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Mauritius Tuesday I Think, In The Spar Shop by the Beach


I feel very remiss about not doing my web log earlier. It’s been hard to find an internet cafe, and I have been a bit travel dazed and bewildered. I remember writing this log from Brazil and it felt as if I was making it up but I really am in Mauritius, and the sea is very close with its glittery waves palm trees and glass bottomed boats. I am running writing workshops every morning for a group of sweet intelligent Mauritians, who all speak at least four languages and who do every mad thing I ask them to.

Yesterday I asked them to write, alphabetically, twenty six descriptions of sky. That’s hard here, when the sky is usually blue.

Last week we were all over the place, at a writers conference then at the university, and meeting and greeting and sight seeing. My poor body didn’t really know what was happening, although it survived the flight rather well, it began to flag and eventually crumpled into a heap on the fifth day. This state I am in requires all kinds of attentions in order for it to remain balanced. I bargain with my body, trying to give it so much rest in exchange for something I want to do. Sometimes I get really tired of this constant fielding of symptoms.

But I wouldn’t have missed coming here for anything. It’s so much more than a tourist resort with its mixture of cultures and peoples. My partner and I walked along the bach to the grand hotels with vast colonial lawns and everything on a tray…you could spend a holiday there and never see anything else. We’ve been taken to a Hindu wedding and watched older women dancing and drumming, and we’ve met all kinds of people and talked to them about writing (I am here with the poet Sean o Brien and his partner Gerry). I like the vanilla flavoured tea, and the tasty snacks. In the evenings this week I have been watching Bollywood films, chortling at the hilarious sub titles. Somehow the Olympics has seemed more poignant from a Mauritian point of view. I so wanted the Mauritian runner to win!

So I am fine. Infact my bones are warming up and feeling stronger. Thankyou everyone who responded to the Guardian article…I have had some very interesting post…will write this again very soon!