Tag Archives: Baptist

Rattlesnakes (Timber Rattlers) In New Hampshire — We Supposedly Had Two In Our Woods.

by Anura Guruge

Click image to access “The Baysider” original in today’s, i.e., May 16, 2019, issue.

I do NOT like snakes! Period.

It doesn’t matter whether they are small or large, striped or spotted, venomous or harmless, green or brown. I do NOT like snakes.

There is, of course, a very good reason as to why I don’t like snakes. I grew up in a country, Ceylon, where we had deadly snakes, King Cobras among them, and you personally knew of folks who had died from snake bites. I remember one incident when a boy of about 19, who lived nearby, got bitten by a cobra. I don’t think we had anti-venom then. The whole neighbourhood kept vigil around this boy’s house, late into the night, as he died. I remember that starkly.

So, I do NOT like snakes.

This column in our local newspaper today sent a shudder down my spine. It CONFIRMED, quite forcefully, that we do indeed have rattlesnakes in New Hampshire. They are called Timber Rattlers.

It gets worse, especially since I do NOT like snakes.

When we bought this house, in Alton, in 2007, the neighbour next door, an busybody Baptist pastor — who alas was also a Selectman — had decided to appropriate, for free, some of our land. Thanks to a corrupt Realtor we only learnt of this illegal incursion after we signed the contract and parted with the check. It took some time and money to sort out and one of the things we needed was a complete professional survey of our property to make sure that we had managed to recoup the land that this bugger had stolen.

We hired a well known and reputable ‘local’ surveyor. He was very nice.

There was, as always, two of them. Around noon they came to see us, quite flustered and red. They had seen seen two Timber Rattlers in the woods! They insisted that they knew what they had seen and that rattlers were occasionally seen in NH. I was beside myself. I do NOT go in the woods much. Have not heard of any reports, since, of rattlers in the neighbourhood.

Then this story. YIKES.

I do NOT like snakes.

Scary coincidence here.

I had, just last week, read a real scary story of a real serious, though not-deadly, rattlesnake bite in Yosemite National Park no less. Yes, I like the West and we travel to the West often — including last Summer to Canyon de Chelly (yet again). Running into a rattler is one of my perennial frights.

Click to ENLARGE. In the April 2019 issue of “Reader’s Digest”.

That is enough about snakes.

Did I mention: I do NOT like snakes.

Related Posts:
Search ‘snakes‘.

by Anura Guruge

Sri Lanka Aims To Have World’s Largest Christmas Tree!

by Anura Guruge

> >> Construction RESTARTED! << <<

Partly constructed tree will be lit Christmas Eve, 2016.

Refer to this post.

Click here to access original from Sri Lanka “Daily News
from August 20, 2016.


Click to ENLARGE and enjoy here.

It was this effort to ban Christmas trees
in Catholic Churches last Christmas
that has motivated this desire to raise the
tallest Christmas tree in Sri Lanka.

Click here to access the “National Post” original.


Click to ENLARGE and scan here.

Tallest Christmas tree to-date. 361.25 feet, in Mexico City, in 2013. From the “NAM News Agency“.
Click image below to ENLARGE.



My attempt to show YOU the scale.

This is SO quintessentially Sri Lankan. I love it. This was a country that in the 1960s did away with the Western ‘Sunday/Monday …’ calendar and went with a phases of the moon based one. A proudly democratic nation that tried to nationalize the press! Stuff like this is good to show that the once well known national trait for ‘sloth’ is now (hopefully) history.

We celebrated Christmas when I lived in Ceylon. My surrogate father, with whom I spent ‘half my time’ (and most of weekends and holidays) was a well to do, childless lawyer. He was also a Baptist Burgher (i.e., a white European descendent living in Ceylon). I always got pillowcases full of Christmas presents from him (the husband of my eldest aunt) and they always threw a gala Christmas lunch — with imported lamb from New Zealand — for the rest of the family. But I can’t remember having a Christmas tree at his house. I had another aunty, another baptist, who I think did have one at her lavish, government provided residence. Her husband, my uncle, was the Municipal Commissioner for Colombo. No matter. This is a GREAT idea.

As an out-and-out pagan I am all in favor. Yes, we all know that Christmas trees have nothing to do with Christianity. They have all to do with paganism, eternal life (i.e., evergreen) and SOL (i.e., the Sun (King)). I think it is a great idea. Bravo. Kudos. Sri Lankans should think of it as they do ‘Sunday’. It is in HONOR of MY Sun God (Sol).

