Sunday, January 25, 2009

Of spectacles and cold beer

Last night found myself at BF's Lionel Wendt, rubbing my mean shoulders with the arty farty of Ouaga.

A comment made by my French teacher had me without shame forcing myself upon her to accompany to see what I thought was going to be a musical show - this is why I have a French tutor.

The theater was fascinating to look at, as it was one open to the elements - makes sense in a country where the rains are predictable and restricted to just two months out of twelve.

The show commenced with a brief description of what to expect - that went over my head - and an appeal to turn mobiles down and refrain from taking flash photography. My hats off to the entire audience for not once during the entire 60mts were the proceedings disrupted by a call.

The act opened in what I thought was a station... there was after all one woman with a suitcase, another with a basket, one man with a holdall and a second with a bag and a chicken. I confess to laughing out loud at that, but I seem to have missed the plot cos no one else seemed to see the point....

Events climaxed eventually to three styles of dancing performed by three individual groups - and I have to say, it certainly was spectacular!

From there we moved, for by now we were a group of four, two acquaintances of my tutor having joined us - on to a club close by to sit in the cold sipping draft beer. I was happy to sit back and just hear the flow of french around me as my eyes enjoyed the sights around me.... African women are attractive.

From beer we ended up inside the club where I was able to demonstrate my not so impressive talents at cutting up a rug to African Beats which seem to consist of music constructed upon heavy thumping beats, which can become repetitious.

Back home I came eventually closer to 2 than 1am, to pass out after two glasses of beer

Saturday, January 24, 2009


You Are 26% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.

In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

This HAS to be the best kind of evil!

When is enough, enough?

I've been thinking about the superficial nature of life, mine probably too... the things that people to do in the pursuit of wealth and the abandoned and crassness with which others throw it away makes me question the very purpose of life.

There are certainly those who are wealthy, who have come by it the hard way of toil and sweat, who enjoy the freedom that it provides and go the extra mile to share it too.

I am privileged to be acquainted with two brothers and their respective family's. They live in a single house, built recently with all the trappings of a well to do life style - pool, flat screen tv's, a ten seater home theater in the basement, 5 bmw's in the garage.... BUT, and this is where the make a difference. They have earned their money, working themselves up over the years from nothing to this,their kids are polite, bright, quite, soft spoken, admirable in their behavior.

The family spends a considerable amount of time in charity works

And then there are others... designer clothing, designer accessories, think nothing of blowing to what can be a years earnings in one night spent in doing what - drinking and merry making? Who's children grow up thinking that ALL is fair, that to make money by hook or crook, that hooliganism and thuggery the way to go - The fruits born of the loins of most Sri Lankan politicians and the new rich offer the best of examples

I'm trying to make sense of it in terms of just how much is enough? Home to me is the house that I spent alsmot my entire childhood in - a place that has hardly changed in the last 3 decades except for some general improvements. Recently i plonked down my entire life savings on building another modest house, the one that I plan to retire too. The "maha gedera' passing down to the next generation...

Perhaps with the new order of things we will learn to be more caring, I doubt it, but I hope we do

Friday, January 23, 2009

Harmattan Winds

Derived from the Hausa word meaning "North Wind" the Harmattan refers to the dry, dust laden winds that originate in the Sahara. Starting in the dry season these winds blow throughout the West African region from January to March. Visibility becomes limited to a few hundred meters, often reported to cloaking the landscape in a strange orange glow.

The dust seeps everywhere, a fine powder that coats everything without and within the house - curtains, walls, furniture, the inside of the car, your lap top, camera, drying everything including your nostrils causing nose bleeds!

But the Harmattan is in fact the bearer of glad tidings, heralding the fact that a season has turned and next, the coming of the rainy seasons.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


After much deliberation, and having given the matter due consideration, I've decided that this IS where I am retiring too.

That it shares an amazing resemblance to that place that LD went to sometime ago is pure coincidence and should not be taken to be anything more than just that.... or maybe you should, I dunno

Monkey Outlook for 2009

Born in the year of the Monkey this is not too bad a reading for the year!

Monkey Overview

This year offers the Monkey some opportunities to go far with your talents. The Monkey's generous nature may leave you stretched in several different directions, so it is important to stay focused in order to achieve the goals you have set for yourself this year. You will be given the opportunity to impress the right people both in business, as well as in your personal life. Don't hold back this year, for this could be one that will leave an impression over the course of the next few years.

So far, sounds pretty good...

Monkey Rating

49% (4 favorable and 5 neutral and 3 unfavorable months)

Monkey Career

Great strides can be made in your career this year. Timing is everything and in your case, time is on your side. You will be in the right place at the right time to impress the decision makers in your career. The steady Ox rewards those with strong work ethics and the Monkey will surely reap the benefits of your labor. Don't hesitate to do anything that will aid your skills and benefit your position.

And about time too

Monkey Relationships

This could be a busy year for you domestically. Look to your family for the encouragement and support you need. On the same token, it is important for you to listen and heed the advice of those who care. Your social life is active filled with plenty of opportunities to make new friends. Don't forget the ones that have been with you through the rough times, as it is just as important to offer your time with your existing relations.

Busy? That sounds a little ominous...

Monkey Health

Take note that there are several high points to your year. With such a busy social year, you may stretch yourself thin with your health. Be aware of your energy levels throughout the year, as you may need some added rest to counter your affairs. It would be wise to take an active part in your health, taking up a new form of exercise that follows your interests: martial arts or dancing are two good possibilities.

