Saturday, May 29, 2010

ngorobob waffle.

lately i have succumbed to a dizzy feeling of gratitude.

maybe its the time of year or something.

or the moon.

but really, everything is very, very shiny.

it's the yellow-flowers-in-the-green time of year.

cusp of the season.

everything seems very, very beautiful.

and clear cut.

wild flowers and butterflies and moons and turquoise twilights laced with winter crispness.

with all of africa gleaming every which way.

kilimanjaro looms large and benign, as though it's just across the valley. totally sparkling out mt. meru. typical. such a twinklin' tart.

actually it's torrid. don't be fooled. don't climb it.

i like looking at mountains from the bottom or from afar. i possess no catholic desire to get to The Top. safari c climbed it last year; via The Western Breach, people. (the hard way, in case you're wondering, as opposed to the Coca Cola Easy Peasy Route). mind you, he was just doing his job. guiding some wageni, some unsuspecting texans.

i was lying on the beach in pangani as he was about to summit, looking like The Michelin Man.

i realized i was the winner in this case. yes. biscuits all round and very large noddy badges pinned onto my winner pin striped blazer. (also noted to self in proverbial black book.) i won. i felt extremely smug by being at sea level and not in some puny, pathetic little tent, buffeted by furious mountain winds and freezing my tits off.

not much to report from this lofty abode perched on the ngorobob hill. apart from seasons shifting along with colours. mrs popadopalis's flower farm is ablaze. and she emailed me to say i was no longer allowed to ride on the farm. because, as i have recently discovered, carlos, my dear spanish vaquero friend from west kilimanjaro, saw nina recently and said oh! how stupendously marvelous it was to ride ACROSS the flower fields. or maybe he actually said THROUGH the flower fields. in his spanenglish. she blanched. between her greek english and his span-oh-don't-worry-about-him-he's-from-barcelona-english, there was a bad error in communication. i always stick to the tracks. godsakes. i am a farmer's daughter. i have since being doing some serious arse licking to no avail. i shall nevertheless persist. and carlos said he would try to correct the situation. quickly, i hope, before the flowers fade and wilt.

oh wait. news hot off the press (well. at least a week old or so): we found fresh elephant droppings in a valley not far from here. really. just outside kisongo. this is remarkable. what on earth was an elephant doing there? wandering from tarangire to visit monduli mountain, perhaps? or maybe fulfilling a deep seated need for a new view? who knows. but there the poo was. undeniably leviathan.

and people, i am on Half Term. a blissful situation. and counting the weeks until the two month long "summer" hols. (it's really winter this side of the globe).

enough waffle.

toodely toot, then, y'all and bisous X.X.X. dizzy butterfly ones x j.

Friday, May 14, 2010


i want to write funny but circumstances demand that i don't.

a friend of mine just died of cerebral malaria. these things shouldn't happen these days.

the thing is that last saturday i saw her, at rugby, stoically sipping some rose wine, which she couldn't finish, recently arrived from lake tanganyika, burning with fever. i told her to take malaria dawa (medicine) but she said oh no, it's not malaria, tests are negative. i've taken anti biotics, i'll be fine. i'll be fine. a week later she's gone. just like that. fresh and only 30.

cerebral malaria. blackwater fever.

little nantus, who is nine, the nephew of my friend, looked at me with his freckled nose and sky blue eyes and said, " i thought it was a dream. but it's just life, hey?"

i was stopped by a policeman yesterday and he asked, where are you going? i said to see my friend whose sister just died of malaria and she was only 30. and he said, oh pole sana. they caught it too late, eh? yeah, i said, too late. just too late.

so not too many words today. not too many words. p'raps a poem sent by t:

The Wanderer's Night-song

On all hilltops

There is peace,

In all treetops

You will hear

Hardly a breath.

Birds in the woods are silent.

Just wait, soon

You too will rest.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

still. i'm here. i'm still here. on the little round ngorobob hill in the little pink house, y'all.

let's, as jim morrison said, remember to have our fun before the whole shithouse goes up in flames, eh?

let's. oh let's.

so toodely oh best beloveds, bisous X.X.X. startlingly real ones x j

Saturday, May 1, 2010


(first born 2nd from Left. second born with black eye on RHS)

miranda is right. the rains haven't gone. at all.

but still. they've taken on a wintery tone. i can wear my snazzy little leather jacket these days. nights are nippy. there.

and the hills are scattered with wild flowers. always a sign. always. (of seasons changing, silly)

and it's sunday. i promised i would lie in this morning. but no. eyes flicked open at seven. impossible. coffee beckoned. and here i am.

the week-end began with an all out friday night. all out as in wheels off. too much blackberry vodka, culminating in uncontrollable weeping and me being particularly obstreperous and eating pork. pork? i don't eat pork. but there ya go. so i woke up on saturday morning looking like a bus had reversed repeatedly over my face. my head felt like it had a large and tight elastic band tightly wound around it. not good. oh no. not good at all. after sending apologetic sms's to very nice and forgiving friends, i dragged myself off to watch the rugby - twigas (giraffe in swahili - the tanzanian side) against the cheetahs (the best rugby side from kenya, with 16 national players). it was, once again, a total massacre. something like 67 to 0. but oh so impressive to watch. i sat on the edge of the emerald green field drinking soda, sprite and bitters, with very large dark sun glasses (to cover the mashed up face) and silly high heel shoes. completely inappropriate for marching around on a muddy rugby field. (you know, heels sinking in mud and blah). still. they match the snazzy leather jacket and look terrifically cool with my jeans and make me ever so tall. i sat lots, though.

i find that these days i actually watch the rugger. before i would chit chat, admire people's jewels, rugby player's legs and vaguely know the score. now i'm fierce about it. i tell people to go away, can't talk now, watching the game, der! but i still can't tell you which position is which. why they have line outs. why they randomly decide to scrum. who is a forward, fly half, scrum half, center or where they have to stand. and as for those coded numbers when they throw the ball into the line out, flummaxed.
BUT i know what a forward pass is (clearly the ref yesterday didn't) and i know you've got to run like hell and get the ball over the try line then kick it over the goal posts. (oh and not entirely sure of how many points you get for it.) nevertheless. i love yelling and whooping and shouting "tackle him", filled with violent intention, from the sidelines.
rugby game rules equate staring into a land rover engine for me. i just can't understand or remember them. they must just work.

first born won man of the match in his curtain raiser...(man? skinny boy of the match really.) he was completely brilliant. scoring a try and kicking accurate conversions with bare feet. for this outstanding achievement he won himself a second soda. second born scored 2 goals in his football match in moshi and swam sterlingly, apparently. couldn't be in two places at once. so all round sporting success for the picannins of the hill. all bloody marvelous. terrifically proud. third born just skipped about looking pretty and eating lots of ice creams. (for lunch and dinner, i think? also lara preferred chocolate ice cream for dinner until miranda took her away from me. what?)

oh. if you want to know why miranda hasn't blogged for ages it's because she's been cleaning her picture window....i think she's finally realized she's been cleaning The Wrong Side.