oh and a word of advice for those out there who love masks and wooden congolese effigies stabbed all over with nails - don't buy them. and if you do, don't keep them in your houses.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
oh and a word of advice for those out there who love masks and wooden congolese effigies stabbed all over with nails - don't buy them. and if you do, don't keep them in your houses.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Comments: gotta run! party time! toodely pip and love love. always
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Contributors: Janelle & Gabriella
Comments: she was laughing so hard because i was pretending to be outraged by her saying " upyourbumandaroundthecornerstinkystinkycalifornia" - that great big belly laugh.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Contributors: Janelle, Daniel, Rubin and Gabriella.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
what a sunday its been. jogging, riding, eating, laughing. eating. eating. eating. and eating. i can hear my friends all saying, "well no wonder she can't lose her belly and her arse...she should try laying off the food a little..." man. those oat honey biscuits at sal's house are lethal. i ate six. and an enormous lunch and still at it...scary. just because i went running this morning (more like staggering this morning) and have sanctamoniously given up drinking, i am under the incredibly incorrect impression that it gives me licence to eat solidly and randomly until i roll into bed. call me betty the vacuum cleaner.
my poor horse. i should really be more considerate. rubin rode with me this morning on sirrocco and hokaido came along too, riderless, bucking and farting alongside the two of us which was really annoying. although he looked magnificent. he made rubin a little nervous on sirrocco coming down the steep hill...but rubin was brave and strong and rode splendidly.
lunch at sal and damian's...always good. lots of laughing especially about the planned Shag Shack. but that is another story entirely...
i was like the pied piper this afternoon (and betty the vacuum cleaner). all the hill children ended up chez moi. spent a faded pink and entirely delightful afternoon trailing FTB (finly titan bell - sal and d's youngest) and OTB (oscar tom baker, claire and marc's youngest) - star wars or what? - FTB calling OTB roger roger over and out - around the stables because they are the littelest and not to be trusted. last time fin ended up in the molasses bucket. and before that he walked into the lounge naked and covered from head to toe (balls and everything!) in thick greasy red make up stuff...still not sure what it was....something like granny's wax rouge from the 1920's...and then he wanted to jump all over the white couch...(ftb in the photo on the left after a busy busy day, power napping...a while back) and OTB (pictured with gabby in the RHS pic ) is highly likely to swing off the side of the stable onto a horse...or get his little fingers nibbled off by one of them or plop off the edge of the water tank like a ripe fruit. craig calls him "mr mimi anguka (sp?) hapa" which is swahili for i fall here... T was there too de ticking her horse. and i played my guitar for the horses. they seemed to really like it!? sang Billy by Dylan for them and thought they would like Wild Horses by the Stones. they seemed to. otb and ftb looked at me as though i'd finally gone totally potty. but they hung about anyway to see what would happen, probably.
there is a new term floating about with a very hidden meaning: it means letting people know that you are going to have sex...apparently its "Making Cookies" or "Baking a cake." i might as well just say "oh we will be having sex" because the likelyhood of me baking a cake or making cookies is as remote as me having sex. does that even make sense? and anyway, who wants to know?
it's been a shiny day. except that craig left on safari for ten days. he will be riding horses for three days in maasailand..lucky him. and then off to the Crater and Serengeti for five days...camping amongst the migration. and won't be making any cookies i assume....
you will notice that from today onwards, at the end of every bloggedly blah, there will be a small photograph, centrally located, of my kitchen blackboard. i solomnly promise not to tamper with it and shall portray it in all its honesty and disarray.
craig thinks its a really bad idea and that no-one will look at it. but it's the kind of thing that i would read or squint at. anyway - comments appreciated. let me know if you read it at least. it can say a lot sometimes. and it changes every so often. and hopefully this will force me to pay attention to The List more regularly so i don't embarrass myself with my domestic ineptitude on the blog...i am a domestic goddess. i am a domestic goddess. i am a domestic goddess. i am a....
contributors to the kitchen blackboard: Veronica (Main Scribe), Daniel, Rubin, Gabby, Janelle and Craig. (when he is not on safari) and sometimes my passing girlfriends..like they will add " good looking funny sexy single man x 1 for n. URGENT! Monday." and silly things like that. or the boys will teach other kids how to draw naked ladies using W X Y and brackets.
up above is saturday nights'...and below is tonights'. promise to zoom in more for future postings.
toodily pip then.
