Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Practice Run

I got to look after 5 children (the number fluctuated depending on sleepovers), 4 dogs, 3 cats, 3 horses and 1 fish this weekend. The practice run for parenthood. It was fun. Janelle was off on a horse safari so we said we'd stay at their place and look after the kids. And the rest.

We played Monopoly

We made a cake

We ate a cake

We played capture the flag

We went swimming

We ate pizza

We played soccer. Rephrase. Some played soccer. I watched. And took crappy photos

We ate pancakes

We went for a walk

We played 'consequences' - the drawing version. (when you each draw the head, then fold the piece of paper over and hand it to the next person, who draws the body etc. Remember that game?)

We took pictures of my tummy

We played the categories/alphabet game

And lots of other things

And fell into bed every night exhausted. Well, I did anyway. And that was only a weekend. Eeeeek

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Powdered fun and feral children

There is special something about powdered milk, no? Spooning it straight out the tin into your upturned mouth like a baby bird. Cramming so much in that you inhale it and choke and splutter. Or mixing it into a paste with a teensy bit of coffee and eating it like that. I haven't done that for a while (oh, twenty years?) but today have rediscovered the joy of it.

Obviously there are different kinds of powdered milk. Nido is the best. Creamy and delicious and expensive(r). We had a monkey named Nido. He was not creamy and delicious. He was a menace. Klim is another kind. It is finer and squeaks in your mouth. This is the kind we'd usually have as kids. Of course we had no fresh milk. The shops were 6 hours away on a horrid road and you could literally - literally - buy nothing locally. This has changed a little now and there are a few brightly coloured shops along the main road in Mfuwe. Captain Biggie, Get Busy Enterprise, Kalawani Shopping Centre, Uncle Rich Store etc. They all sell soap and cooking oil and candles and washing powder and biscuits that taste of washing powder. There is even a market now that sells cabbages and egg plants and onions and green peppers and tomatoes. Beans and kapenta (teeny dried fish). And every now and then a watermelon. What a treat. But in those days there was nothing. We'd do a monthly shop from Chipata. Drive up on the bone skittling road and hop from shop to shop - mostly owned by Zambian Indian families - and buy everything in bulk. Everything packed in cardboard boxes that smelt of...yes, washing powder. And by the end of the trip, the back of the open pick up would be carefully loaded and tied on with leggen (strips of cut up inner tube) and sometimes covered in a tarpaulin. And when we got home everything, including ourselves, would have a fine layer of red dust on it.

Growing up in the bush I suppose we got to be pretty inventive when it came to sweets. When we had sugar (not only was this the middle of the bush but it was also the mass shortage Kaunda days) we would pour a precious amount into a pan and burn it to make hot brittle sweets that we'd suck until our tongues went raw. We'd fight with the baboons over the tamarind and muchenja fruits, and dig marula seeds out of dried elephant dung and crack them open on a rock to eat the tiny sweet nut inside.

But powdered milk was just the best. I would spend all day with a posse of friends from the village up the road, playing in the dust, digging for crickets, fishing with homemade line (made from mealie meal sack) and pieces of flip flop. And every now and then when no-one was looking we'd raid the powdered milk supply and cram in as much as we could before Iwomba caught us and chased us away with a curse and a shaking fist. We'd run off dirty and choking and laughing with flecks of white powdered milk on our dusty chins and bare chests.

Goodness, all I wanted to tell you really was that I was eating powdered milk today. But it seems that doing that - like a long forgotten smell from childhood - has cracked open the door on the past and brought in a rush of memories!

So that's what I'm doing right now. I am eating powdered milk out the tin and pretending I'm six again.

Milk powder is my ultimate comfort food. What's yours?

Friday, February 6, 2009

pic meme

Well I've been debating with myself on this one. Me and my other personalities, having a little chinwag. Rob kindly tagged me for the photo meme that's been going around. Post the 6th picture from your 6th folder of photos (there's also a 4 of 4 one going round). I've been secretly hoping for it as it gives me something to write about. But the the 6th of the 6th is a pic of husband. Whose default setting is private and secretive. Very.

On the one hand one should respect people's right to privacy and all that and on the other I want to show you the pic. A meme is a meme after all!

So the respect person in my head got edged out the way by the 'just show them the bloody picture, it's not a big deal' person. (See what I have to live with)

So here it is.

This pic was taken in 2001, I think. Our first 'trip' together. We were still all new and fresh and budding with the first glow of true love. Heh heh. Vomit vomit. We were in Zambia, at that time of the tourist season when you are close to burned out. Too much inane smiling at fussy guests and sorting out silly problems. So we took a couple of weeks off and went to Zanzibar. First time there for both of us. We hired a motorbike and rode all around the island, staying at wherever place took our fancy. Now this picture is rather deceptive as it looks like he was riding the bike. Not true. I let him ride once, I think (having just taught him the basics) but only for about a kilometer until I got bossy and took over...

