Thursday 29 October 2009

Been a while

Sorry folks, it's been a while - been incredibly busy mostly with work but also with meeting people, went away for a lovely sunny weekend in Mombasa with friends and danced on the beach with heady abandon and swam in the sea...glorious.

I went to the supermarket the other day. A man approached me. "Can I talk to you a minute.." No. I walk away. "Please" he says. "Madame is open." What? Let me just buy a shower curtain. He points at my crotch. The zip was wide open. Hmmmmn, ok...thanks...I carry on looking very interested again in shower curtains and ended up buying some kiddie with with bright yellow ducks...

OK - so I am driving from work late. Get stopped by a corrupt policeman. I now know you're supposed to carry on driving. Blah blah - he wants money. He gets none. But I get a lecture about insurance and not displaying it in the window...whatever....

I go the gym in my block. Manager is staring intently. Pissing me off. I come out. "Ms is very good at body shaping..." Hmmmmmn ....body shaping...I laugh out loud.

Then last night - I break down. Not fun in Nairobi. Smoke billowing out - hosepipe broke. Long tedious story but I get rescued - then asked if I want to go to dinner -people here sure have iniative...

But I've just returned from a fab dinner at a gorgeous friend's house - all ladies - all African except me - I laughed and laughed. These women are Phds, judges, non Kenyan, all of us are foreigners here and struggling with the same stuff. We are all cool strong women in a fab women's network looking it out for each other. Good stuff - I feel like a citizen of the world where race and colour has no distinction but we talk about life, love, men, jobs, friendships and the meaning of life.


Monday 5 October 2009

It's all relative

So the car I bought had no oil and no water in it.

Apart from being really irritated by this I thought I would call the garage to complain.

"Hi, it's you have my log book yet and ..also..."

Before I managed to complain I was knocked back into silence.

"Yes - hi Jo - no sorry - no log book yet. My brother got hijacked on Friday. They held him up with a gun and stole the keys to the showroom. We're sorting things out now.."

What could I say?

Sorry about the hijacking. Must've been an unpleasant business.

Me, I'll just go and sort the car elsewhere I guess.

Nairobi. Things are different here.


Saturday 3 October 2009

Guns and shoes

I decided to talk to the Mall today - mistake - it's a hell of longer than I thought, I was sick and there are no roads to speak of. On the way I pass two security guards with very big menacing guns slung over their shoulder. They would've been scary as fk except they were avidly looking at shoes from a street vendor and it was somewhat incongruous.

Last night I drove home from work at a normal hour ie 1730 instead of when it's dark.

Wow what a difference. Snarly traffic, people lining up at the window to sell ANYTHING.

The window was open as it was hot and steamy and one excited young man with bad teeth thrust a baby rabbit at me. Easy tiger! I explained I didn't have a garden. No problem - into the box he goes again and brings out a little ratty creature which nearly jumps on my lap in through the window. I laughed but decided to hot foot outta there before I ended up with a puppy - of which there are many.

Am really sick today. Horrible icky food poisoning. So it rains outside and I try and sleep off the bug I have.


Monday 28 September 2009


A gorgeous escape to Mombasa.

Can I go swimming where I am?

The answer : We wouldn't recommend it. Sharks...and dead bodies....and sewage.

Never mind - the pool was great.

I get back to Nairobi - chaos on the roads, an overturned truck and traffic from the airport into the city.

I get a call (bearing in mind I have no phone here except an intercom).

"Miss - your car no good. Bugger I think. It's been hit, broken into etc.


It is VERY dirty....can I clean it?

Hmmmmn yeah ok. How much? 200 shillings. No. 100. OK Missy. I clean it now."

Now that is initiative eh?


Saturday 19 September 2009


I got the car. Phew.

What with trying to not get lost and looking around, I keep driving into pot holes. Clunk clunk jaw clenching, wheel wrenching shocking drops and dips.

There are no rules at all. People stop at random in the middle of the road or at a roundabout. No joke. Or they cut you up or won't let you in or out.

