTS TO TAKE HOME , THEN ONE WEEKEND I STAYED BACK TO GET MY SHOULDER LENGTH HAIR CUT TO GET IT PERMED IT WAS THE ERA OF THE 4TONI PERM IT WAS THE FASHION AND I WANTED TO BE FASHIONABLE SO I THOUGHT. THERE WERE ALSO A FEW BOYS RELATIVES FROM MY AUNTS SIDE OF THE FAMILY WHO VISITED FROM TIME TO TIME I FAINTLYREMEMBERED THEIR NAMES AND FACES BUT FOR ONE OF THEM FATE WAS GOING TO PLAY A BIG PART IN HIS LIFE AND MINE FIFTY YEARS LATER , IT WAS FATE I GUESS NOT A PREDICTION THEN ONE DAY I MET MY MUMS BROTHER UNCLE ROY AT THE BUS STOP HE MADE ME VERY HAPPY BY INVITING ME TO VISIT HIM AND MY AUNT IN WELLAWATTE MY THOUGHTS WENT BACK TO THE LATE "$,0S AND THAT SI! YEAR OLD WHO WAS THEIR FLOWER GIRLAT THEIR WEDDING WEARING A MAUVE ORGANDIE FLOWING DRESS CARRYING MATCHING HYDRENGIAS THAT WERE SHAPED LIKE A DRESS BOW MY HAIR WAS CURLED I WAS CHILDISH ANDSULKY BECAUSE OF THOSE CURLS SILLY ME NOW HOWEVER I WANTED TO SEE UNCLE AND AUNT AND THE FOLOWING WEEKEND I WAS WARMLY WELCOMED INTO THEIR HOME AND I FELT GOOD I EVEN KICKED OFF MY SHOES WHICH I SELDOM DO IN ANYBODYS HOUSE BUT THEIR CEMENT FLOORS WERE THE SHINIEST I HAD EVER SEEN AND I HAD TO PUT MY FEET ON THEM UNCLES CLEANLINESS WAS NE!T TO GODLINESS HE TOOK IT LITERALLY NO SOONER HE CAME HOME FROM WORK HE KISSED HIS FAMILY THEN TOOK THAT COIR BROOM INTO HIS HAND AND AWAY HE WENT SWEEPING AND POLISHING , POLISH WASNT NEEDED HE JUST MADE THE FLOOR SHINE ,THAT VERY NIGHT MY FUTURE WAS SEALED THIS YOUNG GUY CAME TO VISIT THE FOLKS RELUCTATLY I HAD TO GO OUT TO BE INTRODUCED TO HIM I GRUMBLED BUT THEY WOULD NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER I PUT ON MY SHOES WENT OUT TO THE PATIO IT WAS RATHER DARK MY AUNT SAID THIS IS DAWNNE ROYS NEICE AND THIS YOUNG MAN IS DOUGLAS THOMPSON I FELT A VERY STRONG HANDSHAKE GLAD TO MEET YOU HE SAID I NOTICED HE HAD COME BACK FROM A CRICKET MATCH THE BAT AND CRICKET GEAR HE WORE SHOWED ME THAT HE WAS GOODING LOOKING BUT I DIDNT WANT ANYTHING SERIOUS I WAS GOING BACK TO KURUNEGALA IN TWO WEEKS TIME THIS WAS NO WAY TO GET INVOLVED BUT HE CAME BACK THE NE!T DAY AND THE NE!T AND THE NE!T TWO WEEKS WE CHUMMED UP AND LEARNED MORE ABOUT EACH OTHER I LIKED HIS BACKGROUND GOOD FAMILY CATHOLIC AND GOOD LOOKS WAS IMPORTANT WISHED HE WAS TALLER I LIKED TALL MEN BUT FOUR OUT OF FIVE AINT BAD I GUESS I COULD SEE MYSELF HAVING A NICE

