Saturday, May 16, 2015

Blame it on Bukowski...

(photo off the web, obviously)

I know I made a deal to write every week. But then Bukowski put me off. He said that if you have to sit for hours hunched over your desk or your typewriter, don’t do it. The words should come flying out, like birds. If they don’t, don’t do it.

So, I’m listening to him. I won’t. Until the words come tumbling out, all enthusiastically, crowding to escape, be the first in line, to roost idly, perfectly and beautifully on the page, I won't. I'm collecting them, the rare ones, like Narina Trogons and Angola Pittas. Angola Pittas are magnificent. There used to be one on the front of Newman's Birds Of Southern Africa. I see it has been rudely replaced by a lourie... I have never seen a Pitta in real life. I remember Norman once found one in Luangwa (they are migrants and pop in for visits) one rainy season and he wouldn't tell any of us where it was in case we scared it away and then it would never ever come back again.

Until then, until I have gathered enough beauties fluttering around in the cage of my mind, bending the bars of my head to fly free, I shall leave you with Bukowski's poem So You Want To Be A Writer. I think he's absolutely right.

in spite of everything
don't do it

unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut
don't do it

if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words
don't do it
if you're doing it for money or
fame

don't do it
if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed
don't do it
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again
don't do it
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it
don't do it
if you're trying to write like somebody
else
forget about it

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you
then wait patiently
if it never does roar out of you
do something else

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all
you're not ready

don't be like so many writers
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-
love
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind
don't add to that
don't do it
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder

don't do it
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut
don't do it

when it is truly time
and if you have been chosen
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you


there is no other way

and there never was

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Hope...

 Ngorobob Hill Exam Candidates Hard At Work Under The Acacia.

This is all about Hope. She is making me do this. Hope is my colleague at work – the Other English Teacher. Hope is organized and Hope blogs. Here is her site. Hope is much better than me at everything. I live vicariously through Hope. She goes on actual dates, travels, wears high heels and does all nighters and yet Hope still has lesson plans and schemes of work. Hope is young, beautiful, funny and brilliant. Before the holidays we swore to blog once a week. Before every Friday. And have I? Have I? Of course not. Things got in the way. Hope has, though. And so, here I am. Doing it. Because of Hope.

Hope has a lot to answer for. Without it, what would be the point? But on we go, with hope in our hearts. Here on the hill, we are deep into a rainy season. You wouldn’t recognize the place. The trees are thick and lush, heaving with rain and birds. We actually have a lawn you can sit on. You can shower for a long time because the tanks are filling up as you stand in the shower. It’s a nice feeling being flippant about water. Some of my much loved cactii have actually drowned. They look like bloated corpses and almost deserve a burial.

I am living in a house with two exam candidates. One is writing A Levels and the other his IGCSE’s. It’s been remarkably stress free so far. First born, the A Leveler, has developed a sudden and impassioned interest in the Rastafarian Religion. He wants to know all about it. I wish he had as much passion for either the German or Italalian reunification. His timing, to be frank, is a little off. Second born is so calm I wonder if he has mistaken valium for smarties. He has that thousand yard stare at dinner. Oh well. He’s always been a little different in a beautiful kind of way. That's them in the picture above hatching up plans for an escape of some sorts, off the hill to be sure.

As for me, I feel like I am in a roundabout of Ground Hog Days. It feels as if I have been doing this for years. It feels as if I am stuck in a rut. I am not looking for a jot of sympathy, you understand. I know I live a charmed life. (Confession: Recently returned from dream like road trip through the Karoo. More on that another time. I am referring to the present moment.) Not much has changed on the surface – apart from an inordinate weight gain from stopping smoking and eating a lot of chocolate getting old. Again, bad timing, man. The weight seems to be drawn to me like iron filings to a magnet no matter how hard I run or how little I eat. It is very debilitating and depressing. My friends are all being kind and not saying anything although they are all hinting that I should cut my hair, in the kindest possible way. I don’t want to. I don’t care if it’s in rat’s tails and going grey. I am sure I have the air of a guru. A respectful and almost frightening one, at that. So I'm sticking to the longer hair for now.

It remains strangely sad without my horse. I miss him. Nothing will ever be the same again. His departure switched off a light which can never be replaced. The stars feel packed away a bit. I am moving the pony to new stables next week so he can have some friends. He is lonely. Horses need to be in a herd and have friends. 

