If you are wondering why I’m doing a mad dance around the back garden it’s because coming in on the magic carpet today is Jane Bwye, one of my Crooked Cat friends, who used to live in Africa and I’m trying to do a welcome dance for her. No – it’s OK. I have my t-shirt on!
Oh Ailsa – where have you been all this time? I’ve missed your special humour and the way you banter among friends. You’ve made me laugh so much sometimes that it’s got out of control.
I can just imagine your mad dance with your t-shirt on. Which reminds me … remember that piece you wrote on my blog about magic – years ago? Well, it is still getting hits from all over the world.
How lovely, that’s good to know. Jane! Welcome to the Bingergread Cottage. Now you’ve come from your home in the UK so what can I tempt you with here? Stacks on the table, just dig in. No, Lily, no bits under table.
What are you up to now?
What am I up to? Well – I’m not going through a good patch at the moment. Last Christmas I was struck by something, which, when translated, means many muscle pains. Actually, I literally seized up. Couldn’t move without severe pain. Then a miracle happened in the form of steroids… and having read the small print, I’m convinced the medication is the cause of my thought processes going utterly wonky, and my memory playing so many tricks on me, it is literally laughable. It’s had me in almost as many stitches as your jokes.
Luckily I can still play bridge, and judge dressage, although I wonder at the quality of mentoring advice I give to my business start-up clients. Perhaps it’s time to stop my charitable work.
Oh no! I understand that completely. Being flattened by health problems is why I haven’t produced any work in two years and yes, the meds do screw the brain up. Any more books on Africa? Or is your current work in progress something different?
But at least (and at last) I have brought my next book into enough shape to submit to the Crooked Cats. You can imagine my relief at getting that burden off my shoulders. Yes – it is the sequel to Breath of Africa.
Actually, I’ll let you into a secret. Breath of Africa was originally intended to be twice as long – only I became tired halfway through. Here is a visual glimpse of a scene in “Born Free” country, which I describe in the new book, Grass Shoots:
Oh I adore elephants. I tried to steal one from London Zoo when I was about three and a half. What a lovely picture. I’ll put that on my wall to remind me of your visit.
Travel – I haven’t been away since a year ago last February when I went to Kenya. I will always miss it, and whenever my feet touch the tarmac at Jomo Kenyatta airport, I feel I’m home. I don’t think I will make it this year for family reasons (my husband is not too well).
But the beautiful south downs are on my doorstep and the weather is brightening and I can still walk. London is an hour and half’s train journey away, and I’m looking forward to little gathering there of some Crooked Cats this month.
Some of my grandchildren (they all live in Australia) have been visiting. It’s special getting to know them one at a time without the parents being around.
And thanks so much for having me – my tea has gone cold and I haven’t let you get a word in edgewise…
Not a bit – I’m fascinated. Now let me fill up your cup and we can continue gossiping while I put the links here for my readers to find your work etc.