Tag Archives: rain

A Bonus Sunday, overpriced Christmas trees and rainy days.

A rare treat: a Sunday at home, no work, courtesy of the Islamic New Year.  Happy New Year and welcome to the year 1433.

Not only was it a bonus Sunday but that meant the first Saturday night in months and a Sunday night that felt like a proper, night before the start of the week, Sunday night. Complete with eggs on toast and a side offering of baked beans.

Of course it also meant a 3 day weekend.

And well deserved it was too, after a week that culminated in a day and a half of parent teacher interviews. I was a little worried about getting all the Mohamed’s, Ali’s and Fatima’s straight. I think I did ok, considering that I have about two in each class. One thing I did notice is that the parents were most kind, very grateful to us teachers and that the mothers have an uncanny ability to lift their hands up considering the heavy bling.

This weekend saw more rain. Damp, flat, grey weather that reminded me of a London day in July. I loved it. And I have to risk the removal of my Canadian passport when I confess that despite being 18 degrees Celsius, it actually felt quite cool. Yes, I thought exactly the same thing when people told me it would feel cool. Are said “ are you mad?” I am a Canadian. I have lived in Winnipeg ( better known as Winterpeg in some parts). There is no way I will feel cold, ever, without serious frost bite chomping on my cheeks. But I guess 4 years of heat stroke will do that to you.

Ok it felt cool, not cold and I was just appreciating the seasons, that’s all.

Speaking of seasons….I have wondered about Christmas in the desert. How is it possible? And a Muslim desert, no less. But believe it or not, it is not even December and Muslim desert or not, the malls are top to toe in wreaths, garlands, tinsel and trees. I asked some of my students what the hell was going on and they replied that it was just another theme. And an excuse to shop. And eat out. And party.

So I guess Christmas spirit in all its materialistic glory will find its way to the Sandy Isle.

And here is the first evidence. Turns out you can get real Xmas Trees here. In my naivete I thought that meant there was a place tucked away in a green house that grew them. But no. They are flown in at great expense both to the customer and the environment. Exhibit one:


The smallest tree is $87.50 and that is for 1.5 metres. And the largest is a whopping $3.10 for 4 metres.

I guess we are sticking with the straggly, anemic, dwarf tree we bought in Kampala.


Filed under Family Stuff, I miss shopping.

My big week off

I have been such a slow blogger of late, I fear my readers may just run away. To be honest with you, the reason I am so quiet is because I have been sick, and it is half term, finally, and who wants to spend their much deserved half term sick? I have a terrible cold/sinus/flu/ thingy and it just won’t go. So I am feeling very sorry for myself, and I have no energy whatsoever, and therefore not a great deal to share. I thought this would be a half term of exploring Bahrain, picture taking, discovering, but no. It has instead been a time of shepherding children from one friend to another, criss crossing Bahrain, errands and catching up on all those little things that work stops you doing,and lots of sleep. I can safely say that I will not hit that mall again for 1 whole week.

But on the upside I am getting a new phone, eventually? Tomorrow? So I will finally be reconnected now that my phone took one last breath and died. In order to keep the same number I had before there needs to be come technological mating ritual between two companies, the one I am leaving because I hate them, and the one I can moving to. Since it has been Eid everything is closed and the mating can only resume tomorrow.

On the upside I have found a place to re heel my shoes. It has only been 3 months so that is one big shiny tick, right there.

On the upside we were invited to a BBQ, and I got out of bed to go; I was not to miss our big social event of the past 3 months, now was I? So the social calendar is perking up. It was great fun and the end of the night saw teenagers squirting dish soap all over the pool side stone floor and sliding, full body prostrate, from one side of the terrace into the pool.

On the upside we had one very exciting and rare experience of rain. Yes, the desert rains came. And they were definitely making up for 7 months of no show. Big dramatic clapping thunder, sharp flashing lightning and thick juicy raindrops that fell all night long. The next day the temperature had dropped and it is now a chilly 21 degrees Celsius.  We drove out to a sodden desert the next morning and roads that had mini floods. We have no idea when we will see rain again.

On the upside Handsome had a birthday. Sadly it was the day after the rains so he did not get the hot sunny beach day he requested but he did get a breakfast fit for Kings, a walk on the beach, a movie, plenty of divine chocolate cake and a date with his lovely wife to a seriously trendy Japanese restaurant. I tried to remove the pliers that were wrapped around my head for the day, pull myself out of the cold funk and pretend I was not sick.

There are still four more days of my big week off. I am off to find some fun.

