Nanowrimo word count 1735 running total 45025
Feeling the cold: November 27th
People used to say to me ‘You must feel the cold in Scotland since you come from India.’
I didn’t think that was the case, I wore extra clothes if I was cold. In my mind, there was no question of where I was from, and it wasn’t India. I had been unhappy there, very few people cared about me although they were family. They were not able to protect me from how my mother treated me, although I believe they knew and sympathised. That was no help.
As for the weather here, for me to feel the cold more than my white-skinned husband seems not so silly these days. There is a theory that everyone is genetically suited to either hot or cold countries. And this is the reason dark-skinned people in Scotland should take Vitamin D supplements. And lack of this vitamin doesn’t help you if you contract Covid-19. Be careful.
Nanowrimo word count 473 running total 43290
British Sikh Report: November 26th
I discovered today that there is such a thing as the British Sikh Report. It’s been published every year since 2013. This was the first time it was launched in Scotland as well as England. It is a ‘snapshot of what it means to be a Sikh living in Britain today’. I found out about it because my civil servant son was invited to speak on the panel. It was on a Zoom Webinar. All these innovations that I’ve learned to use because of Covid-19.
From the report, it seems there are about 420,000 Sikhs in the UK.
24% of Sikhs who died of Covid-19 were below 65 years of age as compared to 10% of the whole population. And that seems a big difference.
Two-thirds of Sikhs are married – the figure for the general population is one-half. Perhaps the arranged marriage system means that more people marry – or stay married.
Lots of other statistics at www.britishsikhreport.org
Nanowrimo word count 2239 running total 42817
Yesterday it rained all day. Both of the golf courses that my husband plays (not at the same time) at were closed. I used to play golf when I retired from paid work but gave up when I took up writing. My golf handicap was not showing any signs of improvement. I could shoot straight but not very far.
We decided to pay a visit to Costco and the enormous Home Bargains shop that has opened in that area.
There was no queue waiting to be allowed in at Costco, no-one counting how many customers had entered, and this was a change from the last time.
However, there were signs up requesting everyone to wear masks. Once we had bought a trolley full of stuff (always more that we thought we wanted), we saw that the cafe was selling food to take away. We opted for a baked potato each and a latte. I told myself it was mostly milk. I haven’t had a real coffee for months, and I forgot what this might mean. I could have been very hyper, but I wasn’t.
I went to bed at 11 o’clock thinking I didn’t feel tired. Half an hour later, I was out of bed, realising that the coffee was now having its effect on me. I wouldn’t be able to sleep for hours, so I began reading my friend’s new book, ‘Murder at the Mela’. I finished four hours later. It was a wise move. The last time I did that was when I read ‘The Bridges of Madison County’, thirty years ago.
Though, that was on a Sunday afternoon, and not the middle of the night.
Nanowrimo word count 2739 running total 39578
My word count looks good, but I am behind in my calculations of the years of my life. I had thought that yesterday I would have reached three-quarters of the way in my life, but I am still only about 19 years old. I have not graduated, have not bought my first house, and I am not a mother—three more years and all that will have happened.
I have spent many hundreds of words explaining that my parents’ behaviour was a product of my grandparents’ and my great-grandparents’ attitudes. These would have been as a result of living under the British Raj although I remember people in the village in the 60s saying life was better before Independence. It takes time to shake off the shackles of colonialism.
My husband was on the ‘hippie’ trail from Europe to India in 1976. He tried to impress me when we met by saying, ‘I’ve been to India.’ I laughed. I could have said, ‘I’ve been to your birthplace, London.’ It’s not exotic though, is it?
When he returned with me in 2005, he was disappointed that the Grand Trunk Road which runs from Calcutta (Kolkata) to Rawalpindi (now in Pakistan) had not been improved to motorway level. Parts of it were, and work is ongoing. The amount of traffic is growing, people travel more, and the roads can hardly keep up. The toll roads are helping.
Education is now a significant employer. In 1963 I returned at age thirteen and wasn’t sent to school, and no-one thought it was wrong. That wouldn’t happen now. It’s a different world.
Nanowrimo word count 2208 running total 36,939
I think First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, speaking on the Coronavirus Update, was fed up with the questions about Christmas. How many times could she repeat that we don’t know how safe we will be from the virus in the next four weeks? She said we have to think about saving lives but still questions like what about if people decide to do whatever they want? What, like all meet and have a party?
I will be careful. My son’s family will stay in their own home. There’s nothing wrong with having a quiet Christmas this year. There is news that by the spring we will all have had the vaccine—something to look forward to.