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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Our wonderful holiday at Bethel Ecoway- Beruwala-August 2018

My son and I decided to visit our friend, Maureen and her family in Beruwala, during my son's August school holidays.

 It was a very long overdue trip as we had been planning this trip on and off since 2016 when Maureen and I had first come across eachother at our friend Asanga's Permaculture workshop in Kurunegala.

This was a special trip to me, as I had never gone on a vacation alone with my son. We woke early, around 3.30am on that day and were at the Kandy Railway station by 4.30am to buy 2nd class tickets on the Kandy -Matara train which left the station at 5am.

The train journey was very comfortable (which was doubly emphasised by  the fact that the return journey home was by bus-and not very comfortable at all...) although it got very crowded in the train towards the end. And we were in Aluthgama by around 11am. While we were waiting for Maureen and her family to come pick us us, Maureen adviced us to enjoy some ice cream at a nearby ice cream parlour-and this was indeed super news to my son, Seth (9 years) who was a little tired and crochety by that time. And the ice cream parlour was superb and served lovely genorous servings of Kothmale ice creams and sundaes  at very affordable prices
Seth enjoying his chocolate -oreo sundae in Aluthgama...
Maureen, husband Dilanda, daughter Staria and son Jetaim came to pick us up and took us to a lovely lamprais  lunch (rice and curries packed in a banana leaf) at Perera and Son's bakers. Afterwards we were taken to their lovely home on a 3 acre rubber plantation...Since we opted to occupy the tiny cob house, Maureen had arranged it nicely for us...
It was a beautifully made wattle and daub/katu mati tiny house. The south of Sri Lanka is quite warm but inside this tiny house we were quite comfortable. It had the basic comforts of a double bed and tiny attached toilet and we were quite comfortable staying 2 nights in it.

Our short stay with Maureen and her family was truly wonderful...Maureen and her husband are living an off grid life with their two children. They had previously held very busy lifestyles but had retired early from them due to feeling unfulfilled by the rat race most if not all Sri Lankans are competing in.
Maureen makes her own curd/yoghurt and butter from fresh milk, raises hens and ducks, recycles stuff and also makes lovely soap. She also makes jams and preserves from the fruits in season (we had her lovely passion fruit jam) and also the probiotic fermented tea- kambucha.

 She is also on a journey into simplifying their lives and is in the process of decluttering her house. Seth and I were so awed to see that Maureen's house didn't have beds...! They sleep on a huge mattress on the floor...something my son and I too love to do here in Kandy..

They also harvest rain water and they follow the priniciples of Permaculture in the way they cultivate and also in the way they live.

Seth and I learnt quite a bit of new things while we were there. Dilanda taught us how to professionally light a wood fired stove.

We were given a small group class on how to tap rubber by one of the village ladies:
 We also learnt to make ottapalu balls from the drippings of dried rubber leftover on the trees. Staria and Jetaim were very good at making them!:

Jetaim , Maureen's 7 year old son taught Seth how to collect firewood:
We enjoyed Maureen's home cooked tasty meals while we were there...We were served simple Sri Lankan food, lovingly prepared by Maureen...and we ate them on Diyapara leaves laid out on woven vatti/ baskets...

On the second day we were taken to the beach by the family and we enjoyed an evening in the Beruwala beach...

After which they took us to a hot hot and yummy chicken and chees koththu dinner at Perera and son Bakers...

All in all we had a wonderful stay and at the end of it, when we had to leave for home, Seth and I didn't want to...! Maureen and her family are truly wonderful and they made us feel so welcomed and loved in their home...Thank you so much to you for making our maiden trip such a memorable one....!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Paulo Coelho

This week I discovered Paulo Coelho...All this time he had been there, in my background, putting his wisdom into words....but I failed to see him, to know of him...simply because it wasn;t the right time.

