Thursday, 27 September 2007

A dog's tale....

This is something I just had to share - today my gardener came to me complaining that one of my neighbours dogs had bitten him on his way home last night! Now Eric (the gardener!) lives on my property and had been out at the local shabeen (illegal 'pub' round the corner!) so was quite possibly a little worse for wear but, never-the-less, he should be able to walk up a public road without being attacked by a dog that belongs to someone who makes no effort to keep them on his own property. In fact since the man has no front fence, these dogs have been a menace ever since I moved into this house. They chase cars up and down the road and I've often seen them chasing the local chooks in a sort of half hearted manner but I never thought they were biters! Apparently they have already bitten several people - none have gone to the police however because they don't want to be bad neighbours! The mind boggles!

Eric, however, is made of sterner stuff! He was very passionate this morning and had only come to tell me that he was off to the local police post to make a formal complaint. I was very encouraging - rabies is a very serious problem in Zambia and it was very important to find out if these dogs have at least been vaccinated. I felt the police were better equipped to deal with the matter than I. So off he went - only to return about half an hour later with a 'letter' from the police informing me that in order for Eric to make a report, he needed to pay K10,000 for the form!! This princely sum is only the equivalent of about $2.50 but I mean, really!

Despite my irritation and incredulity, I gave him the cash and sent him back. Half an hour later he was back - this time with a police report form and a letter to say that he now needed to go to the Clinic to get an official report on the wound - cost? K10,000! I shook my head in amazement, handed out another K10,000 and sent him on his way. Meanwhile time is passing - a possible rabid bite needs to be treated rather quickly by a series of injections, the first should be given within the first two days - and we still haven't even discovered whether the dog has been vaccinated yet!

About an hour later, my cell phone rings! Yes, it is Eric! The clinic have sent him to the General Hospital and he needs K30,000! (SCREAM!!!!!) I jump in the car and rush down there, pay the money and leave him in the LONG que to see a doctor.

He still isn't back. We still don't know whether the dog has been vaccinated or not. I am out of pocket now by K70,000 - a considerable sum of money for a simple gardener to have lying around on the off chance that a dog might bite him! No wonder no-one has reported these dogs to the police before!

Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous in your life?

Monday, 24 September 2007

Thunder & Lightening.........very, very frightening....

Good Grief - it is RAINING!

Now you may think this a very ordinary thing to do but NOT in Zambia at this time of the year! The seriously hot season (October, fondly known as suicide month!) has not even started although it has been very hot and still the past two days. The sky is black, I can hear thunder rolling overhead and the wind is blowing the palm trees in the garden all over the place. The rain bucketed down quite briefly but it was hard, serious rain and, judging from the wind, is still out there somewhere!

This is a BAD thing for the country! I fear it heralds either a drought or far too much rain for the season ahead. It just isn't NORMAL for the time of year and I can see no good coming of it.

Who said global warming is a myth?

Sunday, 23 September 2007

The peace that Sunday brings

What a peaceful day it's been!

No builders banging about next door, no TV blaring and no girl child's rocky music playing loudly from the bedroom. Time for a pleasant lie in followed by a leisurely shower and a full on breakfast with all the trimmings. Even the furballs refrained from yapping at every little noise today and that damn cat from next door stayed at home and left my poor little kitties alone.

Yes - all was peace and goodwill today :)

(I believe the cricket semi-finals are only on tomorrow!)

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Did you sign my Guest Book before?

Remember all those problems I was having with my Guest Book? Well I finally gave in and started a new one - it's down there at the bottom of the page. I would be so very, very grateful if you would take the time to sign the new one :)

Thank you so much!

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

The Road Ahead....

As she stood by the open door she could hear the hammering of the workmen next door. Somewhere down the road a dog was barking and she heard a child crying in the distance. She walked through the door and down the path, dishcloth in hand and sniffed the brisk air. When she came to the bus stop, she climbed on board and sat by the window gazing mindlessly out as the bus drove past the corner shop and carried on out of the village.

She didn't remember how long she sat on that bus. Eventually it came to a final stop and she climbed off. She looked around and saw a strange place, unfamiliar and different. Across the street she saw a small boarding house and, feeling in her pocket for her purse, she slowly walked across the road.

That night as she lay in the small hard bed, the realisation of what she had done came over her. Here she was, a stranger in a strange place with no money, no clothes and no family nagging and demanding her time. A smile slowly spread over her face - free at last! Free to choose her own path and to follow her own dreams. In the morning, she quietly thought, I must look for a job and buy some new clothes!

One more river..............

Just a little bit down, a little depressed,
Feeling blue and a little bit stressed.
The weekend came, the weekend went,
It was, on the whole, another non-event.
Mondy morning, not much to report,
No better today, not even a thought.
Smile bravely on, put feelings aside,
Fight that urge to just run and hide.
Pick up the clothes, cook one more meal,
Wash all those dishes, no time to feel.
Ain't life a bitch when you're feeling so blue,
And inside you're screaming but no-one hears you?

It just aint cricket chaps!

Would someone please tell me who the moron was that invented cricket? I'd really like to know so that I can at least aim my invectives in the right direction!

