Unfortunately, the author of this touching poem is not known, but the “post” on FB came in via Max “The Body” Philisaire, and my youngest son, Warren, and, if this isn’t “OLD AGE PERSONIFIED” I would not honestly know, what IS!!. Because we Do have many elderly blokes who are members of eLanka, yet, not on Facebook, I have decided that this would be a most interesting & “moving” bit of reading for themselves and their families to read, given what seems to also be “going on” in some Nursing Homes and Special Accommodation Homes, right now.
When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian Country Town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through his meagre possessions, they found this poem. It’s quality and “content” so impressed the Staff, copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas Editions of magazines around the Country, also appearing in magazines for Mental Health. A “slide-presentation” has also been made, based on his simple, but eloquent poem.
This old man, with nothing left to give the World, is now the author of this “anonymous” poem, winging it’s way across the Internet. Because I do not know the author, and as, quite possibly, he has already passed on, (as stated), I have edited this magnificent poem, where absolutely necessary. R.I.P.(just in case), & hoping you will not mind, Sir. I am not too happy with the title, but I won’t take that away from you, because, if I do, you might turn out to be just that.!!
“CRANKY OLD MAN”.
“What do you see nurses, what do you see? , what are you thinking, when you’re looking at me? , a cranky old man, not very wise, uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes?, who dribbles his food, and makes no reply, when you say in a loud voice, “I do wish you’d try”!!, who not seems to notice, the things that you do, and, forever is losing a sock, or a shoe? , who, resisting, or not, let’s you do, as you will, with bathing and feeding, the long day, to fill, is that what you’re thinking, is that what you see? , then, open your eyes nurse, you’re not looking at me, I’ll tell you who I am, as I sit here, so still, to just do your bidding, and eat, at your will,
I’m a small child of 10, with a father and mother, & brothers and sisters, who love one another, a young boy of 16, with wings on his feet, dreaming that, soon now, a lover, he’ll meet, a bridegroom, soon, at 20, my heart gives a leap, remembering the vows, that I promised to keep, at 25, now, I have “young ones” of my own, who need me to guide them, in a safe, secure home, a man, now of 30, my family have grown fast, bonded together, in “ties” that should last, at 40, my young sons, are “grown-up and gone”, but, my woman’s beside me, to see I don’t mourn, at 50, once more, babes play on my knee, these are grand-children, for my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me, my wife is now dead, I look at the future, and shudder with dread, for my young are now rearing young ones of their own, and I think of the years, and the love I have known.
I’m just an old man now, and nature is cruel, it’s sad to make “old-age”, and look like a fool, the body, it crumbles, grace and vigor depart, there now lies a stone, where I once had a heart, but, inside this old carcass, a young man still dwells, and, now and again, my battered heart swells, I remember the joy, I remember the pain, and I’m loving and living life, over again, I think of the years, all too few, gone too fast, and accept the stark fact, that nothing can last, so, open your eyes, folks, just open, and see, not a cranky old man, look closer, see ME”!!.
A most interesting “piece” on the very important subject of “Sleep”. Intriguing medical knowledge keeps coming out to us in leaps and bounds. Very few of us had any idea that “Sleep” would be instrumental in the risk of heart-attacks that are so common these days. However, I do know that my own sleep-pattern is now extremely erratic, nowadays, and, although my mental faculties (at 83), are thankfully quite high, in comparison to my physical ones (can barely walk, these days), I do find that too little sleep tends to affect my entire “mood”, and, catching up with “cat-naps”, doesn’t really help at all. Reading all the data below gives me a fresh look on the importance of correct sleeping,
AND, SO, TO SLEEP AGAIN, to (hopefully) rise again and share this “Amazing Article” with all my e’Lanka readers.
The right amount of sleep is protective of heart health. This was the conclusion of new research that found sleep duration can influence a person’s risk of heart attack, regardless of other heart risk factors, including genetic ones.
In a recent Journal of the American College of Cardiology paper, scientists from the United States and the United Kingdom describe how they analyzed sleep habits and medical records of 461,347 people aged 40–69 years living in the U.K.
The data, which came from the UK Biobank, included self-reports of how many hours participants habitually slept per night and health records covering 7 years. It also included results of tests for risk genes.
The analysis revealed that those who slept less than 6 hours per night had a 20% higher risk of a first heart attack in comparison to those who slept 6–9 hours. Those who slept more than 9 hours had a 34% higher risk.
The researchers also found that keeping sleep duration to 6–9 hours per night can reduce the risk of a first heart attack by 18% in those people with a “high genetic liability” for developing heart disease.
“This [study],” says senior study author Celine Vetter, Ph.D., an assistant professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, “provides some of the strongest proof yet that sleep duration is a key factor when it comes to heart health — and this holds true for everyone.”
Sleep duration is an independent risk factor
Studies have been finding links between sleep habits and heart health for some time now. However, most of those findings have come from observational studies: these studies that can only confirm links but cannot establish the direction of cause and effect.
