Thursday, May 28, 2009

i'll be seein' ya. .

well bestest blogging babies, i am off tommorrow for a week-end of riding.
this time it isn't a safari. oh no. this time it's what they call a "clinic".
nothing at all to do with medecine or general health.
this beautiful lady called Judy Limb comes down from kenya and teaches us.
she has a perfect figure, is very gorgeous and naturally an absolutely brilliant rider herself.
last time delly belly and i huffed and puffed around the arena, me, terribly red faced and sort of exhaling, "ouf this is hard work", and trim ms limb shouted back, well, if you want a bum like cindy crawford, keep going. . . wtf?
sheesh. i did. i have and i will. i have been training and training ever since. ask everybody. my bottom still looks remarkably like aretha franklin's and not cindy's. . .
the terrifying thing is, that on sunday we all have to do a dressage test AND a round of jumps, on the polo field, IN FRONT OF OTHER PEOPLE...a sort of fun day out. gather gather to watch the's all sounding terribly daunting for an old cowgirl like me....
everyone else's horses are so posh. thoroughbreds. warmbloods. super bloody star machines. but i can tell you, in fact, i know, delly belly is smarter than all of them put together. we'll do our tricks. we'll show 'em....
(famous last words. watch this space.)
what i am looking forward to is hanging out in the andre's garden "cottage" which is more like a 5 star girl pad....with tati (yes, my spaghetti thin riding buddy) and lots of champagne and asparagus and hosses hosses hosses. i will be on my own. no kids. no nothing. just memememememe. choccies, champagne (did i already mention this?), boots, hats, sunbirds in the plush garden and kilimanjaro dominating the scene. bliss.
other exciting news on the hill is:
1. gabriella lara rosa is in the KS1 (key stage 1 (the littlest classes in primary), for those who don't know...i didn't for ages and was too scared to ask because i am supposed to be a teacher...and i didn't want anyone to find out that in fact i am rubbish) play! i received a letter from school and it reads like this:
Dear Parents or Guardians
On 25th of June, the Key Stage 1 performance of Ocean Commotion will be staged here in Kisongo. Gabby will be acting as a Barnacle in the performance. She will need either a grey or white or beige T shirt and trousers... etc etc.
i mean. A Barnacle???? how do you act as a barnacle? sit crouching very still? do they even have eyes? i mean couldn't she have been a piece of sea weed or something?

2. winter has arrived. quickly, sneakily and exhiliratingly... and i am once more happily ensconced in my famous, false lion mane waist coat and sheepskin slippers. davey crockett king of the wild frontier. ish. although safari craig says i look like a caveman.
very difficult to get a picture of my deeply loved coat. this was the best i could do.

one sad piece of news from the house on the hill is that nyota (means star in swahili - she has a little white star on her chest), my dog, is very, very very ill with tick bite fever...we've been spoon feeding her milk and eggs but she really isn't improving. she can't even hold her head up tonight....please shine on little nyota.

i am reinstating the kitchen board, because elizabeth asked me to. wonderful elizabeth who takes me to NYC all the,


see the limpid faded pink roses....still there... same old Shopping Sign...nothin' much changed 'round there siree.

i'll be seein' ya - clad in ribbons, rosettes, silver chalices and delusions of great equestrian conquests...soon.

so tooooooooooooooooodely old toot, You. . .bisous, fady pink cowgirl ones..X.X.X. j

Monday, May 25, 2009

mama tembo's wedding...

on sunday morning i listened to a CD of south african music...all the old national anthems like mama tembo's wedding, from ipi tombi, and shosholoza and the click song (miriam makeba) and nkosi sikelele...i stared out over the maasai steppes, into the blue and quite suddenly and extraordinarily became emotionally overwhelmed and started blubbing over my coffee.messily...thinking i am now as north as north as any north going zax could be. oh and there were also excerpts from mandela's speech when he walked the line...

the thing is, all this music takes me back to zululand days, to my mother, to my grandmother, to south africa -  a place i have walked away from. i never looked back.  i haven't been back in nine years or longer.  only in dreams. also a long time ago...where i flew through the old farm house, through the rafters and down the back hill. i decided not to.