The fucking dogs think the lounge is their new kennel. I am worn out with behaving like a mad Barbara Woodhouse, literally frothing at the mouth as I hiss "OUTTTTT!" and point all psycho like at the door. They have worn me down. They throw themselves at the windows, scratch at the walls and find a way in and onto the bed or the couch, stinky muddy pawed rainy season dogs. I have officially given up and sometimes wish that one of them would die. (Felix to be honest.)I feel immediately bad afterward, I do. Have you ever wished someone would die? Gwaan. Seriously?

The cat has recovered from her attack. The dogs took her out a few weeks ago and broke her jaw. Bastards. Luckily I was here to rescue her. She is absolutely fine again and once more rules the canines from the front step. She has burnt her tail on the stove from standing and eating her pellets in an obsessive and unhealthy manner, reminding me of myself and the recent long gone  Aerobar Obsession. Thankfully, you can’t easily find them in Arusha.

Otherwise, all remains oddly calm although last night I thought someone was putting witch craft on me. Same same sugar same. And that, oh bestest blogging babies is that and shall have to suffice until I regain some lightness of being.

Right now, it all seems like rather a lonesome slog. Bear with me or buggar off to someone else’s more enlightened, inspiring, fun, interesting life. 

I’ll still love you anyway… I have Hope so I'm stayin'. God forbid she ever leaves.

bisous X X X rainy African ones, on yer cheeks. And eye lids. Hell. Why not. xj


Monday, March 23, 2015

Pitchin' Up...



And so there you are. It all carries on, doesn’t it? We survive broken marriages and dead horses. And dead mothers. Of course we do. The sun rises, dragging the moon behind it and you still have to get up, feed the children and go to work. The world keeps spinning and the seasons turn. It isn’t rocket science, you know…   
I don’t think I’ve fallen apart but I gave up smoking. Finally. Quietly. One would’ve thought that after everything, I’d be main lining heroin by now. But no. Instead, I quit smoking. I got sick of it; the mess, the stink, the constant reaching out for a cigarette, smoke burning my throat and chest. Eurgh. When the last 5 were done, I simply threw the box away and gave up. No fan fare. I must admit, the next few days at school were fantastically odd. I felt like I had eaten a few kilograms of magic mushroom. As the nicotine seeped slowly out of my system, I felt far far away and delightfully discombobulated. I didn’t see any shiny purple mountains though, like the time I ate half a magic mushroom with Tam and Bernd. The time when we had tea at the artist’s house in Hogsback who had a hyena head on the wall and we screamed when the tea tray was carried through the ribbon curtains. The time when we nearly hit a cow on the way to swim in the cold river which tumbled sun shot from the shiny purple mountains filled with fairies and hobbits.

This marvelous discombobulated condition generally faded by around six. It would switch, as fast as lightning, into a white hot terrible terrible temper. It was so horrible that one evening, last born begged, wide eyed and cowering in a corner with the all four dogs and the cat, “Mama! Please! Just have a cigarette!” I snarled through clenched teeth, “I. Do. Not. Want. A. Fucking. Cigarette.” Ghastly.

This passed, as all things are wont to do, which includes alcohol. I barely drink anymore. I am happy with this new found lucidity. I feel strangely stripped, crutches snatched away. You have to sit with yourself again. No escaping. I find it taxing. I don’t really like myself very much. Never have. 

So. I am now trying to learn how not to be so sad, angry and fat. I want to be happy, kind and slim. So I have taken up Exercise and given up booze and coffee in the hope that I shall draw nearer to being a nicer person inside and out. Because I have to live with myself. There is nothing else for it. I take myself, on a daily basis, Sundays included, to either the gym, yoga (I do yoga before dawn, people. And sometimes NAKED on roof tops. How bloody unbelievable is that?) badminton or tennis in an attempt to regain a shape of some sort and to sweat away the anger. It works. I stand on the scale at the gym and I am repulsed. My weight refuses to shift. I look at the blobby shape in the mirror and spit at it and throw myself onto various machines with an obvious and embarrassing vengeance. I have also given up carbohydrates (not rice but The Evil Potato) and sugar. Although I have been seen at Rakifa buying M & M’s on occasion. But a girl’s gotta treat herself now and then. Needless to say, none of this is exactly FUN now, is it? In a vague attempt not to become a lentil eating, yoga bending bore, I will succumb every now and then to a Skinny Bitch or three. Google it, Bloggin’ Babies. It doesn’t really do it. At the end of it all, I still have to wake up to myself.

