You wouldn’t necessarily know I lived in Africa this morning; the clouds hang low so that the two mountains I can normally see – Kilimanjaro and Meru – are blanketed in a damp, grey shroud. You’d only guess I was in Africa for the pair of Hadada Ibis that are pecking about delightedly on the lawn which was mowed yesterday, unearthing a banquet of insects for their breakfast. Shortly they will be chased away by my three geese who parade about the garden with proprietary and stately waddle (only geese waddle in stately fashion, not ducks, which merely waddle). The geese don’t want a share of the insects the ibis are enjoying, they just don’t want to share their garden. Sometimes the ibis rise briefly into the air and laugh at the geese, but soon even their humour is defeated by this trio of feathered bullies and they push off. Uh oh, here they come now – the geese – hissing and spitting in tones of furious and indignant rage, the ibis will take flight but not until the geese are within feet, they will continue to nibble nonchalantly on for now which only serves to infuriate the advancing geese further.
I am listening to the news as I write; another member of the MDC, Mugabe’s opposition, has been beaten to within an inch of his life. For eight years the West has stood by and watched whilst a monster cruelly reduced Africa’s Bread Basket to Africa’s Basket Case. What could we do, it whined? And imposed sanctions which didn’t make a jot of difference to Mr Mugabe’s life; if he wanted something that wasn’t available in his disintegrating country, he just hopped aboard his jet and flew to South Africa to get it. Sanctions only made the little people’s already hellish lives even more miserable. Zimbabwe’s shocking situation is the fault of the West’s post-colonial hand-ringing; their fear that a greedy, belligerent African ruler would play the race card means that the lives of hundreds of thousands of Africans are in jeopardy. Warning: Political Correctness can kill.
Hattie – the youngest of my three children at ten – is going on a field trip this morning, to the new crêperie in town (which, my instructions indicate, is in a pink building). It’s a French field trip, Hattie says, because they are going to eat crêpes which they eat in France she informs me. Except her pronunciation isn’t up to much which reduces Amelia (13) to a fit of hysterical mirth, ‘Ha, ha’, she squeals unkindly, ‘Hattie’s going to eat CRAP for breakfast’.
I am awaiting a telephone call from an editor on an Australian women’s glossy to whom I pitched a story about insomnia. She – unlike her predecessor – is not prepared to commission the piece over email; we need to have a transcontinental conversation she says, which has meant lengthy email correspondence as we negotiate a mutually suitable time to talk given our considerable time differences.
Talking on the telephone makes me anxious.
Consequently I barely slept last night.
A fact that may have lent useful research were I not so bloody knackered.