Sunday, 23 March 2008

i am just too relaxed to think of a title

The kitchen this morning looked like a confetti and foil bomb had gone off. The Easter Bunny brought yoghurts (pink and blue, from the Trix Bunny) (they are cousins) as well, so apart from chocolate, there was some protein and stuff in the boys' breakfasts.

I always feel guilty to sweep up confetti. It is so pretty! Much nicer than dog hair. Kelly and Carl were here visiting, with Kelly's Mum and Dad. Kelly's Mum had taken eggshells, dyed them, painstakingly filled them up with confetti, and sealed up the holes with crépe paper. She gave some to me, before they all left to head Down De Islands, and I added them to the bunny loot.

When I put the basket out last night, I sprinkled foil stars around too, so the effect was very.... Temporary. Today has been a lovely day of pottering around and cooking delicious food, (fish, baked vegetables, pasta, yummy sauce) and reading my book. The boys are playing a game which involves dressing up out of the costume box, making things with Lego, and having lengthy discussions about what you did and then I said and don't forget I am a JEDI but you are the king and you DIED. Then, they get on the keyboard and compose a soundtrack: exciting, gloomy, depending upon what's been happening. Then they change their costumes and start all over again.

They came up momentarily to get my attention but I chased them away. "I am reading my book! Shoo!" Ha. I sent them on a mission to find some eggs (real ones, the damn hens hide them everywhere!), and later we will hard-boil and dye them and decorate them. When it is cooler!

The boys and I were invited to go Down The Islands, but we had to stay home on fire watch. For the first time ever, we haven't had an Easter fire. So far. Knock on wood. KNOCK ON WOOD! Last Easter Weekend, I actually chased a man down with my rake and my cutlass, for letting his fire get away onto our land. No, he did not come and put out his fire. I raked and cut and beat, as it leaped across our ten-foot fire trace into a huge bamboo patch which exploded into a sixty-foot fireball. Readers, if you have never heard bamboo exploding you are missing out. The pockets of air in the stems are sealed, and in the heat of a sudden fireball the explosion is majestic and wonderful. Unless your house is nearby.

I called the police and said that I was going to take matters into my own hands with my cutlass, and after the fourth call they came. I said I wanted to know what to do in future. Have I any recourse or defense against arson? Because it IS arson. Lighting fires to clear bush is traditional, but it is ILLEGAL.

Unfortunately, the whole court process here is so impossible that I have no practical recourse, but just having a real police car with lights flashing, coming through the village, caused such a stir.

In fact, I wasn't all alone. A man whose cow was tethered nearby came running, (I had already moved the poor cow) and one or two neighbours from the village, (mostly for entertainment purposes, but they did cut back a bit) and I had my three boys, Issa, and Mikey watching for sparks. One of the most dangerous things about a bush fire is that you can be watching ahead, and a spark can fall behind you. When the air is so dry, it flares up into a fire in no time and you are trapped. The five boys were spark watchers, with buckets of water. It was a fun and not too dangerous job for them, but by the end of the day they were completely exhausted. Of course, we couldn't say "let's break for lunch, guys!" They took turns running for drinking water and snacks.

At the end of the day, when the bamboo had burned itself out (and several trees, and some hundred yards of fence) and the wind had died, we trudged home. Burned all over, dehydrated, and fed up.

I have called the fire services twice, when our homes were threatened and water was needed. Their rule. Only call when a home is in danger. They are way too overworked during the dry season to be bothered with trees and fences! So every year, we battle.

While this unseasonal weather is great for keeping fires at bay, it is unsettling.

I guess I should just knock on wood again, and go about my business, and say a prayer of thanks for all of the small creatures (or large, eight-legged) who won't need to find refuge in my house this week!

2 comments:

GirlBlue said...

Knocking on wood for you too Nan

witchypoo said...

Whew! Your life is one huge adventure!