Monkey Wealth

This could be a great year for the Monkey financially. You will possibly make great gains in this area throughout the year. Due to your generous nature, you may have a difficult time refraining from giving to others. Be mindful of this and make sure you give to yourself every once in a while because you deserve it.

Oh yes please!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

God I want this job!

Click the pic!

Billed as "the best job in the world" - six months working as a "caretaker" on Hamilton Island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Tourism Queensland has started a search for someone to take the caretaker job. Indigo skies and rolling golden sandy beaches the job comes with a £70,000 pay packet and a rent-free three-bedroom villa, complete with pool.

Getting to know me....

Saw this on Dee Cee's blog and nicked it

1. What time did you get up this morning?

2. Diamonds or pearls?

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Err.... don't remember

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Dr Who, Spooks.

5. What do you usually have for breakfast?
Omelet .

6. What is your middle name?
Ewww, no way

7. What food do you dislike?

8. What is your favorite album at the moment?
Ali "Farka" Toure's Talking Timbutu

9. What kind of car do you drive?
A burnt orange Toyota Vios and a dark blue Carina 3

10. Favorite sandwich?
Egg sandwiches!

11. What characteristics do you despise?
Insincerity,failing to keep a word

12. Favorite item of clothing?
As long as its neat and clean and black

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
Easter Island, the Galapagos, Amazon river basis, North or South Pole... long list

14. Favorite brand of clothing?
Think branded clothing etc over rated

15. Where would you retire to?
That place that DL went to last month - LOL..

16. What was your most memorable birthday?
21st I guess

17. Favorite sport to watch?
Don't watch much anymore, when I did, rugby

18. When is your birthday?
St Georges Day

19. Are you a morning person or a night person?

20. What is your shoe size?
err, 7?

21. Pets?
Over the years, dogs, a deer, tortoises, snakes, ponies, an elephant, squirrels, cats, fish...

22. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us?

23. What did you want to be when you were little?

24. How are you today?

25. What is your favorite candy?

26. What kind of flowers do you like?

27. What day on the calendar are you looking forward to?
Every day, god know's whats gonna happen next!

28. What is your full name?
You REALLY do not want to know this

29. What are you listening to right now?
The Graham Norton Show

30. What was the last thing you ate?
Rice, a salad, dry fish and Malay pickle

31. Do you wish on stars?

32. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

33. What is the weather like right now?
Sunny and cool

34. First person you spoke to on the phone today?
No one so far

35. Favorite soft drink?
The original Ginger Beer

36. Favorite restaurant?
Hmmm, tough one

37. Real hair color?

38. Favorite toy as a child?
Action Man

39. Summer or winter?

40. Hugs or kisses?
Lots of both pls

41. Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate, is there really anything else

42. Coffee or tea?
Coffee - blush

43. When was the last time you cried?
a couple of months now

44. What is under your bed?
Hmmm, me go look

45. What did you do last night?
Made like a couch potato

46. What are you afraid of?
Letting myself down

47. Salty or sweet?
Salt & Sweet

48. How many keys on your key ring?
A dozen?

49. Favorite day of the week?
Every day

50. How many towns you lived in?
For more than one year each, 4

51. Do you make friends easily?
Nope, but when I do, they last for ever

Friday, January 16, 2009

Yum yum

It was certainly a surprise to hear of the many varieties of fruit that grow here - watermelon, mango's and strawberries too!

Since mid December the girls in the market place have been walking around carrying basin's full of the stuff and they certainly taste good. A kilo each week of luscious, sweet, firm, tangy strawberries, eaten with sugar, ice cream, picked off the bowl... and how much would you pay for this?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Two weeks in to a new year

Its been awhile since I've posted, not really for a lack of time as much as a lack if direction I think. But I'm here now and attempting to remedy my laps!

The first day of 2009 saw me embarking upon a road trip from Ouagadougou to Accra, Ghana - a 1000km plus drive, including a border crossing. The general plan was to make a brief stop off to see some 'friendly' crocodiles and then to pitch tent in close proximity to a Monkey Sanctuary, mid point of my journey.

The sanctuary has come up about as a result of a village that considers the primates to be sacred - as a result of which there an abundance of two spices in the locality.

It is kind of surreal, my life right now. Living it so far away from home, a stranger in a strange land.I live in Francophone West Africa of all places!

A couple days in Accra to take care of business and I was off again to Lome, Togo, a mere 170km away - the journey broken only by a string of corrupt policemen asking for their Christmas presents - so frustrating was it that at one point I responded saying that the previous five had cleared my pockets out! It is however a way of life here, and one better dealt with a smile than a frown. My only worry is how I account for the gifts to the powers that be!

I like visiting Lome because my clients there are a wonderful family. Practitioners of Pranic Healing they exude a wonderful sense of calmness and good will and I inevitably leave refreshed and at peace.

Back to Accra for a night and on the road again towards Burkina - a journey with little to write about...

The news from SL is terrible - the murder of Lasantha Wickramatunga a tragedy and such a telling on the state of our country. That the finger points at the very people elected to safe guard the rights of all of us speaks volumes about the depths they have sunk too.

And we are also supposed to register ourselves now too on line? Surely not for any good you can be assured. At the least such a data base used to identify and intimidate the populace. Have we not learnt yet that ethnicity is what has brought us here on the backs of corrupt immoral self serving politicians?

Oh when will we stand as one and chase these murderers, these rapists, the thieves?!

My poor Sri Lanka