Tuesday, June 23, 2015

On learning new things...


(Gary Larson)

For some of us, myself and last born to be exact, school is NOT over. Far from it. We have 9 more whole days to go still. I swear time has slowed down. Marvelous. I’ve been wanting that to happen forever. But not at school. More like when I am on holiday. Still. Beggars can’t be choosers blah blah bleh.

It’s getting harder and harder to get up in the morning and make our way down the hill and into the school gates. The mornings are cold and the bed so warm and we’re tired. In order for us to look forward to something, last born and I have decided to write down all the new things we learn each day. 

So I have been hurriedly perusing the school library shelves, paging through encyclopaedias and physics books. Surely I don’t know everything about dinosaurs, stars and atoms? I know I don’t. Nothing leaps from the pages. It's tricky, you see. The only rule is, stipulated by last born, that you can’t chase these new things down. They must come to you. I got what she was saying - like when new things 'reveal' themselves to you and you feel like you've won something. I feel I have cheated though. I have been chasing new things, manically hunting them down. The thought of disappointing her at the end of the day is too horrible to consider. Or perhaps it would be too depressing for myself - an entire day gone without learning a single new thing. Apart from discovering that a person is really an arsehole after all, which doesn't count, I don't think. I found a book on Things You Can’t Explain…or something along those lines... and spent the rest of the today reading about UFO’s.

There are Earthlings who have met Venusians (and Martians. But I knew that already)…and human type creatures from the Pleiades, my favourite constellation by the way. The people from the Pleiades warned the unsuspecting Brazilian farmer, who was busy ploughing his fields one dark night, in a monotone robotic voice, that “Earthlings must look after the planet or else…” we’ll all die. Well. Fuck. I wish we had listened. This close encounter was in 1967 or something. The thing is, because I learned new things about the stars the day before, about how they expand and are their own thermostats and that big stars die sooner and when stars run out of hydrogen, all hell breaks loose, I KNEW that it is an impossibility that any living thing could survive on a Pleiadean star. They’re huge and way too hot. And die off like crazy. Who’d imagine that of the Pleiades? That elegant twinkle of a constellation? 

So, the question is, why did they have to lie about where they're from? The Brazilian farmer had a horrible experience. He tried to speed away on his tractor but the UFO interfered with the engine (UFO's play havoc with electrics) and it cut out mysteriously. He then tried to run away across the ploughed land but was caught and dragged onto the ship. A naked beautiful alien lady was thrown into a "cabin" with him. She proved irresistible. The Brazilian farmer (now a respected lawyer) is under the impression he might well have off spring somewhere out there among the stars. 

Isn’t it annoying how many people fake photographs of UFO’s and aliens? By throwing hats and plates into the air? Bastards. It must be maddening to have actually been on a space ship, like our Brazilian, had an experiment done on you (most of them highly unpleasant like having a triangular device which was attached to wires and machines, shoved up one’s bottom  while being watched by little beings with pale blue eyes in smart white space suits with silver belts, helmets and boots "the colour of dried blood.")and then no one will believe you. It is a common thread in all close encounter stories, that the little beings from other galaxies always offer a lovely tour of the space ships AFTERWARDS, which are very white and silver, an impressive match with their  suits. Our brave Brazilian tried to nick a trinket off the ship as proof of his experience but was caught and thrown off board, empty handed, and went back to ploughing his field. An hour and a half later.

So. Imagine going through ALL of this and then after ALL that, no ones believes you. How maddening. Vexing. You must start to think you're going quite barmy. It makes me not want to believe the stories either but for one thing. My friend Adrian has seen a UFO and he isn’t someone to make things up and tell porky pies. He doesn't even know who Indiana Jones is. He is a bush man of the highest order. It was at night on the Nkwali road, in the middle of bloody nowhere, in the Luangwa Valley. It was definitely not a hat or a spinning plate but a silver flying saucer, well lit up. Other people spotted it across the southern African skies as it hurtled southwards and no one knew what it was.

I wonder if I can get away with learning about UFO’s if they aren’t true or haven’t been proven true?

As Myrtle (may she rest in peace) would say, “Well dear, you’ll wonder and wonder until the crows build nests up your bottom and then you’ll wonder how they got the sticks up there.”

Well now. Since reading about UFO’s, bets are on a stellar triangular device, actually, Myrtle…

Monday, June 8, 2015

Voices in my head...

