Monday, June 16, 2008

blame it on the moon...

the weather is persistantly frisky, as is my horse. i hail from a hunting farming family where everything revolves around the weather and the moon phase. growing crops and hunting game. and of course, everything depends on the rains - the rainy season. in east as in southern africa - we have Rainy Seasons. some people think we don't have seasons - like winter and summer and autumn and spring. but we do. its just much more subtle.. i don't think i could survive in a place where i can't see the sky (the moon and sun rises and sets, the rain coming and leaving, the stars on a clear evening), where i can't check up on the moon phase and where i can't figure out weather patterns. to me it's central.
anyone who knows anything about african weather, knows that things change with the moon. after the full moon, the rains start. or they stop.
blame it on the moon.
this place is odd. nobody can tell me from which direction the rains come. i have been in tanzania for nearly 8 years now. i have spoken to all the old settlers, people who have lived here for generations and everyone tells me somthing different. i think it's something to do with the mountains. mountains play havoc with directions. the winds seem to chase the weather around these great summits. the rain seems to come from every direction. one thing remains the same though. when it comes from the west, it's heavy and serious. and it's rare.
up here on ngorobob hill, the weather is literally in your face. there is no escape. the wind hurls itself from the mountains, (kilimanjaro and meru), gathering force along the way. i think our little pink, card house will simply collapse one night. and the entire family's hair will begin to grow at right angels to our heads.

the wind is strongest in september. last year, it was screaming through the littlest of gaps, like a boiling kettle, so loud i couldn't sleep. safari craig called me from ngorongoro crater lodge (google it, if you haven't heard of it - its one of the most luxurious lodges this side of the nile.) where he had heated blankets, dry sherry, chocolates on his pillows, a stomache full of vintage wines and the finest foods available to humanity... and a crackling fire in his hearth. and no kilimanjaro winds battering his windows or hurling abuse through unassuming little cracks.
at some stage, the rain arrives, chased by the wind, and of course, it too finds its way through each little crack. our little house is not protected and is like a little ship out at sea. battered.
but then there are the balmy summer evenings, when stars are fat, winds are mellow and mischievous, and we light the lanterns outside, playing the music from Frida (the movie) really loudly and watch the moon rise between the mountains, like our hearts, and love each other.
anyway - not to be a weather bore, i shall be a horse bore. my horse is a head chucker. no wonder he was given to me. we almost crashed into the arena fence this afternoon. it scared me. i must wear my hat. from now on.

my life is starting to get very hectic. my family are about to arrive from south africa and singapore and things shall be up in the air until they leave. i have not seen my dear sister for 8 years! purely because of distance and expense. and i shall meet my nephew who is 7 for the first time. so i am painting walls, buying pillows, covering duvets, hanging mosquito nets, mad mad please excuse me if i am not as regular as i like to be with my posting....or as creative in my shall be wee ditties from now on...or um, nothing at all...whoa.

Kitchen Board: Monday Evening: 16 JUNE 2008

Contributors: Janelle & rubin

Comments: tsk tsk.missed last nights board which was, admittedly, quite full and interesting. due to my incredible efficiency, it was wiped second born wanted to pose tonight...and i had the devil horn idea..can't imagine what, or rather who, gave me that idea?


Chimera said...

Once had a ex racehorse with only one eye. She was a head chucker too and would dance blindside on to the jumps..then suddenly see 'em and freak, usually jumping four footed into the air. She loved doing that to me! She thought my sobbing and pleading for her to use her other eye quite hyssterical. (Hmm..the irony only just striikes!)
Your writing is soooo evocative and warm! can't wait to hear about he visit.

Catofstripes said...

I love your horse, and envy you. But wear the hat, it makes sense.

family affairs said...

"blame everything on the moon" I say....have a wonderful time with your sister and meeting your new family members x

ciara said...

i blame the full moon for when i'm extra crazy...of course, it's hard to blame it when there isn't one, so i don't have an excuse for the rest of the time LOL here, where i live in the u.s., it is windy most days. we 'somewhat' experience all the seasons. when i lived in las vegas, nevada, there are only two seasons there...winter and summer. when it's cold, it's cold, when it's hot, it's VERY hot. i have never been on a horse, but my girls have and love it. i wish i could afford lessons or something.

i think that it's nice that you'll get to see your sister and nephew after 8 yrs. i have not seen my mom's side of the family since i was 5..i'm almost 42 now. even my mom hadn't seen them in years and just went back to the philippines this year. so i'm glad it was sooner than later for you. and hey, when it comes to blogging, sometimes you HAVE to take a break :)

ExAfrica said...

I once almost died on a horse in Zambia. Well, at the very least could have ended up in hospital. And as the horse raced through the bush 4 hundred miles an hour, my only thought was - what will I tell my mother when I call her from the hospital with a battered body and she asks me "Were you wearing a helmet?" I managed to stay on that horse and lived to tell about it. Mind, I had pulled every muscle in my inner thighs and walked like a prostitute after a long night.

Surely we were related in a past life?

Fabulous writing - love the stories and the blog. And the photos - gorgeous little ones.

quatrepattes said...

I love this photo!
The one thing i regret is that here in the mountains the valleys are so steep that you cannot see much of the sky, but then again, I feel so protected and so snuggled into the folds of the earth. But I, like you need to know what the moon is doing every night. It is so important to my life.

Here the mountains give us landmarks, which we may plot the changing seasons against. The sun and moon rise along a grid of high ridges and it is easy to track the subtle changes through the points where they rise and set every day/night and their trajectory throughout the year.

Having one hour of sunlight over the mountains in the winter is hard, but it really is like dying and being reborn again in the spring, it is an ordeal making it through the winter in the mountains!!!
L x x

Janelle said...

thanks for all your LOVELY comments! exafrica - my HAT is on. my Hat is ON! forever more...! quatrepattes, your writing is so descriptive i can see your montane abode in my minds eye...with that water fall rushing past your house...and ciara - thanks for letting me know i can take a break from writing when i need one...sometimes i think i really am a catholic!!? catofstripes..LOVE the painting on the saatchi site...and intend to hop in and see you this evening! looking forward! yes yes lulu - absolutely agree - its all the moons fault and its nearly full! and tanvi - your horse sounded TERRIFYING! TERRIFYING!!!!