Thursday, February 25, 2010

False promises

"l'll write every day!" she said

And then she got all these punctures

And then she got distracted by Facebook. And uploading all these pictures onto their new Seka page

And then she went to help teach a drama class at the school down the road. And loved it.

And then she tried to help her sister with some budgets and how to get said Seka down to the Out the Box festival in Cape Town

And then she tried to take some pictures of the lightening. But didn't really manage

And then she couldn't drag herself away from her oh-so-cute baby

And then she even went to the gym and to yoga. Baby in tow.

And then she got all excited from all the lurkers on her blog making themselves known.

And then she took a picture of her picture window

And then she said "WOA, have those acacias in front of the window GROWN?"

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bullet points of my life

sunset from our verandah

Every couple of months Janelle and I decide we're going to give up blogging. And then we hint and beg for comments and we tell each other that we can't give up, that we must carry on and then that spurs us on again. So on Thursday we had one of those conversations. To blog or not to blog. Does anyone really give a shit about our sad little lives up here on this hill? Is that we why even do it? For the comments (hell yeah!) Bla bla bla. I'm sure we all go through this. And I have decided that I really should try and write every day. Even if its drivel. Because really even if I write twice a month its the same bloody quality of writing (read drivel) so why not just jam up the waves with it. It's good practise. Or is that practice? So I shall try. But today the baby gal thought that 4 o'clock in the morning was a good time to wake up and start singing cheerily, so poetry I cannot give you. Bullet points I can

- I have decided to try and take my book seriously and do some hole filling and patching and editing. See what happens

- There is rain here right now, pattering on the roof and it is divine

- My mother and her man are coming to stay next week. So will need to hide the kettle. She has an exhibition here towards the end of March so will be here for the month or more. Excited.

- Made a cake the other day. This is an unusual Miranda activity. I've been slowly working my way through the whole thing so took it over to the neighbours (the very same Janelle) and palmed it off on them.

- Just saw a dog and a cockrel, their faces a foot apart staring at each other. The dog sitting straight and barking loudly, the cockrel just staring

- Speaking of livestock, I spend an inordinate amount of time chasing the neighbour's cows out of my herb patch. Like, six times a day. Starting to drive me nuts! (I just reread that and I'd written chasing the neighbours out of my herb patch. haahaha. No not that)

Okay. Could go on. Shan't.

Picture window
The valley below, all washed clean

Friday, February 19, 2010

The thundery blues and clear skies

I wish I’d taken my camera out with me yesterday. I suppose it’s a good thing coz it means I’ll have to tell you instead of being lazy and uploading a pic (although with the connection we have uploading pictures is no easy feat!). The three pictures I would like to have shared with you:

Picture 1: The mountain, all clad in torn bits of cloud, like lace, looking oh so shy-yet-sexy. A clear sky, save for these clouds, hugging the shape of Ms. Meru.

Picture 2: The road. The river. The river-road. Driving through the horizontal rain to visit my friend C. The road is a torrent of brown hurrying-rushing water, hurtling down the hill. I know there are lots of deep gashes in the road that you mustn’t drive into but have to try and remember where they are since the road is basically a river. It is fierce and most impressive

Picture 3: The egrets. I’ll still get this picture since they’re there every evening. There is one tree at the bottom of the road - not a very big one - that is iced with egrets. Every morning and evening they are there, hundreds of them. I have no idea how they all fit on, and why they don’t just spread out a bit into other trees. But last night they looked so very white against the thundery blue-black sky. Oh so melodramatic.

So night before last I had one of those mini meltdowns. You know the kind. Where you’ve survived seven and a half months on much less sleep than you’d prefer and for most of the day you’re in the company of a little critter who you lovelovelove more than anything, but whose conversational skills are not yet up to scratch but still wants to chat with you all. Day. Long. And you have to try and interpret the shnoffles and coos. Hungry? Tired? Bored? And all you seem to be doing is whizzing food up in a blender or whipping your boob out and Doing the Shopping which is not as easy as it used to be now that you have a squirmy thing attached to you limpet-like that you can’t just put down in a corner while you lug those heavy shopping bags to the car. And suddenly it dawns on you. Oh my god, I’m a housewife.* I’m not cut out for this. I used to, in my tiny way, make a Difference in people’s lives. What happened to the theatre? What happened to the heated debates in the villages? Giving a voice to those who struggle to make themselves heard? What am I doing, spending my days frazzled, exhausted and forgetful freezing baby food?

And yes, I know that I am soverylucky to be able to stay home with our fresh-mealie-scented daughter. That I don’t have to work. That this is the blessed most wonderful thing in the world. But vok it can be hard work!

And so I spent the morning with J, one of my oldest and bestest friends, and the afternoon with C, one of my newest loveliest friends.

