Not that we’ve broken up six times, then got married, then broke up again, then hooked up again or anything like that. But I’m never sure where I stand with sand.
I mean I love it, don’t get me wrong. Standing on sand means you’re not needed anywhere else in the main. You’re definitely not at work and you’re probably not in a hurry to do much but lie down. It is most often attached to sea as well. Most would call that a bonus.
We’ve just had three days at Bentota Beach on the South Coast of Sri Lanka, and twice a day I have skittered across the sand to get into the Indian Ocean where, surprisingly, I swam. And swam. It was warm you see.
I have spent years watching all the boys in my life throw themselves into the sea and onto the adjacent sand with abandon. I watch with envy and will myself to transform into Action Woman and join them. And I run in, I do, til the sea flirts with my butt, then I stand for a bit and say my goodbyes. That’s what I do. I have done this perhaps five hundred times; each time I think it will be different than the last. It isn’t.
After my retreat, I begin the strange dance where I arrange the towel and try to mount it without sand accompanying me. I fail. Once I’ve failed, which I do every time of course, I sacrifice myself to the sand gods and just lie the fuck down.
At Bentota, my interaction with the sand was running across it to get to the warm sea.Like a chunky little gazelle I was, twice a day.
But now I’m back at Colombo, and it’s 1130pm I am sitting in front of Casa Colombo in a garden bar with a sand floor. Now this sand, this sand I am at one with. Hello my friend. Maybe I am destined to remain a fascinating stranger to the beach, an action woman only in the city.
I am learning to make peace with it all.
Vodka and Soda,thanks, that would be great.
I would have so much more money in the bank if I didn’t love hotels so much. And I think this one I love the most. But I have said that before. I am that girl.
After an hour by taxi, hurtling through a sleeping city, we arrived at Casa Colombo, Sri Lanka around 3am. The boy was sleeping most of the way too. I didn’t miss a moment though. I revelled in the chaos on the roads, the heat, the smells, the fact that I didn’t have a fucking clue where we were and it didn’t really matter. Odd how frightened I am of planes and how gungho I am on a foreign highway full of kamikaze drivers with a man that doesn’t speak English taking me god only knows where.
That said, after the said hour I was happy to see the lane to the right of the mad dirty old highway. It seemed so full of promise and mystery. Black and gold metal gates swung open and there she was welcoming only me, the glorious glowing 200-year-old mansion. Once it was home to one of the wealthiest Indian trading families in the island. Now it is home to me and my boy, for a couple of nights at least.
Our room is splendid, really something special. We have a three metre copper bath to the left of the king-size sleeping platform. I had to have an immediate power soak on check in to celebrate, be damned that it was 3:30 in the morning. An ornately pressed ceiling floats loftily above intricate Indian tiled floors some eight metres below. Our own lounging area, sound system, desk with laptop (who has that, I mean really), glass walled bathroom (roller blinds for the modest) are all tied together by a skilled designer’s eye. Some of it shouldn’t really work and in a self-conscious boutique hotel in Darlinghurst it so wouldn’t. But here it does, and I can visualize myself taking a year off and writing the big story at the desk as I gaze out the colonial windows to the mango tree…