zululand was my mother's country.  i remember seeing the tugela river for the first time, brown and wide and furious,  and my mother explaining that this was the boundary between zululand and the rest of natal. the rest of the world, as far as i was concerned. i was new from zambia. different.  i remember her explaining why all the farm houses were on hills. because of floods. i remember her showing me the beaches for the whites, and the beaches for the coloureds and the beaches for the indians and the beaches for the blacks and she wasn't really able to explain it satisfactorily. she muttering about apartheid, the bloody nats, terrible, not like in zambia, difficult to understand darling, mumble mumble mumble "oh you'll love the garden when we get there!"... driving slowly over the rolling hills in our old diesel peugeot 504 up the north coast, through a sea of turquoise sugar cane, passing the ngoya hills, gnarly and prominent, who cast an ominous rain shadow over our farm, which was called majaja...after the rain queen, apparently.  the clouds would build and bruise and those hills would take it all...until all my friends thought we were onion farmers. not sugar farmers.  

this music makes me remember those hot zululand summer nights, countless fat yellow moon rises over the thorny hills, the elephant hill, the motor car hill, distant drums in the hot nights - old zulu war songs, faint and distorted.  the cane fires exploding in dry storms and the stabbings. monkey shoots, tennis clubs, chistenings, weddings, cattles sales. and funerals.

 my grandmother, granny isabelle,  was a full blown alcoholic, with a wit which grew sharper as the cane bottle grew emptier, who owned a fat smelly sausage dog called cindy, who smoked rothmans like no-one has ever smoked them since and wore crimpolene dresses and bata flip flops. her farm was called perseverance and she did not suffer fools gladly. when she finally succumbed to the rothmans and the cane, it was the first time i ever saw my mother really really cry.....mama tembo's wedding from the ipi tombi double LP was Granny Isabelle's favourite keep your feet on the ground and reach for the stars all time Number One Best...and woe betide anyone who tried to skip it or change the track... the music takes me back to christmases with piles of boy cousins and tins of quality streets and iced watermelons and swimming for hours in the warm green pool with the water scorpions and the frogs. until our toes had blisters on their pads and our fingers were wrinkled, our faces burnt crisp and tight...and granny "sleeping" in the doorway between the lounge and the breezeway........and the grownups getting pissed under the jade vine on the verandah....

it took me back to driving between eshowe and melmoth, after hearing my mother had just died and the zululand hills washed in blue and dotted with searing red aloes, a crystal sky shining, burning above us. i remember thinking how perfectly beautiful it was. how everything was so juxtaposed. it had to be a dream. my life was too perfect. i should've known.

oh the music dug up all these deeply buried memories...and then to make it worse, i started reading The Bang Bang Club - about the years leading up to the south african elections, ANC and the IFP, the township wars and the bastard Nats and more old wounds split open.. another entirely long and different story....

eeesh. seff efrica hey? i am only recovering from the daze now. a daze. yes. it has all been completely unexpected. how lovely. who would ever have thought?

so tooodely old toot, You. bisous, aloe red ones X.X.X. j

pps: (edited!)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

the bata flip flop ghost man of Zanzibar...

sunday night and way too late
to sit and think and contemplate
on wayward words
a drunken look
i'm much too tired to think of love.

sunday nights are my worst. they always have been. since little. 

i'm just saying.

everything's so quiet.
(apart from crickets twinkling like fallen stars outside.)
and the dogs are barking at something lurking in the dark.
sometimes i get scared. of the stoned panga wielding bogey men.
of ghosts and eye glowing tokoloshes.

i daren't confess this to the children. i can scare them so easily. like in zanzibar. when the children and i stayed in a little robinson crusoe "banda" (hut) on a white crescent beach. 
zanzibar is full of ghosts, you know. literally saturated in them.

behind our hut, in the tangled green, was an old cemetry. i never told the children, of course. but you know, after three days, one can get bored with just children for company, no matter how completely angelic, unique and extraordinary they are. i yearn for Adult Conversation. difficult when the place is jammed packed with hushed honeymooners. there i was drinking champagne by myself and staring open mouthed at these horrifyingly smug honeymooners, all flush with love and bold ideas of marriage. yes. so there i was. vaguely bored and stupified from the onslaught of  the unadulterated beauty of the beach. still. yes bored. UNTIL, oh best beloveds,  the kids came running to me with a pair of plastic blue bata flip flops. old ones. 

look what we found ma! (like they had found an ancient stash of gold).

usually i would mutter something like, yeah. wow. ya know, whatever. and go back to my book.

i peaked my nose out from behind my book and god knows what overcame me....but i said, 

wow! where did you find those? (dripping with obviously suspicious interest)
behind the hut! (they naively chorused.)
WHERE? i asked, with a stunning theatrical change of tone. 
THERE! they happily pointed... the tangled green where the cemetry was. 
so i said (the devil made me do it):

do you mean From The Graveyard? do you know that's a GRAVEYARD? widening my eyes and arching my eyebrows.

