Letter From Colombo – Week 4


CRICKET WORLD CUP The 2015 Cricket World Cup started last week and in the first game, New Zealand thrashed Sri Lanka. People here are in shock. Cricket is almost a religion in Sri Lanka and this small tropical island has produced some of the top cricketers of the world. The other day I came across…

Letter From Colombo – Week 3


A MARSH BECOMES A BIODIVERSITY CENTRE Kotte Marsh, situated just outside Colombo has always been a good spot for an evening walk watching waders and the odd nesting Paradise Flycatcher. At one time, there were plans to drain it and build a housing complex. There was an uproar from nature lovers. It is now being…

Letter From Colombo – Week 1


CRAB CURRY & PLANTAINS The local fishmonger has fresh sea crabs on Sundays. They make wonderful crab curry to be eaten with red Basmathi rice and washed down with Tanqueray and tonic. Fresh king coconut water is another great thirst quencher, isotonic and rich in potassium. Bananas here are called plantains. They are relatively small…

In Search of Sunshine


I flew to Sri Lanka in search of warmth and sunshine and for a break from the British winter. A new president was elected and the Pope arrived in Colombo to canonise the first Sri Lankan saint. Harrogate was covered in fresh snow the day I braved the M62 to Manchester. Traffic was horrid and…

A Brief Look At “Beautified” Colombo


(Three Months In Sri Lanka – Week 7) Who Cares? The other day I had dinner with a well to do Colombo businessman at the Royal Colombo Golf Club. “I am a member of all the clubs in the City” he boasted as we sipped Rockland gin and tucked in to Black Pork. “Colombo has…

Waters Edge


The Kotte Marsh at the edge of Diyawanna River, just outside Colombo, is firmly etched in my memory. My grandfather’s old house was up the hill, beyond the rice fields. As a child, the Marsh was my favourite playground. I walked, fished, hunted and watched birds there. Today it is unrecognisable. The river now is…

High Tea At Galle Face


Yesterday I went to high tea at Galle Face Hotel in Colombo. Some say this venerable Sri Lankan hotel, opened in 1864, is the oldest this side of the Suez, standing as it does at the edge of the Galle Face Green, overlooking the Indian Ocean. The Verandah was already filling up, mostly with Sri…