Not sure that ‘Galle Face’ (a place that we used to go at least once a week) is a good place for a Christmas Tree — though the symbolism of having the Sun set, majestically, into the Indian Ocean, behind the tree can’t be beat. I think the salty wind and the HEAT of Sri Lanka will do a job on the poor tree. But I look forward to seeing this happen.

Thank YOU, Sri Lanka.

That the ‘Tanned Ratziner‘, Sri Lanka’s often misguided cardinal TRIED (not that successfully from what I see) to ban Christmas trees is also classic Sri Lankan. Ranjith, Ranjith, Ranjith. You have to chill out, man.

Three Comments re. the picture at top of a guy in a sarong trying to dig a hole.

  1. Why aren’t there are ANY females in this picture. Sri Lanka’s GREATEST achievement was that it was the 1st country in the world to have an ELECTED Female Prime Minister, my ‘aunty’ Bandaranaike.
  2. You can’t dig a hole for a 400′ Christmas tree using a shovel. Get an excavator.
  3. Couldn’t help but notice the ‘Dahl (lentil) Bellies’ on all the ‘older’ men. This is the problem with Ceylon’s white rice and dahl based diet. Goes right to the waist.

Related Posts:
**** Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ >>>>

by Anura Guruge

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti & Christmas 2015 Greetings To You All From I.

by Anura Guruge



Christmas is a DOUBLE whammy for I.

I have celebrated Christmas, with gusto (and lots of presents),
ALL my life — my surrogate father
(a HUGE influence in my life)
was a ‘white’ Baptist lawyer (with no kids).
I made out like a bandit.

As the few of you who know me somewhat
kind of know I celebrate any and all
holidays with relish (and maybe even mustard).

But, I LOVE Christmas — MORE so since I have had kids.

So I wish you BOTH a Pagan greeting
and a Merry Christmas.

IF you don’t celebrate either,

New Year is a LONG way away.

by Anura Guruge

Prior To Sinhala New Year On April 13, 2015, Sri Lanka Celebrates Easter With Some Fancy Cakes From Kapruka.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Valentine’s Day 2015 Cakes, In Sri Lanka.
>> 2014 Valentine’s Day cakes in Sri Lanka.
>> Sinhalese New Year cakes.
>> Ordered a cake for cousin in Sri Lanka.

++++ Search ‘cake’ for other similar posts >>>>


Click to access Kapruka.



Sri Lanka has a long and proud tradition of making fancy, decorative European-style cakes — a legacy, whether folks like it or not, of 200 years of British rule.

I grew up with cakes like this — if not fancier, and that explains my girth and cholesterol. 

Sri Lanka, the last time I looked, which was a few months ago, was only 7.45% Christian6.1% Catholic. But given a 21 million population (given that they are a very fecund bunch), 7.45% comes it at a very respectable 1.6 million. So that is a fair number of people.

Unlike the U.S., despite Christians being a minority, Good Friday is a holiday. Always has been. When I was growing up, as with Europe, Easter Monday was a holiday too — though it didn’t matter much to us school children because all of April was one of three holiday months. This year, in Sri Lanka, April Full Moon, is April 3rd — Good Friday. So it is a DOUBLE holiday — each Full Moon a holiday in Sri Lanka (for the Buddhists).

I remember celebrating Easter in Ceylon. My surrogate father, who I called ‘Ta’, “Tata” — being father father in Sinhalese, was a Baptist. He was a lawyer. Lawyer for the Ministry of Food. He liked to entertain in style. He did so at Christmas and Easter — 85% of his family Buddhists. I can’t remember the cakes BUT I am sure we had them. I remember the ham and the lamb imported from New Zealand.

I am glad to see that the cake tradition, for Easter, is still going strong in Sri Lanka.

As soon as Easter is done Kapruka will start their cakes for Sinhala New Year. Yes, I will bring them to your attention.

Sri Lanka Have To Have Thrown Away Christmas Day 4th ODI Against Pakistan — In Protest Of Being Forced To Play On A Holiday.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.Pope+Benedict+XVI+Meets+Sri+Lankan+President+eruZcmjtrzpl



Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> No Christmas miracle for SL
>> — Dec. 25, 2013.
>> Surprised that President
>> permitting cricket on Christmas
Dec. 24, 2013.
>> Sri Lanka playing
>> on Christmas Day Dec. 23, 2013.

Click to ENLARGE. Santa is NOT happy. From 'cricinfo.com'.

Click to ENLARGE. Santa is NOT happy. From ‘cricinfo.com’.