Because many factors affect both sleep and heart health, it is not easy to determine whether poor sleep makes for poor heart health or poor heart health leads to poor sleep.
Vetter and her colleagues sought to meet this challenge by using data from a vast number of individuals, combining it with genetic research, and ruling out dozens of potential influencing factors.
Altogether, they adjusted the results to remove the potential effect of 30 factors that can influence both heart health and sleep. These factors include physical activity, mental health, income, education, smoking, and body composition.
The researchers’ results showed that sleep duration was an independent risk factor for heart attack.
The researchers found that the risk of heart attack increased the further that people’s habitual night sleep diverged from 6–9 hours.
Individuals who slept 5 hours each night, for example, had a 52% higher risk of a first heart attack than those who slept 7–8 hours. Individuals who slept 10 hours per night had double the risk.
Analysis using gene variants for short sleep
The team then used a method called Mendelian randomization (MR) to confirm that short sleep duration was an independent risk factor for heart attack.
The MR analysis showed that individuals with gene variants that predisposed them to short sleep had a higher risk of heart attack.
Previous studies have uncovered more than 2 dozen variants associated with short sleep duration.
“This gives us even more confidence that there is a causal relationship here – that it is sleep duration, not something else, influencing heart health,” Vetter argues
Sleep is key to heart health
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of adults in the U.S. sleep less than the recommended 7 hours per night.
The CDC recommend the following tips for good sleep:
·Go to bed and rise at the same time every day, even at the weekend.
·Get enough natural light — especially earlier in the day.
·Avoid exposure to artificial light, particularly in the hours up to bedtime.
·Get enough daily exercise and avoid exercising near bedtime.
·Avoid eating and drinking in the hours before bedtime — especially alcohol and high fat and sugar-rich foods.
·If difficulties persist, seek medical advice to help identify obstacles to sleep, including other health conditions.
The latest research team hopes that its findings will raise awareness among doctors, the public, and policymakers about the impact of sleep on heart health.
“It’s kind of a hopeful message,” says first study author Iyas Daghlas, who is studying medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, “that regardless of what your inherited risk for heart attack is, sleeping a healthy amount may cut that risk just like eating a health[ful] diet, not smoking, and other lifestyle approaches can.”
“Just as working out and eating health[fully] can reduce your risk of heart disease, sleep can too.” Celine Vetter, Ph.D.
“THESE SHOES/BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WALKIN – By Des kelly & Got Noisy Shoes? This Guide Will Stop the Squeaking
My dear dad, Carlo Kelly (God rest his soul), always made it quite clear to all of us, and everyone, in fact, that it did not matter a hoot, if one was dressed “to the hilt”, but our shoes were not polished & shiny, it was totally a wasted effort.
He was a senior Cadet at Royal College, Colombo, and his boots and shoes always had that “mirror-finish” that none of the other Cadets could seem to accomplish, and, until he passed on, his favourite pastime was polishing and making comfortable, the shoes of his entire family. He absolutely loved doing this, and we did not make any serious efforts to stop him, after all, he was “Dad” & he always did it, his way.
So, folks, if you wish to have shoes that do not “squeak”
please read the following good advice. I still have the final footwear that my dad wore, and though I can never even hope to walk in his shoes, I still keep them polished, and in their original box. Please read the article & enjoy the music.
Desmond Kelly. (Editor-in-Chief) eLanka.
THERE IS A FAMOUS STORY – THAT IF YOUR SHOES ARE SQUEAKING – IT MEANS THAT U HAVE NOT PAID FOR THE SHOES
8 Ways to Stop Squeaking Shoes!
Got a pair of noisy shoes? Squeaking shoes can make a person feel self-conscious every time you take a step. Thankfully, there are a number of tricks that you can try to help silence the squeaks. Give one of these recommendations a go:
1. Sprinkle baby powder
Squeaking shoes can be a result of moisture that gets trapped where shoes rub against each other. So, shaking a bit of baby (or talcum) powder under the inner sole will help absorb the moisture. If your pair of shoes does not have removable soles, add the powder around the inside sole instead.
2. Add petroleum jelly
As the insole of the shoe rubs against the inside of the shoe, it may cause a squeaking sound. To stop this from happening, spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly or lotion under the insole to help the parts rub against each other more smoothly.
3. Rub on saddle soap
Another cause of squeaking shoes? Shoelaces. When the laces on leather shoes rub against the shoe, your footwear may squeak with every step. To stop this from happening, rub a bit of saddle soap or another leather conditioner to moisturize the area and reduce the noise.
4. Rub with a dryer sheet
A dryer sheet can be the solution to all your squeaking issues. Simply rub the bottom of your squeaking shoes with the sheet to cut down the noise. You can also use a dryer sheet to fix shoe odors.
5. Throw in the dryer
Using a sponge or washcloth, add a little bit of fabric softener, then toss the sponge, along with your squeaking shoes into the dryer. Just be sure not to leave them in for more than 10 minutes, or they may shrink.
