Monday, 30 March 2009

Kitty is one

Here she is, my little treasure, with her mad, staring lunatic of a mother. Some of us are just born unphotogenic...either that or this is just further evidence that the whole business with the (still uncaught) rat has tipped me over the edge. But isn't my Kit just a million shades of adorable?

At one she can
1. Wave 'bye bye'
2. Say 'Mummy!' 'Daddy!'
3. Squeal delghtfully.
4. Suck her thumb expertly.
5. Almost, almost, almost walk.
6. Splash in the pool - and go under water for a split second. (We've been dunking her from the get-go, to avoid the tedious waterphobia of her elder sisters. That stage is thankfully past now.)

Notice also the appropriate Kitty cake. Not bad, eh? Actually Rob did it all, under my careful creative direction. None of that messy icing business for me, no thank you!
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Friday, 20 March 2009

In no particular order

Ratwatch. The glue is gradually going hard and therefore useless, but we did find a little slick of rat hairs on it this morning. So there is hope. The glue from the tube is the thing apparently, and lots of it.

General insectwatch: Steve the Spider seems to have disappeared, just as well, as he had made the hit list. In his place we now have Simon the Stick Insect, who hangs benignly off the tiles above the kitchen work surface. I like stick insects: he can stay.

Internet Service Providerwatch: I have had 11 days now without internet at home. I have had many phone conversations with the contractor, varying in tone from cool displeasure to shrill rage, waited in for long, fruitless hours. After a face-to-face confrontation at head office - I actually jabbed my finger - someone has been round and is off round Kampala looking for a piece of cable. I'm not sure I am past finger-jabbing stage just yet.

Childrenwatch: Katherine fine, almost walking, Glory fine, loves to cover herself in body art, Emma a bit poorly. It was her class assembly today which she insisted on performing in despite her condition. She croaked her one line and she got a nosebleed half way through, but she soldiered on through the 'Good morning' and the 'Insect' songs (appropriate, eh) before I whisked her home to recuperate.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Close to nature

My rat (should I say 'my'? Am I emotionally involved now?) is still at large. He has wised up to my glue traps. I hope that means he has moved on (Rebecca?) and not chewing the electric cables. Though that would be another way of seeing him off.

Ratty is not the only creature to have moved in recently. There is a huge lizard in the girls' bedroom. Not monitor lizard huge, but about 7 inches long and slimey, a lizard, definitely, not a gecko. He likes to hide on the mosquito nets, and jumps out at me at when i put them down at night which makes me scream. My first instinct was "kill it, kill it" (I am a born conservationist) but he doesn't bite and he eats the mozzies, so I've decided I can live with Luke the Lizard. I just wish he weren't so slimey and...animal.

My feelings are more ambivalent about Steve the Spider who waved at me while I was having a shower this morning. Steve is a hairy spider. Small, but hairy, like a tarantula. He is black and white, unlike a tarantula. Is he poisonous? Will he kill me? Should I kill him first?

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Rat in mi kitchen

My furry friend has moved in. He is making himself very comfortable. He has put his bags down, thrown his towel on the nearest available poolside sunlounger and is checking his watch so as not to miss the beginning of Happy Hour.

He has found the pantry. I have seen his little ratty gnawing teeth marks in the avocado and the pawpaw. He has been helping himself to our food, and smearing our cereal packets with bubonic plague. (Sorry. I am a little hysterical). My previous strategy - making him disappear by the power of positive thinking - has failed. It is time to change tack.

My international rat consultant and friend Rebecca has suggested strong traps and peanut bait, but my Ugandan friends have told me to go for special rat glue. At least I am not alone in having vermin issues.

Rat glue. Glue for rats.

The idea is this: they come out during the night to feed and get stuck on the glue, you find them in the morning and finish them off with a frying pan.

Why do things like this always happen when Rob is away?

Monday, 9 March 2009

Nairobi, rats and crochet

We are back online at last after five long days of no internet. It was a revealing absence. It showed, among other things, that I am a) addicted b) always desperate for news from home c) capable of major hissy fittage with unsuspecting technical support personnel.

The headlines from Ganda are:
We went to Nairobi.
We have rats.
We are branching into crochet cushions.

Nairobi was BRILLIANT! I wasn't expecting this, given Nairobi's fearsome reputation. But I revelled in the paved streets, the balmy climate and the leafy suburbs. And the supermarkets! We left with armloads of multigrain loaves and mozzarella. We ate hummus and mushrooms - not from a tin! Bliss. Most blissful was hanging out with very old, dear friend K and her three lovely children.

We have rats. A rat has been seen, scurrying from corridor to bathroom. The fact I am writing this in such a calm way in no way reflects my mental state on the issue, which I have erased from my conscious mind. We also have cockroaches. (Tea, anyone?) I should get the fumigators in.

Following the roaring success of our crocheted Christmas stars, we have begun crocheting cushion covers and kids' blankets. The lady who owns Banana Boat - Uganda's classiest craft shop - has commissioned us. Of course, it's Joan who does the actual crocheting, not me. I just negotiate the patterns, colours, specifications and the money. There's been a lot of trial and error, but we're sticking with it - and if we get the right design and Banana Boat order in bulk, that's a very tidy little earner for Joan, currently out of work.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Beware the Glorymouse

"..and so it came to pass, after being so snobby about Facebook (see below) Lizzie then decided Facebook was the best thing since sliced bread, and ditched her beloved blog in its favour."

The End.*

*I have also been in Nairobi for the weekend, there have been some very tedious power cuts and general internet connectivity nonsense.