no, ma....( in small voices)

the devil reincarnate continued gleefully.

well it is. an ancient ancestral burial ground. (fact. true) Those Could Be The Flip Flops Of A Dead Man. He Will Come And Look For You and Follow You To Find His Shoes.
and in a spooky quaking voice i quivered The Flip Flop Ghost Man.

well oh well. Big Mistake. hysteria ensued. i laughingly said to them,
i'm only joking, man! honestly! 

it didn't work. i had three half grown people literally clammed onto me. you know, personal space completely colonized. no. not my idea of having a good time at all.

Oh For Godsakes Will You Just Bloody Well Calm Down. I WAS ONLY JOKING. RIGHT, THAT's ENOUGH... blah blah blah  etceteRAH. There really is no Flip Flop Ghost Man....well. you never know. but i really doubt it. look.  i'm not scared...(and by this time their sheer terror was starting to get to me...i had succeeded in scaring myself. i am excellent at this.) so i continued:

look. tell you what. let's throw those flip flops back into the jungle and then, bingo. problem sorted. yes?

and we ceremoniously and furiously threw them back where they belonged. half buried in the sand. forgotten in the tangled green of the ancient burial ground.

 we started walking up the beach for one of those silver blue zanzibar twilights, palm trees brooming the sky, a perfect slice of moon, fat beach stars, distant mosque chanting and ghosts on the wind.... danu p, in a small and brave voice, asked:

there isn't REALLY a graveyard there, Hey Ma?

i just couldn't lie.

hysteria ensued again. by the time we reached the dining banda, they were threatening to call the hotel manager and demand an escourt askari. they even went so far as to urgently plea with a pair of passing french honeymooners, all glowing from hot love.

 Please Help Us! Our Mum Is Scaring Us....very loudly. in the dining room. one of the kids was even sort of wailing. by now the commotion was becoming a focus...a slightly alarming one and a most terribly uncomfortable one. for me and the hushed honeymooners, that is.

i sat there with a white marble smile dissecting my face, which was now purple. a flitter of alarm darted across the eyes of the loved up frenchies. fortunately only for a blink of a second before they were distracted by thoughts of , well, thoroughly more amusing matters. by god i had to excercise intense erudite mothering skills to restore order and calm amongst the troops. riot squads were airlifted in. an edgey sanity returned and everyone was allowed two bowls of ice cream. i was duly lambasted with serious threats from my children that if i even mentioned the flip flop ghost man again or anything remotely scary they really would call security. and whined on a little about asking the askari to escort us back to our hut.

i promised on my father's life that i wouldn't and i meant it.
after the wonderfully dramatic dinner, we strolled back along the beach to our banda. i felt gooseys flowering along my spine. from behind. strong ones.  i noticed we were all holding hands really tightly. vice grippingly so.  we all spoke light heartedly about the stars, the moonlight, the little lights of the fishing boats bobbing bravely beyond the reef,  ghost crabs skittering in our wake. in all of our hearts, we jointly knew He Hadn't Really Gone Away. but we never said it. we daren't. we almost raced each other up the rope steps, hearts beating faster and secretly tempted to bash the door down  because we honestly didn't have time to open the padlock with the rusty key. wild horses raced in my stomache. danu p held the torch while i frantically fumbled with the lock and key... when....All Of A Sudden...... danu p dropped the torch.  it fell down below into the sand, into the tangled green. Into. The. Cemetry. . . 

i lightly said, off you go then koeks. run down and get it.

NO WAYS. (he was adamant.)

the other brother piping in, i never dropped it. you did. you have to go and get it. no ways i am going Down There...! pointing into the darkness.

i, for one,  really didn't want to go and retrieve it either.

i singingly encouraged, come on koeks. it's fiiiiiiiiiiiiine.


gabby's  small girl  chin started to wobble and dimple. a sure sign of imminent wailing. 

okokokok. i'll go. it's fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. nothing to be frightened of. you guys stay there. i'm right here ok? OK???

ok ma, in very Very small voices.

i clambered down the rope, my heart in my throat, fucking terrified. i slowly walked into the tangled green, slowly picked up the torch, kindly apologised to the bata flip flop ghost man for ever bringing him to life again. (and for stealing his shoes, of course) and kindly asked him to please leave us alone. now. immediately. thank you ever so much. salaams and all that. i confirmed that we were not ever going to think of him again. 

