Thursday, September 25, 2008

You wouldn't necessarily think it but this is actually a meme

I first heard the phrase ‘kindred spirit’ in Anne of Green Gables. Man, I loved those books. My mother and I used to sit on the banks of the brown silty swirling Luangwa River, all set about with Nile Cabbage and hippos, under a huge towering ebony tree and she’d read me Anne of Green Gables out loud. All of them. How many where there – seven?

Anyway, I loved those reading sessions. I can still feel the dappled drowsy light on my skin and eyelids. We’d sit quietly, my mother reading softly to me… and sometimes a bushbuck would cautiously emerge from the bushes, stand still and breathe... in... out, shuffle around on the periphery and then hesitantly come and munch some mchenja fruit. It’s coarse fur quivering when a fly bothered it. Or the monkeys would climb the tree and drop mchenjas on our heads. Or a troop of banded mongoose would scurry past, scratching and shnoffling in the leaf litter for bugs and grubs. And I’d absently watch an inch worm or scratch an itchy bite while we sat there of an afternoon – those heady, drifty, home-school days. We’d sit in the shade and read, shifting our chitenjes to stay with the shade, startling whatever animal had come close to listen to the adventures of Anne of Green Gables.

And as the sun slowly dipped behind the winterthorn trees on the other side of the river (withthe elephants crossing in the distance) we’d smell the first whiff of baked potato from the Phyllanthus reticulatus - signifying evening, and we’d have to hurriedly pack up our chitenjes and hurry home before it got dark and the animals took the night shift. That chirrupy, hallucinogenic, crepuscular time. That time when we were no longer the masters of our world.

Ooooh boy, lets not get all nostalgic and sentimental here!

So dear red-haired-fiery-spirited Anne had a kindred spirit. Was she called Diana? I think so. Dark haired neighbour Diana. That idea – ‘kindred spirit’ fascinated me. It evoked sisterly friendship, sharing secrets, midnight feasts. In my teenage years I had no close close girl kindred spirits. We lived in a very remote area. I had adult friends, I had a sister, I had a smattering of friends in the village. All of whom I loved dearly know? I’d spend all day over there in the nearest village, chasing flies, flying pathetic mealie-meal bag kites, playing in the mud in Disgusting Den (we were the Filthy Five), rolling in the dust, having the best of times. But I never had my very own Anne-of-Green-Gables kindred spirit.

And then suddenly I did. I was all grown up by this time, but suddenly into my life walked F. My kindred spirit. She came to work in Luangwa and the moment we met it was BAM! Best friends, literally just like that. You know when you meet someone and you’re like “Hey I know you!” I felt like I’d known her all my life.

Oy ve but we got up to mischief.

So, that was very long, ambling, rambling preamble to this meme. Yes you wouldn’t think so huh? A meme. I got this from the delightful, inspirational and fabulous Mud:

1. Get your phone

2. Go to the address book

3. Look away.

4. Press any key up to three times.

5. Scroll down three times.

6. Look at the name there, tell the world about them.

7. Pass it on to three people.

So I did that and F popped up. Ha, I guess I haven’t really told the world about her. I’ve just told the world about me me me!! Hahaha. F is:
Very positive
Very fun
Very adventurous
Very one-of-a-kind

We worked for the same safari company and our boss (against his better judgment, but he was desperate) put us in the same safari camp for a few weeks. (May Luwi Camp never ever change. It is a six-bed grass camp in the middle of the South Luangwa National Park on the dry Luwi river bed. The most real, most fabulous bush experience you will ever get. I’m serious). F was running the camp and they sent me in as the relief walking guide. That was one of the funniest happiest times of my life. And that’s saying something. Oh bloody hell, there I go again. Oh and the boss needn’t have worried the guests had a BLAST.

F is also step-sister to my other deep soul sister and kindred spirit Janelle. We like to keep things in the family! As Tam says in one of her posts “The branches from Janelle's family tree tangled with those of my family tree long before I was born, and despite her claims that her dad is crap at making money, his claim to fame in my family is that when my grandad and her dad were business partners, my grandad made a profit for the first and only time in his life…. She's a wicked, soulful, wild hearted, poetic one of a kind queen and I am very lucky to share some cultural dna with her (we the lost daughters of colonial wildlife big game naturalists)” So with this description of Janelle out there how could I possibly compete. I don’t have the words. For Janelle or for F. All I can say is that they are great and I love them. And THEN some.

