Tag Archives: parties

I nearly stepped on a rat and other stories.

Things I nearly stepped on while walking:

A very large dead rat. It was as long as it’s very long tail; it had been driven over and was lying in a pool of its own squelched blood. Its mouth was open and frozen in a rigid expression of silent despair, teeth bared for eternity. As I raised my foot to take a step I looked down and saw it splayed out in its gory splendour. I gasped and grabbed Trooper’s hand, she, stunned herself was hopping on one foot and letting out little sounds of panic. We continued walking, reaching school with beating hearts, wishing we could erase the rat that was now stuck firmly in our mind’s eye.

A dead cat. It had just recently died, I could tell because it had not yet been driven over and squelched by car tires. White, scruffy and wet, it was obviously a stray, with fur that had never been brushed or felt the caress of a stroke. It looked like it was asleep but it must have been hit mid run across the road, probably on its way to grab a scrap of food lying on the other side.

A headless chicken. It was lying in the ditch, dirty, bloody and missing a head. I walked past quickly. Trooper says she is relieved that she is already a vegetarian.

In other more cheerful news:

Exciting things I have done: planned my Halloween costume. I am not one for dressing up but it will be a good party and they won’t let me in unless I am showing some ghoulish spirit. I really am awful at costume parties, being far too vain to throw myself into something horrifyingly unattractive just for the sake of a party. So I have elected to wear a velvet cape dug out of Princess’s special box. I will be royalty of some sort. Not sure Handsome Husband has a clue, especially since I haven’t told him about the party yet.  I am sure something exciting can be found in the special box.

I am still sneaking off to Camp Sweetness. Today we had a pretend birthday party and everyone was a magic candle. Then we all turned into balloons and flew away.

But the best thing of all? Teaching poetry to 14 year olds and the whole room goes quiet. These were the lines:

“I never saw so sweet a face

As that I stood before

My heart has left its dwelling place

And can return no more.”

(First Love by John Clare).

Even the most hardened inmates at Camp Hormone love a good love story. Soft they are, really.


Filed under Being brave, Kampala, Miss Teacher

A lot of people but not a lot of water.

It was a highly sociable weekend.  Friday we were invited to a large and lavish Jewish New Year party, Saturday we went out on a bar hop and Sunday we spent the afternoon and some of the evening at a wonderful home overlooking Lake Victoria. I have now met people from Israel, Canada, New York, Germany, Denmark, Holland, Austria, England, South Africa, San Francisco, Boston, New Zealand, Australia, Kenya and France. I have met people in public health, the restaurant business, education, policy, water engineers, Unicef, Food and health NGOs, business, construction, art, writers, fitness, pest control, embassies and infectious disease. Most people that we have met are here for only a few years but there are some who arrived over a decade ago and have no plans to leave. The majority of expats here have lived in many places, ranging from Brazil to Namibia to Belize to Rome. Some ( not I)  run and bike and do endless sports, some are content to read by the pool and people watch,  but everyone’s favorite sport is eating, drinking and talking. I have discovered it to be a very sociable place with hours spent getting to know people and talking away the hours. One thing everyone has in common is that they are far away from home and it quickly becomes a unifying fact that bonds us all.

Good thing we were out so much because we have no water. Neither does most of Kampala, it seems. I imagine that soon people will start to smell, or the scent of perfume will just become over powering, as I imagine it must have been in pre-plumbing but post perfumerie Paris. The dishes are piling up, the laundry basket is overflowing, and we have a bucket of water that we have siphoned off the empty house next door that we use to flush the loo. Every few hours one of us optimistically turns on a tap, just to see. The school has water, the club has water, so we do have options for showers, but a home without water is troubling. It has been 5 days.

Last night we lost power. I wanted to laugh but it was not yet funny. Humour needs distance. And clean clothes.