FAMILY NOW WHY WOULD I SEE THAT SO SOON AND DISMISSED THE THOUGHT . EVENTUALLY DAD CAME DOWN I COULD TELL HE WASNT HAPPY WITH THE SITUATION I WAS ALSO CORRESPONDING WITH DOUGLAS COPPANDALE IN ENGLAND WHO WAS HAPPY FOR ME TO COME OVER I HAD TO MAKE THE DECISION OF MY LIFE IF I WENT TO ENGLAND I WOULD HAVE HAD TO LEAVE MY SIBLINGS ESPECIALLY THE TWO GIRLS WHO WERE AROUND EIGHT AND TEN AND DAD IT JUST WASNT FAIR TO ALL OF THEM I MADE UP MY MIND TO STOP WRITING TO DOUGLAS COPPANDALE RATHER SADLY AFTER I HAD MENTIONED MY REASONS I KEPT UP CORRESPONDANCE WITH HIS MOTHER A VERY SWEET LADY NO WONDER SHE HAD A GOOD SON ONE DAY SHE MENTIONED THAT DOUGLAS HAD MET AN ENGLISH GIRL NAMED SLYVIA MET AND MARRIED AN ENGLISH GIRL NAMED SYLVIA AND THEY WERE TO BE MARRIED THAT WAS IT , HE DESERVED THAT HAPPINESS IM SURE THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER IT WAS AUGUST "$20 I WENT BACK HOMETO KURUNEGALA AND STARTED WORK IN SEPTEMBER OF THAT YEAR A WEEK AFTER I RETURNED I WROTE TO DOUGLAS THOMPSON THANKING HIM FOR SEEING US OFF AT THE RAILWAY STATION AFTER A BRIEF SILENCE ASKED DAD PERMISSION TO CORRESPOND WITH ME( THE OLD FASHIONED STYLE SUCH WAS GRANTED WITH RESERVE A WEEK LATER WAS MY EIGHTEENTH BIRTHDAY THE POSTMAN CAMETO MY DOOR BRINGING ME BY SPECIAL DELIVERY A REGISTERED LETTER AND PACKAGE LOOKING AT THE ADDRESS ON THE BACK IT WAS FROM DAD SO BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN THE ONLY LINE I REMEMBER NOW IS THIS ( LET THIS BE THE CONNECTION BETWEEN YOU ANDYOUR FATHER OPENING UP THE PACKAGE I ONCE AGAIN USE THE SAME WORDS MOST BEAUTIFUL SOVEREIGN GOLD BRACELET IT HAD BELONGED TO MY MOTHER INHERITED FROM HER MOTHER MADE UP OF GOLD STARS EACH SEPERATING THE OTHER WITH GOLD LINKS GUESS THATS WHAT DAD MEANT WHEN HE SAID CONNECTION AND THESE GOLD STARS WERE STUDDED WITH A CORAL ON EACH STAR BUT I FELT IT HAD AN INSECURE CLASP MY BIGGEST REGRET HAPPENED A FEW YEARS LATER WHEN I DECIDED TO DISSOLVE THE GOLD HAVE IT AS A BANGLE I WAS NAAVE IT WAS ONE OF MY BIGGEST REGRETS I WAS RIPPED OFF BY THE JEWELLER MY FIRST LESSON IN DISTRUST WHEN I GOT BACK HOME I KNEW A COUPLE OF FRIENDS (BOYS WOULD BE VISITING ME NOEL THE ONE WITH A NICE HEAD OF HAIR AND GREAT WHISTLE WHO DIDNT NEEDTHAT FORTUNE TELLER TO FIND OUT IF HE WOULD BE IN MY FAVOUR BECAUSE I TOLD HIM SO MYSELF HE WAS DISAPPIONTED NOT LONG AFTER NOEL JOINED THE CEYLON NAVY AND I NEVER SAW HIM AGAIN THEN THERE WAS PAT HE WAS A FLIRTATIOUS GUY AND MOVED AWAY WITH MY BLESSINGS NUMBER THREE WAS MR WRIGHT I KNEW HE WAS WRONG FOR ME

