Wednesday, January 28, 2009

mind you....

gosh you're a prolific lot, aren't you? churning out post after delicious post....and i stare and stare at the same old same old....

i have considered stopping blogging...gasp gasp...miranda and i chatted about it over a coffee the other day. but here i seems this isn't going to happen just yet.

these days, i spend more time searching the web for crits on poetry than blogging ...(jane eyre is buttoned up..have FILE loads of the stuff). last night i was researching a poet called kevin halligan who wrote a poem called The Cockroach...where he watches a cockroach scuttling mindlessly around his kitchen...(although it seems he thinks it scuttles around with something in its mind) and draws the conclusion that perhaps it's not too dissimilar to him....the cockroach that is.

i mean, isn't poetry a one? how the fuck do we actually know WHAT the poet had in his mind? or the cockroach, come to think of it. we can allude. that's all. anyway - there really isn't much on old kevin, it must be said. but i found a wikipedia site ( - and there were a few lines which read:

Hi Samantha. I am the ex of John Kevin Halligan whom he dumped and left with his baby seven years ago in Cambodia. I like to think his poem 'The Cockroach' is partly autobiographical since I now live in a third world country as a single mother of a young daughter and Halligan does not feel compelled to pay child support. If you succeed in getting in contact with him, could you ask him to at least email us? Thanks.

i am taking this line. bastard. doom is what this cockroach needs. doom is what my cockroaches get.

safari craig has returned. jet lagged. he sent me an email before his return: i have bought you a present which you are going to LOVE.

the thing is, when he says things like this, i have absolutely NO idea what he has in mind. after all these years you would think that i might be able to guess. it could have been a number of things...leopard print chuppies, a sex toy, a pen, a calculator, some jodphurs, cowboy boots...but this time it was a BRAND NEW LAP TOP!!!!! my very own. my first very very own lap i am extremely blissed out over this. and shall jealously guard it from other people's fingers...

whoops. time to rush off to school and deal with Economy. one of my students. who happens to be the most uneconomical person you have ever met in your life. i caught him sleeping behind a shelf in the library yesterday when he should have been in my ESL asleep. what was he thinking???

Kitchen Board: Thursday 29 Jan 2009

Contributors: Eliza and Janelle

Comments: veronica is helping eliza with her english...and at the same time with my swahili. and it still hasn't rained. the clouds are lurking around. in the afternoons, there is the odd roll of distant thunder and then pouf! it all goes away....torturous.

toodely pip, you. bisous, genuine sweet thursday morning ones, stolen. xxx j


tam said...

oooooH! your very own laptop? Can't stop blogging now, can you?
I'm sorry about the rain darling. We have a glut of it here.

Lori ann said...

sooo glad Safari Craig is back safe and sound...ahhh..great! lucky you, your own lap top! my Adventure Chuck bought me one last year and i don't share with

i know that stop blogging conversation, its going around.i will probably go back to journaling the way i used to, with a pen and paper...we'll see.
xxx lori and,put a password(on your new toy!)

family affairs said...

Yup. Have laptop. Must blog. That's it. LXXX Now I want one too.

Tessa said...

If you stop blogging it means that I will never go riding under the moon again; never spew espresso onto the computer screen; won't be able to marvel at how many dogs are born at Ngorobob or get reminders for my shopping list. I won't be about to savour the scent of your Africa, or wait for the rain with you. No more new Swahili words to add to my vocabulary; no more stunning photographs to swoon over or Jane Eyre debates. Won't be able to watch an artistic talent evolve (that photo up there would make the most wonderful painting, y'know?) or ...oh dammit...DON'T stop blogging - it'd be a fricking tragedy. 'Sides, you have a brand spanking new laptop.... Anyway, think of it as a record for your children, a poem for posterity. K?

Mud in the City said...

You MUST keep blogging! You lighten so many people's days.

(If you don't want to, maybe you can teach one of the spotty horses to write on your laptop??)


I have read some of your posts. I liked the same and would like to revisit your website.

If you like short stories and paintings, then a visit to my blogs would be an interesting one for you.

Naval Langa

Another Interesting Blog

Janelle said...

ah you sweet convincing angels...guess its something we all think about eh?
tam - blow harder man! north eastwards. yes please.xx

ok lori. if you don't stop i won't! hah! don't you DARE. xxx

yeah lulu. get one! its soooo sexy! and a sure reason to keep i come! x

oh tessa! eloquent you...and so have completely convinced me...and PLEASE PAINT THAT GIRL!!! will watch for her on a friday?? xxx j

ah thanks mud! well. if i lighten people's lives up then i must carry least! THANK-YOU!

and people. i wasn't fishing. really. . . xxx

Dumdad said...

Your own laptop. I'm not jealous. Not. So, no excuses to stop blogging.

nuttycow said...

Hoorah for the new laptop. As the others say, no excuses now. Especially since I've just found you (through Mud - it was your use of Swahilli that got me!)

Fingers crossed for rain.

Reya Mellicker said...

I love your blog and the glimpses it provides into your magical life. But as with all art forms, there's no choice but to go with the flow. Sometimes, just like the lowly cockroach, blogs must be stepped on and swept away.

That said, I do hope you continue because I've never "known" anyone like you. Your stories and pictures are completely brand new.

And poetry, yes. It's more than economy of words. It's magic.

Glad to hear Safari C is back and about your new laptop. Fantastic!

karen said...

great that you have a lovely blogging-laptop! please don't stop..:-)

thanks for the Swahili lessons on the kitchen board, by the way..& sorry to hear no rain yet. wish you could have some of ours!! xx

Miranda said...

heh heh. See?

The Pink Cowboy said...

