Monday, October 29, 2007

Bad karma on a Monday morning?!

Well I got all excited to let the cat out of the bag this morning. In that place between sleep and awake I was thinking about how to word this post. Mostly I wanted to boast that I've finally chosen a program I would like to do to further my education...AND I've been accepted! I received the official letter of acceptance last week. I will commence my MSc in Human Resources Management by correspondence from the University of London's external programme in February. I'm really excited, it's taken me a long time to decide on a course...I will let you know how it goes as things progress.

But I got sidetracked this morning when I went to run a bath...and there was no hot water. I turned on all the hot water taps in the house expecting there to be an air block, no dice. I get a bit frantic...but there's cold water. I am no plumber. I give in (with some choice words) & have a cold bath. At least if I had a shower it could've been quick- but there's nothing worse than a cold bath. Immediately after I drain the bath, I hear water start running. No. No way. But yes, there is hot water- seriously, instantly after I stepped out of a cold bath. Insert stream of expletives.

Now I'm really getting worried about by walk to work. (I was excited to get up this Monday because I went back to my favourite cereal- it had been out of stock for a while...mmm, raisin muesli). That didn't last long. Cold bath. Surprisingly my walk to work was lovely. Except for the old man on the bike who got sidetracked while preparing to say goodmorning to me, missed a pothole & almost crashed into me. Poor old man, I think he would've broken into pieces if he hit the ground, he was seated on his bike so rigidly.

So, I guess it's the same old*grin*. A post that's neither here nor there...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Good morning, good morning to you

While home this summer, I missed waking up to the sounds of Lusaka. At 17 Lombard, I awoke to lawnmowers or car alarms. At my flat in Northmead, I love(d) waking up to barking dogs, roosters crowing and the constant hum of the fan.

Things have changed.

On the plot of land where I live, there are cottages (formerly known as servants’ quarters). One of the enterprising renters has invested in chickens. I wake up at 4:00am to switch on the hot water tank. I usually hit the toilet for that morning pee as well. At 4:00 every morning, I hear a rooster that sounds like he’s in his final death throes. He appears to be directly outside the window & his “cock-a-doodle-doo” sounds more like a rooster hitting puberty- the voice cracking after the first “rack-a-crack-eeerr”

Groggy & grumpy, I hit the sack until it’s really time to get up at 5:15. The puberty-aged rooster serenades me while I bathe, brush my teeth, apply various girly creams & comb out my wet hair. I’ve started talking to it nicely “Hey chicken, I can hear you, I’m awake- please shut-up”.

To no avail.

I went to the kitchen to prepare a quick breakfast & the attempted cock-a-doodle-doos seemed to be coming from just outside my door. I opened it and found the beady-eyed culprit. (To my surprise it’s a gorgeous black healthy-looking bird with bright red rooster-y things on its head & jowl). Despite his beauty, I was still miffed. There was a stare down. He stuck his bright red head high in the air & stalked off.

I’m praying that the cocky bugger doesn’t discover that I sleep at the front of the flats. If he trumpets outside my window he may have to die. So much for the nostalgia and romantic remembrances of African mornings while I was back in Edmonton-hahaha!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Recent reads

Every now & again I like to take a few minutes to reflect upon places I've escaped to in the beautiful world of fiction! I suppose this indicates that I miss book clubs...but anyway, here are a few of my recent reads. (My bookshelf is fuller than it has ever been since I packed half a suitcase of books en route from Edmonton to Lusaka, then inherited a couple from sojourners in Zambia)...

I read this great book called Summer gone by David MacFarlane (Canadian content). I was excited to read the book because it was supposed to weave tales of three generations (grandfather- father- son) of northern Ontario summers. And weave tales he did- but lacking one major aspect. Many of you know I spent a summer (or five) in Northern Ontario growing up. I used to live for the long days spent in the deep lake at Old MacDonald hill (we're talking North of Timmins people)*grin*. But being an Alberta native, I'd never met with the horseflies of Northern Ontario. I remember being quite like a hippo in the water, I'd swim underwater for as long as possible, then come up for a quick breath of air before diving below again. I wasn't in synchronized swimming training, but only dodging horseflies. And believe it or not, MacFarlane didn't mention once, the crazy number of vicious horseflies while telling tales of summers at the cottage in North Ontario. I was indeed disappointed.