And then, last week, I met this friend on the bus and we got talking...I asked her what books she is reading and she tells me have I read Paulo Coelho...I say no but I've seen his books in the library. She says he writes about spiritual things...and that makes you think...
That same day, I get off the bus and go to the library and find a book written by him. Its called "Brida" . I have been unable to put it down, so to speak...But at times, the things I read in the pages echoe my own thoughts so profoundly that I feel so overwhelmed...that there are other people who thnik like that and that I am not alone...That the Universe/God, whoever is up there has a plan for us, a plan that we do not know of and it is being revealed to us bit by bit...And that if you are well attuned to the ways of the world, you may be able to get a glimpse of how things are going, that a certain thing happened a certain way because there was a reason for it...
In his book, the Magus says to Brida " ...anyone who tries to possess a flower will have to watch its beauty fading. But if you simply look at a flower in a field, you will keep it forever, because the flower is part of the evening and the sunset and the smell of damp earth and the clouds on the horizon. That is what the forest taught me. That you will never be mine, and that is why I will never lose you. You were my hope during my days of loneliness, my anxiety during moments of doubt, my certainty during moments of faith.... knowing that my Soulmate would come one day, I devoted myself to learning the Tradition of the Sun. Knowing that you existed was my one reason for continuing to live"

I looked at Paulo's picture in his book and he looked hike such a wise man. And there was such humility in his eyes...
I'm definitely going to read his other books!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Handcrafted cards ctd..

I made more cards this weekend after I put my son to bed...

I stay up till about 11.30pm making them. And I love every minute I spend, meticulously carving out the finicky details till the final whole picture emerges...My favourite card is the butterfly on the green card-very simple and earthy.

Hope to do some more tonight...

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hand crafted cards

I have been silent for a long time. But it wasn't because I was not engaged in any creative pursuits-quite the reverse infact. But the task of uploading images and writing about them seemed too much for me. I  have also been busy with personal matters as well as work related issues (I am writing up my thesis for my MPhil, which for me is a very very very boring task.....!)
But amidst my writing my thesis, I take breaks of ten minutes (which sometimes stretch to twenty....or more...) and during these much anticipated breaks, I got this bright idea of making some handcrafted cards. Now, I am not new to this card making business because if ever there is a need for a farewell card invitation or a sympathy card, my friends in the department run to me (and I very gladly comply, because it allows me to do something which I love, during work hours)

 This is a sympathy card which was made when a staff member in one of the neighbouring departments lost his mother. The tree and leaves are cut out of colour A4 paper and pasted on white A4 board which is available at book stores for Rs.10.00

This is the first card I made during my "Thesis breaks" last week. Its a simple palm leaf cut out. I used a craft knife, the type with a small blade, to cut these out. It looks a bit bare so I thought of getting some rubber stamps made with maybe "Happy birthday" "With sympathies" and "Thank you" etc and stamping with black ink.

This is a picture of the cards my son and I made for his teacher;s birthday last year. He made the blue flower card and I the lolly card. The box contains the cake my mother made for her which I iced.
This is the cake for my son's teacher's birthday:
I am deviating from the topic but since I may not have many posts I will also include the crochet shawl I made for Teacher, as we all lovingly call her:
And last of all, the best hand crafted card so far, for my nieces' 6th birthday:
I get such pleasure, just gazing at it from time to time....I showed these to my good freind, Faseeha and she tells me to make a few samples and she will take me to Arpico, a supermarket nearby, and we will talk to the manager about having these in their shop! I thought about it and said, maybe it is a good idea, as long as they do not pressure me to supply a certain amount and give me deadlines etc.
I am so happy about finding an outlet for my creative urges again (the rug making has seen its last days...)At the begining of the year I made a new year resolution to take up my oil painting again (after more than a decade!) and I went out and bought canvas, paint, turpentine and the lot. I even found something to paint and even did some initial washes...But since then, I have not touched it...I fear its that I miss the day light-my son will not allow me to do my painting when he is up and I was forced to stay up late and paint with a high watt bulb-and it wasn't very satisfying...I remember longingly, the years before marriage and kids where I used to just plonk all my painting stuff on our balcony floor and just paint away... Oh well...maybe such days will dawn again..
I appreciate too, that it is my crafts which have kept me sane throughout these years...
I will end on this lovely quote I came across:
"Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So, for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason."

