It's about time I just hurled a load of images onto the blog and let them do the talking. So this is last Sunday. A trip to a sacred cave followed by a trip to the nearest village in the opposite direction to Gedu. It was my first journey that way (not including the late-night walk I took that way a few nights ago. I was blissfully singing along to Utopia by Goldfrapp when I was rudely interrupted by a semi-comatose drunk who materialised out of the darkness and the gutter to blurt something incomprehensible at me. Probably something like 'Stop singing with your headphones on - it sounds rubbish and I'm clearly napping in the gutter'. Or something similar. He blurted in Dzongkha so it was hard to tell. I tried to help him. I tried to remove him from the gutter. He was fairly insistent in his choice of nap location and wouldn't budge).
Big Tree Fallen Over
(Amber deciding whether or not to take it home)
Me in the Woods
Me Putting Some Rubbish in a Bin Near the Cave
(trying to set an example but just looking a bit odd)
Spot my School... it's up there on the left
Me and Gembo's Wife Ugyen in the Cave
The Biggest Tree in the World
That's enough pictures for the moment. Back to words.
I went to hospital today. My throat's been sending me angry signals for days, but last night it felt like somebody was poking pencils into my lug-holes. Not good. So i went to the hospital and met a very nice Doctor who gave me Paracetamol, Vitamin C, Amoxycilin and something called Vial (i think). No cost at all, no trouble. And no outsourcing to dodgy private companies (Cameron et al take note). Now I'm feeling rubbish. I had a relaxed afternoon, gently tidying, making a gift, preparing some resources for teaching, listening to some boys who came in to play my guitar (they were also ill). I've learnt my first Bhutanese cover song. It goes...
D G D
'Choe ton say nia sim char baar maar...'
And it's a very nice song. I also learnt 'Superstar' by Jamelia and 'Cry Me a River' by Justin Timberlake. I'm told these will go down better with the students than my self-penned ballads or the crooning melodies of Tom Waits and Glen Campbell. It was suggested that I learn some Justin Bibber [sic] or Back Street Boys too. I made my thoughts very clear on this matter and it will not be spoken of again. Good.
I have written three songs so far. With the exception of another woeful break-up yarn, (Girl you're lookin thin, you've got, so much to talk about, you're, lit up like a christmas tree, I don't know what you think of me - it's wrong! the pilot light has gone... and all those pretty words... blah de blah... i don't think enough? well when i think of you girl, i think too much.. blah de blah... i don't even know who these are written about. it's like i'm trying to be the Raymond Carver of song... he can't have had all those relationships he wrote about...)... erm... back to the sentence I started up there... with the above exception the songs all take place in pastoral English woodland scenes.
One describes a failed attempt at romance on the way back from one of the greatest party institutions of the UK - the woodland all-nighter. There is some truth in this story. I suppose there's some truth in all stories. The other is just a lovely Sunday afternoon stroll in the country with good company and a desire to hold back the clocks and keep them ticking in that moment with you both trapped inside. Oh the glorious Sundays of England. In spring. Or Autumn. Or Winter. Even Summer, if it's not too hot. The tramping of leaves, the smell of the trees, the pint of fine ale and the good hearty pie at the end of it all. Friends of Blighty... go out and do this for me. Put me in your pocket and go tramping! And take a moment to realise how magnificent it is. Although we all do that... Sunday afternoon country strolls = magnificence appreciation days.
It's getting lush here now. The jungles are waking up. The dryness is slowly giving way to wet. The transition will be a glorious bursting out of vivid green leaves and jubilant birdsong. But I'm told the summer here is brutally moist. Mould is our enemy. We must arm ourselves. With what? Towels? I've no idea, but I'm pretty certain we need to get organised if we're gonna make it. And keep our eyes peeled for leeches...