i found myself heading out for an actual walk last wednesday afternoon, deciding to take warmth and solace from the last of the syrup golden sun and extract my mind from silly, temporary sadnesses. look.
i took a photograph of some boda boda riders heading home down the hill.
how sweetly the acacia stretch, almost making an arch over the dusty tracks which smell of smoke and winter.
i stopped in to say hi to c, d’s mother, who hales from kenya. she is an absolute tonic and inspiration and has lead a life more colourful than most. she raised all her children in zanzibar, living through the revolution of the early '60's. she sheltered 6 other children (of Indian and arab extraction) as the revolution swept the island, slaying arabs and indians. the revolutionaries came to the house, banging and shouting at the door. she opened it, so petite and elegant, very calm, very beautiful, still is. the young, fiery armed revolutionaries looked inside and counted 9 children, all of vaguely similar age and height, but clearly of different families, race and cultures. they barked at C, “are these ALL your children?” “Yes they are. All of them,” staring cool as a cat calmly and elegantly back at them. “ALL of these?” they disbelievingly insisted. “Yes. Every. Single. One of them. They’re all mine,” she unblinkingly replied, standing her ground. they left, obviously convinced. i definitely wouldn't have bought it.
this, oh besties, in my book, is heroic stuff.
she learned to ride on giant English race horses as a child and, consequently, has never climbed back on one since. not even a shetland. she is the only person i know who has drunken liquidized quat, a somalian speed weed which all the truckers CHEW to keep them awake and driving all night. (or google for a better descripton) in fact, i don’t think anyone else in the world has ever thought of making a juice out of it before. the thing is, you’re supposed to chew quat. C wanted the full monty, I guess. she said it made her feel quite ill for a couple of days and has never tried it again, like horses.
we sat drinking some berry juice. she said I could smoke inside because she’s terrifically cool. i adore making her laugh, and I can, about the most serious of matters. she throws her head back and howls with laughter at what should be, at best, tragic stories of broken hearts, espionage, broken up families, allusions to intellectual midgets until we both quickly remind ourselves of our inherently Buddhist natures and say nice things about everyone and the world and feel terribly good inside.
so there i was, jabbering incessantly, trying my best to make her laugh, and succeeding, when I felt insecty tickles on my neck. i unthinkingly, midsentence, put my hand up and WACK, was karmically stung by a bloody bee. on my thumb. “Oh, it’s just a bee,” i hear you say. as i say to my children…”At least it wasn’t a scorpion. Or a wasp. Or CHILDBIRTH. Now that’s sore. So come on. Chin chin. It’s nothing. It’s just a bee sting. Pah. Etc etc” but FMS, it was sore. my hand is still swollen two days later. the children think it’s vile and disgusting and won’t touch it or let me touch them. if i hold it under first born’s nose, he shudders. my friend and colleague at school, Charles Charlie Charles (the art teacher) said “Oh pole sana! But it just looks like you have a fat baby’s hand.” charming. today it’s so itchy I could chain saw it to pieces because no one will tickle the itchies to death. and to think of how many bees i’ve saved from swimming pools….hive loads, i tell ya.
at least it didn’t sting me on my neck. i might be looking like ET today. or a giant baby. (Confession: i’ve always thought ET was disgusting. i thought it was a horror film when i watched it. that child needed guidance. couldn’t they have made ET a little more attractive? or at least furry - ish? he was like a giant frog, for kerrist’s sake….ew)
and another thing…(oh. don’t go away….!) … for the record, i just can’t get into boy bands….i really would like to love Rose (as in Rohzeh the wine. i don’t know how to do French accents on the keyboard) by The Feelings, a beautifully filmed music vid in Abbey Road for Burberry (a string of super nostalgic, classy associations right there, I think)….annoyingly, i couldn’t get over the Rose wine metaphor….i couldn’t take it seriously. (going to have another listen and peek before I press ‘publish’ on this…) ok. done. they will never ever be The Beatles, no matter how hard they try, how many videos they make at abbey road, or of being mini people in acquariums, with oversized lizards, snakes (and lapels) and, god forbid, FROGS lurking horribly close to the mini people and stuff (look here. just do it.). oh but the strings and transitions in ‘Rose’ are quite beautiful… have a look (that IS a link so click away, babies) and let me know if I am missing something and if, in fact, they are what one would call a Boy Band? or (be kind now) am i just getting old?
the singer just seems, well, a little too earnest in his love and, frankly, damn those lyrics. and the Rose with an accent. give me a Jamesons, and say, jake bugg or the the tallest man on earth (they ARE modern), any day. (loving the linking, by the way. so you'd better watch or i'll hunt you down. i will, you know. )
chin chin y’all and bisous.X.X.X. honeyed ones on yer bee stung lips. X j