Sickie

Year 2019 has really not been a good one for me in terms of overall health unfortunately. It all started with HS in April this year and repeated a couple of times and in June I had to undergo a minor surgery. Health issues continued into early October when I had to start physiotherapy for replapse of neck & shoulder pain due to issue with cervical C5-C6. As I was reaching towards the final physiotherapy sessions with some improvement to neck/shoulder pain, in the 2nd week of November, I was down with cold & flu. And in the 3rd week of the same month, I was hit hard when I became very sick with high fever and loss of appetite on last Tuesday night and ended up in emergency, followed by hospitalization. I was diagnosed with Acute bacterial prostatitis and was being treated with IV antibiotics for little less than a week. In addition to all those physical health issues; level of my anxiety has been in highs almost throughout this past months.

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By mid July or so I had exhausted all my sick leave for the year. Fortunately between August - October I was sick-free and was hoping it would stay as is for rest of year, which unfortunately wasn't the reality when I got sick last week.This sudden illness resulted me having to request for Annual Leave due to hospitalization, followed by doctor's advice to rest.

On reflection,though the above circumstances of ill health may not have had any direct co-relation;when looking back at atleast last 6-7 months, I know I have been far too much exhausted both mentally and physically in the day job. Whilst I enjoy being on the kitchen shop floor more than sitting behind a computer at work, I get the feeling that I was over doing it. Probably another that added to stress could be multitasking often than it should be.
I've already started to look back and review my work style and I'm aiming to do it in more detail manner over next 4 weeks, so that hopefully I can start gradually implement new way of working in 2020!

Planning...

This afternoon I received a kind of pat on the back on email from my boss for a simple assessment exercise that I put forward on last Thursday to him for his approval for a forthcoming assessment for a job as a part of the restructuring program. Though he had requested me to do it about one & half weeks back, I put it together in about 15 minutes time when I got to work on Thursday morning and handed him a printed hardcopy during the Thursday Morning direct reports meeting. The exercise task / question is based on a real work scenario and according to the boss is very apt. It wasn't really rocket science for me after all.

The point I am trying to make is that looking back, most of my most productive and effective work outputs have come from such assignments that I had completed in the last minute without much planning sort of. So I am wondering if that's the case, whether I should at all take time and effort for detailed planning in the day job, as long as I have an outline in my mind how to achieve a particular task or an assignment to a high standard. That's being said, I just purchased a digital planner to use on my iPad

Digital Planner

Down the Memory Lane

When I was visiting Sri Lanka in the recent past, I had the oppotunity to meet a few of my long lost relatives from my dad's side. They were present at mother's 1st year death anniversary function held in the house mother lived. Amongst the relatives whom I met, there was this young niece and her mum who's house is located close to dad's native place. In chatting with her it helped me to bring back a few memories in my early childhood, that has long been forgotten. In addition to the young niece, there's also my dad's youngest brother whom we called poddi bappa and his wife are living in the village. Unfortunately though, we haven't been in touch for many years and also they aren't contactable on available technology. So, I haven't got any latest updates about them.

Dad grew up in a remote viilage called Kahanda in the district of Galle in Southern Sri Lanka. His native place was along side Kahanda Howpe Road, Angulugaha. A popular landmark near by his home in the village is Kahanda Maha Vidyalaya - a school, owned & operated by the government for local children. 1 I believe even my dad and his family of sisters & brothers, all obtained their education in this school. So, as my niece up to her 5th Grade and afterwards she has moved to a popular girls school in the city, she told me.

kahahnda

After my dad got married, he and my mother had started their marriage life in Matara - district further down in Southern Sri Lanka. Since then my parents have been living and working in many parts of the island as my dad was working for the public service in various parts of the island. As a result, my sisters & I also had to move from one school to another until we finally settled in the capital in mid nineteen seventies. Even though my dad has been living miles away from his native place, he never missed out to make a visit to see our grandparents & any other relatives in the village.Even after the grandparents passed away he continued his visits. Occasionally, he took me also on his trips. These trips were mostly made by public tranport, whilst in some rare occassions, we travelled with lokuthaththa{2. Elder brother of dad] in his [Austin A30]. I recall there were two arms used to pop out either sides in between front and rear doors as indicators when turning the car. They were called trafficators apparently.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_A30). Whether the journey was on the public bus or the car, it did not make a much difference in the time & duration taken for travel - at least good 3-4 hours.

