Friday, July 22, 2011


Embarrassingly I seem to have a habit of leaving my breast pads lying around, all casual like and it's not good for my health, or that of my friends.

They keep being found tucked under cushions, in the footwell of vehicles, pressed into the arm of sofas and by computer keyboards, just like coasters.  Awful.

So I've come up with a brilliant idea and if anyone wants to shove it under the noses of those guys on Dragon's Den, then please do - run with it and make millions.

Breast pads attached together by one long piece of string.  Taaaa daaaaaaaaaaaa! 

They'd be just like mittens and I for one would buy them by the bucket load. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Goodbye you beast

We've sold our big Mercedes overland truck.  It's sale brings with it the funds that will enable us to thatch 3 lodge rooms and supply more plumbing materials than you can shake a stick at.  If only we had 10 more trucks like it to flog...

When it wasn't on safari our small driveway was swallowed up by it's large frame and we could just squeeze our cruiser in behind it - don't ask how many times I bounced into it late at night, but the bumper stands testament to the fact it was a lot ;)  You could just about putt, putt past it on the vespa, as long as you used your feet as stabilizers and twisted your shoulders accordingly.

We shipped it over from England 4 years ago and yep, I'm going to miss it.  The loud purring of the engine, the 'gin and tonic' balcony, the boat-like swaying motion as it rocked over the long African roads and the opportunities it gave us to travel with friends and international tourists throughout East Africa on safari.  I wont, however, miss the repairing and the dread of a breakdown in the middle of b*m *u*k nowhere. 

The sale of the truck is a stark reminder that we're finished with running safaris (not easy to do when you don't have any vehicles left) and we can crack on with the development of the 20 acres of wilderness we have overlooking the river Nile on the edge of Murchison Falls National Park. 

As I stand back and look at the big picture it's not a bad trade off.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

16 weeks and an avocado of note

Today Leo turned 16 weeks old and I ate an avocado the size of my head - two achievements I never thought possible in one lifetime.

I write this post whilst Chris is away in Murchison overseeing the construction of the lodge.  I've seen photos from his last trip - it's looking amazing and he's absolutely thrilled at the progress, but it remains hard work with him being up north and Leo and I being down south.  We knew it would be tough, but I'm not sure we anticipated it being so emotionally tough.  Little things that he'd help me with now seem tricky on my own and the ever present malaria remains a niggling thorn in my side. 

For example this evening I struggled getting Leo to sleep and found myself rocking, swaying and whispering to him as he shouted in my arms.  He received legs full of injections earlier today and squealed momentarily before nursing himself into a deep slumber as I held him on the sofa with my legs criss-crossed.  We remained like this for much of the afternoon as I gently stroked his face and drank pint after pint of ribena. 

In anticipation of any post-vaccine fever creeping up on him tonight I gave him a syringe of calpol just before bedtime.  In hindsight I realise I should have given him the medicine and then waited a while before feeding.  As it was I squirted the syringe of strawberry flavoured syrup into his mouth, watched as half of it slid down his chin and then attempted to feed him. 

Moments later he squirmed and writhed and I recognised the possible signs as trapped wind - I patted his tiny back, I walked with him over my shoulder, I tried soothing him, I jiggled him on my knee, I shhhhhhhhed him and as he stiffened his back and straightened his legs I cried.  I cried because I couldn't take his pain away, I couldn't stop his sobs, I physically couldn't reply to my sister's text asking how he was, Chris had tried calling but we couldn't hear one another and I was angry that I'd been the cause of my little boy's hurt. 

Fifteen minutes later as I sat in a sweaty heap with him propped on my knee and rubbing his back I felt something wet fall onto my foot.  Lumpy sick.  The crying stopped, he fed hungrily and then crashed out into the 'stick em up' pose across my arms.  I carefully carried him to our bedroom, lifted the mosquito net and gently placed him, asleep, on our bed.  Leo sharing our bed makes me whole and lessens the fact that Chris is away, because it is hard being here and tacking out a new path, but with every new dawn brings another round of strength and after a piping hot shower the day to day stuff now seems possible again.

Even when it comes to eating a mammoth-sized avocado I'll have you know.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Lion Has Landed

We arrived back to the tropics over 2 weeks ago.  Where on earth has the time gone?  Who the hell knows, I've not had a chance to catch up on breathing, but be rest assured we're skittling along and adjusting to a life that's familiar, but somehow different. 

A lot of tea has been drunk, wonderful friends have visited, the dogs were thrilled (for all of 30 seconds) to see us, the 'hunk of junk' (25 year old land cruiser) still heaves and creeps along, our rented house remains standing - the bathroom more horrendous than I remember, the garden is flourishing, skype works and eases hugely the parting of family and friends, the weather is sweaty, inflation is hurting, the lodge build in Murchison is kicking arse and looks amazing, Chris is suddenly away a lot and we're coping in a wide eyed fashion, but above all else our lion is growing like a watermelon and smiling like the desert sun. 

Time?  That's where it's gone, looking after Leo.  Unlike before, the other stuff can wait :)