Because I’m worth it?

The outpost is desiccated.

Less than two months ago it was a fat sponge, saturated after weeks of rain, foliage preened, all new green leaf and luxuriant gloss – like the heads of L’Oreal shampoo’d celebs, ‘because we’re worth it’, the mango trees whispered smugly, wiggling their hips, when I drove beneath their plump shade.

Now it’s a chamois leather; hot dry days tanning its hide mercilessly.

The grass is reduced to bed-of-nails-prickliness. The flamboyant look as if they’re about to breathe their last; their branches droop like exhausted limbs that move only occasionally with rare, tired exhalations of breeze so that brittle-cracked-glaze seed pods rattle in irritation. Hat’s lips are sore. Her lip-balm keeps melting. We put it in the fridge. The mango trees have stopped showing off, they’re not green anymore. They’re a mottled brown stained untidily here and there with copper and bronze. Like somebody whose box-job hair colour has gone all wrong. Hat thinks they look autumnal.

Is it autumn here? she asks. It looks like it.

It does. When we go to the dam I notice that distant hills have shrugged off dense velvet wraps spun of emerald and jade and New-This-Season lime green. Instead they’ve dragged on a decidedly moth-eaten one strung hastily together with threads of khaki and saffron and patched up with something that looks horribly like beige.

I don’t know that it is autumn though. I’m not sure we have an autumn here. We simply go from hot and wet to hot and dry. This is the hot and dry and I can feel the air like a blow-torch against my skin.

That looks like a chamois leather as well. I can’t blame the outpost entirely for that. Too many hatless days and too much teenage sun worshipping.

I wonder what L’Oreal can do for me. I wonder if I’m worth it? Actually. I wonder if it’s worth it. Can we believe what they say on the bottle: will I really look 17 in the morning?


Off tomorrow. To the big smoke. To fetch twenty frozen chickens, half a dozen packets of butter, several pounds of bacon and a couple of kilograms of biltong. Or jerky. Or dried strips of meat. Or dead cow that looks like chamois leather.

And, oh joy, Amelia. Who begins her summer holidays early.

I can’t wait. And nor can Hat. To have Melie home.

Ta ra


9 Responses to “Because I’m worth it?”

  1. Roberta Says:

    Don’t forget to get dried beans and fresh veggies! Safe trip, my dear. I look forward to future posts.

  2. Mapesbury Mum Says:

    Have a good journey – hope everything doesen’t defrost on the way back – and don’t eat all that biltong in one go….

  3. Expat Mum Says:

    Know what you mean about having no autumn. Here, we go from bloody freezing to “my god it’s close” almost overnight. Safe trip.

  4. lulu Says:

    Biltong is my father’s favourite thing, having grown up in Africa…sorry about my last comment – when you leave a message with the wordpress link, when I click it it doesn’t go directly to your site – just to a space with your name on and nowhere else to go….which means I have to keep googling you – which means that your top post about your big toe was first and I assumed it was current…hopefully your big toe has stopped hurting in the last 6 months – especially with the imminent arrival of another child. Yay! Enjoy x

  5. Nairobian Perspective Says:

    interesting blog!quite some catchy posts

  6. Tom Says:

    We had two weeks of daily Thunderstorms and now they hang 50 miles inland and water the farms. At least my Flamboyant is in bloom and I can water it with the hose.

    It is 90 degrees here today but we have a breeze.

  7. ann Says:

    Have a latte on me. Do you fly to the big smoke? If so, how far is the landing strip from you?

  8. Potty Mummy Says:

    I’m assuming you have an eskie for the butter on your trip home?

  9. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    thank you thank you thank you all. had a lovely time. ate too much. drank too much. slept too little. laughed alot (that was the best bit: laughing with girlfriends until my tummy hurt), spent far, far too much. Roberta, i clean forgot about veggies. bought a belt instead. lovely but can’t eat it. mapesbury: the borewors defrosted and we only ate a bit of the biltong! Thanks EM. Lulu biltong is my husband, son’s and daughters’favourite too, consequently lots of fights over the last bit. thanks NP. 90 degrees Tom! my word. That sounds appalling. no, ann we drove/drive. it take almost 9 hours, the home coming (with the hangover and empty pockets) is harder! Potty: we did, have an eskie, but its an old one, hence some defrosting – hope i don’t give the family salmonella …

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