So enough about me, lets talk about me some more.

I think mud said we could CHOOSE which meme to do but heck give em both to me, I’m on a roll. You’ll be pleased to know the next one you’re only allowed to use seven words per question so you’ll be saved some eye-strain and headache….(coz rules is rules, you know)

1. Where Where You 10 Years Ago?
Running a bush camp, guiding, in the sticks (dam it that’s 8 words. Oops now 15. Stop stop)

2. What's on Your To Do List Today?
Buy furniture – the in-laws are coming!
3. What If you Were A Billionaire?
Uh huh. Yeah right, a likely story
4. Five Places You have Lived?
Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, dreamland
5. Three Bad Habits?
Procrastination, procrastination, procrastination
6. Snacks You Like?
biltong, biltong, biltong
7. Who am I tagging?
Tam, Janelle, Val, Geli (I know its, 4 I feel daring)

But you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to….

photo of Luwi by Francois D'elbee


Reya Mellicker said...

Beautiful pictures and a wonderful introduction to some of your kindred spirits. I, too, am a big fan of Janelle,though of course I've never met her.

Or you ... hmmm ...

Doesn't seem to matter.

Hey your blog is supposed to be about you! And you, and you, and you!

Miranda said...

thanks Reya. The pics make me a little homesick. The top and bottom pics are taken from my deck at home - a view I have been looking at for more than 20 years. It feels embedded in my soul.

We should meet up one day - Tam (my sis), Janelle, Val and you. I know the first three but not you. Easier if you come and visit us here!

blogthatmama said...

And there I was dying to be Diana and reading Anne of Green Gables and all of the sequels in Kent, England. Gilbert Blythe is forever etched on my memory.

tam said...

crepuscular, huh?

Lori ann said...

i was coming back to look at the paintings by your pa again! and another post was up...i really could listen to your stories forever...well then, for along time anyway!

i agree with reya (again):]
it really doesn't seem to matter.good times, this.

however, if any of you ever come to california, you must look me up. I think i'd make a pretty good guide, it's not africa but there's alot to do and see..!

Val said...

haha what fun - I'll do it, i will :-)
lovely memories evoke my deep luangwa ones too. hmmmm. and those pictures of course - its been toooo long.
Makes me want to read Ann of Green Gables straight away... missed out on that somehow - too much Enid Blyton probably.

Val said...

oh yes and i LOVED that 'chirrupy hallucinogenic crepuscular time'
brilliant xx

Mud in the City said...

Thank you Miranda! And what a wonderful description - not to mention the photos - I was there, with you in the gloaming....

Miranda said...

blogthatmama - Ah yes, Gilbert Blythe!! Sigh

Tam - heh heh. Indeed. Haemorrhage?

Lori - thanks for the kind words! I'll definately look you up if I come to California - what fun!

Val - Oh goody! Well Enid Blyton -of course...I LOVED her books. Except the Secret Seven who I thought were wusses...But the Famous Five with their neverending picnics and gingerbeer. I SO wanted to be George (George is almost as good as a boy!). Magic Farawy tree. Ah. Yes you MUST do a Valley trip. Mom's guest room is nearly ready...And thanks for the encouragement!

Mud - Oh the GLOAMING! I'd forgotten that word! It shall have to replace crepuscular as my favourite!

tam said...

damn those pictures make me want to go and buy a ticket home immediately.

Val said...

sorry to be so doff but what is a 'meme'? apart from what it looks like....x

Miranda said...

I know, Tam. Aish. Umm, Val, I have no f'king idea! I actually read something about it yesterday but it went in one eye and out the other. I think it something (like the phone things and the questions) that you pass around to people to answer to get to know them better or summin. Anyone have a proper explanation??

Janelle said...

mo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! again. you make me get all choked up and emotional...damn. now now. just go and look at yeondoos pictures you too babes. and will do those things tomorrow.ok? xxx janelle

Antler said...

Crepuscular - eh....memory from my end of 'reality' has that feel to it.

I never quite got on with Anne of Green Gables - Windy Willows or any other places that she found herself in - however, the red hair thing must have stuck...I meme really other half has long long long lots of red hair.

AND - ought I to mention it, I am (of course)'George'...that infestation really worked out well!!!

I love your posts. I am Ex Africa and it gets me homesick for the upbringing I should have had! Beautiful... Thanks.