Friday, December 31, 2010

resolutions plesolooshuns from the hill

happy new year y'all. i'm glad i made it. just. you? i've been thinking about the year ahead and i definitely want to dance more. i also want to sing more...and remember the words. which will mean i will never have to wear specs at a gig. they say (you know those expert Thems) that if you learn a poem a day, as in ALL the words, this will keep your brain fit...i used to know ALL the words of ALL the songs on carly simon's LP No Secrets.
"we had no secrets / we tell each other everything / about the lovers in our past / and why they didn't last / we share a cast of characters from A-Z / we know - um - a, um - a - dammit/" you see? gone. i THINK i can still do You're So Vain. but not here. it took me months to learn Blake's Tyger! Tyger! yes. so. learn words and sing. must find this LP again. it is intrinsically part of who i am. it brings back childhood memories. good ones. 1970's lilac suede tassels and singing to the blue distant hills in the lounge in lusaka to carly simon. and nancy sinatra...a very handsome italian tennis player gave my mother the carly simon LP outside OK Bazaars on Cairo Road. i sat in the car waiting for her. all she said to me when she got into the car was, " Don't tell Dad who gave me this record, ok?" i don't think i ever did...and i LOVED the LP. i still do. i kept the secret and the faith.
i intend to spend a lot more time in zanzibar...hangin' outside old doors, taking pictures of scabby old cats in stone town and eating at the market in the evenings on the sea front.

because zanzibar obviously means beach, i intend to look like this (starting from today):

oh. and i shall try and be more patient this year. i am the world's most impatient person...with everything...from queuing to love....i am too immediate sometimes for the world...which, i don't think is a bad thing but i mustn't expect everyone else to be as immediate as me...

and i shall continue to believe in majik, no matter how mad people think i might be...i shall make some wickedly good spells and visit a gypsy lady from time to time...i shall have no shame and believe in my convictions, which admittedly waver a million times a day...and change...well. nothin's permanent is it?

i shall try my hardest to accept myself for who i am...this is a difficult one because half the time (or maybe more than half the time) i don't know who i am. i change with wind and the angle of the light... i shall continue to love people deeply (and sometimes inappropriately) for just who they are...
(above pic by sam walker. it's delightful)

wishing y'all a stupendously wonderful 2011...may it be the best one yet. live it.
bisous X.X.X. deeply inappropriate red plum ones. x j

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

gorillas in the christmas tree.

the tree is finally up and sparkling, all thanks to my ever watchful god.

it's enormous. a refreshing change from the usual stark sisal branch nicked from someone's boundary fence. safari c drove for miles, unwittingly it must be said, up the slopes of mt meru to buy one from the forestry department. he said it looked tiny there. it takes up most of the lounge and almost reaches the roof. in fact, it needs an entire shopping mall of decorations and a work force of about 50 men to fill it. it would be completely suitable for Times Square, i reckon. this dubious, yet joyous task, is taken more seriously by last born, alias clingy beetle who also happens to be my god. ya know, as in, whatareyouwearing?whatdidyousay?don'tsaythat!saythis.whyareyousmiling?stopit. doesthislooknice? iamwatchingyoueveninyoursleep. I WANT THE CHRISTMAS FAIRY AT THE TOP OF THE TREE. NOW! I'LL NOT SETTLE FOR ANYTHING ELSE. safari c swiftly followed orders and found the tall ladder and perched her high in the sky. god was happy with what she saw.

first born decided to take god on with a 3cm high plastic gorilla. as she sat staring up at her twinkling creation ( most of which was taking place in the lower third of the tree), first born slyly added his gorilla to the ensemble. he clung precariously to an old maasai beaded ball.

god was none too pleased with this and showed it by a stream of high pitched yelling, going very red in the face retorting that gorillas had absolutely nothing to do with christmas but the pink beaded pig actually did. it was removed and when god wasn't looking, too busy making light, the little gorilla was once more replaced but this time clinging furiously, god forbid, onto one of her little christmas angels, trying with all his little might to steal her trumpet or whatever. not funny. no not funny At All.
things were not made any better by god's mother rather enjoying the game of Where's Wally or rather Where's Gorilla In The Christmas Tree. and the fact that god was so livid because of a little innocuous quite sweet plastic gorilla. god growled and threatened all manner of wrath upon her older brother, who was now skulking irritatingly around our Times Square tree. it was removed only to reappear two hours later peeking cheekily through an attractive yet cheap turkish styled christmas bally. this time first born and i ended up in a fearsome argument over who was going to take the picture. i think he won. whilst god cried furious tears on the couch.

first born delights in the fact that god is very short, at least much shorter than him, which he pointed out. not funny. no. not funny at all. the little gorilla was whisked away and appeared thirty minutes later hanging happily in a soda green tinsel nest high up in his 'forest', with first born taking pictures of him and god lying prostrate with anger beneath him.

the day has ended up rather badly with second born getting involved. a huge row ensued between first and second born, with first born deciding to leave home, only after wounding his brother by calling him names: faggotgayyoucan'tevenreadi'mleavingbecauseofyou. this of course reduced second born to a heart broken vomiting spurt. (burger lunch on lawn). lovely. i am not sure where the little gorilla is now. i am waiting with baited breath. i sit on the couch and search for him amongst the greenery, drinking my tea, thinking that none of this was really in the spirit of christmas. and i have quietly filled the higher two thirds of the tree with the kind help of my now contented little god..... don'thangittherehangitherewhydidyouputitthere? i made the light you know?

indeed you did. indeed you did.

pfff. . .