I also just finished reading the last of the Harry Potter series. I love them all. And perhaps now I can indulge in watching the movies...

On a completely different tangent I read Pox: Genius, madness, and the mysteries of syphilis. I thought this Deborah Hayden book would be a little too heavy on the epidemiology for my liking, but it was a fascinating read. It takes into account several famous (or notorious) people during the past centuries and explains how they may have actually had syphilis. Like I said- fascinating.

While home, my mom lent me a must-read. It's called Water for elephants by Sara Gruen. I think everyone has a secret curiosity regarding the circus, and Gruen masterfully ties circus-life into ageing seniors and their fantasies while whittling away hours in seniors homes. I'd recommend this book to anyone! On the never ending plane rides to & from home, I did finally get through Harriet Beecher Stowe's acclaimed Uncle Tom's Cabin. I'm so happy I made it through all it's "classic-ness"- it is a lovely timepiece.

Now I'm knee deep in A civil action & again, am intrigued. Was it really a blockbuster movie? I did read a bad book recently- Black Chameleon. It sounded a bit promising in that it takes place first in Kenya, then UK, then Zambia- but it's a bit too colonial for me. Ok, not even well written and racist. But I had to finish it in hopes that it would get better.

So, when I'm not blogging I guess you know where to find me*smile*. And just to move away from books for a minute- I rode the bike into work today for the first time ever! I'm so hyper, it was such a great ride. The worrying bit is how I'll manage in rush hour traffic after work. I'm sure my cycling trials will instigate a blog or two...keep an eye out*grin*

Friday, October 12, 2007

No longer empty

First prize is split between my Pop & Clara for sending the first snail mail to my new post box! Whoop whoop! This must be the first letter my Pop has ever written me (usually when I SOS for a document, he'll FedEx the thing & not even write a note). Redeemed, 100%. And Clara had previously been one of the worst people for staying in touch, but now I'm sure she's sent me more postcards during my time in Zambia than anyone else.

Mom is the runner up- sending me beautiful fall leaves from home!

I feel so loved, what a great way to start the weekend!!

Thanks for opening up the floodgates! (Right). Happy Friday.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Canadian Thanksgiving

As many of you know, Thanksgiving has always been one of my favourite holidays. I'm not sure if it was Gran's annual feasts, or her glow while watching her troops eat, or the fact that there were never any Christmas-gift pressures. Whatever the case, I've always loved Thanksgiving & even when away from Canada, I want to celebrate. I had my whole post planned out as well. I decided it was time to roast a chicken with potatoes & carrots, do up some home-made perogies & whip up the gravies. Alvin & I invited a friend (who actually didn't make the dinner)- & I set the table (yes, I have a dinner table for 4 now) with these beautiful burgundy place mats printed with elephants that were a gift from Zimbabwe. I dug out the ol' camera & realized all the batteries were dead. My recharge-ables really don't have any juice left, & the batteries we most recently selected are apparently not strong enough for digital cameras. I had no idea one could purchase a 'weak' battery. I better see if I can't find any old reliable Duracell or Energizer here, at an exorbitant cost I'm sure.*sigh*

The other photo I wanted to load today was of my new re-finished bath tub!! For those of you who'd seen (or used) my old cracked, water-stained ugly tub, rest assured the next time you come you'll find a gleaming white tub!! Woo hoo

It's been an exciting weekend (especially since I spent the whole of Saturday afternoon swimming- it's been so ridiculously hot...oh, & I didn't mention that the end product of the tub is brilliant...but I couldn't bathe in it for three days YIPE). I believe I've had enough sponge-bathing this hot season. Inevitably I've come to work rather pickled after swimming Saturday & bathing most of Sunday*giggling*.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadians!!!!!!!! (I'm in the office)*hahhaa*. We get Zambian Independence Day off instead- October 24th. Laters