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Filed under Being brave, Family Stuff

Welcome. How on earth did you end up here?

It’s time for another visit to the search engines. Don’t you think? Let’s see how people are finding themselves in the warm and cosy world of 3limes.

ugandan cakes and pastries

Well we all know my opinion of Ugandan cake. My advice to you is to make one yourself or go directly to the Serena and pay a small fortune for a chocolate gateau. That is unless you fancy a cake that might need to be detonated with a small hand grenade before you can vacuum the morsels into your mouth or sniff them through a rolled up 100,000 Shilling note.

road trip stories

Ahhh. I have a few of those. I assume that if you are looking for stories it is because you might be thinking of a trip? My advice to you is this: bring spare tires, choose your company carefully and purchase sling shots. And maybe a pillow for the numb bum that comes from 12 hour drives. Alternatively there are such things as airplanes.

dancing in the rain photography

I had no idea there was such a genre. I have been known to dance in the rain. The first and probably most memorable time was during a summer rain shower at boarding school. It was 1985 and we had just finished our O’ levels. I clearly remember the warm rain, the freedom we felt as we danced at the far end of the rugby pitch in a quiet corner of England. It was us, the pungent grass, our wet warm shoulders and our lives laid out like a quilt ahead. However, the photography you may be referring to might be the happy girls prancing in mud and rain at Trooper’s birthday party last year. Perhaps there should be such a genre, it would be a nostalgic moment for many.

kampala man living beneath

This worries me slightly. What would he be living beneath exactly? I dare to suggest it might be a dead dog? Perhaps a pile of rotting rubbish? Maybe he has actually taken up residence beneath a giant billboard advertising a refreshing beer? He is certainly not living beneath his means.

busiest kfc in the world

This is in Trinidad. Independence square to be exact. Those Trinis do love their fried chicken. Often the hallways of our school reeked of KFC and fries on a Friday lunch time. I have no idea how they stayed so slim and beautiful. Must have been all that dancing. Happy, fried chicken lovers they are.

joy of being a great grandparent

Lovely.  I am very happy for you. But if you feel so much joy why on earth are you resorting to the search engines? Perhaps you have a rascal for a great grandson and need to find the joy, somehow? My dear Grandmother simply loved being a Great Grandparent. She was known to throw fairy tea parties for her great granddaughters in a magical corner of the garden. There was always cake, fairy dust , roses and chocolate buttons. Tons of buttons. Go and find the joy.

thick big but black girlsvideos

Hello sir. Welcome to 3limes. You have come to the wrong place. We have seen lots of thick and big black buts but have no videos, sorry. No off you go. You saucy boy.

uganda a nice country?

Yes, it is. Are you coming here? Perhaps if you are contemplating a move you might consider a more specific question. Such as: Are the roads smooth? Is there a Starbucks?

i miss you rabbit

Ahhh. Sweet. Did you think that by typing that into the search engines he would hear you? This is not a direct line to Rabbit heaven.

little miss

Oh I know a few of those. What are you interested in? Little Miss Princess? Little Miss Trooper? Little Miss Bossy Boots?  There are certain times of the week when we offer special deals on all of the above. Please pop me an email and we can discuss.

little miss bossy

Oh here you are again. Little Miss Bossy was present at breakfast this morning and is currently out on loan to the Ugandan Armed Forces.


Yes. We all need one. Are you enquiring whether we offer them here at 3limes? Or perhaps what one is? I can recommend a rather fine fellow here in Kampala. The current flavour of the week is OPI Strawberry Margarita.

macbeth facebook

Does he have a facebook page? Really? I am going to “friend” him right now.

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Dancing in the rain

Trooper’s surprise birthday party saw 18 kids huddled in a stable waiting for the birthday girl to arrive on horseback. The surprise nearly knocked her off her horse but the joy on her face could not be wiped off all day. The day saw quad bikes speeding through the gardens and mud tracks while us adults waited with baited breath and stomachs in mouths for something to go wrong. The day heard the laughter and glee of 18 kids as they ate cake, tucked into snacks, ran amok and danced in the rain. There are few things as fabulous as dancing in the rain without a care in the world. Yes, they were covered in mud and damp for the remainder of the day. But wasn’t it worth it?

The birthday girl has been welcomed to her teens in true style, with the love of friends and plenty of fun in the mud. I am happy to report that the surprise went off without a hitch and was deemed a huge success by all.