Kitchen Board: Ngorobob: 22 December 2010.

god (definitely in control of light switch and who clearly can't spell christmas) contented, almost smug, now that the little gorilla is in his very own miniture, leafless string tree, all by himself (see him at the top?)....i dare say he will find his way back into the big tree.....

merry christmas y'all wherever you are. bisous X.X.X. under the soda green mistletoe ones x j

Sunday, December 19, 2010


the very still early hours of the morning woke me up. they did. too still. too muggy. and the single bark of the old dog in the inky darkness. or perhaps it was the whining drone of the mosquito tangled up with the dreaming - someone, something always just beyond my grasp. flights in twilight and passing just beyond reach. whatever. i woke up and couldn't sleep any longer. no matter how hard i tried.

i lie half in half out of the twisted sheet. my inner mind list starts rolling relentlessly stealing my sleep: christmas bonuses for staff, bank accounts, christmas and who's going to cook the ham? in fact, HOW do you cook ham? anxiety about the horses's eye which was swollen like a balloon yesterday. manyara bush? cobra spit? i need sawdust. what happened to the money i left last week to buy the sawdust? gosh. bank today. queues. flip and a christmas tree! i forgot to buy crackers in nairobi. the horses distracted me. washing dishes on christmas day. i don't want to do that. i don't want a mess. the year ahead slides in front of me. already holiday times are being filled without my wanting them. people coming at easter. my father's 80th in july. august is free. yes august is my slot. august is it. august dreams. i close my eyes tightly trying to dream how august will be. sometimes it scares me. school starts in two weeks. must read hamlet. first born has his checkpoint mock exams as soon as school opens. he's rubbish in maths. i must help him. must get old papers. i don't want to go to town and do the shopping. i want to ride. but someone's got to do the shopping. buy the crackers.

i squeeze my eyes shut. i want to squeeze my mind shut. i want to dream the pictures of my august heart. a mosquito whines silver lines around it and my eyes snap open. my feet are sticky. it's too hot to sleep. it's hopeless. so, oh bestests, here i am.

the cat sits quietly at the window, as still as stone, staring into the inky darkness which is imperceptibly changing into dawn. or is it? i cannot see the outline of the hill yet, or the spiky whistling thorns. not yet. not yet.

A black eyed dog he called at my door
The 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.

I'm growing old and I wanna go home
I'm growiing old and I don't wanna know
I'm growing old and I wanna go home.

A black eyed dog he called at my door
A black eyed dog he called for more. - nick drake

kitchen board: sometime in december: ngorobob hill:

this board is rubbish. i shall immediately add:
1 truckload of sawdust.
2 tubes of terramycin.
fix cushions (this is still on list from last year if you recall)
2 boxes of crackers.
1 pocket baby potatoes
a large bunch of mint.
1 jar cranberry sauce
countless christmas pies.
1 quiet mind.
oh god.

toodely y'all. bisous X.X.X. crumpled sleepy ones. x j

Friday, December 10, 2010

as i was sayin'...

i used to be here a lot a long long time ago.
i really won't be cross if everyone's gone away, having given up on the old woman who lives in a little weather beaten pink house on the top of a tanzanian hill called ngorobob.
she made the mistake of becoming an English teacher. this has sapped away all her time and energy but she is now on holiday and has returned, gingerly it must be said, to blog land.
so. lots to catch up on, eh, oh bestest blogging beloveds.

the goat, called albino (remember the one a chief from lake natron bestowed upon safari craig many moons ago? who was destined for the pot?) is still alive. he managed to make best friends with everyone in one day so no one can ever eat him, no matter how annoying he has become. he has discovered his reflection in the mirror and has been found ON the dining table, daintily tip toeing amongst the glasses, to collect his friend from the mirror. he has shown an unswerving determination to enter the house at any given chance. one is reduced to sprinting, as fast as hussein bolt i imagine, to beat him to the front door and close him out. but no, we can't kill him.

instead, i managed to kill tigger, our beloved dog who has been with us forever. i ran her over by mistake after which the vet advised it would be kinder to put her down. this of course was devastating and reduced me to a mass of snot and tears and sent me on a downward spiral of depression. i know she was only a dog, but what a hole she has left. she is buried next to toffee the pony and tintin the jack russel at the bottom of the hill.

and of course, school is to blame. it was hideously busy, culminating in a production of Arthur Miller's dire Death Of A Salesman. i sold my soul to the devil and to god (a little competition never did anyone any harm) for a storm on the opening night (we have an open air ampitheater at school) - not just any old storm, i specified, but a definitely time to build an ark type of storm. it didn't work. i even cajoled someones spinster, christian sister to pray for this monumental storm of all storms. it didn't work. needless to say, the students were fantastic and pulled it off with great aplomb, making me quite emotional and teary with admiration and gratitude. the headmistress of course now thinks i'm brilliant which is a bad thing. it only adds pressure to keep up the lie. i am not brilliant. well. i'm not going to actually admit this. who would? but its exhausting maintaining this facade of faultless brilliance so thank baby jesus christ it's holidays!
things were rather tetchy these last two weeks. it shows.
toodely toot, y'all, and bisous X.X.X. deeply blasphemous ones, yeah x j