Appendix, Methods: As well as describing the narrative & ethnographic methods that I have used, I discuss how creativity can live in research materials themselves. The Sinhalese alphabet is one example. Ondaatje 'Sanskrit was governed by verticles, but its sharp grid features were not possible in Ceylon. Here the Ola leaves which people wrote on were too brittle. A straight line would cut apart the leaf & so a curling alphabet was derived from its Indian cousin.'