I haven’t posted anything on this blog for the past fortnight, apart from one item about Remembrance Sunday. This is not because there hasn’t been anything to blog about. On the contrary, there’s been a great deal – for example, the recent midterm elections in the USA, where some 46-47% of the electorate saw fit to vote for the party of a racist, misogynist, preening, loud-mouthed pile of sentient manure like Donald Trump; or the manner in which the UK’s epically incompetent Conservative government has continued to let the country career towards the disaster of Brexit like a dysfunctional troop of baboons at the controls of a spaceship while it disappears over the event horizon of a black hole; or indeed, the constitutional crisis that has rocked the country I’m currently living in, Sri Lanka. But it’s all so bloody depressing that I don’t feel like writing about any of it just now.
Often, when people feel down while they’re putting stuff online, they try to cheer themselves up by posting pictures of cute cats. However, because I’m weird, I thought I would offer a variation on this custom by posting pictures of cute lizards (which, by the way, are a prominent form of wildlife here in Sri Lanka).
For starters, here’s a picture of a little fellow I photographed on top of a wall in the eastern coastal town of Trincomalee. Basking in the Sri Lankan sun, he’s surely the happiest lizard I’ve ever encountered.
And here’s one that scampered into view one day while I was tramping about the grounds of Avukana Temple in North Central Sri Lanka: a frilled, inquisitive and slightly insolent-looking character.
Monitor lizards are a well-known type of lizard in Sri Lanka. They’re slow, ponderous, lugubrious, a bit grumpy, a bit ugly, but they usually get to their objective in the end – so I feel some affinity for them. This one was snapped in the gardens below Sri Lanka’s famous Sigiriya Rock.
Finally, my partner and I were staying in the town of Habarana a little while ago, in a hotel-room that had a partly-outdoor bathroom. The shower end of the bathroom was roofless and there was even a large bush growing out of one of its corners. This bush was home to two lizards who spent the five days we were there clinging to and crawling along its branches (with the occasional foray out across the wash-basin and in front of the mirror). One was a skinny creature, not much more than a glorified gecko.
The other was a bigger specimen with a green stripy body and an impressively long, whiplash-like tail. He had a strange ability to change the colour of his head. Sometimes it would be a verdant green, like the rest of him. At other times it would become alarmingly orange. Come to think of it, that would be a useful talent for a British government’s Secretary of State to Northern Ireland to have.
* This is a reference to the 1984 Motörhead song Killed by Death, which begins: “If you squeeze my lizard / I’ll put my snake on you / I’m a romantic adventurer / And a reptile too.” Lemmy’s lyrics were always poetry.