it worked. 

the children were jubilant. we had our light back, locks to open and dreams to dream.

to this day i have never mentioned the bata flip flop ghost man from Zanzibar again. even when i am really bored. i only have to say, well, Flip Flops. it's enough.

i wish the dogs would stop barking now.

toodedly toot, then, You. bisous X.X.X.X. nostalgic slow sunday night ones... j

oh and ps: be careful what you think...i'm just saying.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

to friends...

i have very good friends.

with whom i never have to walk on egg shells...

they never take me seriously unless, you know, it looks melodramatically serious. like me weeping for six hours for inexplicable reasons...

they think i am funny. and brave. when i am so not.

they aren't scared of me and tell me to shut up. i talk a lot sometimes. probably too much.

they drink whisky with me.

and keep all my dark secrets in forgotten places at the bottom of their hearts. 

they don't hold me at gunpoint if we haven't communicated in years. it's not my fault she moved to iceland. or to the other side of the mountain. or to somewhere pointless like belgium.(no offence to anyone reading this from Belgium. highly unlikely anyway) or right next door.
they know i love them. and they still aren't scared.

you see. here's the thing. since i was about 1 i began scaring people. i didn't have teeth or hair for the first four years of my life. and i screamed until my face went blue if i encountered strangers or people i obviously distrusted. the choma farmer's wives called me "Dorothy's Mental Daughter"  so i'm told. i think even my mother thought i was mental then.

then apparently i became funny. like hah hah funny, you understand. like standing on a dining chair swigging back champagne when i was 5 saying "i am going to drink champagne for the rest of my life". apparently this was very funny. i thought it clairvoyant. i meant it. 

i was desperate for my older sisters' approval. which lead to some terrible accidents. like racing behind them on my three wheeler and them on their two wheelers, which were called after ponies. in fact they WERE ponies. mine couldn't be a pony because it was a tri cycle. y'know, only three legs. with a little white basket tied to the front. no. it couldn't possibly pass as a pony. still. i followed them everywhere. once they raced away from me, down the hill next to the house in lusaka. at the bottom was a large, very old and solid bougainvillia (sp?) bush. one sister raced left, the other right and i, undecided, continued straight at speed. this was very funny too. i always had to be the bridesmaid when we played weddings and be the one naked in granny's dahlias for liane to practise ethereal photography. i fought back. biting. tantrums. (watch this comment space...) but by god i loved my sisters. still do. 

 we were sent to boarding school in rhodesia when we were very little. i was 5. i was bloody brave. i still had my milk teeth. miss hall gave us cents when they fell out.  and poked our backs with her cold bony finger if she caught us out of bed.  i "got on with it". i remember looking out the dorm window at night watching the choppers coming back from "the border" because of the war. thump thump under the stars. and thinking how far away mum and dad were. as far away as those stars. faaaar away. but more than anything i remember my friends:  armenell sandeman, my bestest in the world. our names rhymed. armenell and janelle. armenell's mum lived in a posh house in a posh salisbury suburb (so how come they sent her to boarding school? huh?), had a posh antique shop and a brother who was The Honorable President Clifford Du Pont of Rhodesia. her dad lived on a farm (not in a "hot" area, ish) with Sally The Bitch, who didn't really like any of us. but she was very pretty. prettier than armenell's ma. well. mrs sanderman was just Posher. but sally was sexier and meaner. armenell's tuck box overflowed with chocolates from south and FIZZ POPS.  because her dad had a plane and they actually went South for Holidays.  she won rosettes in the hols. she had orange hipsters and Rhodesia Is Super t shirts. she was rhodesian and beautiful.  we loved each other. i guess we both felt stuck.

so i wasn't that scary then. i learnt how to make people laugh. i performed. and won eistedfords. singing irish lullabyes about lost sailors, if i rightly recall. 

