1983 then began bleakly in every way possible. It got worse over the year. But I had in fact a relatively pleasant six months, doing largely what I wanted, with a freedom I did not have afterwards, until the time when I became a Member of Parliament.
My occupation, if one could dignify leisure by such a term, was giving tuition in English, largely for the Advanced Level Exam, though I had a few degree students too. Richard and I worked together, in a lovely old house in 8th Lane which belonged to Maive Outschoorn. My father looked after their affairs in Colombo, and kept the house for their not very frequent visits, until he was finally able to sell it for them at the end of the decade. There was a delay about this since there were a couple of tenants who refused to move, paying a meagre rent which was all they had been charged by Maive’s mother, Mrs Kelaart, a great friend of my grandmother’s, another pillar of the Anglican Mothers’ Union.
Meanwhile the house was looked after by Piyadasa as we knew him, who had been the boy at home when my parents got married. He had moved on to the Attorney General’s Department, when jobs went by personal recommendations, and then had made a romantic marriage to the ayah of my Wickremesinghe cousins. Then he had worked in our Embassy in Moscow, where he made all arrangements for the two visits I made, in 1972 to join my father on a Parliamentary Delegation and in 1975 when I flew Aeroflot on my return home between degrees.