Tuesday, January 6, 2009

joining the dots...

oh i forgot to tell you. guess who i saw on the beach in december? you'll never guess. in her famous blue dressing gown? the queen! on pangani beach. saluting me. with her african corgi. we had a corgi when we were little, growing up in choma, called mango. he died by jumping out of our fast moving peugeot 404 (the one with the pointy lights). he looked more proper than this queen's pangani corgi. we buried him amongst the tobacco. and it made us extemely sad, if i rightly recall...

we were sailing off to maziwi sand island early one morning. and i turned around and there she was. beautiful, wonderfully funny, elegant gill. but she was standing just like the queen, i thought. on an early pangani morning with her guard. here she is laughing.

and i never told you about yves. dear yves. who fell in love with gabriella. he's 60 something. she's 5. he grew up in madagascar then travelled the world. and lived in places like yemen, istanbul, mombasa and now paris. his wife left him because, as he said " zut alors, she just couldn't get used to my geepsee life..." he loves chilli. just like me. he likes to practise his english:

i am zare. ova zare. in zee aberdares.

he has a son called guillaume. who is an outstanding photo journalist. you should look at his pictures at http://www.thinkpictures.org/guillaume/index.php (guillaume bonn) he eventually joined us at the beach. after been stranded in mauritania. then kenya airways got him to accra. stranded him again. due to "technical" problems. got him to nairobi too late to catch his connecting flight to kilimanjaro. so he flew to dar es salaam instead. next day he caught a taxi to tanga. then a motorbike to pangani. when he reached there, the ferry was no longer working. so a boat across the river. then to us. waiting for him. waiting for christmas amongst the coconut palm forests. i caught yves and guillaume sitting silently watching the still lilac sea on christmas eve.

isn't life a One eh? remember i was just telling you about my perfect dreamed up life? in last post. the one about riding across these great dusty plains - living my dream life - only interrupted by perfect movie like exchanges with maasai children....who call me janelli and mzungu. well. life has a knack to keep you on your toes. yesterday, there we were, tati, my beautiful italian crazy inspirational riding buddy, clip clopping past mr popadopalis's flower farm, mt meru towering in the east, the sun in our eyes - and there not too far ahead was a person. not a child. not an adult. a medium sized person, standing very steadfastedly in our tracks with his hand in "STOP!" position. as we approached, his "gang" of much smaller people, surrounding him, all shouted at us "wapi hela?? wapi hela?? " where's the money?! where's the money?! as we drew nearer, with sinking hearts, we saw rocks held neatly in each hand. there were about twenty herd boys. which makes about 40 small rocks. 40 small rocks ready to throw at what could only be us. on our still very calm horses. so i asked the leader what his name was. he shouted back angrily: "Kijana!" which means young person. " where are you from kijana?" i continued, calmly. " Mjini!" "Town!" he retorted, quickly followed by give me your money. well. i didn't have any. and even if i had, like hell he would've been a recipient of even one shilling. his eyes were wild. if he had had a weapon he would've undoubtedly used it. there was only one thing for it and that was to get the hell out of there and fast. so away we galloped. as we shot off we were pelted with stones and insults. all of which missed us...but hit the horses rumps...

i think i shall take another route next time. there are too many wars in the world already.

for some bizarre reason, all of this has lead me back to nick drake. and music and song dedications. i play a game called Witchy Moments. you can only play if you have an iPod. you close your eyes and you spin the dial and hit play. and whatever song plays, listen carefully to the words because they are what you need to hear.... and nick drake's song Black Eyed Dog came up.

a black eyed dog he called at my door

a black eyed dog he called for more

a black eyed dog he knew my name
a black eyed dog he knew my name

a black eyed dog

a black eyed dog

growing old and i wanna go home

growing old and i don't wanna know

growing old and i wanna go home.

and then some hellova smart guitaring.

yeah. nick drake took me racing back to the green sugar cane fields of zululand. peugeots again. my brother in law, called buzz, with the fat orange tom cat in a sack in the boot....

never take a dedication lightly.

join these dots and i'll send you a prize....

Kitchen Board: Tuesday 6 Jan 2009 - the year of shine

Special Note: so The Kitchen Board Stays, by popular vote. hoorah.

Contributors: Veronica. Janelle

Comments: fancy arrow has an eye infection. and, i have started school again...and and and....i am taking on shakespeare single handedly. and rudyard kipling. whoa.

so toooooooooooodely pip, Oh Best Beloveds, and bien sur, bisous, comme toujours, elizabethan ones, you know, queeny ones - hooah. xx j


Reya Mellicker said...

zut alors indeed! yikes!

glad you got away unscathed. what poise you mustered in the situation. wow,


and peace!

Elizabeth said...