Filed under Family Stuff

Welcome to the Mish Mash

I don’t know if I have writers block or if I am shy after winning the Bloggie but I don’t seem to be able to sit and write. Maybe I am just so busy with work, my online IB course, reading Brick Lane by Monica Ali…I don’t know. However, I have a resolution and a promise to myself to write at least twice a week and this I must do.

The weather is very strange here at the moment. It is either blisteringly hot and I look like a shiny frizz ball by the end of a day teaching in the sauna I call my class room; or it is lovely and cool and I can enjoy the rare pleasure of wearing sleeves to work.

I saw two American films in a row and that helped somewhat to satiate my desire for all things from the Great Shiny West. The first, Up in The Air with George Clooney is an Oscar nominated film and the first of the nominated films that I want to see before the Oscars. To see a movie here one has three choices.

1) Go to the Cinema.

2) Watch DSTV (the cable television here.)

3) Drive to Kisimenti and buy a Pirated DVD for $2.50

We almost always choose option 3 considering that we don’t have DSTV and the choices at the Cinema often leave much to be desired.

George C was great in this movie and I thoroughly enjoyed the bitter sweet charm of this little film. I think side by side with Avatar, this would be my choice. After all, unlike that movie with the blue people, it does have a good script, interesting and compelling characters and it adheres to my kind of film making; the sort where the craft of a human actor is more important than that of a computer.

The second slice of Americana was doled out at the cinema when we went to see Valentine’s Day. Although this was no master piece, it was the perfect bit of distracting movie fluff for a rainy Kampala Sunday afternoon. I swooned over the sight of LA in February and I had to shake my head with disbelief when I returned to the world of a rain drenched African city once we left the cinema.

In other riveting news I had a hilarious teacher time conveying the importance of the Semi Colon in this week’s grammar class thanks to this guy. I hate grammar and any chance to make it amusing and keep those heads off those desks makes my day. I did briefly wonder if my chosen profession was indeed correct during a recent spelling and vocabulary test when these answers were returned.

Purged: The sound a kitten makes to show how it is feeling.

Idle: Jay Z is my idle.

I didn’t know whether to smile at the ingenious use of imagination or despair at the lack of learning.

Rehearsals are in full swing for the Sound of Music and I hear Princess belting out “Doe a Deer” from the shower most evenings.  Meanwhile Trooper is consumed with the science fair that is rapidly approaching on Friday. (The topic of the project is The Heart.)  Handsome Husband, when he is not pulling strings and miracles out of hats while starting his business, is on the hunt for a cow heart, or two, which will be sliced open after school during the fair.   Did I mention that Trooper is a vegetarian?

And finally when I lay my head upon my pillow at night I dream of pavements and duty free shopping.

Whatever does this mean?

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Filed under Family Stuff, Miss Teacher, personal

Sunday Night

Sunday evenings have never been my favorite night of the week,. There is always that dreaded back to work feeling that looms over everything; and there are always plenty of pesky little jobs that need doing, papers to stuff into bags, uniforms to arrange, permission forms to sign, last minute French homework to complete. My mind starts to wonder towards all the things that need doing this week, what is on the agenda for Monday morning and who I need to call or email. If I am in a particular Sunday Night Frame of Mind, I might even jot down a few meal ideas on a scrap of paper, one that will inevitably end up under a large pile of papers, hiding by Wednesday night.

Coming home after a lovely Sunday evening spent with friends is hard because it is always later than it should be “OMG is it already 9pm???” and we are all a little impatient while running around squeezing all those Sunday tasks into a very short time frame and to be honest, while in a smooth white wine haze.

Tonight was the kicker. We got home at 9.05 and the house was dipped in a dark cloak, suggesting a power cut.

“Damn. I hate coming home to a power cut,” I grumbled as I carried three bags out of the car, one full of wet towels that would need to be hung up, and one filled with shopping that needed to go in the fridge.

I crossly stomped into the house, groped for matches and lit a few candles.I opened and closed the dark fridge and hung the towels on the backs of chairs. It was then that I remembered the storm. Earlier that day, while at the pool attempting to get some sun, the skies had opened and unleashed buckets of rain. the like of which I had not seen in some time. It was as if a damn had broken up there in the heavens and no one could find the plug. The kitchen was flooded. At least two inches of water lined the floor and the counters were a fine mess too. But the worst sight was the girls’s bedroom. Their carpet was drenched and stank like wet sheep. The floor was a pool with odd birthday cards floating next to a fluffy cat. A bucket and a few tea towels repeatedly squeezed did the job, as best as possible, considering that there was no power and it was dark.