I got lost, drove around two shopping malls, dropped a friend off somewhere and got totally lost again driving past some pretty dubious places...praying alternating with fk, fk -where am I ...turrets...bollx, ouch, shite -where am I? Please, please get me home in one piece without being car jacked, attacked, lost in some shanty town or the like.

Oh - not to mention that I got wheel clamped too today..

Grrrrgh. I should've paid (apparently) a few bob as they say here to some random bloke in a yellow jacket. I didn't know this and got sodding well clamped. First day in my new car. Anyway - it was remarkably easy to get it unclamped I have to say. Go pay, dude come up with a key and off you go..

Came back drenched in sweat.

Now I understand all those weird statues and talsimans people carry in cars - you need them cos road sense alone ain't any use.

Bless these new wheels of mine.


Sunday 13 September 2009



This is Africa.

That is the answer to anything that doesn't make sense.

I have given a job to girl from Zimbabwe to do some stuff at home for me when I move in. I see it as sponsorship as what I pay her will cover her school fees which she can't afford without a small job.

She is the eldest of 5. Her father died, her mum is HIV positive and she has to support her family from here. She's the niece of a friend of a friend. We met yesterday - she is a baby - 20 years old yet her dark eyes were full of the sorrow and desperation of those that have seen too much.

Whilst I am here and am able, I will help her. She is one of many that need help but helping this girl will help a whole generation in Zimbabwe.

The world is injust.

Wednesday 9 September 2009

Getting there..

Apart from working my socks off at the moment, I have purchased a hand man bed to my specs, am having a sofa designed, my stuff from the UK is hopefully still safe at sea on the ocean, I have an oven, a fridge and washing machine. Life's essential. Oh and a TV. Soon I will move in...

Just spent two hours dancing in N's kitchen. We all needed to let off some steam - nothing like going crazy in the kitchen in your jim jams eh?

What else...hmmmmmnn - still on the search for some wheels.

Amused at office intrigues - the usual array of misfits and politicos. Me - I keep my head down and do the job. For now..


Monday 7 September 2009

Saturday 29 August 2009

Bittersweet moments

OK firstly I wish to apologise for the lack of photos but frankly, the thought of walking around with a camera seems weird as it's not exactly a tourist haven in Nairobi and it feels voyeuristic to do this but yes, I will when I get into the flat to show people my new home.

I went to a bar on Friday with my friend N. Her kids said we looked like twins - apart from the glam outfit, lipgloss, perfume and attitude, I couldn't quite see it. 5FT 10 black, 5FT 2 white. Yeah - definitely twins.

We get to the bar and the conversation buzzes around subject areas I know nothing of. The mafia here, the corruption, stories of Mossad supported politicians who shoot criminals dead in the street, security scams, phone bugging and illegal land sales.

It's chaotic, black market, a mix of "enchufes" as they say in Spanish, - who knows who.

The conversation moves onto tribalism and the massacres of 2007 and that people expect the same again in 2012 -next elections but this time, the violence will start before and not after. I blink again. I can't think of how people accept this as the norm.

Then my friend who is from Burundi says that Africa needs to learn from the Rwandan genocide that spread. They talk more, I listen, then she says that her brother was killed in the genocide.

I have nothing to say and wish I did.

Friday 21 August 2009

The two economies

I know it's a cliche but the difference between rich and poor here is sickening.

The guards that stand all night in the cold "guarding" ie doing nothing earn between 6-9 thousand shillings a month

Just to give you an idea what that buys - I just put 100o shillings credit on my phone, my lunch costs around 4-600 hundred shillings each day, my taxi ride to work and back costs 1400 shillings each day. It's not a lot.

If the house owners are generous and kind, they give them a blanket and maybe some food. Many go hungry. Some resort to eating dog food because the dogs get treated better than they do.

They spend their lives sharing a shack in the garden, with their families miles away owning nothing but the clothes they stand in, a glass and a few bits and bobs.

They aren't valued - yet the rich can't seem to manage without them as they lock themselves away in their fortresses.