6. Soften your soles
Soles may harden after some time making them prone to noise. So, if this is the case, use sandpaper to rub down the bottom of your squeaking shoe, softening them up.
7.. Try WD-40
WD-40 has a number of uses, one of which is to prevent shoes from squeaking. Simply soak a cotton ball with a bit of WD-40 or silicone spray then apply it to the outside seams of your squeaking shoes – unless your shoes are made of suede, which could ruin your footwear.
8. Fix loose heels
Take a moment to examine your squeaking shoes and see if there’s a gap near your heels. Once you’ve located the spot, put some superglue in the seam around the heel then hold it together or use a clamp to keep it tight until the glue dries.
“THE BIG C” – By Des Kelly & Can fasting help fight cancer? – By Jamie Eske
It has been around forever (it seems), varied forms of the dreaded “Big C”, engulfing the World in it’s tight grip, and totally inconsiderate of the age of it’s victims, causing death and destruction more widespread than any other plague in modern history, yet, the good news is that this “silent killer” CAN be beaten (I have personally beaten it twice), because of a galaxy of new methods of how to kill cancers of various types, keeps being suggested by very intelligent people to whom we are indebted tremendously.
“Fasting” is the latest method that I have been reading about and find it necessary to pass on this advice to all my readers in the hope that anyone they know about, who has Cancer can try these natural “home remedies” if you like, and, if it helps them, in any way, we all come out as Winners. The main thing, folks, is not to “give-in” to this disease. There is -Chemo-therapy, Radio & other Therapies available, but there is nothing to stop us using natural Therapies, as well. Please take the time to read this interesting article, take good care, & God bless you, my friends.
Also, researchers believe that fasting may make cancer cells more responsive to chemotherapy while protecting other cells. Fasting may also boost the immune system to help fight cancer that is already present.
This article covers the effects of fasting on cancer treatment and prevention.
Improving insulin sensitivity
Insulin is a hormone that allows cells to extract glucose from the blood to use as energy.
When more food is available, the cells in the body become less sensitive to insulin. This insulin resistance means that the cells no longer respond to insulin signals, leading to higher levels of glucose in the blood and higher fat storage.
When the food supply is scarce, the human body tries to conserve as much energy as possible.
One way it accomplishes this task is by making cell membranes more sensitive to insulin. Cells can metabolize insulin more efficiently, removing glucose from the blood.
Better insulin sensitivity makes it harder for cancer cells to grow or develop.
Reversing the effect of chronic conditions
Some research has shown that conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes are risk factors for cancer. Both are linked to a higher risk of multiple types of cancer and lower survival rates.
A 2017 case study looked at the effect of short-term fasting on type 2 diabetes. The participant in the study fasted for 24 hours two to three times per week.
After 4 months of fasting, the participant had a 17.8 percent reduction in weight and an 11 percent reduction in waist size.
Also, they no longer required insulin treatment after 2 months of this fasting pattern.
Autophagy is a cellular process in which parts of cells break down for later reuse. Autophagy is critical for maintaining proper cell function, and it also helps defend cells in the body. Autophagy plays an important role in preventing and treating cancer.
Several studies in mice suggest that autophagy may prevent cancer. These studies show how lack of autophagy leads to lower levels of tumor-suppressing genes.
While lower autophagy may enable initial tumor formation, it is not solely responsible for malignant tumor growth or spread.
Improving quality of life during chemotherapy
Some researchers believe that fasting improves people’s response to chemotherapy because it does the following:
· promotes cellular regeneration
· protects blood against the harmful effects of chemotherapy
· reduces the impact of side effects, such as fatigue, nausea, headaches, and cramps
A 2018 study found that fasting can improve quality of life in people undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer or ovarian cancer. The study used a 60-hour fasting period starting 36 hours before the start of chemotherapy treatment.
The results show that participants fasting during chemotherapy reported higher tolerance to chemotherapy, fewer chemotherapy-related side effects, and higher energy levels when compared with those who did not fast.
Boosting the immune system to fight cancer
A 2014 study examined whether fasting produces any cancer-fighting effects in mice stem cells. Stem cells are important due to their regenerative abilities.
The researchers revealed that fasting for 2–4 days may protect stem cells against the negative effects of chemotherapy on the immune system.
Fasting also activates stem cells of the immune system to renew and repair themselves.
This study shows that fasting not only reduces damage to cells, it also replenishes white blood cells and replaces damaged ones.
White blood cells fight infection and destroy cells that may cause disease. When white blood cell levels drop as a result of chemotherapy, it affects the immune system negatively. This means that the body has a harder time fighting infections.
The number of white blood cells in the body decreases during fasting. However, when the fasting cycle concludes and the body receives food, white blood cell levels increase.
Fasting refers to not eating at all or consuming very few calories for a certain amount of time. Fasting cycles can last anywhere from 12 hours to 3 weeks.
Short and prolonged fasting periods have promising results in cancer treatment and prevention, according to multiple studies. It is currently unclear which fasting schedule produces the best results, however.
