Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Habari kuusu Mlima.(News From The Hill)

i swore to myself that i would write everyday. this is a good thing. because it keeps me busy all day thinking about what i am going to write on this site. and balking at the idea that i simply won't be funny enough. talk about blocks. never mind blogs!?



so before i knew it, yesterday slipped by in a green rainy bliss and i never got round to The Blooooog. Did my run around the track at the club (i call it 5 kays, they called it 5 kays but in fact its probably only 4.8, or so they say). Whatever. A good run but still felt and looked like a beaten walrus at the end of it. When will it get better? I looked sweaty and healthy, apparently.

Popped into the office to see dear B, who has given up smoking again. It's been five days now and bless, she was so relieved to hear that of course one loses one's mind when one has recently quit smoking. It's happened to all of us. B had forgotten to bring my tray of eggs. She offered up Pete's tray (who happened to be out at the time) which i neeeearly took but it was only half a tray. Anyway. Another excuse to pop by and see B tommorrow. Oh and B is now a granny! So exciting! Another Baby!

Then home - to think about the Blog and becoming ravishingly famous from it - or from my searing song writing. ANd ended up writing a new song! A Spring Song for C. All Yellow flowers and May and how muses sometimes are so obvious. I must confess my heart felt aloft and dippy during the wonderful process of jotting notes and finding a thread of a tune...Its seriously joyous. And addictive. So when the kids came home and started interrupting, i was seriously annoyed. I have always said that this was the parenting lesson..Patience and acceptance. Because what happened if tommorrow ...godakes... But anyway - yesterday was different. I was reaaaaallly angry about it...Uneccessarily so...My poor family...what they must endure. And they still end up being my greatest fans and muses of all time.

Craig and Daniel went to rugger practise while Rubin stayed at home to practise his words as Hitler in the school assembly. Both C and I have tried to peruade him to speak like "Unt vee vill rrroool zee vorld een vun foul sfooop, you sfinehond englees man kartoppelhooffing" whilst holding a good nazi salute. The boy lacks confidence.

Later we all trooped over the The B's. Rubin and Gabriella all squeaky clean from hot showers and the fresh rainy evening breeze in our hair and masses of snow on Kilimanjaro, who made a tardy sexy appearance en route. Sparkling. Sparkling. S and I caught up with all the news. Oh because i mean we hadn;t seen each other for at LEAST a day. Isn;t it funny with your best friends? There is always something to share and talk about. Boys simply don;t understand it. Delicious red vino and caviar..What a treat! Am so glad for this blog to remind me of my life. Wine and Caviar? Bliss. So told Sal about all the people I had seen who had had babies and that B was now a granny and and and...Then D came home with news of the Wildlife Department meeting with all interested parties, like the PH and the photographic guides and the lodge and camp owners, and members of the communities where all this takes place. How interesting! I would have loved to have been there. Such a hot pot. (www.tnrf.orf) Craig returned from rugby practise thinking he was sweaty and smelly and he wasn;t at all. He said that there was a great turn out of kids for practise and about 15 of the kids from the Burka COffee Village. The boys are so keen to get into a team...so there stood a 16 year old squeezing himself towards himself and answering to the question of " and how old are you?" in a deep voice "eleven!" with daniel gawping silently "No he is 16!" from the back line.

Rain in the night again. Must do rain graphs. Yes GRAPHS.

School run this morning. No running. To B to collect eggs and see photos of new grandson with his dark hair pasted onto his new little head. So beautiful. B remembered the eggs! And thinks her brain has completely recovered. I didn't tell her otherwise.

Drove home on chocolate mud roads which are drying from a hazy spring sun. Veronica told me that a child was nearly killed in a village below when a kijana (young person) tried to cut his tongue out for witchcraft and that i shouldn;t let the kids go and play in scorpion gorge, not with people like that hanging about..And that a lady had her boobs chopped off in Ngaramtoni also for witchcraft. It's the Tanzanite miners searching for luck, Lady Luck who will fly them out of the pitholes of poverty. No. Actually I don;t think I will let the children go and play in Scorpion Gorge. Actually. No.

Craig attended a Professional Hunters Association Meeting. And i thought about husbands getting drunk in local bars and picking fights and getting their heads smashed in by bottles and being beaten up by security guards and getting thrown in jail and using that as an excuse why they had not remembered their wife's birthday.

