Thursday, May 7, 2015


 Ngorobob Hill Exam Candidates Hard At Work Under The Acacia.

This is all about Hope. She is making me do this. Hope is my colleague at work – the Other English Teacher. Hope is organized and Hope blogs. Here is her site. Hope is much better than me at everything. I live vicariously through Hope. She goes on actual dates, travels, wears high heels and does all nighters and yet Hope still has lesson plans and schemes of work. Hope is young, beautiful, funny and brilliant. Before the holidays we swore to blog once a week. Before every Friday. And have I? Have I? Of course not. Things got in the way. Hope has, though. And so, here I am. Doing it. Because of Hope.

Hope has a lot to answer for. Without it, what would be the point? But on we go, with hope in our hearts. Here on the hill, we are deep into a rainy season. You wouldn’t recognize the place. The trees are thick and lush, heaving with rain and birds. We actually have a lawn you can sit on. You can shower for a long time because the tanks are filling up as you stand in the shower. It’s a nice feeling being flippant about water. Some of my much loved cactii have actually drowned. They look like bloated corpses and almost deserve a burial.

I am living in a house with two exam candidates. One is writing A Levels and the other his IGCSE’s. It’s been remarkably stress free so far. First born, the A Leveler, has developed a sudden and impassioned interest in the Rastafarian Religion. He wants to know all about it. I wish he had as much passion for either the German or Italalian reunification. His timing, to be frank, is a little off. Second born is so calm I wonder if he has mistaken valium for smarties. He has that thousand yard stare at dinner. Oh well. He’s always been a little different in a beautiful kind of way. That's them in the picture above hatching up plans for an escape of some sorts, off the hill to be sure.

As for me, I feel like I am in a roundabout of Ground Hog Days. It feels as if I have been doing this for years. It feels as if I am stuck in a rut. I am not looking for a jot of sympathy, you understand. I know I live a charmed life. (Confession: Recently returned from dream like road trip through the Karoo. More on that another time. I am referring to the present moment.) Not much has changed on the surface – apart from an inordinate weight gain from stopping smoking and eating a lot of chocolate getting old. Again, bad timing, man. The weight seems to be drawn to me like iron filings to a magnet no matter how hard I run or how little I eat. It is very debilitating and depressing. My friends are all being kind and not saying anything although they are all hinting that I should cut my hair, in the kindest possible way. I don’t want to. I don’t care if it’s in rat’s tails and going grey. I am sure I have the air of a guru. A respectful and almost frightening one, at that. So I'm sticking to the longer hair for now.

It remains strangely sad without my horse. I miss him. Nothing will ever be the same again. His departure switched off a light which can never be replaced. The stars feel packed away a bit. I am moving the pony to new stables next week so he can have some friends. He is lonely. Horses need to be in a herd and have friends. 

The fucking dogs think the lounge is their new kennel. I am worn out with behaving like a mad Barbara Woodhouse, literally frothing at the mouth as I hiss "OUTTTTT!" and point all psycho like at the door. They have worn me down. They throw themselves at the windows, scratch at the walls and find a way in and onto the bed or the couch, stinky muddy pawed rainy season dogs. I have officially given up and sometimes wish that one of them would die. (Felix to be honest.)I feel immediately bad afterward, I do. Have you ever wished someone would die? Gwaan. Seriously?

The cat has recovered from her attack. The dogs took her out a few weeks ago and broke her jaw. Bastards. Luckily I was here to rescue her. She is absolutely fine again and once more rules the canines from the front step. She has burnt her tail on the stove from standing and eating her pellets in an obsessive and unhealthy manner, reminding me of myself and the recent long gone  Aerobar Obsession. Thankfully, you can’t easily find them in Arusha.

Otherwise, all remains oddly calm although last night I thought someone was putting witch craft on me. Same same sugar same. And that, oh bestest blogging babies is that and shall have to suffice until I regain some lightness of being.

Right now, it all seems like rather a lonesome slog. Bear with me or buggar off to someone else’s more enlightened, inspiring, fun, interesting life. 

I’ll still love you anyway… I have Hope so I'm stayin'. God forbid she ever leaves.

bisous X X X rainy African ones, on yer cheeks. And eye lids. Hell. Why not. xj


timothymarcjones said...

Welcome back! I loved reading this.

Janelle said...

why thank you mr jones. x j

SJ said...

Uppers, downers and all the f*cking way arounders isn't it. Life never fails to throw us something. At the moment my 2 main questions are, shit, really? I got married today? What is that thing on my finger? and secondly, that dishwasher certainly sounds like it wants to kill us all.

Hope said...

This is maybe the most flattering thing anybody has ever said about me! You forget, my dear buddy, that you are also an inspiration with your strength and fiercely positive attitude to life!

elizabeth said...

Terribly impressed about the stillnotsmoking! you go girl!
So glad you are getting lots of rain.
Sad you miss the horse still - you had so much joy with him.Nothing new around here.
Off to visit Hope's blog.

donna baker said...

Just so you know Janelle, I always get a thrill to see a new post in my sidebar. Hope (not your friend) is a virtue that is over-rated in my book. Have to focus on each day and let the chips fall where they may and I guess, hopefully, things will get better.

Anonymous said...

Meet in Jambiani. We'll write. I'm jealous of Hope. SF

Helen said...

My beautiful childhood friend.... I have a yearning to be with you .... I have loved reading your blog, you have taken me to the heart of your world..... Made me laugh and cry.... Let's meet up soon... x H

Janelle said...

SF, Elizabeth, Hope and my dear friend Helen, THANK YOU for reading and leaving comments. It makes such a difference. And Helen, would LOVE to see you again. Talk about those sun shot memories of so long ago - camping, rafting, riding, boys, lip gloss ... heh he. So much love to you all. X j

family Affairs said...

This is beautiful as ever and I want to meet Hope now! You are doing so well and I sympathise with exam hell - I too have strange disinterested child - wait till your daughter starts revising - a different experience awaits! Lx

LeeAnn at Mrs Black's said...

I loved reading this, even though it is a roller coaster of emotions and images. Which made me laugh (quite a lot), worry, and cry. That poor cat - do hope she is really okay, such trauma. But cats are survivors. How well I know that starless and bible black place where we dwell without our horse. My heart still breaks for you. But, at least we had them, Hell yes, we did. (Don't cut your hair). x