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Sunday 16 August 2009

Culture shock

I had always thought of myself as an environmentalist. I realize now that was somewhat disingenuous as in fact, every single Kenyan I meet puts anyone in the so called developed world to shame.

Of course, it is not necessarily out of noble conviction, but because life is hard and things are scarce.

Resources, materials, containers and “utilities” are so valued that nothing is taken for granted.

Every single glass container is kept, washed and used again. I go to a small supermarket at work and there are no plastic bags at all- a cardboard box if you really need it to again but it’s bring your own or struggle carrying and balancing things in your arms.

I see slightly rotting fruit today and my stomach turns as the ants surround it and the flies amass. There isn’t really anything wrong with it though and I offer the fruit to the very grateful guards at the house I am staying. I feel like a brat as I see how they jump for the fruit and smile gratefully.

Every single appliance is turned off at the wall. Why? Because electricity is scarce, people in Nairobi are used to power cuts frequently and if you have a generator – then great – but let’s not waste it.

Water- I can’t tell you many times I go to the kitchen tap and forget there is no water in the kitchen at the moment. Again, there are cuts and rationing. There is a reserve for washing and we buy containers to drink. I don’t want to exaggerate – I am lucky enough to be able to go and buy water and have access to water reserves and generators but it gets you thinking.

As for owning a washing machine, of course lots of people do, but many, even those that can afford it, prefer to handwash to save water and because they its deemed more thorough.

I’ve been here two weeks and learnt more about being an environmentalist and how precious these things are that we take for granted in the developed world really are.

Onto some funnies….I was asked to be estate agent’s fourth wife. I wasn’t sure if that was a compliment or an insult. I was asked to fill in a form at work of all the forms I’ve filled in – a form for the forms..I jest not…and apparently “flashing” here isn’t about dropping your pants but is actually when you ring someone’s mobile phone to tell them you’ve called or to give them your number.

Who would know?


Thursday 13 August 2009

OK folks - so let me tell you about it all - Nairobi

Hello people.... Friends keep writing me lovely emails wanting to hear all about the initial impressions, so here goes.

Firstly and I hope you appreciate this.... I am writing this by candlelight because I appear to have turned up at a time of national crisis and massive electricity and water shortages.

Of course, most people blame corruption rather than just the lack of rain...I mean Australia manages to keep things going doesn't it - but here, no...apparently not!

Some people have written too saying hey - are you there or not?

Yes, I am here- Day 13 I believe.

I am working for a rather large international bureaucratic organisation - but not going to mention names cos I don't want to be fired just as I get going.

Oh my god, I feel like I have landed in a Kaftka novel.

Nothing makes any sense. Hence I've given up trying to comprehend things. A decision taken one minute is overturned the next. Let me give you an example. I find a flat. Fine. I go to sign the lease - there is no lease. There is however, a flat available in the opposite block to be free on September 1. Fine.

Today I receive a call - it's back to the first flat and it's free now. Do I dare try and fathom this?

No. Just say ok. I'll take the one that I first said I'd take...going in circles..are you following me?

Ok what else? Well the office. Hah hah hah.

5 days to get a functioning email. Yes, I had email address but it wouldn't accept any emails from an outside address, very useful. After 4 calls I gather that I need to be added to a list. Then fking add me...!!!!! Thank you. Let's move on.

I have opened two bank accounts. One has a cheque book and a card. Magic. The other takes longer to set up but is an international dollar account. Work screwed up and paid it all into the dollar account - yes - the one I can't access for 3 weeks. Good, good.

The earth is red, it's dry, it's sprawling and vast but actually also very green and lush. Two monkeys appeared on my window ledge two days ago smelling my rotting banana on my desk.

My.. the little buggers were persistent - opening the window, trying to come in. Obviously their persistence paid off and they got the fruit - good for them.

I have been blessed by being "adopted" by a girl from the office who is lending me her house whilst I find a place. Her younger brother is here too and we cook up messes on the stove, or as per tonight, we opened nuts, cheese and bread and had a no electricity picnic.