And I made some resolutions. Ones that I didn’t make for the new year coz I don’t do that.

I will get Seka up here to perform. It will cost about $6,000 and I will raise that money and get them here. Kick start my brain and creativity. Hopefully it will be the start of something new and fabulous.

I will make a plan to just have an hour to myself a day I’m not sure how yet. Maybe I will have to employ someone to help with this. Let go, Miranda, let go! Then I will be able to go to yoga. To swim. To ride my motorbike. Maybe to work a bit

I will hang out more with my friends. Get out the house. Go Do Stuff.

And of course, the oldest best cure of all. I will go clothes shopping. Mitumba here we come!

Picture window and mirrors

* Some people use the term *housewife* like its such an insult. It should not be!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lets talk about the weather

You know how when you're in a really hot climate and you're packing for a wintery place you find it impossible to imagine what the weather will be like? And always slip some inappropriate item of clothing into the bag. Like a pair of shorts, just in case? And vice versa.

Or is that just me?

And so it is with my bloggy friends living in the snow. I just can't fathom it. I read their blogs all agog at how much bloody SNOW there is and how COLD it must be! I mean, look at this! And this!

Zanzibar last month was absolutely scorching. You know that slushy heat where every movement is bogged down with lethargy? Every breath seems to be an effort? No electricity on the island meant no fans at night, so you'd lie under your mozzie net listening to the roar of the tide as she came up over the reef, with your face against the gauze window gasping for a breeze. Anything.

And you'd wake up at dawn, sweaty in your bed and step down into the ocean. And the tide would amble out leaving little pools of warm water and and the glare of the sun would make you think you're in a different kind of snow.

And then the breeze would sigh and smile and indulgently tousle the tops of the palm trees who would rustle and giggle in glee. And everything would be alright again.

Picture window

We don't have snow, we have this:

Monday, February 1, 2010

Yet another day in the life of

Somehow Monday is Shopping Day. I'm not sure how things turned out this way, that I have a specific day for shopping. But there we have it. I guess it leaves me the rest of the week to do things of great social and political Import. Uh huh.

This morning the man left to a Secret Destination. A long long drive that will take him away into the night. He's going to recce a new site for a possible camp. I'm hopping jealous of course but will stay at home at make chicken broth and look after the baby. I like doing this too.

So grunted awake at hmfff-waa? o'clock just as the bloke was edging out the door. Kinda waved him off and went back to sleep. Woke up at a more respectable 7. All the general baby chores. Get her up, dressed and fed. This takes 6 times longer than you would expect. And then twice longer again.

Off to Shoprite (shopshite) to buy the usual. Nutella. Beer. Mustard. Pasta.

At the veggie market an old Maasai lady comes up to me and offers to sell me beaded trinkets. I smile, "no thanks"
"yes but look at this pretty basket"
Smile, "no thanks"
"What about these earrings?"
Smile, "no thanks"
"And this necklace?"
Smile, "no thanks"
"This chameleon?"
Smile, "no thanks"
The baby gal is fascinated. The woman is all set about with jingly janglies and and she can't stop staring.
"Can I hold your baby?"
She stands next to me and follows me around while I shop and when it comes time for me to take the baby, she's having nothing of it. The baby that is. "Nono, I like it here on the hip of this jingly-jangly lady. Please can I stay, please, mom, please?" So I buy the beaded chameleon and wrench my daughter away.

On my way home I slow down where the police often hide in the bushes with a speed gun. The limit is 50km an hour, which even for a slow-ass driver such as myself is a little much, this being the main drag outta town an all. Got caught here a couple of weeks ago by a pissed off aggressive cop who decided to take out his shitty day on us. He launched into a spitting, finger jabbing diatribe that instantly makes my arteries expand and my teeth hurt. That is to say it pisses. Me. Off. But I never rise to the bait. But this day even my usual uber polite gritted smiles didn't disarm him (it usually does. Seriously, I have a knack). So we asked 'What's the charge'
"Speeding" he spat
"Yes, but what's the charge?"
"Yes but what's the - how MUCH?"

The past month I have been teaching. It was only a month's work though and its now come to an end. I find myself oddly at a loose end and I shall start planning and plotting on Getting Out There again. Make some plays, start a new drama troupe. Something. And then I think, "ooooh but I could stay at home a little longer and look after this gorgeous sweet daughter of ours". I will find the balance.

But for now I shall spend the afternoon making chicken stock (see I wasn't joking) and lots of little ice cubes of mushed up food for the gal. Who knew a 7 month old could eat so MUCH!

Oh and I shall also keep my new month's resolution and spend more time OFF the computer than on.



Picture Window
The mist rolling in of a bright sunny morning