People who are curious about fasting and whether it would benefit them during their cancer treatment should consider speaking with their doctor.
An overnight train from Colombo Fort to Badulla, stopping at Diyatalawa Station, one train-ride that I will never forget. Along with “my batch” of Navy Recruits, numbering about forty, as I recall, in the old 3rd Class Railway carriages, perspiring freely, at Colombo, set for what could truly be called a refreshing retreat to Diyatalawa,
steadily getting cooler, as we headed up the mountain-climb (an 8 hour journey, stopping at each Station-ride), to arrive at the (empty) C.G,R. Station in the hills, at about 6 am.
It was decidedly cooler in Ditatalawa, and there were two R.Cy.N. trucks waiting to pick us up and “hurtle”(is the word for it), to our “Training-Camp” H.M.Cy.S. Rangalla, right in the heart of Diyatalawa Town.
Diyatalwa, as I remember it, was a very pretty little Town, set in the rolling, beautiful hills of Ceylon (at the time), where we began “Servng” in the Royal Ceylon Navy, also known as the Senior Service of the Armed Forces. There is much more to write about the training etc., but that is another story, so I will now get back to the special article which which resulted in this, my introduction. It is a very interesting article indeed, so please read it & listen to the melody that goes with it. Makes for many precious memories.
Desmond Kelly. (Editor-in-Chief) eLanka.
A Refreshing Retreat To Diyatalawa
Immerse in the picturesque sights of the lush greenery and mist-covered mountains
A cool climate, stunning beauty and the aura of discipline – this is perhaps how Sri Lanka’s garrison town of Diyatalawa can be best described. Nestled atop the hills in the Badulla District in the Uva Province, Diyatalawa holds a unique ambiance that is rarely forgotten.
Words and photography: Shyam Ranasinghe
The drive to Diyatalawa will require reaching one of the two popular hill country retreats located either side of it, namely Haputale or Bandarawela, both world famous for Sri Lanka’s signature crop – tea. A small turn-off from the main A 16 highway either side will take one right through the centre of not a very modern and bustling city, but a modest growth of urban dwellings that holds signs of gradual development. Indeed, Diyatalawa does not race with time, instead it is capable of withstanding it.
Train travel provides beautiful views of the changing landscape
Diyatalawa is home to some of the premier military training institutions of the country. The Sri Lanka Military Academy, the Army’s main officer training institute and the Sri Lanka Air Force Combat Training School are both located adjacently within the area.
Sri Lanka’s central hills are known throughout the world for its famous and quintessentially distinct tea plantations, with Diyatalawa being no exception. The lush green tea plantations that lace the mountain tops akin to a thick green carpet is certainly soothing to the eye, especially with the cool and fresh mountain air filling up the senses. The high grown pine forests provide a rich cover to the hills of Diyatalawa adding an unmatchable sense of diversity in its landscape.
Diyatalawa is home to the proud Sri Lanka Military Academy
Life in Diyatalawa can be quite relaxing and modest. The modestly urban town can provide for almost all needs. The local weekly market, commonly known as the “pola”, is a picturesque kaleidoscope of colour. Freshly grown up country vegetables make their way to the roadside vendors who make a humble living through its trade. Although the scenario is commonplace in almost every city and village in the country, the Diyatalawa “pola” holds the natural advantage of being able to trade in the “home-grown” vegetables which are fresher and can be traded at a reasonable price. The fresh blooms of the season certainly add to the variety of nature and are always in high demand amongst those who value its beauty.
Diyatalawa can be accessed through both road and rail lines. The up-country rail line, mainly laid down during the colonial era to bring down tea for auctioning serves as a vital lifeline to Diyatalawa even to this day. The picturesquely located railway station is an icon of the area where the Colombo – Badulla bound trains make several rides per day.
HMS Fox 1913 – the momentous impression that remains to-date
This town comes vibrantly to life once a year in the calendar of motor sports in Sri Lanka where the racers battle for honours at the Fox Hill Supercross. Held under the aegis of the Sri Lanka Military Academy who operate the track, the humps, hairpin turns and slopes of the Fox Hill race track is a different and a unique challenge. The out-of-city experience, inviting climate and the rush of adrenaline combine to make an addictive fusion for the avid motor sports lover which makes the Fox Hill Supercross an event never to be missed.
The stately Adisham Bungalow
The story of the Fox Hill itself is deeply rooted with the history of Diyatalawa. During the colonial era, the British established internment centres for prisoners who were involved in wars in different parts of the world. One such war was the Boer wars fought in colonial South Africa. The prisoners were brought over to the camp at Diyatalawa on board the HMS Fox. On reaching the hills, they decided to memorialise, perhaps what they considered their last journey on a ship, so that their presence and legacy remains unforgotten. Thus on a random hill the prisoners painted the wordings HMS Fox and the year. To this day, the unmistakable impression of the fox along with the number 1913 is hard to be missed by anyone who visits Diyatalawa.
