Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Robot Mummy.(found on google)

Life does go on a bit, doesn’t it? Whether you like it or not. Not to sound ungrateful or anything like that. No. I am. Very thankful. The sun comes up and goes down. The moon is a sweet half and growing. The weather is positively disgusting. Wild winds throwing dust in great revolting clouds. There is no more grass. The old horse keeps getting dust colic. The days are white with heat and becoming relentless and there is no sign of rain, apart from the early flowering of the acacia nilotica. Julie says it means the rains are close. Close, my arse. As we bumped up the hill yesterday, clouded in red dust, I muttered "Please let it rain soon, God." First born: What would you do if it started raining when we got home ma?
Me: Definitely convert. Immediately.
It didn't.
God: 0. Janelle: 4, 328 526.5

 It’s back to the drawing board for me.  Well, the chalk board (read white board) after all the drama of the past few weeks.  For the first time, I am immersed in my work but in a good way. I am not exactly planning anything, like you’re supposed to (you know, lesson plans, termly objectives and everything…good LORD!) But I am inspired by what I am discovering and sharing.  Teaching English literature sure is a plum job. Yes. So after leaving second born far behind, I’ve hit the road running. There hasn’t really been time to lick wounds, which is likely a healthy thing. Not utterly convinced though because the result of this is that I am now royally sick. My brain is leaking out of my nose. I kid you not. I am considering shoving mini tampons up my nostrils to stop the flow. But that wouldn’t look very attractive, especially in class, which is essentially a stage. I could get away with it at home, I guess. Anyone who visits the hill would understand. Those are the kind of friends I have. Few but true. 

Everyone has righteous ideas about how to cure a cold: piriton, (2 and pass out), crush and eat raw garlic, Vit C, rest, ginger and honey (we love this one and we are presently sipping this as we type – she’s back, Queenie). Jim Harrison suggests a T bone steak, followed by a bottle of whisky and a joint in a hot bath, in that order. I think you wake up the next day in the bath and feel better. I haven't tried that one. Yet. My first aid bag contains plasters and one tube of germoline. Oh and since yesterday more brufen than you could shake a stick at – enough to fill all the tubes in a smartie factory. I’m popping them avidly. My eyes have lovely black rings around them which are terribly dramatic so you can tell I am sick.  I stagger through the school day and flake out fantastically when I get home. It’s exceedingly boring. I might as well stand over a basin and drip to death, watching my skull concave from where my brain used to be. I’m nearing the I Want My Mummy stage. When you’re the mother, it seems you can’t get sick. No one’s going to do your shit for you. Or plump up your pillows and bring you tea and Bovril soldiers in bed. “I can’t not go to school,” she wails. I know. I know. Shining halo eh? But no. It’s because I haven’t done any cover lessons and I’m scared of being caught out and fired. Can’t let the side down now, can we? So I have to keep on keeping on teaching. But the body is not at all happy about this. I tell it to shuddup and get on with it. But I am not a robot it seems. I am an imperfect, confused, tired human being.

Which brings me to my next annoying Big Thing Point: the please prove you’re not a robot saga on the  bloggie comment sections….For christ’s sake? It’s complicated, isn’t it?  I lean into the screen, I feel the pressure. The letters are all purposefully squashed together so you can’t tell if it’s a “D” or an “l” close up to a “C”….
Clearly, I am not a robot. I have feelings. I am sick and I am terrifically human.
And I shall paint The Naartjie tree when I feel better. 
So there.

Cold Poem

A cold has put me on the fritz, said Eugene O'Neill,
how can I forget certain things?
Now I have thirteen bottles of red wine
where once I had over a thousand.
I know where they went but why should I tell?
Every day I feed the dogs and birds.
The yard is littered with bones and seed husks.
Hearts spend their entire lives in the dark,
but the dogs and birds are fond of me.
I take a shower frequently but still
women are not drawn to me in large numbers.
Perhaps they know I'm happily married
and why exhaust themselves vainly to seduce me?
I loaned hundreds of thousands of dollars
and was paid back only by two Indians.
If I had known history it was never otherwise.
This is the song of the cold when people
are themselves but less so, people
who haven't listened to my unworded advice.
I was once described as "immortal"
but this didn't include my mother who recently died.
And why go to New York after the asteroid
and the floods of polar waters, the crumbling
buildings, when you're the only one there
in 2050? Come back to earth.
Blow your nose and dwell on the shortness of life.
Lift up your dark heart and sing a song about
how time drifts past you like the gentlest, almost
imperceptible breeze. 
toodely toot, y'all. bisous X X X blown ones into the dusty ole wind, so i don't make you sick too. x j


family Affairs said...

Well the bath combo sounds fab, I guess the other option in that case is that you drown in the bath overnight and don't have to worry about your cold anymore.

Also, YES you're bloody robot thing - it takes me at least 5 goes before I get it right - it is AGEIST and MEAN. I hate it and you have to make it go away.


family Affairs said...

Although WOOHOO that one worked first time because my glasses were in the vicinity Lx

But this one will no doubt take more and then I can't go back and tell you how many times it took because I'll be here all night Lx

Janelle said...

flip..how do i remove it from here???? i had no idea?? must look into that. SO SORRY! gasp. xxx

Amanda said...

recently weathered a similar brain leakingly snot dripping crud myself. sorry for yours, although i have to say i enjoyed reading the bit where you fancied shoving tampons up your nostrils - now there's a use for them the manufacturers didn't think about hehe.

the poem is wonderful - jim harrison sounds like he could be the long lost brother of jim morrison with his steak and whiskey cure (temped to try that sometime but substitute a martini)

i can't stand the robot crap on blogger either but without it i get comments from robots saying they loved my post now please purchase cheap tickets to kathmandu, islamabad and ulan bator.

Janelle said...

Aha! You see...! So good that we keep the annoying robot detector then! X j

Dumdad said...

Get well soon Janelle. Life is just one damn thing after another, as that American writer once said. C'est la vie etc etc....

... seventh attempt at not being a robot...

Nicola said...

i keep the robot detector on my blog, because when I have removed it in the past, not only did I get offers of cheap tickets to kathmandu, islamabad and ulan bator, but free sexual favours from natives of those areas and I already get those from my husband...

Elizabeth said...

I do remember having to go in to school because I didn't have any emergency lesson plans!

do hope you feel better
feel tampons up nose would not be aesthetically pleasing

I think you are sad that 2nd born is far away and it is coming out in a cold.

Marmite toast
hot lemon and honey

the robot thing totally sucks.
It is hard to get rid of.......but possible
google it maybe


Robot easier than usua:l Messoft 7

subliminal message? ME SOFT? or MESS OFT (en)
try to figure that out

JoeinVegas said...

Ah, but you too have that 'prove you're not a robot' thingie. Oh why.

reluctantmemsahib said...

i started with an attempt at something clever but failed to prove i wasn't a robot. second time it was briefer and yet again my flesh and bloody reality didn't pass muster. so this really is remarkably memorable in case i have to prove - for the 4th time, that i'm for real. get better soon. oh. and eat soup. xx

Lori ann said...

i removed the robot thing when it began(go to settings, comments, it's in there) and all weirdness goes to spam, the filters do a great job. feel better soon dear.