Tuesday, June 9, 2009


something has been stealing all my words. my thoughts.

something like the cat in the hat.

i am still in this, well, condition. it's nothing bad or anything. quite the opposite in fact. and i'm Not Pregnant. at all. no. god forbid.

i can't seem to concentrate on anything important. like i used to. like school. like supper. like marking and lesson plans. like getting anywhere on time. like Normal Responsibilities For Any Old Human On The Planet. i find myself staring out the window. staring at blazing green wild grass; or strolling the hills when the red moon is rising and loving how they roll southwards, silver, a wrinkly blanket over the steppes. like watching the sun dapples (sun beams for christ's sake! she alarmingly pinches herself) wobbling, dancing sun dapples in my car at school, while i wrote rambly silly thoughts like these. (and snuck in a camel light) and noticed one purple petal of a common old bougainvillia lying brave and bright against the spiky gravel. look. i'm not denying that one doesn't have these odd little moments. but mine are happening All The Time.

i couldn't care less about what form a school report is in. whatever. i couldn't give two friggin' hoots. instead i doodle in green ink; intricate 3 D roman camps with stars all around them while monsieur mwaipopo, the french master who wears flambuoyant jackets and the best ties ever, arches his eye brows at my brilliant 3 D doodles, smiling bemusedly at me, and feeling ever so slightly uncomfortable about the situation. (we were in the same discussion group). he warm heartedly echoed my dreamy mutterings of " je n'ai aucune idee..." everytime he asked for a little contribution to the group talk. quelque chose les a vole, i should've added. i managed to say yes yes yes vaguely to a few pointers. and by some bizarre and completely mystical trick, some of the meeting's information actually cunningly sieved itself past this majik that has taken hold of me, and hangs doggedly onto my conscious mind. deeply relieved.

tonight i put this majik in a jar. tonight i managed to work. i have managed to write this. tonight i was back to being Minister Of Home Affairs. and The Fun Police. to a relatively bloody sterling degree, i reckon. closing down runescapes against fierce resistance. managing to access teachit.co.uk all on my own. and actually successfully navigate the site. iamnotaludditeiamnotaluddite. my ideas on report forms are going to win me world recognition for their brilliance. i could be a news reader on CNN or Sky. with dark rimmed spectacles, finger on the pulse, straight hair, and fucking smart. this is all rather relieving and balancing.

but in a minute, i shall peek through the curtains and spy the late red moon slowly float above the quiet hills, for a good while, and then the majik will pop the lid of the jar and steal all my words and thoughts again.
oh well. worse things have happened at sea.
Kitchen Board: Tuesday Night: June 2009

a tampered board...various anonymous contributors. obviously mine is the one in big pissed off letters...as a reminder to myself that i have lived in africa for, gosh, what, 4o odd years and EVERY time the electricity fails its customers (which happens a Lot), i can never:

1. find a functioning torch. to find a functioning lighter or match box to light candles
2. find candles.
3. find a functioning paraffin lamp.
4. find a bottle of paraffin to fill last remaining functional, yet empty, paraffin lamp.

and when you do find a match box, most of them are used (and have been put back in box. guilty.), some of them snap in half when you strike them, some of them have no sulphur and you'll be lucky to find the last functioning match.

consequently i have become largely adept at feeling my way to the generator house in the darkness and starting it blindly.

and re: the pot handles...oh well. forgive my slightly embarrassing loss of temper.

so toodely old toot then, You. tumbly bisous X.X.X majiked ones...j


PurestGreen said...

I know the majik has you and is drawing outside the lines of life's practicalities. And I know that this can make you forget things and go off into the dreaming, which may be inconvenient for you.

But I am loving this. All your thoughts feel like they are adrift on a beautiful leaf boat. It's wonderful to read.

Elizabeth said...

I think you had better FIX LAMPS
I loved it in Maroc when the lights went out (often)
and we had candles all over the place and up the stairs flickering and so on.
Maybe the majik has got you a little bit
much love from mundane NY

Angela said...

At the turn of the millenium when we were told everything would break down, computers would crash and certainly all lights would go out, I bought a box with 50 candles (cheap sale) ahead of time to chase away the darkness and the cold( -10 ° C). But miraculously nothing of the sort happened, except the cold, which stayed outside, and so I still have some of those peach coloured candles. Would you like a parcel with them and a few match boxes or cigarette lighters (those are always given us by the dozen from our Polish cigarette sellers), or will such parcels be confiscated by the douane?

family affairs said...

