Archive for August, 2008

Snakes alive! or dead

August 20, 2008

The now ex-cobra

The now ex-cobra

Our friends in Siolim have been having snake problems. They live on the outskirts of a large village in quite a rural location and have a large garden, which they have to work on daily, otherwise the jungle takes over. Snakes, especially venomous ones, are not an attraction in the garden. So when the dogs got very agitated by a harmless shrub, Andrew guessed there was a snake and so it proved; four foot of cobra. The snake was not to be persuaded to move on and reared up into strike position. ‘Not acceptable behaviour’,thought Andrew and duly despatched it to its maker.

A few days earlier, Andrew’s attention was caught by one of the goldfish ‘mucking about’ on the surface of the water. ‘Fish don’t do that’, thought Andrew and went to inspect. He discovered that a snake had the fish by the nose and was trying to back out of the pond with its prize. A non-venomous snake this time, but it was also duly despatched.

The fish has survived and is now the proud owner of a third nostril.

Much non-sensical advice about the disposal of the ex-cobra has been offered to Andrew by the villagers. There are many superstitions about snakes in India and some regard them as holy.

Footnote: We apologise to Andrew and Jill for using IWA (India Wins Again) without the copyright sign but I’m damn’d if I can find one at the moment, maybe next time!


Royal Oilfield

August 17, 2008

Disgraceful Behaviour

Disgraceful Behaviour

From your motoring correspondent

Parking outside Tate’s, our favourite bar, fortunately less than 10 kilometres from home, we noticed a pool of oil gathering under Hari Enfield. The motorcycle was keeping up its reputation for leaking oil; this is what Enfields do best. It was Independence Day so everyone was closed. Alison took a Rick-Shaw home for more oil and returned on the so far infallible Harry the Honda. Hari limped home in disgrace dropping oil all the way. Harry the Honda said: ‘I knew I’d have to rescue him one day. Sooner rather than later’.

We figured a spindle in the oil pump had quietly come to the end of its days. The next day the problem was resolved cheaply enough at the local dealership, but we can’t reconcile the items on the work sheet with the broken bit and as usual there was obfuscation when Martin questioned the work. Perhaps we’d overestimated the broken bit and all that needed doing was tightening a nut or two but the mechanic had to make it look as though more work was needed.


August 11, 2008

What monsoon?

What monsoon?

From your meteorlogist meteroologist metrolo dammit weatherman.

It’s been raining for the last few days… proper rain, not your namby pamby British droplets; big lumps of water driven by swirling wind, which pummel you like a power shower on speed, soak you in seconds, drown out attempts at conversation and create instant rivers and lakes everywhere. Everything is damp. We didn’t experience it like this last year, and although the locals complain that it’s all a bit much, we guess this is what monsoon is usually all about.

It’s all to the good. Business slows down, the temperature drops to the level where we need clothing and reservoirs fill and the water table rises. We need the stuff in the 8 dry months. But if it goes on much longer, no doubt we’ll start to get very fed up.

PS The picture is of Dennis on Barricane Beach, Woolacombe, Devon, 1992. It’s to remind us of what blue skies look like.

Can’t do two things at once

August 6, 2008

From your motoring correspondent.

Martin is now the proud owner of TWO driving licenses. He has filled in two Form 8s designed to ‘add a new class to existing driving license’. No one in the RTO will accept this form from him and will not tell him why not.

All he has to do now is make sure he is carrying the right license for the type of vehicle he is driving.

We guess the next Margao RTO saga will begin in October, when Martin will make the attempt to re-register Hari Enfield, who will be fifteen years old in January 2009. All vehicles must pass an inspection for their fifteenth. No doubt there will be more blogs on this subject at a later date.

Let there be light

August 6, 2008

15 months after the installation of the unnecessary three-branched street light, the authorities have connected it… of course, only two of the three lights are functioning. That said, the junction outside our flat is now lit up like Wembley stadium and despite curtains our bedroom is suffused in a permanent dawn all night. We can’t remember which politician picked up the backhander when he authorised it.

One of our local bitches has produced her second litter of puppies in 12 months. AT least this time it’s only four (it was eight last time). She’s in such poor condition we didn’t realise she was pregnant, so we’re feeding her at the moment. She’s on the steps in front of a shop just down from our flat. We’ll contact the animal welfare people to see if we can get all five of them picked up and her neutered.

Martin’s patient acquisition of the driving license restarts today after a ten day hiatus while the Margao RTO sorts out the third learners licence. The first is invalid because of an error in the address, the second is invalid because Martin ticked the duplicate box instead of the replacement box.
There is an outside chance that he will be able to complete the paperwork for the full license today, but don’t hold your breath.

We’ve been to two da Costa birthday parties, one fortieth and one seventieth. We’ve managed to get all our paperwork right (we hope) to gain our Residents Certificate from the Foreigners Registration Office. And that’s it for the time being.