What else? I went dancing last night and was the only white person in the club - did feel a little conspicuous but frankly - I was there with a friend and I can I reckon that's more of a criteria! Great live music and had fun - but was too late to go out on a school night..People kept telling me how tired I looked today. Sympathy vote. Hah hah.

The driving is horrendous. I think it's on a par with India - worse than Italy. People look they are continually drunk driving - veering here and there..and then I saw an overturned bus last night - all smashed in on the road to the airport. Eeek.

This is a bit incoherent - don't forget there is a candle here and am doing my best - but to say that Kenyans are very friendly overall -and it's been an odd, stressful, random but gets a little easier each day.

Something to end on - a security check issued by work.

On 12/08/09 at about 0710hrs the driver of one of the contracted Budget bus reported that, while driving the said bus ferrying staff members to the complex, on reaching Githogoro slums area before Runda Estate the bus was attacked with stones by seven armed persons. One of the attackers was armed with a pistol which he aimed at the driver but did not fire which s/ms suspected to have been a toy. The attackers tried to enter into the bus but both the driver and passenger doors were properly secured. No injuries reported. Security and DPU Officers attended the scene.

A TOY????

Told ya, Kafka - perhaps mixed with Monti Python.

Til next time. xxx

Saturday 8 August 2009

One week in...

Well, I have survived a week and boy there were times when I thought about grabbing a taxi and just heading to the airport and cancelling my shipment and returning...but that's not really me - I just like to enjoy the drama and think about doing these things.

It's not what I expected or hoped - but I need to readjust expectations. I am sure things will get better, but everything does feel like a struggle.

It would be nice to be able to carve a niche in the workplace - but let's see how things go. It ain't exactly straightforward.

Two funny Nairobi moments I have to share.

1. I discovered a place to do washing. Fine. I popped in and expected to be given a form to fill in or something. No, he tipped up my bag, underwear and an' all - and counted everything in there piece by piece, knicker by knicker.

Red? I was the colour of a tomato. He, however, was non plussed.

2. Yesterday I sat in a queue at an office called Host Country Services - basically visas and car stuff. An irate american guy came in blustering and shouting. However, he was pretty funny.

"I gave this paperwork in - in December 08!!!!! I can't drive without a licence. I am stuck. I need help with this - what do you guys want me to drive - a wheelchair - cos by the way it's sorted, that's what I'll need."

I cracked up. No one else did.


Monday 27 July 2009

The joys of moving..

Of course the shippers don't turn up when they are supposed to.

And I am missing a receipt to pick up my currency, Orange can't transfer me from one department to another, no one can pick up at the airport and it's taken me a week to get the address of the B and B I am staying at when I get there..

Tuesday 21 July 2009

The paperwork never ends

Never has the printer and scanner been so well used.

I wonder if in Colonial times people just got on a boat, got off and that was that. Is the world any better or different for all out bit of paper, ID cards, contracts, visas - surely it is just a ruse to keep us busy and keep people employed.

I keep meaning to blog about things I see or hear in London but frankly, unless I write it down, it's gone, gone, gone.

The only funny thing is that I tell people I am moving to Africa and they do act like it's Joseph Conrad's time or something- a mix of fear, admiration and "you're clearly bonkers".. although some people look at the tube and sigh - lucky you.


Monday 13 July 2009

The Librarian

Yes, the contract finally arrived and I nearly died.

It said "librarian" at the top. What the f....?

I find out two days later after much chasing it is a budget issue.

It is also only for 6 months but it is a staff placement so let's see. The shipping, sorting, medical clearance, visa confusion now begins in earnest.

It is a risk, I could be here again soon if things come to an end too soon but it is also the gateway to a new world and life.

How exciting.

Will be off in a couple of weeks me thinks.


Thursday 2 July 2009

What's the true cost of photocopy paper?

I wrote this piece on the environmentalist blog

but things get confusing now because this blog is personal, not professional. However, I had to use the same log in and email as a contributor and writer for them as I couldn't be bothered setting up a new one. Perhaps silly of me.