(note: all readers for this blog MUST know the tune of My Favourite Things from The Sound Of Music. Please. and if not, please borrow the record from your grandmother (or download it, Smarty Smug Pants. der)
rainy day lie ins and coffee in bed
lalas and back tickles, massage my head,
champagne and oysters with chocolate and bling,
these are a few of my favourite things.
when the kids scream
when the dog gets bitten by a bloody bastard puff adder three times and dies
when i'm feeling sad
i simply remember my favourite things like cigarettes and whisky and lashings of nina popadopalis's chocolate cake,
and then i don't feel sooooo bad. (spinning off into another pre menstrual, hormonally induced, momentary depression and lack of reason.)
so. i had a gig last night (and no, i didn't perform the above) - at the singer songwriter's evening at umoja music school in town...all lanterns, intimate crowd, no big lights or mics and speakers (thank god! mics complicate matters), a list of surprising artistes, all of us to solo and everyone is there to listen to you. they really are. it's terrifying. terrifying.
someone said last night, as i slouched in a dark corner with a dark hat, my hands all a flutter, "oh you can't be nervous!? you've done this loads of times before!" it's like when you have your second or third baby and the nurses say "Oh you've done this before. You know all about it. ." and walk briskly out never to be seen again. you hold this pathetic little scrap of humaness in your arms, knowing it depends entirely on you for its survival and you want to shout out, "NO! DON'T LEAVE ME ALONE WITH THIS BABY! HEY!? HELLOOO? is there anyone out there.....? " and you become exasperated with unsurmountable amounts of love, confusion and desperation. and terror. sheer. at least, i did.
well. that's what it's like when you stand up there even when you've done it a thousand times before. it's just like the first time. it's simply terrifying. its the edge of everything. you leap into your breath, toes pointed, and along your arms into your fingers and spill out onto the strings and fretboard like splatter paint and your spirit zooms out on your voice, surfing the wave, wobbly or not. your fingers feel seperate from your body and is this me singing? it's probably not too dissimilar to jumping out of an aeropane for the first time. its possibly about letting go and hoping like hell the parachute opens.
a fellow muso, lets call him mr jazz, funky jazz man (who says he's played with sting or someone like that and that he had "done time", twice, but wouldn't say what for, and who wooed the crowd, more like the girls, at The Nairobi Gig and who is so multi and divinely talented) once told me you have to find someone in the crowd to play to, someone who you look at and play for and to. lets call this person A Focus Person. An Ef Pee. oh i wish someone would pick me out for that.wow. i would be The Best Audience Ever. he said at one gig, he found his ' focus person' in a very large and overwhelming crowd and was playing his heart out for him, every note equivalent of every bead of sweat, and half way through the first set, The Focus Person, the Ef Pee, yawned and walked out. oh dear. wrong choice. where do you go from there? pack up the axe and start a fast food joint? or work as a waiter at kentucky fried drive in take away chicken, evenings only? no. you do it again and again because you love it. and you make damned sure you choose The Right Focus Person. or no-one at all. like me. you sing with your eyes closed (heavily shadowed in silver), or you stare at the floor or the fretboard of your guitar until your neck cricks. but whatever you do, for godsake DON'T MAKE EYE CONTACT. unless you're really blottoed.
it's all about connecting with your audience, apparently. miriam makeba connects. she controls her crowd. she is one mega woman. fierce and commanding and all powerful maia earth goddess. don't mess with miriam. pay attention to every flying note and word. your loss if you don't. ricky lee jones exudes. beams. its like the music beams out of her. swirling.
i am so happy i am not amy whinehouse. and i don't mind that i am a one album wonder. ish.
so last night i was focused and terrified (and sober) and it worked. it was good. i leapt. i hung. suspended.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I couldn't travel bothand be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.