It’s, well, new trying to re consider myself without a horse and a marriage. The horse is six foot under and the marriage in tatters at my feet, waiting for the wind to blow it like confetti into the sky. It’s difficult. My riding boots remain lined up, like old soldiers waiting for Remembrance Day. I should really pack them away.

There are many things that need packing away once and for all.
I’ll get there. Slowly. Soon I'll be able to do a headstand without a wall to balance against.

I just need to pitch up, pot plants and stand on my head.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

De La Rey...


RIP De La Rey. Born 28 December 2002. Died 1 January 2015 .

"..That night he dreamt of horses in a field on a high plain where the spring rains had brought up the grass and the wildflowers out of the ground and the flowers ran all blue and yellow far as the eye could see and in the dream he was among the horses running and in the dream he himself could run with the horses and they coursed the young mares and fillies over the plain where their rich bay and their rich chestnut colors shone in the sun and the young colts ran with their dams and trampled down the flowers in a haze of pollen that hung in the sun like powdered gold and they ran he and the horses out along the high mesas where the ground resounded under their running hooves and they flowed and changed and ran and their manes and tails blew off of them like spume and there was nothing else at all in that high world and they moved all of them in a resonance that was like a music among them and they were none of them afraid neither horse nor colt nor mare and they ran in that resonance which is the world itself and which cannot be spoken but only praised.” 
― Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

I don’t want a fuss. I despise sentimentality. But I feel I owe you the story. Perhaps I owe it to myself. It is hard. I don’t like talking about it and I find it very hard to write about. I didn’t think I would survive it. I think I even wrote that if he died, “I’ll give up the fight” in my last post. But of course you don’t. Of course the sun rises and the world keeps spinning and the children keep waking and going to school. And so do you. I gave up smoking instead. I decided I wanted to live. I don’t know why. I thought that I couldn’t possibly smoke all my anger away, anyway. So I am living with it instead.

This horse was my soul horse. I loved him. More than any other horse. He was a champion, my lil cow poke pony. We escaped charging elephant in West Kilimanjaro; we galloped over the Ngaserai Plains; he won Novice A dressage, by reading my thoughts, by being aware of the slightest shift in leg or weight or breath, floating; he won jumping events, being the only one who cleared every single jump. He hated knocking poles down. He could jump the moon, I swear. He taught me so much. How to let go. With my hands. With my life. I’m trying. I really am. But it’s hard.

When horses die, they explode out their bodies, like thunder flashes. His little friend, Sukari, is lonely. You can’t keep a horse on their own. Sometimes, early in the morning, at sun rise, I hear him calling and I imagine De La Rey has been to see him and has left with the moon...

He was diagnosed with cancer. He was very ill. Over Christmas he declined dramatically. It broke my heart to see him literally fade away in front of me. And so, on the 1st of January we dug the grave. I went to say good bye to him. He leaned against me for a brief while, taking small sharp breaths,and turned away as if to say, “Now go.”

It almost broke me clean up into a million pieces. I think it did. I hear Caroline sayin' "Skattie. Cowgals don't cry in front of their horses..."

Safari C shot him. With his Dakota .450.

It was clean and quick. And loud. Godi, who was standing next to the horse, thought he had been shot. He leapt 4 feet into the air and rolled into the grass. The grave diggers all ran and jumped the fence and stood on the other side.

But only the horse lay dead, after all.

Sometimes I dream of him. He comes and stands next to me, his head next to mine. Just so. Like he used to.

I haven’t quite got over this yet.

Basi.

Enough.

"Yo no se, amigos. Montad en suestros caballos. Ride. Ride. " Tom Horn In Cheyenne Jail.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Here be Angels...please.

General De La Rey.

Things are tricky presently. The weather. The Job. And my horse is sick. 

When shit happens, I am very good at reaping the consequences and assuming the responsibility. I'm really good at saying sorry. But now, I stand back and I ask myself was it me? Or can I blame the weather? Absolutely the weather. And I’ll come up with all the reasons why it was definitely and very obviously the weather's fault and go to bed and sleep soundly. Like a baby. And believe in Angels Sometimes I even feel Wings around my shoulders.

