Monday, December 31, 2007

the year that was (2007) a personal view

This was I am sure the toughest year I had to face and the blog I started about six months ago, when I had a few spare moments will attest to some of the trials I had to undergo. Looking on the bright side, I was not troubled at all by sickness, barely a headache in the year.The war wounds in the trenches, like having the deep scar when trying to cut paddy now appear mild (chronicled in my blogs)I am down to my ideal weight of 156 pounds I was last at over 20 years previously is an added plus.

I went on a short visit to Japan and a longer time of reflective thinking in Las Vegas, which inspired the blogs. I had some nice holidays in Sri Lanka, one in Nuwera Eliya, and another in Galle and a few others sprinkled here and there.I filled a whole year of journal ling and am amazed at the different things I did each day and some of the people I met.

I have had the worst luck with the weather as far as both my sales, and my growing activities are concerned and capped by the last few days of rain that ruined my papaya cultivation. I have had terrible labor problems in all three farming establishments I am involved in, and one where I was assaulted by the Manager, and hospitalized ( all blogged)

Financially, though all who know me value me on the worth of a particular property I live in, I have had the worst time, barely eking out an existence, but due to an inbuilt resilience I have been able to live personally on nothing, so that I could carry out my enterprise, albeit not as I would like, but at least not defaulted on the payroll of my 12 staff.

I have various loans to pay and capital expenditure plans for 2008, but I cannot think it can be as bad as 2007. I am looking forward to finishing my Ratmale cabin so that I can let it occasionally to paying guests for an alternative experience, and a much needed alternative source of funds to supplement my farming

I was once a news addict, and now I don't seem at all to be bothered at not knowing what goes on in the world, as it does not seem relevant to me and does little to enhance my quality of life. I was also a 24/7 Internet hound but now all I have is a moment to steal to load up my blog and disappear into the ether.

I liked socializing, but now prefer my own company most of the time, and tonight, at the stroke of midnight when the new year dawns I presume I would be sound asleep in bed, after a few late nights, protecting my fields, by stealthy transfer of water to feed my cultivation.

People take me for me now, and even at a last minute invitation to a grand Christmas eve party, I walked in my rubber slippers after a hard days work of selling, that was last Monday and not prepared to party.I did enjoy the party, the people and most of all the food!! and hey my attire offended no one.( I hope)

My uncle died a few days ago and I was not able to make it to his funeral, but I am sure he will understand, so I don't about the living, and I hope no one feels obligated to attend mine, that is if I ever have to die!!! no I am kidding.

Despite the apparent complicated personality that is sometimes portrayed here, I am a simple farmer, who works every day with the support of his staff to grow food, buy produce from other peasant farmers and bring it sometimes in the dead of night, through very rough weather and many police and army checkpoints and road blocks, and sells direct to homes of customers in Colombo and others in my little shop on the farm.

I also sell fresh milk from my cows to my customers minutes from the cow and hope one day I can make this loss making dairy at least break even.This has been my largest cash flow deficit, due to the high cost of feed and low quality of animal, both of which I have to do something about.

Most of all I am happiest in my little cabin overlooking the river which flooded a few days ago, and the property, where I enjoy working on the land. I like watching the eagles soar, and listening to peacocks making their awful mating call. The bathing place in front of the cabin brings different people, some who enjoy a little tease across the water.Watching the dogs, chase after the ground and water monitors and seeing mongoose dart accros the road and beautiful rock squirrals sniffing up the mango tree for the same mango that I need to get to before he does. Oh the beautiful birds that always most unexpectadly make their presence felt are an added bonus.

The open veranda is open to all so any of you who want a break from your hectic schedule come relax in my place to find an alternative ideal.


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