Hike along the slopes of the mountains while enjoying the beauty of nature
The quiet retreat of Diyatalawa offers a wide range of sightseeing options. The famed Lipton’s seat and Adisham’s bungalow monastery of Haputale, St Andrew’s chapel of Bandarawela, Ella rock and falls, Diyaluma and Ravana Ella waterfalls are all within a few hours of driving range from Diyatalawa.
The famed Lipton’s seat
The temperatures can touch the mid 20s during the months of July – August and can decrease to 10 – 15oc in the months of November – January with occasional morning frost. Misty and drizzly weather can also be expected. Diyatalawa is one salubrious and refreshing retreat that should not be missed
Often, we talk about various matters, we write about them, we learn about, and research these subjects, but very rarely, do we stop to THINK deeply about everyday, common events and “prose” that sits right under our noses. Here are a few of these amusing and informative bits of information for all eLanka readers, that, I hope will “lighten your day”
Desmond Kelly. (Editor-in-Chief)– eLanka.
Some Idle Thoughts…..to lighten your day…
* If you attempt to rob a bank you won’t have any trouble with rent/food bills for the next 10 years, whether or not you are successful.
* If poison expires, is it more poisonous or is it no longer poisonous?
* Which letter is silent in the word “Scent,” the S or the C?
* Why is the letter W, in English, called double U? Shouldn’t it be called double V?
* Maybe oxygen is slowly killing you and It just takes 75-100 years to fully work.
* Every time you clean something, you just make something else dirty
– The word “swims” upside-down is still “swims”.
– 100 years ago everyone owned a horse and only the rich had cars. Today everyone has cars and only the rich own horses.
– Your future self is watching you right now through memories.
– The doctors that told Stephen Hawking he had two years to live in 1953 are probably dead.
– If you replace “W” with “T” in “What, Where and When”, you get the answer to each of them.
– Many animals probably need glasses, but nobody knows it.
– If 2/2/22 falls on a Tuesday, we’ll just call it “2’s Day”.
The Yala National Park has been ranked number six among the world’s best national parks by the acclaimed National Geographic in its recently-published book, 100 Parks, 5000 Ideas by Joe Yogerst, Wildlife Conservation Department Deputy Director (Planning and ICT) Ranjan Marasinghe said.
National Geographic’s ‘100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas’ was published in February and its author Joe Yogerst has lived and worked in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. Wrangell-St Elias National Park in Alaska, Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, Kakadu National Park in Australia and Jasper National Park in Canada are the top five national parks as ranked by Yogerst in this book.
“Yala National Park tends to really fly under the radar, but it’s one of the world’s most diverse national parks. It’s primarily known for wildlife, especially leopards and elephants. But the park also has terrific beaches, ancient rock temples that are still active places of worship, and a choice of lodges or camping for overnight stays. There aren’t many places on the planet where you can safari drive in the morning and surf in the afternoon,” Yogerst said in his book.
Marasinghe referred to Yogerst’s ranking of national parks while making the opening remarks at the ‘Wildlanka International Symposium 2019’ organised by the Wildlife Conservation Department at Waters Edge on Monday.
The two-day symposium themed ‘Innovation for Conservation’ was attended by wildlife enthusiasts, researchers and officials.
“In the local sphere, our achievements are hardly recognised, but in the international sphere we were talked about,” he said, also pointing out that all six proposals the Sri Lankan delegation presented at the recently-concluded ‘World Wildlife Conference 2019’ (CITES CoP18) in Geneva obtained positive votes.
“The contribution of the Sri Lankan delegation at the CITES, which I was proud to be a part of, was admired by many. We presented the proposed ‘eCITES’ platform about to be launched next month to facilitate the CITES information-permitting system. Even the US delegation was interested,” he said.
He said the Wildlife Department has always been keen to embrace technology in all aspects of its work, adding that it adopted geo-informatics, remote sensing and video technology for work before many other institutions did. “Now we explore new technology in the human–elephant conflict mitigation efforts too,” he added.
“Our field officers are blamed for not being present at several places at the same time and our senior officers are blamed for not allowing land for other uses and not protecting the reserves at the same time. People expect us to have the cake and eat it at the same time and we are quite used to this attitude now,” he remarked.
Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga who took part in the event as the chief guest congratulated the Sri Lankan delegation to the CITES conference for their remarkable performance.
He added that a scientific approach is needed for conservation of wildlife as the successive governments depend on it to boost tourism income.
Ministry Secretary S. Hettiarachchi speaking at the Symposium said the Ministry hopes to improve the facilities in the national parks for those who are willing to undertake research. “The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) of Parliament emphasised the importance of facilitating more research related to this field during our last session. Taking this recommendation into consideration, we plan to develop wildlife research activities. For that we will improve facilities in the national parks to undertake research, obtain practical knowledge, and collect data,” he noted.
It is true, of every Country in the World. Certain areas of Planet Earth are astoundingly beautiful to the eyes of any beholder. Sir Richard Attenborough happens to be one of the very few, lucky enough to travel around, “doing his thing”
to capture most of the scenic beauty for his very exciting “Television-Specials” that are repeated over and over again, simply because they are immensely popular.