Austin A30

Austin A30 Trafficators

Most of the visits were just limited to day trips, though there had been times that we spent one or two nights in the house dad's brother owned and he & his family lived in before they moved to the capital. Dad's brother's only child is my cousin sister, who I believe obtained her secondry education in the Galle District. She used to own a bicycle and everytime I visited there I used to ask her permisson to ride the bicycle. Although she had no objection, I remember my dad wasn't very happy thinking I might fall or do something stupid. His objections did not stop me, but I used to take the bicyle and disappeared to the gravel road beside my cousin's house. The road had no tarmac and during the rains it was full of water puddles and mud. There had been a few times that the bicycle used to skid and I ended up with bruses all over my arms & legs. When my dad saw me like that he used to get very angry with me. Then there was another growen up cousin sister who lived in a house located on the gravel road. Occassionally, she used to come watch me when I was riding the bicycle. We called her Suddi akka 2.

It has now been more than two decades that I have been to dad's native village and my memories have slowly been fading away until this past week, when I chatted to my niece and asked her to send me a couple of photos in particular the road I used to ride the bicycle. Seeing those images, quite a bit has changed and improved over the years. The road has now been converted to a tarmac road and a few newly constructed properties have come up. What seemed to have not changed is the lush greenery in the neighbourhood though. Seeing these images immediately made me realized the beautiful nature & surroundings with the smell of local villages that I have been missing since I moved out from Sri Lanka. Not just that, people from both my dad's and mom's families & relatives. I miss chatting to them and understanding & appreciating daily chaos they go through in their lives. Next time when I visit the motherland I might as well plan a road trip to these places.

2019-09-21 - kahanda road


  1. website hasn't neither been maintained nor updated since 2014

  2. She is fair in complexion, so she was called fair sister

Reading your blog post yesterday, here is mine…

Photos Map

What's in Boxes

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When I take occasional naps during the afternoons I occupy the bed in the study room upstairs. This afternoon after taking the nap I woke up sighting the six big cardboard boxes that have been taken refuge in the top of the fixed wall cupboard in the room. As long as I remember these boxes have been there at least last 14 years. Yes, since 2005 - the year I was graduated in my MBA. All these boxes are fully packed with almost every piece of material that I used during course of studies, mostly the stuff I used during my research project. It has collections of magazine articles, published academic papers of the subject, handwritten fullscap papers whatnot. These were the material that helped me to get through the final research project of the degree and taught me academic writing. At the time I had no iPad, no iPhone. Not much of internet with 24/7 connection. Most of the stuff were taken from printed copies of HBR, which I used to receive in mail every month. Soon, these boxes will have to come down from where they are being stacked. I don't want to discard them, but I will have to. Mrs had already mentioned to me a couple of times that I should get rid of them in prepping for our proposed move, though no dates are known or fixed whatsoever. Before they will be thrown away, I'd have a look once more time to bring back memories of those times I put lots of time and effort in completing the research project.

Going Back to the Uni

After 3 months & 15 days 1 being here on vacation at the end of her final year of Bacholor's studies, daughter is returning back to university tomorrow morning. She will puruse her Master's for another year. Like mother went to the UK to help her in packing and moving out from her shared accommodation at the end of May, mum will also be accompanying her this time around to the UK to help daughter in moving into new uni accommodation.

2019-05-30 - stephie flight lgw-dxb

Though daughter sleep till late almost evryday during her stay over last 3 months, as expected this home was very lively and brightened-up. Like dad, she doesn't talk much; but when she does, she talks wisely and to the point.
During the vacation, she had the opportunity to hangout with her friends from the church a couple of occasions, including overnight trip to Abu Dhabi to attend Life of the Spirit youth conference in the end of July.

2019-07-09 - with church folksjpeg

In June, the family had dinner out at Bab Al Yam as a surprise treat for the daughter for scoring impressive marks for her degree. She had got through with First Class honours - a standard I had never been able to achieve during my academic years.
We flew into the UK for Stephanie's graduation which took place on Friday the July 19th, 2019 at the Cathedral of Caterbury and it was indeed a happy occassion for all of us. Around the same time, soon after the graduation, she got the confirmation of the offer to study her MSc in Social & Applied Psychology

2019-07-19 - just graduated in bsc

2019-07-19-stephie graduation fly photo

Towards the end of July, we were quite busy with making necessary arrangements to obtain visa for the daughter and we were pleased that everything worked out well, except in the first instance we realised that her first name was spelled incorrectly in the vignette. That got sorted in about a week or so though without much of a delay.