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Filed under observations, Uganda

The Birthday Post

“How much is this birthday going to cost me?” The accountant husband I live with asked, with unveiled exasperation. I had already had one fabulous surprise party, albeit 2 weeks before the birthday, and thereby really starting a 10 day festival rather than simply the wonderful celebration that it was. I had the pedicure, the waxing of all straggly bits, the chocolate brown nails, and now I was planning a second party, for the actual night, of course, and I had just announced that I was “off to the mall to get a dress!”

Well I certainly couldn’t turn 40 in anything I owned.



Okay. I must admit I have made a big deal out of this turning 40 thing. You know those people that say “oh its no big deal” but it really is? Not me. How about those people who really don’t care? No. Not me again. Then there are the extremists who start having a crisis that leads from a too short mini skirt to a face life in a few swift months. That is not me. I have seen this as a process, mainly of acceptance of the fact that 40 is a milestone, like it or not, and that it is time to take stock. Within this process I have had  moments of regret that time has passed so fast and that it will continue to race by. I have looked at myself, my choices and my life as it is and given it some long thought. I have felt vain and wondered if I was beyond the threshold of sexy and passed the point of being found hot. I have realized that once I look all around me, I am actually pretty happy with my lot. And what is not good, I have the power to change. 

My job, this blog, my photography and moosefur have all fulfilled a part in me that was frankly a little lost. Why can’t we have this wisdom, this acceptance of who were are, this shift of maturity when we are young and beautiful? That is the eternal question. But then I realize that there are two kinds of beautiful. The young, hopeful, on the brink of everything kind of beautiful and the knowing, wry, been-there-done-that kind of beauty. I know which is more sexy.


So in taking an inventory of myself at 40 I have come to the very wise conclusion that I am not the best, but I am just fine.


And so I am not brushing off this day and pretending it is no big deal. It is. Okay maybe some people might think that 2 parties and a new camera lens and a day at the beach and umpteen blog posts about all this is over the top. And you may have a point. But I have never been one to miss the opportunity for a little introspection and a party or two, or three. 


See, tonight I found out that a third party is in the works for a Saturday in Montreal in July. I will get to celebrate all over again with my sisterhood of friends and their wonderful husbands.  And I will get a chance, all over again, to feel really lucky. And pretty in my new dress.





Filed under How old am I?, personal

lessons learnt swimming at midnight

There are certain undeniable truths. Husbands always miss one thing on the shopping list, and champagne is always better in a bubble bath.

There are also deals made that are universal, like the one that says that because the woman gives birth, the guy always drives the babysitters. There is also the deal that says a  “wife shalt not be naked before men other than her beloved.”

Skinny dipping at midnight is one of the more pleasant experiences life has to offer.  Saturday late at a party the birthday boy jumped into the pool. It was all Boxer shorts and cannonballs. Then one by one everybody else was jumping in and this is where the boy/girl divide became apparent. G jumped in with all her clothes. So that was 1 out of 3 girls in. She looked happy but a tad uncomfortable in those wet jeans.


 I wanted desperately to go in but had some underwear issues. I couldn’t jump in with clothes because being wet in clothes is an abhorrent sensation. Hate it. 

But. No skinny dipping ( which was what I wanted to do.) Not nice for the hubby.  So I thought of a great plan. Underwear no bra. ( I had on a small strapless one. Would look very weird and plus my underwear wasn’t matching and it always has to match.) No. hubby not into that. (still weird). In the end I was all undies on and it was lovely.. Just skinny dipping … would have have been bliss.


Even swimming in undies, kickers, smalls, whatever,  is a problem. Pulling jeans over wet thighs and a wet pair of M&S’s finest ( in joke for the Brits, there) is not comfortable. I really I am very attached to my comfort. See no point whatsoever in being uncomfortable. So now I was going home in partially wet jeans and a totally see through top, wet bra shining through. Hair wet, raccoon with mascara and muddy feet. But so happy!


If your babysitter is also a student, you can’t really go home in sopping clothes, stumbling all tipsy and wonky.  They would either think I was really cool or they would lose respect for my authority. Hmmm.


Will find out soon enough.                                                                            


nightswimmingDidn’t look that good. Sadly.





Filed under Family Stuff, Might be funny, Trinidad & Tobago