This particular “story”, together with the magnificent photography of “Sri Lanka, my Island of dreams”(another Original Music Composition of mine, as well) brings our readers, wherever they may be, some precious memories of a Country so tiny, yet, reputed to be a copy of the mythical “Garden of Eden”, because it’s minute twenty six and a half thousand square miles, still possesses ALL of the “beauty-spots” available in Countries twenty times it’s size.
Even though this particular “Post”” has probably been seen many times before, in my opinion, it deserves yet another ” feel-good” repeat, so here it is, Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, here she is, “Sri Lanka, my Island of dreams”.
Desmond Kelly (Editor-in-Chief) eLanka.
Tourist Attractions in SRI LANKA
Source Island News paper
Sri Lanka is truly spellbinding and will suit any traveler’s interests with its top tourist attractions. The small island nation is chock-full of adventure activities like surfing and trekking. There are several highly religious sites for the religious devotee, and unbelievable historical relics for history buffs in Sri Lanka. However, no one can dispute Sri Lanka’s incredible natural beauty. Whether it be en-route to a perfect surf break, visiting a historical site or on a pilgrimage, lush greenery and exotic animals are never far away.
One of Sri Lanka’s most iconic sights is the Nine Arch Bridge in the small mountain town of Ella. This viewpoint offers spectacular panoramas of the surrounding area, which is made up of verdant greenery and tea fields. Visitors can watch trains roll over the bridge as they make their way along the Demodara Loop. Constructed in the early days of the railway expansion in Sri Lanka, the bridge is particularly impressive because it is made of cement, stone and brick, without the use of any steel.
Mihintale is a mountain near the town of Anuradhapura. Its summit has much spiritual significance to the Buddhist community. It’s believed that on this mountain top a Buddhist monk named Mahinda met King Devanampiyatissa and together this meeting introduced Buddhism to the country. Monk Mahinda impressed the King with the peacefulness of the Buddhist doctrine and his contented, serene nature. The King subsequently renounced war, and went on to spread peace throughout the nation. There are several impressive religious and historical structures on and around Mihintale Mountain. Hundreds of pilgrims visit the site each year.
This white sand beach in the small seaside town of Unawatuna is a great place to relax. There are a number of snorkeling and diving operators in town who take advantage of the abundance of coral reefs just off the beach. Colorful fish and plentiful turtles are the norm in these waters. There are a number of great dining options along the beach, which welcome visitors to use their sun loungers and relax the day away with a drink in hand.
12. Gal Viharaya
The front of a monolithic sitting Buddha, Gal Viharaya, carved from a unique striated granite rock at Polonnaruwa, the ancient kingdom capitol of Sri Lanka
Visitors can find Gal Viharaya in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. Gal Viharaya is a famous Buddhist site and is celebrated for its many caves and large sculptures of Buddha which are carved into the rock faces. They are extremely well preserved, even though they were crafted in the 12th century. To the side of one of the statues, a code of conduct is inscribed. The code, when followed, was meant to purify the Buddhist monks and bring them together under one order. It was created by a very famous king: King Parakramabahu the first. Today, Gal Viharaya is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular sites of pilgrimage.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, the Kataragama Festival takes place every year in July or Augustand is dedicated to one of the Hindu gods. It takes place over a two-week period and people from all over the world come to join in. The festival is jam-packed with parades of elephants and colorfully dressed performers. There are countless traditional dances that take place; with musicians, acrobats, and fire-breathers feeding into the festival’s contagious energy.
There are few places in the world where elephant sightings are so frequent. However, elephants are not the only animals to see within Udawalawe National Park; peacocks, jackals, water buffalo, crocodiles, monkeys and deer also roam the area. Safaris are most popular in the early morning hours when animals are at their most active. The biodiversity of the park can be attributed to its varied landscape; it is flanked by mountain ranges to the north with wetlands and rivers hugging the grasslands and forests at the base of the mountains.
The beautiful Ravana Falls are used for bathing in the hot summer months. In the rainy season, the water flow is exceptionally strong and is an impressive sight. The falls are part of the Ravana Ella Wildlife Sanctuary, and the nearby cave complex is rich in local legend. Conveniently located on the main road on the way to Ella town, the caves are a common stop off point for visitors during their journey. Many cheeky monkeys live in the surrounding trees and they are often seen on the roadside dining on fruit. However, don’t let them get too close, as sometimes they can get over-friendly with visitors.
The Dambulla Cave Temple is a sacred Buddhist site. There is no entry fee to get into the temple on full-moon days; however, these days are especially busy because of the religious significance of this lunar phase. Devotees from all over the world make pilgrimage to this place. There are over 80 caves documented in the area, but the most famous five are outfitted with impressive statues and paintings. Some of the caves date back to 1000 BC, when prehistoric Sri Lankans would have lived within them, so it is unsurprising that they would have created temples inside at that time. If you do plan to visit, please be aware that visitors must cover their shoulders and legs and remove shoes before entering the temple.