His name is Michael and he is very big and important in the Angel World. He’s like a Boss. And he is dead good looking. He rides on the roof of my car. He blesses my children. He protects the house. He guards me. He cheers me up when I lie foetally coiled on my bed and reminds me that everything isn’t as bad as I think it is. He doesn’t cook. Or do my shopping. Or pay the bills. Or get the kids to school and to sports on week ends. No. But he does protect me from policemen. He makes my car go invisible so I don’t get stopped. And sometimes, when I remember, he makes everything a LOT lighter. The trick is to remember to ask and imagine it. Bingo. And don’t forget to say thank you. And suddenly everything isn't quite as bad as you imagined it. You learn to Let Go.

Today’s one of those days when I need Michael. He needs to make my horse better. My horse, De La Rey, isn’t any old horse, you understand. He is one in a million and we have been together in other lifetimes. Chasin’ buffalo on green plains, probably. He is courageous. He has a huge heart. He is funny. He is tough. Strong. We’ve done some hellova wild rides together in country not fit for old men. Last time he escaped into northern Maasailand and disappeared for three hours. We found him 40 kms later. Unharmed. Not a scratch. He’s a wild, tough one. He isn’t scared of hyaena either. Doesn’t even stand up for them. He’s won dressage for me and carried me around courses of jumps all the way to the finish and won that too. He isn't afraid of much but isn't that partial to crows. They peck your eyes out, you know.

There isn’t another horse like him. I promise you.

He is sick. He is losing his strength, something I have never seen him do. This sickness is beating him and I am beside myself with worry. He is starting to give up. The weight is dropping from him and he won’t eat carrots anymore. Last night, I let him out to graze if he wanted to. He lay his head in my arms and sighed. The vet doesn’t know what it is. Angels are the only thing I can turn to now. Please heal this horse. Please take this illness from him? Please? Please? Please? I don't want to let go. 

If my horse gives up the fight, I will too. 

With Angels at my side.

I know he's just a horse. I know there are bigger more serious things in the world to worry about which are keeping all Angels flat out busy, especially a Boss one, like Michael. But to me, he isn't any old horse. He is my Soul Horse and he mustn't leave just yet.

So. If anyone is reading this out there, light a candle and think of a funny spotty horse on a little hill in Tanzania and visualize him better please. 

Thank you! 

Angels be with y'all.

Ride on.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

God In Small Things.



Winter hasn’t quite left and I love it for staying a little longer. Tonight we sat by a crackling fire, sipping green tea with Jasmine. Very unlike us. Just sayin’. He spoke of finding god in small things, like that last bit of cotton to mend the hole in the mosquito net, one more match to light the candle, bumping into an old friend when you’re least expecting it, finding a phone voucher. If there is a god, it’s true. God really is in small surprises, the chocolate miraculously on the pillow, a kind gesture. I said I thought God was in my hot showers, in this perfect fire,in that precise moment when I lay my weary head onto my pillow.  I thought about all my favourite sounds: the crackling fire, the trill of the nightjars, soft rain on the roof, the hooting of the owls before dawn on my roof, last night's dreams in their talons, a soft wind through the acacias, the sigh of the appaloosa.

We rode out today again, Marco and I. Marco is the syce. He’s been working with horses since he was 14. All his life. He is definitely a horse fundi. He rides the little appaloosa called Sukari which means sugar in Swahili. He should be called Hot Popcorn. He’s unquestionably the finest lil fire hearted pony this side of the equator. I ride The General De La Rey, the big appaloosa, "Big like a buffalo," says Marco. He is my soul horse. We’ve ridden out over other plains in other lives, that’s for sure. A rollicking canter down dusty tracks scoured by winds and rain, by old tractors and bicycles and hooves, lifts the heart and polishes the soul. It births courage and a sense of freedom and trust.You feel alive. You remember. 

Marco is a man of God and a bloody good rider. He used to be called Mohammed. On our rides, we talk of the world and the way it's woven with marriage, witchcraft, farming methods, politics, wars, religion, quantum physics, whether I am a witch, spirits, healing and whether God exists. I always play the devil's advocate on god matters. He mentioned the riots in Ferguson the other day.
“The world really is upside down,” he said.
I couldn’t disagree. 
“Did you read about the troubles in Ferguson anyway?” he asked.
“Yes. Yes. I did. Terrible about the police killing that young man, eh?” 
Marco looked sideways at me and said,” The world is very confused. They make such a fuss over that? Causing riots and looting? He was a thief after all!” 
There is no smudging of truths here. No.