until i started going to teenage parties. funky town and blondie blaring. and well. i was just such a nerdy wall flower. i must have been. either that or just plain scary. simply no-one ever asked me to dance let alone schnogg. kerry mcilrath kissed everyone. i was tall and skinny. taller than anyone (except for my sisters of course) and won tennis games, camped in the garden and rode horses. and only had silver bangles. not gold ones. i spoke differently, coming from up north. all the seff efrican girls said "police poss the jem". and went to posh midlands schools. and wore gold. i went to the local catholic convent. to the extremely occasional teenage parties,  i wore silver (home painted) high tops, knicker bockers and T shirts tied to the side, like the pony tail, and finished it off with heavy green eye shadow and lip gloss. LOTS of lip gloss. so did helen wilson. my next bestest. we  found all the naughty bits in mrs wilson's cheap novels and concluded that sex was ticklish. we had desperate crushes on gavin and andre (his best friend) and mocked brett simes (who had a desperate crush on me). he once tried to touch my toe on the back of the landcruiser going to mtunzini to water ski. sis man.  the  best boys seemed to prefer little pretty girls. Little as in quaint girlie girls. sometimes i think they still do.  once charles took me out to his vanette parked in the sugar cane to schnogg me, i thought. until he pulled "it" out and asked me to hold "it". i was aghast. i leapt out the car, and ran like lightening under the moon back to the party to helen.  and kerry. and gavin and andre who were competing for penny (who was pretty and Little). and kerry.  charles was just trying to get lucky, man. 

stay with me, patient reader. i am trying to remember when i got scary. and can't for the life of me recall....what a diversion.

well. the point is my friends are exceptional and boy am i lucky. and not scary at all.

they are perfect.

chin chin to friends, i say.

so toodely toot than, You. bisous X.X.X. large scary ones....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

wild horses couldn't drag me away...

i am stiff. very stiff.
on saturday afternoon at approximately five o clock in the evening, i galloped faster than i have in years. in fact, probably since i was 16 and fearless.
it was initially intended. an act of carefree fearlessness. of freakish bravado.
no hat. (i know i know)

so there was this dusty red plain scattered with acacia trees, the odd log and the odd horse neck and leg breaking rider killer aardvark hole.

what was i thinking? 

ridiculous thoughts obviously. thoughts which make you do very silly gallop off in fifth gear in no particular direction. on an ex race horse. who has won lots of races. apparently. and, as i belatedly discovered, hates being last. 
so away i went, towards the mountain, the setting sun behind me, red dust blinding me, wind screaming in my ears and a horse which was so flat it was almost an inch from the ground, which by this point was a blur. this went on for a long time because clearly i had time to make these observations. i knew what it felt like to be william the conquerer. i had time, babies. i was making time.

quite suddenly and admittedly rather too bloody belatedly, i started thinking sensibly. 

y'know janelle, this probably isn't a good idea. no. no. whoops. there goes another AARDVARK HOLE into which horse could stumble, and somersault upon which you will fall onto the ground, break your neck and leave children with no direction home. or end up a live faceless cabbage.
ok yes. fuck. i need to slow down right now damnit. 
you try and change gears on a full speed galloping horse. i tried. 
in fact, she only sped up. so away we went. 
and went.
and went.

i made it.

and felt like i had just won a world recogized special horse award for excellence generally all round. 

returning back to camp i hastily tucked into a bottle of prosecco (as any world champion would) to celebrate this infinitely soul releasing act of foolishness. while i toasted the moon floating up behind kilimanjaro. with my spaghetti thin riding buddy tati, who HAD in fact, aherm, taken a tumble. and returned to my what is becoming an habitual bad habit of thinking irretrievably foolish thoughts. 

obviously the evening panned out as i had intended. ya know. responsive universe and all that...remember? in my prosecco fuelled enthusiasm, i guitar peaked too early. 

i met a new zealander, a few germans, a few dutchies, a half tanzanian russian, who was a good looking dead ringer for lenin,  carlos's spanish family, newly arrived directly from spain, late and wide eyed like bunnies in the headlights and a bottle of jamesons.

as soon  as his family unreluctantly stumbled into what was now a run away party,  we broke into La La La La Bamba. i promise you carlos LOVES it.  and worse,  i kept speaking completely rubbish italian to his sister. at any given sodding opportunity. at least i was pleasant to the germans from makowa. i know i was. civil. polite. charming, in fact. 

dirk and i sang Keep On Rocking In The Free World about six times, i think it was. i sang my waltz twice. once at seven. again at around ten and then i am sure i sang it again before i went to bed at 4. which would make it three times then. still. the evening ended on a deeply crushing note. dirk said he needed absolutely to tell me that he thought, well, he thought my shirt was just, well, HORRIBLE.

crushed. i tell you. i bloody love it. its acqua, with sort of hindu heads all over it...AND it matches my antique italian jade ring...anyway. boo hiss. can't be helped. i shall have to punish him forever.

bed beckons. my body is so stiff. i am tired. but by god i am wildly happy. 
and foolish.

toooodely ole toot then, Oh Bestest, bisous X.X.X. dusty cowgirl ones...