Mirissa is the ultimate Sri Lankan beach getaway. The beautiful long beach is flanked by tall overhanging palm trees and lined with modern restaurants and hotels. The restaurants have western style food at Sri Lankan prices. Just off the beach is Parrot Rock. It has a small staircase leading to the top that offers great views of the ocean and coastline. Day trips from Mirissa include whale watching, snorkeling and surfing. Weligama, just a few kilometers from Mirissa, is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka to learn surfing. Come happy hour and into the evening, many the restaurants turn their venues into beach clubs and pump out drinks and tunes.
Arugam Bay is revered by surfers. This small town on the east coast of Sri Lanka embodies the quintessential laid-back surf lifestyle. The Main Point surf break is within walking distance from the town center, but is only recommended for advanced or intermediate surfers. Otherwise, Whiskey Point or Peanut Farm are two great surf beaches for beginner and intermediate surfers; a short tuk-tuk ride will take you there. Often elephants and peacocks can be spotted beside the road, just outside of town. The main strip in Arugam Bay town is lined with restaurants and hotels where you can dine on anything from traditional Sri Lankan curry to full English breakfasts.
5. Temple of the Tooth
The Temple of the Tooth is a highly sacred place. The temple contains one of Buddha’s teeth. Legend has it that the tooth was taken from the Buddha on his deathbed, then smuggled to Sri Lanka from India. It was smuggled in the hair of a princess, after her father’s kingdom had been besieged. It immediately became an object of great importance and has been celebrated and paraded throughout history. However, many attempts have also been made to steal or destroy the tooth. Twice daily, pujas are held to celebrate the relic and offer visitors and devotees the chance to get a glimpse of the tooth within its casing.
4. Adam’s Peak
At the summit of Adam’s Peak is a footprint cast in stone. It has spiritual significance to a number of different religions, however, there is currently a Buddhist monastery at the summit. To the Buddhists, the footprint is that of Buddha’s; to Christians, the footprint is Adam’s; and to Hindus, the footprint is attributed to Shiva. The site is a popular place of pilgrimage, especially on full moon nights. The trek to the top of the mountain to see the footprint is via a steep staircase containing over 5000 steps. The trail is lined with many tea stalls and food shops which act as places of rest. Most people begin their hike at 2:30 am to reach the summit in time for sunrise.
It is easy to get lost in the cobblestoned alleyways and streets within Galle Fort. Today the area is full of modern restaurants, hotels, clothing, and souvenir shops. Meanwhile, snake charmers and buskers line the seawall. However, the fort was not always such a cosmopolitan spot. A basic fort was constructed by the Portuguese when they made their first landing to the island in 1505. When the Dutch eventually seized control of Galle, they made a number of improvements; including the enormous sea wall that still lines the fort. Galle Fort is an excellent example of what the synthesis between European and Asian architecture looks like.
2. Yala National Park
Elephant in wild nature. Yala national park, Sri Lanka
Yala National Park is made up of spellbinding vistas and a true abundance of Sri Lankan wildlife. It has the highest density of leopards in the world, so chances of seeing them are very high. Although leopards are the main attraction here, they are followed closely by elephants, sloth bears and crocodiles. The park is divided into five blocks; some of which were zoned to hunters until Yala became a national park in 1938. Ensure you make time to visit the very informative visitor center at the entrance of the park for insightful displays about the area.
Sigiriya Rock Fort is utterly impressive. The rock walls rise up 200 meters from the ground, only to give way to a flat plateau at their summit. There are steep stairwells to reach the top and many frescos to marvel at on the way up. At the top, you can find the remains of an ancient civilization, including relics of a palace and monastery. It would have taken true engineering ingenuity to build a structure at this height so many centuries ago. Around the rock fort are many important caves and gardens; impressively, they are some of the first landscaped gardens in the world.
The years seem to have slipped by, too fast. Now, all we can do is try to remember times when this World of ours moved at a pace that most of us could keep up, with.
In my own case, it was a simple, yet satisfying life, no “living it up” as the saying indicates, no fancy restaurants to frequent, no expensive birthday presents to expect, never enough money to keep ahead of the “bills” that came in, my dad being the only breadwinner in the family, mum being just the cook & carer of the family, still, I can never ever remember missing a single meal, simple enough, though it was. Luckily, mum, God rest her soul, was a superb cook, and anything she made, was worth going a long way, to eat.
Somehow, it was a good life. You did not need money to spend an entire weekend at the closest beach, marsala and ulinda wadais, murukku, thosais, & either plain tea or kiri-kooppi or saruwath was always available quite cheaply, and let us not forget the “bananas” from the banana-palace in Wellawatte. Ordinary Plantains, kolikuttu, anamalu, suwandel, plus a half dozen other varieties, easily available,
As I said, I could write a book on this subject, but this will have to wait, because I would now like our readers of eLanka to bring back a few additional memories of life in the good old days, via “REMEMBER WHEN”??.
