Monday, June 24, 2013

home fires.

i know i know….i told you both not to adjust your sets and now look…I’ve left you there staring at the screen saver, patiently waiting for tales of spice tours, stone town tours, prison island tours, giant tortoises and mr alphonse who considers himself a swimmer of international repute and mr bongo (from the congo. poetry. fact.) who took such delight in the sea and sand, he made himself into a doughnut.

but, she sighs, that was so long ago now.

winter has since arrived. shadows have grown longer and days shorter.  in any case, this winter is a fine winter, as african winters go, because we had good rains.  it’s suitably crispy;  the butterflies are taking full advantage of the last of the april wild flowers and stars are spikey.  it’s crisp enough for a fire at night.

making the fire is my ritual and nobody else's. collecting wood, on the other hand, is not. apart from when there is a revolution. i have a secret mexican recipe for starting a healthy fire with no fuss (email me for payment details. the mauritian trick of cooking oil in toilet paper sucks.). i love being the fire keeper. i must watch it like a hawk. woe betide meddlers. my daughter is learning fast. you mustn’t, under any circumstances, meddle with other peoples' fires, toss logs so carelessly on like cushions on a couch. unless you're stealin' other peoples' horses which you would never do.  like a sleeping dog, let it lie. like most everything in life, timing is all.  i consider myself an unashamedly dictatorial goddess at fire making but, oh besties, not in The Boiler. The kuni Boiler. The Rhodesian Boiler. call it what you will.

 frankly, it’s a bastard.

 i think I wrote about it a few years ago, at the beginning of this blog, when I dutifully wrote Every. Single. Day, petulantly infused with heady and ridiculous notions about being discovered and making shit loads of money (how adolescent of me. grow up, for godsake)…i wrote about the time when i singed (as in burnt) off my eyebrows. i have learned much since then and am now very adept at throwing a clutch of burning matches on kerosene soaked logs then jumping backwards like a baboon from a crocodile, before the greedy flames can scour you from here to Timbuktu.  it’s quite an art, i tell ya. laugh not.

last night, being a goddawful sunday night, when dishes are piled high, monday leers horribly and doggedly around the corner, the table at the front door is piled high with the left over belongings of three peoples’ week end and undone homework, someone didn’t make the dog food, you're mildly hungover from your friend's barbeque and disturbingly broody after holding her sister's baby (blink),  the rigors of adulthood weigh so heavily on the heart and shoulders and all you want is a piping hot shower (baths are out of the question. no water, remember?)  and no one has lit The Boiler and nobody wants to light The Effing Boiler.

I. HATE. LIGHTING. THE. BOILER. so naturally, you want to immediately pour yourself a stiff whisky and listen to Ella Fitzgerald instead.... but…cleanliness is next to godliness and no one likes sticky legs in bed. or feet. and a hot shower isn’t a lot to ask for. or to arrange, and you are a responsible mother, you might wearily conclude…

so as you have of late been thankfully reminded, you must take heed of the mundane, of all those little daily chores which chain-link the minutes of your days,( whether it’s opening the gate, locking the gate, making the coffee, or lighting The Frikken Boiler). you pay attention wholeheartedly, mindfully....Light The Frikken Boiler. because that’s all there is to it, at this precise moment. (this is particularly hard to practice at 6:30 in the morning when you’ve got to pick up dog shit in the lounge…)


I spent a good deal of yesterday evening with my head in the fucking boiler asphyxiating myself by practicing an ancient aboriginal art of channeling your breath through fingers pressed together to form a tunnel directed into specific areas of the fire.(learned from an australian play boy) i successfully inhaled cloudfuls of wood smoke, almost died and failed on both accounts. i swore impressively and quite a lot.  and then felt sad. so sad. the vaguely luke warm shower sufficed. it had to. gosh I’m tough.

honestly? who gives a shit about The Boiler? or sticky legs and feet, come to think of it?

 “creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous” – Bill Moyers….put that in your boiler, babies, and smoke it…

and PS: i might not always crack fire making but i DID crack this…

and won.

so there.

(12 yr old self clapping hands and hanging  the ribbon above the piano...)

everyone’s terribly impressed this side of the mountain.

toodely toot y'all. bisous X.X.X. red hot boiling ones x. j 


Miranda said...

Time for an upgrade I reckon....(wink wink) electric water heater? xx

Elizabeth Wix said...

Greetings and love from the US of A!
Lighting fires is one of my specialities too.
I'm absurdly good at it -as Robert is not.
I used to go out like a witch to scour the woods for twigs.
Well done at your gymkhana (are they still called that?)


JoeinVegas said...

Congratulations on both points - the horse stuff and living through the boiler lighting!

donna baker said...

Your day sounds much like mine. Why can't they all be perfectly peaceful? I loved the horse photo; I spent the last hour looking for my wild Gracie after a gate had been left open. Finally found her and had to get her back to her field by myself. I nearly had a heart attack as she was neighing with loud abandon and running about. Nearly dragged me instead of me leading her. My day better get better than this.

Family Affairs said...

WELL DONE on all counts - you are a woman of spectacularly many talents.....Lx

Kate said...

HI! *waving* Visiting from Derfwad Manor,over in the USA. Actually, Michigan, to be precise. You sound like me. Are you me? How is this possible? Have you been time/space travelling lately? If so, please remind me where you left my left black shoe. It has gone missing, and I assume you forgot to return it after your last time/space travel episode. Also, my other hematite earring. If you must be me, please keep better track. Thank you. (p.s. Nice blog!)

trash said...

We have a woodburner and it's arrival in the house was condiional on me not having to anything to it. I do not light it, tend it, empty it or clean it. CK gets to play caveman and I get heat and dancing flames. Win!

fush&chips said...

Some lovely imagery of winter. Great post.

More please

Mark said...

120 degrees here nice to read of winter somewhere. Smiling as always following your posts...thx.