Sunday, December 04, 2005


I’m growing sunflowers in the garden. Recently I realised how unique each one is. Some plants produce one single large flower, others may produce one large flower and several smaller ones, and some are a veritable bush with countless smaller buds. Some of the sunflowers grow only a couple of feet, yet others tower over me. I went out into the garden just after 6 am this morning and photographed some of them. I'd love to post a whole collage of sunflower photos, but unfortunately the speed of the connection doesn't allow that. Will have to limit myself!

Yesterday I was at a wedding, and a couple of weeks ago, a funeral. I’m writing these events up in my head (usually while doing my exercises or in the shower!) – getting them onto paper or electronic form takes a bit longer. In the meantime, life goes on. Our power supply is much improved since about two weeks ago, and we have power most days now. Nights are another matter, and most evenings we’re still in the dark. My generator broke down a week ago, so I’m cooking, reading, and eating by candlelight at the moment. It’s the rainy season, so my solar-powered lamp only gives a couple of hours light. In any case, all my exterior lights are not working, and the kitchen light has also gone (wiring problems, not bulbs). The fridge has also forgotten how to cool (though fortunately the small freezer section still functions), and my telephone can’t take incoming calls. At least there’s plenty of water, and thanks to all the day-time power I can take hot showers – always considered a luxury! A benefit of a dark night is the always amazing view of the stars. Orion lies on his side right outside my back door, and just over the front wall the new crescent moon shines, clearly framed in the shadow of the full moon.

Book of the day: I’m skimming through (it’s not heavy reading) “A Pirate Looks at Fifty” by Jimmy Buffett, left to me by an expat friend. Appropriate reading, with some light-hearted philosophy on getting through life this far. His goal in life is to have as much fun as possible, and he has some great quotes to back this up (“Only if we understand… can we conceive of the seemingly paradoxical phenomenon that people who are afraid of living are also especially frightened of death.”). For those of you who haven’t heard of him, Jimmy Buffett is mostly known in the States as a singer/songwriter. His most famous hit ‘Margaritaville’ was enormously popular in Aspen when I was there working the ’79-’80 ski season, and groups of us ‘locals’ used to down jugs of margaritas after work. ‘Rocky Mountain High’ was another favourite, and I remember seeing John Denver driving around town in his pick-up with a couple of Labrador retrievers in the back. Must be reading Buffett that takes me back!

If you haven’t looked at the blog for a while, the photographs below are from my recent one week holiday on the Kenyan coast.

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