A Rainy Day

Discussion in 'Reading & Writing' started by Mike Dobra, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. Mike Dobra

    Mike Dobra Active Member

    Oct 18, 2017
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    A snapshot of life during WW2.

    “Bloody rain – it’s non stop Giles!”, said Peter wiping down his field boots. Giles nodded, giving his Meerschaum a tap on his armchair. “Good job we aren’t paying the peasants, although tea sales are going to take a dip me boy”.

    The noise of the rain was so loud and has lasted three days, it was probably a pre-curser to a big tropical storm forecast and the rainy season. Having said all that, Peter and Giles were used to all of this on their tea estate in Ceylon. They had taken over from their elderly fathers a few years ago, and had modernised several aspects of production to improve the profit margins. Life was normally very busy, but the rains gave them all a very welcome respite.

    As they sprawled in their wicker chairs a little later on the balcony, a runner appeared with a small tarpaulin over his head to keep the rain off. “Here is the latest newspaper for you from Blighty, Saab”. It was the Colombo edition of the Morning Post. Giles gave the boy a few Rupees, opened it and nearly dropped the pipe from his mouth.

    WAR DECLARED IN EUROPE, India and Ceylon governments unsure of their positions. Handley Page bomber spots two German submarines in the Indian Ocean.

    Peter gasped and said, “We had better find out more from the governor as soon as possible Giles”. They stared at each other in disbelief, and the pair was silent for a couple of minutes gathering thoughts. The problem with inherited tea estates was the future management when the owners are absent. War approaching means uncertainty in large doses!

    The noise was horrendous, with even heavier rain lashing down on the palms and corrugated iron roofs – it was as though the gods had read the newspaper. The two men walked indoors, and Giles beat the big cymbal to call their estate manager. After a pause, he appeared dripping wet and looking up to the heavens.

    He pointed to the teapot and both men nodded. They sat down indoors around a large circular mahogany table. The room was a bit dingy and old fashioned, but who would be interested in the latest styles out here? They were overlooked by faded portraits of former family, glancing at them the three felt a certain unease growing. Giles held up the front of the Morning Post, and the manager went dumb with shock.

    He spluttered, “Is the end for us?” Peter shrugged his shoulders and Giles said, “Depends upon the might of the British and Indian forces, the Celanese have little in the way of defence forces”. The trio then started work with their contingency plans, as positive action will need to be taken in line with the governor’s wishes and the quality of information he has available. They agreed that in peace and war, tea is an essential of modern life, so production must go on, albeit in a different way.

    After meeting the governor, Giles and Peter agreed to go back to Blighty for the duration, as they both had many family back there. The estate manager agreed to recruit two under managers to continue production and marketing subject to new conditions of trading.

    So, World War Two ended, with both Peter and Giles returning to take up the reins. They were pleasantly surprised that the Royal Navy had kept them in business with thousands of tea-drinking matelots.

    Ted Richards and Shirley Martin like this.
  2. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member

    Nov 21, 2015
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    Are you saying a cuppa tea is a tonic ? If so, I agree
    I love coffee - I love tea :) Better for you than 'Mothers Ruin' :p

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