Here I am again. I’ve been out of internet range since Sunday night on account of the monsoon downpours here in India, which have clearly wiped out the 3G and, often, the electricity.

I don’t like to moan, as the people who look after my mum are so kind, but the accommodation for guests is quite basic. Damp was seeping down the walls of my room and the noisy fridge disturbed my fitful sleep on the hardest bed in the world – possibly – and every time I used my travel kettle to make a cup of tea, it tripped any electricity that might have been in the room at that moment. Okra for supper, truly the only vegetable that I actively detest, was the last straw.

It’s not been a particularly jolly trip to see my mum this time. It’s clear that her brain function has shrunk again. The world’s most loquacious woman – possibly – no longer has the means to talk and she’s quite a lot sleepier than I’ever seen her for a while. Perhaps it’s the dingy weather, we all know how uninspiring persistent rain can be.

I know we’ve had downpours at home but I’ve never encountered rain on this scale before. Parts of our normal return trip back from Neral to Mumbai were like an Alpine whiteout, only with rain. On the plus side, this meant that the traffic was reduced and we made the journey through the Mumbai traffic in less time than usual, though I pity poor Deepak on his journey home tonight.

There were some hardy souls about, though:

All in all, the Leela’s dirty Martini was particularly welcome tonight.