Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Nothing new under the sun?

Who was that said 'there is nothing new under the sun' ? I suspect that whoever it was has been recruited to work for our satellite TV company! For the past six months there has literally been NO new movies, serials or documentaries shown on the 'box'. For those of us living in the far flung reaches of Ndola, where the only movie house is a flea infested, 'bring your own chairs and a flask of coffee' sort of place, this has become an ISSUE of some magnitude. Honestly, there really is absolutely nothing to watch on the telly that we haven't seen at least a dozen times before! Every month I threaten not to pay the subs but every month I capitulate, living in the perpetual hope that this month may be different - hah! The final insult? They've just started the Strictly Come Dancing series again - from season one!!

My other serious beef tonight is my INTERNET CONNECTION. I have, at the moment, what I believe is called an 'unstable' connection. To the uniniated this means that my connection goes on and off at a dizzying rate, leaving me hanging (literally) in mid sentence! As I sit here typing this I have gone off three times! This frustrating situation has been going on for the past month with no obvious attempt by my service provider to fix the problem. I have complained, I have refused to pay my bill (they threatened to cut me off completely!) and, as with most things in Zambia, I have given up! Who knows, one day they might actually fix it and wouldn't that be a nice surprise for us all?

So with nothing new to watch on the telly and my internet surfing being seriously curtailed, I took my courage in both hands and went to the Womans Institute meeting this morning and ate chocolate cake over a nice cup of coffee!

Anyone else for coffee?

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Life in a slightly used body!

Today I went to the doctor for my test results. I have been feeling a bit run down lately, full of unexplained aches and pains and headaches! Other than a slightly high colesterol count, I am reliably informed that I am absolutely FIT and HEALTHY! So why do I feel so crap?

Get more exercise says my chubby doctor, it will benefit you greatly! How, I ask, do I go walking for an hour every day when I can barely move from one end of the house to the other without huffing and puffing and collapsing in a heap? Excuse me - I really do FEEL ILL! My back is killing me, my joints are aching and I have this empty, sick to the stomach feeling that can not be ignored no matter how hard I try.

I am convinced that my mind is going too. I can't remember names of the most common kitchen utensils (shouting "pass me the thingymagig, you know the one in the drawer!" as the steaks are burning on the stove just doesn't cut it!). I am tired, grumpy and bad tempered and just generally FED UP with EVERYONE!

Is this what it feels to get older? Is this what happens when your body starts to rebel? When did I realise that I couldn't touch my toes anymore and that 'dancing the night away' had become a wishful thought? Ye Gods, I could make a strong case for voluntary euthanasia!

So, walking it is! Have the paramedics on standby please! Life in this slightly used body has got to improve - maybe I could get my chubby doctor to walk with me :)

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

A funny thing happened..........

A strange thing happened on my way through town today!

It was a little perturbing - this is Africa after all where political unrest can be sudden and unexpected! As I drove down the main street, I was suddenly confronted with armed, military persons doing a 'recci' and holding up the traffic. It was quite bizarre - they did their 'thing' across the road, jumped into a large lorry and drove off looking suitably fierce and determined. I still have no idea of their purpose, but it is a little scary to have men waving weapons at you through the windscreen of your car on a Wednesday morning shopping trip! :( I did rather wonder if we were about to have a military coup?

Speaking of coups, political unrest and scary situations reminds me of my first and last trip across the DRC border to take part in a horse show in 2005. It took us and the 12 horses about 8 hours to do a 200km trip, 5 of which were spent at the border! Getting out of Zambia was bad enough, getting into the DRC was a nightmare! Not being able to speak French didn't help either! On the return trip we arrived at the border to find it surrounded by riot police and an angry mob - all shouting at each other in French! We seriously thought that a coup or similar had happened during our trip and that we may well be stuck on the wrong side of the border indefintely - VERY SCARY! Definitely NOT going there again :)

There is a shortage of chickens here in Ndola! Not the ones that run up and down the road outside my gate but the frozen ones you normally find in supermarkets! Does this mean that bird flu has hit the region? Does this mean that the freezing plant has broken down? Or is it just normal inefficiency on the part of the chicken growing and freezing company? :(

Coffee anyone?

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Maintain your Helium!

Wasn't planning to do another entry today - BUT - my other favourite site Helium is down for maintenance :(

One wonders, do they just fill up the bottles with more gas? :)

So ........ what to talk about?