I think that look on his face is "oh thank F***k I can feel my balls again".

This pic is taken just outside Paradise Beach Bungalows -a very cool, cheap and charming place on the east coast run by a Japanese lady. The food is amazing and we go there every time we go to Zanzibar now.

While we're at it, a few more from that trip:

I am not a bed hog

I'm supposed to tag 6 people but I shan't force you into it. If you wanna do, you know what to do....

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Childbirth Classes (I can't think of a witty title)

My husband is not a metrosexual. At all. He had an army upbringing; he trained to be a Royal Marine. He’s a bloke. Plain and simple. (He's also a real hottie, but that's by the by). He is a black-coffee-straight-up kinda person, not a touchy feely fruit flavoured-tea-bag guy. No noo. On top of that he’s British. So none of this lets-sit-in-a-circle-and-talk-about-our-feelings malarkey.

So when I informed him that we were going to attend natural childbirth classes (which would involve sitting on the floor with a bunch of other people) he visibly blanched (and he’s not the whitest of folk). I sent him the pamphlet that listed all the things we had to bring, which included “An open and curious mind and willingness to share your feelings”

“A ‘willingness to share my feelings??’ Piss off!” He spluttered. We also had to bring a yoga mat and some pillows. I told him that maybe they were going to instruct us on some aternative sexual positions for pregnancy. “WHAT!”

I’m not quite sure how we managed to get roped into this quite frankly as it’s not entirely my scene either, but forewarned is forearmed and all that. And, at the risk of being sent to Pregnaho, it’s just a blogging opportunity I cannot pass up.

So off we trooped with all our pillows and blankets and yoga mats. Felt like we were going for a sleepover or camping or summin. There were twelve of us altogether and yes, we all sat in a circle cross-legged on the floor and everyone had to introduce themselves. I felt like saying “Hi I’m Miranda and I’m an alcoholic” but I behaved myself. Husband sat next to me with his phone on the yoga mat next to us - on silent - praying I bet, for some emergency that would take him away from the shiny-eyed, glowing, purring, bursting-at-the-seams parents to be. At the end of it though he said “I suppose when you cut through all the crap it was quite good really”. I was skeptical to begin with too but I’m afraid to say I thoroughly enjoyed myself! Uh oh!

The highlight of course was when one of the mothers (to be) was talking and someone from across the circle let off a ruddy great fart. But loud! And there was a miniscule crack in everyone’s earnest faces and everything was suspended for a drop of a tear (of laughter) length of time and then everything carried on as normal. Oh my god I nearly wet myself. I have NO idea how I didn’t manage to burst out “WAS THAT A FART???” and clutch my ever-growing ever-moving belly in helpless laughter. But I didn’t even turn my head coz I knew that that would be the end of me.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Flurry of Awards (but I don't know what to do)

My goodness...I have been bestowed with THREE awards over the past week. It really IS my lucky time. BUT. I don't know how to get them up here.

Firstly I received the 'Light in the Soul' Award from the talented Aerial Armadillo An honour indeed.

Next was the 'proximity' award from the fabulous Mud. I would like to mention here that Mud has very kindly given me awards before and I've been ever so rude and not put them up. But its not because I don't want to, you understand.....

THEN I got the Superior Scribbler Award from the lovely Lizzy Frizzfrock

Surely not all deserved but certainly gratefully received. Thank you thank you and thank you again!

So I would like to pass them on, yes all of them (except Mud I probably can't give your one back but the other two are yours to polish and put on the mantlepiece - coz you know how to...)

Firstly to Mud, who I just KNOW if we met we'd get on better than a house on fire

To Angela, Geli to me, my aunt who lives across the oceans and whom I've met once, I think. For showing me the other side of my family and who reminds us how important kindness is. And understanding.

To Val, who communes with the warthogs and porcupines on my behalf coz I can't anymore.

Fush and Chips, who may not really be an award kinda bloke (you don't have to put them up or pass them on!) but whose posts are soooo fabulously written and funny funny funny. Both his blogs of our shared university days here and his general one here are well worth reading.

Tam, Chimera and Janelle already have some of these awards so choose and accept as you wish. You three are just the best writers out there.

Right bloody hell. Oscar speech over.

Over and out.

Oh and if you want to actually get the awards you'll have to go to the posts mentioned above where the awards are currently hanging out.....

Oh and please note that although I may not be able to get an award up on my blog I can I'm only half a doofus. Dufus. Dufous? Duoufous? Ah bloody hell a whole one one then.

Get outta here already!

Monday, February 2, 2009

My day has started well....

I just dropped a piece of toast on the floor and it DIDN'T land butter-side-down! I mean, how often does THAT happen! How lucky am I!?