I think I would have been upset and frightened by the children with stones.
The account of all the exotic places makes my head spin
when I was young I loved the poem about
Those who make the golden journey to Samarkand......
Some people like recipes and all the ingredients - I get excited to see place names
on Liverpool Street Station in London
Harwich, Hook of Holland, Brussells, Warsaw. Wow!

Word verification:
dultsfi --is that how a stupid person acts?

family affairs said...

That is what Christmas is all about - families coming together through thick and thin - what a lovely photo of a father and son and I'll definitely check out his photos.

Why do you have a large dollop of "DOOM" listed on your board? Lx

tut-tut said...

If anyone can take on Shakespeare, it is you!

What excitement surrounds you . . .

Janelle said...

thanks reya~! although hardly poised as we bolloxed off at a rate of knots! and peace to you too...HOW IS THAT HAND OF YOURS?? x j

hey elizabeth..oh just kids...wild, where the wild things are...i don't know that poem...what's the title? thanks for swinging by... xx j

hello lulu! i got the web address wrong for guillaume's site! i have corrected it though!! on the blog...really take a look. he's very good. DOOM is the spray against mozzies and flies..hah! xxx j

tut tut! you reckon? actually starting to get into it now...! cross fingers...lots love xx j

Bill Stankus said...

totally confused. maybe the wine, perhaps something implied, I donno.

Janelle said...

aya bill...me too. sometimes. re the wine...what? you or me? not me. not me.... :-) x j

Lori ann said...

janelliiii...are you making this stuff up?? ;)


Jeannie said...

Sounds scary and I'm glad you were ok. I spend far too much time worrying about how to get two toddlers out of buckled car seats safely should I be told at gunpoint to get out of my car... I now realise I should toss the car and get a big horse!

I'm watching my little patch of now-suburban sugar cane as I type; it's hot and steamy here and the cane is very very green.

Val said...

fabulous rich stories - a pageant!
guillaume is a determined fellow but who can blame him! glad you high tailed it from that rock throwing mob - Im gonna try the ipod thing. i suppose no sign of your parcel from here yet....sigh

Janelle said...

heh heh lori! NOOOOO! xxx j

jeannie..yeah you live in the land of sugar cane! i spend some of my youth in zululand...hot hot HOT. whew...and you stay outta trouble, eh? xx j

man val..NO !!! grrrrr...i wonder who got it??? you never know, maybe with christmas and all it got stuck somewhere....humph...xxx j

Dumdad said...

I love Nick Drake's music although his life was desperately sad.

Did you ever see the documentary about him called A Skin Too Few? You can access it on YouTube:


Dumdad said...

My favourite Nick Drake song:


Word veri: mastre

which is so Nick Drake - a flawed master!

Mud in the City said...

Life has a way of bringing us down to earth with a bump. Very glad neither you or the horses were hurt by such horrid little yobs you get them in all cultures. I tried to walk past a posse of 14 yr olds in West London recently, just minding my own business, when a mob of them laucnhed themselves at me trying to stick a hand down my top, up my skirt generally having a go at mauling me.

They didn't get very far. Mainly because they were still knee high to a grasshopper - and they weren't after money - but its a horried experience nonetheless!

Maybe you should turn the DOOM on them?

tam said...

um.... the tomcat got eaten by a black eyed dog when it escaped from the peugot?



karen said...

lovely post, queen, "corgi", Yves et Guillaume.. sorry to hear about the wild eyed youths. not fun, but at least you got out of there OK.

will have to try the Witchy ipod thing - sounds exactly like something i need to do!

(laughing about the DOOM on your board, for those who don't know the product it sounds pretty drastic indeed!)

Janelle said...

DD - spent hours last night watching all the documentaries on nick drake and your fave song...he was a genius..i suspect smoking too much ganja didn't help his depressed state..very very sad...thanks for the links..he has always been one of my favourite musicians since, ouf, since i was little...xxx j

mud - wish you had had a brolly to beat those little monsters over the head with,...sis... xxx j

tam..prize to you because at least you came up with something! my thoughts beat me most of the time. lots love xxx j

karen! hello! let us know what your witchey moment produced and what you were told...love it! xxx j

Bill Stankus said...

If you ever buy a parka with Gore-tex and visit Seattle, please advise... we all meet up and have a salmon dinner!


Janelle said...

yes indeed...have always wanted to visit the city from where gary larson hails...er, um, what is a parka with Gore-tex, if you please? oh and loooooooooove salmon..for sure. x j

Chimera said...

I really enjoyed this post Janelle! fearsome and funny and sad and sweet as always. those scary boys. yes. Have run from them too and escaped by skin of teeth (both monster children and the curse of the black dog.)
Thanks for this stuff. You rock!
T xx

Mama Shujaa said...


Yaani nime-enjoy sana posti hii!
Umelift spirits zangu sana. Asante sana dadangu.

Endelea basi kutuelezea....
Much love,
Mama S.