In August, nothing much interesting happened particularly due to peak of the summer and rising outside temperatures & high levels of humidity. We did of course travelled to Sri Lanka in the end of August for about 10 days. It was a good opportunity for Stephanie to catch up with her relatives and cousins. During the month, we also received the graduation portraits and fixed one of them on the wall. As for the family photo, it still hasn't put in a proper photo frame just yet.

2019-08-29-stephie graduation potrait

Some Culinery Stuff During this vacation

2019-06-12 - banana _oats cookies

2019-06-10 - brownies by stephie


  1. 107 days

Asking too much?

Sometimes I wonder whether I'm asking way too much from Jason, our creator of 10Centuries in terms of feature requests, enhancements and whatnot. Jason mostly oblige and deliver most of those requests. Most recently he came up with a sleek solution for data import to Day One journaling app from any blog site on 10C. He delivered the solution in almost less than 24 hours time. Quite impressive! I immediately used the new data export function to export blog archive to Day One, which automatically created a journal called 10Centuries and all the blog entities started to appear along with meta data. Even the photos I had posted on my blog. Awesome!
Ain't I feeling guilty for asking these features, but not being using those and other features 10C offers to blog consistently…? To be honest, I'm.

Brief Vacation in SL

Our vacation time in Sri Lanka every year was used to be either in July or August since we started living outside the island. It was driven by the fact that the daughter's academic holidays has always been during those months. However, last year it changed due we had to travel to Sri Lanka unexpectdly in September to attend mother's furneral. It was followed by another visit in December to organize the 3 month's memorial in accordance with buddhist traditions.

This year we planned to be in Sri Lanka from August 30th to September 8th, 2019, again not really for a holiday; but main purpose was to organize and attend mother's 1st year death anniversary memorial functions. I had proposed my sisters that we do a all night pirith pinkama in memory of mum as well as dad 1 She agreed. In addition to this main objective of the visit, there were a couple of other important tasks we wanted to do while we were in Sri Lanka.

  • To rent our house in Bandarawela
  • To make some plans for rennovation/modifications of the house in Nawala my parents had gifted me.

During the 10 days stay in the island, whilst Monica & the daughter mostly spent their time with the mother-in-law, I stayed in the house my mum used to live. This allowed me to be more invloved in organizing the memorial function(s) and also spend time with the siblings back home. It was also a good opportunity for me to be able to catch up with the little sister who flew on from Toronto. Additionally, I was also able to work with my brohers-in-law in making plans for the house rennovation. A rough sketch for modifications and a list of things to be carried out was drawn up. I also managed to get a contractor coming over and giving a estimate for the costs for such modifications/rennovations. All these were completed before the memorial functions were held.

As, it was after 8 years we organized a pirith at our place, significant number of tasks had to be done within a short span of time - inviting the monks, placing orders for tents, chairs, lighting, making arrangements for food for the guests, transportation and whatnot… Thankfully, my two energetic brothers-in-law(s) living in Sri Lanka were all there to help & support in getting things done, so passionately. There were long days of work and some sleepless nights. Naturally, brothers-in-laws' knowledge, skills and talents in the Buddhist Department was an enermous asset in completion of all activities to the highest standards and on time. On the other hand, my three sisters and also other cousins & relatives actively contributed from their part to make the occasion a successful one. There were approximately 140 guests turned up to listen to pirith, though only a handful of people stayed up all night as expected- mostly close relatives. Following all night pirith, an almsgiving was held according to buddhist traditions the next day morning. We hope that our parents and all those family & friends who had departed us will receive all the merits from these memorial functions and that they attain supreme bliss of nirvana

pirith mandapaya-sept 2019

drums-sept 2019

During the stay, I also managed to spend briefly bonding with my besties in two occassions. We had a meal & a drink and chatted about good old times as well as a few retirement plans that we could pursue. Of course, more discussions and work to be done in that area.

Amongst other things of significance during this visit were, the opportunity I had in seeing the first grandson in the family 2 and he's quite an adorable & pleasent baby and also the family was being present for the anniversary mass of Mother Theresa that was held on September 5th and everyone was happy about it.

seeing 1st grandson

All in all, it was indeed a good few days spent in the motherland, specially being able to meet both close & distant friends & relatives!