So - I've had to untick this blog from my profile so people can't see it.

Ah - the age of google and gmail - so much for personal, professional divide.

Sunday 28 June 2009

New experiences

Kundalini Yoga - weird but good. Lots of heavy deep breathing.

Vinyasa Flow yoga with tiger balm as the bearded teacher nipped behind, pulled your top up and rubbed into your lower back joints.

Getting feedback on the writing project.


Saturday 27 June 2009

Barclays in Nairobi?

I pop to Barclays on my way back from the nurse who has just given me a polio booster.

"I always wanted to go abroad and a be a nurse in Africa or Asia but I got married and had kids and my life was over" she muttered. "Now I'll never do it."

I told he she could do it when the kids left home but she looked unconvinced.

Anyway, into High Street bank Barclays I pop and stride to the customer service desk.

Part of me feels like acting in a play "My good woman, do you have a branch of your establishment in Nairobi, Kenya?" but I don't of course.

Instead I say - "Would you be able to tell me if you have a Barclays in Nairobi."

She looks at me. She's not young, not old - maybe late twenties but with a somewhat gormless stare.

" dunno. Where?"

Kenya I say again. Nairobi.

"Oh - I don't know how to find that out..." "She calls to someone else - do we 'ave a branch in ....where was it love...Nairobi? Nairobbery perhaps I intone. "Oh..we don't have a list of global branches."

For Christ sake I think.

I say - "Don't worry, I'll look it up myself on the net - can you not even give me a phone number to call..?"

Ah yes. I think two things at this point.

If the banking system is in a state of collapse, why are they employing people that can't apparently even think. Secondly, it reminded of an earlier argument I had with an employee at Abbey who wouldn't believe that Switzerland didn't have the Euro. They may be paying big bucks at the top but I suspect it's peanuts at the bottom.

Wednesday 24 June 2009

Wasted time...

God I hate wasting time and I feel as if I am wasting time all the time at the moment. I've been told that the contract has finally been approved which is great news but now - have I heard a word back. One step forward, one step backwards. So here I am in limbo again - no work, no structure, waiting, waiting, waiting.

Of course there are things to do and sort out, paperwork, jabs, packing but really - I could do it all in a week and be gone.

I know time is a luxury - so why do I feel as if there is too much of it swilling around now?

I am writing but have had feedback and need to do rewrites, I am reading a lot but that feels like dead time too sometimes, seeing friends - all of whom are busy, busy, busy and trying to relax and store up energy as I know the next move will take it out of me and then I'll be wishing I had more time again!

Thursday 4 June 2009

What's new people?

Are you interested that the Northern line has signal failures all the time?

Or that it's been hot as hell?

That I took the Thames River boat cruise to Greenwhich last week, or went to visit a friend in Chichester and we went to the beach in the UK AND IT WAS HOT AND THE SAND WAS WHITE!!!

Or that I've been sorting through boxes and giving things away to lighten my load and that I again, wait, wait, wait for a piece of paper that should change my life.

When it arrives, we shall celebrate.

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Thanks for my knickers

No joke. I just read this press release - we have so much to be grateful for.

* Bordello joins HotMilk’s “Knickers for Africa” campaign

Sometimes we can take a lot for granted, from the roofs over our heads right down to the fact we own underwear.

When we heard that something as simple as undergarments had the possibility of giving young women in Zimbabwe a better chance to live a life free of sexual abuse, we knew that we wanted to help.

HOTmilk is now actively assisting former Zimbabwean Morag Roy, who returned to her home in Australia from a recent trip determined to help the local communities in Zimbabwe in a very unusual way.

Morag discovered that sexual abuse of young girls there was rampant, so she asked a local priest what the girls needed most to prevent it. “He told me that underwear gives a woman prestige, shows they have money and means men are less likely to assault them. I was amazed but when I flew back six months later with suitcases stuffed with bras I saw first hand what a difference it made.”

