Recapping my Sunday: the pups came back from the vet safe and sound, but Jez had been sick all over the car seat. Her carsickness pills ( horrendously expensive) do not work. The vet praised the puppies’ glossy coats and lively affectionate ways, and they managed to corner a giant rotweiler in the waiting room and terrorize the poor creature.
Charlotte came around for lunch and admitted she is secretly a cat lover after Jez threw up on her foot. We made plans for reaching more people with the local soup kitchen — people are squatting deep in the bushes on the mountainside, afraid of xenophobic attacks and we must find a way to get in there and make contact. A friend called me from Harare and told me nearly four thousand people may have died of cholera in Zimbabwe — all preventable deaths. The average life expectancy up there is now 26 years of age. It was not a good time for me, I went through the usual obstacle course of frustrated rage and helplessness.
But a friend from AA rang me in the evening and talked about how this last year has been for him, how he has stayed sober one day at a time. I absorbed everything he said like a sponge soaking up that honesty and humility. Over and over again it has been my experience that most people in AA don’t tell you how you should do anything, they just tell you what worked for them.
In the evening, we watched the Bobby Sands film Hunger, brilliant but excoriating. To recover from that we then watched the puppies dancing on tip-toes (up on their hind legs), doing their doggy jitterbug to amuse us. They must have circus poodle in them somewhere.
And just as we were yawning and thinking about sleep, in came some old Scottish expatriate friends bellowing about it being Burns’ Night and reciting ‘Wee cowering tim’rous beastie” etc, bringing along a steaming portion of haggis in a covered dish. No neeps or tatties to my relief. So the night ended sitting out under the new moon in the garden telling ghost stories about mysterious seal women and will o’ the wisp sightings near Scottish lochs, croft women with second sight and talking horses. Toasting the poet Robert Burns with mugs of cocoa.