  1. They both passed away in the month of September 8 years apart

  2. Born to my niece on March 21st, 2019

1st Half - 2019

First half of 2019 has just been completed. I thought it is good to look back and review the last six months - good, bad & the ugly.
If I think of my favorite single day or the single event of the first half, it was not just one single day or an event, but a few. On Wednesday the June 5th, Stephanie was informed that, she was awarded a Scholarship to pursue her MSc in Psychology. In less than two weeks, she got through her Bachelor's degree in Psychology with a First Class Honors, immediately after that news, she got the conformation of acceptance to continue studies to pursue MSc in Social & Applied Psychology. In my own professional font, In the same week on Thursday June 20th, I was informed of my job role in the new org structure 1 There you go, the month of June brought the family a much happiness. That doesn't mean to say I haven't had challenges, in particular with my health, in which ultimately that I had to undergo a minor surgery in the last week of the month. During the month, I also had the opportunity for a date with Stephanie in a little bit of shopping at IKAE, followed by quick snack in the cafeteria. All in all a good June indeed.

In terms of my own simple creativity side, though it was not a big deal, for the first time, I managed to built a couple of shortcuts on iOS, that would hopefully help me to do work competency related entires in Day One on the go.
As for the most impactful decision, that I've made during last six months, I believe, it has been sorting out my health challenges and improving physical & psychological wellbeing comes top.
In terms of finances, both Mrs & I have been able to manage well, that allowed us to put food on the table & pay bills. Towards the later part of the 1st half, with daughter was being awarded with the scholarship, it was a much welcome relief for both of us for future financial planning.

As for my personal & professional development, even though it was by force, I managed to complete at least half a dozen of on-line courses of which some of the learning was applied for driving actions in the day job. That doesn't mean to say that I haven't had times of frustrations for not being able practice & apply some of the management theories which I've been reading in HBR though. Personally, I have been developing my listening skills too over the last six months and I'm very pleased about it. In my mind, I think that has been the hardest lesson I learned over past six months. Towards the end of June, when I was off-sick at home, I've also slowly developed a new hobby, passion or habit or whatever you want to call it - writing daily Morning Pages and a Journal 2

In closing, the one thing I am gratefulfor this past six months is, being employed in one of the world's reputable organization & the value, trust & confidence people I have on me. If I can also give another, it is definitely my wife & the daughter for being super supportive to me in coping up with some of the life's challenges over last six months. I'm most grateful!

Personal goals for the next half of the year..hmm..there is one I can think of right now and that is to complete 12 weeks guided course of "The Artist's Way" in the workbook by Juila Cameron and perhaps put the learning into practice consistently next 12 weeks. More about that later.

I have to say, writing this post was a spur of the moment thought that came to mind while I was trying to get some sleep, but could not. Thank you for reading! it is past 1.00 am and I must try & get some sleep.


  1. Due to restructure that has been going since July 2018

  2. I use Apps on my iPad to achieve that

Neem Tree...

When we first offered the company accommodation about two decades ago, we were given the opportunity to view a few houses rented by the company. We viewed about 3 available houses which located in the same compound. Finally, we selected the current house we live in. We have been since year 2000. As all the houses in the compound are in the same lay out and design, the decision to choose this one was mainly because of the neem tree that is in the front yard. As you will see in the link, neem tree is known for wide variety of good things, mainly when it comes to health & well being. This was one of the key criteria Monica & I considered in choosing the house.

This neem tree, over the years has been a good friend of mine. This has been the place I go to first thing in the morning with my cup of coffee & a cigarette in my hand. It has been under the neem tree, I prayed to the lord, taken time to think through about the good & bad things I go through life. It has also been the place that I’ve been fantasizing. There have also been memories coming to my head - both pleasant and unpleasant. No matter what time of the day or even what season of weather, I’ve always enjoyed standing under the neem tree 1

More the tree grows, I have been the happiest. It not only gave me a place to wind down and relax, but also plenty of shade & coolness during the hot summer months. Of course on the other hand as the tree grows, it roots could have damaged the tiled floor on the pathway to the main entrance. This is what Mrs has always been worrying and commenting. So every now and then she wanted the Gardner to trim the tree and it was just been done during last couple of days. Though I wasn’t very pleased about it, in the end I agreed, hoping the tree will continue to grow & nourish, no matter what.

Neem Tree last week

Neem Tree today


  1. I’m considering installing a chair/bench fixed to wall to sit