Have you ever noticed that every other bugger on the road is a useless driver? Here in Zambia, driving is an art form. Since at least 70% of the drivers on the road never passed a drivers test, it can be quite a scary thing getting in your car to do the weekly grocery shopping trip. I never cease to be amazed at the creative ways drivers manage to write off their cars - it takes a lot of doing to end up on the wrong side of the road, backwards and up-side-down in a ditch! Amazingly, most of these drivers do live to drive another day!

Car maintenance is kept to a minimal - cars with no brake lights (or brakes quite often), no headlights and beltching black noxious fumes are a common sight on our roads. Tyres with tread are an optional extra!!

Very few drivers seem to understand the principle of 'dipping your bloody lights' in night time driving. They work on the idea that in order to see the many kamakazi pedestrians, other cars and so forth, you need to keep your lights on FULL at all times! Making rude signs out of your car window is actually against the law here, as is splashing pedestrians with muddy water when you hit those inevitable pot holes that take the bottom off your car and leave your tyres in shreds!

Some bright spark in the Roads Department here has discovered.... SPEED HUMPS! (and I blame the British for this!) We now have speed humps placed strategically on the main highways. Part of the game is to find them before you hit them at 120kms/hr!

So driving in Zambia could be considered a 'National Sport'. For visitors to the country it is a 'Terrifying Experience' - all part of the 'African Experience' that foreigners are so keen to have :)

Anyone need that coffee?

Tuesday morning and all's well with world!

This morning was the first day back at school! Great, a whole morning to myself to do the things I want to do. No more taxi driver, no more food supplier, no more loud music - at least until this afternoon :)

Do you believe in Aliens? Not the litle green men of movie fame but the ones that are sitting out there 'somewhere' WATCHING us? Why they would waste so much of their time doing this is still a bit of a mystery to me to be sure - but........? Maybe it all comes down to damage control, when we finally manage to blow up our world they can make sure that none of us escapes to wreak havoc in the rest of the Universe perhaps?

Or maybe we are just some sort of experiment and we are being closely monitored and tagged every day. You know, in a "Hey Al, throw another volcano in the works and see what they do!" sort of way. Certainly food for thought!

Speaking of food - anyone tried a toasted Nutrello sandwich for breakfast lately? This is the latest teenage morning snack in my house - I can only believe that it tastes as disgusting as it sounds but I am assured that it is absolutely fantastic. Is there any actual nutrious value in Nutrello? I see the healthy cereal bar alternative has been left on the kitchen counter! :)

Where did the term 'blogging' actually originate from? I blog, he blogs, she is a blogger! Sounds a bit rude! If you stuck your head around a door and shouted "you blogger!" you could get all sorts of interesting responses depending on the age group in the room :)

Thought for today........
How many different words are there to describe the littlest room in the house?

Coffee anyone?

Monday, 15 January 2007

So now I think I know what I'm doing?

Maybe this is just a case of over confidence, but I think I have it! :)

I have clicked here and clicked there and - it WORKS! You might all think that I'm being a little OTT but this is quite an achievement for a 'techologically challenged' person such as myself. The future is full of promise, a place to talk about anything - sounds good to me.

Points to ponder:-

has anyone ever found a pot of gold under a rainbow?
if an ant was the size of a human, would it take over the world?
how do they get those ships into such little bottles?

mmmm.....Coffee Anyone?

Just after lunch on a wet Monday afternoon!

Well, it's taken me that long to figure this out! Sort of :)

Is it just me or does anyone else believe that computers are taking over the world? When you consider how much we've all come to depend on them and how much a part of our lives they have become, how can ANYONE believe that they are not taking over the world? Sneakily and cleverly manipulating us all until THE DAY comes!

Don't you all just love that little pop-up sign that asks " Are you SURE you want to delete this?" Guaranteed to make you panic and backstep hastily! And how about "An attempted change to the Registry has been made - do you wish this to go ahead?" NOOOOOO! Panic! Is this an attack from outside? Is this an attempt to gain control of your laptop? Don't change anything!!!

It would help if one understood the inner working of the computer's mind - not a chance mate! They are built to be as confusing and sublime as possible!

Don't say I didn't warn you :)

Friday, 12 January 2007

Late on a Friday Night!

Sitting here late on a Friday night, just starting this Blog and wondering what to talk about over coffee.

Maybe just a hello at this stage till I figure out how it all works?

Coffee anyone?