Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Goodbye 2008

The last day of December 2008. What happened last year? How much of it was I awake for?

Well Christmas has come and gone and it was very nice. We ate beef, after refusing to cough up $200 for a turkey. Emma got a new school bag, one that you wheel along like an air hostess. She had been asking for one for many months. Gloria got Baby Joe, who cries/gurgles/sneezes when you poke him. Katherine got a teething ring. Perhaps she's poking Baby Joe's eyes out in protest at such a lame present.

Best present of all: arrival of Auntie Caroline and Granny Rosemarie on Boxing Day. Certain routines have already been established; G'n'T every evening on the verandah, followed by Snatch, a word game like Scrabble only quicker and more violent.

We are aiming to actually make it to midnight tonight after years of falling asleep at around 10.30 in front of the TV. We are going to KPC all night praise thing. It's 8 o' clock now, though and my lids are already feeling heavy...

See you in 2009 when we get back from Jinja.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Silent night (and morning, and afternoon etc)

Sorry about the long absence. I have been a very busy girl! But it is Christmas Eve, I have just finished stuffing E and G's stockings and I can feel the pace begin to ease up at last.

In no particular order, here is what I've been doing over the last three weeks:
1. Running all over town trying to process a whopping 25 Sweetshop garments (thank you, customers!)
2.Packing and posting Christmas stars all over the globe. We sent one parcel to Japan! (Thank you again!)
3. Completely renovating the side rooms in preparation for Auntie Caroline and Granny Rosemarie's visit (48 hours to go!)
4. Hosting a carols and mince pies evening (could I find mincemeat anywhere in Kampala? yes, but it was very much the 11th hour)
5. Curtailing Baby K's new favourite thing (eating soil from the plant pots!)
6. Staying up past midnight two nights in a row (grumpy and ratty the rest of the week!)
7. Performing poorly at charades (upsetting, as I AM THE QUEEN OF CHARADES. My word was 'nougat'. Difficult!)
8. Attending the annual Cantata at Kampala Pentecostal Church. (200 voice gospel choir, dancers, everything. Doesn't get better than that!)

Happy Christmas everyone.

Monday, 8 December 2008

My eldest daughter is officially a genius

Emma's first school report arrived on Friday. Emma's first school report? She's AT SCHOOL? I had a baby? How did that happen? (I am in a permanent state of shock about the passage of time.)

The good news is that she's learning to read and can sound out 3 letter words. She can also write them down. Like her mother, she finds numbers and problem-solving a bit hard. But it was the 'creative development' section of the report that really set my heart on fire. Listen to this:

"Emma can sit and colour in for long periods of time. She can often be found by the painting easel creating fantastic self portraits." You see? Her art is fantastic, she is fantastic. I knew that already, but don't you agree?

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

New arrival

Helen, who works at my place on Saturday mornings, had a baby girl last night! The tiny one weighed in at a very respectable 3.5kgs. At the time of going to press, the young miss is still nameless, but Helen was considering naming her Daphne after her grandmother, who brought her up. Both Helen's parents passed away when she was a teenager.

This is the post-natal ward at Nsambya hospital:

OK, it is extremely basic - no running water, thirty ladies and their babies crammed together like sardines, one measly fan - but for an extremely basic service, it wasn't bad. For a start, it was spotlessly clean. There were plenty of midwives, all of whom seemed to be getting on with the job. I got told off for flouting visiting hours - also a good sign. Still not sure I'd want to have a baby there myself, and not convinced the £35 price tag is value for money for the average Ugandan. (For a normal delivery that is: a caesarean will set you back £120.)