Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Beachcombing at Christmas and all that stuff

 A glimpse from Agonda beach: ex-sunset worshipper, crow and beachcomber. The last-mentioned was collecting shellfish buried in the sand - as I did another day until I had a pocket-full. Why? Well, I was pleased to have worked out how to spot where they were hidden (slight discolouration of the sand) and then I thought, again, "Why? Am I going to eat them?  Are they really edible?" (although evidence from the woman in green and red suggested yes)? "How would I cook them?" So I released them back onto the sands, hoping they'd survived in my damp pocket.  The next day there was no trace of empty shells. Apart from shell-collecting, though, and a bit of beach-cleaning, there's very little beach-combing to be done.

 Out for a walk away from the beach and I saw this piece of loving gardening - a sort of Indian raised-bed approach, with the added feature of water retention: judging by results this plant TLC seems to work well.

Actually I was en route to the post box - the only one in Agonda, a mile of so away from my abode - and in went three of my cards. Would this fill you with confidence that your post was in safe keeping? I actually drew some confidence from the English annotation - perhaps the cards started their journey on Monday although they may be having a rest today.

Not everyone in Agonda is beachcombing or taking a stroll to the postbox. This scene of intense activity occurred most afternoons when the midday heat was over. A procession of workers came from the sand-and-gravel (and cement) area with measured basketfuls on their heads, which they tipped in turn into the mixer. The woman behind the blue drums added measured amounts of water. The resultant slushy mix was then tipped out and scooped into flat plastic pans and passed along the chain up the face of the building, tipped at the top and passed down the other chain. When it got going it was as good as any machine - and gave work to quite a large gang.

Back to the beach and a view of the kind of place I stayed 7 years ago, when this would have been pure seclusion. Now they are just a few of many such huts and secluded they are not.  This tiןאצק (whoops: what happened there? They get everywhere!) time I'm somewhere more substantial and genteel, with a friendly Goan family, set back a little among the palms and away from beach-side action. Just the place for some quiet reading and, after "The Book Thief",  it's on to (believe it or not) Proust.  Actually his languorous pace, his stirring of memories fit the setting very well.

The answer to what one does on a hot Christmas noon-time, when walking, beach-combing and building work are out of the question: go into an air-conditioned internet facility and blog a few pictures for readers to enjoy, perhaps, after their turkey and trimmings. Happy digestion!


Blogger Patricia Miran said...

You have to love the internet! How else would I be able to enjoy your experience and photos on an Indian beach thousands of miles away from my home. Merry Christmas

Tue Dec 25, 06:17:00 pm GMT  

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