During that trip Morag also found that most of the young girls and mothers there only had one pair of knickers each, so they often wore none.

“They also desperately need knickers, but I guess a Catholic priest wouldn’t have thought about mentioning that!”

Morag has already done such a great job in gathering thousands of bras for her cause and HOTmilk is delighted to have donated 6,500 brand new pairs of HOTmilk underwear to her project.

HOTmilk’s regular freight company Express Logistics, were also happy to come to the party by sponsoring the transport of the knickers from New Zealand to Zimbabwe. And You can help too!

The demand is phenomenal, so don’t throw out that lingerie set that you no
longer require!

Bring it to Bordello, 55 Gt Eastern St, Shoreditch and we will make sure it gets on the next Knickers for Africa shipment to the young women of Zimbabwe.

Collection closes 31st May 2009.

*55 Great Eastern Street
London EC2A 3HP
Nearest Tube Old St
Tel: +44 (0)207 503 3334

*For press information, contact:
*Michele Scarr

Sunday 17 May 2009

The Opal Ring

As a little girl, I used to stare at my grandma’s opal ring as it shimmered, danced, metamorphosed and captivated its unwary audience. This was no ring to be ignored. It was an accomplished seducer and would giggly coyly in the light, but once it had the attention of an admirer – it laughed out loud and changed colour.

For this was the famous Australian black opal. Heavy, precious and poignant with memories of past journeys, wars, and impossible love, this ring symbolized my family’s cross culture across the globe, from the grime of London East End to the hot, brutish, searing heat of the Australian bush.

The story below has been pieced together from journals and my grandmother’s diary when she returned to trace her Australian roots some thirty odd years ago, and from there brought back a symbol of her birthright - a tiny piece of Australian earth once buried deep below a hard baked crust.

It begins with Maurice Isaacs, born in 1869 in London, an East End Jewish boy with high aspirations and a sense of adventure. At the age of 17, he boarded a steamship to Australia and worked his way across the vast ocean as a steward. He landed in Melbourne around 1880.

Here in the Southern Hemisphere was a city larger than most European capitals. In just a decade, the population had doubled, racing to half-a-million. While Sydney was seen as slow and steady, Melbourne was fast and reckless - a place for a new life.

Maurice eventually found work in a shoe factory and learnt the trade, taking a young Jewish Dutch girl as his wife, Frances. They were poor but respectable, working hard by day, and earning extra cash at home making boots and shoes. Eventually they set up their own factory and by all accounts, became wealthy after years of hard graft.

Frances died just before the beginning of the First World War leaving behind three devastated teenage children – Esther, Will and Samuel, my great grandfather. Not heeding his children’s feelings, Maurice met and married a young woman shortly after their mother’s death. Esther, the elder sister had previously died aged 19 in childbirth. Aggrieved, distraught and without their sister or mother, the boys decided to run to join the army. Samuel, a mere boy, lied about his age to join up. He convinced his best friend from school George King to join them too.

The three innocents were soon immersed in the jaws of The Great War, which was to engulf the world, and steal the lives of millions.

Like other terrible battles whose names reverberate in history, the word Gallipoli still holds sway and evokes a sense of awe and sadness. Some two hundred thousand allied troups were killed here. Of the three young lads that had run away from home to fight, Sam was the only one to make it out alive. Seeing his brother die first and then his best friend take a bullet standing next to him, Sam stumbled out and took leave, heading to London.

Sam had lost his brother, his best friend, his mother and sister all in the space of a few years. He changed his surname from Isaacs to King – George’s name. Perhaps this was in memory of his friend, perhaps it was to hide his “Jewishness”, and it served both purposes. The young solider found respite in Castle Street in London’s East End at the home of his father’s sister, Miriam Weinstein and her refugee Polish husband. They had three children, two daughters and a son.

Esther, the middle daughter, was a feisty attractive redhead and was to become the love of Sam’s life. However, Esther and Sam were first cousins. Despite family protestations and Sam returning to fight the remainder of the war, they eventually married. In 1918, as battles still raged in France and sick with influenza, Sam returned to Australia. Esther joined her husband a year later.

