My email pings and it’s from young Andrew Liddle, a budding journalist, who is spending six months of his gap year in Sri Lanka, working on a weekly, called The Island.
I have no doubt that Andrew will do well — he got all As in his A-levels and, incidentally, his mother, Caroline, also started out as a journo and today she’s high up in the BBC hierarchy.
Andrew’s email is about his first week in Colombo and the family he’s been living with. Here’s an excerpt from the poor chap:
The first few nights here were difficult, especially as the family all gathered round to watch me eat, alone, before commencing their meal. I find this both disconcerting and depressing; I don’t mind eating alone – in fact, occasionally in London I enjoy it — but here with the carafe of red swapped for sparkly tablet-purified water, the 14oz strip-sirloin (blue, with blue cheese sauce) cruelly exchanged for curried lentils and the latest Economist and International Herald Tribune replaced with a staring audience, it’s an unhappy experience.