Friday, May 8, 2009

headin' west....

oh my the moon is so round and full and beautiful tonight. . . it explains everything.

i can even see the snow caps on kilimanjaro glitter. if i was a better photographer i would take one for you...

another week has slipped by... and what a one it was.

tommorrow we leave for west kilimanjaro...for carlos's house warming...a late afternoon ride awaits and then  a night around a fire, guitars, horses, moon gazing and poetry. and saying terribly clever things after a few whiskies. . . 

i can't wait.

so tooooodely old tooooooooooodely pip then, You. bisous, great full round moon ones...X.O.. j

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

balancing. . .

when death nudges you, all sorts of things warp into shape. very clearly. things shift and click quite suddenly into place. the final piece of the puzzle. there it is. a complete picture. 

Immediate Things are terribly important. don't do anything carelessly. without thought and intention. and attention. and humour. yes. humour. i want to laugh. when i laugh i feel so alive. almost as much as when i cry. 

i laughed when i read:

"...a  husband is what is left of a lover after the nerve has been extracted..." Helen Rowland. i read it to a teacher at school this morning. she smiled and she said, " my husband is like an antique cartridge. the bullets are all spent."

on sunday i looked at my crumpled bed upstairs and it was suddenly completely imperative that i made it perfectly. no creases. primped up the pillows.  hospital corners. it's not that i don't make my bed, but usually i throw it together...because there's always more important and inspiring things to get on with.

at school everything seems so bright. the children walking calmly through the rain. i watched the rain falling. for a long time. i laugh more now like when alfin burst into You Make Me Feel a line too soon..and everyone sniggered and i laughed until i had tears. yes. a little OTT but still. until everyone was laughing, rolling about the hall. 

i never drink Bacardi. last night i had three with orange juice. (ok. it was the only thing left in the cupboard). but it calmed the edges. these last few days i have wrapped myself in a mist so i don't come too close to the ones i love most. like the children. the thought of losing them i cannot bear right now. i always manage to push this, my deepest fear, far over the horizon. i feel off kilter yet i feel i see things so clearly. like tam said, the veil is very thin right now. my invisible tentacles are stretched far beyond, over the hills, the vallies, the oceans. i feel. i see. 

my ears are filled with music. my nose is buried in books. my eyes are glittering, taking in the world. with very clear and sharp, blindingly bright edges. nothing is going unnoticed. but it's the smallest things. who said god is in the details? an architect, i think. i am measuring every word ever uttered by myself and others - their meanings like tinkling bells around my heart. 

i have felt an even bigger shift this time round. more than ever. it's like a trembling energy. a quavering note. perhaps because i am older. perhaps my awareness has increased.  my skin feels so thin. my heart is loud. my hunger has gone. the physicality is in balance - on a tight rope. and i am poised with no safety net. it's like something could explode out my chest....

memories of the past are like movies flickering in my head. possibilities loom. 

all i know is that in the end it's really only ever about Love. 

as Jacque Prevert so simply wrote (and perhaps not really understanding the absoluteness of his words at the time) 

"...C'est tellement simple, l'amour."

Monday, May 4, 2009


and i forgot to say, it just isn't ever going to be quite the same again....




happier days...

so my music friend died on friday night.
quite suddenly.
just like that.

he's the one in the black hat on the other guitar. that guitar was my favourite one. it has a warped out of tune sweet sound. it's the one i want to burn on a pyre for him.

this isn't going to be some sort of eulogy. i'm just saying.

he was always the kind of person who liked a trip. a wild one. i guess he saw the light and thought, man, i ain't gonna miss this for anything ferrchristsakes...and lynyrd would've been there waitin',  ya know? 

we loved each other.
and at times we hated each other. 

we played foot stompingly good music together. 

he was a bi polar genius. he was either being  100% arsehole (by his own admission) or 100% charming and wildly fun. he got a kick out of always being slightly on the other side of the law. and boy did he know the rules. and the chinks in your armour. he could do your head in in a flash.

even when i hated him i always conceded he played sweet home alabama better than lynyrd skynyrd. 

the man with the scythe has brushed my shoulder a few times. i can be quite philosophical about him, really. but man, everytime he's round for collection, it blows me away. i am left immeasurably sad and stunned.

yeah. so there you are. and i'll tell you something else. getting a body from tanzania back to texas is like herding cats and some....

god speed Wesley Corbett Bishop....