The Adventures of the Sunshine Kid : A Well Weathered Man
Nuwara Eliya Travel Blog› entry 256 of 268 › view all entries
'Sun is shinin' in the sky,
There ain't a cloud in sight
It's stopped rainin' ev'rybody's in a play
And don't you know
It's a beautiful new day hey,hey!'
- Mr Blue Sky, ELO
Okay, there's no avoiding it. I'm on an absolute hiding to nothing with this one. There is little I can say or do that will stop this entry from sounding like a complaint. A complaint about the weather. That favourite English pastime... but no, I'm talking about good weather! Sunshine and blue skies. Picture perfect postcard conditions. 'It's sunny and hot...Wish You Were Here' You see what I mean? It's not meant to come across in the way I know it will... oh dear, but let's go for it anyway.
I think it was Crowded House that once sang 'Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you' and whilst this may be true enough in a philosophical sense (we carry our moods with us) it cannot possibly be true in the literal sense. Surely? I mean, no. Put simply, from what I hear from poor old beleaguered Blighty, if I had taken the weather with me from Britain on this journey, I would have been dogged by downpours, dreariness, storms, wind, ice and snow every step of the way. Besides can you imagine the difficulties of trying to stuff all those heavy looking thunderclouds into one's backpack?! Whilst I don't keep an eye on the weather, least of all when my back's turned from Home (geographically speaking), by all accounts, and to quote my trusted and wonderful TB weathergirl pal Beverley's phrase, it's been 'a real crapshoot' back in the UK since Stevie was whisked away on the travel breeze.
Nope, with the very rarest of exceptions which I may list a little later ( 'Hey, I'm talking about the weather! It's an inherently dull subject so deal with it or go for a walk in the rain!' ) I have enjoyed and endured the full heat of the sun from day Numero Uno until the present one of this journey. My friend and former housemate Katzutaka once explained to me a Japanese expression relating to personal disposition and the weather. In Japan - apparently - you can either be a ‘Sunshine Man’ or a ‘Rain Man‘.
I can't speak with much authority on the kinds of temperatures I have been enjoying (or labouring under depending upon my mood) as in defiance of the national habit to make small talk about the weather - present, past and future - I make a point of ignoring all such information both when at home and whilst travelling. Consequently I am not very good at gauging such information either. Varying widely of course I would say my progress around the globe has been slow-baked; my soul slowly poached at an average temperature of about 27-30 degrees centigrade. Even when in Europe! And often way, way higher. Dehydration (despite lots of water) nearly occurring in southern Turkey at 45 degrees odd.
But I'm sorry - yeah here comes the bit where I start to get in trouble - no, but I am sorry, you just can't do this to an Englishman for too long without consequence. “It’s just not fair!” We're just not a race born to run constantly on solar energy. (And like to have things both ways - life hot and cold to order, as suits our variable moods).
Nope, as I noted to friends a little while ago the British soul needs a little of the ole grey wet misery from time to time. To cool the all too tiny fires that flicker within us. Not a nation for letting our passions rage out of control you know.
And ya know it's that kinda experience, just once in a while, that I've missed on this journey. The act of being forced to take refuge. To stop and take stock. To curl up in a ball, metaphorically if not literally, and take shelter from an outside world turned mean and uninviting for a time. Beaten back by the weather with no choice, none whatsoever other than to pour another coffee, tuck my legs up on the guesthouse sofa and read another hundred pages or so. And I wouldn't mind that. Really I wouldn't! Just every once in a while. Once in a year! A little rain. A little refuge. A little drink of the ole grey wet misery.
This means of course that my journey has been incredibly blessed and I am aware and appreciative of this fact (and yes you can all hate me for daring to make what may sound like a moan about such good fortune).
In the meantime I’ll keep looking to the skies for a little respite. A prayer for those so, so beautiful, comforting clouds of European skies that I often miss so much with their capacity to both cool one’s mind and allow the imagination to wander. ( ‘Is that a bunny rabbit playing leap frog with a tiger up there... or just another nimbus cluster?’) A glance every now and then to the blue cloudless heavens in questing for a response to the enquiry 'What? Why me? Why fry so constantly?' For I feel after all these long hot months like some poor ant being relentlessly pursued by wanton children with an oversized magnifying glass to focus the concentrated sun's rays upon my back.
You’ll understand of course by now that the sole purpose of this little weather report - such an audacious whinge about wonderful weather- can only ever have been crafted as little more than a challenge to weather Gods who's job it is to track the remainder of my journey. An invocation to the rain. I’d try a naked rain dance but the Sri Lankan authorities might not take too kindly to such a vision - and deportation for public indecency’s not my game. So this blog will have to suffice. And in fact, I've held the fact back whilst scrawling this entry, but it's true that since having had this little bit of scribble-drivel on the cards for sometime I have had the refreshing pleasure of life beneath inter-monsoonal Sri Lankan skies.
One afternoon only 20 minutes from my guesthouse in Ella, strolling along the sleeper tracks of the beautiful Badulla-Kandy railway line, returning from a trek to the top of Ella Rock, the Heavens let loose! I was prepared with waterproofs and fortuitously a little tea/ snack kiosk shop appeared to the left of the tracks and provided swift refuge. So this is not a tale of a drowned ginger rat. Just a happy one.