THOUGH HE INSISTED HE WAS OF THE FORMER NOW I HAD A GOOD REASON AN E!CUSE HE FORGOT MY BIRTHDAY IT WAS A BLACK MARK IN MY DIARY HE HAD A BEAUTIFUL FAMILY I USED TO CYCLE TOTHEIR PLACE AFTER WORK OCCASIONALLY AND THEY ALWAYS WELCOMED ME WITH OPEN ARMS THEY ALSO KNEW THEIR SON HAD HIS EYE ON ME BUT I WASNT MARRYING THE FAMILY TWO WEEKS AFTER MY BIRTHDAY IN VISITED ME WITH FLOWERS AND A GIFT OF ONE OF THE BEST PERFUMES OF THAT ERA I RECOLLECT IT SO WELL HANDING ME A DEEP VIOLET BLUE BOTTLE OF EVENING IN PARIS THE LIKES OF WHICH I WAS NEVER TO SEE AGAIN THE PERFUME WENT OUT OF PRODUCTION NOT LONG AFTER SO DID MR WRIGHTAFTER A FLAT REFUSAL FROM ME TO CONTINUE BEING HIS GIRL FRIEND WE SAID GOODBYE WISH I HAD KEPT THAT PERFUME. NOW I WAS FREE TO CORRESPONDWITH DOUGLAS AND WE DID THEN FIVE MONTHS AFTER WE MET THEIR WAS ANOTHER LETTER TO DAD (ANOTHER LETTER I WISH I HAD KEPT DOUG RE&UESTED DADS PERMISSION TO BE ENGAGED TO ME DADMIGHT HAVE WISHED HE DID NOT GET A LETTER LIKE THAT BUT HE DID AND HE KEPT DOUG AND ME PLAYING THE WAITING AND GUESSING GAME BY THAT TIME I THINK I HAD BAD INDIGESTION AND DOUG WAS PRAYING HARD TO ST ANTHONY FOR A FAVOURABLE REPLY TO HIS LETTER. IT CAME THREE WEEKS LATER WITH RULES WE WERE TO SEE EACH OTHER ONLY FORTNIGHTLY PLUS WE HAD TO WAIT FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS TO BE MARRIEDWE PAINFULLY HAD TO AGREE SO GOVERNMENT GOT RICH ON STAMPS CRO!LEYS PAPER COMPANY GOT RICH ON WRITING PAD PAPER (ONLY BLUE WOULD DO AND THE PARKER PEN COMPANY WELL DOUG ALREADY HAD A SILVER PARKER PEN WITH HIS NAME ENGRAVED PUTTING IT ALTOGETHER WE CREATED OUR DAILYMAILTO EACH OTHERAND I MEAN DAILY-MAIL OUR SHOE BO!ES WERE FULL WITH THEM AFTER TWENTY SEVEN MONTHS OURCORRESPONDANCE ENDED MY GLORY BO! WHICH WAS SOMETHING I CREATED OUT OF A PACKING CASE LINING AND PAINTING IT TO LOOK SPECIAL AND I ENJOYED FILLING IT UP OVER THAT PERIOD WITH MONOGRAMMED HOUSEHOLD LINEN LASTING FOR FIVE YEARS AFTER OUR MARRIAGE OUR HAPPY DAY WAS DRAWING NEAR IN THOSE OLD FASHIONED CHURCH CUSTOMS W&E HAD TO HAVE IT ANNOUNCED IN CHURCH FOR THREE CONCE&UTIVE SUNDAYS IT WAS E!CITING I WAS NINETEEN I WOULD BE A MRS SOON WITH A CHANGE OF NAME DAD AND I WENT TO COLOMBO I PICKED OUT THE MATERIAL FOR MY WEDDING DRESS DAD WAS WITH ME IN OLD MEASUREMENTS IT WAS TWENTY RUPPEES A YARD AND I NEEDED ENOUGH FOR A TRAIN AS WELL MY AUNT EDNA HELPED ME IN EVERYWAY SHE COULD AND THERE WAS SO MUCH TO BE DONE DAD AND I WENT TO ST MARYS CHURCH TO ARRANGE A DATE AND TIME FOR THE WEDDING .