Then took the other one, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claimbecause it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing thereHad worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally layIn leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day.Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sighSomewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
what on earth did we do that for, huh? take the less travelled road in this bloody quagmire? (see above pic)
for the adventure? the romance? to learn something? because it's more interesting? because we were young once and that's what you did? well. we ended up getting so bloody stuck it's not true. (although heroic bush husband craig never gets stuck - he gets temporarily delayed...) . this is the road which leads to our hill, ngorobob. this is what the effing factory has done to the road, by using tractors and trailers on it after like 2 inches of rain. this mud is called black cotton soil. you get stuck in this kind of mud. especially when there are craters in the tracks in which you could hide ten volksie beetles...and hell, maybe even a cattle truck or two. i shouldn't complain. really i shouldn't because we have a tarmac road all the way to this point, built by the Effing Factory. sal thinks we would be better off without the factory and the tar road. and i agree with her. even if it meant getting stuck more often. anyway. we have the tarmac road, the factory and this chocolate mousse mess to consider on a daily basis. and such is life. because it leads home. home high on the hill.
fortunately for me it did not rain last night. (remember i wrote a piece called "spring has finally sprung"? well. i lied. it hasn't. its been frigging freezing and grey and wet since then but the yellow flowers and flame lillies burn bravely on in the cold grey of what seems to be a sly winter sneaking in the back door earlier than usual. and we have officially started lighting fires at night!) anyway. yes. it did not rain last night so the road below was dry ish. no 4 wheel drive neccessary en route to the salon today, or rather The Saloon as salons are called in these parts. this is a rare and divine treat.call me jen now. as in jennifer arniston. get it? my hair is all blond and straight and flappy and even if i say so myself, totally vogue and glam. LOVE it. this lasts, along with my euphoria, precisely 24 hours, before i go back to being janelle and frizzy haired. in fact, i went to the saloon because i needed that wax, which i mentioned last week already! so you can imagine?? well. don't. it's nasty. i felt and looked not too dissimilar to babette the baboon spider previously blogged about. um - very hairy. i reckon i lost about 2 kgs in body hair.
i love the saloon. i love everyone who works there and the atmosphere and all the people you meet as you sit there looking like an astronaut who has just stuck his silver helmet through the cheese grater, with all those foils in your hair....or some strange sea person from the city of atlantis, trying to deal with webbed feet (like in training your toes to stay seperate so you too can be an earthling) , with those yellow rubber things between your toes and that big black batman cloak. no wonder i made a scene in the little shop when i went to buy myself a chocolate for lunch. yellow rubbers, foils, my batman cloak. i scare people. (god. i do. and mostly without the costume.)
i had to confess to T (our highly regarded hair executive and owner of saloon, who has the dubious task of making sure we all look presentable and jouge) that indeed we had a lice problem at home and maybe she should just check before she infested the entire saloon . thank god no-one else was there at the time. and thank god i was clean. massively relieved! tra la.but it's the magazines! oh joy. to have the time to idly flip through pages and pages of "Style" and what's "in" and glossy "Blah" whilst your feet are massaged and painted is beyond bliss. i read a piece about men's G Spots. (why are they called G as opposed to "O!" Spots?) anyway. apart from the obvious, the other main "G" spot is in a dark, very dark place. and i throw flowers in the path of any girl brave enough to dig deep enough to hit it. (oh and it said make sure your nails are trimmed before you, you know,you um, insert ......oooooooooooeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrgh) . S pointed out that there was an article on what to do to your girl, if you are a guy, of course, well i assume.
sigh sigh. haven't we all had enough? can't we just stop? i say, rolling my eyes to the back of my foiled head.
at the saloon you get to meet all your mates...hastily rushing in to de hair, re hair, paint their nails and have a coffee and a chin wag. it's all delectably girly and warm hearted. and men are more than welcome. saw M this morning looking all sporty in her trainers and track suit. she has recently walked out of her job, and rightly so. she had to endure some weird psycho who was constantly stalking her to check up she wasn't stealing or something crazy like that..so she decided to walk the plank rather than stay on psycho's sinking (and stinking) ship. i adored her facebook update which said ," Mental Men Should Be Kept In Dark, Very Dark Places." we discussed the various options; her container in her garden which gets so hot it can burn your hair right off seemed to be the most reasonable one. and it's dark. very dark. i mentioned this to one of T's customers in the saloon, the only man in fact. he shyly replied that he wasn't sure whether he should be scared or not.
he should be scared. and act sane at all times, especially when M is around.
gabby managed to ride her little blue peugeot bicycle in a straight line, well, almost, towards the rain gauge. we had to stop suddenly because she had this very very dark secret she had to tell and i promised not to tell anyone.( i shall be struck down, i know it.) so i leant down (not too close because i don't want to catch her lice although i think i have combed them all away...but still not chancing it now that I have a clean bill of hair..) and she whispered:
GABBY: "Do you know that the easter bunny really isn't a bunny?" round eyed and deeply sincere.