Even by Sri Lanka’s often erratic standards this was quite a thrashing.

8 wickets and 8.5 overs to spare. It wasn’t even close. They were not even in the same league.

Lost the series too.

Then it occurred to me … and, as ever, I am the first to admit it. I am slow on the uptake. Always have been.

The Sri Lankan players, used to having Christmas off, irrespective of whether they worship their balls or not
(or even worse try to French kiss their bats) as you can often see on TV, must have decided to throw the match
— call it a day early.

He puts the ball on the ground and worships it too. I gag each and every time!

He puts the ball on the ground and worships it too. I gag each and every time!

Nearly 9 overs short. That is like 45 minutes

Bravo to them. Well they showed that they have balls.

But, to be fair, it was probably done within the wider more
institutionalized framework of match fixing!

So that was a bonus for many.

Oh, dear … what has the world come to?

The Pakistani’s, who don’t celebrate Christmas, nonetheless got a wonderful Christmas present.
No wonder they are prancing around.

Click to access photos from 'cricinfo.com'

Click to access photos from ‘cricinfo.com’

Barring Christmas Miracle Sri Lanka Will Be THRASHED By Pakistan For The Audacity Of Playing Cricket On Christmas Day.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.Pope+Benedict+XVI+Meets+Sri+Lankan+President+eruZcmjtrzpl



Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Surprised that President
>> permitting cricket on Christmas
Dec. 24, 2013.
>> Sri Lanka playing
>> on Christmas Day Dec. 23, 2013.

It is just NOT cricket.

Sri Lanka, contrary to what the misguided, delusional Buddhist fundamentalists might claim, is still a multicultural, multireligious country with even a Catholic cardinal.

Sri Lanka has always celebrated Christmas. Acting like uncivilized heathens is so unbecoming.

They deserved to be thrashed in every sense of the word for this affront to the norms.

The President should be ashamed, groveling to the cardinal and pope one minute, then permitting this. Am I glad I am not Sri Lankan (other than by the accident of birth).

Barring a Christmas miracle Pakistan should cruise home. Click to access CricInfo if you need updates.

Barring a Christmas miracle Pakistan should cruise home. Click to access CricInfo if you need updates.


Rather Surprised That Very Pro-Catholic Sri Lankan President, Married To A Catholic, Is Permitting Sri Lanakan Cricket Team To Play On Christmas.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.Pope+Benedict+XVI+Meets+Sri+Lankan+President+eruZcmjtrzpl



Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Sri Lanka playing
>> on Christmas Day Dec. 23, 2013.
>> Nostalgia for
>> Boxing Day
—  Dec. 23, 2012.
Check CATEGORY ‘Holidays’ & Search ‘Boxing Day’ >>>>

I do not know this president on a personal basis. I actually can’t even remember his name. I knew two of the early presidents quite well: J.R. and Wijetunga. In my youth I had spent a fair amount of time at the later’s house — and my most vivid memories are stopping by there, on the way back from Kandy, after elections.

What I do know is that this president, who in my opinion, with his habitual red stole likes to look like a pope, is very pro-Catholic. He is good friends with Sri Lanka’s cardinal, the ‘Tanned Ratzinger‘. You can see that he met with the old pope.

So, I am kind of surprised that HE, who is no stranger to Christmas given that his wife is Catholic, permitted the Sri Lankan cricket team to play on Christmas Day. Possible that he didn’t know. From the little that I hear, he has a fair amount on his plate. To me this is very strange.

Growing up one of the most amazing things about life in Ceylon was our tolerance of other religions. My adopted family were Buddhists but I spent all my holidays and weekends with an Uncle, by marriage, who was a Burgher (Dutch descended, and hence white) and a Baptist. He didn’t have any children and he was a lawyer — actually the lawyer for the Ceylon Food Ministry. His wife, my adopted aunty, was the Assistant Principal at Royal College — Ceylon’s then largest and most prestigious boys school (which I didn’t attend). They were well off. They did a lavish, no expense spared Christmas lunch for the whole extended family. But, I stayed with them and got a ton of Christmas presents each Christmas. We celebrated all holidays. That Sri Lankans are acting like we, as a nation, don’t know anything about Christmas is insulting and demeaning.

Yes, I shouldn’t complain. I am not Sri Lankan. So, I probably don’t have the right. But, I was born there.

The President’s letter to the ‘Tanned Ratzinger‘ in 2012 for the cardinal’s birthday:

Click to ENLARGE.