The Sun’s Come Out

The sun’s come out and as always after a storm, the light this morning was glorious – gold and mellow and glowing.

It reminded me of the morning after my first Sri Lankan storm.  R and I had been staying in the village of Ella, atop the Gap at the Southern edge of the mountains.  Overnight, we’d  had front row seats to a mighty thunder and lightening display played out on the plains below, and in the morning, on our way to catch the early train to Nuwara Eliya, were dazzled by a tree etched into the limpid air.

Serendipitously, our first sightings of Sri Lanka’s fabled tea country, just a little later, were lit by a similar etherial light (apologies for the lack of definition in these scans of old prints).

At Angkor Wat one morning, decades later, the sun shone like a spotlight onto the resplendent statue of King King Suryavarman II as Vishnu, fittingly godlike as supplicants came to pay homage, or seek succour from a 12th century statue of the great god/king of the Khmer Empire – once again resplendent after years of darkness and neglect.

Speaking of dark days, not since the war had England had such a dark Christmas as that of 1972.  It was the year of the coal miner’s strike, and  the first oil embargo – power was rationed three days on, three days off (Imagine working by lamplight in the offices of today!).   Harrods, with its huge generator, was a beacon in an otherwise almost blacked out Knightsbridge.

And, because I must have been a Bower Bird or Lyre Bird in a past life (I’m so into bright things), three bright flowers:

A cluster of Tabaebuia flowers against the deep blue of a springtime sky

The burnt orange flowers of a Canna Tropicana ablaze in the sunlight

and a single hot pink cactus flower – all from my garden in Australia.

All thanks to Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack? for suggesting Bright things for her Travel Theme this week.

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51 thoughts on “The Sun’s Come Out

    • It’s reciprocal! I did make it to South Africa, in 1972 but doubt I’ll be back in this lifetime. Used to be sorry I didn’t have a camera back then, but with posts like yours, who needs faded old prints to remember your stunning country? 🙂

      • Wow thank you so much for that… I think you might just find the country very different today from 1972… but if my blog helps you remember things I’m honoured to blog for you…

        • Well, I hope it’s different to 1972 – though nothing could change it’s stunning topography – it’s an amazing place and i’m lucky to have bloggers like you to show me what life – and nature – looks like there now. 🙂

    • Isn’t it just! I think – obviously it was the light, and yes, the tea is incredibly green, but I took it from the train with a little instamatic camera and I must have been at just the right distance from the scene to hide anything that wasn’t part of the overall green!

  1. Absolutely beautiful. Although these were copies of photos you can see the quality of the light after a storm. Marvelous. You always transport me to another world in your blog posts!

  2. as always, wonderful photos. i especially like the first one. i am no stranger to storms, and what i like about them are the glorious “mornings after.” you captured one right here.

  3. Although Harrods, the flowers and Vishnu are pleasing to the eye, it is the light in that first striking image that grabs me! Lovely shot of the tea plantation as well. Took me back to the days when we lived in the middle of an identical landscape 🙂

    • In the Western Ghats, Madhu, or up North?

      I can’t remember what precipitated the headlong rush for the coast instead of taking the southern route through Ooty when I was in Mysore that time – I should have seen more of those great mountains, and the southern tea country.

      • In Coonoor, near Ooty. We were there for a decade before moving west to coffee country! Ooty has changed now, it isn’t the idyllic landscape that we knew anymore.

        • Wow – tea and coffee? Coffee likes it a bit drier than tea, is that right? A couple of intrepid growers have taken up coffee again but the blight in the 19th century turned coffee into tea almost overnight here and that’s when the deforestation of the island began in earnest. There’s little in modern times that has come close to changing the idyll as that, except along corridors like major roads – there, it can be difficult to see what people (me included) went on about. But along the B roads it’s untouched by time in any substantive way.

    • Every part of the estates manicured, like gardens – no wonder the Brits imported thousands of Tamil estate workers to do the hard work – there’s no way they’d have been able to produce tea without them.

          • Sorry, wasn’t clear – yes, the one with the moustache – it really annoyed me very much – despicable guy. They all had his photo in their wallets or at home of course. I really dislike the manner in which he conducted his ‘freedom’ fight.

            • Now this is very interesting – I’d never thought of those guys – the ones who got away, to work in places like Saudi – as carrying his picture in their wallets. We’ve heard tales of the ‘fundraising’ techniques the ‘financial arm’ of the Tigers – blackmail really – and the drugs and arms smuggling …

              You know that there are two distinct groups of Tamils here in Sri Lanka? There’re the Tamils who arrived at or around the same time as the Sinhalese invaders from northern India a couple of thousand years ago, and the ‘EstateTamils’, indentured labourers imported by the Brits to run the estates? Shouldn’t elaborate further at this time, but it’s fascinating history.

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