In the garden

The air is beginning to heat up.

The mango tree burgeoned with flowers this year, more than ever before. Now they have turned brown and dropped off, leaving fruit-buds behind. The largest of these have already grown to egg-size.

A kingfisher hurls itself, screeching, across the back garden every evening at about 6:00. It is half the size of a crow, with a round breast which makes it look somewhat comical when it perches on one pole of the badminton net; but it has that long beak, and a staccato cry which warns crows to keep off. When I hear it I smile and look reflexively at my watch to confirm that, yes, it is on time.

We put in new copper earthing, after the rains caused all kinds of spikes in our electric supply: Two holes were dug, each ten feet deep. In them were placed heavy copper plates, with copper tape running to the electric supply point; they were filled with sand and charcoal. The pits were dug by hand, by a man who shovelled earth into a metal tray and handed it up to another man standing above him. When he reached five feet down, water began to surge in, because the groundwater is so high now.

Mosquitoes are abundant too, after the rains. The garden is full, bursting. And the air, yes, is beginning to heat up. The hot season approaches.