In Melbourne, Maurice refused to bless his son’s marriage and wouldn’t let them stay in his house. However, he did buy them a small business to start their married life– a general saloon combined with a barber shop in Tocumwall about 500 miles from Melbourne. The River Murray ran along the back of the saloon and Esther, the pale, English, red headed city girl, found herself having to cope in the Australian bush.

Esther did her best to bear the heat, the bone brittle dryness of the land and the rowdiness of the clients but about 18 months later, and mother to a little baby girl - my grandmother Frances, she succumbed to what was described as a bout of brain fever. Sam decided to bring his English rose home. The voyage was hard, long, troubled, and sickly. Esther, it seems, was barely kept alive by an energetic and determined ship’s doctor.

They returned to the hustle and bustle of the city. Sam, educated, erudite, in love but without a real trade, continually pined for Australia. He firstly ran a fish and chips shop and then became a London Black cab driver. Esther, an outrageous, opinionated, stubborn lady who loved gin, cigarettes and strawberries, was happy in the city.

From across the oceans and from different continents, it seemed neither could be totally content in the other’s world but to be together, it was a necessary price to pay. They had met in war from different ends of the globe, had survived frontline battles, were first cousins and bound together by love, blood and ancestry. They lived out the remainder of their lives in London, survived by my grandmother and her younger brother.

I vaguely recall the excitement and expectation when my grandmother Frances journeyed back to Australia to see her birthplace, her father’s hometown and to meet her father’s half brother and sister borne from Maurice’s second marriage.

Throughout the years I have since heard stories about my fiery great grandmother whom I am said to take after, her loving educated husband from Australia and in turn, my grandmother’s life during the next Great War and her pivotal 6 week journey to retrace her roots and meet her family.

The ring I now wear. The Opal is our family. It is both Australia and the UK. It is where we journey to, where we settle and the people that we love.


Really drained and tired - not sure why.

I wrote this family story up a while back and had nowhere to put figured, may as well post here. For those of you that know me and a ring I wear a lot - it's a black opal. Here is the story behind it...


Saturday 9 May 2009

Reflecting on the future - King Penguins

I love this photo - a gem from Flickr.

Friday 8 May 2009

People and their space orbits

Flash and I were having a discussion about people - particularly men - who are chaotic and dangerous, yet charismatic and alluring.

I have to credit her with a spectacular analogy.

Men that draw you into orbit to then clunk you with a piece of space debris (read emotional baggage/f-ckwittery) from the past every so often.

For those of you that want a fuller explanation - space debris, also called space junk and space waste includes objects in orbit around Earth created by humans - that no longer serve any useful purpose.

So back to men - it is very often their orbital junk which floats along perfectly well until it collides with something delicate in its sphere.

Said woman gets a fair clunk around the head and in the heart.

Probably not explaining this very well but it all made perfect sense this morning.

I like it.

Monday 4 May 2009

A book I wish everyone would read...

A New Earth


I went to an island off an island for work off the North East coast of Germany.

It was really random and bizarre.

I met people from ex Soviet Union and couldn't communicate.

Never mind - who needs to understand one another?

The work actually went quite well.


I have been taking a lot of buses lately not having a car and all that.

I wish I could say it's been a great experience but frankly- most people smell and are really dirty and rude - or so it seems in North London.

However - one upside I hadn't imagined was their potential for meeting men.

So far I've had a bus driver give me his name and mobile - he was rather cute actually - Anthony...

I've been asked out by a very insistent immigrant from Pakistan who insisted coffee or tea was good too if I really didn't want to have a drink with him.

Then there was the older man outside the hospital and a boy who looked like he was a sixth former.

Obviously I smile and say thanks, no thanks but what was that about men and buses?

Thursday 23 April 2009

Home alone

It's always great to have the house to oneself. One of the joys is walking around naked.

Which always feels liberating until you realise that you neighbour hasn't left for work yet and is staring at you having his coffee.