DISPATCH FROM THE ISLAND OF THE GODS
SATURDAY JULY 31ST 2021
Heavenly day, breezy, scattered cloud, sunshine; one might be on the South Downs with a warm south-westerly blowing, striding over the Long Man at Wilmington, down to the Sussex Ox in the fields by Alfriston. Lovely neighbourly grass-widow informed me that it was nineteen degrees C couple of nights ago. Unaccustomed as I am to C, you know the old trick, multiply by 9 over 5 and add 32, and you have 66 degrees Fahrenheit or near as dammit, which is cool in this island, where the temperature averages around 80 degrees the whole year round. Mind you, if you really wish to freeze your balls off, go and spend a night in Bedugul, preferably in front of a roaring log fire. Once, when I overnighted on top of Agung, the thermometer read three C. Figure that out.
NO HASH today; our President went on the bokus to pronounce further lock-down till next week. You know why they call him Jokowi, don’t you? because he had a furniture factory and most of his customers happened to be Frogs, and whatever they proposed to him, he would always say – oui, oui, oui. It was the one Frog word with which he was familiar. Thus President Joko wee, wee, wee. Best affirmative. Only major item worth reporting – the anniversary of our house temple on Wednesday. Like all other ritual festivals, it comes every 210 days, the duration of our wuku year. Fantastic show – shrines and statues all tarted up in cloth of gold and white linen undergarments, offsetting flashes of scarlet and magenta parasol – bit garish really – and all the girls in their Sunday bestt NO sooner had the priest’s silver bell begun to tinkle than a screaming Serpent Eagle sailed overhead, and the moment the blessing had been given, a splendid and well-endowed Long-tailed macaque came down and helped itself to the copious offerings. Normally its fare consists of papaya leaves. Field day!