ME: "God! No! Really? Then who brings the eggs?"
GABBY: staring around to make sure no-one is in the near vicinity to partake in this deep secret, " It's Paul Oliver. He is the bunny. He makes all the eggs."
Paul is a dear friend of ours. Another bush hero. (http://www.pauloliversafaris.com/) and i had NO idea that he doubled up as The Universal Easter Bunny. But now i do and everything falls into place and it makes so much sense.
received an sms all the way from pangani from daniel's teacher. i have to share it with you. it makes my heart burst from its straps in my chest, burst into a riot of flowers of love:
Congratulations.your son is a joy 2 b with. u shd be very proud.
more than anyone can possibly imagine. my sweet golden gentle danu pops. you see. that camping training down in lake eyasi is paying off.....
Monday, May 19, 2008
ME:" You are just picking on me because i am a white woman."
Wrong thing to say. Just soooooooooooo wrong. couldn't have been wronger if i had tried. Hoo boy. went down like a ton of bricks. just when i thought it was going to cost me dearly and that i would now be literally dragged from my car and fined from here to pangani and back again, a daladala (taxi minicab) went speeding past narrowly missing three school kids walking down the road.
ME: "you see! and you want to catch me just for a crack in my window??? those are the people you should be catching! and i am sorry i am being kali. i am really quite a nice friendly person usually. i really am. and blah blah blah blllllllaaaaaaaaaaaah" and off they rushed after the speeding daladala and i was free to move on. i felt like i could have flown. really.
for about two weeks after this i used the back dirt roads behind the airport to avoid the police road block. why didn't i just ask my angels? they literally blitz policemen.
danu pops has left on the school trip to pangani (the coast) for an entire week. we already miss him. when the kids go away i hate to see their little empty beds and their neat unlived in rooms.it makes my heart way too sore. my babies. i like to have them all in the nest. they were so excited to be off. away. sigh sigh. he had the balls to ask me for my camera! imagine!? laughable.
met a friend today who was lamenting about her husband who simply does not spend enough time with her and her little daughter. he is a cyclist. and chose to cycle for 5 hours instead of going out to a social lunch. i had to smile when she said" I mean, its not like he is training for the fucking Tour De France or anything..." she probably did not use the F word. but she might as well have. i full heartedly agreed with her.
such is life. and in the meantime i am trying to teach gabby to ride her little blue peugeot bike. bought the training wheels today. i don't think i can recall encountering anyone with such a crap sense of direction. . .
ME: Pedal! Pedal! Pedal for godsakes! Look up! Look up! OH! Watch out for the aloes! Oh darling! Oh for godsakes stop crying. its pathetic. go on. lets do it again...LOOK UP! OH WATCH OUT FOR THE STAIRS! darling you have to look up and the bicycle will follow where your eyes are looking. ok look at the rain gauge (which is perched at the edge of a steep precipice. remember. we live on a high steep hill) ok? now, PEDAL PEDAL PEDAL!!!! look at the rain gauge! look at the rain gauge! oh GOD! WATCH OUT! THE THORN TREE!"
Gabby: "I want to stop now. i don't want to look at the rain gauge mummy! stop saying that. I want to go where the bicycle wants to go."
Right. i give up then. useless mummy. must get sally to teach her. little finley and jasper are racing about on theirs.. i think jasper learnt to ride his before he could walk or run or something really early like that. hmmm or maybe there are Learning To Ride Bicycle Angels out there.
bet there are. bet there are.
and ps: thanks tam for the policemen inspiration!
Friday, May 16, 2008
Comment by Dorothy Parker
Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Roumania.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
i think that is a house snake on the right. ...(heroic bush husband has peered over my shoulder and loudly guffawed at my identification skills) after all these years...twenty or something...its a bloody olive sand snake...der. and fondly ruffles my head...no he didn't really.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
" its bloody mothersday and i am bloody sick so will you bloody well just get into the damned bloody bath now or.,....blah blah blah!" total loss of control, you see. i might even have thrown in the "F" word somewhere in there. and then i heard them snickering when i walked out....