ON THE ," ST OF DECEMBER AT $-"2 AM DOUG AND I WERE MARRIED COUSIN NAOMI AND GEORGE ROBERTSON WERE BRIDESMAID AND GROOMSMEN SISTERS JUNE AND CARMEN WERE ADDRESSED AS LITTLE MAIDS I LOVED THE DATE OF OUR MARRIAGE IT WAS SIGNIFICANT ALMOST EVERY YEAR WE WOULD GO OUT TO A DANCE TOCELEBRATE AND SEE THE DAWNING OF A NEW YEAR AS WELL AND "ST JANUARY WAS DADS BIRTHDAY SO CELEBRATIONS CONTINUED DOUG ONCE GOT OUR HOROSCOPES READ WHILE LIVING IN CEYLON AND WERE TOLD WE WERE OPPOSITES IN NATURE AND OPPOSITES ATTRACT LIKE LIGHTENING TO WATER IT WAS SO TRUE WE WERE INCOMPATIBLE BY NATURE AND WISHED WE COULD UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER BETTER AND HAVING SAID THAT WE KNEW WE HAD A DEEP ATTRACTION TOWARDS EACH OTHER ALL OF DOUGS FAMILY WERE HERE SINCE THE "$207 THEY WERE KEEN ON US JOINING THEM AND INDEED THEY HELPED E!PEDIATE THINGS BY GIVING US EVERY ASSISTANCE NECESSARY I THANK MY IN LAWS THE THOMPSONS FOR HELPING US WITH THEIR KINDLY GESTURE ON THE ,0TH DAYOF MAY"$-$ DOUG MYSELF OUR FOUR DAUGHTERS ALONG WITH DAD MIGRATED TO AUSTRALIA WE CAME BY PLANE IT HAPPENED TO BE A BEAUTIFUL SUNNY DAY EVEN THOUGH IT WAS ON THE BRINK OF WINTER A GOOD OMEN I THOUGHT THE MOMENT I STEPPED OUT OF THE PLANE A FELT SO GOOD AND NEVER LOOKED BACK I THANKED GOD FOR THAT OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFE TIME NEVER REGRETTING A DAY .OUR FIFTH DAUTHGER WAS BORN HERE IN "$#1 I NEVER HAD AN EASIER BIRTH EVEN IF I WAS FORTY PLUS I WORKED VERY HARD TO SUPPLEMENT THE FAMILY INCOME AND SPENT AS MUCH BUYING NECESSITIES (ILL STICK TO THAT WORD I THINK I GOT HALF OF MY MOTHERS SPENDING GENE DEAR MUM. WHILE DOUG WAS ILL IN BED IT WAS THE BEST TIME FOR US TO TALK HE TOLD ME A FEW THINGS GETTING IT OFF HIS CHEST AND I FOUND HIM TO BE &UITE THE GENTLEMEN I ALWAYS THOUGHT HE WAS AND COULD HAVE BEEN WHEN HE WANTED TO, MY ADMIRATION OF HIM CAME FLOODING BACK TO ME DOUG PASSED AWAY ON CHRISTMAS MORNING "$$$ JUST AS WE WERE GETTING READY TO VISIT HIM AFTER HIS PAINFULL LONG ILLNESS IT WAS CERTAINLY A SAD CHRISTMAS EVEN THE LIVE CHRISTMAS TREE HAD DROOPED ITS LEAVES AND I THOUGHT I HAD TO TAKE A PHOTO OF IT SUDDENLY OUR HOME WAS EMPTY IRONICALLY HE WAS BURIED A DAY BEFORE OUR 1# TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY HE MADE IT KNOWN TO THE CHILDREN IT WAS CHRISTMAS WHEN THEY WERE AROUND HIM AND SO IT WAS AND ALWAYS WILL BE IN THE MIDST OF OUR CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS THERE IS ALWAYS A CANDLE BURNING REMEMBERING HE IS IN OUR MIDST

BEFORE I CONCLUDE WRITING ABOUT THOSE NINETEEN YEARS OF MY LIFE I LIKE TO REFLECT ON DAD AND MY SIBLINGS THERE WAS SOMETHING CAREFREE UNI&UE AND COME WHAT MAY ATTITUDE IN OUR FAMILY I STRONGLY BELIEVE GOD AND HIS HEAVENLY PATRONS WERE HELPING DAD TO BEAR THIS ENOURMOUS TASK OF LOOKING AFTER HIS SEVEN CHILDREN AGED FROM NINE MONTHS TO THIRTEEN YEARS BY HIMSELF WITH CHILDISH HELP FROM RITA AND ME WE WERE HEALTHY CHILDREN BUT I WILL NOT E!CLUDE CHILDRENS DISEASES LIKE CHICKENPO! MEASLES FEVERS AND STUFF THATWEWNT AROUND WHEN JUNE HAD DIPHTERIA I SAT BY HER BED DAY AND NIGHT IN THE HOSPITALTILL SHE WAS OUT OF