Desmond Kelly. (Editor-in-Chief). eLanka.
Can you remember: Bring back any memories?
My son asked me the other day, ‘What was your favourite ‘fast food’ when you were growing up?
‘We didn’t have fast food when I was growing up,’ I told him.
‘All the food was slow.’
‘C’mon, seriously.. Where did you eat?’ ‘It was a place called “home ,’ I explained. ‘Mom cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn’t like what she put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.’Pizzas were not delivered to our home… But milk was. No KFC, No Mc Donald’s only the good old bakery.
How many do you remember?Headlight dip-switches on the floor of the car. Ignition switches on the dashboard.. Trouser leg clips for bicycles without chain guards. Using hand signals for cars without turn indicators. Count all the ones that you remember, not the ones you were told about..
1. Bulto toffees
2. Alerics Ice chocks
3. Home milk delivery in glass bottles
4. Wrack denims
5. Newsreels before the movie and the National Anthem
6. TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the evening.(This was after 1979)
8. 33 rpm records/ 45 rpm’s
9. Enid Blyton/Hardy boys books
10. Record players instead of High Fi’s
11. Metal ice trays with levers
12. Kerosene Fridges
13. Cork popguns
14.Hardly a Jap car on the road. First Jap car was Datsun Bluebird.
15. Cops in long Khaki shorts (ha ha ha that was a sight with their skinny legs) and hats. At big matches kids loved to tease them as “Kossas’
16. Same goes for Grade 10 students in mini shorts with their skinny legs (ha ha ha, -another sight was when they were made to stand on their chairs by teachers for not doing their homework to be teased by primary school kids, after school )
17.Imported apples sold were wrapped in purple tissues.
18. Full meal of wadai at Saraswathie Lodge for a large family for less than two bucks.
19. What was served at kid’s birthday parties were, sandwiches, ribbon cake, marshmallows, kebabs in a half pineapple and iced coffee.
20. Elephant House Ice Palams in triangular cardboard cases for 15 cents
21. Those who were privileged to go overseas brought home as gifts. Wilkinson blades and Parker refills.
22. Imported popsicals sold at Perera and sons, were delicious.
23. Soft drinks were delivered to homes.
24. Many had accounts with Cargills and Elephant House
25. Clothes were laundered by Dhobies, and they were heavily starched so much so that when school kids were administered corporal punishment, the cane strokes on their starched shorts sounded like balloon bursting.
26. Repeating groves on 78 rpm records, were so funny to hear.
27. The best gift a kid would expect for their birthdays are Mecanno sets
28. When a kid gets through his/her OL’s, the normal gift the kids get from parents is a Raleigh bicycle from Hunters costing Rs 100/.
29. Black and white striped candies for 2 cents.
30. A hundred Rambutans sold at Alexandra Place costs Rs 2 and 50 cents.
31. School kids were allowed only fountain pens to class. ‘Fights’ among kids were spraying of ‘Washable Royal Blue’ ink on others’ uniforms.
32. Cial fountain pens used by school kids was Rs 2/50.They carried their books in suitcases, which were used as chairs after school.
33. Naughty children used to cut school and go for 10.30 shows.
I remember it all……………….!!!!
I must be ‘positively ancient’ but those memories are some of the best parts of life. Pass on Especially to all your really OLD friends.
The sender of this text, Harry, considers it to be beautiful and true. So do I, as we send it, to you. As I have always said (& written), life, in the context of time, is but the blink of an eye, we are born, we live & we die, a self-written quote, to live by.
This text is therefore for everyone to read. If this is not possible, get someone to read and explain to to you.
I think this text is very beautiful, very true …. !
Hardly the day started and … it is already six o’clock in the evening.
Barely arrived on Monday and it’s already Friday.
… and the month is already over.
… and the year is almost up.
… and already 50, 60 or 70 years of our lives have passed.
… and we realize that we lost our parents, friends.
and we realize that it is too late to go back …
So … Let’s try, however, to take full advantage of the time we have left …
Let’s not stop looking for activities that we like …
Let’s put color in our greyness …
Let’s smile at the little things in life that put balm in our hearts.
And yet, we must continue to enjoy serenely the time that remains. Let’s try to eliminate the “after” …
I do it after …
I will say after …
I will think about it after …
We leave everything for later as if “after” was ours.
Because what we do not understand is that:
after, the coffee cools …
after, priorities change …
after, the charm is broken …
after, health passes …
after, the children grow up …
after, the parents get older …
after, the promises are forgotten …
after, the day becomes the night …
after, life ends ….
And after that it’s often too late ….
So … leave nothing for later …
Because always waiting for later, we can lose the best moments,
the best experiences,
the best friends,
the best family …
The day is today … The moment is now …
We are no longer at the age where we can afford to postpone until tomorrow what needs to be done right away.
So let’s see if you’ll have time to read this message and then share it.
Or maybe you’ll leave it for … “later” …
And you will not share it “ever” ….
Even to share with those who are not yet “seniors”