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Today I am thankful for..

I am linking up with Rachel and trying to cultivate some gratitude for all the things I have...

1. For my family for always being there for me.
2. For new and old friends who are showing me the depth of their love for me in so many heartrending ways...
3. For my son for teaching me so many things about myself and about life ...
4. For Tina, for being such a sweet and loving companion and pet (you'd better stop biting our ankles though Tina)
5. For my son's teacher for being so wise and caring and committed.
6. For weekends spent at the pool with my son while he learns how to swim.
7. For finally being able to have a quick nap in the afternoon after lunch on weekends...
8. The lovely music on my mobile which keeps me company and takes

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Newest addition to our family

My son watching tv with Tina and his toy panther, Bagheera, by his side
My son inspecting Tina. She is asleep on his bed!
Yesterday my good friend Vathsala found me a puppy from the Animal Hospital. I had been looking for a pup for a few months and had sought her help. It took some time but finally she found us just the one that we had been looking for...And it was all worth the wait. She is about 3 weeks. Born to a stray mongrel mother by we suspect, a Labrador father. She does possess labrador features and is very intelligent for one so small. My son loves her and has named her Tina. I don;t know where he found the name from. He occassionally calls her "Agglutina" and I wonder whether it was in one of the cartoons he is watching these days.
 She is so sweet tempered. She allows my son to carry her everywhere. I thought she would not let us sleep the first night away from her mother but no-she was so quiet in the little box with the cushions and soft toys that we put her in. She woke up around 4.30am and whimpered a little and so I kept her on my lap where she fell asleep. Reminded me of old times when we had little pups at home...
I'm so glad I was able to get a pup for my son. I know of so many kids who wish for a pet but their parents are unable to comply for various reasons. I think every child benefits from having a pet, especially a dog. They are so loyal and loving. My son is already very gentle with her (although he does get a bit rough if we show too much interest in Tina) and I am sure they will be the best of friends. See how happy he looks!!!!
Thank you so much Vathsala! I owe you big time!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My eco friendly rainbow rag rugs

I have developed a passion for crocheting rag rugs with t shirt yarn. I thought just like my other passions, this too will disappear from my system with time. I was wrong. I kept making them. I am still making them. Upto now I have made 6 rugs. So I thought, why not open my Etsy shop.

So I did.

Its called rainbowrugs

It has two of my most recent rugs. They are made to order and I need about 3-4 weeks to get them ready for shipping.

They are easy to care for. Machine wash in a pillow case. Dry flat. form into shape while still damp.

These are the ones I have made so far:

My very first one: I use it now near my bathroom.

This is my second one. I made two granny squares and attached them. It is now used as my bedside rug.
The above hexagon is my 3rd rug. This was when I realized the potential for using lovely colours in my rugs. Not the dull colours in my first two! I found how to crochet an African flower from craftpassion blog. This one I gifted to my sister-in-law who loved it and said she didn't feel like putting it on the floor.

Then I made this one. Again the pattern was from Craftpassion (Giant doily rug) . But somehow I had made a mistake and it came out not an octagen but a heptagon. But looks good all the same. I gifted it to my aunty Vijaya who uses it as a prayer mat.

Then, I had to make one for my sister and my brother-inlaw. They had helped me (including my parents and brother and my sister in law) to face a very trying period in my life in the recent past (hence my silence from the blogging world). I am still recovering from that, but I am ok. I smile, I work, I have fun with my family. And I make rugs ;-)

This is THE rainbowrug.
I am at the moment making a granny square rainbow rug for my son.
I hope you will take some time to browse my shop.
Thank you.