Thursday, October 9, 2008

starry nights...



this morning i overheard some smaller kids at school, as i lurked tiredly behind a bougainvillea bush, trying to wake myself up from a class.

- HAH! You said the eff word!

i was a little taken aback because the kids were really little, but more amused and intrigued to hear what would follow next..



- eff aye tee...F A T.


so fat is the eff word these days it seems. i keep threatening myself with really silly things like "right. that's it. going to start smoking again if this is the fat effing case"...as the hips widen at the same pace as the ice bergs and glaciers melt because of global warming...polar bears synonymous to my thin self...swimming into no-where...drowning and never coming back. it bothers me. slightly. the fat on my hips. the roll of my tummy...(devastated about the polar bears' plight of course) - but it doesn't stop me from swaying them. my hips. it just stops me from wearing all my favourite skirts...because they are tight. its irritating. and it doesn't stop me from eating piles of macaroni cheese, kilos of biltong, bananas and nutella and slaughtering the chocolate cake at tea time, aggressively prodding the children away with my fork.



she hopefully (and steadfastedly) clings to those well loved buddhist notions of impermeability. .that the large body shall permeate into a smaller healthier version. miraculously on its own. without having to put on even one running shoe ever again.
desperate. must must DO something.

the house has flowed with beautiful friends, laughter and candlelight. the candlelight because of effing tanesco power cuts...nothing whatsoever to do with mood lighting. TANESCO- our national electricity supplier - is running short of power or something absurd like that...due to a certain MP who stole millions from the coffers last year, which was supposed to have gone towards saving the nations power supply.

i have finally succumbed to turning on the generator. i should say, i have finally overcome another fear of mine. our security guard. the last one was just too leery and weird and kept asking me for money...so i requested a changing of the guards. now we have antonio, who ressembles a multiple genocider, his long teeth glowing , and, if i allow my imagination really get the better of me, his red eyes gleam like coals in the dark . for the first time ever, i am comforted by the presence (an extremely intermittant presence it must be said) by our long term askari, mwita, who has to be the most useless watchman the world has ever known.


ask my aunts from london. about mwita. when they came out for christmas last year we had to climb over his drunken sleeping form, draped down the steps into the house, snoring. if a horde of somali shiftas had galloped over him, he wouldn't have woken. not even for the devil.

mwita reckons the hill is lucky. because "it is very busy" with hedgehogs - which are indeed a VERY lucky sign, in the world according to mwita. he hasn't mentioned the giant eagle owls...which sit on our roof and hoot just before dawn, perched royally outside my window. they are magical really magical. oh no. he hasn't mentioned them. according to many african beliefs, owls are a sure sign of death, particularly when they are on a roof of a house. they are heavily linked to witchcraft, as are beehives...my house is inundated with both...and a flying broom. which no-one has noticed either. still. antonio looks scary. and i have to turn off the generator just now. give me lion any day.


anyway. antonio aside. i love to walk across the stone courtyard to the generator house, to switch it off before bed...the moon is half full, the stars fat and summery, and the wind, hot, dusty and irrepressibly wild. the world is crazier than its been in decades - but that sky. that sky - oh it keeps me sane, wild and fearless. sod antonio of the long teeth.

tonight when i climb into bed, and blow out the paraffin lamp, i shall see the half moon, framed in my window; sweet, perfect and gently laughing on her back...

Kitchen Board: Thursday Evening: 9 October 2008

Contributors: Janelle and Tira Schubart
Comments: Pete O Neal apparently makes the best peanut butter in town. Pete O Neal was also a black panther many many years ago...and how he got to live in tanzania is a long long story. anyway. his peanut butter is the best.

so toodely starry pip to y'all..... bisous comme toujours jxx











15 comments:

family affairs said...

lots going on! Love the description of the night sky and how it calms you - no stars here Lx

Lori ann said...

so sweet janelle, your words dance...
and i know just what you mean about the shrinking clothes...i think that's written somewhere in the stars too, so why fight it heh?!
a great post,
xx lori

MoziEsmé said...

What is it with guards named Antonio? We had one with that name at our last house who was just awesome - I'd trust him with my baby any day. The Antonio we have right now, not so much. Not quite genocider, but never around when we need the gate opened :)

tut-tut said...

Your words all gleamy and sparkly — I love your poetry-prose. And learning what it is like to live in Africa. keep safe, Janelle . . .

Val said...

beautiful beautiful post.. dunno how you find the time with somuch going on. Your words are like a song.
The smoking - its tough but hang in there. you've done so well. apparently the weight issue balances out eventually. Planning to join you soon, but trying to shift some weight myself first.. how? maybe by owls and beehives??
love the polar bear analogy.. yup. hate whats happening to them.
We always say "I slept like a nightwatchman" when you have had a particularly good and deep sleep :-)
the starts.. when they hang in the sky - just so entrancing and perhaps the power cuts help to see the stars better??
love it all xx

Val said...

sorry that should read 'stars.. when they hang in the sky' ...
'starts'? wonder what they would be??

Dumdad said...

Yes, I've always felt that fat would somehow slide off of its own accord. I was lean and (not) mean as a kid and in my 30s but time and lovely food and chocolate and alcohol..... My son, 14, is slightly taller than me (5' 10") but I'm twice his weight; he is very thin, I hasten to add! I was him once. Still, life's fun and god forbid real women looked like those anorexic models.

Adrianne said...

I was in pre-school the first time I remember anyone calling me fat. Then my peditrician said I was fat and convinced my mother that she should bring me in for "weight checks" every two weeks. As a consequence, even when I was really thin (in college - days long gone) I *still* thought I was fat. I won't even go to the doctor if I think there's a chance s/he might weigh me. I've made progress on many of my "issues," as we Americans like to call them, but I'm still a complete and total wreck when it comes to this one.

Reya Mellicker said...

I really miss stars. I remember them from when I was young. As an adult I've lived almost exclusively in big cities in which the sky is always a weird kind or blackish orange. Maybe I can see one star or two at night, maybe.

I miss the star spangled sky so very much.

Too bad about the electricity, but glad you have the security guy, such as you do.

And yes Val, YES, Janelle's posts are so lyrical.

Exquisitely Black said...

Great imagery, feels like I'm there.

I don't worry to much about weight anymore. I walk, try to be healthy and just get on with life. :-)

Janelle said...

thanks ALL of you for visiting and commenting...ja. well. the fat thing doesn't REALLY bother me too much...i am deeply thankful for my health and this bliss life i have.
and oh. i have wide blinking starry skies. " ...what is it all but a trouble of ants in the gleam of a million suns..." Lord A Tennyson. well. quite. love always xxx janelle

Miranda said...

Psssst, remember me? That I have a blog? Okay, so this is what you do. You click on the "comments" section, then on "post a comment" you write some fabulous things, do an annoying word verification, type in a few other easy things and its done! (In order for your dear friend to get a bit of a boost coz I know you sometimes don't leave comments when you think the posts are shit....)

Oh and Janelle I really don't think you're fat. You swing your gorgeous hips with such poise. Great post, love it.

Miranda said...

Okay, after that mini guilt trip I see that you HAVE commented recently(ish). Maybe its just that I don't SEE you enough anymore I feel that you've vanished! Bloody work gets in the way of things, huh?

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Thinking of you and your fat summery stars:) (That's the best kind of fat:))

Janelle said...

miranda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?xxx XXX janelle!!!

indeed ou are right maryam...nothing quite beats fat summery stars... xx janelle