That is because you are a poet and that is what poets do....think random beautiful thoughts at unexpected times (not that I exactly know because I am SO not a poet) Lxx

SafariB said...

family affairs is so right J...

and I just love every blog you share with us. Little precious gifts waiting to touch my soul. Love them. They remind me of home and of me and of life - of friendship and joy and sadness. I get that "yeah" feeling.

as for the randomness of thoughts... I'm often there with you on that one, so you are not alone!

mighty jo said...

your words lull me in like the soft ticking of a faraway clock.
i will listen as i fall asleep and find new dreams.

QldDeb said...

Sometimes we have to stop and look at the obscure things in life.

Go with the flow, reality will drag you back soon enough.

And the writing is lovely.

Bill Stankus said...

And another terrific photo... you are on a roll!

Janelle said...

oh THANKS Y'ALL! such lovely lovely comments...geli yes. the liklihood of candles getting to me all the way from there to here are well, unlikely...but THANKS for the sweet thought...i can buy them here...it's just a matter of well, being organised!?
bill - thanks. i wish i had taken it. in fact, that's me and an old music buddy sitting under the stars concocting some music..this pic was taken by our doc friend dr juergen, who now lives in china...i love it. it's clearly majiked...! glad you enjoyed it. love from here to there to all of you...x x x j

karen said...

Majikal words from the pink house, as ever. That photo is truly enchanting! I completely relate to the power cuts and no torch situation.. you'd think we would learn! x

Dumdad said...

Count yourself lucky that these majikal thoughts swirl all around you. I had the same trouble some time ago and put the majik in a jar. Then I found I couldn't open the damn jar; the lid was stuck solid! And now I can't even find the sodding jar! Count yourself lucky.

Tessa said...

Majik - yeah, it makes you go all over weird and rattling and gives you the feeling you can fly.

Speaking of majik. Listening to it now - LOUD. A deep digging bluesy funky jazz blue grassy sound that rocks my soul, man. Sometimes gritty and dark, sometimes melancholic, sometimes soaring and joyous – always sensational. Serendipity indeed – many times over. Mazuri sana sana sana kapeeeeesa. Thanks Janelli.

PS Why aren't you a world famous diva, up there on a billboard in LA on your spotty horse in a billowing red skirt and Italian boots with Kili in the background....on second thoughts, perhaps you are?

Janelle said...

indeed karen! x j
ah tessa so glad you it got there! hoorah! xxx j

Lori ann said...

...actually I have a good friend thats an agent in LA...

I love the photo of the pink house and I can see you playing...and I think I can hear you too...
yes!..believe in love, seredipity...majik indeed.

Nat said...

Just found your blog yesterday - started reading and found that i couldn't stop. Arrived in arusha less than a week ago. Love hearing your thoughts. Left my horse behind in canada though (hearing that you actually have horses here was a pleasant surprise). I will return to Toronto for work in August, but till then im accompanying my boyfriend while he works here (and looking for ways to occupy my time!) - cheers, N

Janelle said...

hey nat! thanks for swingin' by. karibu to arusha. it sure is a mad little town...!? x j

Dale said...


Na ja, it will do that, among other things. Take words away and bring pictures. And you never know: it might make you do things altogether uncomfortable. But heed Dumdad: the risks of putting it aside are even higher. When it opens the little roller coaster door for you, you just have to get in, no matter what your orderly sensible plans were :-)

Thanks for the glimpse here.

Reya Mellicker said...

You know you've been grieving over the loss of your friend. You had that tooth thing and then there's that old devil moon just past.

I can see stars in the first image, stars in a photo. Wow. Fix the lanterns, yes, light is necessary, but how wonderful that where you are there is never too much light. Wow. You see a true night sky, inky, with stars and the Milky Way.

No wonder you are so magical.

Take good care!

Miranda said...


Mud in the City said...

Hi Janelle! Africa has that majik - I'm missing it. Stuck in an office having tasted the freedom of red earth and dew dappled veldt. Must Make Another Escape Plan Soon. It is the only answer.

Will email you about the lovely, beautiful horses too!