it's red hot poker time. when the clouds hang low, threatening rain, and the grass is really green. the air is still. humid. and always at night far off, there is distant lightening. flickering. i love it. this time of year. its so brooding. expectant. unspoken.
(you see, i'm trying so hard not to be a horse bore. or a child bore.)
ok. so friday night was dinner at the vets house. they are both vets, he italian, she belgian. he is always working in places like afghanistan, pakistan, somalia, sudan (oh maybe not yet, but i know he'll end up there at some point) and she is the brave woman who camps out in maasailand, on her own, injecting 1000's of cattle single handedly then driving home solo with shitloads of cash. tough. beautiful.
he is so charming and italian. like he gave me a scarf from afghanistan and when i asked where i would be sitting, she smiled like mona lisa and said " oh next to giuseppe of course." i was elegant about it. trust me. like the time he invited me out to oldonyo sambu to watch him dehorning maasai cattle. so i donned granny's cloche hat, packed the children and two ayahs ( and a security car following just in case. joking) and followed - "no really its fine. i'll take my car. really! because we have to be at a lunch party at one. no really!", sort of thing. so yes. followed italian vet man into the rolling west meru pastures. and there we sat under a blazing sun, surrounded by maasai, watching mr vet man chasing cows and wrestling them to the ground, topless, and aherm, dehorning them....lots of blood sprayed across bronzed chests sort of stuff.... sweaty dusty work...
until we delicately excused ourselves and headed up the completely wrong mountain for our lunch engagement. the children and i and two ayahs ended up in a military zone at the tippy top of a mountain. according to first born, who white knuckedly gripped the dash board as we zig zagged incorrectly up the mountain, grinding along in low range 4 wheel drive, we were higher than an aeroplane. even the soldiers were taken aback to see my little family and i so high and so illegal.
it was the second turn right, not the first, apparently.
so yes, eyebrows were raised all round and there was much guffawing behind white napkins, when pathetic excuses for being late were:
oh man. took the wrong turn up the wrong mountain. yes. at the army radio tower! yes THAT one. i know! oh, before that? i was coming back from oldonyo sambu. well um watching giuseppe dehorning cows. yes. what? yes. dehorning. HORNS. cow horns.. .
oh you know what? just fucking forget it.
and i tucked into my pate with a purple face.
yes. where was i? oh yes. trying desperately hard not to be a child or horse bore. yes dinner at the vets. well. hardly had we finished our pork, with non english speaking guest, amilio, shaking his head sadly at the fact that we were headed to umbria and not his family house in naples in april, when paolo, vets second born, burst into the room, howling uncontrollably, gripping his arm. and a very realistic looking AK 47.... did i say he was howling?
so i said " whoops. looks like it's a dislocated elbow,"
safari craig frowned at me and said " oh rubbish. stop being a drama queen. he's fine."
vet man flew into italian papa mode, making loud noises, accompanied by spectacular arm gesticulations, above the very fine and very loud singer from sicily, still solemnly blaring from the stereo. tough belgian vet mama, calmly made everything right. and flipped the creme caramel calmly onto a platter, for safari craig, me and stefano, vets first born, then fled after paulo and papa into the night.
paolo was medivacced to nairobi at 2 in the morning, with a seriously bad fracture and was operated on yesterday. he will be fine, apparently. phew.
so much for me being a drama queen eh?
i should have been a doctor, i say.
and did i already mention that i rode the appaloosas through the coffee on saturday evening? oh. we have some fine fine hosses.... and that's all i have to say on the matter. so help me god.
and for the rest, i lay on the veranda, drinking tea, watching the crimson breasted sun bird in the fiery red aloes, and dreamed up a storm .....
Kitchen Board: Sunday Evening: 23 november 08
Contributors: Veronica and daniel.
Comments: man. supplies are LOW. especially on sweet things...
so, toodely toodely toodely...bisous X X X red hot poker ones...hooah. x j