'Round here, horses are a novelty, an event, it seems. Children run excited through the dry maize fields, forgetting their bovine charges, “ Farasi! Farasi!” (Horse! Horse!) Marco tells them not to run too close because the horse could bite their heads off or that horses don’t like ‘kilele’ (noise). Mostly, they don't seem to care. A woman nervously wishes us a hastey, “Safari njema.” Someone else laughs and tells us she’s terrified of the horses. “But when are you going to give me a lift?” 
Marco always says, “Tomorrow. We’ll be back tomorrow.” 
It is becoming old. 
“But you said that last time…”
One day we will. We really will. Just not this afternoon.

This afternoon Marco said, “Let’s ride up that hill over there…” It’s high and far and tempting. And it’s, well, there. There was no reason not to. 

We passed a Maasai girl, tall and slim as a reed.
 “Where are you going?” 
Marco pointed over his horse's ears, “ We are going to the top of that hill to talk to God.” I grimaced and rolled my eyes. No one saw. I didn’t want them to. She looked skywards.
“ Well, you won’t find God up there. You should go up that hill,” and she pointed to a hill behind me, “ because that’s where God is. That is where you talk to God.” I looked behind me and saw Ngorobob Hill. 

We walked on anyway. The climb was steep and rocky.
“ At least we know that the horses will stop if a snake is in the grass,” I slyly mention. 
“They feel the vibrations on their bellies and they escape. Snakes are like that. . .” 
But not if it's a puff-adder, I wanted to say.

At the top the wind was icy and relentless. Wild. The trees were stunted and crooked from years of winds. Below us the landscape fell, sweeping out like a frozen ruffled sea. Even the horses stopped, heads up, ears forward, surveying their crinkled kingdom, criss-crossed with black cotton soiled veins. We sat silently in the saddles, like cowboys on a mission without Malboros, bandanas or Stetsons. I imagined riding to Lokasali and camping out in gypsy tents.


After a while, we turned the horses homewards, zig zagging carefully downwards, the wind at our backs, the sun low on our left, and rode, as if in a dream, back to The Hill Where God is.
For some. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sikukuu!

Mt Meru Sikukuu Nane Nane 2014.

(Note: Words in brackets are there for those of you who are unsure of the correct Swahili pronunciations. I have even emboldened the stressed syllables to make it easier for you. Also below is a list of translated words which you might find useful before reading this.
Not being immediately bossy. Have fun, now… Wriggling eye brows in your general direction.)

Translation of Swahili Words you might need to know to read this.

Sikukuu (n.) – public holiday
Karibu(ni) sana – most welcome
Hongera sana – big congratulations.
Mwenyekiti (n.) (Sheha in Zanzibar) Balozi – Village Chairman
Kijijii (n. sing.) – Village
Mwaka (n.) mpya (adj.)  - new year. Mwaka = Year and Mpya = new.
Kufanya (vb.) – to do
Kazi (n.) – work.
Salaam (n.) – peace
Dar es Salaam – place of Peace.
Kulima (vb.) – to farm.

1 – moja
2 – mbili
3 – tatu
4 –nne
5 – tano
6 – sita
7 – saba
8 – nane
9 – tisa
10 – kumi
11 – kumi na moja
12 – kumi na mbili.
Godi on his new Toyo, Sikukuu Nane Nane

It’s time to learn some Swahili, people. It’s time. Seeing that yesterday was another sikukuu,(sea coo coo) a public holiday, I figured you could learn, through this little story, how to count in Swahili for starters. And for those of you who can cunningly count up to a 100, know the days of the week, the months AND hold a conversation already, well, hongera bloody sana. (on-geh-rah bloody sahnah.).

In Tanzania it seems there are as many public holidays, sikukuu, as there are chameleon species. I am thrilled. There are of course the obvious ones like Christmas and Easter but I simply cannot do this plethora of holidays justice by a simple listing. No.  Far too simple. It must be detailed so you will understand my conundrum. Indeed, why I needed to write to my local mwenyekiti (mwen – yeh – key – tea ) of Ngorobob  kijiji (kee-jee-jee), about the months of June, September and November.

