March 2009


M has had to travel suddenly.  One of his staff has been killed.  For nothing more than a sat phone, it would seem…

So he has gone to see the man’s family, who were in the house when he was taken outside and shot.  Only he might not make it all the way there – there is a strong threat of kidnapping there at the moment.

And we’ve lost Daddy for the weekend.  It’s not such a hardship, when you think about it…

Advertisements

Readers of this blog who also show a passing interest in the news of this part of the world will probably be aware of some recent events – and those same readers may well be wondering whether (and if so, when) I will make any comment on said events.  Well, I’m not really a news blogger, just a my-life-overseas blogger, so with that proviso, this is my comment:

M’s workload seems to have at least doubled over recent weeks.  I really have no idea when he gets time to do his regular work.  Sleeping and eating are taking fairly low priority and as a family we are seeing even less of him than usual.  Mind you, we are still all here, continuing our daily routine, which is much better than it could be.  And if I’m feeling exhausted, worn down by small, irrational would-be dictators, at least I can look forward to Saturday afternoons.  I have recently started having one hour off each week…

My school has offered its teachers free horseriding lessons.  I have never really ridden a horse before, but since my daughters are enjoying their lessons, it looked like it could be fun and, who knows?  It could be a useful skill to have in the future.  I have happy visions of us all pony-trekking together in a few years’ time…

So every Saturday around children’s teatime (best time to leave the house!), I drive for half an hour to the school stables and have an hour’s lesson.  My teacher is a very interesting person – she grew up in Zimbabwe, moved with her family to South Africa, where she met her partner, with whom she has been riding across Africa.  They were planning to stop here for just a few days, but somehow have agreed to develop these stables and so are here for a year or two now.  Friendly people, and as you can imagine, very knowledgeable about horses and riding!  I am learning from an expert.  She is a good teacher, too – but I was rather shocked to be in charge of the horse almost straight away (have watched the children’s lessons a lot, didn’t imagine mine might be rather different!).  And attempting (and failing) trotting by the second lesson!  Yesterday was the third lesson and I did actually manage to persuade my horse to trot for a noticeable distance, which was rather encouraging.

I’m really looking forward to next week’s lesson…

I’m sure I told you that the old small road I use every day had another long strip of tarmac built alongside it last summer/autumn, making it a lovely wide dual carriageway (and I probably mentioned the great African way of allowing cars to drive over the roadworks).  Well, now they’re digging up and re-laying the old side – and, more puzzlingly, long stretches of the new side…  (Hence the title.)

All of which is fantastic news for G, who sits in the back of our car as I drive to work spotting “‘rucks” and “diggers” (and today a crane and a cement mixer, too!) – and in the short patches of road where no such vehicles are to be seen, there’s always a “nockney” or two to hold the interest!

I’m aware that it is ages and ages since I last blogged – but don’t worry, I’m on the case!  More from me shortly (insh’Allah)…