A Walk on the Increasingly Wild Side

Just had walk with dogs.

After a weekend of rain the sky looks washed out, a pale rinsed blue, and the summer heat is dissipating to give way to winter cool. I shall miss my walks when we move, I shall miss the majesty of the two mountains, Meru and Kilimanjaro, which always remind me of the smallness of humankind, the unlikelihood that we’ll ever tame Africa.

That’s especially evident as I walk: the farm, once a neat patchwork of varying crops tidily scored by irrigation channels, grows wilder daily. The dam, for lack of maintenance, has shrunk to a puddle. Two dozen Yellow Bill Stork were striding purposefully about in the water plucking tilapia from the murky shallows. Hardly fair game – so little water now the fish don’t stand a chance. The vegetables have been overtaken by the weeds so that you can barely see the chilli bushes now and the stakes that supported peas are beginning to collapse. Pipes and taps are being ripped up and stolen by looters and to the far end of the farm I can see trespassers grazing their cattle and goats. Oh yes, given half a chance Africa reverts to wilderness the moment you turn your back.

There is something oddly pleasing about that though.


Amelia returned home from school trip to France last night.

She has told me all about visits to the Louvre, the Sacre Coeur, Versailles and the Eiffel Tower.

Because she is safe and sound and apparently perfectly well, I shall choose not to dwell on what she has not told me.

I am very pleased to see her home; I missed her greatly.

But not as much – judging from the laundry basket into which she tipped the contents of her suitcase when I suggest she unpack – as she missed me.

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