We will make the jazz music tonight! Finally a night where Craig and I will be able to go out together without the kids! Fabulous. Kids are all farmed out for the night. And tommorrow is a public holiday (Workers Day) so no frantic school runs in the morning, or the dastardly early morning obsession of the perfect boiled egg. And "Bloody hurry up! You're late! Did you remember your swimming stuff, PE? Tie? godsakes you didn;t leave your sweater at school...oh hell...GO AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH NOW! What? Sign what? Detention form? ok...Huh? What did you get in detention for? Your homework? But you did it! We did it. In fact I did it...Oh you forgot it but i reminded you..Quick. Sun Block. You just have to or else you will get skin cancer and die..Oh WILL YOU HURRY UP!!!! I love you. Bye! Bye darling!" Whew. Tommorrow is a holiday. Craig leaves for Monduli for camp and road building. Boys will spend time out there with their terribly adventurous heroic Dad who we all adore adore adore! Tommorrow.

Monday, April 28, 2008


So I have finally started the blog. Sally shall be pleased with me. She also told me that everyday 28 000 blogs are started. So I am just a drop in the ocean - anyway - what's new?


New beginnings and you have to start somewhere.


Had fabulous week-end but suspect i over imbibed on booze and food. So my run this morning was perfect and made me feel good about myself. Saturday the boys played rugby. It was too sweet...a little gaggle of geese chasing the ball! Then the big boys played. I sat with all the girls who seemed to be drinking wine and buying mexican silver trinkets on the side lines rather than watch the game. At some point someone swapped the wine with vodka. I was, needless to say, in bed and lights out by nine, only after realizing i had forgotten everything under the table on the field...kids shoes, my new trendy denim jacket and blah....


M sports a black eye. From falling when trying to pick up her handbag at the rugby. Because she had over estimated the height of the table because it was getting dark and, yes, because she had had one too many. Anyway - she told her ex when he arrived to drop the kids off that a bee had stung her.


Drove out to Usa yesterday for lunch at the Camms. It was splendid! Caught up on wedding photos and saw the new baby and people i have not seen in years because they live on the otherside of the mountain. Met some fellow tribesmen from Zimbabwe. Well. I know I am a Zambian but its things like the Chirundu Border Post and words like "ah mooshi man" and reading Don';t Lets Go To The Dogs Tonight which immediately make you understand each other.


And it has not rained for two days! So the road at the bottom of the hill was dry for a change. Seeing this is the opening page i had better introduce the idea a little. This will just be ramblings from a housewife who lives on top of a windy hill outside Arusha in northern Tanzania. The Hill is called Ngorobob with views far and wide. We can see Kili and Meru and all of the Maasai Steppes. Our neighbours are mostly Maasai and one mosquito net factory which we all despise even though its making things which save people from malaria. Our other neighbours are The Bakers, The Bells, Trish and Mzee Williams family, who Sally knows intimately and i, ashamedly don't. In our house there are five of us: Me Craig, Daniel, Rubin and Gabriella. Then Veronica our house lady. Then Laura Lilly Bell Little Claws Doria alias Paka Loo (the Cat), then Tigger and Pasha our dogs. Then four horses, Sirrocco, Hokaido, Rhino and Mr Jefferson and dear Godwin and Mwali who look after the horses. Mwali is on leave now so Hussein has stepped in to help for a month. And then there is Amnaay our driver and Mwita our askari who has to be the most useless human being in the entire universe but we just can't seem to get rid of him.


And here we sit in a little brave pink house on top of a very maasai tanzanian hill. So these shall be daily little anecdotes about life on the hill.




Sally has done the school run this morning to the Dorobos. She will also pick up the kids. Sal and Damian have two boys, Jasper and finley Titan. They are Gabby's bestest. And they all go to school together. The boys attend a school just down the road and they get a lift with darling Claire Baker who happens to teach at the school too. Craig has shot into town to do the shopping and the bank and the banana ladies and the butchery and collect the horse food and and and...so kind of him.


So this is where we start. Today is a good day for beginnings. For good beginnings. the skies are grey so hopefully we shall get more rain to fill the tanks. We live off the rainwater..so are deeply grateful for a good rainy season.
Hmm time for a cup of tea and shall go and check my little vegetable garden to see if anything has sprouted.