Tis the cricket season again and, to add insult to injury, it appears the rugby season is in full swing too! My normally pleasant and quiet life has been shattered by the intrusion of all day cricket commentaries (seriously guys the MOST boring of ALL commentaries!) and the cheerful (supposedly?) sound of screaming rugby fans!

One has to I care a continental which team is playing, winning, loosing or simply falling asleep mid match? Do I give a damn what the weather is doing, how beautiful/dark the clouds are, how good/bad/wet/dry the pitch is or how many 'overs' are done/left or existed in the first place?

The only 'over' I'm interested in is...........


Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Virtual African Safari = THE BIG FIVE







These beautiful pictures brought to you courtesy of:

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Don't stop me now, I'm having such a good time....

Mistress Purdee Tat -mountain lion - on the front verandah

This past two weeks have been an interesting time in my house. It would seem that the old adage of 'if it can go wrong, it will do' has been following me round with a determination wonderful to be seen!

It all started when the long overdue painters finally arrived to paint the interior of the house. Since I have been waiting for close on a YEAR for this event to happen I was thrilled to finally see them and welcomed them with open arms. The very next day the kitchen geyser blew its top (literally) spewing boiling water over anyone stupid enough to try getting in or out of the back door! The end result? Painters lugging stepladders, paint, dust and dirt through the front door and all down my white tiled hall floor!

As one week dragged into two and we all tried to keep holding our breath to survive the paint fumes, the aircon unit decided to blow it's connection to the main board - possibly due to the new and improved geyser of higher voltage and the fact that the electrician had linked to two to the SAME circuit breaker in the main distribution board! A few days later the new geyser stopped providing hot water and was replaced - again!

Then came week three and the painters started on the kitchen. Lots of shiny white enamel paint and my kitchen turned up-side-down. No problem they said, it'll only be two days - hah! Five days later and I still have wet paint - Mistress Purdee Tat decided to help last night and jumped on the newly painted wet edging (a lovely mossy green!) and then tiptoed green paint all over the kitchen and down the passage with me in hot pursuit - turps and cloth in hand!

This morning the council promised water cut offs to do some maintenance work on the main pipes. But I was organised this time after TWO unexpected days without water last week and sent husband out to make SURE that the tap to the water tank was turned off so that the water didn't ooze back into the main supply like last time. He shut the tap, turned on the pump and was rewarded by a gusher! Good grief - ANOTHER leak from the very same pipe the plumber fixed last month - and in the very same place too! Result? Wet angry husband at 6am and no water into the house (because he'd had to switch the pump off) to have a hot shower. Hey ho!

But it's all part of the fun of living in Zambia. I couldn't imagine life any other way!

Am I a SAD person or what??

(Oh and the painters PROMISE to start work in the lounge next week - again!)

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Dem bones, dem bones got ta move about....

MEDtropolis - Virtual Body

Click on this link and have some fun :)

Milton Keynes' Mysteriously Moving Concrete Cows!

In all my many visits to Milton Keynes I had yet to see those famous concrete cows that are the town's trademark so to speak. This year I was determined to rectify that and so the search for the mysterious Milton Keynes concrete cows commenced!

Apparently, due to the activities of vandals, the cows are moved from one secret location to another on a regular basis and it was pure luck that the First Born had recalled seeing them grazing quietly in an open field on his way home from work earlier in the week. So off we headed, peering expectantly out of the car window in anticipation. I'm not sure what I expected to see but, to be perfectly honest, it wasn't this!

So here you are......... I present to you those most famous of Concrete Cows! They are not very big, they are decidedly un-cow like and they have red spray paint all over them. I believe they were designed and made by a REAL artist! Hard to believe - but true!

I'll be interested to hear your comments? :)

Sunday, 2 September 2007

All painted out !

The new blog is looking fantastic - do hope you've managed to find the time to admire the decor :)

Surely a coincidence that I've also been painting the house at the same time? We're into week two and I am getting pretty fed up with tripping over tins of paint, ladders and painters every day. They are doing a sterling job but I really am tired of camping in my own home and choking on paint fumes! Some dang fool decided to do a rough plaster finish throughout the house so painting each room has turned into a marathon task and we have used nearly three times the normal amount of paint! Might have been faster to just re-plaster :(

I have a sick husband! I thought this was worthy of mention as I'm sure all you ladies out there have 'experience' of coping with a sick husband in the house? Poor man has caught the most nasty bout of flu and is incapable of walking from the chair in front of the TV to the kitchen and back. He can't manage to eat the beef stew cooked but has a yen for chicken soup and endless cups of tea - served, of course, by an adoring wife at regular intervals! Wouldn't mind quite so much running back and forth if I could be sure that I will get the same treatment when I go down with said bout of flu - however, I am nothing if not a realist!!!

Hey ho - Tuesday sees the return of the girl child to school to continue her education! I am devastated! I had fondly thought I might get a break from early morning nagging and pleading, afternoon fetching and carrying and all those general school time blues! She has decided that she is NOT ready to step out into the big world and go to college in the UK so she has decided to carry on a further year at this dread institution and do her 'A' level Art. I'm sure she's right in her decision but it is still a blow I'm afraid. Her school career so far has not been a particularly happy one for either of us :)

So - watch this space for my nervous breakdown! - LOL