It’s that time of year again….
- It has been coooold in Nairobi. I can’t complain because we’ve had sunny days recently but this time last week it was properly freezing and drizzling. I was layering up with t-shirts and sweaters and sending my kids to school wearing 2 cardigans, one over the other. (This was after my youngest complained that her grey school M&S cotton sweater must be ‘poorly made’ because it definitely wasn’t keeping her warm!). Meanwhile, when Nairobi was at its coldest, my husband was trekking in the Aberdare mountains with a streaming cold through hail and rain with only a hammock to sleep in carrying a 25kg pack. #notent #cantbelievehecamebackalive.
- The school timetable has gone haywire, as it normally does in the last week of term. No one knows quite where the kids are supposed to be when, and what they are supposed to be wearing. We have Netanyahu (BBC News: A personal journey amid a diplomatic push) in town at the moment (he’s in good company – apparently Madonna – Madonna visits Kibera is also here) – so the traffic has been truly dreadful as key roads were closed this morning. Whatsapp is still going nuts as mums bemoan the jam and having sat in traffic for over 2 hours. Some even gave up and turned back home. After all that, the kids all needed to be picked up at 1.30pm today, to be back at 6pm for an arts festival while Nairobi is gridlocked. Reading between the lines on Whatsapp – that’s not going down well.
- Some friends are leaving the country permanently. Boo. You can spot them a mile off. They have a glazed expression of shock while friends (who are apparently in denial) clamor around requesting just one more social event to help see them off. “I will see you again just once won’t I?” It’s agonising. We are all nursing hurt feelings that they are going. I just wonder how they manage clearing their house. I have 13 years of ‘stuff’ jammed in corners that are best forgotten about in my house. The problem is, as soon as you throw something out, it is needed straight away. “I threw out my trainers 3 days ago forgetting I had to play in a teachers vs students netball match!” My friend said last night. She played netball in leather knee boots. Life is topsy turvey for those guys and will be sadder for us when they’ve gone. (Related Post: Friends come and go).
- The summer holiday exodus from Nairobi is about to begin. We normally stick around but this year I’ve taken on the ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ philosophy and am going too! Hooray! Can’t wait to go and visit family in England. My last trip home in January seems like a lifetime away and it feels like we’ve been stuck in a revision vortex in Nairobi for far too long, so need to get out and enjoy this brief reprieve while we can!
- It’s my daughter’s 11th birthday coming up this weekend and she has no presents (yet)! When I ask what she wants, she tells me that it’s actually my job to come up with surprise gifts for her ‘Mum, use your imagination!’ It’s a fair enough comment. I’m hoping that Amazon will come to my rescue. The problem is that my imagination seems to have deserted me, instead I’m trying to figure out how to wrap-up freelance projects before I travel. Let’s hope her birthday sleepover tomorrow works out well. I’d better get on with that cake.
- My 13 year old is trying to squeeze every last drop of fun out of the final days at her old school. “Please can I have just one more sleepover?” Since finishing exams she’s climbed Mount Kenya, been white water rafting, participated in sports tournaments (rain and shine), had a streaming cold and attended numerous parties (a new dress for each one please – thank goodness that her older sister’s clothes from that time still fit her and most of those were little gems from the very reasonable Mr Price). My kids have started raising the small questions of teacher’s presents. They have 2 days left of school (since there is now the Eid holiday this Thursday). My brain is flat lining. Suggestions welcome! (the teachers are male, just to make life harder! Socks?).
- This year I actually created a spreadsheet for our movements over the next few weeks. I did it. I went there. I usually laugh at people who do that kind of thing (since I’m never organised enough). And…
This year I am packing (on specific request):
x20 banana leaf nativity sets (ordered – still need to collect from the Masai Market)
x3 pairs harem trousers for teenagers (bought)
Moth balls (that you can’t buy in UK any more – but boy they stink)
1 bottle of perfume that my Mum wears that is no longer being made but you can still find it in Kenya 😉
I think that I’ll skip the wax furniture polish and eczema cream this year (unless there are any last minute requests?).