There isn’t a finer or more logical place to start than January the 1st, which we all know is New Year’s Day, Mwaka mpya  (mwah-kah mmmm-peeya), a day to reflect on the future; on all those ridiculous resolutions you made last night knowing you weren’t going to keep any of them; on the fact that there are no pain killers in the house to quiet the killer hangover born of a mix of every conceivable cocktail on offer because they were free; on the fact that the PPD’s (post piss up depression) are about to begin and you had better bloody well deal with them because you did it to yourself.  

Running straight on from that, on the 12th of January, is Zanzibar Revolutionary Day, marking the anniversary of the 1964 overthrow of the Sultan of Zanzibar. If you need to read more on this interesting part of Tanzanian political history, which you must, in fact, whether you want to or not because it would make me feel ever so happy,  read this post 

The public holidays get complicated, in the nicest possible way, you understand, because of the Islamic calendar. The Islamic calendar is a lunar one, and months begin when the first crescent of the beautiful paper thin new moon is spotted. It’s a buggar if it’s cloudy, I should imagine. Since the Islamic lunar calendar year is 10 to 11 days shorter than the solar year and there is no timekeeping involved, Ramadan migrates throughout the seasons, like birds from Europe. I love the idea of ‘break fast’ because the Islamic day starts after sunset. This year, according to the Islamic calendar, the celebrations of  Milad-un-Nabi (the birth of Mohammed) took place over February and March. Again in May, as soon as the moon was spotted,  Eid ul-Fitre celebrated the end of Ramadan.

The Eid festivities herald the onset of Good Friday, Easter and Easter Monday celebrations, a dream run for any chocoholic. I'd do anything for chocolate, even believe in resurrection, temporarily.  On April 7th is Sheik Abeid Amani Karume Day which is a commemoration of the assassination of Vice President Sheik Abeid Karume of Zanzibar, which you will know all about because you read the post I directed to you, earlier on, Little Old Clever Chops. As if that isn’t a big enough event to remember, on April 26th we celebrate Union Day, sikukuu yamuungano, (see-coo-coo yah-moooon-gah-noh) which commemorates the unification of Zanzibar and Tanganyika into the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964, upon which you’ve already become an expert because of said link…ahem. (It’s ok. You can go back and read it now, if you want.)

Moving swiftly, joyfully and festivally on (brass bands, white horses, dancing girls and balloons everywhere by now), in May we have Worker’s Day the world over, sikukuu yawafanya kazi (yah-wah-fun-yah kahzee). On the 7th of July we celebrate Saba Saba (sah-ba sah-ba) which literally means seven seven. This is a day to mark the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair. And in August we have Nane – Nane (nah-neh, nah-neh) literally meaning eight-eight which is Farmer’s Day, y’all, sikukuu wakulima.( sea coo coo wa-coo-lee-mah.)  Still with me? she worriedly asks.

On October the 14th  we commemorate the Father of the Nation, Julius Kambarage Nyerere, with Nyerere Day.  On December 9th we celebrate Independence Day.  In December, sometime after that, depending on the moon, we celebrate Eid al-Adha.  Then Christmas Day and Boxing Day….and then we start all over again. The good thing about all of this is that there is no time for de toxing, apart from during Ramadan but then who's going to say no to breakfast at  seven in the evening? (saa moja jioni in Swahili time) There warm sweet doughnuts, sweet pasta, sweet meats and samoosa to share. 

Now then, I have written to my local M.P suggesting we introduce Sita Sita, (see-ta see-ta), tisa tisa (tea-sah, tea-sah) and Kumi na Moja Kumi na Moja (coo-me nah moh-jah )  for obvious reasons. These are the only months which shockingly do not include One. Single. Sikukuu. It isn’t right.  I pointed out that we didn’t have mbili mbili (mmm-bee-lee), tatu tatu (tah-tou tah-tou), nne nne (nnnn-neh nnnn-neh), tano tano all the way to eleven which would more than solve the problem.  I suggested that we might need to add another one in July, Sita Saba Sita Saba, because that’s my birthday (diarize, y’all) but I’ll understand if they don’t gazette that one…ish.

I think it makes complete sense.

There.

Oh. And Noddy Badges all round for everyone who can count to ten in Swahili for the first time, without looking! Hongera sana!

And bisous! X X X  to those who are missing them...warm Swahili ones, on yer lips, scented in festivities xxx j