Darling Janelle don't even think about quitting your blogging job, I mean it pays well, doesn't it? Oh, you do it for free..well anyways, I love your African stories and anecdotes, and photos etc. You should name your laptop, you know they have feelings too. Mine is named Bertha, she is a second-hand, slow as a snail, clunky 2003 Dell. Bertha has character and a hell of a temper, but she's my Bertha and I love her.

PS. If it were not for you I would have never looked up Arusha in Wikipedia. It's a lovely place...Do you need any Spanish teachers out there?

Val said...

there seems to have been a spate of blog fatigue about but it would be a sad day if you stopped. i love the idea of your wonderful stories floating about in the ether and your kids being able to check into them at some future point! January seems to be a lowpoint - whether its deep mid winter, or deep mid drought season...... so hang in there - even when you are blogger blocked your posts are uplifting and enlivening for all of us... keep that light shining on x
new laptop hey? and SC home again - hurrah!

Chimera said...

I agree with all the above..your blog is brilliant and actually, looking at your diverse readership, one of the more successful. Yet I too have had a feeling of..'and the point is..?' but keep on tapping and singing and spring (and rain) will coem.
Much love
T xx

Khaled KEM said...

This is a wonderful blog and amazing postings I found here. You are a talented writer, no doubts.

I just started blogging less than 2 months and I could not stop. All my spare time was for writing poetry it shifted now to blogging.

herhimnbryn said...

Brilliant AND witty.

tpe said...

Hello Janelle, how are you doing?

For what it's worth, I very quickly lose interest if someone posts to their blog every day (sometimes - ick - more than once). It just feels like too much and I start to feel all guilty about visiting and not leaving comments. (But how can we sensibly maintain an interest in so many blogs if the output shows no sign of relenting?)

Nothing is dwelt on, everything feels rushed and any "conversations" start to feel desolate, pointless and empty. (You think you have a monopoly on doom? Ha.) It all starts to feel like an exercise in grabbing comments for the sake of grabbing comments. But that's a personal feeling and by no means stated as a truth.

Anyway, don't judge yourself by other people's seemingly prolific standards. You're doing fine. Blog, don't blog. Just don't lose sight of the fact that your writing is astonishing and a very welcome and greatly appreciated gift out here in space.

Plus. Let's hunt down the Halligan guy and smack him about very lots and roughly. It'll be great and he can't exactly say he didn't have it coming. I've been aching to punch a poet for yonks.

Kind regards etc....


(Nice one about the laptop, by the way)

Elizabeth said...

Of course we only got Halligan's ex's take on it all
thought it sounds about par for the course for poets
think what poor Mary Shelley went through losing her children except one and having miscarriages all over the place.....while he was playing with boats......

Your blog is such a quirky delight and so beautifully written that I would be
if you stopped writing it.
So you must continue.
I'm so glad you have your own laptop.
love from New York

Janelle said...

thanks y'all for encouraging words. tpe DELIGHTED you still read me from time to time. thank-you! yes. to blog or not to blog blah. tiresome really (the question). oh and yesterday we had rain rain rain! glorious rain. this morning we had riot riot riot. until the tanzanian field force roared in. guess i should blog about it. another african gemors.but THANKS really everyone for your kind encouraging words. i shall i shall i shall continue to blog...sporadically or methodically....hah. love always x

nmj said...

I too would miss your blog, Janelle, I love your words, but don't fret, just blog or don't blog as Periodic says.

Fascinating (and sad as hell) to see the poet's ex trying to get in touch. x

tpe said...

Agreed, NMJ, it was a bit sad. Almost too desperate, really, and I did wonder about her authenticity. I mean, would someone actually do this? If so, ouch ouch and ouch.

Janelli of Janello - triffic news about the rain, just triffic. It would be nice to report that we woke up to a dusty baking heat here in Ireland as part of some cosmic and achingly just realignment of the elements, but I think we both know that this would be a lie. So we've all got rain, then, it seems, although I'd struggle to call the stuff here glorious. Give it five straight years, Janella, and you'll soon enough crave the sun.

And amen to your continued blogging, of course. The question, really, should never arise - should I stop blogging? Should I carry on?

If you feel like putting something on your blog, then this is what should be done. If you don't, then don't - even if this means a lengthy and wholly unexplained absence. Enjoy your freedom, in other words. Everything else is a distraction.

Rainy hugs and mud-filled boots etc from the barren Irish wastelands....


Janelle said...

TPE: oh you're SO wise, oh blog guru...hmmm. too much rain would be a drag i know. still. i vant more and i vant it now, she rants, stamping her feet. xxx

Janelle said...

nmj THANKS for your encouraging words. i wonder if it's really her (poet ex)..but it COULD be eh? xx

Mama Shujaa said...

I am so glad you've reconsidered, I would've died!!!!

Safari Craig is the bomb ah! please give him our collective shukrani!

Bloggers who can churn out post after post ad naseum, who cares...fuhgeddaboudit! It's the quality not the quantity. Like this breathtaking photograph here! love it! xxxx
Mama S.

Janelle said...

nashukuru! moja kwa moja kabisa. xxx k

Khaled KEM said...

Thanks Janelle for taking the time and stopping by my blog. I did not paint the picture, I took it from a blog about insomnia, the credit to the picture is at the end of the post.

Your blog is really an inspirational on I hope that you keep posting even from time to time.

Wish you all the best

Nix Ashenbury said...

Hello! I'm doing some research on Kevin Halligan for my A level exam and I fell on your blog. If by chance you had gathered any serious and interesting info about his life that could be connected with The Cockroach, could you plz share the link? I've been on it for a while now and no one seems to have deemed it worthwhile to sum up a biography of this poet. That says something about his fame I guess. Well, thanks in advance for any help you could provide. :)