DANGER I WILL NEVER KNOWHOW I AVOIDED GETTING TETENUS WHEN I PRICKED MY FOOT ON A RUSTY NAIL AND THOUGHT NOTHING OF IT EVEN IF IT WAS INFECTED SWOLLEN AND SO PAINFULL UNTIL DAD GOT WIND OF IT AND TOOK ME TO HOSPITAL FOR TREATMENTTHERE HAD TO BE A GUARDIAN ANGEL ABOVE TO WATCH OVER US EVEN THE TIME ROBIN GOT INFANTILE RHUEMATISM AT AROUND SI! YEARS DAD SAT WITH HIM FOR HOURS COMFORTING HIM AS HE COULD HARDLY WALK AND NURSED HIM BACK TO GOOD HEALTH IN EVERY PERSONS LIFE A LITTE RAIN MUST FALL I FEEL DAD GOT IT IN BUCKET LOADS AND HE WEATHERED THOSE STORMS LIKE A TROOPER AND SAW US ALL GROW UP AND VENTURE INTO THE WORLD ON OUR OWN WE THANK YOU DAD FOR THE SUPREME SACRIFICE U MADE TO KEEP US CLOSE TO YOU DAD LIVED WITH US IN AUSTRALIA FOR TEN YEARS AND PASSED AWAY IN "$%0

THIS LITTLE PARAGRAPH IS ABOUT MY THREE BROTHERS NEVILLE ANTHONY BORN TWO YEARS AFTER ME HE WAS THE&UIET ONE I THINK HE FELT INSECURE AND WAS EASILY DOMINATED IN AN ARGUMENT WITH HIS BROTHERS HE WAS KIND AND VERY LOYAL TO ANY BODY HE KNEW WHEN EVER HE CAME OVER FROM GRANDMAS PLACE HED SPEND HIS FIRST DAY MAKING AN ALTER PUTTING IT UP IN THE BEDROOM WITH A STATUE OF JESUS OR MARY HED THEN PUT FLOWERS IN A BOTTLE PLACING IT ON THE ALTER WE LOVED THIS SACRED THINGAND FELT E!TRA RELIGIOUS EVERY TIME WE CROSSED THE ROOM WE HAD TO GENUFLECT IT WAS HIS RE&UEST IT LASTEDA WEEK THEN FLOWERS FADED WED FORGET TO GENUFLECT ON PURPOSE BY NOW OUR KNEES WERE GIVING WAY AND AFTER COMPLAINTS TO NEV ALL WAS FORGIVEN HE WAS JUST ELEVEN YEARS OLD WONDERFUL NEV WE LOVED EACH OTHER AS SIBLINGS WE GOT CLOSER AS WE GREW OLDER IF I HAD SOMETHING TO SAY IN CONFIDENCE I SAID IT TO HIM AND IT STAYED WITH HIM HE MIGRATED TO AUSTRALIA AND LIVED HERE WITH HIS WIFE THECKLA UNTIL HIS UNTIMELY DEATH IN "$%2 SO SADLY MISSED BY ALL DEN)IL VIVIAN WAS OPPOSITE IN NATURE FIERY WITH CHRISMA AND AN INFECTIOUS SMILE ATTRACTING MANY OF THE OPPOSITE SE! HE LEFT FOR ENGLAND AFTER HIS MARRIAGE BUT THEIR WAS A BREAK UP NOT LONG AFTER HE LEFT AND WAS VERY UN SETTLED TILL HE LEFT FOR THE MIDDLE EAST ONCE AGAIN HE MADE GOOD ONE FINE DAY HE WROTE THAT HE WANTED TO VISIT WITH AND SEE THE FAMILY OFCOURSE I WAS DELIGHTED TWENTY THREE YEARS HAD GONE PAST WE WERE IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD BEFORE LONG HE CAME OVER I FOUND HE HAD LOST ALL OF HIS HAIR BUT HAD THE SAME GOOD HUMOUR AND CHARM IT WAS THE BEST THREE WEEKS WE SPENT FOR A LONG TIME HE MADE TWO MORE TRIPS AND WE MADE A TRIP OVER FOR HIS SECOND MARRIAGE HE INFORMED US WHEN HIS TWO SONS WERE BORN HE WAS ALSO PLANNING TO GO BACK TO ENGLAND BECAUSE OF THEIR EDUCATION BUT ILLNESS GOT IN THE WAY AND DEN)IL PASSED AWAY AGED SI!TY

SUCH A DEAR BROTHER AND FRIEND HE HAD TO BE BURIED IN DUBAI DUE TO STRICT MUSLIM RED TAPE . ROBIN WAS MY YOUNGEST BROTHER WAS AND STILL IS E!TRA FOND OF RITA SHE MOTHERED HIM FROM A YOUNG AGE AND HE BECAME ATTACHED TO HER BUT THERE WAS A TIME HE LIVED WITH ME IN COLOMBO AS A YOUNGESTER GOT HIMSELF A JOB AND STARTED DATING BEFORE LONG HE FOUND A GIRL WHOM HE LATER MARRIED AFTER THEIR FIRST SON WAS BORN THEY TOO DECIDED TO MIGRATE TO ENGLAND AND MADE IT THEIR HOME