Adventures. With Teeth



Every time I walk past their box, the little quail call greedily. It didn’t take them long to learn I equated with food. Despite securing their home with chicken wire, wound taught so that I cut my hands as I wrapped it, there is still the occasional Houdini so that I’m suddenly aware of a shrill and louder chirping. I scoop the escapee up, astonishingly sooner that somnolent cats or dogs do, and replace it amongst the others where I imagine their clamouring questions, ‘what’s it like out there? Who did you meet? What did you do? Find anything more interesting go eat?  Why don’t’ you blog about your adventures …?’


Which is really why this blog started. When I come to think about it. The prospect of adventure.  One that sustained for five years in the Outpost and culminated in two years of chaos where change, with some irony, became our constant.  Another huge change looms now, a new adventure. I hope it will bring calm.

I need to drive south to find it.

I’m trying not to think about the journey, on my own, with two dogs, two cats, one a wild street rescue with killer instincts that match his gangstastyle beginnings, and those ten tiny quail. Indubitably somebody is going to get eaten …

Adventures. With Teeth.



The last of my three children left yesterday to go back to her English University.

I walk into her room as soon as I return from the airport.  Where I can still smell her.   She wears Chloe and is such an aficionado of body spray that I feel anxiously certain she must be personally responsible for that  hole in the ozone layer.

Last weekend I punished myself similarly by walking into her brother and her sister’s rooms just after they’d gone, and gathering discarded  clothes from the floor, noticing rumpled sheets from their last night at home.

And I am struck by the familiar, tangible ache that accompanies my children’s departures: it sits somewhere between my heart and my navel.  A sinking. A gap.  A lump in your throat that’s got dislodged.

Arms full of clothes, heavy with the scent of children, I leave the room and close the door.

They’ll be home, I tell myself, even if I don’t know what that home looks like  yet.


20 Responses to “Adventures. With Teeth”

  1. Addy Says:

    So beautifully written – this brought tears to my eyes… I know that feeling so well of going into an empty room with “rumpled sheets from their last night at home”. Keep busy, keep busy, keep busy. Mind you, it sounds as if you are going to be. Is the move south permanent or just temporary?

    • reluctantmemsahib Says:

      Thank you Addy. Permanent. A permanent move. Another outpost. On a tea farm in Tanzania’s deep south … x

  2. Carolyn Parnell Says:

    Can we hear more about the move ? I look for your posts and am thrilled when you do. Your writing is lovely and your stories enchanting….please post more often ? thank you. Carolyn

    • reluctantmemsahib Says:

      Thank you Carolyn. That’s really kind. Life’s been in something of an hiatus last six months … last two years really … I hope this is the start of something positive. Default position after so much change and uncertainty is something like anxiety so sort of afraid to say too much until I’m actually there. Then I’ll write so that you’re sick of me …

  3. Iota Says:

    What? Hat’s at university? Surely not yet… Have those years gone by already?

    • reluctantmemsahib Says:

      sorry Iota. that was poorly phrased, should have said … the last of my three children to return to school/uni in England … Hat’s still at school … though only 15 months to go. x

  4. Becky Says:

    May the new adventure (hopefully with few teeth) and new year be filled with peace and calm.

    So glad to be able to start my year with some of your beautiful writing.

  5. Ellie Says:

    So good to have a post from you! Oh the ache of missing the children {{hugs}} I understand well the hesitation to write too much too soon … Be well on the big drive, during the move! Be well — looking forward to hearing more as you can share.

  6. janerowena Says:

    Good luck with the journey, and with the next ‘Life’. My youngest too is now at university, although he got broken ski-ing a few days ago so we have him at home for quite a few weeks… Which means that i shall have to go through missing him painfully all over again.

  7. nuttycow (@nuttycow) Says:

    Welcome back RM – I missed your posts. I can’t believe Hat is so grown up already. 15 months to go?! Wow.

    Good luck with the new move. Come back and say hi to us all soon. x

  8. Sue Says:

    I am SO glad that you have blogged again as I’ve been following your posts , checking every few days for an update. I’m home now after our own foreign adventures,waiting to see what happens next but glad to be in our own home. I hope that this new adventure brings you the stability and happiness your family deserves. Great that things are working out for you.

  9. Ann Says:

    All the good luck in the world RM. I started reading you blogs back in 2009. What a different world you live in. Don’t forget I live not far from where Hat goes to school so if she/you ever need anything let me know.

  10. Carol Says:

    Yay – you are blogging again … the quails sound like fun – just hope that mad cat doesn’t get them!

  11. docmomma Says:

    Yes, please keep writing! And good luck with the move!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: