Half a life ago I got to know Ena de Silva well. Having heard about my adventures at S.Thomas’, she decided that there was another unorthodox person in the family, and invited me to stay with her at Aluwihare. This was her ancestral village, to which she had retired at the end of 1981. It was eighteen months later, in May 1983, that I made the first of what were to be frequent visits there over the next 29 years, half of my life.
Ena was not an especially close relation. Her mother Lucille was a Moonemalle, whose father’s sister was the mother of my maternal grandmother, Esme Goonewardene. But the two cousins, both born in the last year of the 19th century, remained close, perhaps because they both married Civil Servants who were senior administrators in the last years of British rule.