(Random person off web who clearly didn't listen to The Voices in her head. Everything would be a lot different if she had.)

I remember being at a party somewhere (which is something in itself. ..remembering that I was once at an actual party)  and telling someone about the voices in my head. I said “ You know those voices in your head which tell you different things?” The person quite clearly didn't, almost choked on their olive and moved swiftly away, feigning the quite sudden need for the toilet but not so surreptitiously ended up talking to Boring Handsome Polo Man at the fire instead. Who doesn't have voices in his head. In fact, he only has straw in his head it would appear.

It was after that when the invitations started falling by the way side. No. Wait. That's it! It was when Milz left town. Her parties were very memorable. Especially the kids’ birthday parties. There was always a lot of prosecco and shouting at the kids to “Go play in the traffic” sort of thing, even though there wasn’t any. So it was more like “Go play in nature and explore the karonga. What? Hungry?” 

On occasion we'd raid her mother in law’s sponge bags for happy pills, anxiety pills, aeroplane pills and what not and experiment. Always to our demise. Only if the prosecco ran out. Oh we had some parties the three of us.


Milz and Ella.


Remembering even further back now to a time when I know I hadn't spoken about the voices in my head, fully confident that everyone had them, the invitations stopped when my other best friend Alex left the Valley (Luangwa Valley.) Everything went really quiet after that. I hid in a palm forest near the airport and wrote songs. To confess, things were a little out of control at that stage. In fact way out of control. How no one died, I don't know, what with all the tequila and shot guns. There was way too much sneaking around the mopane forests after dark. All those elephants in rooms. God. It was awful. This all resulted in a lot of angry whisky drinking late into the night. I remember the party on the bend in the river when Alex walked over the burning coals to punch Jake and the sun had only just gone down. We hadn’t had dinner yet. Or the time we gate crashed the poker party we weren’t invited to at Nkwali. We walked in and it became very awkward. Nobody wanted us at their parties. I’m still not sure exactly why not. Apparently we were too fierce, too scary. Bollox. They all had straw in their heads. No voices.

We were outraged, naturally. So we resorted to gate crashing as one does in places where the wild things are. One must understand the location and the situation, you see. And my beautiful friend Alex. 

Here we are together. Long ago. Waiting to be invited.


Me and Alex.

Witchy, huh? It isn’t nice not to be invited when you’re living in the middle of bloody nowhere and the other five people are and you aren’t. Ok. The other ten. It’s dramatic to gate crash those kind of parties, I tell you. It’s, well, noticeable. Really noticeable.

Then she left to go ride horses on the Nyika and then Montana. After that (and after S’s dramatic departure - another story running tandem to present one), the parties stopped. We were, frankly, exhausted. Not long after, a year maybe, I left too. And came here. And that’s the short of it. The really short version. To write it all down would give War and Peace a run for its money. In length only.

Anyway. This post isn’t about all the parties and the damage done. Or the trashy books I will write one day and the millions I’ll make from them. One day.  It’s about the voices in my head, remember? I know everyone has them, don’t they? Be honest now. Seriously?

Well, the voices in my head have been loud and clear lately. Things like, “Everything’s going to be OK in the end.” (This morning when I was putting the kettle on and it made me cry. From relief, probably.)

And “Life is a thankless task. Go home to your dogs. Take comfort in them.” (Yesterday after the horse show and I jammed the boot shut in the car and Lea had to sit on the food trunk and the hay on the back seat.)

And in big colourful capital letters tattooed into my head: DO WHATEVER IT TAKES. STOP BLAMING OTHER PEOPLE OR SITUATIONS. WE CREATE OUR REALITY. IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, CHANGE IT. DO WHATEVER THE FUCK IT TAKES. I think they were bigger and louder than the rest because I am so rubbish and passive and not being responsible for myself and my life and I am obviously not listening to this one.

Haven't a clue where they all come from and who they are exactly. Obviously parts of me. But they sort of stand out from the rest of me as....different.

Call me a hippy. Fine. I couldn’t possibly share what else they've said. Far too off center. Far too weird. I wouldn't be invited anywhere ever again. And nobody would read my crazy rantings here ever again. So you two don't run away now, y' hear?

‘Fess up cowboys and gals, you sayin’ you ain’t got voices in yer heads, y’all?

Goddamn.