Tea lights are all very romantic but one cannot mop a floor effectively by their lovely glow.

Tonight is also the Super Bowl somewhere in the far off Great Shiny West. My crazy husband seems to have temporarily forgotten that he is not 21 and is considering waking up at 2 am to drive to a friend’s house to watch it. I would hope that when the power returns, so does his sense.

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Rainy day fantasies

My first African Christmas has come and gone and I have now taken to my bed. It is the only seemingly cosy place in this box I call my home. Kampala has been drenched with rain for 3 days now and my mood seems intent to match the weather. I can’t help wondering what we would be doing in Montreal or Trinidad. So since I am struck with boredom on a rainy day in a dusty (now muddy) city I have decided with the utmost of self indulgence to ask myself some pertinent questions.

What would I do in Montreal today?

Well there are a number of choices, among them a zippy toboggan ride down Murray Hill, an ice skate on Beaver Lake, a wander through the tempting shops down town, perhaps lunch or coffee at a cafe on St. Denis or even an Imax film. Of course there is also the option of a visit to a museum of gallery. Even in the snow Montreal has a wealth of offerings, and combined with the richness of friends who live there ( although they are all away this week) it is easy to see why Montreal continues to be my favorite city in the world.

What would I do in Trinidad today?

Well, a lot less, to be sure, but assuming the sun is shining a trip to Maracas beach is a good bet. There would also be some walking and even staying home in our sun drenched happy house would be quite blissful.

What would I do in London today?

Assuming my wallet could bare it what wouldn’t I do in London today? Aside from the fact that there is always my sister to play with, there is a multitude of shops in which to covet things and museums in which to gain some inspiration and joy. There is also always Waitrose where I could walk up and down the aisles while drooling and clutching my wallet like a deprived tourist let out of Africa on a day pass.

What do I wish I could do today?

Shop. I am in need of some serious retail therapy and even a frustrating walk through a big shiny shop full of lovely things I can’t afford would be sweet indulgence. Of course, to assuage the pain of unrequited love I would need to buy at least one fabulous thing that I shouldn’t. At this point I would predict that it would be shoes.

I also wish I could go for a long walk around a city park. It doesn’t need to be the country at all, and I would prefer not to don wellies and outfit myself as if heading out for the great hunt. No, a city park that would end up at some shops with a warming cappucino would suit just fine. In fact, a brisk walk in a chilly climate would be good as long as the warm and soft scarf could be unwound with relief at the end of it all.

I also fancy a matinee movie in one of those cinemas where you stand, hand on chin, and take a good few minutes to choose what you want to see. One of those cineplexes showing more than 21 films would be grand.

So there you have it. A trip down fantasy lane! Fun while it lasted.

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Safari Day 5: Rainy days, vanilla and bubble baths

I am not sure what woke me up first, the birds or the fiery itching of the tetse fly bites circling my ankles like an unwanted anklet.

Once awake I was anxious to open all the curtains and windows to see the view. Outside our room was a small balcony, with day beds and cushions, positioned perfectly to gaze at the morning view of the valleys below. Unfortunately, this balcony being under the thatched roof, a perfect home for a sparrow’s nest, the day bed of my choice was scattered with bird poop and a plentiful supply of dog hair, generously donated by the lovely, yet flea infested, dogs that live here. I have been to flea hell and I will ever return.

The morning was spent on a hike to the vanilla plantation with our guide, Steve, who helpfully pointed out the medicinal properties of all the plants. shrubs and beans we passed on the way down the valley.

(cocoa bean.)

(Vanilla pods.)

Once we arrived at the vanilla plants he explained the 4 month painstaking operation that leads to the vanilla we find in the grocery store.

(vanilla drying.)

Finally we met Lulu, a lovely English woman and cousin of the owner of the lodge, who has been running the plantation since 2004. She supplies all the organic vanilla to Ben & Jerry’s, Tesco and Waitrose in the UK. I had no idea what a procedure it was to grow and prepare vanilla. The pods, after being washed in boiling water for 2 minutes, exactly, have to then be laid in the sun for precisely 3 hours each day, then lovingly wrapped in wollen blankets, everyday for 4 months. The whole place smelt wonderful and I left with dreams of Creme Caramel and Creme Brule swirling in my head.

Sadly half way through lunch the rains come and there was no better way to spend the afternoon than napping in my four poster bed, lulled by the sound of cross wet birds, followed by a steaming hot bubble bath.

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Filed under Travel, Uganda