ROYSTON’S REPORT: A VIEW FROM SRI LANKA – Number 32
Sunday 21 November 2010. Number 32
Greetings to readers around the world.
And in Galle last week, I was thrilled to see that the West Indies team, which has just finished playing a Test Match with Sri Lanka, has a player from Dominica, where I lived from 1966 until Hurricane David blew me away in 1979. I was for a time a member of MCC and President of the Dominica Cricket Association and even managed the Combined Islands Youth Team in 1974, seen here in dashing “shirt jacks”.
The Dominican in the current West Indies team is Shane Shillingford. I hope someone from Dominica will read this and tell me if he is closely related to any of the great Shillingford cricketers, led by Hughes, Stafford, and Ivan followed in the 1970s by Grayson and Irving (both of whom also played for the West Indies).
Shillingford is actually a common name in Dominica, with all the Shillingfords having descended from two Shillingford brothers who settled in the island from Britain in the 1780s. They sired scores of little Shillingfords and it said that Thomas Howard Shillingford invested in shops along the west coast from Layou to Dublanc. Each one was run by a woman with whom he had children, which he duly supported and to whom he bequeathed his properties.
I didn’t go to Galle for the film festival last week (see Number 31) but instead ordered the film Nowhere Boy about the early teenage years of John Lennon (of the Beatles) from amazon and watched it in the comfort of my cottage parlour. What a disappointment; it was far too well dressed and romantic and, to capture the period more accurately, ought to have been in black & white.
It was too modern, too, with exclamations like “I wish!” which we never used in 1959. Alas, the actor playing John was too old (20) while, curiously, the actor playing Paul was also 20 but looked too young! The film skipped entirely the intriguing relationship between John and Stuart and only described in passing the formative months in the Gambier Terrace flat (“It’s full of Stuart’s paintings and ashtrays”) – and, thus missed my own beatnik influence on John!
For any readers who have a Paypal account, I warn you to be careful if you receive an email, as I did last week, beginning: “PayPal is constantly striving to increase the safety of its users, performing regularly in a detailed audit of the accounts on your system. A recent check of your account we noted the need for more information to enable us to provide you with secure service.”
Well it sounded so genuine (including its abstruse English), I clicked where I was told to click and then got a question asking for credit card details. I immediately emailed Andrew, my dedicated webmonster, who checked the email’s provenance and discovered it was a fraud. Be careful. You can get mugged at your desk too.
Short short story
Even shorter than the 100-word short stories I mentioned in Number 30 are the stories to be found in the personal advertisement section of newspapers. In last Sunday’s Times (of Sri Lanka) there was this one:
“For Sale: gym machine, used for one week only.”
What agony there lies in that tale.
Have you got your copy yet?
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